Best Director of 1980
Nominees: David Lynch ("The Elephant Man"), Robert Redford ("Ordinary People"), Martin Scorsese ("Raging Bull"), Richard Rush ("The Stunt Man"), Roman Polanski ("Tess")
And the award went to: Redford, for his directorial debut probing a family coping with tragedy.
But it should've been: Scorsese. His jagged, brutal boxing epic has been hailed as one of the greatest American movies of all time—a master class in filmmaking. Chalk up the defeat to the Academy's soft spot for actors-turned-directors. (Whaddaya know? Golden Boy Redford can direct!) The predilection would eventually deliver another knockout to Scorsese. Ten years later, with "Goodfellas" in contention, he would lose the director race to another actor making his directorial debut: Kevin Costner, for "Dances With Wolves."