86th Academy Awards: 14 Memorable Best Picture Winners
We can see bits of sequins and glitter in the air with the 86th Academy Awards just over the horizon, but there is more to the biggest night in Hollywood then the gorgeous gowns.
In honor of the spectacular night, GossipCenter looks back at 14 of the most memorable Best Picture winners as we prepare to celebrate another round of victors tomorrow evening (March 2).
1. The Godfather (1972) - With a cast including Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan it is not surprising that this mobster film is one of the most memorable Oscar-winning hits in movie history. It follows Don Vito Corleone (Brando) as he prepares to transfer his organized crime dynasty onto his sons, Michael (Pacino) and Sonny Corleone (Caan). The Francis Ford Coppola-directed franchise is not only recognized as one of the greatest big screen creations ever, it also sparked the growth of mob scene culture and paved the way for other flicks like "Goodfellas" and "The Departed."
2. The Godfather: Part II (1974) - Coppola knocked it out of the park again with the sequel to his first Godfather film. This time, Michael (Pacino) leads the family organization and audiences also get a look at the late Vito Corleone's early life (portrayed by the great Robert De Niro). Many critics rank "The Godfather: Part II" above its predecessor, so it wasn't a shock when the sequel scored six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director in 1975.
3. Titanic (1997) - "Never let go," is the now-famous phrase made famous by this captivating love story starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. It nabbed 11 Oscars during the 1998 awards, scoring wins in the Best Picture and Best Director categories. Audiences got their first full-exposure to a young Leo (21) and ladies instantly fell in love with his charm. In addition, the film earned an astounding $1.8 billion worldwide.
4. Casablanca (1942) - Also recognized as one of the greatest movies ever, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman give amazing performances in this complicated love story set in the World War II era. Directed by Michael Curtiz, "Casablanca" went on to win three Oscars in 1944, with both actors scoring a leading nomination. Although it's filmed in black-and-white, the story is timeless and is still enjoyed by many fans. And how can you not love a flick with the tagline: "They had a date with fate in Casablanca!"
5. Forrest Gump (1994) - "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get," is just one of the many life lessons learned from this Robert Zemeckis-directed film. Set over many decades, Forrest (Tom Hanks) faces trials and tribulations, meets a number of fascinating and famous characters, and continues to charm the audience though his incredible journey. Among its six Oscars won in 1995 were Hanks' Best Actor victory, Best Picture and Best Director. Meanwhile, a famous restaurant chain Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. opened, which is based solely on the award-winning film. Now that's what we call results of a memorable movie!
6. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Dr. Hannibal Lector ( Anthony Hopkins) puts a chill up your spine, while keeping an eerily charming way about himself in this Jonathan Demme-thriller. Also starring Jodie Foster as a young FBI agent, this film takes audiences through the twists and turns of catching Hannibal - a cannibalistic serial killer who proves his smarts against the law system. Boasting famous lines like "Hello, Clarice," "The Silence of the Lambs" took home five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Actor.
7. Rocky (1976) - This is one of the most memorable underdog films to date, following the challenges of a young boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) as he prepares to fight a heavy-weight champion in the biggest match of his life. The John G. Avildsen-directed movie is also a love story involving Rocky and Adrian (Talia Shire) looking at how his training challenges their relationship. At the 1977 Academy Awards, "Rocky" took home three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.
8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - Continuing the journey of Frodo and Sam, this Peter Jackson-directed film was highly acclaimed by critics and Lord of the Rings fans alike. And we all know, the fans are the biggest critics of them all. The franchise also boasts a big-named cast including Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood and holds its own against other famous epics including Stars Wars and The Harry Potter series.
9. Gone with the Wind (1939) - This critically acclaimed film was an instant classic and follows "a manipulative Southern belle carrying on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War." Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Thomas Mitchell, the beloved film nabbed a whopping eight Academy Awards in 1940 including Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Director. If you haven't had a chance to take in all the wonders that are "Gone with the Wind," we suggest you add it to your list!
10. Schindler's List (1993) - It's a difficult film to watch as it takes place in Poland during World War II and follows the Jewish people's persecution from Nazi Germany, but it's one you should definitely see. Directed by Steven Spielberg, "Schindler's List" is shot in black-and-white for most of the film and stars Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley. Steven said he insisted on no color because he didn't want to place any beauty in the tragic circumstances of the film. It won seven Academy Awards in 1994, and aside from the coveted Best Picture win, Spielberg snagged his fist Oscar after countless nominations.
11. The Departed (2006) - Adding another mob movie into the mix, "The Departed" scored the Best Picture win in 2007. Martin Scorsese helms this immaculate creation, which follows an undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race in Boston. Starring heavy hitters including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg, it's no wonder as to how this film gained so much success. In addition to it's Best Picture win, it also won three more Oscars including Best Director.
12. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - Danny Boyle really had a challenge on his plate when he decided to take on this incredible project. The film follows Jamal ( Dev Patel) from Mumbai, who grew up in the slums and becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" After winning the ultimate prize, he is suspected of cheating and then the audience gets a look back on his interesting life and how he came to learn all of the answers to his game show questions. The film took home eight Oscars in 2009, and also stemmed the growth of a wonderful off-screen love affair. The films' stars Patel and Freida Pinto are still going strong to this day!
13. The Sound of Music (1965) - This classical musical movie is a fan-favorite due to its memorable songs and lovable characters. Starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, the Robert Wise-directed movie is based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein's Broadway production and follows the tale of the Von Trapp family after Maria becomes the governess. "The Sound of Music" stands up to the test of time and is still beloved by everyone young and old. At the 1966 Academy Awards, it took home five honors including Best Picture and Best Director.
14. The Artist (2011) - This darling Weinstein Company-produced creation made waves with its win as a black-and-white, silent film in the 21st Century. The love story follows a dapper movie star ( Jean Dujardin) and a young dancer ( Berenice Bejo) and the struggles they face to keep their affair strong due to conflicting career schedules. Despite it's differences against fellow nominees, "The Artist" beat out its competition in five Academy Award categories in 2012, taking home Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.