53rd Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1981)

©A.M.P.A.S.®
©A.M.P.A.S.®
  • Date of Ceremony: Tuesday, March 31, 1981
  • For films released in: 1980

The 53rd Annual Academy Awards were scheduled for March 30th but were delayed one day, to Tuesday, March 31, 1981, following the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Reagan actually showed the world he was recovering by taping a message for the Oscars from his hospital room.

Host Johnny Carson went after Reagan’s cuts to the arts, saying they were “…Reagan’s strongest attack on the arts since he joined Warner Bros.” Carson paused and added, “I’ll bet he’s up and around now.”

The Best Picture Oscar went to Ordinary People. Robert Redford’s directorial debut earned a Best Director for him, a writing Oscar for Alvin Sargent, and at age twenty made Timothy Hutton the youngest Best Supporting Actor Winner. Redford was humbled by his win:

“Thank you. I was thinking—no, I wasn’t thinking, I was just kind of blank. But you know how it is when somebody says to you, if you, about a year before, they say: You know, if anybody’d told you a year ago that you would have been ‘dot, dot, dot.’ Well, I just didn’t think I was gonna see this. But I’m no less grateful. And I would like to express my debt for the directors that I worked with in the past, for what I’ve learned from them, consciously or unconsciously.” – Robert Redford

Robert De Niro won Best Actor for Raging Bull while Sissy Spacek took home the Best Actress for Coal Miner’s Daughter, saying “…for the first time in my life I’m speechless. I started to work on Coal Miner’s Daughter with a bunch of strangers and I finished working on Coal Miner’s Daughter with a bunch of friends.”

An Honorary Award went to the legendary Henry Fonda. Fonda talked about his career and said, “It’s been a very rewarding forty-six years for me and this has got to be the climax.”

Little did he know that the following year he’d win another competitive Oscar.

!http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RZKWS04NL.SL500_AA300.jpg(Ordinary People DVD) 300h 300w!:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000055ZFA?ie=UTF8&tag=digitalhitentert&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000055ZFA

Results

Best Picture

  • Ordinary People
    Robert L. Schwary [Producer]

Best Directing

  • Ordinary People
    Robert Redford

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Coal Miner's Daughter
    Sissy Spacek

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Ordinary People
    Timothy Hutton

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Melvin and Howard
    Mary Steenburgen

Best Art Direction

  • Tess
    Pierre Guffroy [Art Direction] and Jack Stephens [Art Direction]

Best Cinematography

  • Tess
    Geoffrey Unsworth and Ghislain Cloquet

Best Costume Design

  • Tess
    Anthony Powell

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China
    Murray Lerner

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Karl Hess: Toward Liberty
    Roland Hallé and Peter W. Ladue

Best Short Film (Animated)

  • The Fly
    Ferenc Rofusz

Best Short Film (Dramatic Live Action)

  • The Dollar Bottom
    Lloyd Phillips

Best Film Editing

  • Raging Bull
    Thelma Schoonmaker

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

Best Music (Original Score)

  • Fame
    Michael Gore

Best Music (Original Song)

  • Fame "Fame"
    Michael Gore [Music by] and Dean Pitchford [Lyric by]

Best Sound

  • The Empire Strikes Back
    Bill Varney, Steve Maslow, Gregg Landaker and Peter Sutton

Best Writing (Screenplay - based on material from another medium)

  • Ordinary People
    Alvin Sargent

Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

  • Melvin and Howard
    Bo Goldman

Special Achievement Award (Visual Effects)

  • The Empire Strikes Back
    Brian Johnson, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren and Bruce Nicholson

Honorary Award

  • Henry Fonda
    Note: …the consummate actor, in recognition of his brilliant accomplishments and enduring contribution to the art of motion pictures.

Scientific or Technical Award (Academy Award of Merit)

  • Linwood G. Dunn, Cecil Love and ACME Tool and Manufacturing Company
    Note: …for the concept, engineering and development of the Acme-Dunn Optical Printer for motion picture special effects.

Scientific or Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)

  • Jean-Marie Lavalou [of Samuelson Alga Cinema S.A. and Samuelson Film Service Limited], Alain Masseron [of Samuelson Alga Cinema S.A. and Samuelson Film Service Limited] and David Samuelson [of Samuelson Alga Cinema S.A. and Samuelson Film Service Limited]
    Note: …for the engineering and development of the Louma Camera Crane and remote control system for motion picture production.
  • Edward B. Krause [of Filmline Corporation]
    Note: …for the engineering and manufacture of the micro-demand drive for continuous motion picture film processors.
  • Ross Taylor
    Note: …for the concept and development of a system of air guns for propelling objects used in special effects motion picture production.
  • Dr. Bernard Kühl [of Osram GmbH] and Werner Block [of Osram GmbH]
    Note: …for the progressive engineering and manufacture of the OSRAM HMI light source for motion picture color photography.
  • David A. Grafton
    Note: …for the optical design and engineering of a telecentric anamorphic lens for motion picture optical effects printers.

Scientific or Technical Award (Technical Achievement Award)

  • Carter Equipment Company Inc.
    Note: …for the development of a continuous contact, total immersion, additive color motion picture printer.
  • Hollywood Film Company
    Note: …for the development of a continuous contact, total immersion, additive color motion picture printer.
  • André Debrie S.A.
    Note: …for the development of a continuous contact, total immersion, additive color motion picture printer.
  • Eugene Nottingham [of Cinetron Computer Systems Incorporated] and Charles Vaughn [of Cinetron Computer Systems Incorporated]
    Note: …for the development of a versatile general purpose computer system for animation and optical effects motion picture photography.
  • Charles J. Watson [of Bell and Howell Company], Walter Hrastnik [of Bell and Howell Company] and John W. Lang [of Bell and Howell Company]
    Note: …for the development and manufacture of a modular continuous contact motion picture film printer.
  • Worth Baird [of LaVezzi Machine Works Incorporated]
    Note: …for the advanced design and manufacture of a film sprocket for motion picture projectors.
  • Peter A. Regla [of Elicon] and Dan Slater [of Elicon]
    Note: …for the development of a follow-focus system for motion picture optical effects printers and animation stands.

Medal of Commendation

  • Fred Hynes
    Note: …in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
ACADEMY AWARDS®, OSCAR(S)®, OSCAR NIGHT™ and OSCAR® design mark are the trademarks and service marks, and the OSCAR© statuette the copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
This site is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy Awards Nominations List Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.