In collaboration with On This Day In Film, we take a look at a selection of the greatest Oscar-winning films that premiered in America in the month of August…
August isn’t renowned for its great film releases, the summer nowadays lends itself to big Hollywood blockbusters or children’s movies, trying to entice the young from the beach and the sun. However, over the years there have been some films premiered in August that have been highly awarded at the Academy Awards. Although the Oscars don’t give us a clear idea of the best films ever made, it is interesting to look at the popularity of films, as often an Oscar winning film is down to social and cultural trends of that time, as opposed to the credit of the film itself. Anyway, here is the top 10 Oscar winning films of August…
10. Argo (2012) – 3 Wins & 4 further nominations
The film directed by and starred Ben Affleck won three Oscars at the 85th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Achievement in Film Editing. Argo was against some stiff opposition, with the likes of Django Unchained, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook also in the running for Best Picture. But the 85th awards seemed to share the big awards amongst the competing films and Argo ended up with three, a pretty good performance.
9. Roman Holiday (1953) – 3 wins and 7 further nominations
Roman Holiday won three Oscars at the 26th Academy Awards and also had a further seven nominations. The three that it won were Best Leading Actress for Audrey Hepburn, Best Writing, Best Costume Design (Black-and-White). It was nominated for Best Picture but was beaten by another on this list, From Here to Eternity. This was Audrey Hepburn’s first nomination and only win at the Oscars, she went on to get four more nominations.
8. The Life of Emile Zola (1937) – 3 wins and 7 further nominations
Like Roman Holiday, The Life of Emile Zola had three wins and seven further nominations, but as it won Best Picture I bumped it up to 8th (a debatable method, I know). As well as Best Picture, the film won a Best Supporting Actor award for the performance of Joseph Schildkraut and the award for Best Screenplay at the 10th Academy Awards and is our oldest film in the list.
7. Sunset Boulevard (1950) – 3 wins and a further 8 nominations
Just beating the former two with that extra nomination, Sunset Boulevard was awarded Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction and Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. With eleven nominations and one for each of the big awards, maybe Sunset Boulevard underachieved at the 23rd awards. But it was in good company, with All About Eve taking the most with six awards, including Best Picture.
6. Unforgiven (1992) – 4 wins and 5 further nominations
With four wins, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven did well at the 65th Academy Awards and walked off with the statuettes for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Gene Hackman, Best Director for Eastwood and Best Film Editing. This was Gene Hackman’s second and last Oscar win and Clint Eastwood went on to receive two more for Million Dollar Baby (2004).
5. Mary Poppins (1964) – 5 wins and a further 8 nominations
The crowd favourite did not disappoint at the 37th Academy Awards by winning 5 Oscars which were: Best Leading Actress for Julie Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Special Effects, Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and Best Original Score. The was Julie Andrews only win at the Oscars although she was nominated twice more including the following year for The Sound of Music (1965). Although the film was nominated for Best Picture, it was outdone by My Fair Lady which won a total of eight Oscars that year.
4. A Place in the Sun (1951) – 6 wins and a further 3 nominations
Although, A Place in the Sun missed out on the Best Picture and Best Acting awards, it still managed to bag six awards at the 24th awards, including Best Director for George Stevens and Best Screenplay. This was one of four nominations for Montgomery Clift and yet he didn’t win any. George Stevens went on to win another directing award for his film Giant (1956) and it took another six years for Elizabeth Taylor to get her first nomination and had to wait until 1961 to get her first win.
3. Gravity (2013) 7 wins and a further 3 nominations
Although missing out on the Best Picture and Best Acting awards, Gravity still won the most awards at last years Oscars, the 86th awards, including Best Directing for Alfonso Cuarón and Best Cinematography. Sandra Bullock missed out on her second win from her second nomination. The film was also a huge financial success making over $700 million at the box office.
2. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) – 8 wins and a further 2 nominations
Winner of eight Academy Awards, Slumdog Millionaire swept everyone away at the 81st awards including wins for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Adapted Screenplay. This is Danny Boyle’s only Oscar win to date although he was nominated for his work on 127 Hours in 2011.
1. From Here to Eternity (1953) – 8 wins and 5 further nominations
And the winner is… From Here to Eternity. With wins for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Frank Sinatra, Best Supporting Actress for Donna Reed and Best Director for Fred Zinnemann, this film is a worthy winner of any Oscar related poll. The wins for Sinatra and Reed were their only wins at the Oscars, but Fred Zinnemann three more including Best Picture and best Director for A Man For All Seasons in 1967. So we have a deserved winner in From Here to Eternity and a list of great films, who said August wasn’t a great month for films?