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The decade of the 1970s opened with Hollywood facing a financial slump, reflecting the monetary woes of the nation as a whole during the first half of the decade. Despite this, the 1970s proved to be a benchmark decade in the development of cinema, both as an art form and as a business. With young filmmakers taking greater risks and restrictions regarding language and sexuality lifting, Hollywood produced some of its most critically acclaimed and financially successful films since its “golden era.”

In the years previous to 1970, Hollywood had begun to cater to the younger generation with films such as The Graduate. This proved a folly when anti-war films like R. P. M. and The Strawberry Statement became major box-office flops. Even solid films with bankable stars, like the Pearl Harbor epic Tora! Tora! Tora!, flopped, leaving studios in dire straits financially. Unable to repay financiers, studios began selling off land, furniture, clothing, and sets acquired over years of production. Nostalgic fans bid on merchandise and collectibles ranging from Judy Garland’s sparkling red shoes to MGM’s own back lots.

More of the successful films were those based in the harsh truths of war, rather than the excesses of the 1960s. Films like the Francis Ford Coppola-scripted Patton, starring George C. Scott as the World War II general, and Robert Altman’s MASH, about a Korean War field hospital, were major box-office draws in 1970. Honest, old-fashioned films like Summer of ’42, and the Erich Segal adaptation, Love Story, were commercial and critical hits.

Sean Connery returned to the role of James Bond in 1971 in Diamonds Are Forever after George Lazenby filled the role in 1969. Roger Moore succeeded Connery in 1973 with an adaptation of Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die which was the most successful of his Bond films in terms of admissions. Live and Let Die was followed by an adaptation of The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974, which at the time garnered the lowest box office taking of any Bond film before it. After its release Harry Saltzman co-owner of Danjaq with Albert R. Broccoli sold his half to United Artists causing a three-year gap until the next Bond film, the longest gap since the start of the franchise in 1962. The series picked up again in 1977 with The Spy Who Loved Me and ended the decade with Moonraker in 1979, which was the highest grossing Bond film (not adjusting for inflation) of all time until GoldenEye in 1995.

An adaptation of an Arthur Hailey novel would prove to be one of the most notable films of 1970, and would set the stage for a major trend in 1970s cinema. The film, Airport, featured a complex plot, characters, and an all-star cast of Hollywood A-listers and legends. Airport followed an airport manager trying to keep a fictional Chicago airport operational during a blizzard, as well as a bomb plot to blow up an airplane. The film was a major critical and financial success, helping pull Universal Studios into the black for the year. The film earned senior actress Helen Hayes an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress and garnered many other nominations in both technical and talent categories. The success of the film launched several other disaster films, many of which following the same blueprint of major stars, a melodramatic script, and great suspense.

Three Airport sequels followed in 1974, 1977, and 1979, each successor making less money than the last. 1972 brought The Poseidon Adventure, which starred a young Gene Hackman leading an all-star cast to safety in a capsized luxury liner. The film earned an Academy Award for visual effects (and Best Original Song for “The Morning After”), as well as numerous nominations, including one for its notable supporting star, Shelley Winters, but its sequel in 1979 was far less successful. The Towering Inferno teamed Steve McQueen and Paul Newman against a fire in a San Francisco skyscraper. The film cost a whopping $14 million to produce (expensive for its time), and won Academy Awards for Cinematography, Film Editing, and Best Original Song. The same year, the epic Earthquake featured questionable effects (camera shake and models) to achieve a destructive 9.9 earthquake in Los Angeles. Despite this, the film was one of the most successful of its time, earning $80 million at box office. By the late 1970s, the novelty had worn off and the disasters had become less exciting. 1977 brought a terrorist targeting a Rollercoaster, 1978 a Swarm of bees, and a less-than-threatening Meteor in 1979.

The early 1970s also brought a rebirth of gritty crime film, three years after the influential Bullitt. William Friedkin’s The French Connection, starring Gene Hackman as a drug detective and Sidney Lumet’s Serpico, starring Al Pacino in the true-life story of an honest cop who fought corruption, were two of the most famous ones. Films like Get Carter featured gratuitous nudity, while Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking A Clockwork Orange featured much physical and sexual violence to complement its complex story. African American filmmakers also found success in the 1970s with such hits as Shaft and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Like other sequels in the 1970s, Shaft went on to have two more adventures, each less successful than the last.

An adaptation of a Mario Puzo novel, The Godfather, was a box-office and critical success in 1972. The three-hour epic followed a Mafia boss, played by Marlon Brando, through his life of crime. Beyond the violence and drama were themes of love, pride, and greed. The Godfather went on to earn $134 million at American box office, and $245 million throughout the world, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time. It won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay. Its director Francis Ford Coppola was passed over in favor of Bob Fosse and his musical, Cabaret, which also earned an Oscar for its star, Liza Minnelli. The Godfather Part II followed in 1974, with roughly the same principal cast and crew, earning Oscars for star Robert De Niro, its director, composer, screenwriters and art directors. The film also earned the Best Picture Oscar for that year.

