The 53rd Academy Awards | 1981
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Tuesday, March 31, 1981
Honoring movies released in 1980
Highlights
  • Best Actor
    Robert De Niro Wins Best Actor: 1981 Oscars
    Raging Bull
    Robert De Niro
  • Cinematography
    "Tess" winning the Oscar® for Cinematography
    Tess
    Geoffrey Unsworth and Ghislain Cloquet
  • Original Score
    Michael Gore winning Original Score for "Fame"
    Fame
    Michael Gore, presented by the Nicholas Brothers
Memorable Moments
  • Thelma Schoonmaker
    Film Editing winner for Raging Bull, with presenters Richard Pryor and Jane Seymour
  • Timothy Hutton
    Supporting Actor winner for Ordinary People
  • The Empire Strikes Back
    The Empire Strikes Back
    A Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects to Brian Johnson, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren and Bruce Nicholson, with Jack Valenti

Winners & Nominees

Actor in a Leading Role

Winner

Robert De Niro

Raging Bull

Nominees

Peter O'Toole

The Stunt Man

Robert Duvall

The Great Santini

John Hurt

The Elephant Man

Jack Lemmon

Tribute

Actor in a Supporting Role

Winner

Timothy Hutton

Ordinary People

Nominees

Judd Hirsch

Ordinary People

Michael O'Keefe

The Great Santini

Joe Pesci

Raging Bull

Jason Robards

Melvin and Howard

Actress in a Leading Role

Winner

Sissy Spacek

Coal Miner's Daughter

Nominees

Ellen Burstyn

Resurrection

Goldie Hawn

Private Benjamin

Mary Tyler Moore

Ordinary People

Gena Rowlands

Gloria

Actress in a Supporting Role

Winner

Mary Steenburgen

Melvin and Howard

Nominees

Eileen Brennan

Private Benjamin

Eva Le Gallienne

Resurrection

Cathy Moriarty

Raging Bull

Diana Scarwid

Inside Moves

Best Picture

Winner

Ordinary People

Ronald L. Schwary, Producer

Nominees

Coal Miner's Daughter

Bernard Schwartz, Producer

The Elephant Man

Jonathan Sanger, Producer

Raging Bull

Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, Producers

Tess

Claude Berri, Producer; Timothy Burrill, Co-Producer

Cinematography

Winner

Tess

Geoffrey Unsworth, Ghislain Cloquet

Nominees

The Blue Lagoon

Nestor Almendros

Coal Miner's Daughter

Ralf D. Bode

The Formula

James Crabe

Raging Bull

Michael Chapman

Costume Design

Winner

Tess

Anthony Powell

Nominees

The Elephant Man

Patricia Norris

My Brilliant Career

Anna Senior

Somewhere in Time

Jean-Pierre Dorleac

When Time Ran Out

Paul Zastupnevich

Directing

Winner

Ordinary People

Robert Redford

Nominees

Raging Bull

Martin Scorsese

The Stunt Man

Richard Rush

Tess

Roman Polanski

The Elephant Man

David Lynch

Film Editing

Winner

Raging Bull

Thelma Schoonmaker

Nominees

Fame

Gerry Hambling

Coal Miner's Daughter

Arthur Schmidt

The Competition

David Blewitt

The Elephant Man

Anne V. Coates

Foreign Language Film

Winner

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Nominees

Confidence

Hungary

Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior)

Japan

The Last Metro

France

The Nest

Spain

Art Direction

Winner

Tess

Art Direction: Pierre Guffroy, Jack Stephens

Nominees

Coal Miner's Daughter

Art Direction: John W. Corso; Set Decoration: John M. Dwyer

The Elephant Man

Art Direction: Stuart Craig, Bob Cartwright; Set Decoration: Hugh Scaife

The Empire Strikes Back

Art Direction: Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Harry Lange, Alan Tomkins; Set Decoration: Michael Ford

Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior)

Yoshiro Muraki

Music (Original Score)

Winner

Fame

Michael Gore

Nominees

Altered States

John Corigliano

The Elephant Man

John Morris

The Empire Strikes Back

John Williams

Tess

Philippe Sarde

Documentary (Short Subject)

Winner

Karl Hess: Toward Liberty

Karl Hess: Toward Liberty

Nominees

Don't Mess with Bill

John Watson and Pen Densham, Producers

The Eruption of Mount St. Helens

George Casey, Producer

It's the Same World

Dick Young, Producer

Luther Metke at 94

Richard Hawkins and Jorge Preloran, Producers

Documentary (Feature)

Winner

From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China

Murray Lerner, Producer

Nominees

Agee

Ross Spears, Producer

The Day after Trinity

Jon Else, Producer

Front Line

David Bradbury, Producer

The Yellow Star - The Persecution of the Jews in Europe 1933-45

Bengt von zur Muehlen and Arthur Cohn, Producers

Sound

Winner

The Empire Strikes Back

Bill Varney, Steve Maslow, Gregg Landaker, Peter Sutton

Nominees

Raging Bull

Donald O. Mitchell, Bill Nicholson, David J. Kimball, Les Lazarowitz

Altered States

Arthur Piantadosi, Les Fresholtz, Michael Minkler, Willie D. Burton

Coal Miner's Daughter

Richard Portman, Roger Heman, Jim Alexander

Fame

Michael J. Kohut, Aaron Rochin, Jay M. Harding, Chris Newman

Special Achievement Award (Visual Effects)

