The Insider List of Academy Award Winners (10 FACTS Revealed)

Established in 1927, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science hosted the first-ever Academy Awards in 1929. Over the last 95 years, filmmaking and cinema have grown and changed drastically with technological advances changing the way stories are told. As a film lover and filmmaker, I love looking back at films and a list of academy award winners that have earned the coveted Academy Award.

I’ve thought about some of the most iconic films and wondered about Academy Awards nominations, who has been nominated for these films, and how many Academy Awards films nominated have won. We’ll examine seven top films: Rocky, The Godfather, Titanic, Forrest Gump, West Side Story, Gone With the Wind, and Coda. But before we get started, let’s answer a top-asked question.

Which film has won the most Academy Awards?

As of 2022, three films share a tie for the most Academy Awards won by one film. Each of these films won 11 Oscars. The films that are tied for the most Academy Award wins are Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997), and The Lord Of The Rings: Return of the King (2003).

Did the movie Rocky win any Academy Awards?

In 1977, despite ten nominations, Rocky (1976) won three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing.

List of Academy Award Winners - Rocky
Rocky (1976)
  • Best Picture (Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff) 
  • Best Director (John G. Avildsen)
  • Best Film Editing (Richard Halsey, Scott Conrad)

Rocky received nominations for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Original Song for “Gonna Fly Now.”

  • Best Actor (Sylvester Stallone)
  • Best Actress (Talia Shire)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Burgess Meredith)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Burt Young)
  • Best Screenplay (Sylvester Stallone)
  • Best Sound (Harry W. Tetrick, William L. McCaughhey, Lyle J. Burbridge, Bud Alper)
  • Best Original Song (Bill Conti for music, Carol Connors for lyrics, Ayn Robbins for lyrics)

Bonus fact: With his nomination for Rocky, Sylvester Stallone was the third person to serve as an actor and writer to be nominated in the same year. The first two nominees were Charles Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940) and Orson Wells in Citizen Kane (1941).

How many Academy Awards did The Godfather win?

At the 1973 Academy Awards, The Godfather (1972) was nominated for 11 Oscars. They went on to win three awards, including Best Picture (Albert S. Ruddy), Best Actor (Marlon Brando as Don Corleone), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo).

List of Academy Award Winners - The Godfather 1
The Godfather (1972)

They were also nominated for Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola), Best Music (Nino Rota), Best Editing( William Reynolds, Peter Zinner), Best Sound (Charles Grenzbach, Richard Portman, Christopher Newman), Best Costume Design (Anna Hills Johnstone).

Al Pacino, James Caan, and Robert Duvall were nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Two interesting things happened with The Godfather (1972) at the 1973 Academy Awards. In protest of award fraud, citing his role as having more screen time than Marlon Brando, Al Pacino boycotted the ceremony. Second, the Best Music submission was withdrawn and ruled ineligible as part of his score had been used in the 1958 film “Fortunatella”. The film “Sleuth” went on to take the place of “The Godfather Part I” in the nomination for Best Music.

The Godfather Part II

At the 1974 Academy Awards, The Godfather Part II went on to have 11 nominations and was the first sequel to win the Best Picture award.

List of Academy Award Winners - The Godfather 2
The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather Part II won 6 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Music, and Best Art Direction.

  • Best Picture (Francis Ford Coppola, Gary Fredericton, Fred Ross)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone
  • Best Director – Francis Ford Coppola 
  • Best Music – Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola
  • Best Art Direction (Dean Tavoularis, Angelo P. Graham, George R. Nelson)

The Godfather Part II was nominated for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Costume Design.

Nominations:

  • Best Actor (Al Pacino)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Talia Shire), 
  • Best Supporting Actor (Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth) 
  • Best Supporting Actor (Michael Gazzo as Frank Pentangeli) 
  • Best Costume Design (Theodora Van Runkle)

The Godfather Part III

At the 1991 Academy Awards, The Godfather Part III (1990) was nominated for 7 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Song.

List of Academy Award Winners - The Godfather 3
The Godfather Part III (1990)

Despite the seven nominations for the 1991 Academy Awards, The Godfather Part III walked away with no wins.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture (Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Andy Garcia)
  • Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola) 
  • Best Cinematography (Gordon Willis)
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Dean Tavoularis and Gary Fettis)
  • Best Film Editing ( Barry Malkin, Lisa Fruchtman, Walter Murch) 
  • Best Music, Original song for the song: “Promise Me, You’ll Remember,” with lyrics by John Bettis and music by Carmine Coppola. 

How many Academy Awards did Titanic win? 

During the 1998 Academy Awards, Titanic (1997) went on to win 11 Oscars out of 14 Oscar nominations.

List of Academy Award Winners - Titanic
Titanic (1997)

Titanic’s Academy Award wins include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Visual Effects Editing, Best Original Song, and Best Original Score.

