One of the most famous Academy Awards moments of all time came in 1997, when Cuba Gooding Jr. accepted the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Jerry Maguire.”
Gooding was absolutely ecstatic about the win, jumping for joy on stage and going well over the tiny amount of time allotted for speeches. Which culminated in his shouting out thanks to everyone he could think of even as the Oscars orchestra attempted to play him off — and it was so well received by the audience that he got a standing ovation for refusing to be played off.
Of course, the whole thing happened on live TV and as you probably can imagine it took an incredible amount of work behind the scenes to capture it all. But you don’t have to take our word or your imagination for it. An Israeli behind-the-scenes documentary from 1997, resurfaced Monday by Matt Neglia of Next Best Picture, breaks down all of the excruciating work that went into the production of that year’s Oscars, including the entirety of Gooding’s win and acceptance speech. And you can watch it above now.
I’m not going to lie, just the preparation before the broadcast looks exhausting but I was almost falling apart with anxiety watching director Louis J. Horvitz barking orders and keeping an eye on everything — especially when you realize he and his crew were having to keep up that energy for more than 3 hours. Excuse me, I need a nap.
Horvitz, who is seen in the camera truck parked behind the Shrine Auditorium, would go on to direct 12 Oscar shows, continuing as the show’s director until 2008. But this 1997 telecast was his first — and Gooding’s acceptance speech was in the first segment of his first show.
You can watch some clips from that documentary above — the Cuba Gooding Jr stuff kicks in at about the 2:10 minute mark.