60th Academy Awards

60th Academy Awards

Official poster promoting the 60th Academy Awards in 1988

Official poster
Date April 11, 1988
Site Shrine Auditorium
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Hosted by Chevy Chase
Produced by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.
Directed by Marty Pasetta
Best Picture The Last Emperor
Most awards The Last Emperor (9)
Most nominations The Last Emperor (9)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 33 minutes[1]
Ratings 42.2 million
29.4% (Nielsen ratings)

The 60th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), took place on April 11, 1988, at the Shrine Auditorium 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 22 categories honoring films released in 1987. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. and directed by Marty Pasetta.[2][3] Actor Chevy Chase hosted the show for the second consecutive year.[4] Two weeks earlier in a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California on March 27, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Shirley Jones.[5]

The Last Emperor won nine awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Bernardo Bertolucci.[6] For their performances in Moonstruck, Cher and Olympia Dukakis won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. Michael Douglas won Best Actor for his role in Wall Street; Sean Connery won Best Supporting Actor for The Untouchables.[7] The telecast garnered 42.2 million viewers in the United States.

Winners and nominees

The nominees for the 60th Academy Awards were announced on February 16, 1988, at 5:38 a.m. PST (13:38 UTC) at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Robert Wise, president of the Academy, and actress Shirley MacLaine.[8] The Last Emperor received the most nominations with nine total; Broadcast News came in second with seven.[9][10]

The winners were announced at the awards ceremony on April 11, 1988. The Last Emperor became the second film after 1958's Gigi to earn nine Oscar nominations and win all of them.[11] For the first time in Oscar history, all five Best Director nominees were born outside the United States.[12] Best Actor winner Michael Douglas became the second person to win Oscars for both acting and producing; he previously won a Best Picture award as co-producer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.[A][13]


Photo of Bernardo Bertolucci in 2011.
Bernardo Bertolucci, Best Director winner
Photo of Michael Douglas arriving at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
Michael Douglas, Best Actor winner
Black-and-white publicity photo of Cher circa the 1970s.
Cher, Best Actress winner
Photo of Sean Connery attending the 60th Academy Awards in 1988.
Sean Connery, Best Supporting Actor winner
Photo of Olympia Dukakis at the Montclair Film Festival in 2015.
Olympia Dukakis, Best Supporting Actress winner
Photo of John Patrick Shanley in 2011.
John Patrick Shanley, Best Original Screenplay winner
Photo of David Byrne at the 2006 Future of Music Policy Summit in Montreal.
David Byrne, Best Original Score co-winner
Photo of Rick Baker at the 2011 Saturn Awards.
Rick Baker, Best Makeup winner

Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface, and indicated with a double dagger (double-dagger).[14]

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

The award honors “creative producers whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”[15]

Special Achievement Award

Multiple nominations and awards

Presenters and performers

The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.[18][19]


Name(s) Role
Simms, HankHank Simms Announcer for the 60th annual Academy Awards
Wise, RobertRobert Wise (AMPAS President) Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony
Connery, SeanSean Connery Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects
Close, GlennGlenn Close
Michael Douglas
Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress
de Havilland, OliviaOlivia de Havilland Presenter of the award for Best Art Direction
Gibson, MelMel Gibson
Danny Glover
Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography
Mouse, MickeyMickey Mouse
Tom Selleck
Presenters of the award for Best Animated Short
Chen, JoanJoan Chen
John Lone
Presenters of the award for Best Documentary Short Subject
Heston, CharltonCharlton Heston Presenter of the Academy Awards history montage
Guttenberg, SteveSteve Guttenberg Presenter of the award for Best Documentary Feature
Crystal, BillyBilly Crystal Presenter of the award for Best Sound
Cage, NicolasNicolas Cage
Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Lowe, RobRob Lowe
Sean Young
Presenters of the award for Best Film Editing
Lemmon, JackJack Lemmon Presenter of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to Billy Wilder
Minnelli, LizaLiza Minnelli
Dudley Moore
Presenters of the award for Best Original Song
Grey, JenniferJennifer Grey
Patrick Swayze
Presenters of the award for Best Original Score
Matlin, MarleeMarlee Matlin Presenter of the award for Best Actor
Jones, ShirleyShirley Jones (pre-recorded footage) Presenter of the segment of the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement and Gordon E. Sawyer Award
Weller, PeterPeter Weller as RoboCop Presenter of the award for Best Sound Effects Editing
Reubens, PaulPaul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman Presenter of the award for Best Live Action Short Film
Costner, KevinKevin Costner
Daryl Hannah
Presenters of the award for Best Costume Design
Williams, RobinRobin Williams Presenter of the award for Best Director
Candy, JohnJohn Candy Presenter of the award for Best Makeup
Hepburn, AudreyAudrey Hepburn
Gregory Peck
Presenters of the awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay
Dunaway, FayeFaye Dunaway
James Garner
Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film
Newman, PaulPaul Newman Presenter of the award for Best Actress
Murphy, EddieEddie Murphy Presenter of the award for Best Picture


