Oscar: Musicals, 1927-Present–How Many Were Nominated? How Many Won Best Picture

If La La Land, one of the year’s most acclaimed films, wins the Best Picture Oscar, it will become the 10th winner in the musical genre.


La La Land won the Best Picture from the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), of which I am a voting member.

Musical films have featured prominently in the Best Picture Oscar category, especially in the first decade, perhaps due to the dominance of MGM.

Nine (about 10 percent) of the 88 Oscar-winning films, between 1927 and 2016, have been musicals.

Oscar-winning musicals–chronologically:

The Broadway Melody (1928-9)
The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
An American in Paris (1951)
Gigi (1958)
West Side Story (1961)
My Fair Lady (1964)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Oliver! (1968)
Chicago (2002)

In my view, at least four of the winning musicals have been among the weakest Best Picture winners in the Academy’s history (guess which?).

Below lease find the nine Best Picture musicals, by year, number of nominations, and number of awards.

Broadway Melody


Nominations: 3
Awards: 1

Great Ziegfeld:


Nominations: 7
Awards: 1

American in Paris

american in paris

Nominations: 8
Awards: 6



Nominations: 9
Awards: 9

West Side Story


Nominations: 11
Awards: 10

My Fair Lady:


Nominations: 12
Awards: 8

Sound of Music


Nominations: 10
Awards: 5



Nominations: 11
Awards: 5



Nominations: 13
Awards: 6

One of the great musical films to be nominated for Best Picture was the 1972 Cabaret, but it lost to The Godfather, though Bob Fosse received the Best Director Oscar and Liza Minnelli the Best Actress.