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Academy Awards for 1976

By Patrick Mondout

The 49th Annual Academy Awards were hosted by Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Warren Beatty on March 29, 1977 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Los Angeles) and broadcast live on ABC. The show was produced by notoriously difficult to work with director William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist), who was also known for not being too sentimental. It surprised no one when he insisted that if late actor Peter Finch were to win Best Actor for Network, screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky would accept the award rather than having Finch's "weeping widow" giving a tearful speech.

When Finch did win, Chayefsky came to the podium and said, "There's no reason for me to be here. There's only one person who should be up here." He then motioned Eletha Finch to the stage. She made a sentimental speech and got the biggest ovation of the night. Backstage, Friedkin was furious. "You guys lied to me. You didn't tell me what you had planned!", he reportedly said. Chayefsky initially said Ms. Finch "had no idea I was going to do it", but it was later revealed by Variety he'd written her speech and even rehearsed it with her. "I didn't want to get into a fight", he said, comparing the scene to last year's Best Actress speech, "...like when Louise Fletcher spoke to her parents when she won."  It made for a memorable Oscar moment in an otherwise boring show which not coincidentally had the lowest ratings ever.

Note: All nominees are listed and Oscar winner! denotes the Oscar winner(s).
 
BEST PICTURE
  All the President's Men, Walter Coblenz, producer
  Bound for Glory, Robert F. Blumofe and Harold Leventhal, producers
  Network, Howard Gottfried, producer
Oscar winner! Rocky, Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, producers
  Taxi Driver, Michael Phillips and Julia Phillips, producers
 
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Oscar winner! Peter Finch, Network
William Holden, Network
  Sylvester Stallone, Rocky
Giancarlo Giannini, Seven Beauties
Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver
 
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
  Sissy Spacek, Carrie
  Marie-Christine Barrault, Cousin, Cousine
  Liv Ullman, Face to Face
Oscar winner! Faye Dunaway, Network
  Talia Shire, Rocky
 
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Oscar winner! Jason Robards, All the President's Men
  Laurence Olivier, Marathon Man
  Ned Beatty, Network
  Burgess Meredith, Rocky
  Burt Young, Rocky
 
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  Jane Alexander, All the President's Men
  Piper Laurie, Carrie
Oscar winner! Beatrice Straight, Network
  Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver
  Lee Grant, Voyage of the Damned
 
BEST DIRECTOR
  Alan J. Pakula, All the President's Men
  Ingmar Bergman, Face to Face
  Sidney Lumet, Network
Oscar winner! John G. Avildsen, Rocky
  Lina Wertmuller, Seven Beauties
 
BEST WRITING (SCREENPLAY FACTUALLY BASED OR NEW MATERIAL)
  Jean-Charles Tacchella, story and screenplay; Daniele Thompson, adaptation, Cousin, Cousine
  Walter Bernstein, The Front
Oscar winner! Paddy Chayefsky, Network
  Sylvester Stallone, Rocky
  Lina Wertmuller, Seven Beauties
 
BEST WRITING (SCREENPLAY BASED ON MATERIAL FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM)
Oscar winner! William Goldman, All the President's Men
  Robert Getchell, Bound for Glory
  Federico Fellini and Bernadino Zapponi, Fellini's Casanova
  Nicholas Meyer, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
  Steve Shagan and David Butler, Voyage of the Damned
 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
  Robert Surtees, A Star Is Born
Oscar winner! Haskell Wexler, Bound for Glory
  Richard H. Kline, King Kong
  Ernest Laszlo, Logan's Run
  Owen Roizman, Network
 
BEST FILM EDITING
  Robert L. Wolfe, All the President's Men
  Robert Jones and Pembroke J. Herring, Bound for Glory
  Alan Heim, Network
Oscar winner! Richard Halsey and Scott Conrad, Rocky
  Eve Newman and Walter Hannemann, Two-Minute Warning
 
BEST ART DIRECTION/SET DIRECTION
Oscar winner! George Jenkins, art direction; George Gaines, set decoration, All the President's Men
  Elliot Scott and Norman Reynolds, art direction; Peter Howitt, set decoration, The Incredible Sarah
  Gene Callahan and Jack Collis, art direction; Jerry Wunderlich, set decoration, The Last Tycoon
  Dale Hennesy, art direction; Robert de Vestel, set decoration, Logan's Run
  Robert F. Boyle, art direction; Arthur Jeph Parker, set decoration, The Shootist
 
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
  William Theiss, Bound for Glory
Oscar winner! Danilo Donati, Fellini's Casanova
  Anthony Mendleson, The Incredible Sarah
  Mary Wills, The Passover Plot
  Alan Barrett, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
 
