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Academy Awards for 1978

By Patrick Mondout

The 51st Annual Academy Awards were hosted by Johnny Carson on April 9, 1979 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Los Angeles) and broadcast live on ABC. The Deer Hunter was the big winner with five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It was Carson's first time as host, and he started the show by describing it as "two hours of sparkling entertainment spread over a four-hour show."

Note: All nominees are listed and Oscar winner! denotes the Oscar winner.
 
BEST PICTURE
  An Unmarried Woman, Paul Mazursky and Tony Ray, producers
  Coming Home, Jerome Hellman, producer
Oscar winner! The Deer Hunter, Barry Spikings, Michael Deeley, Michael Cimino and John Peverall, producers
  Heaven Can Wait, Warren Beatty, producer
  Midnight Express, Alan Marshall and David Puttnam, producers
 
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Laurence Olivier, The Boys From Brazil
Gary Busey, The Buddy Holly Story
Oscar winner! Jon Voight, Coming Home
Robert De Niro, The Deer Hunter
Warren Beatty, Heaven Can Wait
 
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
  Jill Clayburgh, An Unmarried Woman
  Ingrid Bergman, Autumn Sonata
Oscar winner! Jane Fonda, Coming Home
  Geraldine Page, Interiors
  Ellen Burstyn, Same Time, Next Year
 
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  Richard Farnsworth, Comes a Horseman
  Bruce Dern, Coming Home
Oscar winner! Christopher Walken, The Deer Hunter
  Jack Warden, Heaven Can Wait
  John Hurt, Midnight Express
 
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Oscar winner! Maggie Smith, California Suite
  Penelope Milford, Coming Home
  Meryl Streep, The Deer Hunter
  Dyan Cannon, Heaven Can Wait
  Maureen Stapleton, Interiors
 
BEST DIRECTOR
  Hal Ashby, Coming Home
Oscar winner! Michael Cimino, The Deer Hunter
  Warren Beatty and Buck Henry, Heaven Can Wait
  Woody Allen, Interiors
  Alan Parker, Midnight Express
 
BEST WRITING (SCREENPLAY FACTUALLY BASED OR NEW MATERIAL)
  Paul Mazursky, An Unmarried Woman
  Ingmar Bergman, Autumn Sonata
Oscar winner! Nancy Dowd, story; Waldo Salt and Robert C. Jones, screenplay, Coming Home
  Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle and Quinn K. Redeker, story; Deric Washburn, screenplay, The Deer Hunter
  Woody Allen, Interiors
 
BEST WRITING (SCREENPLAY BASED ON MATERIAL FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM)
  Walter Newman, Bloodbrothers
  Neil Simon, California Suite
  Elaine May and Warren Beatty, Heaven Can Wait
Oscar winner! Oliver Stone, Midnight Express
  Bernard Slade, Same Time, Next Year
 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Oscar winner! Nestor Almendros, Days of Heaven
  Vilmos Zsigmond, The Deer Hunter
  William A. Fraker, Heaven Can Wait
  Robert Surtees, Same Time, Next Year
  Oswald Morris, The Wiz
 
BEST FILM EDITING
  Robert E. Swink, The Boys From Brazil
  Don Zimmerman, Coming Home
Oscar winner! Peter Zinner, The Deer Hunter
  Gerry Hambling, Midnight Express
  Stuart Baird, Superman
 
BEST ART DIRECTION/SET DIRECTION
  Dean Tavoularis and Angelo Graham, art direction; George R. Nelson and Bruce Kay, set decoration, The Brink's Job
  Albert Brenner, art direction; Marvin March, set decoration, California Suite
Oscar winner! Paul Sylbert and Edwin O'Donovan, art direction; George Gaines, set decoration, Heaven Can Wait
  Mel Bourne, art direction; Daniel Robert, set decoration, Interiors
  Tony Walton and Philip Rosenberg, art direction; Edward Stewart and Robert Drumheller, set decoration, The Wiz
 
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
  Renie Conley, Caravans
Oscar winner! Anthony Powell, Death on the Nile
  Patricia Norris, Days of Heaven
  Paul Zastupnevich, The Swarm
  Tony Walton, The Wiz
 
BEST SOUND
  Tex Rudloff, Joel Fein, Curly Thirlwell and Willie Burton, The Buddy Holly Story
  John K. Wilkinson, Robert W. Glass, Jr., John T. Reitz and Barry Thomas, Days of Heaven
Oscar winner! Richard Portman, William McCaughey, Aaron Rochin and Darin Knight, The Deer Hunter
  Robert Knudson, Robert J. Glass, Don MacDougall and Jack Solomon, Hooper
  Gordon K. McCallum, Graham Hartstone, Nicholas Le Messurier and Roy Charman, Superman
 