Throughout the 1970s, the horror film developed into a lucrative genre of film. It began in 1973 with the terrifying The Exorcist, directed by William Friedkin and starring the young Linda Blair. The film saw massive success, and the first of several sequels was released in 1977. 1976 brought the equally creepy suspense thriller, Marathon Man, about a man who becomes the target of a former Nazi dentist’s torment after his brother dies. The same year, the Devil himself made an appearance in The Omen, about the spawn of Satan. 1978’s Halloween was a precursor to the “slasher” films of the 1980s and 1990s with its psychopathic Michael Myers. Cult horror films were also popular in the 1970s, such as Wes Craven’s early gore films Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, as well as Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

The blockbuster was born in 1975. While the 1973 horror classic The Exorcist was among the top five grossing films of the 1970s, the first film given the blockbuster distinction was 1975’s Jaws. Released on June 20, the film about a series of horrific deaths related to a massive great white shark was director Steven Spielberg’s first big-budget Hollywood production, coming in at $9 million in cost. The film slowly grew in ticket sales and became one of the most profitable films of its time, ending with a $260 million gross in the United States alone. The film won Academy Awards for its skillful editing, chilling score, and sound recording. It was also nominated for Best Picture that year, though it lost to Miloš Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (which also won acting awards for Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher). It spawned the successful sequel, Jaws 2 in 1978, which featured the same cast, but without Steven Spielberg. Another tailor-made blockbuster, Dino De Laurentiis’ King Kong was released, but to less than stellar success. King Kong did mark the first time a film was booked to theaters before a release date, a common practice today.

The massive success of Jaws was eclipsed just two years later by another legendary blockbuster and film franchise. The George Lucas science-fiction film Star Wars hit theater screens in May 1977, and became a major hit, growing in ticket sales throughout the summer and the rest of the year. In time earning some $460 million, the good versus evil fantasy set in space was not soon surpassed. The film’s breathtaking visual effects won an Academy Award. The film also won for John Williams’s uplifting score, as well as art direction, costume design, film editing, and sound. Star Wars effectively removed any specter of studio bankruptcy that had haunted the studios since early in the decade. When a television film, Star Wars Holiday Special, was released as a spin-off from Star Wars in 1978; it failed to receive the status of the original film, and was deemed a flop. It would be two years until the Star Wars series would be revived with The Empire Strikes Back. Another success in visual effects came the same year as Star Wars, with Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, another blockbuster and alien contact set in the wilderness. For the picture, Spielberg received his first Oscar nomination for directing. A year later the most iconic superhero was brought to the screen in Superman, who was portrayed by classically trained actor Christopher Reeve. It was met by resounding praise for strong performances and its epic scope which resulted in numerous sequels and is regarded as one of the greatest superhero films ever made, beginning a new era of superhero films.

The success of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall in 1977 stirred a new trend in film-making. Annie Hall, a love story about a depressed comedian and a free-spirited woman, was followed with more sentimental films, including Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl, An Unmarried Woman starring Jill Clayburgh, the autobiographical Lillian Hellman story, Julia, starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, and 1978’s Heaven Can Wait and International Velvet.

Younger audiences were also beginning to be the focus of cinema, after the huge blockbusters that had attracted them back to the theater. John Travolta became popular in the pop-culture landmark films, Saturday Night Fever, which introduced Disco to middle America, and Grease, which recalled the world of the 1950s. Comedy was also given new life in the irreverent Animal House, set on a college campus during the 1960s. Up in Smoke, starring Cheech & Chong, was another irreverent comedy about marijuana use became popular among teenagers. The new television comedy program, “Saturday Night Live”, launched the careers of several of its comedians, such as Chevy Chase, who co-starred in the 1978 hit Foul Play with Goldie Hawn.

The decade closed with two films chronicling the Vietnam War, Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. Both films focused on the horrors of war and the psychological damage caused by such horrors. Christopher Walken and director Michael Cimino earned Oscars for their work on the film, which earned a Best Picture Academy Award. Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep were also nominated for their work in The Deer Hunter. Apocalypse Now won for cinematography and sound, and earned nominations for Robert Duvall and Coppola. Hal Ashby’s Coming Home portrayed life for Vietnam veterans. Actor Jon Voight won an Academy Award for his role in the film.

