Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Well, lah-dee-dah - the force was with "Annie Hall" Monday night as Woody Allen's comedy won the Oscar as best picture of the year, and three other Oscars, at the 50th annual Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood.
"Star Wars," the highest-grossing movie of all time, came in a strong second, winning seven awards, more than any other picture this year, in the ceremonies televised live from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to a world-wide audience estimated in advance by ABC as 115 million homes in 51 countries.
"Annie Hall" also won Oscars for best direction and screenplay (Allen), and best performance by an actress (Diane Keaton). "Star Wars" won Oscars for editing, original score (John Williams), art direction, costume design, visual effects, sound, and a special Oscar for best sound effect editing.
"Julia" and "The Turning Point" had led the Oscar nominations with 11 each; "Julia" ended up with a total of three awards and "Turning Point" went home with none.
Richard Dreyfuss was named best actor of the year for playing an actor in Neil Simon's hit comedy "The Goodbye Girl." Prizes for supporting actor and actress went to Jason Robards and Vanessa Redgrave, both for "Julia."
The occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Oscars brought out such Hollywood old-timers as Janet Gaynor, who won the first best actress Oscar, given in 1928, for her performances in three different films. She and Walter Matthau handed out the best actress award.
Also returning to the festivities was Bob Hope, serving as sole emcee for the first time since 1968, although he had made 22 previous appearances. During a snafu with some of the moveable scenery. Hope cracked, "Oh, I thought my girdle had just snapped." Otherwise, there were few of the customary goofs that go with the proceedings.
Also commemorating the 50th anniversary was a 50-foot tall inflated Oscar statue that had been plopped aton the pavilion earlier and was seen briefly at the start of the telecast.
The first half-hour of an otherwise staid affair was considerably enlivened by actress Vanessa Redgrave, 41, who accepted the best supporting actress award for her work in "Julia" by lashing out at members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), about 100 of whom were outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion protesting Redgrave's participation because of a film she made about the Mideast conflict.
Some 500 Los Angeles policemen kept order as the JDL chanted "The people of Israel live" and burned in effigy Yasser Arafat, Palestine Liberation Organization leader. Meanwhile, more than 100 pro-PLO demonstrators chanted slogans of their own as they stood in a group about 12 feet from JDL members. Two rows of helmeted policemen separated the groups.
Redgrave, nominated three times previously but winning for the first time, congratulated the Academy for voting her the award despite the protests of the JDL. "You've stood firm and refused to be intimidated by a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums whose behavior is an insult to Jews all over the world," said Redgrave, to a chorus of boos.
She compared the protesters to "Nixon" and "McCarthy" and told reporters backstage later that her Oscar signaled an end to "McCarthyism and Nixonism" in the United States.
Onstage, she declared to the crowd, "I pledge I will continue to fight against anti-Semitism and fascism."
Although Redgrave portrays a victim of Nazilsm in "Julia," the JDL was angered by her participation in the making and narration of a documentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict called "The Palestinian."
Jason Robards, 55, who played writer Dashiell Hammett in "Julia," was named best supporting actor, marking the second year in a row he was cited in the category; he won last year for "All the President's Men." Robards is the first actor to win two Oscars in a row since Spencer Tracy did the trick in 1937 and 1938 with "Captains Courageous" and "Boy's Town." Robards did not attend the ceremonies, however.
Later, before presenting the award for best original screenplay, three-time Oscar-winning writer Paddy Chayefsky ("Network") took a moment to denounce Redgrave's speech. "I am sick and tired of people exploiting the occasion of the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal political propaganda," said Chayefsky, to prolonged cheers.
Chayefsky said that instead of Redgrave's speech about politics, "a simple 'thank you' would have sufficed."
Then he gave the screenwriting Oscar to Woody Allen, who also won the Oscar for best direction, for his romantic comedy "Annie Hall." But Allen did not attend the awards ceremony. Veteran director King Vidor accepted the directing trophy and Allen's collaborator Marshall Brickman accepted the writing award for him.
Allen was in New York for his usual Monday night gig of playing the clarinet with a Dixieland band at a midtown bar. He was dressed in a red-and-blue plaid shirt and corduroy trousers and the management of the bar struggled to keep the press and photographers away from him as he played.
The Oscar for best screenplay based on material from another medium went to "Julia" author Alvin Sargent, who thanked, among others, Lillian Hellman, author of the story on which the film was based.
Diane Keaton's acceptance speech for the best actress Oscar was a decided contrast to Redgrave's. "It's simply terrific," Keaton gasped. "This is, um, something." She thanked "Woody" as well as the Academy.
Definitely a surprise victor, best actor Richard Dreyfuss began his acceptance with the standard, "I didn't prepare anything." Then he cleared his throat, laughed and said, "Wait a second - am I here? Okay."
After the Dreyfuss speech, emcee Hope bid a special greeting to actor John Wayne, who earlier in the day had undergone open heart surgery in a Boston hospital. Hope said that "Nobody else can walk in John Wayne's boots" and, looking into the camera, "We want you to know, Duke, we miss you tonight."
Chosen best original song from a movie was the title song of "You Light Up My Life," a small-budget film about a young woman whose father wants her to be a comedienne. "I really appreciate this," said composer Joseph Brooks, also the film's director.
But the presenter of the award got more applause than the recipient, since it was the venerable Fred Astaire, whom the audience greeted with a standing ovation.
The award for best cinematography went to Hungarian-born Vilmos Zsigmond for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Ironically, two other cinematography nominees, Douglas Slocomb for "Julia" and William Fraker of "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," also contributed to the photography of "Close Encounters."
"Madame Rosa," a French film that stars Simone Signoret as a saintly brothel keeper, was named best foreign language film of the year.
Bette Davis presented Charlton Heston with the honorary Jean Hersholt humanitarian award, hailing him as "one of the most generous gentlemen in the film community."
Heston, who won the best actor award for playing "Ben-Hur" in 1959, and is chairman of the board of the American Film Institute, said the award "represents the good opinion of the men and women you do your work with" and thanked the members of the Academy.
Another honorary award went to Margaret Booth for "62 years of exceptionally distinguished service to the motion picture industry as a film editor." She began her career in 1915 with D. W. Griffith and "has run a lot of celluloid through her Movieola," according to Olivia de Havilland's introduction. And producer Walter M. Mirisch ("The Apartment," "Some Like It Hot," "Midway") became the 22nd recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, established in 1937 and named after the legendary MGM producer.
Mirisch, 57, was twice president of the Academy and in 1967 accepted the Best Picture Oscar for "In the Heat of the Night." His first film as a producer was "Fall Guy" for Monogram in 1947.
The Oscar-winning live-action short and documentary films concerned the plights of handicapped people. "Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?" directed by John Korty, who made "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" for television, was cited as best documentary feature. The film concerns a group of mentally retarded children.
"Gravity Is My Enemy," the best documentary short, is the story of quadriplegic artist Michael Hicks. "I'll Find A Way," best live-action short, shows the struggles of the physically handicapped.
"Sand Castles" was named the best animated short and, like "I'll Find A Way," was produced under the auspices of the National Film Board of Canada, a government-funded film project.