Best Picture: The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor also won Academy Awards for Art Direction-Set Decoration (Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Bruno Cesari, and Osvaldo Desideri), Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro), Costume Design (James Acheson), Directing (Bernardo Bertolucci), Film Editing (Gabriella Cristiani), Music – Original Score (Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne, and Cong Su), Sound (Bill Rowe and Ivan Sharrock), and Writing – Screenplay based on material from another medium (Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci).
The Last Emperor was nominated for nine Oscars and won all nine, one of the rare times a film ended up with every award for which it was nominated.
The Last Emperor became tied with Gigi (1958) as the third most honored film in the Academy’s history, after Ben-Hur (1959) with 11 awards, and West Side Story (1961) with 10.
Chevy Chase was the host.
For the first time, an Academy Award nominee, Gustav Hasford, was actively being sought by the police. He was wanted in connection with grand theft charges involving a large collection of library books.
In January 1987, British envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon, while working to secure the release of a group of Western hostages. He was held captive for almost five years.
In March 1987, U2 released their album The Joshua Tree. It was the first of their albums to reach #1 on the U.S. charts.
On April 19, 1987, The Simpsons cartoon first appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show.
On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.
In August 1987, the FCC dissolved the Fairness Doctrine, which had required radio and television stations to fairly present controversial issues since 1949.
In October 1987, Americans were caught up in a drama that unfolded on television when an 18-month-old toddler, Jessica McClure, fell down a well in Midland, Texas. She was rescued after spending 58½ hours in the well.
In December 1987, Eli Lilly & Co. received approval from the FDA to market Prozac as a treatment for depression.
Special Achievement Award
To Stephen Flick and John Pospisil for Sound Effects Editing, RoboCop.
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
To Billy Wilder.