Winner

The Empire Strikes Back

Brian Johnson, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Bruce Nicholson

Short Film (Animated)

Winner

The Fly

Ferenc Rofusz, Producer

Nominees

History of the World in Three Minutes Flat

Michael Mills, Producer

All Nothing

Frédéric Back, Producer

Music (Original Song)

Winner

Fame

Fame in "Fame" Music by Michael Gore; Lyric by Dean Pitchford

Nominees

Fame

Out Here On My Own in "Fame" Music by Michael Gore; Lyric by Lesley Gore

The Competition

People Alone in "The Competition" Music by Lalo Schifrin; Lyric by Wilbur Jennings

Nine to Five

Nine To Five in "Nine to Five" Music and Lyric by Dolly Parton

Honeysuckle Rose

On The Road Again in "Honeysuckle Rose" Music and Lyric by Willie Nelson

Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium)

Winner

Ordinary People

Alvin Sargent

Nominees

Breaker Morant

Jonathan Hardy, David Stevens, Bruce Beresford

Coal Miner's Daughter

Tom Rickman

The Elephant Man

Christopher DeVore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch

The Stunt Man

Screenplay by Lawrence B. Marcus; Adaptation by Richard Rush

Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

Winner

Melvin and Howard

Bo Goldman

Nominees

Brubaker

Screenplay by W. D. Richter; Story by W. D. Richter, Arthur Ross

Fame

Christopher Gore

Mon Oncle D'Amerique

Jean Gruault

Private Benjamin

Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, Harvey Miller

Short Film (Dramatic Live Action)

