The 51st Academy Awards ceremony, organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored films released in 1978 and took place on April 9, 1979, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles beginning at 7:00 p.m. PST / 10:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 22 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Jack Haley Jr. and directed by Marty Pasetta. Comedian and talk show host Johnny Carson hosted the show for the first time. Three days earlier in a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on April 6, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Gregory Peck and Christopher Reeve.
The Deer Hunter won five awards including Best Picture. Other winners included Coming Home with three awards, Midnight Express with two awards, and The Buddy Holly Story, California Suite, Days of Heaven, Death on the Nile, The Flight of the Gossamer Condor, Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Heaven Can Wait, Scared Straight!, Special Delivery, Superman, Teenage Father and Thank God It's Friday with one.
|51st Academy Awards|
|Date||April 9, 1979|
|Site||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Hosted by||Johnny Carson|
|Produced by||Jack Haley Jr.|
|Directed by||Marty Pasetta|
|Best Picture||The Deer Hunter|
|Most awards||The Deer Hunter (5)|
|Most nominations||The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait (9)|
|TV in the United States|
|Duration||3 hours, 25 minutes|
34.6 (Nielsen ratings)
The ceremony, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown Los Angeles, California, was hosted by late night talk host Johnny Carson for the first time. Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson served as musical directors for the telecast. Singers Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performed a medley called "Oscar's Only Human" which was composed of movie songs that were not nominated for Best Original Song. Initially the Academy's music branch protested that the segment be dropped from the ceremony, but it was kept intact after Haley threatened to leave his position as producer and pull Carson from emcee duties.
It was also remembered for being the final public appearance of Oscar-winning actor John Wayne, where he was given a standing ovation before presenting the award for Best Picture. On June 11, two months after the ceremony, he died from complications from stomach cancer at age 72. This was also the final public appearance for Jack Haley, presenter of the Best Costume Design with his Wizard of Oz co-star Ray Bolger as well as the father of the producer, as he died on June 6 of that year.
The nominees for the 51st Academy Awards were announced on February 20, 1979. The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait tied for the most nominations with nine each. The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on April 9. Best Director nominees Warren Beatty and Buck Henry became the second pair of directors nominated in that category for the same film; Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise had won for co-directing 1961's West Side Story. Furthermore, Beatty was the first person since Orson Welles to earn acting, directing, producing, and screenwriting nominations in the same year. With Jon Voight and Jane Fonda's respective wins in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories, Coming Home was the fourth film to win both lead acting awards. Best Supporting Actress winner Maggie Smith became the only person to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar loser.
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger ().
|Best Picture||Best Director|
|Best Actor||Best Actress|
|Best Supporting Actor||Best Supporting Actress|
|Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen||Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium|
|Best Foreign Language Film||Best Documentary Feature|
|Best Documentary Short Subject||Best Live Action Short Film|
|Best Animated Short Film||Best Original Score|
|Best Adaptation Score||Best Original Song|
|Best Sound||Best Costume Design|
|Best Art Direction||Best Cinematography|
|Best Film Editing|
The following 14 films had multiple nominations:
The following three films received multiple awards.
The following individuals (in order of appearance) presented awards or performed musical numbers:
|John Harlan||Announcer for the 51st Academy Awards|
|Howard W. Koch (AMPAS President)||Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony|
|Presenters of the Honorary Award to Walter Lantz|
|Danny Thomas||Explained the voting rules to the public|
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Presenters of the Scientific and Technical Awards|
|Presenters of the Short Subject Awards|
David L. Wolper
|Presenters of the Documentary Awards|
|Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction|
|Presenters of the award for Best Costume Design|
|Presenters of the award for Best Film Editing|
|Steve Martin||Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects|
|Presenters of the award for Best Sound|
|Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography|
|Presenters of the award for Best Original Song|
|Paul Williams||Introducer to Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performance|
|Presenters of the Music Awards|
|Gregory Peck||Presenter of the Honorary Award to the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film|
|Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film|
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress|
|Presenters of the Writing Awards|
|Audrey Hepburn||Presenter of the Honorary Award to King Vidor|
|Francis Ford Coppola
|Presenters of the award for Best Director|
|Cary Grant||Presenter of the Honorary Award to Laurence Olivier|
|Presenters of the award for Best Actress|
|Jack Valenti||Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award|
|Presenters of the award for Best Actor|
|John Wayne||Presenter of the award for Best Picture|
|Jack Elliot||Musical arrangers||Orchestral|
|Olivia Newton-John||Performer||"Hopelessly Devoted to You" (from Grease)|
|Jane Olivor||Performers||"The Last Time I Felt Like This" (from Same Time, Next Year)|
|Donna Summer||Performer||"Last Dance" (from Thank God It's Friday)|
|Debby Boone||Performer||"When You're Loved" (from The Magic of Lassie)|
|Barry Manilow||Performer||"Ready to Take a Chance Again" (from Foul Play)|
|Sammy Davis Jr.||Performers||"Not Even Nominated (Oscar's Only Human)"|
|Academy Awards Orchestra||Performers||"That's Entertainment!" (instrumental)|
Bertrand Blier (born 14 March 1939) is a French film director and writer. His 1978 film Get Out Your Handkerchiefs won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards.He is the son of famous French actor Bernard Blier. His 1996 film Mon Homme was entered into the 46th Berlin International Film Festival. His 2005 film How Much Do You Love Me? was entered into the 28th Moscow International Film Festival where he won the Silver George for Best Director.A defence of Blier's work until 2000 was written by Sue Harris, Queen Mary College, London and published in 2001 by Manchester University Press.Coming Home (1978 film)
Coming Home is a 1978 American drama film directed by Hal Ashby from a screenplay written by Waldo Salt and Robert C. Jones from a story by Nancy Dowd. It stars Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern, Penelope Milford, Robert Carradine and Robert Ginty. The film's narrative follows a perplexed woman, her Marine husband, and a paraplegic Vietnam War veteran she meets while her husband is stationed in Vietnam.
