Kevin Costner directed and starred in this best picture winner as a Union Army lieutenant who ingratiates himself into a Lakota Indian tribe during the American Civil War.
(Ben Glass / Orion Pictures Corp.)
The very first best picture winner stars Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Richard Arlen as two hometown boys whose rivalry for the affections of a girl, played by Clara Bow, carries them from America to the war in France against the Germans.
The German side of WWI is portrayed in this film adaptation of author Erich Maria Remarque’s famed novel. The academy presented it awards for best picture and best director, Lewis Milestone.
(UCLA Film & Television Archive)
Producer David O. Selznick’s epic Civil War romance brought Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) to the big screen. Despite a troubled production, the film was a box office triumph and went on to win 10 Academy Awards.
Director William Wyler’s film shows the day-to-day life of an upper-middle-class British family in England during the early days of World War II. It starred Greer Garson, right, and Teresa Wright and won six Academy Awards, including best picture.
War-torn North Africa is the setting for this classic best picture winner about an American expat named Rick (Humphrey Bogart) who reunites with his former lover, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), who is fleeing the Nazis with her husband.
It’s not the war but what happens after that’s the basis for director William Wyler’s best picture winner about three American servicemen back on home shores who face difficulties returning to their normal lives. (Samuel Goldwyn Co.)
Gregory Peck has a word with other officers -- Gary Merrill, left, Hugh Marlowe and Dean Jagger -- before a B–17 bombing raid in “12 O’Clock High.” The best picture nominee centered on the Allied airmen who conducted daylight bombing raids against Nazi Germany in the early days of WWII.
(Twentieth Century Fox)
In this best picture winner, four U.S. soldiers stationed in Hawaii have their lives torn apart when Pearl Harbor is attacked. Burt Lancaster, center, Ernest Borgnine, left, and Frank Sinatra, right, star. (Sony Pictures Repertory)
Henry Fonda, left, William Powell and Jack Lemmon joined James Cagney in this best picture nominee about a cargo ship attempting to steer clear of conflict in the final days of WWII.
David Lean’s best picture winner stars Alec Guinness, right, as a prisoner in a Japanese POW camp tasked with building the titular bridge -- not knowing, of course, that his own military is planning to destroy it.
(Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
The David Lean-directed biopic stars Peter O’Toole as T. E. Lawrence, the British army officer who took part in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks during WWI. Nominated for 10 Oscars, it won seven, including best picture.
(Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Director Stanley Kubrick skewered Cold War politics in this dark satire that featured Peter Sellers in three separate roles alongside George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including best picture.
George C. Scott starred as controversial U.S. Gen. George S. Patton. The film won seven Oscars, although Scott refused to accept his lead actor award.
(Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images)
Robert Altman’s anarchic war comedy, starring Elliot Gould, left, Tom Skerritt and Donald Sutherland, took place during the Korean War. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, it was overshadowed on Oscar night by the more straight-laced war film “Patton.”
(Twentieth Century Fox)
One of the first studio films to directly address the Vietnam War, Michael Cimino’s epic film won five Academy Awards, including picture and director. From left, Christopher Walken, John Cazale and Robert De Niro. (Universal Pictures)
Inspired by Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” Francis Ford Coppola‘s surrealist Vietnam War epic overcame a notoriously troubled film shoot. Starring Martin Sheen, it ended up with eight Oscar nominations. (American Zoetrope / Miramax Films)
The first of writer-director Oliver Stone’s Vietnam War movies centers on an inexperienced U.S. soldier, played by Charlie Sheen, center, with Willem Dafoe, left, and Tom Berenger. Among its four Oscars were wins for best picture and director. (Roland Neveu / LightRocket via Getty Images)
Mel Gibson directed and starred as William Wallace in this film depicting the war of Scottish independence in the 13th century. The movie won five Oscars, including picture and director.
(Andrew Cooper / AP)
Based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje, this best picture winner stars Ralph Fiennes as an injured Hungarian geographer who ends up in the care of Juliette Binoche’s French-Canadian nurse.
(Phil Bray / Miramax)
Tom Hanks, left, led the cast of this acclaimed drama set around the time of the invasion of Normandy in 1944. It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and earned director Steven Spielberg his second Oscar.
(David James )
After a 20-year absence, writer-director Terrence Malick returned to filmmaking with this WWII epic, boasting a huge cast of stars. It was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture.
(Merie W. Wallace / Fox 2000)
Clint Eastwood directed this Japanese-language drama that tells the story of the battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective. It was nominated for four Oscars, including director and picture. (Merie W. Wallace / Warner Bros. / DreamWorks)
Starring Jeremy Renner as a bomb disposal expert in the Iraq War, “The Hurt Locker” won six Oscars, including best picture. Kathryn Bigelow became the first female to win an Oscar for directing. (Summit Entertainment)
The irreverent best picture nominee directed by Quentin Tarantino chronicles two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany’s leaders. (Francois Duhamel / The Weinstein Company)
Benedict Cumberbatch, pictured, appeared in Steven Spielberg’s best picture nominee, which follows the journeys of a WWI cavalry mount.
(Kathy Kennedy / DreamWorks)
Director Kathryn Bigelow returned to modern warfare with this best picture nominee starring Jessica Chastain as a member of an elite military intelligence group tasked with finding Osama Bin Laden. (Jonathan Olley / Columbia Pictures)
Among this year’s best picture nominees is this Clint Eastwood-directed drama starring Bradley Cooper as the late Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle. (Keith Bernstein / Warner Bros.)
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as WWII codebreaker Alan Turing in the current best picture nominee. (Jack English / The Weinstein Co. )