69th Academy Awards

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69th Academy Awards
69th Academy Awards.jpg
Date Monday, March 24, 1997
Site Shrine Auditorium
Los Angeles, California
Host Billy Crystal
Producer Gil Cates
Director Louis J. Horvitz
Best Picture The English Patient
Most awards The English Patient (9)
Most nominations The English Patient (12)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 38 minutes 1
Ratings 40.83 million
 < 68th Academy Awards 70th > 

The 69th Academy Awards were held on March 24, 1997, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California to honor the best films of 1996. The ceremony, which was telecast by ABC, was produced by Gil Cates and directed by Louis J. Horvitz. The ceremony was dominated by movies produced by independent studios, financed outside of mainstream Hollywood, leading to 1996 being dubbed "The Year of the Independents". All but one of the nominees for Best Picture were low-budget independent movies (the next ceremony dominated by indie fims would be in 2006. 2008 was also dominated by independents). The big winner at the ceremony was Anthony Minghella's The English Patient, which had received 12 nominations and won 9 awards including Best Picture.

Other notable movies to be honoured at the ceremony included Fargo, which had been nominated for 7 awards and won 2, Shine, which had been nominated for 7 awards and won only one, and Jerry Maguire and Evita, which each both had been nominated for 5 awards and each won only one.


Anthony Minghella, Best Director winner
Geoffrey Rush, Best Actor winner
Cuba Gooding, Jr., Best Supporting Actor winner
Juliette Binoche, Best Supporting Actress winner
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Best Original Screenplay winners
Billy Bob Thornton, Best Adapted Screenplay winner
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Best Original Song winner
Rick Baker, Best Makeup winner

Winners are listed first and highlighted with boldface2

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film Best Original Song
Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short
Best Live Action Short Best Animated Short
Best Original Dramatic Score Best Original Musical or Comedy Score
Best Sound Editing Best Sound Mixing
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Makeup Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing Best Visual Effects

Academy Honorary Award

Irving G. Thalberg Award

Scientific and Technical Award

Multiple nominations and awards

In Memoriam

In Memoriam Presented by Angela Bassett, the Academy takes a moment to remember motion picture personnel that died in the previous year:

Ceremony information

Box office performance of nominees

At the time of the nominations announcement on February 11, the combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees at the US box office was $209 million, with an average of $41.9 million per film. Jerry Maguire was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $121.5 million in domestic box office receipts. The film was followed by The English Patient ($42.3 million), Shine ($16.1million), Fargo ($24 million), and finally Secrets & Lies ($5.9 million).

Of the top 50 grossing movies of the year, 37 nominations went to 17 films on the list. Only Jerry Maguire (9th), Primal Fear (27th), and The English Patient (35th) were nominated for directing, acting, screenwriting, or Best Picture. The other top 50 box office hits that earned nominations were Independence Day (1st), Twister (2nd), The Rock (4th), The Nutty Professor (7th), The Birdcage (8th), Eraser(13th), The Hunchback of Norte Dame (14th), Star Trek: First Contact (15th), Sleepers (29th), Dragonheart (30th), The Preacher's Wife (32nd), Evita (36th), The Ghost and the Darkness (39th), and Daylight (48th).

News and recap

Shortly before the ceremony, two light aircraft flew over the auditorium streaming banners behind them. The first read "Columbia Studios Sucks — Larry Flynt", as the subject of the Oscar-nominated film The People vs. Larry Flynt protested against not being invited.3 Eventually the agent of Woody Harrelson, whose portrayal of Flynt was nominated for Best Actor, gave his seat so the publisher could attend.4 The second banner read "Disney uses sweatshops — 30 cents an hour in Haiti", criticizing Walt Disney Studios about the conditions under which some of its movie merchandise are allegedly produced.3

The Awards marked one of the greatest upsets in Oscar history as most had predicted Lauren Bacall would win Best Supporting Actress for The Mirror Has Two Faces. Instead, the Oscar went to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient. Binoche herself even acknowledged surprise, saying she felt Bacall deserved the award during her acceptance speech.5

It was the first time ever that a singer sang twice during the Academy Awards. Because Natalie Cole had the flu, Céline Dion not only sang her own song "Because You Loved Me", but also Barbra Streisand's song "I Finally Found Someone", after only a few hours to rehearse.

Madonna had won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her portrayal of Eva Perón in Evita,6 but was not nominated for the Oscar. Despite the snub, she attended the Oscars and sang "You Must Love Me" from Evita. Immeidately afterwards host Billy Crystal said "In case you missed it, that ws class."citation needed

The ceremony attracted 40.83 million viewers, the lowest audience without dipping below the 40 million mark (later surpassed by the 40.54m who watched in 2002).



See also


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