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Year: 1979 (52nd) Academy Awards
Category: Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)
Film Title: Breaking Away
Winner: Steve Tesich
Presenter: Neil Simon
Date & Venue: April 14, 1980; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Oh God. Where's Sam? I need Sam up here. God. There's absolutely nothing I love as much as writing. To get an award for doing something you love seems like a luxury I never expected. I was gonna do original stuff, cause it's...and it seems like this is a, there's a tradition here of thanking people and I think I will do that instead. Sam Cohn, without him I would not be here at all. Peter Yates, without him the screenplay would not have been written; it would not have been written as well and it certainly wouldn't have looked like it did. Let's see, there's Gareth Wigan – oh my God, I'm getting to the past and present of studios like Benton did – Alan Ladd, the present Fox people.
The last thing I want to say is that long before I actually saw America, my first glimpses of it were in a movie house in Yugoslavia. It was a western, "Stagecoach," and it seemed like a wonderful, endless frontier of a country where these good and evil characters fought it out for the soul of America. And after all these years of being here I am just so grateful to be given an opportunity to send back a film and to tell 'em that I find it very much like the place I had seen originally: The good and the bad still fight it out; the good still tend to win in the end. Thank you very much.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]