64th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1992)

  • Date of Ceremony: Monday, March 30, 1992
  • For films released in: 1991
  • Host(s): Billy Crystal (video)
Other years:

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The 64th Annual Academy Awards were presented on Monday, March 30th, 1992. Host Billy Crystal was brought out on a dolly wearing the mask that Hannibal Lecter wore in The Silence of the Lambs. Perhaps it was a sign of things to come?

Bugsy and JFK were nominated for ten and eight awards respectively but each took home just two technical awards.

The night belonged to The Silence of the Lambs, which won five of its seven nominations. Winning the top five — Best Picture, Best Director (Jonathan Demme), Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally) — Lambs was only the third film to do so since It Happened One Night in 1934 and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975.

It was Hopkins’ first win and Foster’s second in three years.

This has been such an incredible year. And I’d like to dedicate this award to all of the women who came before me who never had the chances that I’ve had, and the survivors and the pioneers and the outcasts; and my blood, my tradition. And I’d like to thank all of the people in this industry who have respected my choices and who have not been afraid of the power and the dignity that that entitled me to.” – Jodie Foster

The Best Supporting Actor went to Billy Crystal’s City Slickers co-star, Jack Palance. After saying that he crapped bigger than Crystal, Palance proceeded to do some one-hand push-ups to show producers he was still up for the work.

You know, a long time ago in 1949, first picture, 1949, first film, I’d been shooting about two weeks and the producer came to me and he said, ‘Jack’ — my name at that time was Vladimir, but he called me Jack. He says, ‘Jack, you’re going to win the Academy Award.’ Can you believe it? Forty-two years later he was right. How the son of a bitch knew?!” – Jack Palance

For her work in The Fisher King, Mercedes Ruehl picked up Best Supporting Actress. Ruehl talked about the power of perseverance.

I went to New York to study acting the summer that I was twenty-one. And like thousands of actors before me and thousands of actors after me, I went through the usual scores of moonlighting jobs, the usual scores of rejection, and the usual legions of prophets of doom who are always there and always at the ready to give you the up-to-minute odds against your ever making anything of yourself in this business. And at this moment, all of those sort of doleful memories have suddenly transformed themselves into nothing more than the sort of charming and amusing anecdotes for my memoirs! I cannot, cannot thank you enough.” – Mercedes Ruehl

An Honorary Award was given to Indian director Satyajit Ray. Ray was in a hospital in Calcutta getting treatment for a heart condition. He sent a pre-taped message. Sadly he died one month later.

I have learned everything I’ve learned about the craft of cinema from the making of American films. I’ve been watching American films very carefully over the years and I loved them for what they entertain, and then later loved them for what they taught. So, I express my gratitude to the American cinema, to the motion picture association who have given me this award and who have made me feel so proud.” – Satyajit Ray

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award was given to George Lucas by his friend and sometime collaborator, Steven Spielberg. Lucas thanked the Academy for recognizing his work and the efforts of “…the thousands of talented men and women, robots and aliens and others with whom I’ve been lucky enough to share the creative experience in the last few years.”

One funny/touching moment came when 100-year-old film-making legend Hal Roach was introduced as he sat in the audience. Roach decided to say a few words, though he wasn’t near a microphone. Crystal seized on the moment, saying “I think that’s fitting, because Mr. Roach started in silent pictures.”


Best Picture

  • The Silence of the Lambs
    Edward Saxon [Producer], Kenneth Utt [Producer] and Ron Bozman [Producer]

Best Directing

  • The Silence of the Lambs
    Jonathan Demme

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • The Silence of the Lambs
    Anthony Hopkins

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • The Silence of the Lambs
    Jodie Foster

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • City Slickers
    Jack Palance

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • The Fisher King
    Mercedes Ruehl

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Mediterraneo

Best Art Direction

  • Bugsy
    Dennis Gassner [Art Direction] and Nancy Haigh [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography

  • JFK
    Robert Richardson

Best Costume Design

  • Bugsy
    Albert Wolsky

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • In the Shadow of the Stars
    Allie Light [Producer] and Irving Saraf [Producer]

