|58th Academy Awards|
|Date||March 24, 1986|
|Site||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Hosted by||Alan Alda|
|Produced by||Stanley Donen|
|Directed by||Marty Pasetta|
|Best Picture||Out of Africa|
|Most awards||Out of Africa (7)|
|Most nominations||The Color Purple and Out of Africa (11)|
|TV in the United States|
|Duration||3 hours, 11 minutes|
27.3% (Nielsen ratings)
The 58th Academy Awards ceremony, organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), took place on March 24, 1986, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles beginning at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 23 categories honoring films released in 1985. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Stanley Donen and directed by Marty Pasetta. Actors Alan Alda, Jane Fonda, and Robin Williams co-hosted the show. Fonda hosted the gala for the second time, having previously been a co-host of the 49th ceremony held in 1977. Meanwhile, this was Alda and Williams's first Oscars hosting stint. Eight days earlier, in a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on March 16, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Macdonald Carey.
Out of Africa won seven awards, including Best Picture. Meanwhile, fellow Best Picture nominee The Color Purple failed to win any of its eleven nominations. Other winners included Cocoon and Witness with two awards and Anna & Bella, Back to the Future, Broken Rainbow, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mask, Molly's Pilgrim, The Official Story, Prizzi's Honor, Ran, The Trip to Bountiful, White Nights, and Witness to War: Dr. Charlie Clements with one. The telecast received both positive and negative reviews, and it garnered 37.8 million viewers in the United States.
The nominees for the 58th Academy Awards were announced on February 4, 1986, by Academy president Robert Wise and actress Patty Duke. The Color Purple and Out of Africa led all nominees with eleven each. Winners were announced during the awards ceremony on March 24, 1986. With its 11 nominations and zero wins, The Color Purple joined 1977's The Turning Point as the most nominated films in Oscar history without a single win. At age 79, John Huston became the oldest person nominated for Best Director. His daughter Anjelica's victory in the Best Supporting Actress category made her the first third-generation Oscar winner in history.[a] For the first time in Oscars history, all lead acting nominees were born in the United States. Argentina's The Official Story became the first Latin American film to win the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger ().
The award recognizes individuals whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the motion picture industry.
The following individuals, in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.
|Hank Simms||Announcer of the 58th Academy Awards|
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress|
|Molly Ringwald||Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects|
Kermit the Frog
|Presentation of the award for Best Animated Short Film|
|Audrey Hepburn||Presenter of the award for Best Costume Design|
|Louis Gossett Jr.||Presenter of the award for Best Documentary Feature|
|Teri Garr||Presenter of the award for Best Makeup|
|Irene Cara||Presenter of the award for Best Sound|
|Cher||Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Bob Hope||Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Charles "Buddy" Rogers|
|Presenters of the award for Best Documentary Short Subject|
|Rebecca De Mornay
Michael J. Fox
|Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction|
|Sally Field||Presenter of the Honorary Award to Paul Newman|
|Michael Winslow||Presenter of the award for Best Sound Effects Editing|
|Quincy Jones||Presenter of the Honorary Award to Alex North|
|Presenters of the award for Best Live Action Short Film|
|F. Murray Abraham||Presenter of the award for Best Actress|
|Jon Cryer||Presenter of the award for Best Cinematography|
|Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film|
|Whoopi Goldberg||Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing|
|Presenters of the awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song|
|Larry Gelbart||Presenter of the Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen|
|Barbra Streisand||Presenter of the award for Best Director|
|Sally Field||Presenter of the award for Best Actor|
|Presenters of the award for Best Picture|
|Lionel Newman||Musical arranger
|Teri Garr||Performer||"Flying Down to Rio" during the opening number|
|Irene Cara||Performer||"Here's to the Losers" by Frank Sinatra during the tribute to Oscar losers throughout history|
|Gregg Burge||Performer||"Surprise, Surprise" from A Chorus Line|
|Tata Vega||Performer||"Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)" from The Color Purple|
|Performers||"Separate Lives" from White Nights|
|Huey Lewis and the News||Performers||"The Power of Love" from Back to the Future|
|Lionel Richie||Performer||"Say You, Say Me" from White Nights|
|Performers||"Once a Star, Always a Star" during the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals tribute|
|Barbra Streisand||Performer||"Putting It Together" from Sunday in the Park with George during the Best Director presentation|
|Academy Awards Orchestra||Performers||"Oh, Lady Be Good!" from Lady, Be Good (orchestral) during the closing credits|
Determined to revive interest surrounding the awards and reverse declining ratings, the Academy hired Stanley Donen in December 1985 to produce the telecast for the first time. The following February, actor and comedian Robin Williams was selected as host of the 1986 telecast. Actor Alan Alda and two-time Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda were later announced to join Williams in sharing emceeing duties.
