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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Best Picture Goes to 'Braveheart'

LOS ANGELES -- In the tradition of such Oscar-winning epics as "Dances with Wolves," "The Last Emperor" and "Lawrence of Arabia," the medieval battlefield movie "Braveheart" won best picture at Monday night's 68th annual Academy Awards.

The film won five Oscars -- for director Mel Gibson, makeup, sound effects, editing and cinematography.

Four films won two Oscars each: "Pocahontas," "Apollo 13," "The Usual Suspects" and "Restoration." The sentimental favorites "Babe" and "The Postman/Il Postino" each won one Oscar.

"Braveheart," a sweeping historical adventure set in 13th-century Scotland, chronicled legendary freedom fighter William Wallace as he marshaled a ramshackle army of his people in battle against the English king.

Although the three-hour, R-rated film focuses on a period of history little known to the average American filmgoer, it embraces age-old themes of courage, loyalty, honor and the brutality of war that have been the staples of many past Oscar-winning movies.

Susan Sarandon won best actress for her role as a nun who becomes the spiritual adviser of a death-row inmate in "Dead Man Walking," a film written and directed by her partner, Tim Robbins. This was her fifth nomination.

Nicolas Cage, who had previously swept all of the major best-actor awards for his disturbing portrayal of an alcoholic spiraling toward suicide in "Leaving Las Vegas," was named best actor. It was the first Academy Award for Cage, 32.

Mira Sorvino, who played a hooker with a heart of gold in the Woody Allen film "Mighty Aphrodite," walked away with the supporting actress Oscar while Kevin Spacey won the supporting actor award for his role as a deceptive criminal in "The Usual Suspects."

Sarandon, 49, used her acceptance speech to thank Sister Helen Prejean, the nun who inspired the movie "Dead Man Walking" for "trusting us with your life and bringing your light and your love into all of our lives."

Gibson, 40, became the third major screen star this decade to win the award for best director, following Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood.

Emma Thompson made Academy history by winning for adapted screenplay. She is the first actress to ever accomplish that feat. It was the British actress' first attempt at screenwriting.

"Pocahontas" composer Alan Menken won his seventh and eighth Oscars for best song and best comedy or musical score.

The best original screenplay award went to Christopher McQuarrie for "The Usual Suspects."

The best foreign language film went to "Antonia's Line," submitted by The Netherlands. By winning, director/writer Marleen Gorris became the first female director ever to win an Oscar.

Two films dealing with the Holocaust won the documentary categories.

"Anne Frank Remembered" received the feature award while "One Survivor Remembers" won for short subject.

Kirk Douglas won an achievement award for "50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community."

Douglas, a three-time best actor nominee who broke the Hollywood blacklist by hiring screenwriter Dalton Trumbo for "Spartacus" in 1960, gave a heartfelt speech that earned a standing ovation.

Douglas, 79, suffered a stroke recently and spoke with some difficulty.

"I love all of you and I thank all of you for 50 wonderful years,'' he said.