|Closing film||À nous deux|
|Awards||Palme d'Or (Apocalypse Now and Die Blechtrommel)|
|No. of films||21 (In Competition)|
12 (Un Certain Regard)
8 (Out of Competition)
11 (Short Film)
|Festival date||10 May 1979– 24 May 1979|
The 32nd Cannes Film Festival was held from 10 to 24 May 1979. The Palme d'Or went to Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola, which was screened as a work in progress, and Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) by Volker Schlöndorff.
Françoise Sagan, the President of the Jury raised a controversy as she complained that Robert Favre Le Bret, director of the Festival, had stepped out of his role and had put pressure on the jury for the choice of Coppola's film, while she had defended The Tin Drum to the last minute of the competition. Finally the Palme d'Or was given to both films.
The following people were appointed as the Jury of the 1979 feature film competition:
- Françoise Sagan (France) Jury President
- Sergio Amidei (Italy)
- Rodolphe-Maurice Arlaud (Switzerland)
- Luis García Berlanga (Spain)
- Maurice Bessy (France)
- Paul Claudon (France)
- Jules Dassin (USA)
- Zsolt Kézdi-Kovács (Hungary)
- Robert Rozhdestvensky (Soviet Union) (author)
- Susannah York (UK)
In competition - Feature film
The following feature films competed for the Palme d'Or:
- Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola
- Arven by Anja Breien
- The Bronte Sisters (Les Soeurs Brontë) by André Téchiné
- The China Syndrome by James Bridges
- Days of Heaven by Terrence Malick
- Dear Father (Caro papà) by Dino Risi
- The Europeans by James Ivory
- Hungarian Rhapsody (Magyar rapszódia) by Miklós Jancsó
- The Hussy (La drôlesse) by Jacques Doillon
- My Brilliant Career by Gillian Armstrong
- Norma Rae by Martin Ritt
- Occupation in 26 Pictures (Okupacija u 26 slika) by Lordan Zafranović
- Série noire by Alain Corneau
- Siberiade by Andrei Konchalovsky
- The Survivors (Los sobrevivientes) by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
- The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) by Volker Schlöndorff
- Traffic Jam (L'ingorgo - Una storia impossibile) by Luigi Comencini
- Victoria by Bo Widerberg
- Without Anesthesia (Bez znieczulenia) by Andrzej Wajda
- Woman Between Wolf and Dog (Een vrouw tussen hond en wolf) by André Delvaux
- Woyzeck by Werner Herzog
Un Certain Regard
- Come and Work (Fad'jal) by Safi Faye
- Companys, procés a Catalunya by Josep Maria Forn
- Encore un Hiver by Françoise Sagan
- From the Cloud to the Resistance (Dalla nube alla resistenza) by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet
- Moments (Moments de la vie d'une femme) by Michal Bat-Adam
- A Nice Neighbor (A kedves szomszéd) by Zsolt Kézdi-Kovács
- Les petites fugues by Yves Yersin
- Printemps en Février by Shei Tieli
- A Scream from Silence (Mourir à tue-tête) by Anne Claire Poirier
- Spirit of the Wind by Ralph Liddle
- The Third Generation (Die dritte Generation) by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
- Ward Six (Paviljon VI) by Lucian Pintilie
Films out of competition
The following films were selected to be screened out of competition:
Short film competition
- Barbe bleue by Olivier Gillon
- Bum by Břetislav Pojar
- La Dame de Monte Carlo by Dominique Delouche
- La Festa dels bojos by Lluis Racionero Grau
- Harpya by Raoul Servais
- Helping Hand by John P. Taylor, Zlatko Pavlinovic
- Le Mur by Jan January Janczak
- Petite histoire un peu triste by Didier Pourcel
- Põld by Rein Raamat
- The Waltzing Policemen by Kerry Feltham
- Zwei Frauen in der Oper by Christian Veit-Attendorff
International Critics' Week
- Entends le coq by Stefan Dimitrov (Bulgaria)
- Fremd bin ich eingezogen by Titus Leber (Austria)
- Jun by Hiroto Yokoyama (Japan)
- Northern Lights by John Hanson, Rob Nilsson (United States)
- La Rabi by Eugeni Anglada (Spain)
- Les Servantes du bon dieu by Diane Létourneau (Canada)
- The Tall Shadows of the Wind (Sayehaye bolande bad) by Bahman Farmanara (Iran)
- Angi Vera by Pal Gabor
- Bastien, Bastienne by Michel Andrieu
- Black Jack by Ken Loach
- Caniche by Bigas Luna
- Chrissomaloussa by Tony Lycouressis
- Cronica de um Industrial by Luis Rosemberg
- Julio Begins in July (Julio Comienza en Julio) by Silvio Caiozzi
- The Management Forgives a Moment of Madness (La empresa perdona un momento de locura) by Mauricio Walerstein
- La Mémoire Courte by Eduardo de Gregorio
- Nighthawks by Ron Peck
- Old Boyfriends by Joan Tewkesbury
- Five Evenings (Пять вечеров, Piats Vetcherov) by Nikita Mikhalkov
- Rockers by Theodoros Bafaloukos
- Those Wonderful Movie Cranks (Báječní muži s klikou) by Jiri Menzel
- Tiro by Jacob Bijl
- To Be Sixteen (Avoir 16 ans) by Jean Pierre Lefebvre
- Zmory (Nightmares) by Wojciech Marczewski
- Short films
- Palme d'Or:
- Grand Prix: Siberiade by Andrei Konchalovsky
- Best Director: Terrence Malick for Days of Heaven
- Best Actress: Sally Field for Norma Rae
- Best Actor: Jack Lemmon for The China Syndrome
- Best Supporting Actress: Eva Mattes for Woyzeck
- Best Supporting Actor: Stefano Madia for Dear Father (Caro papà)
- Short Film Palme d'Or: Harpya by Raoul Servais
- Jury Prize- animation: Bum by Břetislav Pojar
- Jury Prize- fiction: La Festa dels bojos by Lluis Racionero Grau
- Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola (In competition)
- Black Jack by Ken Loach (Directors' Fortnight)
- Angi Vera by Pál Gábor (Directors' Fortnight)
Commission Supérieure Technique
- Prize of the Ecumenical Jury: Without Anesthesia by Andrzej Wajda
- Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention: Arven by Anja Breien
Young Cinema Award
- Honorary Award: "Hommage à Miklós Jancsó" for all his work
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