8. Lincoln (2012) with 7 nominated actors
It’s hard to imagine that before this president’s biopic, no actor had ever won an Oscar under Steven Spielberg’s direction. Daniel Day-Lewis was the first to win in one of the most interesting categories of all time (Denzel Washington for “Flight”, Bradley Cooper for ”Silver Linings Playbook”, Hugh Jackman for “Les Misérables” and Joaquin Phoenix for ”The Master” were all nominated alongside him). Day-Lewis won his third Oscar that night, making him the only performer who could achieve three Best Actor prizes.
To be fair, this movie had one of the most interesting and varied casts in recent years that included seven Oscar nominees: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes and Jackie Earle Haley. It also featured promising young talents that may soon will earn Oscar recognition, including David Oyelowo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Adam Driver.
7. How the West Was Won (1962) with 7 nominated actors
Filmed in panoramic Cinerama, this epic Western adventure is a true cinematic classic. Three legendary directors (Henry Hathaway, John Ford, and George Marshall) combined their skills to tell the story of three families and their travels from the Erie Canal to California between 1839 and 1889, which cost an estimated $15 million to complete. Needless to say, this project is only complete with a star-studded cast.
The movie poster claims it has “24 Great Stars In The Mightiest Adventure Ever Filmed.” At least seven have received Oscar nominations during their career and even wins: Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Walter Brennan, Karl Malden, and the narrator himself, Spencer Tracy.
The Academy didn’t greet the movie back then with Oscar nominations for its actors, but it’s still acknowledged as one of the most prestigious casts ever assembled.
6. Boogie Nights (1997) with 7 nominated actors
Paul Thomas Anderson’s ”Boogie Nights” is a panoramic representation of the 70s from a newbie director who was influenced by both Robert Altman and Martin Scorsese. The movie went to become a cult classic that examined family, capitalism, and America through the lens of two decades of adult filmmaking.
The movie also launched the careers of both Mark Wahlberg and Don Cheadle among many, started the fructuous collaboration between Paul Thomas Anderson and Philip Seymour Hoffman (with four movies together), and also gave Burt Reynolds a renaissance in the most splendid way (with his only Oscar nomination to date).
It counted seven actors who weren’t afraid of exposing their talent and humanity all over the nearly 3-hour epic: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Don Cheadle and William H. Macy.
Anderson’s camera will go on and continue to lead his protagonists toward even more Oscar nominations, including Tom Cruise for “Magnolia”, Daniel Day-Lewis for “There Will Be Blood” (for which he won), and Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman for “The Master”.
5. The Dark Knight (2008) with 7 nominated actors
For many moviegoers, the second movie of the Christopher Nolan trilogy is undoubtedly the best superhero movie ever made. We don’t need to go over the ambitious directing and writing the movie achieved, but let’s focus on its cast that deserves some accolades.
Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman have a combined eleven Oscar nominations in their legendary careers, and Heath Ledger was an Oscar nominee for “Brokeback Mountain” (losing to Philip Seymour Hoffman for “Capote”) before winning a posthumous trophy for his impressive and creepy Joker.
Christian Bale and Maggie Gyllenhaal were nominated for Oscars after their work in this film (Bale won an Oscar later for his role in “The Fighter”), as was Gary Oldman in 2011 for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”.
The climactic opus of the trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises”, counts also seven Oscar nominees in its cast: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, and of course, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.
4. Murder on the Orient Express (1974) with 8 nominated actors
Sidney Lumet’s wonderful 1974 adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery novel features eight Oscar nominees: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Perkins, Martin Balsam and John Gielgud.
The movie was a commercial success, and was also nominated for six Oscars, with Bergman — portraying a Swedish missionary — winning her third Oscar, her first in the supporting category. The other categories were largely lost that night to “The Godfather Part II”.
Recently, Kenneth Branagh was hired to direct another adaptation of the famous novel and play the role of Hercule Poirot. Let’s see how many Oscar nominees will join this new remake, and if it can surpass Lumet’s version (at this point, Angelina Jolie is in talks to join the project as well).
3. The Company You Keep (2012) with 8 nominated actors
Robert Redford is a living legend in Hollywood; he worked with several reputable actors during his long career (Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Faye Dunaway, Brad Pitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Morgan Freeman, the list goes on) and even won an Oscar for his directorial debut, “Ordinary People”, only to persevere and direct more movies.
Sadly, this 2012 suspense thriller failed at both the box office and with critics. But it was a demonstration that despite everything, Redford is still a powerful and respectable persona that can bring together no less than seven Oscar nominees aside from himself: Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte (he worked with him few years later in “Walk in the Woods”), Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci and Richard Jenkins.
It’s worthy of mention that the outdated and obsolete (but yet full of pace and wit, which make him still enjoyable) Phil Alden Robinson’s “Sneakers” had eight nominees: Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Ben Kingsley, David Strathairn, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Mary McDonnell and James Earl Jones.
2. Deconstructing Harry (1997) with 9 nominated actors
Some chapters in Woody Allen’s legendary directorial run claim that sometimes actors are paying from their own pockets to work with the New Yorker, especially in recent years when he moved to Europe to give his career a second chance.
“Deconstructing Harry” is one of his most autobiographical films and more like a personal about his life. After all, it’s about the creative life of immature New York writer Harry Block (Allen), who calls himself “spiritually bankrupt.” Harry has gone through numerous lovers, three wives, and a half-dozen psychiatrists (including one he married).
Like many of his works, it has its customary incredible cast with nine Oscar nominees: Judy Davis, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Mariel Hemingway, Stanley Tucci, Bob Balaban, Elisabeth Shue, Amy Irving and Paul Giamatti.
To name other Woody Allen movies with more impressive nominated casts, seven for both “Everyone Says I Love You” and “To Rome with Love”, with Edward Norton, Alan Alda, Natalie Portman, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts, Woody Allen and Tim Roth starring in the former, and Penélope Cruz, Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Judy Davis for the latter, shot entirely in the Eternal City.
“Celebrity” has six: Melanie Griffith, Kenneth Branagh, Winona Ryder, Judy Davis, Charlize Theron and a certain Leonardo DiCaprio.
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) with 14 nominated actors
The movie itself only won four Oscars in 2015, including Best Achievement in Music for Alexandre Desplat, and for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, and Costume Design.
However, even the biggest winner of that night (“Birdman”) couldn’t match its competitor’s crowded cast. It’s hard to compete with a movie that had 14 nominated actors in its credits, including Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Bob Balaban and Fisher Stevens.
This movie is also living proof that almost no one in the industry could dare to resist saying no to a future collaboration.
Author Bio: Abdessamia My Abdellah majors in Political Sciences and International Studies. He is devoted to Cinema in all its genres and nationalities. He seeks enlightenment through movies and books.