69th Academy Awards
Date March 24, 1997
Site Shrine Auditorium
Los Angeles, California
Host Billy Crystal
Best Picture The English Patient
Most wins The English Patient (9)
Most nominations The English Patient (12)
 < 68th Academy Awards 70th

The 69th Academy Awards ceremony, which honored the best achievements in film in 1996, was held on March 24, 1997 at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. Actor Billy Crystal hosted the show for the fifth time. He first presided over the 62nd Academy Awards held in 1990 and had last hosted the 65th Academy Awards held in 1993. Three weeks earlier, in a ceremony held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on March 1, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Helen Hunt. The English Patient won the most awards of the evening with nine including Best Picture.

Saul Zaentz became the third person to produce three Best Picture winners, having previously produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus. He also became the seventh individual to receive an Oscar and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in the same year. Best Actress winner Frances McDormand was the first person to win for a role in a film directed by his or her spouse. Best Original Musical or Comedy Score winner Rachel Portman became the first female winner for composing a musical score.

Nominees and Winners

The nominees for the 69th Academy Awards were announced on February 11, 1997. The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on March 24, 1997.

Best Picture

See also: Best Picture

The English PatientSaul Zaentz
FargoEthan Coen
Jerry MaguireJames L. Brooks, Laurence Mark, Richard Sakai, Cameron Crowe
Secrets & LiesSimon Channing-Williams
ShineJane Scott

Best Director

See also: Best Director

The English PatientAnthony Minghella
FargoJoel Coen
The People vs. Larry FlyntMilos Forman
Secrets & LiesMike Leigh
ShineScott Hick

Best Actor

See also: Best Actor

Geoffrey RushShine
Tom CruiseJerry Maguire
Ralph FiennesThe English Patient
Woody HarrelsonThe People vs. Larry Flynt
Billy Bob ThorntonSling Blade

Best Actress

See also: Best Actress

Frances McDormandFargo
Brenda BlethynSecrets & Lies
Diane KeatonMarvin's Room
Kristin Scott ThomasThe English Patient
Emily WatsonBreaking the Waves

Best Supporting Actor

See also: Best Supporting Actor

Cuba Gooding, Jr.Jerry Maguire
William H. MacyFargo
Armin Mueller-StahlShine
Edward NortonPrimal Fear
James WoodsGhost of Mississippi

Best Supporting Actress

See also: Best Supporting Actress

Juliette BinocheThe English Patient
Joan AllenThe Crucible
Lauren BacallThe Mirror Has Two Faces
Barbara HersheyThe Portrait of a Lady
Marianne Jean-BaptisteSecrets & Lies

Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

See also: Best Original Screenplay

FargoEthan Coen, Joel Coen
Jerry MaguireCameron Crowe
Lone StarJohn Sayles
Secrets & LiesMike Leigh
ShineJan Sardi, Scott Hicks

Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

See also: Best Adapted Screenplay

Sling BladeBilly Bob Thornton
The CrucibleArthur Miller
The English PatientAnthony Minghella
Hamlet (1996)Kenneth Branagh
TrainspottingJohn Hodge

Best Foreign Language Film

See also: Best Foreign Language Film

Kolya from Czech RepublicJan Sverák
A Chef in Love from GeorgiaNana Djordjadze
The Other Side of Sunday from NorwayBerit Nesheim
Prisoner of the Mountains from RussiaSergey Bodrov
Ridicule from FrancePatrice Leconte

Best Documentary Feature

See also: Best Documentary Feature

When We Were KingsLeon Gast, David Sonenberg
The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld StorySusan W. Dryfoos
MandelaJo Menell, Angus Gibson
Suzanne Farrell: Elusive MuseAnne Belle, Deborah Dickson
Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American PressRick Goldsmith

Best Documentary Short

See also: Best Documentary Short

Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'BrienJessica Yu
Cosmic VoyageJeffrey Marvin, Bayley Silleck
An Essay on MatissePerry Wolff
Special EffectsSusanne Simpson, Ben Burtt
The Wild Bunch: An Album in MontagePaul Seydor, Nick Redman

