Top 10 Films that have Won the Most Number of Oscars
It is undoubtedly entertaining and inspiring to watch our heroes fighting out their lives or romancing their heroines on the silver screen. From myths and fantasies to real lives, no realm has been left untouched by the filmmakers. But just like a student needs awards and accolades to inspire him to do better, so do our beloved filmmakers. The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, are the most prestigious of them all. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives them annually for “excellence in cinematic achievements”, in more than twenty-four categories. Throughout the history of cinema, great movies have been made time and again. Here, we list down ten such movies that are not only the best in their own ways, but have also been honoured and justified by the number of Academy Awards bestowed on them.
10. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
After It Happened One Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, it was the only film to win the Oscars in all the top five categories. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, and Scott Glenn “The Silence of the Lambs” is based on Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel, featuring Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. However, the entire story revolves around another psychotic criminal “Buffalo Bill”, desiring to be a woman, which is his motivation for the capture, imprisonment and murder of women. This psychological thriller is a showcase of the evils that can be caused by someone suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder. Like most other people with this psychological disorder, Hannibal shows no remorse for hurting others, especially the people who gets in his way, and he is certainly fine with committing murder. He manipulates people to get what he wants and amuses himself by offending and toying around with others, displaying a common symptom of people with Antisocial Personality Disorder, a disregard for other people’s rights. Even Clarice is shown to have ugly childhood memories of fear and trauma, arising from the slaughter of lambs in her uncle’s farm, which are a perfect blend for the bonding between Lecter and her, as they work on the profile of Bill. All-in-all, Silence of the Lambs is a heart-racing thriller that has arguably one of the most interesting characters in cinema history, making it a must watch for movie lovers.
9. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
You can call it a crime movie that emphasizes on human drama in an artistic way, but you cannot ignore it. For all the Al Pacino outs out there, this movie came as a sequel to the original movie The Godfather, based on the 1969 novel written by Mario Puzo. The movie actually presents both a sequel and prequel, as it deals with the life and crime business of Michael Corleone, the new Don of the Corleone Family, and also depicts the journey his father Vito Corleone from his childhood to the founding of the family business. The Godfather: Part II, produced, directed and partly written by Francis Ford Coppola, was nominated under eleven categories for the Academy Awards out of which it bagged six of them. It also became the first sequel to win the Best Picture Oscar. Besides the awesome scenes blended with human emotion and aggression, the movie also has to offer some great acting from Robert Duvall, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Lee Strasberg, Morgana King, Talia Shire, Marianna Hill and John Cazale.
8. Schindler’s List (1993)
Inspired the novel Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, this Steven Spielberg creation has been ranked eighth on its list of the 100 best American films of all time by the American Film Institute. The movie describes the story of one Oskar Schindler, a German Businessman, who made a remarkable contribution to humanity by employing the Jewish refugees in his factories thus saving their lives during the Holocaust. This biopic deals with the contrasting characters of Mr. Schindler, a good man and Goeth, a completely evil character. It depicts a theme of redemption as it shows how Schindler turns from a Nazi supporter to a rescuer of the Jews. Besides the commendable acting by Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kinsley, the movie has been immortalised by the score composed by John Williams. Considered as one the greatest movies ever made, Schindler’s List bagged seven out of twelve Oscar nominations, including the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score awards. It also won seven BAFTAs and three Golden Globe awards.
7. Amadeus (1984)
It is an adaptation of Shaffer’s stage play Amadeus by director Miloš Forman. Set in the background of Vienna, in the latter half of the 18th century, the movie revolves around the life of the great musical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It depicts in detail the pride of the composer Saleiri and his envy and hatred towards Mozart, even though he recognises his genius. The movie starred F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri and Tom Hulce as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Both of them were nominated for the Best actor Award. John Strauss, the music composer of Amadeus, won a Grammy Award for the soundtrack of the film. Most of the music used were original compositions of Mozart. Out of eleven nominations, the film won eight of the Oscars, including awards for the Best Picture, Best Actor (Abraham), Best Director, Costume Design, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Sound. The movie also won four Golden Globe awards, four BAFTA Awards, and a Directors Guild of America award.
6. Gandhi (1982)
Gandhi is a biopic based on the great Indian leader, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led a non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the British rule in India, which finally led to India’s Freedom in 1947. Written by John Briley and directed by Richard Attenborough, the movie starred Ben Kingsley, whose work as Gandhi, was greatly acclaimed and praised. The movie deals in detail the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi, beginning with the racial insult in South Africa when thrown off a Whites’ railway compartment and concluding with his assassination in 1948. The story of the movie is also available as a book, with the famous opening lines, “No man’s life can be encompassed in one telling. There is no way to give each year its allotted weight, to include each event, each person who helped to shape a lifetime. What can be done is to be faithful in spirit to the record and to try to find one’s way to the heart of the man…” The movie was nominated for Academy Awards under eleven categories, of which, it won eight including the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor awards. The score for Gandhi was composed by Pt. Ravi Shankar and George Fenton. The movie also won four BAFTA and four Golden Globe Awards.