1979 saw the poignant Kramer vs. Kramer, the inspiring Norma Rae, and the nuclear thriller, The China Syndrome. Alien scared summer film-going audiences of 1979 with its horrible monster from outer space, achieving similar success that Jaws had seen four years earlier. Meanwhile, The Onion Field and …And Justice for All focused on the failures of the American judicial system. The year ended with Hal Ashby’s subtle black comedy Being There and The Muppet Movie, a family film based on the Jim Henson puppet characters.


The Academy Awards of the 1970s



Photo by Camerique/Getty Images

43rd Academy Awards

The 43rd Academy Awards were presented April 15, 1971, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The host was Don Rickles.

It was during this ceremony that George C. Scott became the first actor to reject an Oscar, claiming that the Academy Awards were “a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons.”

With her Best Supporting Actress win, Helen Hayes became the first performer to win Oscars in both lead and supporting categories (having won Best Actress 38 years before for The Sin of Madelon Claudet). She also has the record of having the biggest gap between acting wins.

The documentary film Woodstock got three Oscar nominations, making it the most nominated documentary film in Oscar history.

This was the only time since the 2nd Academy Awards that all five nominees for Best Actress were first-time nominees, as well as the last time that either lead acting category had all new nominees. Also, this was the first time since the 7th Academy Awards in which none of the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Actor had a previous nomination in that category.


ACTOR George C. ScottPatton {“General George S. Patton, Jr.”} [NOTE: Mr. Scott refused the award.]

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE John MillsRyan’s Daughter {“Michael”}

ACTRESS Glenda Jackson — Women in Love {“Gudrun Brangwen”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Helen HayesAirport {“Ada Quonsett”}

ART DIRECTION Patton — Art Direction: Urie McCleary, Gil Parrondo; Set Decoration: Antonio Mateos, Pierre-Louis Thevenet

CINEMATOGRAPHY Ryan’s Daughter — Freddie Young

COSTUME DESIGN Cromwell — Nino Novarese

DIRECTING Patton — Franklin J. Schaffner

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Woodstock — Bob Maurice, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Interviews with My Lai Veterans — Joseph Strick, Producer

FILM EDITING Patton — Hugh S. Fowler

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion — Italy

MUSIC (Original Score) Love Story — Francis Lai

MUSIC (Original Song Score) Let It Be — Music and lyrics by The Beatles

MUSIC (Song–Original for the Picture) “For All We Know” from Lovers and Other Strangers — Music by Fred Karlin; Lyrics by Robb Royer (aka Robb Wilson) and James Griffin (aka Arthur James)

BEST PICTURE Patton — Frank McCarthy, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Is It Always Right to Be Right? — Nick Bosustow, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Live Action) The Resurrection of Broncho Billy — John Longenecker, Producer

SOUND Patton — Douglas Williams, Don Bassman

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS Tora! Tora! Tora! — A. D. Flowers, L. B. Abbott

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) M*A*S*H — Ring Lardner, Jr.

WRITING (Story and Screenplay–based on factual material or material not previously published or produced) Patton — Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North


Frank Sinatra


To Lillian Gish for superlative artistry and for distinguished contribution to the progress of motion pictures.

To Orson Welles for superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures.


Ingmar Bergman


The French Connection

© 1971 Twentieth Century Fox

44th Academy Awards

The 44th Academy Awards were presented April 10, 1972, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Helen Hayes, Alan King, Sammy Davis Jr., and Jack Lemmon. One of the highlights of the evening was the appearance of Betty Grable, battling cancer at the time, who made one of her last public appearances. She appeared along with one of her leading men from the 1940s, singer Dick Haymes, to present the musical scoring awards. Grable died the following year. This was the first time in the history of the Awards in which the nominees were shown on superimposed pictures while being announced.


ACTOR Gene HackmanThe French Connection {“Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Ben JohnsonThe Last Picture Show {“Sam the Lion”}

ACTRESS Jane FondaKlute {“Bree Daniel”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Cloris LeachmanThe Last Picture Show {“Ruth Popper”}

ART DIRECTION Nicholas and Alexandra — Art Direction: John Box, Ernest Archer, Jack Maxsted, Gil Parrondo; Set Decoration: Vernon Dixon

CINEMATOGRAPHY Fiddler on the Roof — Oswald Morris

COSTUME DESIGN Nicholas and Alexandra — Yvonne Blake, Antonio Castillo

DIRECTING The French Connection — William Friedkin

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) The Hellstrom Chronicle — Walon Green, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Sentinels of Silence — Manuel Arango and Robert Amram, Producers

FILM EDITING The French Connection — Jerry Greenberg

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM The Garden of the Finzi Continis — Italy

MUSIC (Original Dramatic Score) Summer of ’42 — Michel Legrand

MUSIC (Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score) Fiddler on the Roof — Adaptation Score by John Williams

MUSIC (Song–Original for the Picture) “Theme From Shaft” from Shaft — Music and Lyrics by Isaac Hayes

BEST PICTURE The French Connection — Philip D’Antoni, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Animated) The Crunch Bird — Ted Petok, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Live Action) Sentinels of Silence — Manuel Arango and Robert Amram, Producers

SOUND Fiddler on the Roof — Gordon K. McCallum, David Hildyard

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS Bedknobs and Broomsticks — Alan Maley, Eustace Lycett, Danny Lee

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) The French Connection — Ernest Tidyman

WRITING (Story and Screenplay–based on factual material or material not previously published or produced) The Hospital — Paddy Chayefsky


To Charles Chaplin for the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century.


