When a single movie dominated Hollywood’s biggest night
Talent–and recognition for it–isn’t always contingent on years of experience
Only 12 people have ever won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony
When Oscar success appears to be genetic
Only a few winners didn’t live long enough to accept their honors
When the long-shot contender ousted the favored
Sometimes an Oscar is the ultimate (career) redemption
1959 / 1988 / 1997
GIGI / THE LAST EMPEROR / THE ENGLISH PATIENT
The musical, biopic and romantic drama, respectively, each won 10 Oscars.
The prolific filmmaker won his first and only Oscar for Best Director when he was 32, for the comedy Skippy.
The legendary performer and triple-crown-acting winner scored for her first talking picture, The Sin of Madelon Claudet.
JOAN FONTAINE, OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND
The only siblings to win lead acting awards, the younger Fontaine won first, in 1942, and de Havilland would go on to win twice.
WILLIAM A. HORNING, SAM ZIMBALIST
Ben-Hur’s art director and producer both died before they could collect their Oscars.
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY
The drama about a Welsh family is more of a retrospective upset, with many modern critics finding Citizen Kane more deserving.
The crooner bounced back from a stalled career in the early 1950s with a Best Supporting Actor win in From Here to Eternity.
The most expensive movie of its time also broke awards records with 11 Oscars, losing only in the category for Adapted Screenplay.
The child actor was 10 years old when she won Best Supporting Actress for her role as a young con artist in Paper Moon.
The decorated composer won his first of 15 Oscars with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II for a wistful song from the musical State Fair.
John Huston won two Oscars in 1949 and directed both his father and daughter, Walter in 1949 and Anjelica in 1986, to Oscars.
The legendary animator died at 65, two years before winning his 22nd Oscar, for short film Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.
Like its titular character, the crowd-pleasing boxing movie was an underdog in a field that included Network, Taxi Driver and All the President’s Men.
A string of flops in the ’30s earned her the label “box-office poison.” Decades later, she would win her second of four Oscars–a record for acting awards that still stands.
WEST SIDE STORY
The adaptation of the 1957 Broadway show won 10 Oscars, still the most ever for a movie musical.
Hutton was 20 when he became the youngest male to win Best Supporting Actor, for the drama Ordinary People.
The triple-threat singer, actor and dancer won for her role as Anita in the film adaptation of West Side Story.
Daughter Jane won first for Klute in 1972 and Coming Home in 1979, with father Henry winning in 1982 for On Golden Pond.
Two months after dying of a heart attack, the Network actor became the first person to win a posthumous acting award.
DRIVING MISS DAISY
Voters chose palatable over challenging (Born on the Fourth of July), not to mention the Academy’s overlooking Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, now a classic.
With his Best Actor trophy for The Godfather, he returned from a series of poorly received films and a reputation as being difficult to work with on set.
The epic romance won 11 Oscars and, with All About Eve, held the record for most nominations (14)–now joined by La La Land.
The 21-year-old won Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God, becoming the only deaf actor ever to win an Oscar.
The funnyman won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for his satirical directorial debut, The Producers.
JON VOIGHT, ANGELINA JOLIE
Father Jon won in 1979 for Coming Home, and daughter Angelina won in 2000 for Girl, Interrupted.
The Disney composer won Best Song for Beauty and the Beast’s theme and received subsequent posthumous nominations for Aladdin.
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
After heavy lobbying by Harvey Weinstein, the 16th century romance beat front runner Saving Private Ryan.
The years between his writing Oscar for Good Will Hunting and Best Picture for Argo saw several misfires–Jersey Girl, Gigli–and negative tabloid press.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
Winning all 11 Oscars for which it was nominated, the fantasy film had the largest sweep in Oscar history.
Brody was 29 when he won Best Actor for his role as the Polish composer Wladyslaw Szpilman in the World War II drama The Pianist.
The actor-comedian took home Best Supporting Actress for playing a medium in the romantic drama Ghost.
Francis began the family’s winning streak with a screenwriting Oscar, followed by awards for father Carmine (score), daughter Sofia (screenplay) and nephew Nicolas Cage (acting).
The 28-year-old died exactly one month before being named Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
Many viewed Brokeback Mountain as the better film and its loss as evidence of anti-gay sentiment in the Academy. Even Crash director Paul Haggis later called his film’s win undeserved.
A promising debut gave way to a decade of frivolous rom-coms before the McConaissance was cemented with a Best Actor win for Dallas Buyers Club.
LA LA LAND
The musical must win 12 of its 14 nominations to break the record. Because it’s nominated twice in one category, the most wins it can nab is 13.
Lucas Hedges, 20, could tie for youngest Best Supporting Actor, in Manchester by the Sea.
Damien Chazelle, 32, could tie for youngest Best Director, for La La Land.
The Hamilton mastermind will earn an EGOT this year if he wins Best Song for Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go.”
Older brother Ben has one win each for writing and producing; this year, Casey Affleck is a favorite to win Best Actor, in Manchester by the Sea.
The Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright died in 2005 at age 60. Winning Best Adapted Screenplay for Fences would make him the 16th posthumous Academy Award winner.
ANYTHING BUT LA LA LAND
The musical is heavily favored, though Moonlight is best positioned to edge it out.
The Hacksaw Ridge director is up for Best Director a decade after disastrous publicity for domestic violence and anti-Semitic remarks.
2017 OSCAR FIRSTS?
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Could be the first black director to win the award
Could be the first LGBT-themed film to win Best Picture
Ava Duvernay, 13th
Could be the first black woman to win Best Documentary
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
A fourth Oscar would tie her for most acting awards overall
Denzel Washington, Fences
A Best Actor win would break his own record for most awards by a black actor
This appears in the February 27, 2017 issue of TIME.
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