Over the years, hundreds of movies have landed a nomination for the Academy Awards. Many magnificent films win one or two, while some collect a handful. Just 32 films have won five or more Oscars to date. Many of them are considered among the greatest films of all time, including Schindler’s List, Star Wars, and The Godfather Part II. Some of the films are recent classics, and others are old favorites that many of us have forgotten about. Here are seven films that earned the most Oscar credit in one night.
The romantic exploration of the last days on board the ill-fated Titanic by James Cameron was a huge success with viewers worldwide. It also elevated Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, who are both up for Oscars this year, to megastardom. However, Titanic’s most outstanding achievement may be the sheer number of awards it received at the 70th Academy Awards. It shares the distinction of having won 11 Academy Awards with two other credit films. Cameron took home two of the ceremony’s top prizes: Best Picture and Best Director. It also won nine other awards for Celine Dion’s earworm pop ballad “My Heart Will Go On,” including Original Dramatic Score, Art Direction, Make-Up, Costume Design, Film Editing, Visual Effects, Sound, Sound Effects Editing, and Original Song.
2.The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
On Oscar night in 2004, the final installment of the fantastical adaptation of the legendary The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien made all sorts of history. It was the first — and to date, only — fantasy film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It also won every award for which it was nominated, making it the most successful film in Oscar history. At the 76th Academy Awards, The Return of the King earned 11 nominations. It also took home awards for Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design, Art Direction, Film Editing, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Original Score, and Best Original Song, in addition to the night’s top award. Indeed, all investments made for this film were well worth it.
Ben-Hur stands up well against decades of improved technology and special effects when it comes to big-budget credit films from the mid-twentieth century. So it’s only appropriate that William Wyler’s historical epic should be the first to win 11 Oscars, the most ever granted to a single film. Ben-Hur also received Academy Awards for Best Director, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Special Effects, Film Editing, Sound Recording, and Music, in addition to Best Picture. In addition, Hugh Griffith won Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Charlton Heston won Best Actor in a Leading Role.
4.West Side Story (1961)
When Stephen Sondheim’s new musical retelling of Romeo and Juliet premiered on Broadway in 1957, it was a smashing success. Its film adaptation was also a smashing success, especially with Academy Award voters. During the 34th Academy Awards, West Side Story received ten nominations, including nominations for Sound, Music, Film Editing, Costume Design, Cinematography, and Art Direction. Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris, Best Supporting Actress for Rita Moreno, and Best Director for Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins were among the awards. It goes without saying that the film’s success helped its cast in crew elevate their status in the industry and improve their credit scores.
5.The English Patient (1996)
Critics, fans, and Oscar voters all adored this spellbinding World War II romance about a cartographer and his illicit affair. The English Patient won nine of the twelve Academy Awards for which it was nominated, including Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actress for Juliette Binoche. Art Direction, Costume Design, Cinematography, Film Editing, and Original Score were nominated for Oscars. It most certainly a degree of influence within the industry.
Subsequent generations haven’t given enough credit to this cute musical comedy about an intelligent young woman sent to Paris to study etiquette. On the other hand, Gigi was once a record-breaking Oscar nominee — at least before Ben-Hur came out the following year. Vincente Minelli won nine Academy Awards for Gigi, including Best Picture and Best Director. Art Direction, Costume Design, Original Score, Original Song, Cinematography, Film Editing, and Adapted Screenplay were among the other awards.
7.The Last Emperor (1987)
Emperor Puyi’s autobiography, adapted by Bernardo Bertolucci, was a sleeper hit with moviegoers but an undeniable success at the 60th Academy Awards. The Last Emperor swept all nine Oscar categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture and Best Director. In addition, art Direction, Costume Design, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Film Editing, and Adapted Screenplay won awards for biographical drama. It sure deserves all the credit it was given at its peak.