Year: 1982 (55th) Academy Awards
Category: Best Picture
Film Title: Gandhi
Winner: Richard Attenborough, Producer
Presenter: Carol Burnett
Date & Venue: April 11, 1983; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Ladies and gentlemen, this should be not a moment for regret in any sense, but I have to say that I have the regret that my late partner Moti Kothari, to whom this film was dedicated, is not here to share this award with me. And to his widow Dorothy, and Shanta and Rajni, I send my love and my very grateful thanks for the fact that their father gave me the idea of making this film.
Members of the Academy, you have honored, you have seen fit to honor a number of people who have been connected with this film -- Jack and Ben and Billy, and many others. And particularly without Jack and Ben there would have been no movie. But I'm sure that they would agree that the person whom you really honor, as Ben suggested, was Mahatma Gandhi himself. He was an inspiration to millions and millions of people, and the extraordinary thing always seems to me, that he is currently still an inspiration. Your great folk hero Martin Luther King, Jr. was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. Lech Walesa, that noble Polish patriot, came out of prison the other day and said that what he had been attempting to do in the past was not going to work. The only way in which we could find human dignity and peace was through the philosophies and teachings of Gandhi.
Gandhi simply asked that we should examine the criteria by which we adjudge the manner of solving our problems. That surely in the 20th century we human beings searching for our human dignity could find other ways of ultimately solving our problems than blowing the other man's head off. He begged us to re-examine that criteria. He believed that if we would but agree, simplistic though it be, that we would not resort to violence in the ultimate. Then the route that we would take in solving our problems would be a quite different one to the one that we accept now in the acceptance of ultimate confrontation. He begged us to re-examine that criteria. I believe he had something to say to all of us everywhere in the world.
And dear colleagues, in all truth -- because the films that were nominated with me all wished for the same thing, all their makers wanted to say the same thing -- and in all truth it is not me or even Ben or Jack or Billy that you truly honor. You honor Mahatma Gandhi and his plea to all of us to live in peace.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]