The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) since the awards debuted in 1929. This award goes to the producers of the film and is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible to submit a nomination and vote on the final ballot. Best Picture is the final award of the night and is considered the most prestigious honor of the ceremony. The Grand Staircase columns at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, where the Academy Awards ceremonies have been held since 2002, showcase every film that has won the Best Picture title since the award's inception. There have been 571 films nominated for Best Picture and 92 winners.


Category name changes

At the 1st Academy Awards ceremony (for 1927 and 1928), there were two categories of awards that were each considered the top award of the night: ''Outstanding Picture'' and ''Unique and Artistic Picture,'' the former being won by the war epic ''Wings'', and the latter by the art film ''Sunrise''. Each award was intended to honor different and equally important aspects of superior filmmaking. The following year, the Academy dropped the ''Unique and Artistic Picture'' award, and decided retroactively that the award won by ''Wings'' was the highest honor that could be awarded. Although the award kept the title ''Outstanding Picture'' for the next ceremony, the name underwent several changes over the years as seen below. Since 1962, the award has been simply called ''Best Picture''. * 1927/281928/29: Academy Award for Outstanding Picture * 1929/301940: Academy Award for Outstanding Production * 19411943: Academy Award for Outstanding Motion Picture * 19441961: Academy Award for Best Motion Picture * 1962–present: Academy Award for Best Picture


Until 1950, this award was presented to a representative of the production company. That year the protocol was changed so that the award was presented to all credited producers. This rule was modified in 1999 to apply a maximum limit of three producers receiving the award, after the five producers of ''Shakespeare in Love'' had received the award. , the "Special Rules for the Best Picture of the Year Award" limit recipients to those who meet two main requirements: * Those with screen credit of "producer" or "produced by", explicitly excluding those with the screen credit "executive producer, co-producer, associate producer, line producer, or produced in association with" * those three or fewer producers who have performed the major portion of the producing functions The rules allow team of not more than two people shall be considered to be a single “producer” if the two individuals have had an established producing partnership as determined by the Producers Guild of America Producing Partnership Panel. Final determination of the qualifying producer nominees for each nominated picture will be made by the Producers Branch Executive Committee, including the right to name any additional qualified producer as a nominee. The Academy can make exceptions to the limit, as when Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack were posthumously included among the four producers nominated for ''The Reader.'' the Producers Branch Executive Committee determines such exceptions, noting they take place only in "rare and extraordinary circumstance" Steven Spielberg currently holds the record for most nominations at ten, winning one, while Kathleen Kennedy holds the record for most nominations without a win at eight. Sam Spiegel and Saul Zaentz tie for the most wins with three each. As for the time when the Oscar was given to production companies instead, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer holds the record with five wins and 40 nominations.

Best Picture and Best Director

The Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director have been closely linked throughout their history. Of the 92 films that have won Best Picture, 66 have also been awarded Best Director. Only five films have been awarded Best Picture without receiving a Best Director nomination: ''Wings'' (1927/28), ''Grand Hotel'' (1931/32), ''Driving Miss Daisy'' (1989), ''Argo'' (2012), and ''Green Book'' (2018). The only two Best Director winners to win for films that did not receive a Best Picture nomination were during the early years of the awards: Lewis Milestone for ''Two Arabian Knights'' (1927/28), and Frank Lloyd for ''The Divine Lady'' (1928/29).

Nomination limit increased

On June 24, 2009, AMPAS announced that the number of films to be nominated in the Best Picture award category would increase from five to ten, starting with the 82nd Academy Awards (2009). Although the Academy never officially said so, many commenters noted the expansion was likely in part a response to public criticism of ''The Dark Knight'' (2008) (and, in previous years, other blockbusters and popular films) not being nominated for Best Picture. Officially, the Academy said the rule change was a throwback to the Academy's early years in the 1930s and 1940s, when eight to 12 films were nominated each year. "Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going to allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize," AMPAS President Sid Ganis said in a press conference. "I can't wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February." At the same time, the voting system was switched from first-past-the-post to instant runoff voting (also known as preferential voting). Two years after this change, the Academy revised the rule again so that the number of films nominated was between five and ten; nominated films must earn either 5% of first-place rankings or 5% after an abbreviated variation of the single transferable vote nominating process. Bruce Davis, the Academy executive director at the time, said, "A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn't feel an obligation to round out the number."