Name(s) Role Performed
Conti, BillBill Conti Musical Arranger Orchestral
Academy Awards Chorus, Academy Awards Chorus Performers "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line
DeVille, WillyWilly DeVille Performer "Storybook Love" from The Princess Bride
Estefan, GloriaGloria Estefan
Performers "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" from Mannequin
Fenton, GeorgeGeorge Fenton
Gwangwa, JonasJonas Gwangwa
Performers "Cry Freedom" from Cry Freedom
Richard, LittleLittle Richard Performer "Shakedown" from Beverly Hills Cop II
Medley, BillBill Medley
Jennifer Warnes
Performers "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing

Ceremony information

Photo of Chevy Chase attending the 62 Academy Awards in 1990.
Chevy Chase hosted the 60th Academy Awards.

In view of the 60th anniversary of the Academy Awards, the Academy hired film producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. in October 1987 to oversee the telecast for the second straight year.[20] Three months later, Goldwyn selected actor and comedian Chevy Chase to emcee the 1988 ceremony.[21] In addition, after being held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for almost two decades, AMPAS decided to move the telecast to the Shrine Auditorium in order to accommodate more rehearsal time and take advantage of the large venue's seating capacity.[22] This marked the first time the facility served as the site for the Oscars since the 20th ceremony held in 1948.[23] Additionally, Goldwyn and Passetta originally planned to feature pre-recorded red carpet arrivals footage of actors who had roles in the 59 previous Best Picture winners. However, the segment was dropped altogether due to traffic problems amongst guests arriving to the ceremony.[24][25]

Furthermore, the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike, which began more than a month before the ceremony, affected the telecast and its surrounding events. Despite the Writers Guild of America refusing to grant a waiver permitting writers to work on the scripted dialogue for the gala, the three head writers for the telecast, Ernest Lehman, Melville Shavelson, and Jack Rose, assured to the Academy and ABC that more than half of the material had already been completed.[26] To compensate for the missing portions of the script, Goldwyn heavily utilized comedians such as John Candy, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Williams to ad lib and improvise jokes.[27][28] During the show, many of the participants expressed support for the writers such as Best Supporting Actor winner Sean Connery who remarked in his acceptance speech, "If such a thing as a wish accompanied this award mine would be that we ended the writers' strike."[29]

Box office performance of nominated films

At the time of the nominations announcement on February 16, the combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees at the US box office was $221 million with an average of $48.9 million.[30] Fatal Attraction was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $142 million in the domestic box office receipts. The film was followed by Broadcast News ($36.7 million), Moonstruck ($25.4 million), The Last Emperor ($11.9 million) and Hope and Glory ($5.2 million).[30]

Of the 50 highest-grossing movies of the year, 39 nominations went to 17 films on the list. Only Fatal Attraction (2nd), The Untouchables (4th), Good Morning Vietnam (10th), Throw Momma from the Train (14th), Full Metal Jacket (21st), Broadcast News (26th), Wall Street (30th), and Moonstruck (39th) were nominated for Best Picture, acting, directing, or screenwriting. The other top 50 box office hits that earned nomination were Beverly Hills Cop II (1st), Lethal Weapon (7th), The Witches of Eastwick (8th), Dirty Dancing (9th), Predator (11th), RoboCop (15th), Mannequin (23rd), The Princess Bride (38th), and Innerspace (45th).[31]

Critical reviews

The telecast received a negative reception from media outlets. Los Angeles Times television critic Howard Rosenberg commented, "Monday night's Academy Awards telecast on ABC was the Michael Dukakis and George Bush of TV awards programs: parched, drab and leaden. You kept hoping they'd draft Mario Cuomo."[32] Tom Shales from The Washington Post wrote, "Of hope there was little and of glory almost none last night at the 60th annual Academy Awards, telecast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on ABC. Even considering the low standards set in previous years, the program seemed unusually lackluster from the word go." [33] Columnist Matt Roush of USA Today quipped, "Chevy Chase stopped the show. Cold. Over and over. As the ever-unctuous host, he tried to get laughs by picking his nose and sneezing into his hand when his ad-libs failed, which was often." He also observed that The Last Emperor domination of the awards created a dull and anticlimactic atmosphere to the proceedings.[34]

Ratings and reception

The American telecast on ABC drew in an average of 42.2 million people over its length, which was a 13% increase from the previous year's ceremony.[35] An estimated 70 million total viewers watched all or part of the awards.[36] The show also drew higher Nielsen ratings compared to the previous ceremony with 29.2% of households watching over a 49 share.[37]