The Godfather


45th Academy Awards

The 45th Academy Awards were presented March 27, 1973, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, honoring the best films of 1972. The ceremonies were presided over by Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston and Rock Hudson.

The ceremony was marked by Marlon Brando’s boycott of the Oscars and his sending of Sacheen Littlefeather to explain why he would not show up to collect his Best Actor award for The Godfather, and by Charlie Chaplin’s first competitive Oscar win for Best Original Dramatic Score for his 20-year-old film Limelight, which was eligible because it did not screen in Los Angeles until 1972. Chaplin had received honorary Academy Awards in 1929 and 1972.

Cabaret, Bob Fosse’s adaptation of the Broadway stage musical, set a record for the most Oscars won without winning Best Picture. Best Picture winner The Godfather received only three Academy Awards.

This year was the first time that two black women received nominations for Best Actress.

This was also the first year when all the Oscar winners were brought out on stage at the end of the ceremony.


ACTOR Marlon BrandoThe Godfather {“Don Vito Corleone”} [NOTE: Mr. Brando refused the award.]

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Joel GreyCabaret {“The Master of Ceremonies”}

ACTRESS Liza MinnelliCabaret {“Sally Bowles”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Eileen Heckart — Butterflies Are Free {“Mrs. Baker”}

ART DIRECTION Cabaret — Art Direction: Rolf Zehetbauer, Jurgen Kiebach; Set Decoration: Herbert Strabel

CINEMATOGRAPHY Cabaret — Geoffrey Unsworth

COSTUME DESIGN Travels with My Aunt — Anthony Powell

DIRECTING Cabaret — Bob Fosse

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Marjoe — Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan, Producers

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) This Tiny World — Charles Huguenot van der Linden and Martina Huguenot van der Linden, Producers

FILM EDITING Cabaret — David Bretherton

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie — France

MUSIC (Original Dramatic Score) Limelight — Charles Chaplin, Raymond Rasch, Larry Russell

MUSIC (Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score) Cabaret — Adaptation Score by Ralph Burns

MUSIC (Song–Original for the Picture) “The Morning After” from The Poseidon Adventure — Music and Lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn

BEST PICTURE The Godfather — Albert S. Ruddy, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Animated) A Christmas Carol — Richard Williams, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Live Action) Norman Rockwell’s World…An American Dream — Richard Barclay, Producer

SOUND Cabaret — Robert Knudson, David Hildyard

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) The Godfather — Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola

WRITING (Story and Screenplay–based on factual material or material not previously published or produced) The Candidate — Jeremy Larner


The Poseidon Adventure — L. B. Abbott, A. D. Flowers


Rosalind Russell


To Charles S. Boren, Leader for 38 years of the industry’s enlightened labor relations and architect of its policy of non-discrimination. With the respect and affection of all who work in films.

To Edward G. Robinson who achieved greatness as a player, a patron of the arts and a dedicated citizen…in sum, a Renaissance man. From his friends in the industry he loves.

[NOTE: The Academy’s Board of Governors voted to confer this award on January 6, 1973. Mr. Robinson passed away on January 26th, and the award was accepted on his behalf by his wife.]


The Sting

© 1973 – Universal Pictures. All rights reserved.

46th Academy Awards

The 46th Academy Awards were presented on April 2, 1974, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Burt Reynolds, Diana Ross, John Huston and David Niven.

The Sting won 7 awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for George Roy Hill. The Exorcist and The Way We Were were the only other films to win multiple awards.


