The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. gave a nod to the Old World Saturday night as it bestowed four awards upon "Amadeus," including best motion-picture drama, during its 42nd annual Golden Globe awards ceremony.
"Amadeus," which was filmed in Czechoslovakia and set in Vienna, also earned Golden Globes for best actor, F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri, rival of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; best director, Milos Forman, and best screenplay, by Peter Shaffer, who adapted the work from his play.
"They love American movies in foreign countries, but they can be pretty funny about American movies about their stories," Forman said in accepting his award.
Also working up steam, as the Academy Awards near, was "A Passage to India," which was named best foreign film. "Passage" also earned statuettes for Peggy Ashcroft as best-supporting actress and for Maurice Jarre's original score.
In the TV department, multiple honors for best show and best actor/actress went to "Murder, She Wrote" and its star, Angela Lansbury, in the TV drama series category; to "The Bill Cosby Show" and Bill Cosby, TV comedy or musical; and to "Something About Amelia" and Ted Danson, miniseries or TV movie.
The evening's most sentimental sequence came near the end, when Liza Minnelli introduced several film clips highlighting Elizabeth Taylor's career and then introduced Taylor as the winner of the 1985 Cecil B. DeMille award for outstanding contribution to entertainment. Taylor, looking nearly as svelte as she did in 1960's "Butterfield 8," for which she won one of her two Oscars, was given a standing ovation as she took the stage.
"It's amazing," she said, hugging the statuette. "And to be given it by the press . . . that's really amazing."
Though comparison to the Oscars and, less often, TV's Emmy Awards, seems inevitable, the Golden Globes, held at the Beverly Hilton, actually is a much more casual affair, staged in part to turn the spotlight on the numerous foreign correspondents who feed the world its diet of show-biz news.
This year, it also gave star-addicted TV viewers a healthy fix in the form of a two-hour show from Dick Clark Productions, which taped the event and syndicated it for broadcast Sunday night.
The event, which ran 5 1/2 hours including cocktails and dinner, is also the rare occasion when top celebrities from motion pictures and television rub elbows. About 100 stars--most of them nominees or presenters--joined 1,000 or so foreign-press club members and guests at the ceremonies, hosted by Michael York and Raquel Welch.
Indeed, the lines between big and small screen often blurred in the course of the evening.
Faye Dunaway, looking ever the movie star, was named best-supporting actress in a TV miniseries or TV movie for her work in "Ellis Island." Dunaway's irrepressible enthusiasm for the award shone through as she thanked producers for a role with some "lightness, fun, juiciness that I've been missing lately." Ann-Margret, one of the few winners not present, won best-actress kudos in the same category for her work in the TV remake of "A Streetcar Named Desire."
The relatively loose atmosphere--and the luxury of videotape as opposed to the live Oscar show--made for a few surprises.
One that home viewers never saw was the redoing of a six-minute medley of best-song nominees by Engelbert Humperdinck and Ann Jillian after sound problems hampered the first try and Humperdinck's missed cue killed the second. The third go-round was more energetic than the first, and co-host York, all but winking to the audience, called for "an especially big round of applause."
Dudley Moore seemed surprised--and embarrassed--to win as best actor in a movie comedy or musical for "Micki & Maude," besting competition from stars of some of the year's top grossers: Steve Martin ("All of Me"), Bill Murray ("Ghostbusters"), Eddie Murphy ("Beverly Hills Cop") as well as Robin Williams ("Moscow on the Hudson"). "I suppose Eddie, Steve, Robin and Bill just were not up to par this year," he deadpanned. "I mean, box office is one thing. . . . "
Haing S. Ngor, handed a Golden Globe as best-supporting motion-picture actor for "The Killing Fields," twice surprised the orchestra by continuing his acceptance speech after his exit-cue drum roll. But the Cambodian physician-turned-actor's final words were touching: "I thank God and Buddha for allowing me the honor of telling the world what happened in my country."
Tom Selleck had a surprise of his own: an engine went out on the plane that was whisking him from Honolulu to Los Angeles, forcing it to return to Hawaii and causing Selleck to miss picking up his award as best actor in a TV drama series ("Magnum, P.I.").
Some of the evening's choice remarks:
--Nell Carter, opening the show with a razzmatazz song that called for her to point out the many stars present, got big laughs for the lyric, "There's Stacey Keach . . . no sorry it's not."