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Academy Awards for 1980

By Patrick Mondout

The 53rd Annual Academy Awards were hosted by Johnny Carson on March 31, 1981 (moved back a day due to Reagan assasination attempt) at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Los Angeles) and broadcast live on ABC. Ordinary People was the big winner garnering four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director (Robert Redford), and Supporting Actor (Timothy Hutton).

The show began with a videotaped message President Reagan. It had been recorded a week earlier in the Oval Office to celebrate his ascension from actor to the presidency (if that can still be considered an ascension). While hosting the ceremonies for a second straight year, host Carson wished Reagan a speedy recovery, but got everyone in good spirits by calling the recent demand for cuts in aid to the arts "Reagan's strongest attack on the arts since he signed with Warner Brothers."

Note: All nominees are listed and Oscar winner! denotes the Oscar winner.
 
BEST PICTURE
  Coal Miner's Daughter, Bernard Schwartz, producer
  Elephant Man, Jonathan Sanger, producer
Oscar winner! Ordinary People, Ronald L. Schwary, producer
  Raging Bull, Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, producers
  Tess, Claude Berri, producer; Timothy Burrill, co-producer
 
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Oscar winner! Sissy Spacek, Coal Miner's Daughter
  Gena Rowlands, Gloria
  Mary Tyler Moore, Ordinary People
  Goldie Hawn, Private Benjamin
  Ellen Burstyn, Resurrection
 
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
John Hurt, Elephant Man
Robert Duvall, The Great Santini
Oscar winner! Robert De Niro, Raging Bull
Peter O'Toole, The Stunt Man
Jack Lemmon, Tribute
 
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  Diana Scarwid, Inside Moves
Oscar winner! Mary Steenburgen, Melvin and Howard
  Eileen Brennan, Private Benjamin
  Cathy Moriarty, Raging Bull
  Eva Le Gallienne, Resurrection
 
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  Michael O'Keefe, The Great Santini
  Jason Robards, Melvin and Howard
  Judd Hirsch, Ordinary People
Oscar winner! Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People
  Joe Pesci, Raging Bull
 
BEST DIRECTOR
  David Lynch, Elephant Man
Oscar winner! Robert Redford, Ordinary People
  Martin Scorsese, Raging Bull
  Richard Rush, The Stunt Man
  Roman Polanski, Tess
 
BEST WRITING (SCREENPLAY WRITTEN DIRECTLY FOR THE SCREEN)
  W. D. Richter, screenplay; W. D. Richter and Arthur Ross, story, Brubaker
  Christopher Gore, Fame
Oscar winner! Bo Goldman, Melvin and Howard
  Jean Gruault, Mon Oncle D'Amerique
  Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer and Harvey Miller, Private Benjamin
 
BEST WRITING (SCREENPLAY BASED ON MATERIAL FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM)
  Jonathan Hardy, David Stevens and Bruce Beresford, Breaker Morant
  Tom Rickman, Coal Miner's Daughter
  Christopher DeVore, Eric Bergren and David Lynch, Elephant Man
Oscar winner! Alvin Sargent, Ordinary People
  Lawrence B. Marcus and Richard Rush, The Stunt Man
 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
  Nestor Almendros, The Blue Lagoon
  Ralf D. Bode, Coal Miner's Daughter
  James Crabe, The Formula
  Michael Chapman, Raging Bull
Oscar winner! Geoffrey Unsworth and Ghislain Cloquet, Tess
 
BEST FILM EDITING
  Arthur Schmidt, Coal Miner's Daughter
  David Blewitt, The Competition
  Anne V. Coates, Elephant Man
  Gerry Hambling, Fame
Oscar winner! Thelma Schoonmaker, Raging Bull
 
BEST ART DIRECTION/SET DIRECTION
  John W. Corso, art direction; John M. Dwyer, set decoration, Coal Miner's Daughter
  Stuart Craig and Bob Cartwright, art direction; Hugh Scaife, set decoration, Elephant Man
  Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Harry Lange and Alan Tomkins, art direction; Michael Ford, setdecoration, The Empire Strikes Back
Oscar winner! Pierre Guffroy and Jack Stephens, art direction, Tess
  Yoshiro Muraki, art direction, Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior)
 
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
  Patricia Norris, Elephant Man
  Anna Senior, My Brilliant Career
  Jean-Pierre Dorleac, Somewhere in Time
Oscar winner! Anthony Powell, Tess
  Paul Zastupnevich, When Time Ran Out
 
BEST SOUND
  Arthur Piantadosi, Les Fresholtz, Michael Minkler and Willie D. Burton, Altered States
  Richard Portman, Roger Heman and Jim Alexander, Coal Miner's Daughter
Oscar winner! Bill Varney, Steve Maslow, Gregg Landaker and Peter Sutton, The Empire Strikes Back
  Michael J. Kohut, Aaron Rochin, Jay M. Harding and Chris Newman, Fame
  Donald O. Mitchell, Bill Nicholson, David J. Kimball and Les Lazarowitz, Raging Bull
 