The film was released theatrically on February 15, 1978. Upon release, the film was a critical and commercial success with critics acclaiming the direction, screenplay and performances while the film grossed $36 million worldwide against a budget of $3 million becoming the 15th highest-grossing film of 1978, while receiving eight nominations at the 51st Academy Awards, winning the Oscars for Best Actress (Fonda), Best Actor (Voight) and Best Original Screenplay. Coming Home is one of only 12 films in history to be on two lists of rare Oscar accomplishments; nominations for the "Big Five" Oscars and nominations in all acting categories.Death of a President (1977 film)
Death of a President (Polish: Śmierć prezydenta) is a 1977 Polish drama film directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz. It was entered into the 28th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for an outstanding artistic contribution. The film was also selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.The film depicts the 1922 assassination of the first President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz by artist and Endecja sympathizer Eligiusz Niewiadomski.Don Zimmerman (film editor)
Don Zimmerman is an American film editor.His first job as lead editor was the film Coming Home, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award at the 51st Academy Awards.Get Out Your Handkerchiefs
Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (French: Préparez vos mouchoirs) is a 1978 French romantic comedy film directed by Bertrand Blier and starring Carole Laure, Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere and Riton Liebman. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards.
The film tells the story of a ménage à trois in which two men share a woman to cure her of an unexplained depression, with many symptoms. Eventually, she begins an affair with an underage boy. The film employs heavy references to historical musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, combined with the music of the film's composer Georges Delerue, who won the César Award for Best Original Music. Get Out Your Handkerchiefs was a critical success.Hungarians (film)
Hungarians (Hungarian: Magyarok) is a 1978 Hungarian drama film directed by Zoltán Fábri. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards.I nuovi mostri
I nuovi mostri (English-language version: Viva l'Italia!; meaning of Italian original title: "The new monsters") is a 1977 commedia all'italiana film composed by 14 episodes, directed by Dino Risi, Ettore Scola and Mario Monicelli. It is a sequel of I mostri, made in 1963. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards.List of submissions to the 51st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
The following 19 films, all from different countries, were submitted for the 51st Academy Awards in the category Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The highlighted titles were the five nominated films, which came from France, West Germany, Hungary, Italy and the USSR. France won the award with the comedy, Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, starring Gérard Depardieu as a husband who finds a new lover for his depressed wife.
Cuba and Lebanon submitted films for consideration for the first time.Me and Charly
Me and Charly (Danish: Mig og Charly) is a 1978 Danish drama film directed by Morten Arnfred and Henning Kristiansen. The film was selected as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.Occupation in 26 Pictures
Occupation in 26 Pictures, also known as Occupation in 26 Tableaux (Croatian: Okupacija u 26 slika), is a 1978 Yugoslavian war film directed by Lordan Zafranović. It was entered into the 1979 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the Yugoslav entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.Pastorale 1943
Pastorale 1943 is a 1978 Dutch drama film directed by Wim Verstappen and starring Frederik de Groot. The film was selected as the Dutch entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.Teenage Father
Teenage Father is a 1978 American short film directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Timothy Wead. In 1979, it won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject at the 51st Academy Awards.The Flight of the Gossamer Condor
The Flight of the Gossamer Condor is a 1978 American short documentary film directed by Ben Shedd, about the development of the Gossamer Condor, the first human-powered aircraft. It won an Oscars at the 51st Academy Awards in 1979 for Documentary Short Subject. The Academy Film Archive preserved The Flight of the Gossamer Condor in 2007.The Glass Cell (film)
The Glass Cell (German: Die gläserne Zelle) is a 1978 West German crime film directed by Hans W. Geißendörfer, based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards.The Lyre of Delight
The Lyre of Delight (Portuguese: A Lira do Delírio) is a 1978 Brazilian drama film directed by Walter Lima Jr. The film was selected as the Brazilian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.The Place Without Limits
The Place Without Limits (Spanish: El lugar sin límites, also released as Hell Without Limits) is a 1978 Mexican drama film directed by Arturo Ripstein, produced in Mexico and based on the 1966 novel of the same name written by Chilean José Donoso. The film was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. In July 2018, it was selected to be screened in the Venice Classics section at the 75th Venice International Film Festival.The Recourse to the Method
The Recourse to the Method (Spanish: El recurso del método) is a Mexican-Cuban drama film directed by Miguel Littín. It is based on the novel of the same name written by Alejo Carpentier. It was entered into the 1978 Cannes Film Festival. The film was also selected as the Cuban entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.The Wedding of Zein (film)
The Wedding of Zein (Arabic: عرس الزين, translit. Urs Al-Zayn) is a 1976 Kuwaiti drama film directed by Khalid Al Siddiq. It is based on the novel of the same name. The film was selected as the Kuwaiti entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.White Bim Black Ear
White Bim Black Ear (Russian: Белый Бим Чёрное ухо, translit. Belyy Bim, Chyornoe ukho) is a 1977 Soviet drama film directed by Stanislav Rostotsky. It is based upon the book of the same name, written by Gavriil Troyepolsky and is about a white Scottish Setter with a black ear who becomes homeless because of his master's illness.The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards.