Facts & Trivia (1)
Note: The films that are marked with a yellow star are the films that "The Greatest Films" site has selected as the 100 Greatest Films.
Facts & Trivia (1) | Facts & Trivia (2) | Genre Biases | Winners Chart (part 1) | Winners Chart (part 2)
20th Century Best Pictures (ranked) (part 1) | 20th Century Best Pictures (ranked) (part 2)
Best Picture Milestones (multi-sections)
| Introduction to Academy Awards and Best Pictures: The Academy
Awards®, affectionately known as the Oscars®,
have been presented annually since 1927 (the first awards
ceremony was held in May 1929) by the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
The most outstanding or best picture category is one of the original categories of the awards, although this awards category has been identified with different names over the years: Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Production, Outstanding Motion Picture, Best Motion Picture, and Best Picture. For the 1927/28 through the 1950 Awards, the nomination and 'Best Picture' Oscar went to the production company or studio that produced the film. [For example, Gone With the Wind's Best Picture Oscar was officially presented to Selznick International Pictures, not to David O. Selznick.] Thereafter, the 'Best Picture' Oscar was given to the producer(s).
Facts & Trivia (1)
The First Best Picture Winners:
In the first year of the awards, there were two "Outstanding Picture" winners: Wings for Best Production and Sunrise (1927) for Unique and Artistic Picture (a category that was immediately dropped).
[Three awards were given during the Academy's first year that were never given again: Best Unique and Artistic Production, Best Title Writing (for silent films), and Best Comedy Direction.] Obviously, the only silent film to win 'Best Picture' was Wings (1927/28).
The Top Best Picture Award Winners and Nominated Films:
Two Best Picture winning films, Titanic (1997) and All About Eve (1950) both hold the record for the most nominations (14) earned by a single film. Five Best Picture films are tied for second place with 13 nominations (see below), and eight Best Picture films are tied for third place with 12 nominations (see below).
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Titanic (1997), Ben-Hur (1959) are the three Best Picture winning films with the most Oscars wins (11). (The closest Best Picture winning runner-up for most Oscar wins was West Side Story (1961) with 10 Oscars (out of 11 nominations).)
Titanic's awards included two sound awards and no acting prizes, and its screenplay wasn't even nominated. On the other hand, All About Eve (1950), also with 14 nominations, had one acting Oscar (Best Supporting Actor for George Sanders). And Ben-Hur (1959), with 11 Oscars from 12 nominations, lost only its screenplay nomination, plus it racked up two acting awards (Charlton Heston for Best Actor and Hugh Griffith for Best Supporting Actor) - and there was only one sound category in 1959. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) won Best Adapted Screenplay, but had no acting nominations in its clean-sweep win.
The Big Five: Only three films have won the top five awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay):
Clean Sweeps: Only five Best Picture winners have won every award for which they were nominated (Grand Hotel was a 'clean sweep' at one for one, followed by IHON at five for five; the next two were nine for nine, and LOTR was 11 for 11; except for the 1934 film, none of the films were nominated for acting awards):
Shut Outs: Two films hold the dubious distinction of being nominated eleven times without a single Oscar win. Other films with 8 or more competitive nominations are also included:
Best Pictures that Failed to Win Any Other Awards: All MGM productions
And Grand Hotel (1931/2) was the only Best Picture winner to receive only one nomination. It was the only film to win Best Picture without receiving any other nominations.
Films That Won Best Picture Without a Single Acting Nomination:
There are only eleven films that have won Best Picture without receiving a single acting nomination:
Conversely, Best Picture-nominated films that have won the most Oscar awards without winning Best Picture include the following films:
Below are the films that received the most Oscar nominations - without a nomination for Best Picture:
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) holds the record for receiving the most nominations (9) without being nominated for Best Picture. Its sole Oscar win was Best Supporting Actor, for Gig Young. But They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) didn't have the most Oscar nominations in its year of competition. In the same year, Anne of a Thousand Days (1969) had more nominations (10), but it was nominated for Best Picture. Therefore, Dreamgirls (2006) with 8 nominations was the first-time ever in Academy history that the film with the most nominations in its year failed to earn a Best Picture slot.
Crash (2005) marked the first time a film-festival acquisition (after its premiere at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival) won Best Picture.
Animated Films Nominated for Best Picture:
There have only been three animated feature films nominated for Best Picture (number of nominations in parentheses):
The Golden Globes vs. The Academy Awards Best Pictures:
There is a long-standing idea that the Golden Globes (set up by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) are predictive of Best Picture Oscar wins, but that is mostly a myth.
In the decade of 2001-2010, A Beautiful Mind (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) were the only three Best Picture dramas to win both major prizes.
Before then back to the 50s, just over 50% of the Golden Globes' winning Best Picture dramas were repeated on Oscars night. From 1951-2000, they had agreed on 27 out of 50 Best Pictures (32 out of 50 if you also include the Globes' Best Musical or Comedy category).
The Box-Office Boost of a Best Picture Nomination and Win:
The Best Picture Oscar nomination (and subsequent) win for a solid blockbuster film such as Gladiator (2000) or The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) helped boost the bottom line, but not as significantly as it would have for a lesser-known film.
Here are examples in the past where a Best Picture Oscar nomination and the post-nomination period made a major difference in total box-office (domestic) revenue, measured in percentage of total revenue. Included are all Best Picture winning films that made over 30% more revenue (percentage of total revenue) following their nominations: