Academy Award Winners: Thirty Years of Winners
A thoroughly fascinating trip through the back stories, buzz, cultural importance and clips of Academy Award nominees and winners from 1972 to 2002.
S01:E01 - Academy Award Winners: 1972 -1976
1972 was was a breakthrough year for African American actors as it was the first time three black actors were nominated in the lead acting categories, a feat that wouldn't be matched for three decades. Stellar performances in Cabaret left Joel Grey and Liza Minelli with the best actor and best actress award. In 1973 The Sting took home seven oscars including best picture of the year. Tatum O'neil also won an oscar making her the youngest actress to receive one. In 1974 The Godfather Part II won the best picture award against Chinatown and The Conversation, and Francis Coppola went home with three oscars. 1975 is when One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest took the top five awards, and also gave Nicholson his first oscar after four failed attempts. It's only the second film to accomplish that feat. In 1976 Sylvester Stallone wrote Rocky for himself to star in. The film won best picture and awarded John G. Avildsen with an oscar for best director.
S01:E02 - Academy Award Winners: 1977 - 1981
Academy Awards celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1977. For the first time in decades the Academy picked a comedy for an oscar; Annie Hall. The film also brought Woody Allen Oscars for writing and directing. The academy awards of 1978 reflected the political turmoil and social changes swirling across the United States with contenders like Coming Home and The Deer Hunter that dealt with the Vietnam war. The film industry of 1979 completely opposed the high societal messages from the year before and instead focused on individual's confronting the realities of daily life. Kramer vs. Kramer won the best picture and earned Dustin Hoffman his first Oscar win. In 1980 Raging Bull and The Elephant Man both got eight nominations, but the top film of the year went to Ordinary People. This gave Robert Redford his first Oscar for best director. 1981 was a year of turmoil and political upheaval throughout the world. Chariots of Fire was largely ignored as it was about long-distance runners and had no sex, violence, or stars. But the film ended up winning best picture against all odds.
S01:E03 - Academy Award Winners: 1982 - 1986
In 1982 Academy saluted crossdressers, reflecting the changing roles of men and women in society. several of the year's top films (Tootsie, Victor Victoria, and The World According to Garp) featured storylines about gender confusion and dealt with sexual identity. Historical substance triumphed over popularity when Gandhi took home the oscar for best picture against E.T.. Terms of Endearment had swept five of the top seven awards, and was named the outstanding film of 1983. 1984 many of the best picture nominations dealt with race relations, but the oscar was given to Amadeus, the historical spectacle. 1985 was a great year for Steve Spielberg with Back to the Future and The Color Purple, but the best picture oscar went to Out of Africa. William Hurt won an oscar for best actor, making it the first time it was given to a gay role. Oliver Stone wrote and directed Platoon based off of his own experience in the Vietnam war in 1986. The film won best picture, earning Oliver stone a best director oscar as well.
S01:E04 - Academy Award Winners: 1987 - 1991
1987 was a year that saw overdue recognition and undeserved snubs. Empire of the Sun won six nominations, but none were for Steven Spielberg himself. Although none of Its actors won nominations, The Last Emperor went on to win nine out on nine of Its nominations. The 1988 Academy Award nominations were marked by controversy on religion grounds and historical inaccuracies. Barry Levinson's Rain Man was named best picture in the end. The 1989 oscars generated controversy on what wasn't nominated. Do the Right Thing and Glory are two black themed films that were overlooked for best picture. But Denzel Washington won best supporting Actor, making him the second black man to receive the prize. Dancing with Wolves win seven awards including best picture in 1990. And Whoopi Goldberg wins best supporting actress, making her the second black woman to win the prize. Silence of the Lambs swept up seven oscars in 1991, and became the first horror film to win best picture.
S01:E05 - Academy Award Winners: 1992 - 1996
1992 was the year of the woman as many were nominated for films that centered on the lives, struggles, and hardships of women. With nine nominations, Unforgiven cleaned up with four oscars and became the first Western to take home best picture. 1993 was the year of serious films with somber nominations like Name of the Father, The Remains of the Day, and The Piano. But Steven Spielberg made his mark once again whenSchindler's List, the all-too-real historical piece took home best picture and five other oscars. Independent filmmakers went against big studios during the 1994 academy awards. The top runners were Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump, but the best picture ultimately went to big studio film Forrest Gump. Mel Gibson won best picture and best director with Braveheart in 1995. Not one of the major Hollywood studios had a film nominated for best picture in the 1996 academy awards, so that year became known as the independents. The English Patient cleaned up with nine nominations including best picture and best director for Anthony Minghella.
S01:E06 - Academy Award Winners: 1997 - 2002
1997 was the year of Titanic and the phenomenon that came with it. There were issues with filming, but the film broke all box office records when it was released and won eleven oscars. This made James Cameron the king of the night with best editing, best directing, and best picture. World War II was the main attraction in 1998 with films like Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, and Life is Beautiful. But due Harvey Weinstein's intensive publicity, Shakespeare in Love won best picture. Weinstein and Steven Spielberg face off again in 1999; Spielberg with American Beauty and Weinstein with The Cider House Rules. American Beauty came up on top and won best picture. In the year 2000, Steven Soderbergh had two films in the running for best picture: Erin Brockovich and Traffic. But it was Gladiator that won the oscar. 2001 was dominated by Ron Howard, the All-American boy who grew up staring in movies. A Beautiful Mind, directed and produced by him, won best picture. Halle Berry became the first black woman to receive the best actress award. Chicago won best picture in 2002.
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