1979 Oscars 51st Academy Awards

1979 Oscars 51st Academy Awards

Winners Announced: April 9, 1979
Held at: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, California
Host: Johnny Carson (introduced as “John Carson”)
Eligibility Year: 1978

Intriguing Trivia and Highlights

  1. Introduction Curveball: Johnny Carson, a seasoned late-night host, was formally introduced as “John Carson,” which was a bit unusual for TV audiences.
  2. Dear Hunter, the Winner: The Deer Hunter swept the major awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Michael Cimino, and Best Supporting Actor for Christopher Walken.
  3. Streisand & Diamond: Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond performed the song You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, a chart-topping hit that was unrelated to any film that year.
  4. “A Little Priest”: The film adaptation of The Wiz was among the nominees for Best Art Direction, giving the beloved musical some much-needed limelight.
  5. Mork on Stage: Robin Williams, then primarily known for his TV role as Mork, presented an award, providing a touch of comedy to the ceremonies.
  6. Musical Variety: John Williams won for his original score for Superman, further cementing his status as one of Hollywood’s leading composers.
  7. Foreign Excellence: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (Préparez vos mouchoirs) from France won Best Foreign Language Film, marking a strong presence for international cinema.
  8. This was the final public appearance of actor John Wayne.
  9. The nominees for the 51st Academy Awards were announced on February 20, 1979

