Wednesday, January 30, 2008

59th Academy Awards

The 59th Academy Awards were presented March 30, 1987 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were hosted by Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn, and Paul Hogan. The Academy awards show was broadcast on the ABC network at the same time as CBS network broadcast of the 1987 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament championship game between Indiana and Syracuse. Chevy Chase quipped later in the evening, "Is the game over yet?" The show would subsequently be scheduled around the tournament broadcast by moving it later in April for two years.

Platoon is an Academy Award winning 1986 Vietnam War film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon Keith David, John C. McGinley and Johnny Depp. The story is drawn from Stone's experiences as an Army combat infantryman in Vietnam and was written by him upon his return as a counter to the vision of the war portrayed in John Wayne's The Green Berets. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1986. Platoon was filmed on the island of Luzon in the Philippines between March and May of 1986. The production of the film on a scheduled date was almost cancelled due to the political upheaval in the country with then dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Oliver Stone won as Best Director. He has made three films about Vietnam —Platoon (1986), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), and Heaven & Earth (1993). He has called these films a trilogy, though they each deal with different aspects of the war. Platoon is a semi-autobiographical film about Stone's experience in combat. Born on the Fourth of July is based on the autobiography of Ron Kovic. Heaven & Earth is derived from the memoir When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, the true story of Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese girl whose life is drastically affected by the war. During this same period, Stone directed Wall Street (1987), which earned Michael Douglas an Academy Award for Best Actor, Talk Radio (1988), and The Doors (1991), starring Val Kilmer. Stone has won three Academy Awards. His first "Oscar" was for Best Adapted Screenplay for Midnight Express (1978). He won Academy Awards for Directing Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July. A distinctive feature of Oliver Stone's films is the use of many different cameras and film formats, from VHS to 8 mm film to 70 mm film. He sometimes uses several formats in a single scene, as in JFK (1991) and Natural Born Killers (1994). In the past decade, Stone has directed U-Turn (1997), which he describes as a small film that he would enjoy seeing as a teenager, Any Given Sunday (1999), a film about power struggles within and surrounding an American football team, and Alexander (2004), a biographical film about Alexander the Great. After Alexander, Stone went on to direct World Trade Center, which centered on two Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) cops during the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Paul Newman is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Cannes Award, and Emmy Award-winning American actor and film director. He is also the founder of Newman's Own, a food company from which Newman donates all profits and royalties to charity. Newman made his Broadway theater debut in the original production of William Inge's Picnic with Kim Stanley. He later appeared in the original Broadway productions of The Desperate Hours and Sweet Bird of Youth with Geraldine Page. He would later star in the film version of Sweet Bird of Youth, which also starred Page. His first movie, The Silver Chalice (1954) has been described by Newman himself as the "worst movie of the entire 1950s decade," but he rebounded with acclaimed roles in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), as boxer Rocky Graziano, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) opposite Elizabeth Taylor and The Young Philadelphians (1959) with Barbara Rush and Robert Vaughn. Newman appeared in a screen test with James Dean for East of Eden (1955). Newman was testing for the role of Aron Trask, Dean was testing for the role of Aron's older brother Cal Trask (although Newman is older than Dean). Dean won the part of Cal, while the role Newman was up for went to Dick Davalos. The same year Newman would co-star with Eva Marie Saint and Frank Sinatra in a live - and color - television broadcast of the Thornton Wilder stage play Our Town. In 2003 Newman would act in a remake of Our Town, taking on Sinatra's role as the stage manager. Newman starred in Exodus (1960), The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Harper (1966), Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Towering Inferno (1974), Slap Shot (1977) and The Verdict (1982). He teamed with fellow actor Robert Redford and director George Roy Hill for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973). He appeared with his wife, Joanne Woodward, in the feature films The Long, Hot Summer (1958), Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!, (1958), From the Terrace (1960), Paris Blues (1961), A New Kind of Love (1963), Winning (1969), WUSA (1970), The Drowning Pool (1975), Harry & Son (1984) and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990). He won the Oscar for Best Actor for The Color of Money. In addition to starring in and directing Harry & Son, Newman also directed four feature films (in which he did not act) starring Woodward. They were Rachel, Rachel (1968), based on Margaret Laurence's A Jest of God, the screen version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972), the television screen version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Shadow Box (1980) and a screen version of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie (1987). Newman announced that he would entirely retire from acting on May 25, 2007. He stated that he doesn't feel he can continue acting on the level that he would want to. Detached from Hollywood, Newman makes his home in Westport, Connecticut with his wife Joanne Woodward. He has married twice. His first marriage was to Jackie Witte, and lasted from 1949 to 1958. Together they had a son, Scott, born in 1950, and two daughters, Susan Kendall (1953) and Stephanie. Scott Newman died in 1978 from an accidental drug overdose. He had appeared in such films as The Towering Inferno as a fireman, and in the 1977 film Fraternity Row. Newman married Joanne Woodward on January 29, 1958. They have three daughters — Elinor Teresa (1959), Melissa Steward (1961), and Claire "Clea" Olivia (1965). Newman directed his daughter Elinor (stage name Nell Potts) in the central role alongside her mother in the film The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.

