THE 48th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS PRESENTATION

By Lightman, Herb A | American Cinematographer, May 1976 | Go to article overview

THE 48th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS PRESENTATION


Lightman, Herb A, American Cinematographer


"Oscar" reigns supreme as Hollywood stages its annual "Big Show" to honor its own at the top of the film industry

The special glamor and excitement of Hollywood's biggest event came to life on the night of March 29, when the 48th Annual Oscar Awards of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were presented live on the ABC Television Network and via satellite and tape to 42 foreign countries aroun the world.

The big show, which emanated from the Dorothy Chandler Pavillon of the Los Angeles Music Center, was viewed by an estimated audience of 70,000,000 Ameircans and at least twice that many again in other countries. This constituted the largest audience over to watch the event.

The Annual Academy Awards Presentation is a unique sort of paradox Avidly veiwed by a worlwide audience numbering in the hundreds of millions, it is, by virtue of that fact, the most "public" event imaginable. Yet, to those who work in the film industry, it is a very "private" affair indeed - for it is on this occasion, that the artists and artisans of the motion picture industry are honored by their peers within that industry it is this recognition by their own co-workers thai makes the Presentation a very special event to those so honored.

Howard W. Koch, who has produced the last four Oscar shows and is one of Hollywood's leading independent producers, "was the producer of this year's show. His screen credits include the film versions of five Neil Simon comedies and "JACQUELINE SUSANN'S ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH". He also produced Frank Sinatra's return-from-retirement TV special, OL' BLUE EYES: IS BACK".

Marty Pasetta, one of the most innovative directors in TV, directed the program for the fifth consecutive year. In addition to the Oscar Awards show, Pasetta's directing credits include the Grammy Awardss, Emmy Awards, and specials starring Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and bing Crosby.

John Williams, Oscar winner and eleven-time nominee, served as musical director. The noted composer-conductor won his first Oscar in 1971 for his music adaptation of "FIDDLER ON THE ROOF." He won again this year for "JAWS", and has composed the scores for such films as "THE TOWERING INFERNO", "THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE", "EARTHQUAKE" and "THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS".

Gene Kelly, Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, George Segal and Goldie Hawn appeared as emcees. Kelly was making his ninth appearance on an Oscar show but his first as an emcee. He was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 1951. Matthau, an Oscar winner in 1966 for "THE FORTUNE COOKIE" and a nominee in 1971 for "KOTCH" and again this year for "THE SUNSHINE BOYS", was making his sixth appearance on an Oscar show. Shaw was making his first appearance on an Academy Awards program. He was an Oscar nominee in 1966 for "A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS" and is currently starring in "JAWS" and "ROBIN AND MARIAN". George Segal and Goldie Hawn, who are both starred in the upcoming film, "THE DUCHESS AND DIRTWATER FOX", teamed as the fourth emcee. Segal, an Oscar nominee in 1966 for "WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?", was making his second appearance on an .Oscar telecast. Miss Hawn, an Oscar winner in 1969 for "FORTY CARATS", was making her third appearance in the program.

Presenters included (alphabetically) Alan Arkin, Burt Bacharach, Marisa Berenson, Jacqueline Bisset, Beau Bridges, Charles Bronson, Stockard Channing, Angle Dickinson, William Friedkin, Elliott Gould, Marilyn Hassett, Goldie Hawn, Margaux Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Anthony Hopkins, Jill Ireland, Madeline Kahn, Rod McKuen, Jennifer O'Neill, Charlotte Rampling, Telly Savalas, George Segal, Roy Scheider, OJ. Simpson, Mario Thomas, Gore Vidai, Jack Valenti, Billy Dee Williams, and William Wyler.

Ray Bolger was featured in an unusual production number on the 48th Annual Awards Presentation. Titled "Hollywood Honors Its Own,"the number opened the program and was written especially for this year's awards program by Buzz Kohan.

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