Language and country of origin

Only eleven non-English language films have been nominated in the category: ''La Grande Illusion'' (French, 1938); ''Z'' (French, 1969); ''The Emigrants'' (Swedish, 1972); ''Cries and Whispers'' (Swedish, 1973); ''The Postman (Il Postino)'' (Italian/Spanish, 1995); ''Life Is Beautiful'' (Italian, 1998); ''Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'' (Mandarin Chinese, 2000); ''Letters from Iwo Jima'' (Japanese, 2006, but ineligible for Best Foreign Language Film, as it was an American production); ''Amour'' (French, 2012); ''Roma'' (Spanish/Mixtec, 2018); and ''Parasite'' (Korean, 2019). ''Parasite'' became the first film not in English to win Best Picture. Only ten films wholly financed outside the United States have won Best Picture, eight of which were financed, in part or in whole, by the United Kingdom: ''Hamlet'' (1948), ''Tom Jones'' (1963), ''A Man for All Seasons'' (1966), ''Chariots of Fire'' (1981), ''Gandhi'' (1982), ''The Last Emperor'' (1987), ''Slumdog Millionaire'' (2008), and ''The King's Speech'' (2010). The ninth film, ''The Artist'' (2011), was financed by France and the tenth film, ''Parasite'' (2019), was financed by South Korea.


Some genres of film (or mediums in the case of an animation) have received few or no nominations or awards. Only three animated films have been nominated — ''Beauty and the Beast'' (1991), ''Up'' (2009) and ''Toy Story 3'' (2010). The latter two were nominated after the Academy expanded the number of nominees, but none have won. No comic book or superhero film has won, and only two have ever been nominated — ''Black Panther'' (2018), and ''Joker'' (2019). Only two fantasy films have won — ''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'' (2003) and ''The Shape of Water'' (2017), although more have been nominated. ''The Silence of the Lambs'' (1991) is the only horror film to win Best Picture, and only five others have been nominated for Best Picture: ''The Exorcist'' (1973), ''Jaws'' (1975), ''The Sixth Sense'' (1999), ''Black Swan'' (2010), and ''Get Out'' (2017). No science fiction film has won the award, though eleven films have been nominated: ''A Clockwork Orange'', ''Star Wars'', ''E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial'', ''Avatar'', ''District 9'', ''Inception'', ''Gravity'', ''Her'', ''Mad Max: Fury Road'', ''The Martian'', and ''Arrival''. No documentary feature has yet been nominated for Best Picture, although ''Chang'' was nominated in the "Unique and Artistic Production" category at the 1927/28 awards. Several musical adaptations based on material previously filmed in non-musical form have won Best Picture, including ''Gigi'', ''West Side Story'', ''My Fair Lady'', ''The Sound of Music'', ''Oliver!'', and ''Chicago''.

Sequel nominations and winners

Few sequels have been nominated for Best Picture and just two have won: ''The Godfather Part II'' (the film before that, ''The Godfather'', also won the award; the third film in the installment ''The Godfather Part III'', was nominated as well but did not win the award) and ''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'' (the films before that, ''Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'' and ''Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers'' were both nominated for the award but did not win). Other nominees include ''The Bells of St. Mary's'' (the sequel to the 1944 winner, ''Going My Way''), ''Toy Story 3,'' and ''Mad Max: Fury Road.'' Another nominee, ''Broadway Melody of 1936,'' was a follow-up of sorts to previous winner ''The Broadway Melody.'' But, beyond the title and some music, there is no story connection to the earlier film. ''The Silence of the Lambs'' was adapted from the sequel novel to ''Red Dragon.'' The latter had been adapted for film as ''Manhunter'' by a different studio. Best Picture nominee ''The Lion in Winter'' features Peter O'Toole as King Henry II, a role he had played previously in the film ''Becket''. But ''Winter'' is not a sequel to ''Becket''. Clint Eastwood's ''Letters from Iwo Jima'' was a companion piece to his film ''Flags of Our Fathers'', released earlier the same year. These two films depict the same battle from the different viewpoints of Japanese and United States military forces; the two films were shot back-to-back. In addition, ''Black Panther'' is a continuation on the events that occurred in ''Captain America: Civil War'' and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Silent film winners

