Over the years, there have been hundreds of movies nominated for the Academy Awards. Many films win one or two — some collect a handful. But to date, only 32 films have won 5 or more Oscars. Here are the 15 movies that have won the most Academy Awards so far.
1. Titanic (1997)
Running time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance-disaster film directed, written, co-produced and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.
Out of the 14, Titanic won a whopping 11 Oscars, including the great honor of Best Picture. In addition to Best Picture, Titanic also took home the Oscar for Best Director (James Cameron), Best Original Music Score, Best Music – Song, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. The three categories in which the film was nominated but did not take home an award were Best Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Stuart), and Best Makeup.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Running time: 3 hours 21 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic high fantasy adventure film produced, written, and directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the third and final installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, following The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002), preceding The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–14).
At the 76th Academy Awards, it won all 11 Academy Awards for which it was nominated, therefore holding the record for highest Oscar sweep. The wins included the awards for Best Picture, the first time a fantasy film has done so; it was also the second sequel to win a Best Picture Oscar (following The Godfather Part II) and Best Director. The film jointly holds the record for the largest number of Academy Awards won with Ben-Hur (1959) and Titanic (1997). The film has been re-released twice, in 2011 and 2017.
3. Ben-Hur (1959)
Running time: 3 hours 44 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic religious drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston as the title character. A remake of the 1925 silent film with the same title, Ben-Hur was adapted from Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Ben-Hur had the largest budget ($15.175 million), as well as the largest sets built, of any film produced at the time.
It won a record 11 (out of 12) Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Wyler), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heston), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Griffith), and Best Cinematography – Color (Surtees). Ben-Hur also won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for Stephen Boyd. The only category in which the film was nominated but did not take home an award was Best Adapted Screenplay.
4. West Side Story (1961)
Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical tragedy film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris.
The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture (as well as a special award for Robbins), becoming the record holder for the most wins for a movie musical.
5. The English Patient (1996)
Running time: 2 hours 42 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
The English Patient is a 1996 American romantic war drama film directed by Anthony Minghella from his own script based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje and produced by Saul Zaentz. The film tells the story of Count László de Almásy, who is burned from a plane crash and tells his past story in flashbacks involving a romantic affair, while he is tended by a nurse.
The film received 12 nominations at the 69th Academy Awards, eventually winning nine, including Best Picture, Best Director for Minghella, and Best Supporting Actress for Juliette Binoche. Ralph Fiennes, playing the titular character, and Kristin Scott Thomas were Oscar-nominated for their performances.
6. Gigi (1958)
Running time: 1 hour 59 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Gigi is a 1958 American musical-romance film directed by Vincente Minnelli processed using MGM's Metrocolor. Gigi won a record-breaking nine Academy Awards (at the 1959 Oscars ceremony); however, this record only lasted for one year, as Ben-Hur broke this record the following year with 11 Oscars. In tribute to Gigi's domination of the Oscars, the MGM switchboard answered calls the following day with "M-Gigi-M".
Gigi, eventually along with 1987's The Last Emperor, held the record as the film(s) with the most Academy Award wins in every category in which it was nominated, until 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King broke the record at the 2004 Oscars ceremony with 11 Oscar nominations and 11 Oscar wins.
7. The Last Emperor (1987)
Running time: 3 hours 39 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
The Last Emperor is a 1987 British-Italian epic biographical drama film about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China. Puyi's life is depicted from his ascent to the throne as a small boy to his imprisonment and political rehabilitation by the Communist Party of China.
At the 60th Academy Awards, the film won all nine Oscars for which it was nominated for. These awards are for Best Picture (Jeremy Thomas), Best Director (Bernardo Bertolucci), Best Art Direction (Art Direction: Ferdinando Scarfiotti; Set Decoration: Bruno Cesari and Osvaldo Desideri), Best Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro), Best Costume Design (James Acheson), Best Film Editing (Gabriella Cristiani), Best Original Score (Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne and Cong Su), Best Sound (Bill Rowe and Ivan Sharrock), and Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci)
8. Gone with the Wind (1939)
Running time: 3 hours 58 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film, adapted from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel of the same name. The film was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International Pictures and directed by Victor Fleming. Set in the American South against the backdrop of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction era, the film tells the story of Scarlett O'Hara, the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner. It follows her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes, who is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton, and her subsequent marriage to Rhett Butler. The leading roles are played by Vivien Leigh (Scarlett), Clark Gable (Rhett), Leslie Howard (Ashley), and Olivia de Havilland (Melanie).