ACTOR Jack LemmonSave the Tiger {“Harry Stoner”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE John HousemanThe Paper Chase {“Professor Kingsfield”}

ACTRESS Glenda Jackson — A Touch of Class {“Vicki Allessio”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Tatum O’NealPaper Moon {“Addie Loggins”}

ART DIRECTION The Sting — Art Direction: Henry Bumstead; Set Decoration: James Payne

CINEMATOGRAPHY Cries and Whispers — Sven Nykvist

COSTUME DESIGN The Sting — Edith Head

DIRECTING The Sting — George Roy Hill

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) The Great American Cowboy — Kieth Merrill, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Princeton: A Search for Answers — Julian Krainin and DeWitt L. Sage, Jr., Producers

FILM EDITING The Sting — William Reynolds

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Day for Night — France

MUSIC (Original Dramatic Score) The Way We Were — Marvin Hamlisch

MUSIC (Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation -or- Scoring: Adaptation) The Sting — Adaptation Score by Marvin Hamlisch

MUSIC (Song) “The Way We Were” from The Way We Were — Music by Marvin Hamlisch; Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman

BEST PICTURE The Sting — Tony Bill, Michael Phillips and Julia Phillips, Producers

SHORT SUBJECT (Animated) Frank Film — Frank Mouris, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Live Action) The Bolero — Allan Miller and William Fertik, Producers

SOUND The Exorcist — Robert Knudson, Chris Newman

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) The Exorcist — William Peter Blatty

WRITING (Story and Screenplay–based on factual material or material not previously published or produced) The Sting — David S. Ward


Lew Wasserman


To Henri Langlois for his devotion to the art of film, his massive contributions in preserving its past and his unswerving faith in its future.

To Groucho Marx in recognition of his brilliant creativity and for the unequalled achievements of the Marx Brothers in the art of motion picture comedy.


Lawrence Weingarten


The Godfather II

Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images – © 2012 Getty Images

47th Academy Awards

The 47th Academy Awards were presented April 8, 1975, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Bob Hope, Shirley MacLaine, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra. This was the last year NBC aired the ceremonies before ABC secured broadcasting rights, which they still hold to this day.

The success of The Godfather Part II was notable; it received twice as many Oscars as its predecessor (six) and duplicated its feat of three Best Supporting Actor nominations (as of the 90th Academy Awards, the last film to receive three nominations in a single acting category). Between the two of them, father and son Carmine and Francis Ford Coppola won four awards, with Carmine winning for Best Original Dramatic Score (with Nino Rota) and Francis for Picture, Director, and Best Screenplay Adapted from Other Material (with Mario Puzo).

This was the only Oscars where all nominees in one category were released by the same studio: all five Best Costume Design nominations were for films released by Paramount Pictures.


ACTOR Art CarneyHarry and Tonto {“Harry”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Robert De NiroThe Godfather Part II {“Vito Corleone”}

ACTRESS Ellen Burstyn — Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore {“Alice Hyatt”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Ingrid Bergman — Murder on the Orient Express {“Greta Ohlsson”}

ART DIRECTION The Godfather Part II — Art Direction: Dean Tavoularis, Angelo Graham; Set Decoration: George R. Nelson

CINEMATOGRAPHY The Towering Inferno — Fred Koenekamp, Joseph Biroc

COSTUME DESIGN The Great Gatsby — Theoni V. Aldredge

DIRECTING The Godfather Part II — Francis Ford Coppola

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Hearts and Minds — Peter Davis and Bert Schneider, Producers

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Don’t — Robin Lehman, Producer

FILM EDITING The Towering Inferno — Harold F. Kress, Carl Kress


MUSIC (Original Dramatic Score) The Godfather Part II — Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola

MUSIC (Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation -or- Scoring: Adaptation) The Great Gatsby — Adaptation Score by Nelson Riddle

MUSIC (Song) “We May Never Love Like This Again” from The Towering Inferno — Music and Lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn

BEST PICTURE The Godfather Part II — Francis Ford Coppola, Producer; Gray Frederickson and Fred Roos, Co-Producers

SHORT FILM (Animated) Closed Mondays — Will Vinton and Bob Gardiner, Producers

SHORT FILM (Live Action) One-Eyed Men Are Kings — Paul Claudon and Edmond Sechan, Producers

SOUND Earthquake — Ronald Pierce, Melvin Metcalfe, Sr.

WRITING (Original Screenplay) Chinatown — Robert Towne

WRITING (Screenplay Adapted from Other Material) The Godfather Part II — Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo


Earthquake — Frank Brendel, Glen Robinson, Albert Whitlock


Arthur B. Krim


To Howard Hawks – A master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema.

To 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.


one flew over the cuckoos nest

© 1975 – Warner Bros. Entertainment

48th Academy Awards

The 48th Academy Awards were presented March 29, 1976, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, George Segal, Goldie Hawn, and Gene Kelly. This year, ABC took over broadcast rights from NBC, and continues to broadcast them today. (NBC’s coverage of the 1976 NCAA Final Four aired opposite the ceremony; during the presentation of the Best Film Editing award, the winner was jokingly announced (by presenter Elliott Gould) as “Indiana, 86–68”; the Indiana Hoosiers had won the NCAA Final Four that night.)

Miloš Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest made a “clean sweep” of the major categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay (Adapted). It was the second of three films to date to accomplish the sweep, following It Happened One Night in 1934 and preceding The Silence of the Lambs in 1991.

