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53 Interesting Facts about the Number 53 #7: the 53rd Academy Awards celebrated films from 1980 and why we hiked the PCT

February 22, 2015

53rd_Academy_Awards

In honor of tonight’s Academy Awards where Birdman won Best Picture, this week’s Interesting Fact about the Number 53 #7 is the 53rd Academy Awards which honored the best films of 1980 and took place in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with host Johny Carson Tuesday, March 31 1981–a day after it was scheduled due to the attempted assassination of President Reagan.

Interestingly, if Reagan had been more gravely injured, he would not have run for President for a second term and I may not have hiked the Pacific Crest Trail — a place where the Academy Award nominated film Wild takes place.

Why? Because while Cheryl Strayed was driven to hike following the death of her mother, we were driven to hike in part from Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984. We lost all faith in humanity; how could we live among people who could vote in droves for someone like him? While “trail angels” such as Cheryl Staryed and current hikers experience were rare in the mid 80s when we through hiked, we did benefit from the kindness of strangers throughout our 2800 mile hike–and that was transformational in redeeming the human race.

So back to the 53rd Academy Awards honoring the best films released in 1980. Although some would argue that Raging Bull should have won over Ordinary People, these films stand the test of time. The Best Picture winner was:

Ordinary People, based on the novel by Judith Guest, won a total of four awards: Timothy Hutton, 20, won Best Supporting Actor, Robert Redford won Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Tess, starring Natassia Kinski and adapted from the British novel by Thomas Hardy which I had read that year in a college lit class, won three awards (costume, art, and cinematography). Robert DeNiro, 37, won Best Actor for his role in Raging Bull —a film than many critics consider one of America’s best ever, and Sissy Spacek, 31, won Best Actress for her work in Coal Miner’s Daughter.

1980 was the year that George Lucas’s second Star Wars film came out: The Empire Strikes Back won for Best Sound and was also nominated for Art Direction and Original Score. In 1980, I graduated from Buena High School, and the summer of 1980 I was teaching mountaineering in the mountains of Colorado and drove to Denver to see the film with a fellow counselor named Joel, a funny guy who lived in Santa Barbara, was a great dancer who loved Earth, Wind, and Fire, and looked a little like a blond Ewok. I probably should have kissed him but never did.

Other films that won or were nominated for the 53rd Oscars include: Fame winner for Best Original Score and Sound, 9 to 5, Melvin and Howard  winner of Best Supporting Actress Mary Steenburgen, 28, and Private Benjamin.

Source wikipediaL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/53rd_Academy_Awards

53 Interesting Facts About the Number 53:

#1 53 Miles West of Venus is a song by the B-52s
#2 53rd & 3rd is a song by the Ramones
#3 53 is Herbie The Love Bug’s Racing Number
#4 53 is the maximum number of players on an NFL roster
#5 53 BC is the year this Chinese philospher and fu poet was born
#6 53 is the atomic number for iodine
#7 the 53rd Academy Awards Celebrated the films of 1980: the year I graduated from High School

 

 

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