At the 12th Academy Awards, Gone with the Wind set a record for Academy Award wins and nominations, winning in eight of the competitive categories it was nominated in, from a total of thirteen nominations. It won for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Editing, and received two further honorary awards for its use of equipment and color (it also became the first color film to win Best Picture).
9. From Here to Eternity (1953)
Running time: 1 hour 58 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
From Here to Eternity is a 1953 drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann, and written by Daniel Taradash, based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. The picture deals with the tribulations of three U.S. Army soldiers, played by Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra, stationed on Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
At the 26th Academy Awards, From Here to Eternity won in eight of the categories from a total of thirteen nominations. It won for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Writing & Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), Best Sound (Recording) and Best Editing. It was also nominated for Best Actor (2 nominations), Best Actress, Best Costume Design (Black-and-White), Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.
10. On the Waterfront (1954)
Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film directed by Elia Kazan, and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando and features Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning, and, in her film debut, Eva Marie Saint. The film focuses on union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen while detailing widespread corruption, extortion, and racketeering on the waterfronts of Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1989, On the Waterfront was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
On the Waterfront received twelve Academy Awards nominations in ten categories, and won in eight of the categories. It won for Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Black-and-White, Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), and Best Film Editing. It was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor (3 nominations), Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.
11. My Fair Lady (1964)
Running time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical film adapted from the Lerner and Loewe eponymous stage musical based on the 1913 stage play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. With a screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner and directed by George Cukor, the film depicts a poor Cockney flower seller named Eliza Doolittle who overhears an arrogant phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, as he casually wagers that he could teach her to speak "proper" English, thereby making her presentable in the high society of Edwardian London. The film stars Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison as Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins respectively, with Stanley Holloway, Gladys Cooper and Wilfrid Hyde-White in supporting roles.
My Fair Lady won 8 Academy Awards from 12 nominations. My Fair Lady won for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Adaptation or Treatment Score, Best Sound, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design. It was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Flim Editing, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.
12. Gandhi (1982)
Running time: 3 hours 11 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Gandhi is a 1982 epic historical drama film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the United Kingdom's rule of the country during the 20th century. The film, a British-Indian co-production, was written by John Briley and produced and directed by Richard Attenborough. It stars Ben Kingsley in the title role.
It was nominated for Academy Awards in eleven categories, winning eight, including Best Picture and Best Director for Attenborough, Best Actor for Ben Kingsley, and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Briley. All nomination include Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Best Original Score (N), Best Sound (N), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup (N), Best Costume Design, and Best Flim Editing.
13. Amadeus (1984)
Running time: 3 hours
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Amadeus is a 1984 American period drama film directed by Miloš Forman, adapted by Peter Shaffer from his stage play Amadeus. The story, set in Vienna, Austria, during the latter half of the 18th century, is a fictionalized biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The film was nominated for 53 awards and received 40, which included eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), four BAFTA Awards, four Golden Globes, and a Directors Guild of America (DGA) award. It won the Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (F. Murray Abraham), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Makeup, and Best Sound. It was also nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Tom Hulce), Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing.
14. Cabaret (1972)
Running time: 2 hours 4 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Cabaret is a 1972 American musical drama film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey. Situated in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the presence of the growing Nazi Party, the film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from the novel The Berlin Stories / Goodbye to Berlin (1939) by Christopher Isherwood and the 1951 play I Am a Camera adapted from the same book.
The film earned a total of eight Academy Awards which includes Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song Score or Adaptation Score, Best Art Direction, and Best Sound.
It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, losing both to The Godfather. Cabaret holds the record for most Academy Awards won by a film which did not win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
15. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Running time: 2 hours
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle written by Simon Beaufoy, and produced by Christian Colson. Set and filmed in India, it is a loose adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup, telling the story of Jamal Malik, age 18, from the Juhu slums of Mumbai. As a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? who is able to answer every stage correctly, as a result he is accused of cheating. Jamal recounts his history, illustrating how he is able to answer each question.
The film earned a total of eight Academy Awards which includes Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.
It is the eighth film ever to win eight Academy Awards and the eleventh Best Picture Oscar winner without a single acting nomination.