A lot ('The Social Network'!) of the experts ('The King's Speech'!) are obsessed ('The Fighter'!) with what will happen ('Inception'!) on Oscar night. ('Black Swan'!) Personally, I think it's much more interesting to look back and see what already has happened. And by using the magic of numbers, combined with the invaluable assistance of Wikipedia, I've come up with some rather amusing little tidbits. (Some of these you may have read before, but oh well. They're still cool.)

1a. 'The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King' (2003) won 11 Oscars out of 11 nominations. Statistically speaking, it's the king of the Oscar heap. Other 100% winners include 'Gigi' (1958) and 'The Last Emperor' (1987), both of which went 9 for 9, and 'It Happened One Night' (1934), which was 5 for 5.

1b. 'The Matrix' (1999) won 4 out of 4, and the 3 for 3 club includes 'The Bourne Ultimatum' (2007), 'Grand Prix' (1966), and 'Jurassic Park' (1993). Several films have gone 2 for 2 and 1 for 1, but that's not all that interesting, plus it's too much research.

2. Only one film has ever won Best Picture and nothing else. It was 'The Broadway Melody' (1929), and its other nominations were for Best Director (Harry Beaumont) and Best Actress (Bessie Love). (Correction! 'Grand Hotel' (1932) also won Best Picture and nothing else ... because that was its only nomination!)

3. The 1956 short film 'The Red Balloon' won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, despite having zero dialogue.

4. The late (great) character actor John Cazale appeared in only five features -- but they were all nominated for Best Picture: 'The Godfather' (1972), 'The Conversation' (1974), 'The Godfather Part 2' (1974), 'Dog Day Afternoon' (1975), and 'The Deer Hunter' (1978). Both 'Godfathers' won, but 'The Conversation' was up against 'Part 2,' so it lost (obviously). 'Dog Day Afternoon' lost to 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' but 'The Deer Hunter' also won Best Picture.

5. Unfortunately Mr. Cazale never earned an Oscar nomination for his work.

6. The record-holder for acting nominations is, of course, Ms. Meryl Streep, who's been up for the Oscar 16(!) times, and has won the prize only twice: for 'Kramer vs. Kramer' (1979, supporting) and 'Sophie's Choice' (1982, lead).

7. The biggest "losers," statistically speaking would be 'Becket' (1964) and 'Johnny Belinda' (1948), both of which went 1 (win) for 12 (nominations). The former won its sole Oscar for Best Screenplay, and the latter went home with Best Actress (Jane Wyman). The 1 for 11 club includes 'Chinatown' (1974, screenplay), 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' (1939, original story), and 'The Pride of the Yankees' (1942, editing).

8. Composer John Williams has been nominated 45 times. He has won 5 trophies. The late costume designer Edith Head was nominated 35 times, winning the gold 8 times.

9. Only three films have ever "swept" the five big awards (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay): 'It Happened One Night' (1934), 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' (1975), and 'The Silence of the Lambs' (1991).

10. Despite winning 8 Oscars out of 10 nominations, 'Cabaret' (1972) failed to win Best Picture. It also didn't get Adapted Screenplay, because 'The Godfather' snagged both.

Honorable Mention: Poor Kevin O'Connell! He may be one of the world's finest sound mixers, but his Oscar record stands at a staggering ZERO wins out of 20 nominations. Someone give this man an Oscar! (The interview below took place when O'Connell was battling 0-for-18. Since then he's been nominated another two times and lost both times. He is not nominated this year.)

categories Oscars, Awards, Cinematical