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The 15 Movies That Won the Most Oscars

Three films are tied for first, with 11 Academy Awards each.

Anyone who is passionate about the Academy Awards has spent time looking up facts and figures about the nearly 100-year-old awards show. This might happen when a new batch of nominations are announced, during the actual broadcast, or any time your brain wonders something random, like, "Which movie has won the most Oscars without winning Best Picture?" (If that piqued your interest, you'll be glad to know the answer is revealed below.)

As for which movie has taken home the most Academy Awards in general, currently, there's a tie for first place. One movie was released in 1959, another in 1997, and the most recent in 2003. It remains to be seen when (and if) another film will either join that club or exceed it in wins and take the No. 1 slot on its own.

Keep reading to discover which are the most decorated Oscar movies of all time. We'll also take a look at the movies that have won all "Big Five" awards and those that took home three acting Oscars.

RELATED: 12 Oscar-Winning Movies That Are Offensive by Today's Standards.

What films won all five major Oscars?

Jodie Foster in "The Silence of the Lambs"
Orion Pictures

The Big Five Academy Awards are considered to be Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay—either Adapted or Original. Three movies have won in all of these categories.

The first was 1934's It Happened One Night. In addition to Best Picture (producers Frank CapraHarry Cohn) the romantic comedy won Best Director for Capra, Best Actress for Claudette Colbert, Best Actor for Clark Gable, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Robert Riskin.

The second film to win the Big Five was 1975's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which won Best Picture (Michael Douglas, Saul Zaentz), Best Director for Miloš Forman, Best Actress for Louise Fletcher, Best Actor for Jack Nicholson, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman.

This sweep most recently happened with 1991's The Silence of the Lambs. The psychological thriller took home Best Picture (Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt, Ronald M. Bozman), Best Director for Jonathan Demme, Best Actress for Jodie Foster, Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Ted Tally.

What movies have won three acting Oscars?

Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"

While it's certainly possible for one movie to win all four acting awards—Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress—that has never happened. Fifteen films have been nominated in all four of these categories, but none of them pulled off the feat. The most recent movie to be nominated in all four acting categories was 2013's American Hustle.

So, the record for most acting wins stands at three—and three movies have achieved this.

1951's A Streetcar Named Desire won Best Actress for Vivien Leigh, Best Supporting Actress for Kim Hunter, and Best Supporting Actor for Karl MaldenMarlon Brando was nominated for Best Actor but lost to Humphrey Bogart for The African Queen.

The 1976 movie Network also won three acting awards: Best Actress for Faye Dunaway, Best Actor for Peter Finch, and Best Supporting Actress for Beatrice StraightNed Beatty was nominated for Best Supporting Actor but lost to Jason Robards for All the President's Men. The movie's fifth acting nomination went to William Holden, who competed against Finch for Best Actor.

Just last year, 2022's Everything Everywhere All at Once captured three of four acting awards. Michelle Yeoh won the prize for Best Actress, Jamie Lee Curtis won Best Supporting Actress, and Ke Huy Quan won Best Supporting Actor. Everything Everywhere All at Once did not have a nominee in the category of Best Actor, but it did have a second Best Supporting Actress nominee in Stephanie Hsu.

Which Movie Has Won the Most Oscars?

1. Titanic, 11 Wins

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in "Titanic"
Paramount Pictures

Three movies tie for the most Oscar wins with 11 awards. Titanic is listed first here, because not only does it tie for this record, but it also ties for the record of most nominations with 14 nominations out of 17 eligible categories. (The two other movies that were nominated for 14 Oscars are 1950's All About Eve and 2016's La La Land. Both of these films won six awards.)

The 1997 disaster movie/love story won in the categories of Best Picture (James Cameron, Jon Landau), Best Director (Cameron), Best Art Direction (Peter Lamont, Michael D. Ford), Best Cinematography (Russell Carpenter), Best Costume Design (Deborah Lynn Scott), Best Film Editing (Cameron, Conrad Buff, Richard A. Harris), Best Original Dramatic Score (James Horner), Best Original Song (Horner, Will Jennings for "My Heart Will Go On" performed by Celine Dion), Best Sound (Gary RydstromTom JohnsonGary SummersMark Ulano), Best Sound Effects Editing (Tom Bellfort, Christopher Boyes), and Best Visual Effects (Robert LegatoMark A. LasoffThomas L. FisherMichael Kanfer).

RELATED: 8 Stars You Won't Believe Don't Have an Oscar.

2. Ben-Hur, 11 Wins

Charlton Heston in "Ben-Hur"
Loew's, Inc.

