The 15 movies that won the most Oscars

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west side storySome films receive all the Oscar hype and anticipation, but can’t seem to turn speculation into a win. Others receive abundant nominations and take home nearly every available trophy.

The most celebrated Academy Award recipients are the pictures that have swept the awards, having been nominated for several and winning most. With the 88th Academy Awards fast approaching, the team at PrettyFamous took a look at the films that have won the most Oscars over the years. To do this, we first looked at the films that won the most Oscars and broke ties based on number of nominations. We sorted this list from fewest to most wins.

#15. Cabaret

 

Oscar Wins: 8
Oscar Nominations: 10
Release Year: 1972

Many musicals speak of a darker thematic undertone, and “Cabaret” is one such example. As the Nazi party rises to power in Germany in the early 1930s, a free-spirited Weimar nightclub singer is torn between two lovers as the country turns to war. Bob Fosse’s direction and choreography won him best director, while Liza Minelli won best actress.

#14. Slumdog Millionaire

 

Oscar Wins: 8
Oscar Nominations: 10
Release Year: 2008

When an Indian teenager looks to break free from his impoverished upbringing by participating on a game show, he’s accused of cheating and, while tortured by authorities, reflects on his life in flashbacks. “Slumdog Millionaire” was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning eight in 2009.

#13. Amadeus

 

Oscar Wins: 8
Oscar Nominations: 11
Release Year: 1984

Milos Forman filmed this period piece off the 1979 play of the same name, continuing a tradition of slightly fictionalized biopics that still stayed true to history. “Amadeus” was nominated for 11 Oscars in 1985, and won eight.

#12. Gandhi

 

Oscar Wins: 8
Oscar Nominations: 11
Release Year: 1982

Like “Chariots of Fire” before it and “Amadeus” after, “Gandhi” continued an impressive tradition of 1980s historical dramas that were true to period. The film was a career-defining showcase for Ben Kingsley as he portrayed the fallen Indian holy man.

“Gandhi” took home eight out of its 11 Oscar nominations, including best director and best actor.

#11. On the Waterfront

 

Oscar Wins: 8
Oscar Nominations: 12
Release Year: 1954

After the success of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Elia Kazan again cast Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront.” The plot originated from a series of Pulitzer Prized journalistic exposés about union corruption along the ports of Northern New Jersey.

Kazan and Brando both walked home with golden trophies, for best director and best actor, respectively, while Eva Marie Saint won best supporting actress — not bad for her film debut.

#10. My Fair Lady

 

Oscar Wins: 8
Oscar Nominations: 12
Release Year: 1964

Teaming Lerner and Loewe for another Oscar-winning musical, this adaptation of their famous stage play borrows from Shakespeare’s “Pygmalion.” The film follows a poor, lower class English girl who receives charm lessons from an aristocratic professor to groom her for high society.

Filmed at the height of Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison’s respective career peaks, “My Fair Lady” won eight Academy Awards in 1965.

#9. From Here to Eternity

 

Oscar Wins: 8
Oscar Nominations: 13
Release Year: 1953

Three American soldiers deal with conflict, love, friendship and war immediately preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. “From Here to Eternity” starred legendary screen icons like Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra and Montgomery Clift, winning eight of its 13 Oscar nominations.

#8. Gone With the Wind

 

Oscar Wins: 8
Oscar Nominations: 13
Release Year: 1939

To Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler might not give a damn, but that’s not what the academy thought of “Gone with the Wind,” honoring it with eight Oscar wins, such as best director, best picture and best screenplay, adapted from the only novel ever written by Margaret Mitchell.

Perhaps even more significant than its Academy accolades is the film’s recognition by the American Film Institute and the Library of Congress as one of cinema’s most enduring, persevering classics.

#7. The Last Emperor

 

Oscar Wins: 9
Oscar Nominations: 9
Release Year: 1987

Legendary director Bernardo Bertolucci is cemented as of cinema’s most innovative craftsmen, but the only of his films to sweep the Oscars was his epic “The Last Emperor,” which was nominated for nine Oscars in 1988, winning each.

Captured during the height of grandiose historical period pieces filmed during the mid-to-late 1980s, it was the first Western film permitted to be filmed in Beijing by Chinese officials.

#6. Gigi

 

Oscar Wins: 9
Oscar Nominations: 9
Release Year: 1958

Just one of three films on this list that swept the Oscars (winning each nomination), the Lerner-Loewe adaptation of a girl groomed for Parisian high society was based on the popular Colette novella. Academy Award accolades for “Gigi” ranged from best picture to best original score, best director and best costume design.

#5. The English Patient

 

Oscar Wins: 9
Oscar Nominations: 12
Release Year: 1996

During World War II, four strangers’ lives become intertwined in an Italian villa, where a nurse, a thief, and a British soldier help a burn victim who remembers nothing but his ability to speak English. Based on a Booker Prize-winning novel, “The English Patient” won several awards of its own in 1997, including best picture, best director and best supporting actress.

#4. West Side Story

 

Oscar Wins: 10
Oscar Nominations: 11
Release Year: 1961

The Sharks and the Jets; alley rumbles; Tony and Maria. Just those clues alone remind us that “West Side Story” will always remain an American musical classic, seamlessly interpreted for the big screen in 1961 courtesy of Robert Wise, whose “Romeo and Juliet”-inspired romance-gang story won 10 Oscars — a record still held by any musical, 55 years later.

#3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

 

Oscar Wins: 11
Oscar Nominations: 11
Release Year: 2003

The third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, “The Return of the King” put to rest the notion that sequels are, as a rule, inferior to their original installments. Critically and commercially successful (grossing $1.1 billion), this third installment of the Tolkien classic won each of its 11 Academy Award nominations in 2004. It was the first fantasy-themed feature to win best picture.

#2. Ben-Hur

 

Oscar Wins: 11
Oscar Nominations: 12
Release Year: 1959

It’s rare to see a remake trump its original version, but William Wyler’s 1959 version of “Ben-Hur” did just that when it was nominated for 12 Oscars that year, winning 11, including best picture, best director, and best actor, in what may be Charlton Heston’s career-defining role.

The epic of all gladiator epics, it held the biggest budget for its time (at $15.1 million), paving the way for successors like “Gladiator,” “Troy,” “Clash of the Titans” and others.

#1. Titanic

 

Oscar Wins: 11
Oscar Nominations: 14
Release Year: 1997

There’s a reason why “Titanic” shares the record for most Oscar nominations (14), winning best picture and best director: James Cameron’s sweeping opus balances a love story and a disaster epic with delicateness and majesty. Arguably the greatest film of the 1990s, it made household names out of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and grossed over $2.1 billion at box offices worldwide.

The Films With the Most Oscar Wins: Ranked

 

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