1984 Oscars 56th Academy Awards

1984 Oscars 56th Academy Awards

  • Winners Announced: April 9, 1984
  • Held at: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, California
  • Host: Johnny Carson
  • Eligibility Year: 1983


  • The evening was dominated by Terms of Endearment. It won Best Picture, Best Director for James L. Brooks, and Best Actress for Shirley MacLaine.
  • Sally Field’s famous speech, “You like me, you really like me!” took place during this ceremony. She won Best Actress for Places in the Heart.
  • Flashdance…What a Feeling from Flashdance won Best Original Song. This track became an ’80s anthem.
  • An honorary award was presented to film industry titan Hal Roach, known for producing Laurel and Hardy films.
  • “The Right Stuff” bagged four technical awards—Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound, and Best Art Direction.
  • Yentl, directed and starring Barbra Streisand, won Best Original Score. Streisand became the first woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Director, but was overlooked in the Oscars’ director category.
  • Fanny and Alexander, directed by Ingmar Bergman, took home the Best Foreign Language Film, and it was Sweden’s first win in the category since 1961’s Through a Glass Darkly.
  • “God bless that potential that we all have for making anything possible if we think we deserve it. I deserve this.”
    – Shirley MacLaine, Best Actress, Terms of Endearment

1984 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Picture:
Terms of Endearment – James L. Brooks, producer (WINNER)
The Big Chill – Michael Shamberg, producer
The Dresser – Peter Yates, producer
The Right Stuff – Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler, producers
Tender Mercies – Philip S. Hobel, producer
Best Director:
James L. Brooks – Terms of Endearment (WINNER)
Peter Yates – The Dresser
Ingmar Bergman – Fanny and Alexander
Mike Nichols – Silkwood
Bruce Beresford – Tender Mercies
Best Actor:
Robert Duvall – Tender Mercies as Mac Sledge (WINNER)
Michael Caine – Educating Rita as Prof. Frank Bryant
Tom Conti – Reuben, Reuben as Gowan McGland
Tom Courtenay – The Dresser as Norman
Albert Finney – The Dresser as Sir
Best Actress:
Shirley MacLaine – Terms of Endearment as Aurora Greenway (WINNER)
Jane Alexander – Testament as Carol Wetherly
Meryl Streep – Silkwood as Karen Silkwood
Julie Walters – Educating Rita as Susan “Rita” White
Debra Winger – Terms of Endearment as Emma Greenway-Horton
Best Supporting Actor:
Jack Nicholson – Terms of Endearment as Garrett Breedlove (WINNER)
Charles Durning – To Be or Not to Be as S.S. Colonel Erhardt
John Lithgow – Terms of Endearment as Sam Burns
Sam Shepard – The Right Stuff as Chuck Yeager
Rip Torn – Cross Creek as Marsh Turner
Best Supporting Actress:
Linda Hunt – The Year of Living Dangerously as Billy Kwan (WINNER)
Cher – Silkwood as Dolly Pelliker
Glenn Close – The Big Chill as Sarah Cooper
Amy Irving – Yentl as Hadass Vishkower
Alfre Woodard – Cross Creek as Beatrice “Geechee”
Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
Tender Mercies – Horton Foote (WINNER)
The Big Chill – Lawrence Kasdan and Barbara Benedek
Fanny and Alexander – Ingmar Bergman
Silkwood – Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen
WarGames – Lawrence Lasker and Walter Parkes
Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium:
Terms of Endearment – James L. Brooks based on the novel by Larry McMurtry (WINNER)
Betrayal – Harold Pinter based on his play
The Dresser – Ronald Harwood based on his play
Educating Rita – Willy Russell based on his play
Reuben, Reuben – Julius J. Epstein based on the play Spofford by Herman Shumlin
Best Foreign Language Film:
Fanny and Alexander (Sweden) (WINNER)
The Ball (Algeria)
Carmen (Spain)
Entre Nous (France)
The Revolt of Job (Hungary)
Best Documentary Feature:
He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’ – Emile Ardolino (WINNER)
Children of Darkness – Richard Kotuk and Ara Chekmayan
First Contact – Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson
The Profession of Arms – Michael Bryans and Tina Viljoen
Seeing Red – James Klein and Julia Reichert
Best Documentary Short Subject:
Flamenco at 5:15 – Cynthia Scott and Adam Symansky (WINNER)
In the Nuclear Shadow: What Can the Children Tell Us? – Vivienne Verdon-Roe and Eric Thiermann
Sewing Woman – Arthur Dong
Spaces: The Architecture of Paul Rudolph – Robert Eisenhardt
You Are Free (Ihr Zent Frei) – Dea Brokman and Ilene Landis
Best Live Action Short Film:
Boys and Girls – Janice L. Platt (WINNER)
Goodie-Two-Shoes – Ian Emes
Overnight Sensation – Jon N. Bloom
Best Animated Short Film:
Sundae in New York – Jimmy Picker (WINNER)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol – Burny Mattinson
Sound of Sunshine – Sound of Rain – Eda Godel Hallinan
Best Original Score:
The Right Stuff – Bill Conti (WINNER)
Cross Creek – Leonard Rosenman
Return of the Jedi – John Williams
Terms of Endearment – Michael Gore
Under Fire – Jerry Goldsmith
Best Original Song: Score or Adaptation Score
Yentl – Song Score by Michel Legrand and Alan and Marilyn Bergman (WINNER)
The Sting II – Adaptation Score by Lalo Schifrin
Trading Places – Adaptation Score by Elmer Bernstein
Best Original Song:
“Flashdance… What a Feeling” from Flashdance – Music by Giorgio Moroder; Lyrics by Keith Forsey and Irene Cara (WINNER)
“Maniac” from Flashdance – Music and Lyrics by Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky
“Over You” from Tender Mercies – Music and Lyrics by Austin Roberts and Bobby Hart
“Papa, Can You Hear Me?” from Yentl – Music by Michel Legrand; Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman
“The Way He Makes Me Feel” from Yentl – Music by Michel Legrand; Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Best Sound:
The Right Stuff – Mark Berger, Tom Scott, Randy Thom and David MacMillan (WINNER)
Never Cry Wolf – Alan Splet, Todd Boekelheide, Randy Thom and David Parker
Return of the Jedi – Ben Burtt, Gary Summers, Randy Thom and Tony Dawe
Terms of Endearment – Donald O. Mitchell, Rick Kline, Kevin O’Connell and James R. Alexander
WarGames – Michael J. Kohut, Carlos Delarios, Aaron Rochin and Willie D. Burton
Best Sound Effects Editing:
The Right Stuff – Jay Boekelheide (WINNER)
Return of the Jedi – Ben Burtt
Best Art Direction:
Fanny and Alexander – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Anna Asp (WINNER)
Return of the Jedi – Art Direction: Norman Reynolds, Fred Hole and James L. Schoppe; Set Decoration: Michael D. Ford
The Right Stuff – Art Direction: Geoffrey Kirkland, Richard Lawrence, W. Stewart Campbell and Peter R. Romero; Set Decoration: Jim Poynter and George R. Nelson
Terms of Endearment – Art Direction: Polly Platt and Harold Michelson; Set Decoration: Tom Pedigo and Anthony Mondello
Yentl – Art Direction: Roy Walker and Leslie Tomkins; Set Decoration: Tessa Davies
Best Costume Design:
Fanny and Alexander – Marik Vos (WINNER)
Cross Creek – Joe I. Tompkins
Heart Like a Wheel – William Ware Theiss
The Return of Martin Guerre – Anne-Marie Marchand
Zelig – Santo Loquasto
Best Cinematography:
Fanny and Alexander – Sven Nykvist (WINNER)
Flashdance – Donald Peterman
The Right Stuff – Caleb Deschanel
WarGames – William A. Fraker
Zelig – Gordon Willis
Best Film Editing:
The Right Stuff – Glenn Farr, Lisa Fruchtman, Tom Rolf, Stephen A. Rotter, and Douglas Stewart (WINNER)
Blue Thunder – Frank Morriss and Edward M. Abroms
Flashdance – Bud S. Smith and Walt Mulconery
Silkwood – Sam O’Steen
Terms of Endearment – Richard Marks
Honorary Academy Award:
Hal Roach
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award:
M. J. Frankovich
Special Achievement Academy Award:
Return of the Jedi – Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston and Phil Tippett for Visual Effects