The Golden Globes traditionally give a pointer to the Oscars, which are held in March. In the past 16 years, 12 films that won the "best film" honour at the Golden Globes have gone on to take the same prize at the Oscars.
Michael Caine was namedbest actor in a musical or comedy film for his role as a sleazy theatrical agent in Little Voice.
Picking up the award at the ceremony in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday night, the actor said: "Oh, what a shock. My career must be slipping. This is the first time I've been available to pick up an award."
Lynn Redgrave won the film supporting actress award for her role in Gods And Monsters. Ms Redgrave, who played the crusty but loving maid to an ageing horror director, said: "It's been 32 years since I stood one of these on a mantelpiece and it's been crying out for a friend ever since."
Other British successes included the best comedy or musical film award to Shakespeare In Love, produced by David Parfitt and directed by John Madden, while Sir Tom Stoppard and his American colleague Marc Norman, who wrote the script, won the best screenplay award.
But the actress Imelda Staunton, who also stars in the film, said success at the Oscars should not be taken for granted. "The Oscars don't have a best comedy and best drama category - just best film."
Gwyneth Paltrow, who stars in Shakespeare In Love, won the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy film, beating Jane Horrocks, who had been nominated for her leading role in Little Voice. Another British loser was Emily Watson who played the cellist Jacqueline du Pre in Hilary And Jackie. She lost the best actress in a drama film award to the Australian Cate Blanchett for her title role in Elizabeth. Best dramatic actor was Jim Carrey for The Truman Show.
Saving Private Ryan was named best dramatic film, with Steven Spielberg best director for the graphic war story.
Jack Nicholson, who in the past has been nominated for 14 Globes and won five, received the Cecil B de Mille Award for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field".
The Golden Globes, which are split between drama and comedy or musicals, are voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.Reuse content