Best Picture Academy Award winning films that references another Best Picture Oscar movie

18 February 2024
In the vast and interconnected world of cinema, films often echo each other, creating a rich tapestry of references and homages that transcend time and genre. This phenomenon is particularly notable among films that have either won or been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Such references range from subtle nods to direct quotations, weaving a complex network of intertextual dialogue that enhances the depth and enjoyment of these films.

Let's delve into the fascinating instances where Best Picture winners (and notable nominees) have referenced other iconic films within their narratives, offering a glimpse into the intricate relationships that bind the world of cinema

"Birdman" (2014) References "The Hurt Locker" (2008)

In "Birdman," a film that delves into the psyche of a washed-up actor attempting to reinvent his career on Broadway, there is a moment where Riggan (played by Michael Keaton riffing on his Batman era of fame) refers to Jeremy Renner as "the guy nominated for 'The Hurt Locker'."

This reference serves as a meta-commentary on the nature of fame, success, and the ephemeral quality of celebrity within Hollywood. "The Hurt Locker," itself a Best Picture winner, is renowned for its intense portrayal of a bomb disposal team during the Iraq War, marking a stark contrast to the introspective and surreal world of "Birdman."

keaton birdman

"Annie Hall" (1977) References "The Godfather" (1972)

Woody Allen’s "Annie Hall," a seminal work in the romantic comedy genre, cleverly references "The Godfather" during a scene where Allen's character, while conversing with Diane Keaton’s character (who starred in both films), quips, "I'm standing with the cast of 'The Godfather'." This line not only highlights the interconnectedness of actors within the film industry but also serves as a witty acknowledgment of Keaton's versatile filmography, bridging the gap between the worlds of romantic comedy and organized crime drama.

"Green Book" (2018) Features "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962)

In a subtle nod to cinematic history, "Green Book," a film about an unlikely friendship that transcends racial divides in the 1960s American South, includes a scene with a theater marquee displaying "Lawrence of Arabia." The latter, an epic portrayal of T.E. Lawrence’s experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I, is a masterpiece of filmmaking and a Best Picture winner. This reference not only situates "Green Book" within a specific historical moment but also pays homage to the enduring legacy of epic cinema.

"Forrest Gump" (1994) Restages "Midnight Cowboy" (1969)

"Forrest Gump," a film celebrated for its innovative blending of historical footage with fictional storytelling, creatively restages a sequence from "Midnight Cowboy." In this homage, Gump (Tom Hanks) and Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise) reenact the iconic scene where Jon Voight’s character is almost hit by a car, leading to Dustin Hoffman’s famous line, replicated by Lt. Dan in "Forrest Gump." This intertextual reference enriches the narrative of "Forrest Gump," linking it to the gritty realism and character-driven storytelling of "Midnight Cowboy."

"The Apartment" (1960) Watches "Grand Hotel" (1932)

In "The Apartment," a film that explores themes of loneliness, morality, and the human condition within the corporate world, there is a poignant scene where Jack Lemmon's character watches a TV commercial for "Grand Hotel." This reference serves multiple purposes: it underscores the film's commentary on the isolation felt by its protagonist, while also paying tribute to "Grand Hotel," a film that similarly explores the lives of various individuals within a single setting, revealing their interconnectedness and shared humanity.

"The Departed" (2006) References "Going My Way" (1944)

"The Departed," a gritty crime thriller set in Boston, contains a moment where Alec Baldwin's character offhandedly mentions that a character's mother is "straight out of 'Going My Way'." This reference to the classic film, which focuses on the efforts of a young priest trying to improve the lives of his parishioners, adds a layer of irony and depth to "The Departed," juxtaposing the idealistic and moralistic world of "Going My Way" against the morally ambiguous and violent backdrop of Scorsese’s film.

"The King's Speech" (2010) References "My Fair Lady" (1964)

"The King's Speech," a poignant narrative centered on King George VI's efforts to overcome his stammer with the help of an unconventional speech therapist, subtly nods to "My Fair Lady." In a scene where the speech coach employs a technique involving marbles to aid his student's elocution, audiences are reminded of a similar lesson in "My Fair Lady."

"The Godfather Part II" (1974) Continues and Honors "The Godfather" (1972)

"The Godfather Part II" stands as a monumental achievement in the realm of cinematic sequels, expanding upon the narrative and thematic elements introduced in "The Godfather." This sequel is notable not only for continuing the saga of the Corleone family but also for its unique narrative structure, which interweaves the rise of young Vito Corleone with the reign of his son, Michael Corleone, as the family's patriarch. 

The film's depth and complexity were recognized with it becoming the first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture (Return of the King a second sequel to Fellowship of the Rings won in 2004), a testament to its quality and its seamless extension of the narrative world created by its predecessor.

Furthermore, "The Godfather Part II" achieved a remarkable feat in the annals of the Oscars, with Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando both winning Best Actor Oscars for portraying the same character, Vito Corleone, at different stages of his life. This dual recognition not only highlights the exceptional talent of both actors but also underscores the character's profound impact on cinema and the storytelling mastery that defines the "Godfather" saga.


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My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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