Marlee Matlin is an Academy Award-winning American actress who is almost completely deaf. Her film debut, 1986's Children of a Lesser God, brought her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and an Academy Award for Best Actress (at age 21, the youngest actress ever to win in that category). Matlin was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her work as the lead female role in the television series Reasonable Doubts (1991–1993) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for a guest appearance in Picket Fences. She became a regular on the series during its final season. Matlin had recurring roles in Picket Fences, The West Wing, and Blue's Clues. Other television appearances include Seinfeld ("The Lip Reader"),The Outer Limits ("The Message"), ER, Desperate Housewives, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Matlin married law enforcement officer Kevin Grandalski on August 29, 1993. They have four children: Sarah Rose, born 1996; Brandon, born 2000; Tyler, born 2002; and Isabella Jane, born 2003.

Michael Caine, this year's winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, is a double Academy Award-winning English film actor. After several minor roles, Caine came into the public eye as an upper-class British army officer in the 1964 film Zulu. This proved paradoxical, as Caine was to become notable for using a regional accent, rather than the received pronunciation hitherto considered proper for film actors. Zulu was closely followed by two of his best-known roles: the spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965), and the woman-chasing title character in Alfie (1966). He went on to play Palmer in a further four films, Funeral in Berlin (1966), Billion-Dollar Brain (1967), Bullet to Beijing (1995) and Midnight in St. Petersburg (1995). Caine made his first movie in the United States in 1966, after an invitation from Shirley MacLaine to play opposite her in Gambit. After ending the 1960s with the equally iconic The Italian Job, with Noel Coward, and a solid role as an RAF fighter pilot, Squadron Leader Canfield, in the all-star cast of Battle of Britain (1969), Caine entered the 1970s with Get Carter, a British gangster film. Caine was busy throughout the 1970s, with successes including Sleuth (1972), opposite Sir Laurence Olivier and The Man Who Would Be King (1975), costarring Sean Connery. By the end of the decade, he had moved to the U.S., but his choice of roles was beginning to be criticised. Caine was averaging two films a year, but these included such failures as The Swarm (1978), Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), The Island (1980) and The Hand (1981). Although Caine also took better roles, including a BAFTA-winning turn in Educating Rita (1983) and an Oscar-winning one in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), he continued to appear in notorious duds like Jaws: The Revenge (1987) and Bullseye! (1990). The 1990s were a lean time for Caine, as he found good parts harder to come by. His early '90s output included playing Ebenezer Scrooge in the whimsical Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), a villain in the Steven Seagal flop On Deadly Ground (1994), two straight to video Harry Palmer sequels and a few television movies. However, Caine's reputation as a pop icon was still intact, thanks to his roles in films such as The Italian Job and Get Carter. His performance in 1998's Little Voice was seen as something of a return to form, and won him a Golden Globe Award. Better parts followed, including The Cider House Rules (1999), for which he won his second Oscar, Last Orders(2001), The Quiet American (2002) and others which helped rehabilitate his reputation.Caine has been Oscar-nominated six times, winning his first Academy Award for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters, and his second in 1999 for The Cider House Rules, in both cases as a supporting actorCaine is one of only two actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting (either lead or supporting) in every decade since the 1960s. The other is Jack Nicholson. He was married to actress Patricia Haines from 1955 to 1958; they had one daughter, Dominique. Caine has been married to actress and model Shakira Baksh since January 8, 1973; they have a daughter, Natasha.

Dianne Wiest is a double Academy Award-winning, Golden Globe Award-winning, Emmy Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated American actress. She has enjoyed a successful career on stage, television, and film, and has received several awards in her career.Once her film career took off with her work in Woody Allen's films, Wiest was available to the stage less frequently. Under Allen's direction, Wiest won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986). She followed her Academy Award success with performances in The Lost Boys (1987) and Bright Lights, Big City (1988) before starring with Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Keanu Reeves and Martha Plimpton in Ron Howard's Parenthood, for which she received her second Oscar nomination. In 1990, Wiest starred in Edward Scissorhands. She returned to Woody Allen in 1994 for Bullets Over Broadway, a comedy set in 1920s New York City, winning her second Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Helen Sinclair, a boozy, glamorous, and neurotic star of the stage. She appeared in the film Practical Magic (1998) and the television mini-series The 10th Kingdom (2000). From 2000 to 2002, Wiest portrayed Nora Lewin in the long-running NBC crime drama Law & Order. Wiest has never married but has two adopted children born 1987 and 1991.

The Assault (Dutch: De Aanslag) is a 1986 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Harry Mulisch. The film was directed and produced by Fons Rademakers. The main character is played by both Derek de Lint (in the present) and Marc van Uchelen (as a youth), whereas Monique van de Ven plays two different roles, one in the present (his wife) and one in the past (a woman who participated in the assault and whom he meets later the same night in a dark police cell).The film won the 1986 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and the Golden Space Needle of the Seattle International Film Festival.

"Take My Breath Away" is the name of a love song from the film Top Gun, written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock, performed by the band Berlin. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 1987.

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