1959's Ben-Hur also won 11 Oscars, and it was nominated for 12 awards out of 15 possible categories. (The categories have changed over the years, which accounts for these shifts in eligibility.)

The Christian epic won Best Picture (Sam Zimbalist), Best Director (William Wyler), Best Actor (Charlton Heston), Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith), Best Art Direction—Set Decoration—Color (Edward C. Carfagno, William A. Horning, Hugh Hunt), Best Cinematography—Color (Robert L. Surtees), Best Costume Design—Color (Elizabeth Haffenden), Best Film Editing (John D. Dunning, Ralph E. Winters), Best Sound Recording (Frank Milton), Best Original Score (Miklós Rózsa), and Best Special Effects (A. Arnold GillespieRobert MacDonaldMilo Lory).

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 11 Wins

Viggo Mortensen in "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
New Line Cinema

The most recent 11-time Oscar winner is 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingThe third in the early aughts trilogy of J. R. R. Tolkien adaptations was nominated for 11 awards out of 17 categories, meaning it won everything it was nominated for.

Those awards are: Best Picture (Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh), Best Director (Jackson), Best Adapted Screenplay (Jackson, Walsh, Philippa Boyens), Best Art Direction (Grant MajorDan Hennah, Alan Lee), Best Costume Design (Ngila Dickson, Richard Taylor), Best Film Editing (Jamie Selkirk), Best Makeup (Richard Taylor, Peter King), Best Original Score (Howard Shore), Best Original Song (Walsh, Shore, Annie Lennox for "Into the West" performed by Lennox), Best Sound Mixing (Christopher BoyesMichael SemanickMichael Hedges, Hammond Peek), and Best Visual Effects (Jim RygielJoe LetteriRandall William Cook, Alex Funke).

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4. West Side Story, 10 Wins

Rita Moreno in "West Side Story"
United Artists

The only film to win a nice, even 10 Oscars is 1961's West Side Story, which was nominated for 11 awards. The stage musical adaptation won Best Picture (Robert Wise), Best Director (Wise and Jerome Robbins), Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris), Best Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno), Best Art Direction—Color (Boris Leven, Victor A. Gangelin), Best Cinematography – Color (Daniel L. Fapp), Best Costume Design—Color (Irene Sharaff), Best Film Editing (Thomas Stanford), Best Original Score (Saul ChaplinJohnny GreenIrwin Kostal, Sid Ramin), and Best Sound (Fred Hynes, Gordon E. Sawyer).

5. The English Patient, 9 Wins

Ralph Fiennes in "The English Patient"
Miramax Films

The 1996 romantic epic The English Patient won nine Oscars out of 12 nominations: Best Picture (Saul Zaentz), Best Director (Anthony Minghella), Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Binoche), Best Art Direction (Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan), Best Cinematography (John Seale), Best Costume Design (Ann Roth), Best Film Editing (Walter Murch), Best Original Dramatic Score (Gabriel Yared), and Best Sound (Murch, Mark BergerDavid Parker, Christopher Newman).

6. Gigi, 9 Wins

A screenshot from "Gigi"

The 1958 musical Gigi also boasts nine Academy Awards. It won all nine categories in which it was nominated: Best Picture (Arthur Freed), Best Director (Vincente Minnelli), Best Adapted Screenplay (Alan Jay Lerner), Best Art Direction (William A. Horning, E. Preston Ames, Henry Grace, F. Keogh Gleason), Best Cinematography—Color (Joseph Ruttenberg), Best Costume Design (Cecil Beaton), Best Film Editing (Adrienne Fazan), Best Original Score (André Previn), and Best Song (Lerner, Frederick Loewe for "Gigi" performed by Louis Jourdan).

RELATED: 6 Old Hollywood Movies You Can't Watch Anywhere Now.

7. The Last Emperor, 9 Wins

A screenshot from The Last Emperor
Columbia Pictures

This 1987 biopic of the last emperor of China, Puyi, received nine awards out of nine nominations. It won: Best Picture (Jeremy Thomas), Best Director (Bernardo Bertolucci), Best Adapted Screenplay (Bertolucci, Mark Peploe), Best Art Direction (Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Bruno Cesari, Osvaldo Desideri), Best Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro), Best Costume Design (James Acheson), Best Film Editing (Gabriella Cristiani), Best Original Score (Ryuichi SakamotoDavid ByrneCong Su), and Best Sound (Bill Rowe, Ivan Sharrock).

8. Gone With the Wind, 8 Wins

Clark Gable in "Gone with the Wind"
Loew's Inc.

