Best Actor Winners

by hale-jm | created - 19 Jun 2011 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
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1. The Way of All Flesh (1927)

94 min | Drama

The story takes place in Milwaukee during the early 1900s with a bank clerk named August Schiller who is happy with both his job and his family. He is tasked with transporting $1,000 in ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Emil Jannings, Belle Bennett, Phyllis Haver, Donald Keith

Votes: 102

2. The Last Command (1928)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, History, Romance

A former Imperial Russian general and cousin of the Czar ends up in Hollywood as an extra in a movie directed by a former revolutionary.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent, William Powell, Jack Raymond

Votes: 2,709

3. In Old Arizona (1928)

Passed | 95 min | Romance, Western

A charming, happy-go-lucky bandit in old Arizona plays cat-and-mouse with the sheriff trying to catch him while he romances a local beauty.

Director: Irving Cummings | Stars: Warner Baxter, Edmund Lowe, Dorothy Burgess, Henry Armetta

Votes: 725

4. Disraeli (1929)

Passed | 90 min | Biography, Drama, History

Prime Minister of Great Britain Benjamin Disraeli outwits the subterfuge of the Russians and chicanery at home in order to secure the purchase of the Suez Canal.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: George Arliss, Doris Lloyd, David Torrence, Joan Bennett

Votes: 853

5. A Free Soul (1931)

Passed | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable

Votes: 1,822

6. The Champ (I) (1931)

Passed | 86 min | Drama, Sport

Alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 2,265

7. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Not Rated | 98 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Dr. Jekyll faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run wild with a potion that transforms him into the animalistic Mr. Hyde.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert

Votes: 10,692

8. The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

King Henry VIII marries five more times after his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Director: Alexander Korda | Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Franklin Dyall, Miles Mander

Votes: 3,039

9. It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 79,422

10. The Informer (1935)

Approved | 91 min | Crime, Drama

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster, Margot Grahame

Votes: 4,911

11. The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)

Unrated | 86 min | Biography, Drama, History

The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Paul Muni, Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise, Donald Woods

Votes: 1,822

12. Captains Courageous (1937)

Passed | 117 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

A spoiled brat who falls overboard from a steamship gets picked up by a fishing boat, where he's made to earn his keep by joining the crew in their work.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas

Votes: 7,429

13. Boys Town (1938)

Passed | 96 min | Biography, Drama

When a death row prisoner tells him he wouldn't have led a life of crime if only he had had one friend as a child, Father Edward Flanagan decides to do something about. An advocate of child... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Henry Hull, Leslie Fenton

Votes: 4,484

14. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Unrated | 114 min | Drama, Romance

An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin | Stars: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills

Votes: 8,654

15. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 55,525

16. Sergeant York (1941)

Not Rated | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

A marksman is drafted in World War I and ends up becoming one of the most celebrated war heroes.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias

Votes: 13,461 | Gross: $16.40M

17. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Not Rated | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf

Votes: 12,236 | Gross: $11.80M

18. Watch on the Rhine (1943)

Approved | 114 min | Drama

A German-born engineer, his American wife and their children travel from Mexico to the United States to visit her family but their plans are complicated by a Romanian count.

Directors: Herman Shumlin, Hal Mohr | Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Lucile Watson

Votes: 3,178

19. Going My Way (1944)

Passed | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Father Charles O'Mailey, a young priest at a financially failing Church in a tough neighborhood, gains support and inspires his superior.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh, James Brown

Votes: 8,706 | Gross: $16.30M

20. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 28,716 | Gross: $9.46M

21. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

92 Metascore

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 50,106 | Gross: $23.65M

22. A Double Life (1947)

Approved | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Ronald Colman, Edmond O'Brien, Signe Hasso, Shelley Winters

Votes: 2,480

23. Hamlet (1948)

Not Rated | 154 min | Drama

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.

Director: Laurence Olivier | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie, Esmond Knight

Votes: 13,189

24. All the King's Men (1949)

Approved | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Derek

Votes: 11,235

25. Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, Romance

The charismatic swordsman-poet helps another woo the woman he loves in this straightforward version of the play.

Director: Michael Gordon | Stars: José Ferrer, Mala Powers, William Prince, Morris Carnovsky

Votes: 3,010

26. The African Queen (1951)

PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

91 Metascore

In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull

Votes: 63,676 | Gross: $0.54M

27. High Noon (1952)

PG | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

89 Metascore

A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 86,730 | Gross: $9.45M

28. Stalag 17 (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, War

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German P.O.W. camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss

Votes: 46,362

29. On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

88 Metascore

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger

Votes: 120,641 | Gross: $9.60M

30. Marty (1955)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A middle-aged butcher and a school teacher who have given up on the idea of love meet at a dance and fall for each other.

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti, Augusta Ciolli

Votes: 17,873

31. The King and I (1956)

G | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson

Votes: 21,069 | Gross: $21.30M

32. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 175,520 | Gross: $44.91M

33. Separate Tables (1958)

Unrated | 100 min | Drama, Romance

The stories of several people are told as they stay at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth which features dining at "Separate Tables."

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Burt Lancaster

Votes: 5,516 | Gross: $7.40M

34. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 190,231 | Gross: $74.70M

35. Elmer Gantry (1960)

Approved | 146 min | Drama

A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy, Dean Jagger

Votes: 8,835 | Gross: $11.34M

36. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Not Rated | 186 min | Drama, War

60 Metascore

In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazi judges for war crimes.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich

Votes: 56,872

37. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 254,583

38. Lilies of the Field (1963)

Unrated | 94 min | Drama

A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.

Director: Ralph Nelson | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann, Isa Crino

Votes: 7,495

39. My Fair Lady (1964)

G | 170 min | Drama, Family, Musical

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White

Votes: 75,428 | Gross: $72.00M

40. Cat Ballou (1965)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Romance, Western

A woman seeking revenge for her murdered father hires a famous gunman, but he's very different from what she expects.

Director: Elliot Silverstein | Stars: Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Michael Callan, Dwayne Hickman

Votes: 11,645 | Gross: $20.67M

41. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, Leo McKern

Votes: 26,413 | Gross: $28.35M

42. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

75 Metascore

An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant

Votes: 56,663 | Gross: $24.38M

43. Charly (1968)

M | 103 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

An intellectually disabled man undergoes an experiment that gives him the intelligence of a genius.

Director: Ralph Nelson | Stars: Cliff Robertson, Claire Bloom, Lilia Skala, Leon Janney

Votes: 5,451

44. True Grit (1969)

G | 128 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer in Indian territory.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Jeremy Slate

Votes: 36,863 | Gross: $31.13M

45. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 84,283 | Gross: $61.70M

46. The French Connection (1971)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Drama

96 Metascore

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco

Votes: 93,667

47. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,337,039 | Gross: $134.97M

48. Save the Tiger (1973)

R | 100 min | Drama

A disillusioned aging decent man and once proud WWII veteran is dealing with midlife crisis as well as a tough moral dilemma. If he wants his small near-bankrupt clothing company to survive, he has two days to let go of his shaken morals.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman, Norman Burton

Votes: 3,965

49. Harry and Tonto (1974)

R | 115 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

When his apartment building is torn down, a retired lifelong New Yorker goes on a cross country odyssey with his beloved cat Tonto.

Director: Paul Mazursky | Stars: Art Carney, Ellen Burstyn, René Enríquez, Herbert Berghof

Votes: 4,360