ⓘ 45th Academy Awards


ⓘ 45th Academy Awards

The 45th Academy Awards were presented Tuesday, March 27, 1973, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, honoring the best films of 1972. The ceremonies were presided over by Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston, and Rock Hudson.

The ceremony was marked by Marlon Brandos boycott of the Oscars and his sending of Sacheen Littlefeather to explain why he would not show up to collect his Best Actor award for The Godfather, and by Charlie Chaplins only competitive Oscar win for Best Original Dramatic Score for his 20-year-old film Limelight, which was eligible because it did not screen in Los Angeles until 1972. Chaplin had received honorary Academy Awards in 1929 and 1972.

Cabaret, Bob Fosses adaptation of the Broadway stage musical, set a record for the most Oscars won without winning Best Picture. Best Picture winner The Godfather received only three Academy Awards.

This year was the first time that two African American women received nominations for Best Actress.

This was also the first year when all the Oscar winners were brought out on stage at the end of the ceremony.


1. Winners and nominees

Special Achievement Award

  • L. B. Abbott and A. D. Flowers for the visual effects of The Poseidon Adventure

2. Eligibility controversies

It was initially announced, on February 12, 1973, that The Godfather received 11 nominations, more than any other film that year. This was reduced to 10 nominations tied with Cabaret for the most after a new vote by the Academys music branch, following a controversy over whether Nino Rotas score for The Godfather was eligible for the nomination it received. For the re-balloting, members of the music branch chose from six films: The Godfather and the five films that had been on the shortlist for best original dramatic score but did not get nominated. John Addisons score for Sleuth won this new vote, and thus replaced Rotas score on the official list of nominees. The controversy arose, according to Academy President Daniel Taradash, because the love theme in The Godfather had previously been used by Rota in Fortunella, an Italian movie from several years earlier.

The nominations in the category of Best Original Song were not announced in February with the rest of the nominations, reportedly because of "a mixup in balloting". It was later reported that the Academy had been considering whether Curtis Mayfields song "Freddies Dead" from the film Super Fly should be eligible. The song was ruled ineligible for a nomination because its lyrics were not sung in the film. The song was released as a single with lyrics, but the version in the film was an instrumental. Academy governor John Green was quoted as saying: "Times have changed. In the old days Hollywood made 30 or 40 musicals a year, and there were plenty of songs to choose from. Now there are hardly any, and most of the eligible songs are themes. Both the lyric and the music must be heard on the sound track to be eligible."