  • Best Picture (James Cameron, Jon Landau)
  • Best Director (James Cameron)
  • Best Cinematography (Russell Carpenter)
  • Best Art Direction-Set Direction (Peter Lamont as art director, Michael Ford as set decorator)
  • Best Costume Design (Deborah L. Scott)
  • Best Sound (Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Gary Summers, Mark Ulano)
  • Best Film Editing (Conrad Buff IV, James Cameron, Richard A. Harris)
  • Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Tom Bellfort, Christopher Boyes)
  • Best Effects, Visual Effects (Robert Legato, Marl A. Layoff, Thomas L. Fisher, Michael Kanfer)
  • Best Music, Original Song – “My Heart Will Go On” (music by James Horner, lyrics by Will Jennings)
  • Best Music, Original Score (James Horner)

The additional nominations were for Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Stuart), and Best Makeup (Tina Earnshaw, Greg Cannot, Simon Thompson)

How many Academy Awards did Forrest Gump win?

Forrest Gump (1994) won 6 Oscars out of 13 nominations.

List of Academy Award Winners - Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects.

  • Best Picture (Wendy Finerman, Steve Starkey, Steve Tisch)
  • Best Actor (Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump)
  • Best Director (Robert Zemeckis)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth)
  • Best Film Editing (Arthur Schmidt)
  • Best Visual Effects (Ken Ralston, George Murphy, Stephen Rosenbaum, Allen Hall)

Forest Gump was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Makeup. 

  • Best Supporting Actor (Gary Sinise) 
  • Best Cinematography (Don Burgess) 
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Rick Carter, Nancy Haigh) 
  • Best Sound (Randy Thorn, Tom Johnson, Dennis S. Sands, Willian B. Kaplan) 
  • Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Gloria S. Borders, Randy Thorn) 
  • Best Makeup (Daniel C. Striepeke, Hallie D’Amore, Judith A. Cory)

How many Academy Awards did West Side Story win?

West Side Story (1961) won Academy Awards for 10 out of 11 nominations at the 1962 Academy Awards.

List of Academy Award Winners - West Side Story
West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography (Color), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color), Best Costume Design (Color), Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Music.

  • Best Picture (Robert Wise)
  • Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno)
  • Best Director (Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins)
  • Best Cinematography, Color (Daniel L. Fapp)
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration – Color (Boris Leven, Victor A Ganglien)
  • Best Costume Design – Color (Irene Sharaff)
  • Best Sound (Fred Hynes, Gordon Sawyer)
  • Best Film Editing (Thomas Stanford)
  • Best Music (Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin, Irwin Kostal)

The only nomination that didn’t result in a win was for Best Adapted Screenplay by Ernest Lehman.

As a refresher, here is the official trailer for West Side Story:

Bonus fact: West Side Story’s Best Director win marked the first time the directing award was shared. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins share the prestigious award.

How many Academy Awards did Gone With The Wind win?

At the 1940 Academy Awards, Gone With the Wind (1939) won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Color Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Writing.

List of Academy Award Winners - Gone With The Wind
Gone With the Wind (1939)
  • Best Picture 
  • Best Actress (Vivien Leigh) 
  • Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel) 
  • Best Art Direction (Lyle R. Wheeler)
  • Best Director (Victor Fleming)
  • Best Film Editing (Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom)
  • Best Cinematography (Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan)
  • Best Writing (Sidney Howard)

For the production of Gone With the Wind, William Cameron Menzies won an Honorary Award for outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood.

R.D. Musgrave also won a Technical Achievement Award for pioneering using coordinated equipment for Gone With The Wind.

Other nominees included Clark Gable for Best Actor, Olivia de Havilland for Best Supporting Actress, Thomas T. Moulton for Best Sound Recording, Jack Cosgrove( photogenic), Fred Album (sound), and Arthur Johns (sound) for Best Special Effects and Max Steiner for Best Original Score.

Fun fact: Gone With the Wind was the first movie in color to receive the Best Picture Academy Award.

How Many Academy Awards did CODA win?

At the 2022 Academy Awards, CODA (2021) won all three Oscars nominated for, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

List of Academy Award Winners - CODA 2
CODA (2021)
  • Best Picture (Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay (Sian Heder)

And That is Your List of Academy Award Winners

It’s been so fun to research films from as early as 1939 through 2021. While technology and time have changed our industry, one thing remains the same. Audiences and critics alike strive for powerful and dynamic storytelling. 

I hope you’ve learned something new about the iconic films we featured, including Rocky, The Godfather, Titanic, Forrest Gump, West Side Story, Gone With the Wind, and Coda. Let me know what Academy Award-nominated films you’d love to learn more about – I can’t wait to do a part two!

Image Credit: By BDS2006 (talk) – I created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0

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Ashleigh Coffelt

Ashleigh Coffelt is a Filipina writer, director, and cinematographer. Passionate about collaboration and education, you can find her woodburning, creating art and playing emo music with her best friend. Ashleigh loves working with people to create beautiful things and is constantly striving to learn more so she can share her knowledge with the world.

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