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The 53rd Annual Academy Awards (1981)

Award of the American academy of cinematographic arts and sciences, from 1940th known as "Oscar", - American film award created in 1929 and traditionally handed to the figures of ... See full summary »
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself - Presenter: Best Live Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film
Herself - Performer
Herself - Nominee: Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Herself - Nominee
Himself - Audience Member
Ghislain Cloquet ...
Himself - Winner: Best Cinematography
Himself - Co-Presenter: Best Director
Herself - Presenter: Best Cinematography
Himself - Winner: Best Actor in a Leading Role
Herself - Presenter
Himself (archive footage)
Himself - Nominee: Best Actor in a Leading Role
Himself - Winner: Best Visual Effects


Award of the American academy of cinematographic arts and sciences, from 1940th known as "Oscar", - American film award created in 1929 and traditionally handed to the figures of cinematographic art for their contribution to creation of movies.

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Release Date:

31 March 1981 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The show was postponed one day due to the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on 30 March; Reagan, a former actor, addressed the audience in a message taped at the White House nearly two weeks earlier - becoming the first President in 40 years to participate in the program. See more »


Johnny Carson - Host: [Johnny Carson introducing accounting firm of Price-Waterhouse] Price-Waterhouse also guards the secret of what Jack Valenti does for a living.
See more »


Follows The 51st Annual Academy Awards (1979) See more »


9 to 5
Written by Dolly Parton
Performed by Dolly Parton
From the film Nine to Five (1980)
See more »

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User Reviews

Never felt as long as it was
11 November 2017 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

Here we have the The 53rd Annual Academy Awards, an Emmy-winning television event from 1981, so this one had its 35th anniversary last year. Of course Academy Awards means Oscars and during this ceremony Hollywood honored its finest from the previous year. The entire show ran for comfortably over 3 hours, but this includes commercial breaks too, so about as long as the Oscars do today. Host was Johnny Carson and he did a good job overall I would say. He had a good deal of screen time, but never felt as if he was pushing himself upon audiences, so pretty much the opposite of today with the likes of Fallon etc. who don't have too many appearances, but still act the most narcissistic way. Anyway, I cannot comment too much on most of the winners because I have not seen most of their works, but I am happy for De Niro as I like him and for Robert Redford as without Best Picture winner Ordinary People in his body of work, he would be no Oscar winner as of today.

There were really many young winners that year, not just Hutton. Foreign winners focused on China, Hungary and the Soviet Union, which is an interesting set of winners for the Cold War days. Also from a political perspective, the very recent assassination attempt on President Reagon played a big role that night too, especially early on. Another thing I would like to mention is the Best Song category that was really really strong that year. And adding to that the magnificent music tribute just did the rest for making this a truly memorable night in terms of film music. The Oscars today can learn a lot from that. But hey I understand: Repeating the same lame anti Donald Trump jokes over and over again is of course more creative. NOT! Okay what else can I say. It was a really good show entertainment-wise. It got me curious about finally seeing some of the winners and that's always a good thing. And then I can also say how much I like the winners. Even stuff like Fame that is usually not my preferred choice caught my attention here. It was another big year for Polanski at the Oscars while he was of course absent, but of course not as controversial as when he won for The Pianist. Generally a strong year for filmmakers we remember very dearly today still, not just Robert and Roman, but also Scorsese and Lynch being nominees. It was probably not the most surprising awards show as it looks like in the big categories all the front runners took home glories, but that's perfectly fine I think. This does eventually not take away anything from the entertainment factor. Certainly closer to a **** out of ***** than to a ** and I may very well adjust my rating at some point later. Until then, I certainly recommend seeing this one.

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