1979 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Picture:
The Deer Hunter – Barry Spikings, Michael Deeley, Michael Cimino and John Peverall, producers (WINNER)
Coming Home – Jerome Hellman, producer
Heaven Can Wait – Warren Beatty, producer
Midnight Express – Alan Marshall and David Puttnam, producers
An Unmarried Woman – Paul Mazursky and Anthony Ray, producers
Best Director:
Michael Cimino – The Deer Hunter (WINNER)
Hal Ashby – Coming Home
Warren Beatty and Buck Henry – Heaven Can Wait
Woody Allen – Interiors
Alan Parker – Midnight Express
Best Actor:
Jon Voight – Coming Home as Luke Martin (WINNER)
Warren Beatty – Heaven Can Wait as Joe Pendleton/Leo Farnsworth/Tom Jarrett
Gary Busey – The Buddy Holly Story as Buddy Holly
Robert De Niro – The Deer Hunter as Sergeant Michael “Mike” Vronsky
Laurence Olivier – The Boys from Brazil as Ezra Lieberman
Best Actress:
Jane Fonda – Coming Home as Sally Hyde (WINNER)
Ingrid Bergman – Autumn Sonata as Charlotte Andergast
Ellen Burstyn – Same Time, Next Year as Doris
Jill Clayburgh – An Unmarried Woman as Erica Benton
Geraldine Page – Interiors as Eve
Best Supporting Actor:
Christopher Walken – The Deer Hunter as Corporal Nikanor “Nick” Chevotarevich (WINNER)
Bruce Dern – Coming Home as Captain Bob Hyde
Richard Farnsworth – Comes a Horseman as Dodger
John Hurt – Midnight Express as Max
Jack Warden – Heaven Can Wait as Max Corkle
Best Supporting Actress:
Maggie Smith – California Suite as Diana Barrie (WINNER)
Dyan Cannon – Heaven Can Wait as Julia Farnsworth
Penelope Milford – Coming Home as Vi Munson
Maureen Stapleton – Interiors as Pearl
Meryl Streep – The Deer Hunter as Linda
Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
Coming Home – Story by Nancy Dowd; Screenplay by Waldo Salt and Robert C. Jones (WINNER)
Autumn Sonata – Ingmar Bergman
The Deer Hunter – Story by Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle and Quinn Redeker; Screenplay by Deric Washburn
Interiors – Woody Allen
An Unmarried Woman – Paul Mazursky
Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium:
Midnight Express – Oliver Stone based on the book by Billy Hayes and William Hoffer (WINNER)
Bloodbrothers – Walter Newman based on the novel by Richard Price
California Suite – Neil Simon based on his play
Heaven Can Wait – Elaine May and Warren Beatty based on the play by Harry Segall
Same Time, Next Year – Bernard Slade based on his play
Best Foreign Language Film:
Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (France) (WINNER)
The Glass Cell (West Germany)
Hungarians (Hungary)
Viva Italia! (Italy)
White Bim Black Ear (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
Best Documentary Feature:
Scared Straight! – Arnold Shapiro (WINNER)
The Lovers’ Wind (Le vent des amoureux) – Albert Lamorisse (posthumous nomination)
Mysterious Castles of Clay – Joan Root and Alan Root
Raoni – Jean-Pierre Dutilleux and Luiz Carlos Saldanha
With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women’s Emergency Brigade – Lorraine Gray
Best Documentary Short Subject:
The Flight of the Gossamer Condor – Jacqueline Phillips Shedd and Ben Shedd (WINNER)
The Divided Trail: A Native American Odyssey
An Encounter with Faces – Vidhu Vinod Chopra and K. K. Kapil
Goodnight Miss Ann
Squires of San Quentin
Best Live Action Short Film:
Teenage Father – Taylor Hackford (WINNER)
A Different Approach – Jim Belcher and Fern Field
Mandy’s Grandmother – Andrew Sugerman
Strange Fruit – Seth Pinsker
Best Animated Short Film:
Special Delivery – Eunice Macauley and John Weldon (WINNER)
Oh My Darling – Nico Crama
Rip Van Winkle – Will Vinton
Best Original Score:
Midnight Express – Giorgio Moroder (WINNER)
The Boys from Brazil – Jerry Goldsmith
Days of Heaven – Ennio Morricone
Heaven Can Wait – Dave Grusin
Superman – John Williams
Best Adaptation Score:
The Buddy Holly Story – Joe Renzetti (WINNER)
Pretty Baby – Jerry Wexler
The Wiz – Quincy Jones
Best Original Song:
“Last Dance” from Thank God It’s Friday – Music and Lyrics by Paul Jabara (WINNER)
“Hopelessly Devoted to You” from Grease – Music and Lyrics by John Farrar
“The Last Time I Felt Like This” from Same Time, Next Year – Music by Marvin Hamlisch; Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman
“Ready to Take a Chance Again” from Foul Play – Music by Charles Fox; Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
“When You’re Loved” from The Magic of Lassie – Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Best Sound:
The Deer Hunter – Richard Portman, William McCaughey, Aaron Rochin and Darin Knight (WINNER)
The Buddy Holly Story – Tex Rudloff, Joel Fein, Curly Thirlwell and Willie D. Burton
Days of Heaven – John Wilkinson, Robert W. Glass Jr., John T. Reitz and Barry Thomas
Hooper – Robert Knudson, Robert Glass, Don MacDougall and Jack Solomon
Superman – Gordon McCallum, Graham V. Hartstone, Nicolas Le Messurier and Roy Charman
Best Costume Design:
Death on the Nile – Anthony Powell (WINNER)
Caravans – Renié
Days of Heaven – Patricia Norris
The Swarm – Paul Zastupnevich
The Wiz – Tony Walton
Best Art Direction:
Heaven Can Wait – Art Direction: Paul Sylbert and Edwin O’Donovan; Set Decoration: George Gaines (WINNER)
The Brink’s Job – Art Direction: Dean Tavoularis and Angelo P. Graham; Set Decoration: George R. Nelson and Bruce Kay
California Suite – Art Direction: Albert Brenner; Set Decoration: Marvin March
Interiors – Art Direction: Mel Bourne; Set Decoration: Daniel Robert
The Wiz – Art Direction: Tony Walton and Philip Rosenberg; Set Decoration: Edward Stewart and Robert Drumheller
Best Cinematography:
Days of Heaven – Néstor Almendros (WINNER)
The Deer Hunter – Vilmos Zsigmond
Heaven Can Wait – William A. Fraker
Same Time, Next Year – Robert Surtees
The Wiz – Oswald Morris
Best Film Editing:
The Deer Hunter – Peter Zinner (WINNER)
The Boys from Brazil – Robert E. Swink
Coming Home – Don Zimmerman
Midnight Express – Gerry Hambling
Superman – Stuart Baird
Academy Honorary Awards:
Laurence Olivier
Walter Lantz
King Vidor
Museum of Modern Art Department of Film
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award:
Leo Jaffe
Special Achievement Award:
Les Bowie, Colin Chilvers, Denys Coop, Roy Field, Derek Meddings and Zoran Perisic for the visual effects of Superman.
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