The Oscars 40 Years Ago: What Was It Like?

The Academy Awards, or as we commonfolk call them, the Oscars, have been a cultural phenomenon for almost a century. Every year, they honor the best of the best in the film industry, giving recognition to actors, directors, producers, and many others who work tirelessly to bring stories to life on the big screen.

As the world is celebrating the phenomenon of Everything, Everywhere, All at Once being one of the best movies ever made, it’s worth taking a look back at what things were like 40 years ago just to see how far we’ve come since 1983.

1. Young Sly Stallone and Sasha Czack walking down the red carpet

Remember when Rocky was one of the biggest movie franchises after Terminator? Well, here’s Stallone and his first wife, exuding confidence after the release of Rocky III.

2. Drew Barrymore in her cute years

Here’s eight-year-old Drew Barrymore and her mum walking down the Red Carpet after nailing her biggest role yet in the 80’s blockbuster E.T. That night, little Drew won a Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Actress, but that’s whatever. Look at that cute dress!

3. Steven Spielberg and his lovely fiancée

Speaking of E.T. here’s young and still ambitious Steven Spielberg with his fiancee Amy Irwing. That night was unforgettable for Spielberg, as E.T. was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and a few other categories. The film grabbed multiple Oscars, too, including Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Score.

4. Banu Athaiya accepting her Best Costume Design award

One of the most obvious winners of the ’83 Oscar Awards was Gandhi. The film was nominated in 11 categories and won 8 of them. Naturally, one of those Oscars went to Banu Athaiya for Best Costume Design, making her the first Indian woman to get the trophy.

5. Hosts John Travolta and Liza Minnelli

John Travolta was a hot commodity back then after becoming a huge star, thanks to Grease and Saturday Night Fever. Seeing him be the host of the Oscars is not surprising. Liza Minnelli, on the other hand, feels a bit out of place.

6. Ben Kingsley’s well-deserved Oscar for Gandhi

That night Ben Kingsley was nominated three times but returned home with just a single golden trophy for Gandhi.

7. Backstage snapshot of Jamie Lee Curtis and Carl Weathers

Halloween II and Rocky III stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Carl Weathers, respectively, looking very cute backstage.

8. Dustin Hoffman and his wife, Lisa

It feels like Tootsie was released ages ago, but it’s only been 40 years! And here’s Dustin Hoffman walking down the carpet with his wife, excited to be nominated.

9. Unforgettable performance by Peter Allen & Bernadette Peters

These legendary singers came from Broadway straight to the Oscars stage to give their most exciting performance as a tribute to Irving Berlin, best known for an old banger Puttin’ On The Ritz.

10. The closing moments of the 55th Oscars Ceremony

You can’t really see it, but in this photo, every presenter, honoree, and performer was on stage to give the final applause and bow out.

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