Oscar Legacy
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The 51st Academy Awards (1979) Nominees and Winners

Held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Monday, April 9, 1979,
honoring movies released in 1978.

Best Director Michael Cimino directing Robert De Niro in Best Picture winner

Best Director Michael Cimino directing Robert De Niro in Best Picture winner "The Deer Hunter."

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Warren Beatty in "Heaven Can Wait"
  • Gary Busey in "The Buddy Holly Story"
  • Robert De Niro in "The Deer Hunter"
  • Laurence Olivier in "The Boys from Brazil"
  • Jon Voight in "Coming Home"

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Bruce Dern in "Coming Home"
  • Richard Farnsworth in "Comes a Horseman"
  • John Hurt in "Midnight Express"
  • Christopher Walken in "The Deer Hunter"
  • Jack Warden in "Heaven Can Wait"

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Ingrid Bergman in "Autumn Sonata"
  • Ellen Burstyn in "Same Time, Next Year"
  • Jill Clayburgh in "An Unmarried Woman"
  • Jane Fonda in "Coming Home"
  • Geraldine Page in "Interiors"

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Dyan Cannon in "Heaven Can Wait"
  • Penelope Milford in "Coming Home"
  • Maggie Smith in "California Suite"
  • Maureen Stapleton in "Interiors"
  • Meryl Streep in "The Deer Hunter"

Art Direction

  • "The Brink’s Job" Art Direction: Dean Tavoularis, Angelo Graham; Set Decoration: George R. Nelson, Bruce Kay
  • "California Suite" Art Direction: Albert Brenner; Set Decoration: Marvin March
  • "Heaven Can Wait" Art Direction: Paul Sylbert, Edwin O’Donovan; Set Decoration: George Gaines
  • "Interiors" Art Direction: Mel Bourne; Set Decoration: Daniel Robert
  • "The Wiz" Art Direction: Tony Walton, Philip Rosenberg; Set Decoration: Edward Stewart, Robert Drumheller


  • "Days of Heaven" Nestor Almendros
  • "The Deer Hunter" Vilmos Zsigmond
  • "Heaven Can Wait" William A. Fraker
  • "Same Time, Next Year" Robert Surtees
  • "The Wiz" Oswald Morris

Costume Design

  • "Caravans" Renie Conley
  • "Days of Heaven" Patricia Norris
  • "Death on the Nile" Anthony Powell
  • "The Swarm" Paul Zastupnevich
  • "The Wiz" Tony Walton


  • "Coming Home" Hal Ashby
  • "The Deer Hunter" Michael Cimino
  • "Heaven Can Wait" Warren Beatty, Buck Henry
  • "Interiors" Woody Allen
  • "Midnight Express" Alan Parker

Documentary (Feature)

  • "The Lovers’ Wind" Albert Lamorisse, Producer
  • "Mysterious Castles of Clay" Alan Root, Producer
  • "Raoni" Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, Barry Williams and Michel Gast, Producers
  • "Scared Straight!" Arnold Shapiro, Producer
  • "With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women’s Emergency Brigade" Anne Bohlen, Lyn Goldfarb and Lorraine Gray, Producers

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • "The Divided Trail: A Native American Odyssey" Jerry Aronson, Producer
  • "An Encounter with Faces" K.K. Kapil, Producer
  • "The Flight of the Gossamer Condor" Jacqueline Phillips Shedd and Ben Shedd, Producers
  • "Goodnight Miss Ann" August Cinquegrana, Producer
  • "Squires of San Quentin" J. Gary Mitchell, Producer

Film Editing

  • "The Boys from Brazil" Robert E. Swink
  • "Coming Home" Don Zimmerman
  • "The Deer Hunter" Peter Zinner
  • "Midnight Express" Gerry Hambling
  • "Superman" Stuart Baird

Foreign Language Film

  • "Get Out Your Handkerchiefs" France
  • "The Glass Cell" German Federal Republic
  • "Hungarians" Hungary
  • "Viva Italia!" Italy
  • "White Bim Black Ear" Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Music (Adaptation Score)

Music (Original Score)

  • "The Boys from Brazil" Jerry Goldsmith
  • "Days of Heaven" Ennio Morricone
  • "Heaven Can Wait" Dave Grusin
  • "Midnight Express" Giorgio Moroder
  • "Superman" John Williams

Music (Original Song)

  • "Hopelessly Devoted To You" from "Grease" Music and Lyrics by John Farrar
  • "Last Dance" from "Thank God It’s Friday" Music and Lyrics by Paul Jabara
  • "The Last Time I Felt Like This" from "Same Time, Next Year" Music by Marvin Hamlisch; Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
  • "Ready To Take a Chance Again" from "Foul Play" Music by Charles Fox; Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
  • "When You’re Loved" from "The Magic of Lassie" Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

Best Picture

  • "Coming Home" Jerome Hellman, Producer
  • "The Deer Hunter" Barry Spikings, Michael Deeley, Michael Cimino and John Peverall, Producers
  • "Heaven Can Wait" Warren Beatty, Producer
  • "Midnight Express" Alan Marshall and David Puttnam, Producers
  • "An Unmarried Woman" Paul Mazursky and Tony Ray, Producers

Short Film (Animated)

  • "Oh My Darling" Nico Crama, Producer
  • "Rip Van Winkle" Will Vinton, Producer
  • "Special Delivery" Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon, Producers

Short Film (Live Action)

  • "A Different Approach" Jim Belcher and Fern Field, Producers
  • "Mandy’s Grandmother" Andrew Sugerman, Producer
  • "Strange Fruit" Seth Pinsker, Producer
  • "Teenage Father" Taylor Hackford, Producer


  • "The Buddy Holly Story" Tex Rudloff, Joel Fein, Curly Thirlwell, Willie Burton
  • "Days of Heaven" John K. Wilkinson, Robert W. Glass, Jr., John T. Reitz, Barry Thomas
  • "The Deer Hunter" Richard Portman, William McCaughey, Aaron Rochin, Darin Knight
  • "Hooper" Robert Knudson, Robert J. Glass, Don MacDougall, Jack Solomon
  • "Superman" Gordon K. McCallum, Graham Hartstone, Nicolas Le Messurier, Roy Charman

Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium)

  • "Bloodbrothers" Walter Newman
  • "California Suite" Neil Simon
  • "Heaven Can Wait" Elaine May, Warren Beatty
  • "Midnight Express" Oliver Stone
  • "Same Time, Next Year" Bernard Slade

Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

  • "Autumn Sonata" Ingmar Bergman
  • "Coming Home" Story by Nancy Dowd; Screenplay by Waldo Salt, Robert C. Jones
  • "The Deer Hunter" Story by Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle, Quinn K. Redeker; Screenplay by Deric Washburn
  • "Interiors" Woody Allen
  • "An Unmarried Woman" Paul Mazursky

  • Star indicates a win.
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