‘The Silence of the Lambs’ scores surprise sweep at Oscars 20 years ago tonight (1992)

(Monday, March 30, 1992) — The politically incorrected The Silence of the Lambs re-wrote Academy Award history tonight as the grisly drama about an FBI rookie and a flesh-eating killer swept the top five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Jonathan Demme) Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally) at the 64th Academy Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles and hosted by Billy Crystal.

One of the highlights of the show was when Jack Palance won Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Curly in City Slickers (which also starred Crystal), Palance’s acceptance speech began with the joke “I crap bigger than him (Crystal)” — a reference to a similar line in the film. Palance also used some of his speech time to prove his virility by performing one-handed push-ups.

Mercedes Ruehl won Best Supporting Actress for The Fisher King.

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