`Here we go. The studio, I love you. Tom Cruise, I love you, brother. I love you, man! Wooah!' The Oscar ceremony paraded its traditional array of garbled acceptance speeches and mock humility. Few beat Cuba Gooding, right, for sheer enthusiasm
"The only one guaranteed to wake up with a statue is Tipper Gore."

Billy Crystal, opening the Academy Awards

"One of the most challenging tasks and greatest delights an actor has is creating a character - a flesh and blood person whose unique behaviour and undeniable humanity moves the audience for ever."

Mira Sorvino, introducing the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (`Jerry Maguire')

"God, I love you! Hallelujah! Thank you, father God, for putting me through what you put me through, and I'm here and I'm happy! I just wanna ... [exit music starts to play] ah hah! Here we go! The studio, I love you! Tom Cruise - I love you, brother! I love you, man! Regina King - love you! You did a great job. We made the movie. Everybody involved in the movie - here we are! I love you! I love you all! Cameron Crowe, James L Brooks - I love you! Wooah! Wooah!"

Cuba Gooding Jr, accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor

"If there is anyone who has not been thanked by Cuba, come and see me after the show."

Billy Crystal

"My crew was from Italy, Tunisia and the United States, but we're all costumers, and costumers know one language and work beyond maps and boundaries."

Ann Roth, accepting the Oscar for Best Costume Design (`The English Patient')

"Good sound editing can make the difference between a boring chick film with some English dude, and a really cool movie with lots of explosions and stuff."

Butthead, introducing the Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing (`The English Patient')

"I'm so surprised. It's true, I thought Lauren [Bacall] was going to get it, and I think she deserves it. I'm so amazed! This must be a dream - a French dream."

Juliette Binoche, accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (`The English Patient')

"Oh, gee. What do you say in such a moment? At least our lonely puppet has two friends now."

Tyrone Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach, accepting their Oscars for Best Animated Short Film (`Quest')

"One of our next presenters was the star of Independence Day, the number one money-maker this year. Number one in America, number one in Europe, number two in Asia - behind the Democratic National Committee."

Billy Crystal, introducing Will Smith, star of `Independence Day'

"You know you've entered new territory when you realise that your outfit cost more than your film [audience starts laughing]. You think I'm joking?"

Jessica Yu, accepting the Oscar for Best Short Subject Documentary (`Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien')

"I'd like to thank the man. The man who realised a long time ago that he could make a difference and he devoted his life to making a difference. And, as President Bill Clinton said, it's about time we as Americans started paying him back for everything that he's done for us."

Leon Gast, winner of the Oscar for Best Feature-Length Documentary (`When We Were Kings'), introducing Muhammed Ali

"Nobody here is safe. Just look at what they did to Bob Dole - putting him in a Visa commercial. If he were alive he'd be outraged."

Jim Carrey, talking about the practice of superimposing famous people into commercials

"Thank God there wasn't a song in The English Patient."

Andrew Lloyd Webber accepting the Oscar for Best Original Song (`You Must Love Me', from `Evita')

"Aside from wheat and auto parts, America's biggest export is now the Oscar."

Billy Crystal, after another Oscar goes to `The English Patient'

"This Oscar belongs to the many with whom I've shared dreams and journeys. My cup is full."

Saul Zaentz, after winning the Irving Thalberg Award for Achievements in Producing

"My cup runneth over."

Saul Zaentz, after `The English Patient' wins the Oscar for Best Picture

"To millions of people around the world, Kristin, you are speaking a foreign language right now. And, I might add, you speak it elegantly."

Jack Vallenti, President of the Motion Picture Industry, to Kristin Scott- Thomas, while introducing the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film (`Kolya')

"Dear Oscar, I couldn't sleep last night because I was thinking of you. I was wondering where you would be going. You are going to Prague. Do you know where that is? It's in Europe. This is your family now. Maybe one day we will make you a brother."

Jan Sverek, after introducing his Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film to his father and son on stage

"I'd like to thank Ethan Coen for helping me to become the actress I am. I'd like to thank Joel Coen for helping me to become the woman I am, and I'd like to thank my son for helping me to become the mother I am."

Frances McDormand, after winning the Oscar for Best Actress (`Fargo')

"This goes to all the people whose shoulders I've been standing on. Thanks to my family who have put up with me being away for so long. Thanks to my wife who has taught me the meaning of uxoriousness. This is a great day for the Isle of Wight."

Anthony Minghella, after winning the Oscar for Best Director (`The English Patient')

"Now to the teleprompter. [Reading off the teleprompter] The precious gift of laughter film comedy provides. Who wrote this drivel?"

Debbie Reynolds introducing the Oscar for the best score in a musical/comedy