Several other people were involved with the production of the ceremony. Marty Pasetta was hired as director of the telecast. Lionel Newman served as musical director and conductor for the ceremony. Actress Teri Garr performed the titular song from Flying Down to Rio during the opening segment. Singer Irene Cara sang the Frank Sinatra song "Here's to the Losers" in honor of unsuccessful Oscar nominees throughout history. A song-and-dance number featuring actor and singer Howard Keel and several actresses including Cyd Charisse, Leslie Caron, and Debbie Reynolds paid tribute to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals.
At the time of the nominations announcement on February 5, the combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees at the US box office was $119 million with an average of $23.9 million. Witness was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $68.7 million in the domestic box office receipts. The film was followed by Out of Africa ($55.6 million), The Color Purple ($46.4 million), Prizzi's Honor ($26.7 million) and Kiss of the Spider Woman ($13.4 million).
Of the 50 grossing films of the year, 42 nominations went to 12 films on the list. Only Back to the Future (1st), Cocoon (4th), Witness (5th), Jagged Edge (20th), The Color Purple (21st), Prizzi's Honor (30th), Agnes of God (32nd) were nominated for Best Picture, directing, acting, or screenplay. The other top 50 box office hits that earned nominations were Rambo: First Blood Part II (2nd), Mask (14th), White Nights (22nd), Silverado (27th), Young Sherlock Holmes (44th), and Ladyhawke (46th).
Terrence O'Flaherty of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Last night's sustained-release Oscar pill moved faster through the system than most, but from a standpoint of taste it was the worst in years." Regarding Alda, Fonda, and Williams's hosting performance, he commented, "Together they immediately placed a fatal suggestion in the viewer's mind that there must be a shortage of elegant people in the movie business today." Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel noted that after co-host Williams opened the ceremony with a slew of humorous jokes, "The show regrettably returned to its old bad habits with a boring onstage production number intended to be a tribute to old movies." The Record's Joel Pisetzner remarked, "The program might as well have begun with the announcement 'Dead, from L.A. it's Academy night!' "
Television columnist John J. O'Connor of The New York Times quipped, "Suddenly, it seemed, somebody had listened to the complaints that had grown deadeningly familiar over the years." He also added, "Mr. Williams's improvisational, on-the-precipice style of humor brought the event's comic tone thumpingly into the 1980s." Yardena Arar from the Los Angeles Daily News said, "This time, the ABC telecast didn't drown in the thank yous–or, for that matter, boring presentation speeches and production numbers." Furthermore, she observed, "The writing was by and large brisk, the production numbers fair (in the case of the Oscar-nominated songs) to fabulous (Keel's medley with a bevy of former leading ladies)." Houston Chronicle television critic Ann Hodges remarked, "Oscar 1986 goes into the record books as a very good year–the year the Academy parked the pompous and let the show biz show." She also lauded the winners' acceptance speeches and the various musical numbers during the broadcast.
The American telecast on ABC drew in an average of 37.8 million people over its length, which was a 2% decrease from the previous year's ceremony. Moreover, the show drew lower Nielsen ratings compared to the previous ceremony with 27.3% of households watching with a 43% share. At the time, it earned the lowest viewership for an Academy Award telecast and the lowest ratings for any broadcast.
In July 1986, the ceremony presentation received four nominations at the 38th Primetime Emmys. The following month, the ceremony won one of those nominations for Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety Program (Roy Christopher).