Facts & Trivia (2)
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)
Facts & Trivia (2)
Non-Hollywood Best Pictures:
The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) was the first non-US made film to both earn a Best Picture nomination, and win an Oscar of any sort (Best Actor for Charles Laughton, in this case). The first non-Hollywood (foreign-made) film to win Best Picture was Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948).
At the 1928/29 Academy Awards (held in 1930), no film won more than one statuette (there were seven films honored in seven categories) - something that hasn't been duplicated since.
Pulitzer-Prize and Best Picture Winners:
Only two novels that were made into films have won both the Best Picture Oscar and the Pulitzer Prize:
Back-to-Back Appearances in Best Pictures:
Only a few actors have starred in the Oscar-winning Best Picture for two years in a row:
Appearances in Three Best Picture-Nominated Films in the Same Year:
Only four performers have starred in three Best Picture-nominated films in the same year:
Note: Colbert's, Laughton's and Mitchell's performances came at a time when there were 10 Best Picture nominees, while Reilly's was when there were only 5.
Best Picture Oscar Anomaly:
John Cazale appeared in only five films in his entire career - all of which were nominated for or won Best Picture:
Box Office: Lowest Grossing Best Picture
In recent times since the advent of modern box-office tabulations, Best Director-winning Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker (2009) was the lowest-grossing Best Picture winner of all time. Its domestic gross earnings were $12.6 million at the time of its nomination, and only $14.7 at the time of its award.
Color and Black and White Best Pictures:
Gone With the Wind (1939) was the first all-color film that won the Best Picture Oscar. [Broadway Melody (1928/29) contained a few sequences shot in two-color (red/green) Technicolor.] The next four Best Picture color films were: An American in Paris (1951), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), and The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). Schindler's List (1993) was the first black-and-white film (although it had a few short segments in color) to win the top award since the all B&W The Apartment (1960). Only one Best Picture-winning film was originally a TV comedy drama: the black and white Marty (1955). [It was also the second Best Picture Oscar winner to also win the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or - the first to win the top prize was The Lost Weekend (1945).]
The first time all five Best Picture nominees were shot in color was 1956.
The first film to be released on home video before winning Best Picture was The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Foreign-Language Film Best Pictures Nominees:
It should be noted that 1956 was the first year that the regular competitive category of Best Foreign Language Film was introduced. Foreign-language films would no longer be recognized with only a Special Achievement Honorary Award or with a Best Picture nomination (as in 1938) - see below.
The first non-English film to be nominated for Best
Picture was Grand Illusion (1938).
Five films have the double honor of both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film nominations: Z (1969), The Emigrants (1972), Life is Beautiful (1998), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), and Amour (2012). None of the films won the Best Picture Oscar. The Emigrants (1972) was the only one of the five to receive the nominations in different years, and was the only one of the five to not receive the award for Best Foreign-Language Film.
Bertolucci's Chinese/Italian-produced Best Picture winner The Last Emperor (1987) was not a Foreign-Language Film nominee.
So far, three partly 'foreign-language' films have won Best Picture:
The Best Foreign Language Film Category:
In 1956, the regular competitive Oscar category of Best Foreign Language Film was introduced (the first award was actually presented at the 29th Academy Awards ceremony held in the spring of 1957). Currently, Italy has the most Best Foreign Language Film Oscars - a total of 10 Oscars and 3 Honorary or Special Awards. [Second place is France with 9 Oscars, and Spain with 4 Oscars.] The first winner in the new category of Best Foreign Language Film was Federico Fellini's La Strada (1956). Italian director Fellini holds the honor of most Oscar wins (4) for Best Foreign Language Film as a director, for:
If Special Oscars were also considered (awarded before the Best Foreign Language Film category was created), Fellini shares his record of 4 wins with Italian director Vittorio De Sica, who won Special Honorary awards for Shoeshine (1946) (win in 1947) and The Bicycle Thief (1948) (win in 1949), and Oscars for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1963) (win in 1964), and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970) (win in 1971).
Besides Fellini's four Oscar wins and De Sica's two Oscar wins, the other four Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winners for Italy include:
The Italian film The Battle of Algiers (1966) was the only film that earned nominations in two non-consecutive years:
Foreign-language films with the most Oscar nominations include:
Best Picture Genre Biases:
There are obvious biases in the selection of Best Picture winners by the Academy. Serious dramas or social-problem films with weighty themes, bio-pictures (inspired by real-life individuals or events), or films with literary pretensions are much more likely to be nominated than "popcorn" movies. Action-adventures, suspense-thrillers, Westerns, and comedies are mostly overlooked (although there are exceptions), as are independent productions.
Remakes (or Retellings), Sequel 'Best Pictures' and Trilogies:
Longest and Shortest:
Best Picture Winning-est Director:
William Wyler holds the record for directing more Best Picture nominees (13) and more Best Picture winners (3) than anyone else. The nominated and winning (marked with *) films were:
Best Picture Winners Without a Nomination for Best Director:
The Winning-est and Most-Nominated Best Picture Studios: 1927/28 to 1950
From 1927/28 through the 1950 Academy Awards, the Best Picture nomination went to the production company or studio that produced the film.
The Winning-est and Most-Nominated Best Picture Producers: 1951-present
From the 1951 Academy Awards through to the present, the Best Picture nomination went to the individual producer(s) credited on the film. The producer(s) credited on the film who have received the most Best Picture nominations (and wins) for Best Picture from 1951 to the present include:
Two Best Picture nominees in 2010, The Social Network (2010) and True Grit (2010), were produced by Scott Rudin, marking only the second time since 1951 that an individual producer received two Best Picture nominations in the same year. (Note: It also occurred in 1974 with Francis Ford Coppola (and Fred Roos) who were honored by receiving two Best Picture nominations in the same year, for Coppola's The Conversation (1974) and for their shared winner: The Godfather (1972).)
Diversity in Producers of Best Picture Nominees:
The first female Best Picture nominee and winner of a Best Picture Oscar was producer Julia Phillips for The Sting (1973). Curiously, in the decade of the 1950s, none of the Best Actress Oscar winners appeared in a Best Picture winning film!
Precious (2009) was the first-ever Best Picture nominee to be directed by an African-American filmmaker, Lee Daniels.
Quincy Jones was the first African-American to be nominated as producer for a Best Picture nominee, The Color Purple (1985). The second instance was for Best Picture nominee Precious (2009) -- producers for the film included Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Also, African-American Broderick Johnson was co-producer for Best Pic-nominee The Blind Side (2009).