50th Academy Awards
Official poster promoting the 50th Academy Awards in 1978.
Official poster
DateApril 3, 1978
SiteDorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Hosted byBob Hope
Produced byHoward W. Koch
Directed byMarty Pasetta
Best PictureAnnie Hall
Most awardsStar Wars (6)
Most nominationsJulia and The Turning Point (11)
TV in the United States
Duration3 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings39.73 million
31.1% (Nielsen ratings)[1]

The 50th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored films released in 1977 and took place on April 3, 1978, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles beginning at 7:00 p.m. PST / 10:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 22 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Howard W. Koch and was directed by Marty Pasetta. Actor and comedian Bob Hope hosted for the nineteenth time. He first presided over the 12th ceremony held in 1940 and had last served as a co-host of the 47th ceremony held in 1975. Five days earlier, in a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on March 29, the Academy Scientific and Technical Awards were presented by hosts Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck.

Annie Hall won four awards, including Best Picture. Other winners included Star Wars with six awards, Julia with three, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goodbye Girl, Gravity Is My Enemy, I'll Find a Way, A Little Night Music, Madame Rosa, The Sand Castle, Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?, and You Light Up My Life with one.

Winners and nominees

The nominees for the 50th Academy Awards were announced on February 21, 1978. Julia and The Turning Point tied for the most nominations with eleven each.[2] The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on April 3. Woody Allen became the first person to receive nominations for acting, directing, screenwriting for the same film since Orson Welles, who previously achieved this feat for 1941's Citizen Kane.

With its 11 nominations and zero wins, The Turning Point became the most nominated film in Oscar history without a win, a record that still stands (tied by The Color Purple in 1985).

This event marked the second time that three films received 10 or more nominations: Julia and The Turning Point both received 11 nominations each, while Star Wars received 10.


Woody Allen, Best Director winner and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Based on Factual Material or on Story Material Not Previously Published or Produced co-winner
Richard Dreyfuss, Best Actor winner
Diane Keaton, Best Actress winner
Jason Robards, Best Supporting Actor winner
Vanessa Redgrave, Best Supporting Actress winner
Alvin Sargent, Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium winner
Co Hoedeman, Best Animated Short Film winner
John Williams, Best Original Score winner
Roger Christian, Best Art Direction co-winner
Vilmos Zsigmond, Best Cinematography winner
Richard Chew, Best Film Editing co-winner
John Stears, Best Visual Effects co-winner
Richard Edlund, Best Visual Effects co-winner
Robert Blalack, Best Visual Effects co-winner

Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger (‡).[3]

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Based on Factual Material or on Story Material Not Previously Published or Produced Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Best Foreign Language Film Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short Subject Best Live Action Short Film
Best Animated Short Film Best Original Score
Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score Best Original Song
Best Sound Best Costume Design
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing Best Visual Effects

Academy Honorary Awards

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

Special Achievement Awards


Debby Boone's performance of You Light Up My Life was accompanied by schoolgirls described as "affiliated with the John Tracy Clinic for the Deaf" interpreting the lyrics in sign language. After complaints that their signing was incomprehensible, it was revealed the girls were not deaf and had been taught rudimentary signing specifically for the performance. This prompted protests from the Alliance for Deaf Artists.[4]

Redgrave speech

During the ceremony, Vanessa Redgrave won the Best Supporting Actress award for Julia (1977). Her nomination drew a lot of attention and backlash even prior to the ceremony, as in 1977 she had also produced and appeared in the film The Palestinian, which followed the activities of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Lebanon,[5][6] an organization that at the time was defined as a terrorist organization by Israel due to its responsibility for the deaths of thousands of civilians.[7] The film was criticized by many Jewish groups for its perceived anti-Israel slant,[6] and members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) picketed Redgrave's nomination outside the Academy Awards ceremony while counter-protestors waved PLO flags.[5] Redgrave won the Oscar and made the following acceptance speech:

My dear colleagues, I thank you very much for this tribute to my work. I think that Jane Fonda and I have done the best work of our lives, and I think this is in part due to our director, Fred Zinnemann. [Audience applause.]

And I also think it's in part because we believed and we believe in what we were expressing—two out of millions who gave their lives and were prepared to sacrifice everything in the fight against fascist and racist Nazi Germany.

