59th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1987)

  • Date of Ceremony: Monday, March 30, 1987
  • For films released in: 1986
  • Host(s): Chevy Chase (video), Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan
Other years:

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The 59th Annual Academy Awards were hosted by Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan on Monday, March 30th, 1987.

Platoon took home the most Oscars of the night, four, including Best Picture and a Best Director for Oliver Stone.

Thank you. Thank you for this “Cinderella” ending. But I think that through this award you’re really acknowledging the Vietnam veteran. And I think what you’re saying is that for the first time, you really understand what happened over there. And I think what you’re saying is that it should never, ever in our lifetimes happen again. And if it does, then those American boys died over there for nothing, because America learned nothing from the Vietnam War.” – Oliver Stone

Paul Newman, who had received an Honorary Award the year before and said he hoped good work was ahead of him still, won the Best Actor for The Color of Money. Newman was not in attendance. He told the press “I’ve been there six times and lost. Maybe if I stay away I’ll win.” He was right.

Best Actress went to Children of a Lesser God’s Marlee Matlin. At 21, the deaf actress was the youngest winner ever in that category.

The Supporting Oscars were both won by performers from Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters. Michael Caine missed the ceremony because he was shooting Jaws: The Revenge, but his co-star, Dianne Wiest, was there to pick up her hardware, saying “Gee, this isn’t like I imagined what it would be in the bathtub.”

The Irving G. Thalberg Award, given to producers “whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production” was given to its second youngest recipient ever, 39-year-old Steven Spielberg.

I’m told Irving Thalberg worshipped writers. And that’s where it all begins. That we are first and foremost storytellers, and without, as he called it, ‘the photoplay,’ everybody is simply improvising. He also knew that a script is more than just a blueprint. That the whole idea of movie magic is that interweave of powerful image and dialogue and performance and music that can never be separated, and when it’s working right, can never be duplicated or ever forgotten.” – Steven Spielberg


Best Picture

  • Platoon
    Arnold Kopelson [Producer]

Best Directing

  • Platoon
    Oliver Stone

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • The Color of Money
    Paul Newman

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Children of a Lesser God
    Matlin Matlin

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Hannah and Her Sisters
    Dianne Wiest

Best Foreign Language Film

  • The Assault

Best Art Direction

  • A Room with a View
    Gianni Quaranta [Art Direction], Brian Ackland-Snow [Art Direction], Brian Savegar [Set Decoration] and Elio Altamura [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography

  • The Mission
    Chris Menges

Best Costume Design

  • A Room with a View
    Jenny Beavan and John Bright

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got
    Brigitte Berman
  • Down and Out in America
    Joseph Feury and Milton Justice

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Women--for America, for the World
    Vivienne Verdon-Roe

Best Film Editing

  • Platoon
    Claire Simpson

Best Makeup

  • The Fly
    Chris Walas and Stephen Dupuis

Best Music (Original Score)

  • 'Round Midnight
    Herbie Hancock

Best Music (Original Song)

  • Top Gun "Take My Breath Away"
    Giorgio Moroder [Music by] and Tom Whitlock [Lyric by]

Best Short Film (Animated)

  • A Greek Tragedy
    Linda Van Tulden and Willem Thijssen

Best Short Film (Live Action)

  • Precious Images
    Chuck Workman

Best Sound

  • Platoon
    John K. Wilkinson, Richard Rogers, Charles 'Bud' Grenzbach and Simon Kaye

Best Sound Effects Editing

  • Aliens
    Don Sharpe

Best Visual Effects

  • Aliens
    Robert Skotak, Stan Winston, John Richardson and Suzanne Benson

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

  • A Room with a View
    Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

  • Hannah and Her Sisters
    Woody Allen

Honorary Award

  • Ralph Bellamy
    Note: …for his unique artistry and his distinguished service to the profession of acting.

Medal of Commendation

  • E.M. (Al) Lewis
    Note: …in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

  • Steven Spielberg

Scientific or Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)

  • Bran Ferren [of Associates and Ferren], Charles Harrison [of Associates and Ferren] and Kenneth Wisner [of Associates and Ferren]
    Note: …for the concept and design of an advanced optical printer.
  • Richard Benjamin Grant [of Auricle Control Systems] and Ron Grant [of Auricle Control Systems]
    Note: …for their invention of the Film Composer's Time Processor.
  • Anthony D. Bruno [of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Laboratories Incorporated], John L. Baptista [of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Laboratories Incorporated], Manfred Michelson [of Technical Film Systems, Incorporated] and Bruce W. Keller [of Technical Film Systems, Incorporated]
    Note: …for the design and engineering of a Continuous-Feed Printer.
  • Robert M. Greenberg [of R/Greenberg Associates, Incorporated], Joel Hynek [of R/Greenberg Associates, Incorporated], Eugene Mamut [of R/Greenberg Associates, Incorporated], Dr. Alfred Thumim [of the Oxberry Division of Richmark Camera Service, Incorporated], Elan Lipschitz [of the Oxberry Division of Richmark Camera Service, Incorporated] and Darryl A. Armour [of the Oxberry Division of Richmark Camera Service, Incorporated]
    Note: …for the design and development of the RGA/Oxberry Compu-Quad Special Effects Optical Printer.
  • Professor Fritz Sennheiser [of Sennheiser Electronic Corporation]
    Note: …for the invention of an interference tube directional microphone.
  • Richard Edlund [of Boss Film Corporation], Gene Whiteman [of Boss Film Corporation], David A. Grafton [of Boss Film Corporation], Mark West [of Boss Film Corporation], Jerry Jeffress [of Boss Film Corporation] and Bob Wilcox [of Boss Film Corporation]
    Note: …for the design and development of a Zoom Aerial (ZAP) 65mm Optical Printer.
  • William L. Fredrick and Hal Needham
    Note: …for the design and development of the Shotmaker Elite camera car and crane.

Scientific or Technical Award (Technical Achievement Award)

  • Lee Electric (Lighting) Limited
    Note: …for the design and development of an electronic, flicker-free, discharge lamp control system.
  • Peter D. Parks [of Oxford Scientific Films' Image Quest Division]
    Note: …for the development of a live aero-compositor for special effects photography.
  • Matt Sweeney and Lucinda Strub
    Note: …for the development of an automatic capsule gun for simulating bullet hits for motion picture special effects.
  • Carl Holmes [of Carl E. Holmes Company] and Alexander Bryce [of The Burbank Studios]
    Note: …for the development of a mobile DC power supply unit for motion picture production photography.
  • Bran Ferren [of Associates and Ferren]
    Note: …for the development of a laser synchro-cue system for applications in the motion picture industry.
  • John L. Baptista [of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Laboratories Incorporated]
    Note: …for the development and installation of a computerized silver recovery operation.
  • David Samuelson and William B. Pollard
    Note: To David Samuelson for the development of programs incorporated into a pocket computer for motion picture cinematographers, and to William B. Pollard for contributing new algorithms on which the programs are based.
  • Hal Landaker [of The Burbank Studios] and Alan D. Landaker [of The Burbank Studios]
    Note: …for the development of the Beat System low-frequency cue track for motion picture production sound recording.
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