Best Live Action Short

See also: Best Live Action Short

Dear DiaryDavid Frankel, Barry Jossen
De Tripas, CorazonAntonio Urrutia
Ernst & LysetKim Magnusson, Anders Thomas Jensen
EsposadosJuan Carlos Fresnadillo
WordlessBernadette Carranza, Antonello De Leo

Best Animated Short

See also: Best Animated Short

QuestTyron Montgomery, Thomas Stellmach
CanheadTimothy Hittle, Chris Peterson
La SallaRichard Condie
Wat's PigPeter Lord

Best Original Dramatic Score

See also: Best Original Score

The English PatientGabriel Yared
Hamlet (1996)Patrick Doyle
Michael CollinsElliot Goldenthal
ShineDavid Hirschfelder
SleepersJohn Williams

Best Original Musical or Comedy Score

See also: Best Original Score

EmmaRachel Portman
The First Wives ClubMarc Shaiman
The Hunchback of Notre DameAlan Menken, Stephen Schwartz
James and the Giant PeachRandy Newman
The Preacher's WifeHans Zimmer

Best Original Song

See also: Best Original Song

"You Must Love Me" from EvitaAndrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice
"Because You Loved Me" from Up Close and PersonalDiane Warren
"For the First Time" from One Fine DayJames Newton Howard, Jud J. Friedman, Allan Dennis Rich
"I Finally Found Someone" from The Mirror Has Two FacesBarbra Streisand, Marvin Hamlisch, Bryan Adams, Robert "Mutt" Lange
"That Thing You Do!" from That Thing You Do!Adam Schlesinger

Best Cinematography

See also: Best Cinematography

The English PatientJohn Seale
EvitaDarius Khondji
FargoRoger Deakins
Fly Away HomeCaleb Deschanel
Michael CollinsChris Menges

Best Art Direction

See also: Best Art Direction

The English PatientStuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
The BirdcageBo Welch, Cheryl Carasik
EvitaBrian Morris, Phillipe Turlure
Hamlet (1996)Tim Harvey
William Shakespeare's Romeo & JulietCatherine Martin, Brigitte Broch

Costume Design

See also: Best Costume Design

The English PatientAnn Roth
Angels and InsectsPaul Brown
EmmaRuth Myers
Hamlet (1996)Alex Byrne
The Portrait of a LadyJanet Patterson

Best Makeup

See also: Best Makeup

The Nutty ProfessorRick Baker, David LeRoy Anderson
Ghosts of MississippiMatthew W. Mungle, Deborah La Mia Denaver
Star Trek: First ContactMichael Westmore, Scott Wheeler, Jake Garber

Best Film Editing

See also: Best Film Editing

The English PatientWalter Murch
EvitaGerry Hambling
FargoRoderick Jaynes
Jerry MaguireJoe Hutshing
ShinePip Karmel


See also: Best Sound

The English PatientWalter Murch, Mark Berger, David Parker, Chris Newman
EvitaAndy Nelson, Anna Behlmer, Ken Weston
Independence DayChris Carpenter, Bill W. Benton, Bob Beemer, Jeff Wexler
The RockKevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell, Keith A. Wester
TwisterSteve Maslow, Gregg Landaker, Kevin O'Connell, Geoffrey Patterson

Best Sound Effects Editing

See also: Best Sound Effects Editing

The Ghost and the DarknessBruce Stambler
DaylightRichard L Anderson, David A. Whittaker
EraserAlan Robert Murray, Bub Asman

Best Visual Effects

See also: Best Visual Effects

Independence DayVolker Engel, Douglas Smith, Clay Pinney, Joseph Viskocil
DragonheartScott Squires, Phil Tippett, James Straus, Kit West
TwisterStefen Fangmeier, John Frazier, Habib Zargarpour, Henry La Bounta

Honorary Awards

  • Michael Kidd in recognition of his services to the art of the dance in the art of the screen.

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award