The 54th Academy Awards were presented March 29, 1982 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Johnny Carson.
Chariots of Fire was the surprise winner (with a leading 12 nominations Reds had been expected to win) of the Best Picture Oscar. It was the first time in 13 years that a British film won the Academy's top honor. Next year's winner, Gandhi, was also a British production.
Henry Fonda won his only competitive Oscar this year, as Best Actor for On Golden Pond. At 76 years of age, Fonda became the oldest winner in the Best Actor category in Academy history. The only other nomination he received in his career was Best Actor for his performance in The Grapes of Wrath 41 years earlier – a record gap between acting nominations. His co-star, Katharine Hepburn, won her fourth Best Actress award, extending her own record for the most Best Actress wins by any actress.
This year's nominations also marked the second time (after 1967) that three different films were nominated for the "Top Five" Academy Awards: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay. The three films were On Golden Pond, Atlantic City and Reds. However, none of them won the Best Picture prize, losing to Chariots of Fire. This also marked the first year that the award for Best Makeup was presented; the winner was Rick Baker for his work on An American Werewolf in London.
This was the last year until the 2005 Oscars where all five Best Picture nominations were also nominated for Best Director. Reds was the last film to gain nominations in all four acting categories until Silver Linings Playbook matched that feat at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony in 2013. This is also the most recent ceremony for which the four acting award winners are all now deceased.
Chariots of Fire became the last film to win Best Picture and not win for directing or acting until Crash in 2005.
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger ().Barbara Stanwyck
Albert R. Broccoli
Joseph B. Walker
Ben Burtt and Richard L. Anderson for Raiders of the Lost Ark
The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.