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment
    Debra Chasnoff [Producer]

Best Film Editing

  • JFK
    Joe Hutshing and Pierto Scalia

Best Makeup

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    Stan Winston and Jeff Dawn

Best Music (Original Score)

  • Beauty and the Beast
    Alain Menken

Best Music (Original Song)

  • Beauty and the Beast "Beauty and the Beast"
    Alan Menken [Music by] and Howard Ashman [Lyric by]

Best Short Film (Live Action)

  • Session Man
    Seth Winston and Rob Fried

Best Sound

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    Tom Johnson, Gary Rydstrom, Gary Summers and Lee Orloff

Best Sound Effects Editing

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    Gary Rydstrom and Gloria S. Borders

Best Visual Effects

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Gene Warren Jr. and Robert Skotak

Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published)

  • The Silence of the Lambs
    Ted Tally

Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

  • Thelma & Louise
    Callie Khouri

Award of Commendation

  • Pete Comandini [of YCM Laboratories], Richard T. Dayton [of YCM Laboratories], Donald Hagans [of YCM Laboratories] and Richard T. Ryan [of YCM Laboratories]
    Note: …for the creation and development of a motion picture film restoration process using liquid gate and registration correction on a contact printer.

Honorary Award

  • Satyajit Ray
    Note: …in recognition of his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures, and of his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world.

Medal of Commendation

  • Richard J. Stumpf
    Note: …for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • Joseph Westheimer
    Note: …for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

Gordon E. Sawyer Award

  • Ray Harryhausen

Scientific or Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)

  • Iain Neil, Albert Saiki and Panavision Inc.
    Note: To Iain Neil for the optical design; Albert Saiki for the mechanical design; and Panavision Inc., for the concept and development of the Primo Zoom Lens for 35mm cinematography.
  • Georg Thoma, Heinz Feierlein and Engineering Department of Sachtler AG
    Note: To Georg Thoma for the design; Heinz Feierlein and the Engineering Department of Sachtler AG for the development of a range of fluid tripod heads.
  • Harry J. Baker
    Note: …for the design and development of the first full fluid-action tripod head with adjustable degrees of viscous drag.
  • Guido Cartoni
    Note: … for his pioneering work in developing the technology to achieve selectable and repeatable viscous drag modules in fluid tripod heads.
  • Ray Feeney, Richard Keeney and Richard J. Lundell
    Note: …for the software development and adaptation of the Solitaire Film Recorder that provides a flexible, cost-effective film recording system.
  • Faz Fazakas, Brian Henson, Dave Housman, Peter Miller and John Stephenson
    Note: …for the development of the Henson Performance Control System.
  • Mario Celso
    Note: …for his pioneering work in the design, development and manufacture of equipment for carbon arc and xenon power supplies and igniters used in motion picture projection.
  • Randy Cartwright, David B. Coons, Lem Davis, Thomas Hahn, James Houston, Mark Kimball, Dylan W. Kohler, Peter Nye, Michael Shantzis, David P. Wolf and Walt Disney Feature Animation Department
    Note: …for the design and development of the “CAPS” production system for feature film animation.
  • George Worrall
    Note: …for the design, development and manufacture of the Worrall geared camera head for motion picture production.

Scientific or Technical Award (Technical Achievement Award)

  • Robert W. Stoker Jr.
    Note: …for the design and development of a cobweb gun, for applying non-toxic cobweb effects on motion picture sets with both safety and ease of operation.
  • James Doyle
    Note: …for the design and development of the Dry Fogger, which uses liquid nitrogen to produce a safe, dense, low-hanging fog effects.
  • Dick Cavdek, Steve Hamerski and Otto Nemenz International Incorporated
    Note: …for the opto-mechanical design and development of the Canon/Nemenz Zoom Lens.
  • Ken Robings and Clairmont Camera
    Note: …for the opto-mechanical design and development of the Canon/Clairmont Camera Zoom Lens.
  • Century Precision Optics
    Note: …for the opto-mechanical design and development of the Canon/Century Precision Optics Zoom Lens.
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