Originally, the producers of the show wanted Mother Teresa to present an honorary award to Satyajit Ray, but the idea was shelved when they realized that it might be uncomfortable to have her mingling among celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Madonna. Audrey Hepburn presented the award instead.

Theme: Movie Comedy

The crew of the orbiting space shuttle Atlantis (STS-45) participated in the presentation of the Thalberg Memorial Award to George Lucas; an Oscar statuette was aboard the shuttle in tribute to its participation in the ceremony.

The message from the space shuttle crew to Thalberg recipient George Lucas was filmed three days earlier due to safety concerns.

Both of this year's honorees, Hal Roach and Satyajit Ray, died not long after this show. Ray died a month later and Roach died in November.

Billy Crystal's entrance was planned to have him bungee-jump from the rafters, but safety concerns quickly killed that idea. Instead, Crystal made his entrance on a dolly, wearing Hannibal Lecter's mask from The Silence of the Lambs (1991). It would turn out to be one of his best remembered entrances.

When 100-year-old film pioneer Hal Roach was honored, the producers decided to have him give his acceptance speech from his seat. However, he didn't have a microphone and, not realizing this, proceeded to speak anyway. The home audience (and 95% of those in the auditorium) watched him speak though they heard nothing. The gaffe was quickly covered by host Billy Crystal, who said, "I think that's appropriate because Mr. Roach started in silent films."

Howard Ashman became the first posthumous winner to die from AIDS-related illness. He won Best Original Song for the title track of Beauty and the Beast (1991). His partner, Bill Lauch accepted the award on his behalf.