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Oscar Trivia: 50 Fun Facts To Prepare You For The 85th Academy Awards

by Oliver Lyttelton
February 20, 2013 11:02 AM
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Skyfall Daniel Craig

41. "Skyfall" composer Thomas Newman has been nominated eleven times and never won. The film's DoP, Roger Deakins, has ten nominations without taking the prize. Their first nominations came on the same film, 1994's "The Shawshank Redemption."

42. Adele's "Skyfall" is the first Bond theme to be nominated for an Oscar since "For Your Eyes Only" in 1981. If it wins, it'd be the first Bond film ever to win Best Song.

43. The song was also the first Bond theme ever to debut in the Billboard Top 10, and in the U.K., tied "A View To A Kill" as the highest-charting Bond theme when it reached number two on October 14th.

44. With five nominations, "Skyfall" beats "The Spy Who Loved Me" (which had three) as the most nominated Bond movie. In total, Bond films have won two Oscars (sound for "Goldfinger," visual effects for "Thunderball"), and been nominated for a further twelve, including the "Skyfall" nods.

45. Before "Chasing Ice," the only documentary film to get a Best Song nomination was "An Inconvenient Truth."

Christian Bale The Dark Knight Rises

46. "The Dark Knight Rises" failed to get a single Oscar nomination this year. In total, the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy has two Oscar wins (both for "The Dark Knight") and nine nominations (only one for "Batman Begins") to its name. "The Avengers" managed one nomination, for Visual Effects. In total, the Marvel movies so far have had four nominations, and no wins. No Marvel movie without Robert Downey Jr. has managed an Oscar nomination.

47. "No" is the first ever film from Chile to earn an Oscar nomination.

48. John Goodman is fast becoming a bit of a mascot for Oscar hopefuls. The actor starred in "The Artist" last year, and this year features in "Argo," the likely Best Picture winner. It's not actually so long since an actor managed the feat. Guy Pearce was in both "The Hurt Locker" and "The King's Speech." Before him, it was Russell Crowe, with "Gladiator" and "A Beautiful Mind."

49. But the record for appearing in most Best Picture winners goes to character actor Franklyn Farnum, who had roles in six: 1937's "The Life Of Emile Zola," 1945's "The Lost Weekend," 1947's "Gentleman's Agreement," 1950's "All About Eve," 1952's "The Greatest Show On Earth" and 1956's "Around The World In 80 Days." As far as currently working actors go, Nigel Davenport, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, Beth Grant, Bernard Hill, Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson and Talia Shire have all appeared in three Best Picture winners. If "Les Miserables" or "Silver Linings Playbook" were to win this year, Russell Crowe and Robert De Niro would join them.

50. Only two other people before Seth MacFarlane have been nominated the same year that they hosted: Paul Hogan (Best Original Screenplay, for "Crocodile Dundee," in 1987), and James Franco (Best Actor, for "127 Hours," in 2011).

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  • megjfreedman | April 14, 2013 11:57 PMReply

    #4: George Clooney was third. Laurence Olivier and Michael Douglas did it before him.

  • Joey | February 22, 2013 2:12 PMReply

    Jennifer Hudson won her Oscar for her film debut.

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:40 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:39 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:37 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • John Moran | February 21, 2013 3:24 AMReply

    Audrey Hepburn's role in Roman Holiday was her first lead performance. She previously appeared in smaller roles, including as a waitress serving Alec Guinness in the classic Ealing Comedy The Lavender Hill Mob. So, her win was not for a debut.

  • Tyson | February 20, 2013 7:52 PMReply

    #49 Hasn't Meryl Streep appeared in three best picture winners? The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Out of Africa?

  • Brandt Hardin | February 20, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    Such lackluster choices are very unbecoming of such a tremendous year for cinema. Where are the nominations for movies like The Grey, Jesus Henry Christ and Killing them Softly? Read about the Top 10 Movies of 2012 with reviews and other honorable mentions at

  • mike_m | February 20, 2013 1:43 PMReply

    this just doesnt make sense to me:
    "29. Only one actor has even been nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year, for the same performance -- Barry Fitzgerald, for "Going My Way" in 1944 (he won Best Supporting Actor, while Bing Crosby took Best Actor for the same film). Two actors -- Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx -- have picked up nominations in both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year, but for different performances. Both won Best Actor."

  • mike_m | February 20, 2013 1:47 PM

    re-read it and got it now, this was before the rule change.

  • David | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    "38. Amy Adams has four Best Supporting Actress nominations, and no wins, a record in the category." - But Thelma Ritter was nominated 6 times in this category, without a win.

  • Danielle | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    If you like movie trivia, check out this Blubbr's awesome Oscars video trivia contest. Tons of Fun 2013 Oscar trivia games!

  • cirkusfolk | February 20, 2013 12:48 PMReply

    Good list.

  • anna | February 20, 2013 12:36 PMReply

    " Quvenzhane Wallis is the first acting nominee to have a Q in her name."

    lol, good one.

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:35 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:34 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:34 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Rob | February 20, 2013 10:58 PM

    Also Mo'Nique, just a few years ago.

  • Paul | February 20, 2013 12:40 PM

    I assume they mean first name? Anthony Quinn won two Best Supporting Oscars and was nominated twice for Best Actor.

  • eduardo | February 20, 2013 12:18 PMReply

    about #46: The dark knight rises became the 3rd movie from the Batman franchises (live-action, of course) that didn't receive an oscar nomination, the other 2 are the 60's version and Batman & Robin

  • spassky | February 20, 2013 11:58 AMReply

    "13. If Ang Lee win Best Director on Sunday, he'll become the second non-caucasian to win in the category. The first... was also Ang Lee, for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006."

    This makes me sad.

  • Chris | February 20, 2013 11:52 AMReply

    You've got the Newman/Deakins numbers reversed. Newman has 11 nomination and Deakins has 10.

  • Michael | February 20, 2013 11:15 AMReply

    29. Barry Fitzgerald won Best Supporting Actor for Going My Way. Bing Crosby won Best Actor for the same film.

  • MAL | February 20, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    In Item 25, it was Robert Duvall (not Robert De Niro) in Tender Mercies -- and he was the winner that year.

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