French actress Isabelle Adjani received her first nomination for Best Actress this year, making Adjani, 20 at the time, the youngest actress to be nominated in the leading actress category, breaking the record set by 22-year-old Elizabeth Hartman in 1965. This record would later be surpassed by 13-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes in 2004, and again in 2013 by nine-year old Quvenzhane Wallis. Adjani also presented the Best Film Editing award that night along with Gould who delivered the Indiana joke during the presentation.

At age 80, George Burns became the oldest acting and Best Supporting Actor awardee, a record which stood until Jessica Tandy won Best Actress in 1989. For males, Burns was succeeded by Christopher Plummer, who won Best Supporting Actor in 2012 for Beginners at the age of 82.

Jaws was followed 25 years later by Traffic for a film that won all its nominations except Best Picture. Jaws is one of the few films to be nominated for Best Picture but not for directing, acting, or writing.


ACTOR Jack NicholsonOne Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest {“Randle Patrick McMurphy”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE George BurnsThe Sunshine Boys {“Al Lewis”}

ACTRESS Louise FletcherOne Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest {“Nurse Mildred Ratched”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Lee Grant – Shampoo {“Felicia Karpf”}

ART DIRECTION Barry Lyndon — Art Direction: Ken Adam, Roy Walker; Set Decoration: Vernon Dixon

CINEMATOGRAPHY Barry Lyndon — John Alcott

COSTUME DESIGN Barry Lyndon — Ulla-Britt Soderlund, Milena Canonero

DIRECTING One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest — Milos Forman

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) The Man Who Skied down Everest — F. R. Crawley, James Hager and Dale Hartleben, Producers

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) The End of the Game — Claire Wilbur and Robin Lehman, Producers

FILM EDITING Jaws — Verna Fields

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Dersu Uzala — Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

MUSIC (Original Score) Jaws — John Williams

MUSIC (Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation -or- Scoring: Adaptation) Barry Lyndon — Adaptation Score by Leonard Rosenman

MUSIC (Original Song) “I’m Easy” from Nashville — Music and Lyrics by Keith Carradine

BEST PICTURE One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest — Saul Zaentz and Michael Douglas, Producers

SHORT FILM (Animated) Great — Bob Godfrey, Producer

SHORT FILM (Live Action) Angel and Big Joe — Bert Salzman, Producer

SOUND Jaws — Robert L. Hoyt, Roger Heman, Earl Madery, John Carter

WRITING (Original Screenplay) Dog Day Afternoon — Frank Pierson

WRITING (Screenplay Adapted from Other Material) One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest — Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman


The Hindenburg — Peter Berkos


The Hindenburg — Albert Whitlock, Glen Robinson


Dr. Jules C. Stein


To Mary Pickford in recognition of her unique contributions to the film industry and the development of film as an artistic medium.


Mervyn LeRoy



© 1976 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

49th Academy Awards

The 49th Academy Awards were presented March 28, 1977, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Richard Pryor, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda and Warren Beatty.

This Academy Awards ceremony is notable for Peter Finch becoming the first posthumous winner of an Oscar for acting, a feat matched only by fellow Australian Heath Ledger 32 years later. Beatrice Straight set another record by becoming the actor with the shortest performance ever in a film to win an acting Oscar, with only five minutes and two seconds of screen-time in Network. Network, along with All the President’s Men, were the two biggest champs of the ceremony with four Oscars each, but Best Picture and Best Director ultimately went to Rocky.

Piper Laurie was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Carrie (1976), her first role since her Best Actress-nominated performance in The Hustler (1961), thus being nominated for two consecutive roles, 15 years apart.

Network became the second film (after A Streetcar Named Desire) to win three acting Oscars, and the last, as of the 90th Academy Awards, to receive five acting nominations. It was also the eleventh of fifteen films (to date) to receive nominations in all four acting categories.

This year’s Academy Awards is also notable for the first ever female nominee for Best Director, Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties. To date, four further female directors have been nominated: Jane Campion for The Piano in 1993, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2009 (the first to win the award) and Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird in 2017. Barbra Streisand received her second Academy Award, composing music for the love theme “Evergreen”, the first woman to be honored as a composer.

No honorary awards were given this year.