At the 1st Academy Awards, the Best Picture award then named "Academy Award for Outstanding Picture" was presented to the 1927 silent film ''Wings''. ''The Artist'' (with the exception of a single scene of dialogue, and dream sequence with sound effects) was the first silent film since ''Wings'' to win Best Picture. It was the first silent nominee since 1928's ''The Patriot''. It was the first Best Picture winner to be shot entirely in black-and-white since 1960's ''The Apartment.'' (''Schindler's List'', the 1993 winner, was predominantly black-and-white but it did contain some color sequences).

Version availability

No Best Picture winner has been lost, though a few such as ''All Quiet on the Western Front'' and ''Lawrence of Arabia'' exist only in a form altered from their original, award-winning release form. This has usually been due to editing for reissue (and subsequently partly restored by archivists). Other winners and nominees, such as ''Tom Jones'' (prior to its 2018 reissues by The Criterion Collection and the British Film Institute) and ''Star Wars,'' are widely available only in subsequently altered versions. ''The Broadway Melody'' originally had some sequences photographed in two-color Technicolor. This footage survives only in black and white. The 1928 film ''The Patriot'' is the only Best Picture nominee that is lost (about one-third is extant). ''The Racket'', also from 1928, was believed lost for many years until a print was found in Howard Hughes' archives. It has since been restored and shown on Turner Classic Movies. The only surviving complete prints of 1931's ''East Lynne'' and 1934's ''The White Parade'' exist within the UCLA film archive.

Ceremony mistake

In 2017, at the 89th Academy Awards, presenter Faye Dunaway read ''La La Land'' as the winner of the award. However, she and Warren Beatty had mistakenly been given the duplicate envelope for the "Best Actress in a Leading Role" award, which Emma Stone had won for her role in ''La La Land'' moments prior. When the mistake was realized, the show's producers rushed onstage to correct it; in the resulting chaos, it was ''La La Land'' producer Jordan Horowitz who finally announced that ''Moonlight'' was the real winner.

Winners and nominees

In the list below, winners are listed first in the gold row, followed by the other nominees. Except for the early years (when the Academy used a non-calendar year), the year shown is the one in which the film first premiered in Los Angeles County, California; normally this is also the year of first release, however, it may be the year after first release (as with ''Casablanca'' and, if the film-festival premiere is considered, ''Crash''). This is also the year before the ceremony at which the award is given; for example, a film exhibited theatrically during 2005 was eligible for consideration for the 2005 Best Picture Oscar, awarded in 2006. The number of the ceremony (1st, 2nd, etc.) appears in parentheses after the awards year, linked to the article on that ceremony. Each individual entry shows the title followed by nominee. Until 1950, the Best Picture award was given to the production company; from 1951 on, it has gone to the producer or producers. The Academy used the producer credits of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) until 1998, when all five producers of ''Shakespeare in Love'' made speeches after its win. A three-producer limit has been applied some years since. There was controversy over the exclusion of some PGA-credited producers of ''Crash'' and ''Little Miss Sunshine''. The Academy can make exceptions to the limit, as when Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack were posthumously among the four nominated for ''The Reader''. However, now any number of producers on a film can be nominated for Best Picture, should they be deemed eligible. For the first ceremony, three films were nominated for the award. For the following three years, five films were nominated for the award. This was expanded to eight in 1933, to ten in 1934, and to twelve in 1935, before being dropped back to ten in 1937. In 1945, it was further reduced to five. This number remained until 2009, when the limit was raised to ten and later adjusted in 2011, to vary between five and ten. For the first six ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned two calendar years. For example, the 2nd Academy Awards presented on April 3, 1930, recognized films that were released between August 1, 1928, and July 31, 1929. Starting with the 7th Academy Awards, held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31.