Eight movies have scored eight Oscars wins. The first to set this record was Gone With the Wind. The 1939 Civil War epic won eight awards from 13 nominations: Best Picture (Selznick International Pictures), Best Director (Victor Fleming), Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), Best Screenplay (Sidney Howard), Best Art Direction (Lyle Wheeler), Best Cinematography—Color (Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan), and Best Film Editing (Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom)

9. From Here to Eternity, 8 Wins

Montgomery Clift in From Here to Eternity
Columbia Pictures

Like Gone With the Wind, 1953's From Here to Eternity took home eight Oscars from 13 nominations. The awards the war drama won are: Best Picture (Buddy Adler), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra), Best Supporting Actress (Donna Reed), Best Screenplay (Daniel Taradash), Best Cinematography—Black and White (Burnett Guffey), Best Film Editing (William Lyon), and Best Sound Recording (John P. Livadary).

10. On the Waterfront, 8 Wins

A screenshot from On the Waterfront
Columbia Pictures Corporation

The very next year after From Here to Eternity, another film won eight awards at the Oscars. This time, it was On the Waterfront, which had 12 total nominations. The 1954 movie won: Best Picture (Sam Spiegel), Best Director (Elia Kazan), Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Best Supporting Actress (Eva Marie Saint), Best Story and Screenplay (Budd Schulberg), Best Art Direction—Black and White (Richard Day), Best Cinematography—Black and White (Boris Kaufman), and Best Film Editing (Gene Milford).

RELATED: 8 Classic Movies That You Can't Watch Anywhere.

11. My Fair Lady, 8 Wins

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady
Warner Bros.

Musical adaptation My Fair Lady won its eight Academy Awards from 12 nominations. The 1964 movie about a linguist and a flower girl won awards for: Best Picture (Jack L. Warner), Best Director (George Cukor), Best Actor (Rex Harrison), Best Art Direction—Color (Gene Allen, Cecil Beaton, George James Hopkins), Best Cinematography—Color (Harry Stradling), Best Costume Design—Color (Beaton), Best Original Score (André Previn), and Best Sound (George R. Groves).

12. Cabaret, 8 Wins

Liza Minnelli in Cabaret
Allied Artists

Cabaret stands alone on our list of movies with the most Oscars as the film that won the most awards without winning Best Picture. Instead, The Godfather won the top prize of the night back in 1972.

Cabaret's eight awards from 10 nominations are: Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Actress (Liza Minnelli), Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), Best Art Direction (Hans Jürgen KiebachRolf ZehetbauerHerbert Strabel), Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth), Best Film Editing (David Bretherton), Best Original Score (Ralph Burns), and Best Sound (Robert Knudson, David Hildyard).

13. Gandhi, 8 Wins

Ben Kingsley in Gandhi
Columbia Pictures

This 1982 biopic of Mahatma Gandhi scored eight wins out of 11 nominations: Best Picture (Richard Attenborough), Best Director (Attenborough), Best Actor (Ben Kingsley), Best Original Screenplay (John Briley), Best Art Direction (Stuart Craig, Robert W. Laing, Michael Seirton), Best Cinematography (Billy Williams, Ronnie Taylor), Best Costume Design (John Mollo, Bhanu Athaiya), and Best Film Editing (John Bloom).

RELATED: 20 Stars Who Were Fired From Major Movies.

14. Amadeus, 8 Wins

Tom Hulce in Amadeus
Orion Pictures

Another biopic, Amadeus, took home eight awards two years after Gandhi. The 1984 film inspired by composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart won: Best Picture (Saul Zaentz), Best Director (Miloš Forman), Best Actor (F. Murray Abraham), Best Adapted Screenplay (Peter Shaffer), Best Art Direction (Patrizia von Brandenstein, Karel Černý), Best Costume Design (Theodor Pištěk), Best Makeup (Dick Smith, Paul LeBlanc), and Best Sound (Mark Berger, Tom Scott, Todd Boekelheide, Christopher Newman).

15. Slumdog Millionaire, 8 Wins

Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire
Pathé Distribution

Lastly, there's Slumdog Millionaire, which also scored eight Academy Awards. The 2008 drama about a young man who ends up on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? won Oscars for: Best Picture (Christian Colson), Best Director (Danny Boyle), Best Adapted Screenplay (Simon Beaufoy), Best Cinematography (Anthony Dod Mantle), Best Film Editing (Chris Dickens), Best Original Score (A. R. Rahman), Best Original Song (Rahman, Gulzar for "Jai Ho" performed by Sukwinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vijay Prakash), and Best Sound Mixing (Resul Pookutty, Richard Pryke, Ian Tapp).

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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