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42nd Academy Awards
DateApril 7, 1970
SiteDorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles
Produced byM. J. Frankovich
Directed byJack Haley Jr.
Best PictureMidnight Cowboy
Most awardsButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (4)
Most nominationsAnne of the Thousand Days (10)
TV in the United States
Duration2 hours, 25 minutes
Ratings43.4% (Nielsen ratings)

The 42nd Academy Awards were presented April 7, 1970, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. For the second year in a row, there was no official host. This was the first Academy Awards ceremony to be broadcast via satellite to an international audience, though outside North America, Mexico and Brazil were the only countries to broadcast the event live.[1]

One year after Oliver! became the only G-rated film to win Best Picture, Midnight Cowboy became the first and only X-rated film to win, though its rating was changed in 1971 to R after the MPAA revised its ratings criteria. Only one other X-rated film has been nominated for Best Picture since, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971), which was also subsequently downgraded to an R rating (though this was a result of cuts to the original film).

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? set an Oscar record by receiving nine nominations without one for Best Picture. This was later tied with The Poseidon Adventure and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This was the last time until the 68th Academy Awards wherein none of the four winning performances came from Best Picture nominated films, as well as the first ceremony in which every acting nomination was in color.

The ceremony

This was the first Academy Award ceremony intended to be broadcast via satellite worldwide, but according to Klaus Lehmann, a foreign sales executive of the ABC television network, in addition to Canada and Mexico (countries which had broadcast the event since 1953, and carried it live since 1964), only two South American countries, Chile and Brazil, roughly in the Oscars' time zone, were interested in the live coverage. The Chilean television rights to the Oscars were sold by ABC International to Televisión Nacional de Chile while the Brazilian rights were sold to TV Tupi. The latter country's rights to the TV broadcast of the Oscars were moved to a joint venture of TV Bandeirantes and TV Record. Starting in 1974, the Brazilian TV rights to the Oscars were sold by NBC (which had acquired the TV rights to the Awards from ABC to be broadcast for a five-year period until 1975, when they returned to ABC for the next year's Awards) to Rede Globo. An early attempt to change the Academy Awards presentation's start time to 1 p.m. to fit European television audiences was rejected by AMPAS executives. Since at the time television standards conversion was difficult, about 50 other countries did not broadcast the event live. In Europe, most TV broadcasters signed off at or just after midnight, thus the Oscars were not broadcast live and were recorded on film and then shipped to broadcasters with a minimum four-day delay from the awards' broadcast date.

In terms of performances, in-between presenting the documentary awards, Bob Hope and Fred Astaire discussed how Astaire had never danced on the Academy Awards broadcast before, with Astaire claiming to have "given it [dancing] up" the previous year. Cuing the orchestra, Hope then left the stage as Astaire began an ‘‘impromptu’’ dance performance (actually scripted and rehearsed), first in a modern jazz style before ending with traditional tap dancing (this would not be Astaire's final dance performance as he would later dance in the film That's Entertainment, Part II six years later). They Shoot Horses, Don't They? broke the record for having the most nominations for a film without a Best Picture nomination, receiving 9 nominations. This feat was also achieved by The Poseidon Adventure in 1972 and Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977.

Cary Grant's award was described as the most popular of the evening; the audience was described as having "went wild" over his receiving the Academy Honorary Award.[2]

Winners and nominees

John Wayne, Best Actor winner
Maggie Smith, Best Actress winner
Gig Young, Best Supporting Actor winner
Goldie Hawn, Best Supporting Actress winner
William Goldman, Best Original Screenplay winner
Burt Bacharach, Best Original Score (Not a Musical) winner & Best Original Song co-winner

Nominees were announced on February 16, 1970. Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger (‡).[3][4]

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Story and Screenplay Based on Material Not Previously Published or Produced Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short Subject
Best Live Action Short Subject Best Short Subject – Cartoons
Best Original Score for a Motion Picture (Not a Musical) Best Score of a Musical Picture - Original or Adaptation
Best Song Original for the Picture Best Sound
Best Foreign Language Film Best Costume Design
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing Best Special Visual Effects

Academy Honorary Award


Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award


Multiple nominations and awards

Presenters and performers



See also


  1. ^ The Opening of the Academy Awards in 1970 on YouTube At 5:30 mark. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Wallace, Irving (1975). The People's Almanac. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. p. 845. ISBN 0-385-04060-1.
  3. ^ "The Official Academy Awards Database". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Select "1969" in the "Award Year(s)" drop-down menu and press "Search".
  4. ^ "The 42nd Academy Awards (1970) Nominees and Winners". Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  5. ^ "Honorary Award | | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences". July 17, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  6. ^ "1970 | | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences". Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  7. ^ Wiley, Mason (1986). Inside Oscar. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 437. ISBN 9780345314239.
  8. ^ Fred Astaire Cuts Loose: 1970 Oscars”, YouTube.