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John Ford’s Historic Oscar Streak Is Untouchable After 71 Years

Director John Ford holding cigar and wearing the eye patch he needed late in life, on set of Civil War scene, the Battle of Shiloh, fr. his film "How the West Was Won."
Source: John Bryson/Getty Images

Seventy-one years ago, director John Ford made cinema history at the Academy Awards. Since 1929, the Academy Awards has been recognizing great filmmakers and actors with Oscars, which have become the measurement of success in Hollywood for nearly a century.

As everyone in the entertainment industry prepares for the 96th Academy Awards season and the announcement of the 2024 Oscar nominees, let’s look at one of the most influential and groundbreaking directors who set the standard for all Hollywood directors.

Ford began directing in the 1910s during the silent era and successfully transitioned to talkies, making some of the most inferential films during the 1930s and 1940s. Ford’s films have been recognized by the Academy many times, but it was his groundbreaking wins as Best Director in 1953 for “The Quiet Man” that made history.

The only director to hold four Academy Awards for Best Director is John Ford. He received his first Oscar in 1936 for his film “The Informer.” Then, Ford won his second Oscar in 1941 for “The Grapes of Wrath,” then his third the following year for “How Green Was My Valley.” Ford’s fourth and final Best Director Oscar win in 1953 made history.

While some of cinema’s most celebrated directors have garnered multiple Best Director Oscars, John Ford stands alone with his unparalleled achievement: four awards in this prestigious category. His remarkable feat remains unmatched to this day, solidifying his place as one of the most influential figures in film history.

Some might ask, “Is anyone close to breaking that record?” Unfortunately, no.


According to ScreenRant, Directors Frank Capra and William Wyler both came close to earning their fourth Best Director win, accumulating three each. Unfortunately, Capra and Wyler have both died.

There are many impressive directors out there whose every new project we eagerly anticipate. All currently active directors face a steep climb to potentially surpass Ford’s extraordinary record. They would need to secure at least two more Best Director wins to even come close. Steven Spielberg, Alfonso Cuarón, Ang Lee, and Clint Eastwood all have two Best Director wins. Unfortunately, it seems that none of these directors will have a chance at nabbing their third Best Director win this year, with Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”), Greta Gerwig (“Barbie”), and Martin Scorsese (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) projected to be the top contenders for the 2024 Academy Awards.

In terms of who has one the most Oscars in Academy Awards history, that honor belongs to Walt Disney. The American animator, film producer, and entrepreneur pioneered the path for American animation and currently holds the record for the most Oscars won and nominated for by an individual. Disney earned 59 Oscar nominations throughout his career, claiming 22 awards, including a posthumous win for Best Short Subject (Cartoon) in 1969.

Many great films are released each year, making it hard for the Academy to choose winners who represent the best in Hollywood. We are always looking forward to seeing who makes history at the award show each year, and here’s to hoping that the 2024 Academy Award ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on March 10, 2024, is no exception.

Source: ScreenRant

Written By Alyssa Miller

Alyssa Miller is a writer, editor, and educator with a passion for entertainment and pop culture. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Communications. Before graduating, Alyssa worked as a freelance entertainment and film education writer, contributing to a variety of publications, including Britain’s First Frame Magazine. She also continued to write short stories and screenplays in her free time.

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