The Oscar-nominated cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin
Few of The Departed‘s main cast were lucky enough to see the end credits. But that’s applying common movie knowledge: If you want to earn your Oscar nomination (or win), you better be able to fake a pretty good death. Thus came in a legendary cast, all for the chance to get shot down in the service for a Best Picture-winning crime tale. Oh, and also to work with Martin Scorsese.
The Oscar-nominated cast: Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Miranda Richardson, Toni Colette, Ed Harris
Welcome to The Hours. Spread across three generations, Stephen Daldry’s Oscar bait-supreme is the story of women affected by suicide and the novel Mrs. Dalloway — including Virginia Woolf (Kidman) herself. It’s a somber film, relentlessly manicured and dark. But, hey, what do you expect from 16-time Oscar nominee Streep?
The Oscar-nominated cast: Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Gerard Depardieu, John Gielgud, Rosemary Harris, Charlton Heston, Jack Lemmon, John Mills, Robin Williams
Actors can get accused of never leaving their comfort zone — but in the case of Kenneth Branagh, when said comfort zone is bringing Shakespeare to the silver screen, who can blame him? And he’s not just a handsome face on the screen; Branagh in this case also directed this incarnation of Hamlet, a definitive line-for-line adaptation that scoured Hollywood entirely to round out its cast.
The Oscar-nominated cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jon Voight
Michael Mann’s heist thriller Heat may not feature as many nominees as some others, but its two distinguished stars had already earned a collective total of 13 nominations (three of which resulted in statuettes) by the time the film opened in 1995. Pitting heavyweights Robert De Niro and Al Pacino against each other as a bank robber and weary LAPD detective, respectively, proved to be a winning formula, and its stellar supporting cast, including Jon Voight (with three Oscar nods of his own), was just the icing on the cake.
The Oscar-nominated cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Dean Stockwell, Gary Busey, Karen Black, Cher, Peter Falk, Louise Fletcher, Teri Garr, Elliott Gould, Anjelica Huston, Joel Grey, Sally Kellerman, Sally Kirkland, Jack Lemmon, Marlee Matlin, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Rod Steiger, Lily Tomlin
Robert Altman’s filmography is filled with movies featuring large ensembles comprised almost entirely of esteemed thespians. After his 1970s heyday, Altman fell out of favor with Hollywood for a while, returning in 1992 with the pitch-black movie biz satire The Player. It’s the perfect film for stargazers, since practically every screen star at the time turns up somewhere; better still, it’s a razor-sharp, tremendously entertaining film, one that earned Altman an Oscar nomination for Best Director.
The Oscar-nominated cast: Sally Kirkland, Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci, Walter Matthau
Oliver Stone’s controversial biopic of America’s most famous assassination target has more Oscar-nominations among its stars than it does conspiracy theories — which is quite a lot, indeed. Granted, most of them belong to the great Jack Lemmon, while Sally Kirkland, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci and Walter Matthau shared the others. Star Kevin Costner would be nominated himself the following year, and Tommy Lee Jones two years later.
The Oscar-nominated cast: Ryan O’Neal, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, James Caan, Maximilian Schell, Liv Ullmann, Elliot Gould, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford
“Hey, fatty — I got a movie for ya.” Sorry, wrong reference. No fridges here, just a cavalcade of Oscar nominees toiling to recreate the ill-fated campaign to capture German bridges in WWII. Academy favorites Ryan O’Neal, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, James Caan, Maximilian Schell, Liv Ullmann, Elliott Gould, Laurence Olivier and Robert Redford get in on the action — alongside future winners Anthony Hopkins and Sean Connery.
The Oscar-nominated cast: Albert Finney, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Richard Widmark
Agatha Christie’s mysteries were popular fodder for Hollywood back in the 1970s and 1980s, but 1974’s Murder on the Orient Express, directed by Sidney Lumet, was the first of them. Oscar Nominee Albert Finney plays famous Christie detective Hercule Poirot, who’s asked by a train company director (Martin Balsam) to investigate the murder of an American businessman (Richard Widmark) aboard one of his trains. The all-star cast of suspicious characters includes the likes of Ingrid Bergman, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, and Anthony Perkins, all previous Oscar nominees themselves at the time.
The Oscar-nominated cast: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Peter Falk, Buster Keaton
Given the sheer size of its cast, it’s inevitable that there would be a few Oscar nominees in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. This wacky road comedy, in which a bunch of strangers hunt for a missing stash of money, often feels like an excuse for every comedian in Hollywood to make a cameo. And despite its madcap antics, Mad World got six Oscar noms, winning one for Best Sound Editing.
The Oscar-nominated cast: Eddie Albert, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Henry Fonda, Sal Mineo, Robert Mitchum, Edmond O’Brien, Robert Ryan, Rod Steiger, John Wayne, Richard Todd
World War II movies never fail to bring out the acting heavyweights, with this 1962 epic account of the D-Day invasion told from both the Allied and German point of view and via a roster of men’s men — which included Oscar nominees Eddie Albert, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Henry Fonda, Sal Mineo, Robert Mitchum, Edmond O’Brien, Robert Ryan, Rod Steiger, John Wayne, and Richard Todd. Ironically, none of the actors received nominations for the film.