The Academy Awards event is one of the biggest nights in Hollywood, with actors and actresses putting on their most glamorous attire and looking their best for the cameras. But it’s not just about the red carpet—it’s about which movie wins the coveted Oscar award!
You’ve probably seen plenty of lists ranking the best movies of all time and the most significant historical actors. But what about when it comes to Oscar winners? The Oscars are the pinnacle of cinematic achievement. From classics like Titanic and The Lord of the Rings trilogy to more contemporary films, here are the top 10 movies that won the most Oscars.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Return of the King is the third and last part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy saga, The Lord of the Rings. It tells the story of Frodo Baggins and his companions as they continue their quest to destroy the One Ring and defeat Sauron, who is attempting to regain power over Middle-earth.
It’s one of the most successful movies in history, with 11 Oscars. The film beat out other highly-acclaimed films like Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Mystic River, and Seabiscuit.
It won Best Picture, Director (Peter Jackson), Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Makeup, Visual Effects, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Sound Mixing, Costume Design, and Original Score.
Titanic got nominations for 14 awards and took home 11 of them. It won Best Director, Best Film, Sound Effects Editing, Sound, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Visual Effects, Original Dramatic Score, and Original Song.
Contrarily, Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart both lost out on their nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. The film was also nominated for a Best Makeup Oscar but did not win. Although Titanic was a huge hit when it came out in 1997, winning 11 Oscars was pretty surprising because it was up against some very tough competition: As Good As It Gets and L.A. Confidential.
Titanic was a movie that transcended its genre and became something more. It became an instant classic. The movie tells the tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers from opposite ends of the social order, who meet on board the luxurious vessel during its ill-fated maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
Ben-Hur was based on the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. Besides, it was a remake of an earlier 1925 film by the same name. The movie was nominated alongside Anatomy of a Murder, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Nun’s Story, and Room at the Top.
It follows a Jewish prince who is betrayed and enslaved by his best friend. The prince then seeks revenge against his betrayer and returns to prominence as a member of the Roman army. Charlton Heston’s performance as Judah Ben-Hur is nothing short of amazing. He captures all the nuances of his character’s journey through life in an incredibly expressive way.
Ben-Hur won 11 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Actor, Director, Cinematography, Supporting Actor, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, Film Editing, Score, Sound, and Special Effects. It was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
West Side Story (1961)
West Side Story is a 1961 musical film that was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 10 out of them. The only award it lost was for Best Adapted Screenplay. It beat out four other films: Fanny, The Guns of Navarone, The Hustler, and Judgment at Nuremberg.
The film’s story centers around two rival gangs and their struggle for power in New York City’s West Side.
In addition, the award-winning categories are Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, Film Editing, Score, and Sound.
The English Patient (1996)
The English Patient is a sweeping romance set against the backdrop of World War II that explores themes of grief, love, and loss. It has all the characteristics of a classic love story. For instance, it features a mysterious, gorgeous man with a secret past, a beautiful woman who loves him despite his flaws, and an exotic location that adds to the drama.
The film was nominated for 12 Oscars, winning nine: Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, Film Editing, Score, and Sound.
Additionally, it lost Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay awards. The other nominees for Best Picture were Fargo, Jerry Maguire, Secrets & Lies, and Shine.
The Last Emperor (1987)
The nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 1987 included some real gems: Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Hope and Glory, The Last Emperor, and Moonstruck. Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor won all nine Oscars, a record that still stands today.
The awards include Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, Film Editing, Score, and Sound.
This movie is a biopic about China’s last emperor, starring John Lone as Pu Yi. Accordingly, the movie chronicles the fall of imperial rule in China and the transition to Communism.
The is one of the classic old movies that everyone should watch. It revolves around Gigi (Leslie Caron) as she transitions from being an innocent girl living with her grandmother to becoming a woman in Paris. Moreover, her grandmother has intended for Gigi to become an aging courtesan so she can earn a living and support herself.
However, things take a u-turn when wealthy bachelor Gaston (Louis Jourdan) falls for her. This movie won all nine Oscars that it was nominated for: Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, Film Editing, Score, and Original Song.
Gigi was one of the five movies nominated for the award that year. The other four nominees were Auntie Mame, Separate Tables, The Defiant Ones, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Slumdog Millionaire is a British film based on the novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup. The film, which showcases the story of an impoverished Indian boy who wins a game show to escape his life of poverty, was one of five nominees for the award.
The other four were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, and The Reader. The movie follows the story of Jamal Malik. He was a young man from the slums of India who got wealthy overnight after winning massive cash on the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’
The film received 10 total nominations that year, and it walked away with eight of them. These include Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing, Score, Song, and Song Mixing. The only two awards it didn’t win are Best Song (“O…Saya”) and Best Sound Editing.
In 1984, Amadeus was one of the most critically-acclaimed films and won eight Oscars out of 11 Oscar nominations. It won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, Sound, and Makeup.
In addition, it lost out on three categories: Best Actor (Tom Hulce), Cinematography, and Film Editing. In addition, the other nominations for Best Picture were The Killing Fields, A Passage to India, Places in the Heart, and A Soldier’s Story.
Amadeus tells the story of 19th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his relationship with his rival, Antonio Salieri. He was a fellow composer whose jealousy got the best of him.
The 1982 Academy Awards were a fierce battle between epic films, with only one emerging victorious, Gandhi. The other nominees were The Extra-Terrestrial, Missing, Tootsie, and The Verdict. Gandhi is an Oscar-winning film that tells the story of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to independence from Great Britain.
Moreover, the movie shows Jinnah’s character as stubborn and rigid, and deeply committed to Pakistan’s independence from Britain. Nonetheless, he was unwilling to compromise on this fundamental belief despite how it affected relations between Hindus and Muslims.
The film got 11 Oscar nominations and won eight of them. The awards are for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, and Film Editing. On the Other hand, Gandhi lost three Oscars for Best Score, Sound, and Makeup.
In a nutshell, the Oscar Awards is, without a doubt, one of the most significant events in Hollywood. Every year, it’s a celebration of all things cinematic and the people who make them possible in every way possible.
You can look at this list of the top 10 movies that won the most Oscars to get some ideas for your next movie night! So whether you’re just starting a collection or looking for new ones to add, these top 10 Oscar-winning movies are a great place to start.