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Where do the most recent group of Academy Award winners rank all time?


As we begin to fully focus on 2018 releases and eventually what the 2019 awards season will be like, a little more about the most recent Oscars is still required. Mainly, a look at how the winners stack up with previous ones. This time around, I’m tying in all of the major categories together. Yes, all eight of the top prizes will get a rundown today, with the possibility of another piece next week on the technical categories. For now, it’s Picture, Director, the four Acting slots, and both Screenplay categories, which is more than enough to start with. This is going to be fun.

Like I mentioned above, before we get to Best Picture, which is clearly the big one, quickly I’d like to run down some of the other categories and how they stack up. That way, it’s more of a broader collection. Obviously, we know The Shape of Water won Best Picture, Guillermo del Toro won Best Director for The Shape of Water, Gary Oldman won Best Actor for Darkest Hour, Frances McDormand won Best Actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Sam Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Allison Janney won Best Supporting Actress for I, Tonya. Here’s how I would rank the newest Academy Award winners, major category wise…


First up, Best Director:

30. Frank Capra – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
29. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman
28. Steven Soderbergh – Traffic
27. Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
26. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men
25. John G. Avildsen – Rocky
24. James Cameron – Titanic
23. Jonathan Demme – The Silence of the Lambs
22. Francis Ford Coppola – The Godfather Part II
21. Clint Eastwood – Million Dollar Baby
20. Oliver Stone – Platoon
19. Robert Zemeckis – Forrest Gump
18. William Friedkin – The French Connection
17. Victor Fleming – Gone With the Wind
16. Miloš Forman – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
15. William Wyler – Ben-Hur
14. Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
13. John Ford – The Grapes of Wrath
12. Sam Mendes – American Beauty
11. Martin Scorsese – The Departed
10. David Lean – Lawrence of Arabia
9. Billy Wilder – The Apartment
8. Damien Chazelle – La La Land
7. Michael Curtiz – Casablanca
6. Elia Kazan – On the Waterfront
5. Mike Nichols – The Graduate
4. Steven Spielberg – Saving Private Ryan
3. Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
2. Woody Allen – Annie Hall
1. Steven Spielberg – Schindler’s List

Honorable Mention: John Schlesinger – Midnight Cowboy


Next is Best Actor:

30. Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
29. Alec Guinness – The Bridge on the River Kwai
28. Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
27. Maximilian Schell – Judgment at Nuremberg
26. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
25. Cliff Robertson – Charly
24. Jack Nicholson – As Good As It Gets
23. Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland
22. Dustin Hoffman – Rain Man
21. Ben Kingsley – Gandhi
20. Kevin Spacey – American Beauty
19. Ernest Borgnine – Marty
18. Gene Hackman – The French Connection
17. Laurence Olivier – Hamlet
16. Philip Seymour Hoffman – Capote
15. George C. Scott – Patton
14. Gregory Peck – To Kill a Mockingbird
13. Marlon Brando – The Godfather
12. Sean Penn – Milk
11. Peter Finch – Network
10. Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump
9. Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
8. Anthony Hopkins – The Silence of the Lambs
7. Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood
6. Jack Nicholson – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
5. Nicolas Cage – Leaving Las Vegas
4. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
3. Marlon Brando – On the Waterfront
2. Robert De Niro – Raging Bull
1. Tom Hanks – Philadelphia

Honorable Mention: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour


Now, Best Actress:

30. Audrey Hepburn – Roman Holiday
29. Faye Dunaway – Network
28. Emma Stone – La La Land
27. Helen Hunt – As Good As It Gets
26. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
25. Julia Roberts – Erin Brockovich
24. Cher – Moonstruck
23. Katharine Hepburn – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
22. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
21. Kathy Bates – Misery
20. Anne Bancroft – The Miracle Worker
19. Shirley MacLane – Terms of Endearment
18. Vivien Leigh – A Streetcar Named Desire
17. Ellen Burstyn – Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
16. Julie Andrews – Mary Poppins
15. Frances McDormand – Fargo
14. Jodie Foster – The Accused
13. Ingrid Bergman – Gaslight
12. Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
11. Brie Larson – Room
10. Hilary Swank – Million Dollar Baby
9. Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice
8. Louise Fletcher – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
7. Vivien Leigh – Gone With the Wind
6. Natalie Portman – Black Swan
5. Elizabeth Taylor – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
4. Charlize Theron – Monster
3. Jodie Foster – The Silence of the Lambs
2. Hilary Swank – Boys Don’t Cry
1. Diane Keaton – Annie Hall

