Last night it looked like 12 Years a Slave was going to be shut out at the Golden Globes until, at the last moment, it won Best Picture, Drama. The internet, worried that the film wouldn't get the credit it deserves, was placated, but how does a film win Best Picture without winning any other awards?
Prior to Sunday night's ceremony, in the last 71 years, only seven* Best Picture, Drama (or simply Best Picture for older ceremonies) winners went home with just one award. As for what that means for the Oscars, since the Globes are so often viewed through the lens of Oscar prediction, it depends. Some films weren't buoyed by their one Golden Globes win:
Yes, it does not bode well for 12 Years, history wise, since the last film to win BP and not other Globes was Babel. But fuck it.— Sasha Stone (@AwardsDaily) January 13, 2014
While others went on to pick up Oscars where the Globes had snubbed them, most went home with consolation prizes — the less glamorous technical awards like Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography or Best Original Score.12 Years a Slave.
2007: Babel — 7 Golden Globes nominations, 1 Oscars
The third installment in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Death Trilogy did not fare well at the Oscars. Not only did the Academy not think it was the Best Picture of the year — that honor went to The Departed — but the film went home nearly empty handed. Gustavo Santaolalla won for Best Original Score.
1992: Bugsy — 8 nominations, 2 Oscars
That year The Silence of the Lambs stole the show, winning Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Bugsy won for Costume Design and Art Direction.
1977: Rocky — 6 nominations, 3 Oscars
The first of many, many Sylvester Stallone-starring Rocky films, the original did very well at the Oscars. It won Best Director, Best Film Editing, and Best Picture over All the President's Men, Network and Taxi Driver.
1961: Spartacus — 6 nominations, 3 Oscars
Spartacus' Peter Ustinov pulled in a Best Supporting Actor win. Better still, the film was the best looking movie in color that year. It won Best Art Direction (Color), Best Cinematography (Color) and Best Costume Design (Color). That's a decent haul, though each of the "color" awards also had black and white winners.
1959: The Defiant Ones — 6 nominations, 2 Oscars
The Defiant Ones was sort of like a pre Civil Rights buddy comedy, starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier as two chained-together convicts who learn to respect each other as they try to outrun the law. Both Curtis and Poitier lost Best Actor to David Niven in Separate Tables, but it won Best Cinematography (Black and White) and best Writing (Story and Screenplay).
1954: The Robe — 1 nomination, 2 Oscars
Richard Burton did not win Best Actor for his 1953 Bible epic The Robe. From Here to Eternity won Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Director, Best Picture and Best Screenplay. It might have beaten The Robe out for Best Cinematography is it had been in color. The Robe won Best Cinematography (Color) and Best Costume Design (Color).
1952: A Place in the Sun — 4 nominations, 6 Oscars
A Place in the Sun had a better run at the Oscars than most of the movies on this list. It won the nearly requisite Best Cinematography and Costume Design (Black and White) but also Best Directing, Film Editing, Music and Screenplay, and that was against longstanding classics like The African Queen and A Streetcar Named Desire.
*James Dean and Harold Russell were awarded Special Achievement Awards for their work in East of Eden (1955) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), respectively.