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Peter FinchNetwork {“Howard Beale”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Jason RobardsAll the President’s Men {“Ben Bradlee”}

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Faye DunawayNetwork {“Diana Christensen”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Beatrice StraightNetwork {“Louise Schumacher”}

ART DIRECTION All the President’s Men — Art Direction: George Jenkins; Set Decoration: George Gaines

CINEMATOGRAPHY Bound for Glory — Haskell Wexler

COSTUME DESIGN Fellini’s Casanova — Danilo Donati

DIRECTING Rocky — John G. Avildsen

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Harlan County, U.S.A. — Barbara Kopple, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Number Our Days — Lynne Littman, Producer

FILM EDITING Rocky — Richard Halsey, Scott Conrad

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Black and White in Color — Ivory Coast

MUSIC (Original Score) The Omen — Jerry Goldsmith

MUSIC (Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score) Bound for Glory — Adaptation Score by Leonard Rosenman

MUSIC (Original Song) “Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)” from A Star Is Born — Music by Barbra Streisand; Lyrics by Paul Williams

BEST PICTURE Rocky — Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, Producers

SHORT FILM (Animated) Leisure — Suzanne Baker, Producer

SHORT FILM (Live Action) In the Region of Ice — Andre Guttfreund and Peter Werner, Producers

SOUND All the President’s Men — Arthur Piantadosi, Les Fresholtz, Dick Alexander, Jim Webb

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) All the President’s Men — William Goldman

WRITING (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen–based on factual material or on story material not previously published or produced) Network — Paddy Chayefsky


King Kong — Carlo Rambaldi, Glen Robinson, Frank Van der Veer

Logan’s Run — L. B. Abbott, Glen Robinson, Matthew Yuricich


Pandro S. Berman


Annie Hall

Photo by Bettmann – © This content is subject to copyright. – Image courtesy

50th Academy Awards

The 50th Academy Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California on April 3, 1978. The ceremonies were presided over by Bob Hope, who hosted the awards for the nineteenth and last time.

Two of the year’s biggest winners were Star Wars, which swept the technical categories by winning 6 out of its 10 nominations and a Special Achievement for Sound Effects Editing, and Annie Hall, winning 4 out of 5 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director. The awards show was also notable for a very politically charged acceptance speech by Vanessa Redgrave.

The Turning Point set the record for the most nominations without a win (11), previously held by Peyton Place and The Little Foxes, which each had 9 nominations with no wins. This record, later tied by The Color Purple, still stands as of 2017.

Annie Hall was the last Best Picture winner to be nominated for just five awards until The Departed 29 years later in 2006.

Jason Robards became the fourth actor to win back-to-back Oscars, following Luise Rainer, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn.

For the first and only time to date, both Best Actor and Best Actress winners won for roles in two different romantic comedies.

The animated opening sequence, as well as promos for the Awards show, were designed by British graphic designer Harry Marks, who outsourced the animated sequences to Robert Abel and Associates. Marks also designed animated sequences for the top nominated categories, which weren’t used for the final telecast.


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Richard DreyfussThe Goodbye Girl {“Elliot Garfield”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Jason Robards – Julia {“Dashiell Hammett”}

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Diane KeatonAnnie Hall {“Annie Hall”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Vanessa Redgrave – Julia {“Julia”}

ART DIRECTION Star Wars — Art Direction: John Barry, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley; Set Decoration: Roger Christian

CINEMATOGRAPHY Close Encounters of the Third Kind — Vilmos Zsigmond

COSTUME DESIGN Star Wars — John Mollo

DIRECTING Annie Hall — Woody Allen

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids? — John Korty, Dan McCann and Warren L. Lockhart, Producers

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Gravity Is My Enemy — John Joseph and Jan Stussy, Producers

FILM EDITING Star Wars — Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew


MUSIC (Original Score) Star Wars — John Williams

MUSIC (Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score) A Little Night Music — Adaptation Score by Jonathan Tunick

MUSIC (Original Song) “You Light Up My Life” from You Light Up My Life — Music and Lyrics by Joseph Brooks

BEST PICTURE Annie Hall — Charles H. Joffe, Producer

SHORT FILM (Animated) The Sand Castle — Co Hoedeman, Producer

SHORT FILM (Live Action) I’ll Find a Way — Beverly Shaffer and Yuki Yoshida, Producers

SOUND Star Wars — Don MacDougall, Ray West, Bob Minkler, Derek Ball

VISUAL EFFECTS Star Wars — John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, Robert Blalack

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) Julia — Alvin Sargent

WRITING (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen–based on factual material or on story material not previously published or produced) Annie Hall — Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman


To Benjamin Burtt, Jr. for the creation of the alien, creature and robot voices featured in Star Wars.


Close Encounters of the Third Kind — Frank E. Warner


Charlton Heston


To Margaret Booth for her exceptional contribution to the art of film editing in the motion picture industry.


Walter Mirisch



Deer Hunter

Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images – © 2013 Silver Screen Collection

51st Academy Awards

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.

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.