In July 1988, the ceremony presentation received four nominations at the 40th Primetime Emmys.[38][39] The following month, the ceremony won one of those nominations for Outstanding Variety Music Events Programming (Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.).[40]

See also


A^ : Laurence Oliver was the first person to accomplish this feat. He won Best Picture as one of the producers of Hamlet and won Best Actor for playing the titular role in that same film.[13]


  1. Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 726
  2. Van Gelder, Lawrence (October 27, 1987). "At the Movies". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  3. Caulfield, Deborah (December 7, 1987). "TV & Video". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  4. Gilatto, Tom (January 27, 1988). "Oscar Wild". USA Today. Gannett Company.
  5. "Past Scientific & Technical Awards Ceremonies". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Archived from the original on February 13, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  6. Harmetz, Aljean (April 12, 1988). "'The Last Emperor' Wins 9 Oscars And Is Named Best Film of 1987". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  7. Cieply, Michael (April 12, 1988). "'Last Emperor' Reigns Over Oscar Ceremonies : Best Picture Winner Adds Eight Other Awards; Cher and Douglas Take Top Prizes for Acting". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  8. Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 712
  9. Cieply, Michael (February 16, 1988). "'Emperor' Leads Topsy-Turvy Oscar Race : American Directors Are Shut Out for the First Time in Academy History". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved February 24, 2008.
  10. Ryan, Desmond (February 18, 1988). "The Oscar Nominees "The Last Emperor" And "Broadcast News" Lead The Field". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  11. "Some achievement, but not a record". The Vancouver Sun. Gordon Fisher. April 16, 1988. p. D1.
  12. Cieply, Michael (February 17, 1988). "No Oscars for U.S. Directors : Foreigners Win All Nominations; 9 for 'Last Emperor'". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  13. 1 2 Crook, John (January 25, 2004). "Like Father, Like Son at the Golden Globes". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  14. "The 60th Academy Awards (1988) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  15. "Irvin G. Thalberg Memorial Award". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  16. "Billy Wilder to Receive The Thalberg Award". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. February 14, 1988. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  17. "Special Oscar Goes To 'RoboCop' Effects". San Francisco Chronicle. Jeffrey M. Johnson. February 18, 1988. p. E1.
  18. Mull, Marrison (April 11, 1988). "The Oscar Telecast from First to Last". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  19. Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 717
  20. Lawrence, Van Gelder (October 30, 1987). "At the Movies". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  21. Schnurmacher, Thomas (January 18, 1988). "SPAC, SPCA ask VIPs to RSVP ASAP". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia Network. p. C9.
  22. Culhane, John (April 10, 1988). "With Help From Friends, Oscar's a Wit and Raconteur". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  23. Voland, John (April 8, 1988). "Oscar's Life Complicated by Writers' Strike, New Setting". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  24. Osborne 2008, p. 287
  25. Caulfield, Deborah (April 11, 1988). "First Off...". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  26. Killday (February 8, 2008). "Oscar has experience with strike-related uncertainty". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  27. Spillman, Susan (April 11, 1988). "Hope and glory at the Oscars". USA Today. Gannett Company. p. 4D.
  28. Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 716
  29. Voland, John (April 12, 1988). "This Year, Most of the Thanks Go to Writers". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  30. 1 2 "1989 Academy Award Nominations and Winner for Best Picture". Box Office Mojo (Amazon.com). Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  31. "1987 Box Office Grosses (as of February 15, 1988)". Box Office Mojo (Amazon.com). Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  32. Rosenberg, Howard (April 12, 1988). "A Night With All the Excitement of an Envelope Opening". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  33. Shales, Tom (April 12, 1988). "A Tortured New Look In Hollywood Horror". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company.
  34. Roush, Matt (April 12, 1988). "A show short on surpises". USA Today. Gannett Company.
  35. Johnson, Greg (March 18, 1999). "Call It the Glamour Bowl". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  36. "Oscars Push ABC to Win Ratings Race". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. April 3, 1990. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  37. "ABC gets an Oscar boost". USA Today. Gannett Company. April 4, 1990. p. 3D.
  38. "Nominations for Prime-Time Emmys". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. July 28, 1988. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  39. "Primetime Emmy Award database". Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS). Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  40. Margulies, Lee. "Cable Gets Prime-Time Emmys". Los Angeles Times. Austin Beutner. Retrieved May 19, 2014.


  • Osborne, Robert (2008). 80 Years of the Oscar: The Complete History of the Academy Awards. New York, United States: Abbeville Publishing Group. ISBN 0-7892-0992-6. 
  • Wiley, Mason; Bona, Damien (1996), Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards (5 ed.), New York, United States: Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-345-40053-4, OCLC 779680732 

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