5. Gone with the Wind (1939)
This movie is an adaptation of the Pulitzer winning novel Gone with the Wind, written by Margaret Mitchell in the year 1936. Directed by Victor Fleming, the film is set in the era of the American Civil War and reconstruction in the South American region, depicting the story of Scarlett O’Hara and her romantic chase of Ashley Wilkes. The movie stars Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. Till date, it remains one of the most famous on-screen romances. The love and passion shown in the movie have been interpreted in numerous ways by the critics, nevertheless it does not demean the impact of the film in any way. The film got mixed reviews from the critiques initially and was criticized a lot for glorifying slavery. Out of thirteen nominations, the film won ten Academy awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress awards. Hattie McDaniel cast as Mammy, won the award for Best Supporting Actress – the first African-American to win an Academy Award.
4. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Directed by Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire is a British film depicting the slum life in India. It is an adaptation of the novel Q&A written by Vikas Swarup. It is the story of a Mumbai slum dweller in Juhu region by the name of Jamal Malik and his struggles through life and how he finally goes on to become a millionaire. The movie revolves around a TV game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. The movie cast Dev Patel as Jamal Malik, Freida Pinto as Latika, both newcomers in the film industry, Irrfan Khan as the Police Inspector and Anil Kapoor as Prem Kumar, the game show host. The movie was nominated under ten categories in the Academy Awards, out of which it won eight including the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay awards, which was the highest for any film in 2008. A.R Rahman won two Oscars, one for Best Original Score and one for Best Original Song – “Jai Ho”. Slumdog Millionaire also won four Golden Globe awards, seven BAFTA Awards and five Critics’ Choice Awards.
3. Ben-Hur (1959)
You might have heard this name before if you are a rabid reader of Christian literature. If you love dramatic scenes with touches of ancient political and emotional turmoil, this movie should have been in your watchlist. Directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith and Haya Harareet, Ben-Hur is an epic based movie set in ancient Rome. It was the third film to win eleven Oscar awards, including the Best Picture Award. The novel, by Lew Wallace, which inspired the movie dealt with the new awakening of Christian faith. The movie deals with a wealthy prince and merchant in Jerusalem, who is betrayed by a powerful friend, but his faith in Christianity takes him to distant lands and finally ends up being a Roman champion charioteer. The latter half of the movie deals with the emotional reunion of Ben-Hur with his mother and sister, while Christ was crucified by the Roman soldiers. The film boasts of the nine-minute chariot race – a mighty setting of thrilling action by horses and men dramatized by overwhelming visual and sound effects, which became one of the most famous sequences in cinema. The sets that were used, were the largest ever made for a movie, which made it the highest budget movie till date.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, written by J.R.R Tolkien is one of those epic fantasy novels that you cannot help reading or at least hearing about. It is set in those times when the Earth was supposedly ruled by Kings, Wizards and Orcs! Frodo Baggins, a hobbit, is set on a path to fulfil his destiny and save the world by destroying the single most powerful ring in the world, which the Gollum refers to as “My Precious”. Directed by Peter Jackson, this movie is a sequel to and the last in the trilogy, following The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002). The movie describes the adventures of Aragorn and Gandalf as they lead the “World of Men” against Sauron’s army, concluding with Frodo finally destroying the Ring in the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, where it was originally crafted. The movie starred Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf the White, Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, Bernard Hill as Théoden and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. Such overwhelming was the response of the audience that it became second highest grossing film from Time Warner, the highest being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part II. It won all the eleven Oscar awards for which it was nominated, thus holding the record for highest number of Oscar sweeps. It is also the first and the only fantasy film to bag an Oscar for the Best Picture!
1. Titanic (1997)
Much need not be said about this movie, because too much is already known! It is one of those movies that nearly all of us grew up with. Celine Dion’s mesmerising voice still makes our Hearts Go on! This James Cameron blockbuster, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, deals with the fateful sinking of the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage. You can call it Cameron’s fascinations with shipwrecks, or just his passion to create awesome movies, which made possible such realistic visual effects and rendering of the ship and its surroundings. Using blueprints from the original ship’s builders and the ship Akademik Mstislav Keldysh on which the movie was filmed, he did his best to do judgement to the disaster epic. If you don’t remember seeing Cameron in the movie, you are welcome to watch it again, because James Cameron and Barry Dennen did their cameo as praying men on the eve of the shipwreck! The sensual romance between Jack and Rose did more than just touch all the young hearts. The film was nominated for fourteen Academy Awards, and it won eleven of them, including the Best Picture and the Director awards. It is the second highest grossing movies of all times after Avatar.