BEST SOUND (ORIGINAL SONG)
  “People Alone,” The Competition, Lalo Schifrin, music; Wilbur Jennings, lyrics
Oscar winner! “Fame,” Fame, Michael Gore, music; Dean Pitchford, lyrics
  “Out Here on My Own,” Fame, Michael Gore, music; Lesley Gore, lyrics
  “On the Road Again,” Honeysuckle Rose, Willie Nelson, music and lyrics
  “Nine to Five,” Nine to Five, Dolly Parton, music and lyrics
 
BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
  John Corigliano, Altered States
  John Morris, Elephant Man
  John Williams, The Empire Strikes Back
Oscar winner! Michael Gore, Fame
  Philippe Sarde, Tess
 
BEST SHORT FILMS (ANIMATED)
  All Nothing (Frédéric Back, producer; Société Radio Canada)
Oscar winner! The Fly (Ferenc Rofusz, producer; Pannonia Film)
  History of the World in Three Minutes Flat (Michael Mills, producer; Michael Mills Productions Ltd.)
 
BEST SHORT FILMS (LIVE ACTION)
  A Jury of Her Peers (Sally Heckel, producer; Sally Heckel Productions)
Oscar winner! The Dollar Bottom (Rocking Horse Films, Ltd.; Paramount)
  Fall Line (Bob Carmichael and Greg Lowe, producers; Sports Imagery, Inc.)
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECTS)
  Don't Mess With Bill (John Watson and Pen Densham, producers; John Watson and Pen Densham's Insight Productions Inc.)
  The Eruption of Mount St. Helens (George Casey, producer; Graphic Films Corporation)
  It's the Same World (Dick Young, producer; Dick Young Productions, Ltd.)
Oscar winner! Karl Hess: Toward Liberty (Roland Hallé and Peter W. Ladue, producers; Hallé/Ladue, Inc.)
  Luther Metke at 94, U.C.L.A. (Richard Hawkins and Jorge Preloran, producers; U.C.L.A. Ethnographic Film Program)
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURES)
  Agee (Ross Spears, producer; James Agee Film Project)
  The Day After Trinity (Jon Else, producer; Jon Else Productions)
Oscar winner! From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China (Murray Lerner, producer; The Hopewell Foundation)
  Front Line (David Bradbury, producer; David Bradbury Productions)
  The Yellow Star—The Persecution of the Jews in Europe, 1933—45 (Bengt von zur Muehlen and Arthur Cohn, producers; Chronos Film GmbH)
 
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
  Confidence, Hungary
  Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior), Japan
  The Last Metro, France
Oscar winner! Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, U.S.S.R.
  The Nest, Spain

Other Awards

A Special Achievement Award went to the visual effects crew (Brian Johnson, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren and Bruce Nicholson) of The Empire Strikes Back. (A Visual Effects award was added for 1981.) An honorary award was given to Henry Fonda "the consummate actor, in recognition of his brilliant accomplishments and enduring contribution to the art of motion pictures." Fred Hynes also received one "in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."

Scientific and Technical Awards

Academy Award of Merit
Acme Tool and Manufacturing Company (Laboratory)
Linwood G. Dunn (Laboratory)
Cecil D. Love (Laboratory)

Scientific and Engineering Award
Dr. Werner Block (Lighting)
Filmline Corporation (Laboratory)
David A. Grafton (Lenses and Filters)
Edward B. Krause (Laboratory)
Dr. Bernhard Kuhl (Lighting)
Jean-Marie Lavalou (Camera Cranes)
Alain Masseron (Camera Cranes)
OSRAM GmbH (Lighting)
David Samuelson (Camera Cranes)
Samuelson Alga Cinema S.A. (Camera Cranes)
Samuelson Film Service, Limited (Camera Cranes)
Ross Taylor (Stage Operations)

Technical Achievement Award
Worth Baird (Projection)
Bell and Howell Company (Laboratory)
Carter Equipment Company, Inc. (Laboratory)
Cinetron Computer Systems, Incorporated (Systems)
Andre DeBrie S.A. (Laboratory)
Elicon (Photography)
Hollywood Film Company (Laboratory)
Walter Hrastnik (Laboratory)
John W. Lang (Laboratory)
LaVezzi Machine Works, Incorporated (Projection)
Eugene Nottingham (Systems)
Peter A. Regla (Photography)
Dan Slater (Photography)
Charles Vaughn (Systems)
Charles J. Watson (Laboratory)

 

FILM FACTS

Best Picture: Ordinary People

What: 53rd Annual Academy Awards

Date: March 31, 1981 (moved back a day due to Reagan assasination attempt)

Host: Johnny Carson

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Los Angeles)

Network: ABC


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