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Academy Awards for 1974

By Patrick Mondout

The 47th Annual Academy Awards were hosted by Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra on April 8, 1975 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Los Angeles) and broadcast live on NBC. The big winners was the second Godfather flick, which won five of the 11 awards it was up for. The big loser could be judged to be Chinatown, which only won for writing after receiving 10 nominations. How Art Carney beat Jack Nicholson (not to mention Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman) for Best Actor is still a mystery today.

Bob Hope, who came off badly in the controversial Vietnam documentary Hearts and Minds, stirred controversy when he prodded co-host Frank Sinatra into reading a hastily written statement apologizing for "political references made on the program." Sinatra read the clearly political statement to widespread booing and a few cheers shortly after Hearts and Minds producer Bert Schneider gave an acceptance speech for Best Documentary. Scheider's speech included the following statement, which Schneider said was from the Viet Cong delegation at the Paris peace talks:

"Please transmit to all our friends in America our recognition of all that they have done on behalf of peace and for the application of the Paris accords on Vietnam. These actions server the legitimate interests of the American people and the Vietnamese people. Greetings of friendship to all American people."

Backstage, old Rat Pack friend Shirley MacLaine was livid at Sinatra for delivering Hope's retort. Sinatra had prefaced it by saying "The Academy" had asked him to read it, which was Hope's idea but not at all true. "I'm a member of the Academy and you didn't ask me!", shouted MacLaine. Hours later, Hope was still attempting to justify his misdeed by waving supportive telegrams around at the Governor's Ball. It would be years before Hope was asked to appear on the show again.

François Truffaut's Day for Night, which won last year's Best Foreign Film award, was back with three more nominations but was shut out.

Note: All nominees are listed and Oscar winner! denotes the Oscar winner(s).
 
BEST PICTURE
  Chinatown, Robert Evans, producer
  The Conversation, Francis Ford Coppola, producer
Oscar winner! The Godfather Part II, Francis Ford Coppola, producer; Gray Frederickson and Fred Roos, co-producers
  Lenny, Marvin Worth, producer
  The Towering Inferno, Irwin Allen, producer
 
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Jack Nicholson, Chinatown
Al Pacino, The Godfather Part II
Oscar winner! Art Carney, Harry and Tonto
Dustin Hoffman, Lenny
Albert Finney, Murder on the Orient Express
 
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Oscar winner! Ellen Burstyn, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
  Gena Rowlands, A Woman Under the Influence
  Faye Dunaway, Chinatown
  Diahann Carroll, Claudine
  Valerie Perrine, Lenny
 
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Oscar winner! Robert De Niro, The Godfather Part II
  Michael V. Gazzo, The Godfather Part II
  Lee Strasberg, The Godfather Part II
  Jeff Bridges, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
  Fred Astaire, The Towering Inferno
 
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  Diane Ladd, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
  Madeline Kahn, Blazing Saddles
  Valentina Cortese, Day for Night
  Talia Shire, The Godfather Part II
Oscar winner! Ingrid Bergman, Murder on the Orient Express
 
BEST DIRECTOR
  John Cassavetes, A Woman Under the Influence
  Roman Polanski, Chinatown
  François Truffaut, Day for Night
Oscar winner! Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather Part II
  Bob Fosse, Lenny
 
BEST WRITING (SCREENPLAY FACTUALLY BASED OR NEW MATERIAL)
  Robert Getchell, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Oscar winner! Robert Towne, Chinatown
  Francis Ford Coppola, The Conversation
  François Truffaut, Jean-Louis Richard and Suzanne Schiffman, Day for Night
  Paul Mazursky and Josh Greenfeld, Harry and Tonto
 
BEST WRITING (SCREENPLAY BASED ON MATERIAL FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM)
  Mordecai Richler, screenplay; Lionel Chetwynd, adaptation, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Oscar winner! Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo, The Godfather Part II
  Julian Barry, Lenny
  Paul Dehn, Murder on the Orient Express
  Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, Young Frankenstein
 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
  John A. Alonzo, Chinatown
  Philip Lathrop, Earthquake
  Bruce Surtees, Lenny
  Geoffrey Unsworth, Murder on the Orient Express
Oscar winner! Fred Koenekamp and Joseph Biroc, The Towering Inferno
 
BEST FILM EDITING
  John C. Howard and Danford Greene, Blazing Saddles
  Sam O'Steen, Chinatown
  Dorothy Spencer, Earthquake
  Michael Luciano, The Longest Yard
Oscar winner! Harold F. Kress and Carl Kress, The Towering Inferno
 
BEST ART DIRECTION/SET DIRECTION
  Richard Sylbert and W. Stewart Campbell, art direction; Ruby Levitt, set decoartion, Chinatown
  Alexander Golitzen and E. Preston Ames, art direction; Frank McKelvy, set decoration, Earthquake
Oscar winner! Dean Tavoularis and Angelo Graham, art direction; George R. Nelson, set decoration, The Godfather Part II
  Peter Ellenshaw, John B. Mansbridge, Walter Tyler and Al Roelofs, art direction; Hal Gausman, set decoration, The Island at the Top of the World
  William Creber and Ward Preston, art direction; Raphael Bretton, set decoration, The Towering Inferno
 