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Jon Voight — Coming Home {“Luke Martin”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Christopher WalkenThe Deer Hunter {“Nick”}

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Jane Fonda — Coming Home {“Sally Hyde”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Maggie SmithCalifornia Suite {“Diana Barrie”}

ART DIRECTION Heaven Can Wait — Art Direction: Paul Sylbert, Edwin O’Donovan; Set Decoration: George Gaines

CINEMATOGRAPHY Days of Heaven — Nestor Almendros

COSTUME DESIGN Death on the Nile — Anthony Powell

DIRECTING The Deer Hunter — Michael Cimino

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Scared Straight! — Arnold Shapiro, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) The Flight of the Gossamer Condor — Jacqueline Phillips Shedd and Ben Shedd, Producers

FILM EDITING The Deer Hunter — Peter Zinner

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Get Out Your Handkerchiefs — France

MUSIC (Adaptation Score) The Buddy Holly Story — Joe Renzetti

MUSIC (Original Score) Midnight Express — Giorgio Moroder

MUSIC (Original Song) “Last Dance” from Thank God It’s Friday — Music and Lyrics by Paul Jabara

BEST PICTURE The Deer Hunter — Barry Spikings, Michael Deeley, Michael Cimino and John Peverall, Producers

SHORT FILM (Animated) Special Delivery — Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon, Producers

SHORT FILM (Live Action) Teenage Father — Taylor Hackford, Producer

SOUND The Deer Hunter — Richard Portman, William McCaughey, Aaron Rochin, Darin Knight

WRITING (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) Midnight Express — Oliver Stone

WRITING (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) Coming Home — Story by Nancy Dowd; Screenplay by Waldo Salt, Robert C. Jones


Superman — Les Bowie, Colin Chilvers, Denys Coop, Roy Field, Derek Meddings, Zoran Perisic


Leo Jaffe


To Walter Lantz for bringing joy and laughter to every part of the world through his unique animated motion pictures.

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.

To 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.

To King Vidor for his incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator.


Kramer vs. Kramer

52nd Academy Awards

The 52nd Academy Awards were presented April 14, 1980, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Johnny Carson who, in noting the long duration of the production, joked that President Jimmy Carter was working hard for their “release” from the ceremonies, a clear reference to the Iranian hostage crisis.

Among the nominees for Best Supporting Actor were 8 year-old Justin Henrythe youngest Best Supporting Actor nominee ever—and 79-year-old Melvyn Douglas. This was the largest age difference between two competing actors in Oscar history until 2013. Ironically, their age difference was partially the reason why Douglas did not attend the Oscars that night, despite winning the award. Henry was nominated for Kramer vs. Kramer, which out of its eight other nominations, finished with five awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Robert Benton, and Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman.


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Dustin Hoffman Kramer vs. Kramer {“Ted Kramer”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Melvyn DouglasBeing There {“Benjamin Rand”}

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Sally FieldNorma Rae {“Norma Rae”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Meryl StreepKramer vs. Kramer {“Joanna Kramer”}

ART DIRECTION All That Jazz — Art Direction: Philip Rosenberg, Tony Walton; Set Decoration: Edward Stewart, Gary Brink

CINEMATOGRAPHY Apocalypse Now — Vittorio Storaro

COSTUME DESIGN All That Jazz — Albert Wolsky

DIRECTING Kramer vs. Kramer — Robert Benton

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Best Boy — Ira Wohl, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist — Saul J. Turell, Producer

FILM EDITING All That Jazz — Alan Heim

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM The Tin Drum — Federal Republic of Germany

MUSIC (Original Score) A Little Romance — Georges Delerue

MUSIC (Original Song Score and Its Adaptation -or- Adaptation Score) All That Jazz — Adaptation Score by Ralph Burns

MUSIC (Original Song) “It Goes Like It Goes” from Norma Rae — Music by David Shire; Lyric by Norman Gimbel

BEST PICTURE Kramer vs. Kramer — Stanley R. Jaffe, Producer

SHORT FILM (Animated) Every Child — Derek Lamb, Producer

SHORT FILM (Live Action) Board and Care — Sarah Pillsbury and Ron Ellis, Producers

SOUND Apocalypse Now — Walter Murch, Mark Berger, Richard Beggs, Nat Boxer

VISUAL EFFECTS Alien — H.R. Giger, Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder, Denys Ayling

WRITING (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) Kramer vs. Kramer — Robert Benton

WRITING (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) Breaking Away — Steve Tesich


The Black Stallion — Alan Splet


Robert Benjamin


To Alec Guinness for advancing the art of screen acting through a host of memorable and distinguished performances.

To Hal Elias for his dedication and distinguished service to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Ray Stark

See all the Academy Award Nominees and Winners 1929 - 1987 here.


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85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards

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A deluxe, year–by–year chronicle of the Academy Awards, with an entertaining text, hundreds of star–studded photographs, and complete lists of the nominees and winners. 85 Years of the Oscar, newly revised and expanded, is the official history of the Academy Awards.

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