The movies that won the most Oscars

·6-min read
The movies that won the most Oscars: From Titanic and Return of the King to Parasite (Getty/Warner Bros.)
The movies that won the most Oscars: From Titanic and Return of the King to Parasite (Getty/Warner Bros.)

Which films have won the most Oscars? Every film wants that Best Picture Oscar, but the movies that make the biggest impact are the ones that sweep the board on the night.

Everyone remembers Titanic, with its 17 nominations and 11 wins, but who now talks about 1989’s Best Picture winner Driving Miss Daisy (four wins in total) or 2005’s Crash (three wins)?

Then there are the gongs that Oscar calls ‘the Big Five’, where one lucky picture picks up all the main prizes, a feat only three movies have achieved since 1929.

Read more: The actors with the most Oscar wins

These then are the films that broke records at the Academy Awards, the ones that wowed us all at their sheer volume of wins and noms…

Movies with the most Oscar wins

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson at a homecoming event in Wellington after Return of the King cleared up at the Oscars in 2004 (AFP via Getty Images)
Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson (R) at a homecoming event in Wellington after Return of the King cleared up at the Oscars in 2004 (AFP via Getty Images)

Though most people think that The Lord Of The Rings should have won for first film The Fellowship Of The Ring, most agree that the awards showered on trilogy closer The Return Of The King are really an acknowledgment for all three movies collectively.

It co-leads the pack here, having won all 11 of the categories it was nominated in.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003) - 11

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Warner Bros.)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Warner Bros.)

(Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Music, Original Score, Best Music, Original Song, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects)

Titanic (1997) - 11

Director James Cameron raises his Oscar after winning in the Best Director Category during the 70th Academy Awards. (AFP via Getty Images)
Director James Cameron raises his Oscar after winning in the Best Director Category during the 70th Academy Awards. (AFP via Getty Images)

​​(Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Score, Best Song (‘My Heart Will Go On’), Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Visual Effects)

Read more: How to watch the Oscar-nominated films in the UK

Ben-Hur (1959) - 11

Director William Wyler, actor Simone Signoret, and actor Charlton Heston on the night Ben-Hur won big at the Oscars.  (Phil Burchman/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Director William Wyler, actor Simone Signoret, and actor Charlton Heston on the night Ben-Hur won big at the Oscars. (Phil Burchman/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Charlton Heston), Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Score, Best Sound, Best Special Effects)

West Side Story (1961) - 10

(L-R) West Side Story director Robert Wise with actors Rita Moreno and George Chakiris at the 1962 Oscars (Getty)
(L-R) West Side Story director Robert Wise with actors Rita Moreno and George Chakiris at the 1962 Oscars (Getty)

(Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris), Best Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Score, Best Sound)

The English Patient (1996) - 9

(Original Caption) Director Anthony Minghella with producer Saul Zaentz, who received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Mighella holds the Oscar he won for Best Director for The English Patient, produced by Zaentz. The film also won the Best Picture Oscar at the 69th annual Academy Awards. (Photo by �� Steve Starr/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Director Anthony Minghella and producer Saul Zaentz won Best Director and Best Picture for The English Patient. (Corbis via Getty Images)

(Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Binoche), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Score, Best Sound)

The Last Emperor (1987) - 9

049944 37: From right to left, The creative team behind the Best Picture Oscar
The creative team behind the Best Picture Oscar "The Last Emperor", 1988. (John Barr/Liaison)

(Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Score, Best Sound)

Movies with the most Oscar nominations

Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) in Titanic (Twentieth Century Fox/Paramount Pictures)
Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) in Titanic (Twentieth Century Fox/Paramount Pictures)

Whereas The Return Of The King triumphed in every category it was nominated in some movies — even if they scoop several of the big awards — end up looking like losers. So it was with La La Land, which tied with Titanic in terms of the sheer amount of nominations, but walked away with just six.

Titanic (1997) - 17 (won 11)

La La Land (2016) - 17 (won 6)

All About Eve (1950) - 16 (won 6)

Gone with the Wind (1939) - 13 (won 10)

From Here to Eternity (1953) - 13 (won 8)

Forrest Gump (1994) - 13 (won 6)

Shakespeare in Love (1998) - 13 (won 7)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) - 13 (won 4)

Chicago (2002) - 13 (won 6)

The Shape of Water (2017) - 13 (won 4)

Mrs Miniver (1942) - 12 (won 6)

Most Oscars won by a foreign-language film

A still from Bong Joon Ho's <i>Parasite</i>. (Curzon)
A still from Bong Joon Ho's Parasite. (Curzon)

Most of the time Oscar likes to keep its foreign-language films in something of a ghetto, but occasionally a movie is so staggeringly great that Oscar can’t ignore it in other categories.

These three subtitled classics can all say they walked away with four awards on their respective nights.

Fanny and Alexander (1982) - 4

(Best Foreign Language Film, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - 4

(Best Foreign Language Film, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score)

Parasite (2019) - 4

(Best International Feature Film, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay)

The ‘Big Five’ winners

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"Silence of the Lambs" cast and production winners hold their Oscars at the 64th annual Academy Awards March 30, 1992. (John Barr/Liaison)

The ‘Big Five’, in Oscar-speak, are the gongs for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted).

So far, three movies are in the ‘Big Five’ club.

It Happened One Night (1934)

(Frank Capra, director; Clark Gable, actor; Claudette Colbert, actress; Robert Riskin, screenplay)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

(Miloš Forman, director; Jack Nicholson, actor; Louise Fletcher, actress; Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman, screenplay)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

(Jonathan Demme, director; Anthony Hopkins, actor; Jodie Foster, actress; Ted Tally, screenplay)

Sequels that won the Best Picture Oscar

8th April 1975:  American film director Francis Ford Coppola stands with his family, holding three Oscars for his film, 'The Godfather, Part II,' during the 47th Annual Academy Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center, Los Angeles, California. Clockwise, from left, his wife, Eleanor, his parents, Pennito and Carmine, and sons, Roman and Gian Carlo.  (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Francis Ford Coppola stands with his family, holding three Oscars for his film, 'The Godfather Part II' (Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)

Amazingly, only two sequels have walked away with the Academy’s top prize. And no, Teen Wolf Too isn’t one of them.

The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Watch: Francis Ford Coppola finally gets a star on the Walk of Fame

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