Year after year, many of us wait eagerly for an annual ritual: the presentation of the Academy Award statuettes. Since there will have been 82 of them as of March 7, 2010, some of the award’s trivia is just as fascinating as the list of annual winners. Can I have a drum-roll please? Here are some Oscar records that are certainly noteworthy:
1. Most nominations.
Two films share the honor of earning the most Oscar Nominations: “All about Eve” (1950), and “Titanic” (1997). The former film’s nominations were of a possible 14, while the latter was of a possible 17. Yet interestingly, “Titanic” won a whopping 11 awards, while “All about Eve” only took home six statuettes.
2. Most awards won.
If “more is better”, then three films in the history of the Oscars are the “best”. “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003), Titanic (1997), and “Ben Hur” (1952) have all won an astounding 11 Academy Awards. The wins by “Ben Hur” was arguably the most impressive, as it won 11 of the 15 awards presented that year. On the other hand, the other two films won 11 out of 17 possible Oscar awards. Next on the list for most Oscars won is “West Side Story” (1961), which won a total of 10 Academy Awards.
3. Sweep of all major Oscars.
While every year one film wins the “Best Picture” award, this is only one of five “major” Oscars. All five of them are:
- Best Picture
- Best Director
- Best Screenplay
- Best Actor
- Best Actress
In the history of the Academy Awards, only three films have won all five major Oscars: “It Happened Once Night” (19345), “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975), and “Silence of the Lambs” (1991). The fact that only three films have swept these categories shows that it’s truly a hard-as-nails feat.
4. Most nominations without a win.
While it’s definitely an honor to be nominated for an Academy Award, it can be heartbreaking not to win-time after time. “The Turning Point” (1977) and “The Color Purple” (1985) both earned an incredible 11 nominations-but without a single win. Four directors share the distinction of having the most nominations for Best Director, without success (5):
- Robert Altman
- Clarence Brown
- Alfred Hitchcock
- King Vidor
Although he received an honorary Academy Award in 2002, Peter O’Toole never won a “standard” Academy Award. He received a record eight nominations. Meanwhile, Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter share the distinction of earning the most nominations for actresses, without winning one. They both received six nominations.
5. Most acting awards.
While multiple actors have won a pair of Oscars, Katherine Hepburn has the distinction of winning four Academy Awards during her lifetime. Three actors are close behind, with three wins: Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, and Jack Nicolson.
When watching the next Academy Awards, keeping these records in mind will make your viewing of the presentations much more interesting. The question is: will any of them be broken this year?