BEST SOUND
Oscar winner! Arthur Piantadosi, Les Fresholtz, Dick Alexander and Jim Webb, All the President's Men
  Robert Knudson, Dan Wallin, Robert Glass and Tom Overton, A Star Is Born
  Harry Warren Tetrick, William McCaughey, Aaron Rochin and Jack Solomon, King Kong
  Harry Warren Tetrick, William McCaughey, Lyle Burbridge and Bud Alper, Rocky
  Donald Mitchell, Douglas Williams, Richard Tyler and Hal Etherington, Silver Streak
 
BEST SOUND (SONG ORIGINAL TO THE PICTURE)
Oscar winner! “Evergreen” (Love Theme From A Star Is Born), A Star Is Born, Barbra Streisand, music; Paul Williams, lyrics
  “A World That Never Was,” Half a House, Sammy Fain, music; Paul Francis Webster, lyrics
  “Ave Satani,” The Omen, Jerry Goldsmith, music and lyrics
  “Come to Me,” The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Henry Mancini, music; Don Black, lyrics
  “Gonna Fly Now,” Rocky, Bill Conti, music; Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins, lyrics
 
BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
  Bernard Herrmann, Obsession
Oscar winner! Jerry Goldsmith, The Omen
  Jerry Fielding, The Outlaw Josey Wales
  Bernard Herrmann, Taxi Driver
  Lalo Schifrin, Voyage of the Damned
 
BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG SCORE)
  Roger Kellaway, A Star Is Born
Oscar winner! Leonard Rosenman, Bound for Glory
  Paul Williams, Bugsy Malone
 
BEST SHORT FILMS (ANIMATED)
  Dedalo (Manfredo Manfredi, producer; Cineteam Realizzazioni Production)
Oscar winner! Leisure (Suzanne Baker, producer; Film Australia Production)
  The Street (Caroline Leaf and Guy Glover, producers; National Film Board of Canada)
 
BEST SHORT FILMS (LIVE ACTION)
Oscar winner! In the Region of Ice (Andre Guttfreund and Peter Werner, producers; American Film Institute)
  Kudzu (Marjorie Ann Short, producer; Short Productions)
  The Morning Spider (Julian Chagrin and Claude Chagrin, producers; The Black and White Colour Film Company)
  Nightlife (Claire Wilbur and Robin Lehman, producers; Opus Films Ltd.)
  Number One (Dyan Cannon and Vince Cannon, producers; Number One Productions)
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECTS)
  American Shoeshine (Sparky Greene, producer; Titan Films)
  Blackwood (Tony Ianzelo and Andy Thompson, producers; National Film Board of Canada)
  The End of the Road (John Armstrong, producer; Pelican Films)
Oscar winner! Number Our Days (Lynne Littman, producer; Community Television of Southern California)
  Universe (Lester Novros, producer; Graphic Films Corporation for NASA)
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURES)
Oscar winner! Harlan County, U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple, producer; Cabin Creek Films)
  Hollywood on Trial (James Gutman and David Helpern, Jr., producers; October Films/Cinema Associates)
  Off the Edge (Michael Firth, producer; Pentacle Films)
  People of the Wind (Anthony Howarth and David Koff, producers; Elizabeth E. Rogers Productions)
  Volcano: An Inquiry Into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry (Donald Brittain and Robert Duncan, producers; National Film Board of Canada)
 
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Oscar winner! Black and White in Color, Ivory Coast
  Cousin, Cousine, France
  Jacob, the Liar, German Democratic Republic (East)
  Nights and Days, Poland
  Seven Beauties, Italy
 

Other Awards

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award was given to Pandro S. Berman. A pair of Special Achievement Awards for Visual Effects were presented to Carlo Rambaldi, Glen Robinson and Frank Van der Veer for King Kong, and to L.B. Abbott, Glen Robinson and Matthew Yuricich for Logan's Run.

Scientific Awards

Barnebey-Cheney Company (Laboratory)
Consolidated Film Industries (Laboratory)
William L. Graham (Laboratory)
Manfred G. Michelson (Laboratory)
Geoffrey F. Norman (Laboratory)
Siegfried Seibert (Laboratory)
Technicolor (Laboratory)
AMPTP Motion Picture and Television Research Center (Lenses and Filters)
Fred Bartscher (Lenses and Filters)
Glenn Berggren (Lenses and Filters)
Canon, Inc. (Lenses and Filters)
Wilton R. Holm (Lenses and Filters)
Kollmorgen Corporation (Lenses and Filters)
Kollmorgen Corporation Photo Research Division (Photography)
Panavision, Incorporated (Lenses and Filters)
Schneider Corporation (Lenses and Filters)
Hiroshi Suzukawa (Lenses and Filters)
Carl Zeiss Company (Lenses and Filters)

 

FILM FACTS

Best Picture: Rocky

What: 49th Annual Academy Awards

Date: March 29, 1977

Host: Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Warren Beatty

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Los Angeles)

Network: ABC


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