Honorable Mention: Jane Fonda – Klute


The Best Supporting Actor ranking:

30. Frank Sinatra – From Here to Eternity
29. Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
28. Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
27. Karl Malden – A Streetcar Named Desire
26. Louis Gossett Jr. – An Officer and a Gentleman
25. Walter Huston – The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
24. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
23. Joel Grey – Cabaret
22. Morgan Freeman – Million Dollar Baby
21. Christopher Plummer – Beginners
20. Jack Nicholson – Terms of Endearment
19. Gene Hackman – Unforgiven
18. Jack Lemmon – Mister Roberts
17. Chris Cooper – Adaptation
16. Martin Landau – Ed Wood
15. George Kennedy – Cool Hand Luke
14. Kevin Spacey – The Usual Suspects
13. Christian Bale – The Fighter
12. Michael Caine – Hannah and her Sisters
11. Benecio del Toro – Traffic
10. Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
9. Cuba Gooding Jr. – Jerry Maguire
8. Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men
7. Joe Pesci – Goodfellas
6. Robin Williams – Good Will Hunting
5. Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds
4. Robert De Niro – The Godfather Part II
3. Kevin Kline – A Fish Called Wanda
2. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
1. Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

Honorable Mention: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies


Best Supporting Actress:

30. Melissa Leo – The Fighter
29. Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
28. Shelley Winters – The Diary of Anne Frank
27. Viola Davis – Fences
26. Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
25. Olympia Dukakis – Moonstruck
24. Kim Basinger – L.A. Confidential
23. Josephine Hull – Harvey
22. Dianne Wiest – Bullets over Broadway
21. Hattie McDaniel – Gone with the Wind
20. Patty Duke – The Miracle Worker
19. Beatrice Straight – Network
18. Meryl Streep – Kramer vs. Kramer
17. Catherine Zeta-Jones – Chicago
16. Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
15. Ruth Gordon – Rosemary’s Baby
14. Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
13. Cate Blanchett – The Aviator
12. Angelina Jolie – Girl, Interrupted
11. Tatum O’Neal – Paper Moon
10. Mo’Nique – Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
9. Cloris Leachman – The Last Picture Show
8. Mira Sorvino – Mighty Aphrodite
7. Allison Janney – I, Tonya
6. Rita Moreno – West Side Story
5. Anna Paquin – The Piano
4. Eva Marie Saint – On the Waterfront
3. Dianne Wiest – Hannah and her Sisters
2. Kim Hunter – A Streetcar Named Desire
1. Marisa Tomei – My Cousin Vinny

Honorable Mention: Whoopie Goldberg – Ghost


Here now is the big one. This is how I would now rank the top 30 Best Picture winners of all time:

30. The Shape of Water
29. 12 Years a Slave
28. Rain Man
27. Shakespeare in Love
26. Marty
25. No Country for Old Men
24. The Godfather
23. Moonlight
22. The Godfather Part II
21. Ordinary People
20. Kramer vs Kramer
19. Forrest Gump
18. The Departed
17. Midnight Cowboy
16. The Deer Hunter
15. On the Waterfront
14. The French Connection
13. Spotlight
12. Casablanca
11. Platoon
10. Million Dollar Baby
9. Argo
8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
7. Rocky
6. The Hurt Locker
5. American Beauty
4. The Apartment
3. Schindler’s List
2. The Silence of the Lambs
1. Annie Hall

Honorable Mentions: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Chicago, Slumdog Millionaire, The Sting, Terms of Endearment, and Unforgiven

Stay tuned to see who and what joins the ranks of Oscar winners in the years to come!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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