The 12 Most Oscar-Nominated Movies of All Time
There’s no question that earning an Oscar nomination is a huge honor for any movie and its cast. But there are a select few films that have managed to reach a whole new level of achievement, nabbing over a dozen nominations at the Academy Awards. These comedies and dramas made a great impact on the industry in their debut, earning them record-breaking recognition in most — if not all — of the major categories. From The Lord of the Rings saga to 2016’s La La Land, here are 12 of the most Oscar-nominated movies in history.
1. La La Land — 14 nominations
The 2016 musical romance, directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, has proven to be a huge awards season favorite. The movie is up for an Oscar in a whopping 14 categories this year, tying with Titanic and All About Eve for the most Oscar nominations in history. It’s not only nominated in every major category (including Best Picture, Best Actress and Actor, and Best Director), but is also considered to be a frontrunner in many of them — potentially positioning itself to earn another record for most wins. Making its success even more impressive? La La Land is only Chazelle’s second major directorial credit, following 2014’s Whiplash (which itself earned five Oscar nominations).
2. Titanic — 14 nominations
James Cameron is known for making impactful feature films and none fit that description more so than Titanic. The 1997 film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, delivers a fictionalized re-telling of the real-life sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912. The movie earned overwhelming critical acclaim and a total of 14 Oscar nominations — marking the first time in almost 50 years that a film received that many nominations. It went on to win 11 of its 14 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, and remains (arguably) Cameron’s most famous work to date.
3. All About Eve — 14 nominations
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, this 1950 drama stars Bette Davis and Anne Baxter. The former plays an aging Broadway star whose career is threatened by Baxter, an ambitious young fan. The movie was hugely successful, earning a universally positive reception and becoming the first ever feature film to get 14 nods at the Oscars.
It also became the only film in history to snag four female acting nominations. Davis and Baxter were both nominated for Best Actress, while Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter were each up for Best Supporting Actress. Though none of them ended up bringing home a prize in those categories, the movie did win for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — 13 nominations
The 2008 fantasy drama, based on the 1922 short story of the same name, stars Brad Pitt as a man who ages in reverse and Cate Blanchett as the love interest throughout his life. After earning positive reviews in its debut, the David Fincher-directed flick went on to earn 13 Academy Award nominations, including the four major categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress for Taraji P. Henson. It only won three, for Best Art Director, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
5. Chicago — 13 nominations
The 2002 big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, starring Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, was up for 13 different prizes at the 75th Academy Awards — including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress. The film won six of its 13 nods, including Best Supporting Actress for Zeta-Jones. It also took home the biggest honor of the night, Best Picture, marking the first time since 1968 that a musical won in that category.
6. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring — 13 nominations
The first installment in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings franchise was both a critical and commercial success. Of the whopping 13 nominations that the 2001 film nabbed at the 74th Academy Awards, it only ended up going home with four awards: Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects. But that wasn’t the only time the franchise made a splash at the Oscars. While The Fellowship of the Ring may be the most-nominated movie in the trilogy, 2003’s The Return of the King is the one with the most wins, taking home all 11 Oscars it was nominated for in 2004.
7. Shakespeare in Love — 13 nominations
John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love stars Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow as a young Shakespeare and a young woman who fall in love, inspiring one of his most famous plays. The 1998 movie, co-starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Rush, snagged 13 nominations at the 71st Academy Awards, including every major category except for Best Actor. By the end of the night, the film won seven, with Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress going to Paltrow and Dench, respectively. It also beat Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture — a choice that proved controversial to many.
8. Forrest Gump — 13 nominations
Tom Hanks delivered one of the most iconic performances of his illustrious career as the titular character in this 1994 classic. The now-beloved film nabbed 13 Oscar nominations and ended up winning six against some major Hollywood heavy hitters. Director Robert Zemeckis beat out Quentin Tarantino for Best Director. Meanwhile, Hanks won Best Actor over the likes of Morgan Freeman and Paul Newman. The movie also topped Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption to take home Best Picture.
9. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? — 13 nominations
Getting nominations for an Oscar is a huge honor, but getting nominated — and winning! — for your directorial debut is a whole new level of achievement. Mike Nichols managed to do just that with this 1966 film, based on the 1962 play of the same name. The movie earned a total of 13 nominations and went on to win in five categories, including a Best Actress award for star Elizabeth Taylor.
10. Mary Poppins — 13 nominations
Of the many iconic films that Walt Disney produced (and there are many!), many consider 1964’s Mary Poppins to be his ultimate achievement. Based on P.L. Travers’ novel of the same name, the Robert Stevenson-directed flick starred Julie Andrews as the titular magical nanny who uses songs and fantastical adventures to entertain the children in her care. In addition to earning widely positive reviews, the movie also nabbed 13 Oscar nominations. It won five, including Best Actress for Andrews. It’s the only film produced by Walt Disney to ever earn a Best Picture nod.
11. From Here to Eternity — 13 nominations
The 1953 film, directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on James Jones’ novel, earned 13 Oscar nominations. It took home eight statuettes, including wins in the Best Picture and Best Director categories. Stars Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed also took home Oscars as the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. The film marked the only Oscar win of Sinatra’s career.
12. Gone with the Wind — 13 nominations
The classic 1939 film received 13 nominations at the 12th Academy Awards, the highest of any film at the time. Of the many categories it was a contender in, it won eight — including Best Picture, Best Director for Victor Fleming, and Best Actress for Vivian Leigh. Hattie McDaniel also won Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first African-American to ever win an Academy Award.
The film also earned two honorary awards: Special Award, for “outstanding achievement in the use of color,” and Technical Achievement Award, for “pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment.” The movie remains one of the most iconic films in cinematic history.
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!