BEST SOUND (ORIGINAL SONG)
  “Ready to Take a Chance Again,” Foul Play, Charles Fox, music; Norman Gimbel, lyrics
  “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” Grease, John Farrar, music and lyrics
  “When You're Loved,” The Magic of Lassie, Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, music and lyrics
  “The Last Time I Felt Like This,” Same Time, Next Year, Marvin Hamlisch, music; Alan and Marilyn Bergman, lyrics
Oscar winner! “Last Dance,” Thank God It's Friday, Paul Jabara, music and lyrics
 
BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
  Jerry Goldsmith, The Boys From Brazil
  Ennio Morricone, Days of Heaven
  Dave Grusin, Heaven Can Wait
Oscar winner! Giorgio Moroder, Midnight Express
  John Williams, Superman
 
BEST MUSIC (ADAPTATION SCORE)
Oscar winner! Joe Renzetti, The Buddy Holly Story
  Jerry Wexler, Pretty Baby
  Quincy Jones, The Wiz
 
BEST SHORT FILMS (ANIMATED)
  Oh My Darling (Nico Crama, producer; Nico Crama Productions)
  Rip Van Winkle (Will Vinton, producer; Will Vinton Productions)
Oscar winner! Special Delivery (Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon, producers; National Film Board of Canada)
 
BEST SHORT FILMS (LIVE ACTION)
  A Different Approach (Jim Belcher and Fern Field, producers; Jim Belcher/Brookfield Production)
  Mandy's Grandmother (Andrew Sugerman, producer; Illumination Films)
  Strange Fruit (Seth Pinsker, producer; American Film Institute)
Oscar winner! Teenage Father (Taylor Hackford, producer; New Visions Inc. for the Children's Home Society of California)
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECTS)
  An Encounter With Faces (K. K. Kapil, producer; Films Division, Government of India)
  The Divided Trail: A Native American Odyssey (Jerry Aronson, producer; Jerry Aronson Production)
Oscar winner! The Flight of the Gossamer Condor (Jacqueline Phillips Shedd and Ben Shedd, producers; Shedd Production)
  Goodnight Miss Ann (August Cinquegrana, producer; August Cinquegrana Films Production)
  Squires of San Quentin (J. Gary Mitchell, producer; J. Gary Mitchell Film Company)
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURES)
  The Lovers' Wind (Ministry of Culture and Arts of Iran)
  Mysterious Castles of Clay (Survival Anglia Ltd. Production)
  Raoni (Franco-Brazilian Production)
Oscar winner! Scared Straight! (Golden West Television Production)
  With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women's Emergency Brigade (Women's Labor History Film Project Production)
 
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Oscar winner! Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, France
  The Glass Cell, German Federal Republic (West)
  Hungarians, Hungary
  Viva Italia!, Italy
  White Bim Black Ear, U.S.S.R.
 

Other Awards

A number of Honorary Awards were awarded this year. Recipients included Linwood G. Dunn, Loren L. Ryder and Waldon O. Watson "in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences", Walter Lantz "for bringing joy and laughter to every part of the world through his unique animated motion pictures", Laurence Olivier "for the full body of his work, for the unique achievements of his entire career and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film", King Vidor "for his incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator", and to the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film "for the contribution it has made to the public's perception of movies as an art form."

A Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects was given to Les Bowie, Colin Chilvers, Denys Coop, Roy Field, Derek Meddings and Zoran Perisic for their work on Superman. The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was given to Leo Jaffe.

Scientific Awards

Garrett Brown (Camera Cranes)
Cinema Products Corporation Engineering Staff (Camera Cranes)
John Jurgens (Camera Cranes)
John Agalsoff (Sound)
Emory M. Cohen (Sound)
John C. Dykstra (Systems)
Eastman Kodak Company (Film)
Glen Glenn Sound (Sound)
Barry K. Henley (Sound)
Hammond H. Holt (Sound)
Jerry Jeffress (Systems)
Joseph D. Kelly (Sound)
N. Paul Kenworthy Jr. (Camera)
Stefan Kudelski (Sound)
William R. Latady (Camera)
Alvah J. Miller (Systems)
Nagra Magnetic Recorders, Incorporated (Sound)
Panavision, Incorporated (Camera)
Werner Block (Lighting)
Continental Camera Systems, Incorporated, Astrovision Division (Camera)
EECO (Electronic Engineering Company of California) (Systems)
Dr. Bernhard Kuhl (Lighting)
Ernst Nettmann (Camera)
OSRAM GmbH (Lighting)
Panavision, Incorporated (Lighting)
Panavision, Incorporated (Stage Operations)
Piclear, Incorporated (Laboratory)

 

FILM FACTS

Best Picture: The Deer Hunter

What: 51st Annual Academy Awards

Date: April 9, 1979

Host: Johnny Carson

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Los Angeles)

Network: ABC


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