51st Academy Awards
The 51st Academy Awards ceremony, organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored films released in 1978 and took place on April 9, 1979, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles beginning at 7:00 p.m. PST / 10:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 22 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Jack Haley Jr. and directed by Marty Pasetta. Comedian and talk show host Johnny Carson hosted the show for the first time. Three days earlier in a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on April 6, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Gregory Peck and Christopher Reeve.
|51st Academy Awards|
|Date||April 9, 1979|
|Site||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Hosted by||Johnny Carson|
|Produced by||Jack Haley Jr.|
|Directed by||Marty Pasetta|
|Best Picture||The Deer Hunter|
|Most awards||The Deer Hunter (5)|
|Most nominations||The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait (9)|
|TV in the United States|
|Duration||3 hours, 25 minutes|
34.6 (Nielsen ratings)
The Deer Hunter won five awards including Best Picture. Other winners included Coming Home with three awards, Midnight Express with two awards, and The Buddy Holly Story, California Suite, Days of Heaven, Death on the Nile, The Flight of the Gossamer Condor, Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Heaven Can Wait, Scared Straight!, Special Delivery, Superman, Teenage Father and Thank God It's Friday with one.
The ceremony, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown Los Angeles, California, was hosted by late night talk host Johnny Carson for the first time. Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson served as musical directors for the telecast. Singers Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performed a medley called "Oscar's Only Human" which was composed of movie songs that were not nominated for Best Original Song. Initially the Academy's music branch protested that the segment be dropped from the ceremony, but it was kept intact after Haley threatened to leave his position as producer and pull Carson from emcee duties.
It was also remembered for being the final public appearance of Oscar-winning actor John Wayne, where he was given a standing ovation before presenting the award for Best Picture. On June 11, two months after the ceremony, he died from complications from stomach cancer at age 72. This was also the final public appearance for Jack Haley, presenter of the Best Costume Design with his Wizard of Oz co-star Ray Bolger as well as the father of the producer, as he died on June 6 of that year.
Winners and nominees
The nominees for the 51st Academy Awards were announced on February 20, 1979. The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait tied for the most nominations with nine each. The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on April 9. Best Director nominees Warren Beatty and Buck Henry became the second pair of directors nominated in that category for the same film; Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise had won for co-directing 1961's West Side Story. Furthermore, Beatty was the first person since Orson Welles to earn acting, directing, producing, and screenwriting nominations in the same year. With Jon Voight and Jane Fonda's respective wins in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories, Coming Home was the fourth film to win both lead acting awards. Best Supporting Actress winner Maggie Smith became the only person to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar loser.
Academy Honorary Awards
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Special Achievement Award
Multiple nominations and awards
The following 14 films had multiple nominations:
The following three films received multiple awards.
Presenters and performers
|John Harlan||Announcer for the 51st Academy Awards|
|Howard W. Koch (AMPAS President)||Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony|
|Presenters of the Honorary Award to Walter Lantz|
|Danny Thomas||Explained the voting rules to the public|
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Presenters of the Scientific and Technical Awards|
|Robby Benson |
|Presenters of the Short Subject Awards|
David L. Wolper
|Presenters of the Documentary Awards|
|Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction|
|Presenters of the award for Best Costume Design|
|Presenters of the award for Best Film Editing|
|Steve Martin||Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects|
|Presenters of the award for Best Sound|
|Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography|
|Presenters of the award for Best Original Song|
|Paul Williams||Introducer to Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performance|
|Presenters of the Music Awards|
|Gregory Peck||Presenter of the Honorary Award to the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film|
|Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film|
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress|
|Presenters of the Writing Awards|
|Audrey Hepburn||Presenter of the Honorary Award to King Vidor|
|Francis Ford Coppola|
|Presenters of the award for Best Director|
|Cary Grant||Presenter of the Honorary Award to Laurence Olivier|
|Presenters of the award for Best Actress|
|Jack Valenti||Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award|
|Presenters of the award for Best Actor|
|John Wayne||Presenter of the award for Best Picture|
|Jack Elliot||Musical arrangers||Orchestral|
|Olivia Newton-John||Performer||"Hopelessly Devoted to You" (from Grease)|
|Jane Olivor||Performers||"The Last Time I Felt Like This" (from Same Time, Next Year)|
|Donna Summer||Performer||"Last Dance" (from Thank God It's Friday)|
|Debby Boone||Performer||"When You're Loved" (from The Magic of Lassie)|
|Barry Manilow||Performer||"Ready to Take a Chance Again" (from Foul Play)|
|Sammy Davis Jr.||Performers||"Not Even Nominated (Oscar's Only Human)"|
|Academy Awards Orchestra||Performers||"That's Entertainment!" (instrumental)|
- Osborne 2013, p. 252
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- "War Film, Comedy Head List". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Cowles Publishing Company. April 6, 1979. p. 7. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Smith, Liz (October 8, 1978). "Frank won't sing without G notes". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "Past Scientific & Technical Awards Ceremonies". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 13, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
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- Pond 2005, p. 29
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- "The Deer Hunter, Heaven Can Wait top honors Oscar nominees listed". The Globe and Mail. February 21, 1979. p. P11.
- Grant, Lee (February 21, 1979). "Two War Films on Oscar Ballot". Los Angeles Times. p. D1.
- Kinn & Piazza 2002, p. 215
- Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 1129
- Holden 1993, p. 619
- Holden 1993, p. 622
- "The 51st Academy Awards (1979) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- "Academy plans special honors for 4-old timers". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. February 9, 1979. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "Olivier, Lantz to get Special Oscars". Beaver County Times. February 13, 1979. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Scott, Vernon (February 21, 1979). "'Heaven' and 'Deer Hunter' head list of Oscar hopefuls". Lodi News-Sentinel. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Kinn & Piazza 2002, p. 217
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- Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 562
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