Individuals with multiple wins

;3 wins * Sam Spiegel * Saul Zaentz ;2 wins * Clint Eastwood * Arthur Freed * Dede Gardner * Jeremy Kleiner * Branko Lustig * Albert S. Ruddy * Robert Wise

Individuals with multiple nominations

;10 nominations * Steven Spielberg ;9 nominations * Scott Rudin ;8 nominations * Kathleen Kennedy ;6 nominations * Eric Fellner * Dede Gardner * Stanley Kramer ;5 nominations * Tim Bevan * Francis Ford Coppola * Clint Eastwood * Jeremy Kleiner * Frank Marshall ;4 nominations * Warren Beatty * James L. Brooks * David Brown * Megan Ellison * Ethan Coen * Donna Gigliotti * Peter Jackson * Norman Jewison * Graham King * Sydney Pollack * David Puttnam * Sam Spiegel * George Stevens * Irwin Winkler ;3 nominations * Lawrence Bender * Jason Blum * Ceán Chaffin * Robert Chartoff * Joel Coen * Bruce Cohen * Christian Colson * Bradley Cooper * Michael De Luca * Steve Golin * Brian Grazer * David Heyman * Alejandro González Iñárritu * Emma Tillinger Koskoff * Stanley Kubrick * Robert Lorenz * Ismail Merchant * Barrie M. Osborne * Brad Pitt * Marc Platt * Martin Scorsese * Hal B. Wallis * Fran Walsh * Robert Wise * John Woolf * Saul Zaentz * Richard D. Zanuck ;2 nominations * Buddy Adler * Robert Altman * Paul Thomas Anderson * Kathryn Bigelow * Mark Boal * John Boorman * John Brabourne * Lisa Bruce * Dana Brunetti * Jim Burke * James Cameron * Iain Canning * Peter Chernin * Alfonso Cuarón * Cecil B. DeMille * Finola Dwyer * John Foreman * Gray Frederickson * Arthur Freed * Richard N. Gladstein * Jonathan Gordon * Ed Guiney * Jerome Hellman * Grant Heslov * Grant Hill * Ron Howard * Stanley R. Jaffe * Dan Janvey * Dan Jinks * Mark Johnson * Ross Katz * A. Kitman Ho * Arnold Kopelson * Kristie Macosko Krieger * Gary Kurtz * Jon Landau * Ang Lee * Ernest Lehman * Daniel Lupi * Branko Lustig * Michael Mann * Anthony McCarten * Frank McCarthy * Barry Mendel * Arnon Milchan * George Miller * Doug Mitchell * Gil Netter * Patrick J. Palmer * David Parfitt * Amy Pascal * Jordan Peele * Julia Phillips * Michael Phillips * Amanda Posey * Sean McKittrick * Christopher Nolan * Fred Roos * Albert S. Ruddy * Tracey Seaward * Ronald L. Schwary * JoAnne Sellar * Michael Shamberg * Stacey Sher * Emile Sherman * Bernard Smith * Peter Spears * Ray Stark * Oliver Stone * Emma Thomas * Jenno Topping * Douglas Urbanski * Jerry Wald * Jack L. Warner * Harvey Weinstein * Douglas Wick * James Woolf * William Wyler * Peter Yates * Sam Zimbalist * Fred Zinnemann * Edward Zwick

Production companies with multiple nominations and wins

See also

* BAFTA Award for Best Film * Independent Spirit Award for Best Film * Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Picture * Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama * Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy * Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture * Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture * List of actors who have appeared in multiple Best Picture winners * List of superlative Academy Award winners and nominees * List of presenters of the Academy Award for Best Picture * List of Big Five Academy Award winners and nominees * Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture * List of Academy Award-winning films * List of film production companies * List of films considered the best * Lists of films



External links

(official Academy site)
(official ceremony site)
The Academy Awards Database
(official site) {{DEFAULTSORT:Academy Award For Best Picture Picture Category:Awards for best film