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
  Anthea Sylbert, Chinatown
  John Furness, Daisy Miller
  Theadora Van Runkle, The Godfather Part II
Oscar winner! Theoni V. Aldredge, The Great Gatsby
  Tony Walton, Murder on the Orient Express
 
BEST SOUND
  Bud Grenzbach and Larry Jost, Chinatown
  Walter Murch and Arthur Rochester, The Conversation
Oscar winner! Ronald Pierce and Melvin Metcalfe, Sr., Earthquake
  Theodore Soderberg and Herman Lewis, The Towering Inferno
  Richard Portman and Gene Cantamessa, Young Frankenstein
 
BEST SOUND (SONG ORIGINAL TO THE PICTURE)
  “Benji's Theme” (I Feel Love), Benji, Euel Box, music; Betty Box, lyrics
  “Blazing Saddles,” Blazing Saddles, John Morris, music; Mel Brooks, lyrics
  “Wherever Love Takes Me,” Gold, Elmer Bernstein, music; Don Black, Iyrics
  “Little Prince,” The Little Prince, Frederick Loewe, music; Alan Jay Lerner, Iyrics
Oscar winner! “We May Never Love Like This Again,” The Towering Inferno, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, music and Iyrics
 
BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
  Jerry Goldsmith, Chinatown
  Alex North, Shanks
Oscar winner! Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola, The Godfather Part II
  Richard Rodney Bennett, Murder on the Orient Express
  John Williams, The Towering Inferno
 
BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG SCORE OR ADAPTATION)
Oscar winner! Nelson Riddle, adaptation, The Great Gatsby
  Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, song; Angela Morley and Douglas Gamley, adaptation, The Little Prince
  Paul Williams, song; George Aliceson Tipton and Paul Williams, adaptation, Phantom of the Paradise
 
BEST SHORT FILMS (ANIMATED)
Oscar winner! Closed Mondays (Will Vinton and Bob Gardiner, producers; Lighthouse Productions)
  The Family That Dwelt Apart (Yvon Mallette and Robert Verrall, producers; National Film Board of Canada)
  Hunger (Peter Foldes and René Jodoin, producers; National Film Board of Canada)
  Voyage to Next (Faith Hubley and John Hubley, producers; Hubley Studios)
  Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (Wolfgang Reitherman, producer; Walt Disney Productions)
 
BEST SHORT FILMS (LIVE ACTION)
  Climb (Dewitt Jones, producer; Dewitt Jones Productions)
  The Concert (Julian and Claude Chagrin, producers; The Black and White Colour Film Company, Ltd.)
Oscar winner! One-Eyed Men Are Kings (Paul Claudon and Edmond Sechan, producers; C.A.P.A.C. Productions)
  Planet Ocean (George V. Casey, producer; Graphic Films)
  The Violin (Andrew Welsh and George Pastic, producers; Sincinkin, Ltd.)
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECTS)
  City Out of Wilderness (Francis Thompson, producer; Francis Thompson Inc.)
Oscar winner! Don't (Robin Lehman, producer; R. A. Films)
  Exploratorium (Jon Boorstin, producer; Jon Boorstin Production)
  John Muir's High Sierra (Dewitt Jones and Lesley Foster, producers; Dewitt Jones Productions)
  Naked Yoga (Ronald S. Kass and Mervyn Lloyd, producers; Filmshop Production)
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURES)
  Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman (Judy Collins and Jill Godmilow, producers; Rocky Mountain Productions)
  The Challenge... A Tribute to Modern Art (Herbert Kline, producer; World View Production)
  The 81st Blow (Jacquot Ehrlich, David Bergman and Haim Gouri, producers; Ghetto Fighters House Film)
Oscar winner! Hearts and Minds (Touchstone-Audjeff-BBS Production; Howard Zucker/Henry Jaglom-Rainbow Pictures Presentation)
  The Wild and the Brave (E.S.J. Productions in association with Tomorrow Entertainment Inc. and Jones/Howard Ltd.)
 
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Oscar winner! Amarcord, Italy
  Cats' Play, Hungary
  The Deluge, Poland
  Lacombe, Lucien, France
  The Truce, Argentina

Other Awards

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was won by Arthur B. Krim while Frank Brendel, Glen Robinson and Albert Whitlock won a Visual Effects Special Achievement Award for their work on Earthquake. Honorary awards were given to Howard Hawks ("a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema") and Jean Renoir ("a genius who, with grace, responsibility and enviable devotion through silent film, sound film, feature, documentary and television, has won the world's admiration").

Scientific Awards

The Burbank Studios Sound Department (Sound)
Glen Glenn Sound (Sound)
Samuel Goldwyn Studio Sound Department (Sound)
Joseph D. Kelly (Sound)
Robert J. Leonard (Sound)
Quad-Eight Sound Corporation (Sound)
Sensurround System (Sound)
Richard J. Stumpf (Sound)
Universal City Studio Sound Department (Sound)
Waldon O. Watson (Sound)
Louis Ami (Stage Operations)
The Elemack Company, Rome, Italy (Camera Cranes)

 

FILM FACTS

Best Picture: The Godfather, Part 2

What: 47th Annual Academy Awards

Date: April 8, 1975

Host: Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Los Angeles)

Network: NBC


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