Winner

The Dollar Bottom

Lloyd Phillips, Producer

Nominees

Fall Line

Bob Carmichael and Greg Lowe, Producers

A Jury of Her Peers

Sally Heckel, Producer
A
Agee
1 Nomination
Documentary (Feature) - Ross Spears, Producer
All Nothing
1 Nomination
Short Film (Animated) - Frédéric Back, Producer
Altered States
2 Nominations
Sound - Arthur Piantadosi, Les Fresholtz, Michael Minkler, Willie D. Burton
Music (Original Score) - John Corigliano
B
The Blue Lagoon
1 Nomination
Cinematography - Nestor Almendros
Breaker Morant
1 Nomination
Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) - Jonathan Hardy, David Stevens, Bruce Beresford
Brubaker
1 Nomination
Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) - Screenplay by W. D. Richter; Story by W. D. Richter, Arthur Ross
C
Coal Miner's Daughter
7 Nominations, 1 Win
Art Direction - Art Direction: John W. Corso; Set Decoration: John M. Dwyer
Film Editing - Arthur Schmidt
Best Picture - Bernard Schwartz, Producer
Cinematography - Ralf D. Bode
Sound - Richard Portman, Roger Heman, Jim Alexander
Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) - Tom Rickman
* Actress in a Leading Role - Sissy Spacek in "Coal Miner's Daughter"
The Competition
2 Nominations
Film Editing - David Blewitt
Music (Original Song) - People Alone in "The Competition" Music by Lalo Schifrin; Lyric by Wilbur Jennings
Confidence
1 Nomination
Foreign Language Film - Hungary
D
The Day after Trinity
1 Nomination
Documentary (Feature) - Jon Else, Producer
The Dollar Bottom
1 Win, 1 Nomination
* Short Film (Dramatic Live Action) - Lloyd Phillips, Producer
Don't Mess with Bill
1 Nomination
Documentary (Short Subject) - John Watson and Pen Densham, Producers
E
The Elephant Man
8 Nominations
Film Editing - Anne V. Coates
Art Direction - Art Direction: Stuart Craig, Bob Cartwright; Set Decoration: Hugh Scaife
Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) - Christopher DeVore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch
Directing - David Lynch
Actor in a Leading Role - John Hurt in "The Elephant Man"
Music (Original Score) - John Morris
Best Picture - Jonathan Sanger, Producer
Costume Design - Patricia Norris
The Empire Strikes Back
4 Nominations, 2 Wins
Art Direction - Art Direction: Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Harry Lange, Alan Tomkins; Set Decoration: Michael Ford
Music (Original Score) - John Williams
* Sound - Bill Varney, Steve Maslow, Gregg Landaker, Peter Sutton
* Special Achievement Award (Visual Effects) - Brian Johnson, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Bruce Nicholson
The Eruption of Mount St. Helens
1 Nomination
Documentary (Short Subject) - George Casey, Producer
F
Fall Line
1 Nomination
Short Film (Dramatic Live Action) - Bob Carmichael and Greg Lowe, Producers
Fame
6 Nominations, 2 Wins
Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) - Christopher Gore
Film Editing - Gerry Hambling
Sound - Michael J. Kohut, Aaron Rochin, Jay M. Harding, Chris Newman
Music (Original Song) - Out Here On My Own in "Fame" Music by Michael Gore; Lyric by Lesley Gore
* Music (Original Song) - Fame in "Fame" Music by Michael Gore; Lyric by Dean Pitchford
* Music (Original Score) - Michael Gore
The Fly
1 Win, 1 Nomination
* Short Film (Animated) - Ferenc Rofusz, Producer
The Formula
1 Nomination
Cinematography - James Crabe
From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China
1 Win, 1 Nomination
* Documentary (Feature) - Murray Lerner, Producer
Front Line
1 Nomination
Documentary (Feature) - David Bradbury, Producer
G
Gloria
1 Nomination
Actress in a Leading Role - Gena Rowlands in "Gloria"
The Great Santini
2 Nominations
Actor in a Supporting Role - Michael O'Keefe in "The Great Santini"
Actor in a Leading Role - Robert Duvall in "The Great Santini"
H
History of the World in Three Minutes Flat
1 Nomination
Short Film (Animated) - Michael Mills, Producer
Honeysuckle Rose
1 Nomination
Music (Original Song) - On The Road Again in "Honeysuckle Rose" Music and Lyric by Willie Nelson
I
Inside Moves
1 Nomination
Actress in a Supporting Role - Diana Scarwid in "Inside Moves"
It's the Same World
1 Nomination
Documentary (Short Subject) - Dick Young, Producer
J
A Jury of Her Peers
1 Nomination
Short Film (Dramatic Live Action) - Sally Heckel, Producer
K
Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior)
2 Nominations
Foreign Language Film - Japan
Art Direction - Yoshiro Muraki
Karl Hess: Toward Liberty
1 Win, 1 Nomination
* Documentary (Short Subject) - Karl Hess: Toward Liberty
L
The Last Metro
1 Nomination
Foreign Language Film - France
Luther Metke at 94
1 Nomination
Documentary (Short Subject) - Richard Hawkins and Jorge Preloran, Producers
M
Melvin and Howard
3 Nominations, 2 Wins
* Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) - Bo Goldman
* Actress in a Supporting Role - Mary Steenburgen in "Melvin and Howard"
Actor in a Supporting Role - Jason Robards in "Melvin and Howard"
Mon Oncle D'Amerique
1 Nomination
Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) - Jean Gruault
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
1 Win, 1 Nomination
* Foreign Language Film - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
My Brilliant Career
1 Nomination
Costume Design - Anna Senior
N
The Nest
1 Nomination
Foreign Language Film - Spain
Nine to Five
1 Nomination
Music (Original Song) - Nine To Five in "Nine to Five" Music and Lyric by Dolly Parton
O
Ordinary People
6 Nominations, 4 Wins
* Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) - Alvin Sargent
* Directing - Robert Redford
* Best Picture - Ronald L. Schwary, Producer
* Actor in a Supporting Role - Timothy Hutton in "Ordinary People"
Actor in a Supporting Role - Judd Hirsch in "Ordinary People"
Actress in a Leading Role - Mary Tyler Moore in "Ordinary People"
P
Private Benjamin
3 Nominations
Actress in a Supporting Role - Eileen Brennan in "Private Benjamin"
Actress in a Leading Role - Goldie Hawn in "Private Benjamin"
Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) - Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, Harvey Miller
R
Raging Bull
8 Nominations, 2 Wins
Actress in a Supporting Role - Cathy Moriarty in "Raging Bull"
Sound - Donald O. Mitchell, Bill Nicholson, David J. Kimball, Les Lazarowitz
Best Picture - Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, Producers
Actor in a Supporting Role - Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull"
Directing - Martin Scorsese
Cinematography - Michael Chapman
* Actor in a Leading Role - Robert De Niro in "Raging Bull"
* Film Editing - Thelma Schoonmaker
Resurrection
2 Nominations
Actress in a Leading Role - Ellen Burstyn in "Resurrection"
Actress in a Supporting Role - Eva Le Gallienne in "Resurrection"
S
Somewhere in Time
1 Nomination
Costume Design - Jean-Pierre Dorleac
The Stunt Man
3 Nominations
Actor in a Leading Role - Peter O'Toole in "The Stunt Man"
Directing - Richard Rush
Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) - Screenplay by Lawrence B. Marcus; Adaptation by Richard Rush
T
Tess
6 Nominations, 3 Wins
* Costume Design - Anthony Powell
* Art Direction - Art Direction: Pierre Guffroy, Jack Stephens
* Cinematography - Geoffrey Unsworth, Ghislain Cloquet
Best Picture - Claude Berri, Producer; Timothy Burrill, Co-Producer
Music (Original Score) - Philippe Sarde
Directing - Roman Polanski
Tribute
1 Nomination
Actor in a Leading Role - Jack Lemmon in "Tribute"
W
When Time Ran Out
1 Nomination
Costume Design - Paul Zastupnevich
Y
The Yellow Star - The Persecution of the Jews in Europe 1933-45
1 Nomination
Documentary (Feature) - Bengt von zur Muehlen and Arthur Cohn, Producers