And I salute you, and I pay tribute to you, and I think you should be very proud that in the last few weeks you've stood firm, and you have refused to be intimidated by the threats of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums [gasps from the audience, followed by a smattering of boos and clapping] whose behavior— [continuation of booing until it quieted down] whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world and their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression. [General applause]

And I salute that record and I salute all of you for having stood firm and dealt a final blow against that period when Nixon and McCarthy launched a worldwide witch hunt against those who tried to express in their lives and their work the truth that they believe in. [some boos and hissing] I salute you and I thank you and I pledge to you that I will continue to fight against anti-Semitism and fascism.

Two hours later,[8] when it came his turn to announce the winners for the two Best Screenplay awards, Paddy Chayefsky, perturbed by what he perceived as "cracks about Jews"[8] at the Academy Awards, replied:

Before I get on to the writing awards, there's a little matter I'd like to tidy up—at least if I expect to live with myself tomorrow morning. I would like to say—personal opinion, of course—that I'm sick and tired of people exploiting the occasion of the Academy Awards [loud applause] for the propagation of their own personal political propaganda. [Loud applause] I would like to suggest to Miss Redgrave that her winning an Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history, does not require a proclamation, and a simple 'thank you' would have sufficed. [Loud applause]

Presenters and performers

The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.


Name Role
Hank Simms Announcer for the 50th annual Academy Awards
Howard W. Koch (AMPAS President) Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony
Bette Davis
Gregory Peck
Explained the voting rules to the public
John Travolta Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Mark Hamill
Presenters of the Special Achievement Award
Jodie Foster
Mickey Mouse
Paul Williams
Presentations of the Short Films Awards
William Holden
Barbara Stanwyck
Presenters of the Best Sound
Joan Fontaine Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects
Kirk Douglas
Raquel Welch
Presenters of the Documentary Awards
Billy Dee Williams Presenter of the Scientific & Technical Awards
Greer Garson
Henry Winkler
Presenters of the award of Best Art Direction
Eva Marie Saint
Jack Valenti
Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film
Michael Caine
Maggie Smith
Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Natalie Wood Presenter of the award for Best Costume Design
Johnny Green
Henry Mancini
Olivia Newton-John
Presenters of the Music Awards
Goldie Hawn
Jon Voight
Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography
Bette Davis Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Charlton Heston
Olivia de Havilland Presenter of the Honorary Award to Margaret Booth
Farrah Fawcett
Marcello Mastroianni
Presenters of the award for Best Film Editing
Fred Astaire Presenter of the award for Best Original Song
Cicely Tyson
King Vidor
Presenters of the award for Best Director
Paddy Chayefsky Presenter of the awards for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Based on Factual Material or on Story Material Not Previously Published or Produced and Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Janet Gaynor
Walter Matthau
Presenters of the award for Best Actress
Sylvester Stallone Presenter of the award for Best Actor
Stanley Kramer Presenter of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to Walter Mirisch
Jack Nicholson Presenter of the award for Best Picture


Performer Role Performed
Nelson Riddle Musical arranger and conductor Orchestral
Debbie Reynolds Performer "Look How Far We've Come"
Debby Boone Performer "You Light Up My Life" from You Light Up My Life
Gloria Loring Performer "Candle on the Water" from Pete's Dragon and "Someone's Waiting for You" from The Rescuers
Sammy Davis Jr.
Marvin Hamlisch
Performers "Come Light the Candles"
Aretha Franklin Performer "Nobody Does It Better" from The Spy Who Loved Me
Jane Powell Performer "The Slipper and the Rose Waltz (He Danced with Me)" from The Slipper and the Rose
Academy Awards Chorus Performers "That's Entertainment"

Multiple nominations and awards


Sammy Davis Jr. and Marvin Hamlisch performed "Come Light the Candles" in tribute to:

See also


  1. ^ Bialik, Carl (February 26, 2008). "And the Oscar Goes to... Fewer TV Viewers". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on April 4, 2008.
  2. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (February 22, 1978). "Woody Allen Is Up For Three Oscars". The New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  3. ^ "The 50th Academy Awards (1978) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  4. ^ Crouse, Richard (October 22, 2005). Reel Winners: Movie Award Trivia. Dundurn. pp. 138–139. ISBN 9781770701991. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Fretts, Bruce (January 11, 2019). "Oscars Rewind: The Most Political Ceremony in Academy History". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  6. ^ a b EmanuelLevy. "Oscar Politics: Redgrave, Vanessa–Julia | Emanuel Levy". Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  7. ^ "Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  8. ^ a b John Bradey, "The craft of the screenwriter", 1981. Page 57