Gay cowboy drama Brokeback Mountain has been named best film at the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles.
Ang Lee previously directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
But lead actor Heath Ledger lost out on the best dramatic actor award to Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won it for Capote.
Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon were both honoured for their performances in the musical Walk the Line, about the life of Johnny Cash.
Felicity Huffman, best known for Desperate Housewives, won best dramatic film actress for Transamerica.
Huffman, who plays a transsexual, said she saluted "the men and women who brave ostracism, alienation and a life lived on the margins to become who they really are".
The Globes are seen as an indicator to the Academy Awards, which are being held on 5 March.
GOLDEN GLOBE WINNERS
Best drama - Brokeback Mountain
Best dramatic actor - Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote (above)
Best dramatic actress - Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
Best comedy/musical - Walk the Line
Best director - Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Highly-tipped Brokeback Mountain also won best screenplay, best original song and best director for Ang Lee.
It beat A History of Violence, Woody Allen's Match Point, The Constant Gardener and George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck to win best drama.
Lee said: "You can never categorise or stereotype a region or a place.
"People fall in love, period. This is a universal story ... I just wanted to make a love story."
The nominations were hailed as a triumph for smaller-budgeted films over big studio productions, as all the best drama nominees are independent movies made for under $30m (£16.9m).
Palestinian film Paradise Now, which examines the motives of suicide bombers, was named best foreign language film.
Hoffman has been highly praised for his performance as the late author Truman Capote, winning a number of critics' awards.
Accepting his Golden Globe, Hoffman said: "I was given the best part of my life, basically, and I know that."
Clooney did win a best supporting actor in a drama award for Syriana, while British actress Rachel Weisz won the supporting actress award for The Constant Gardener.
Walk the Line, which was given the blessing of Cash before his death, won the best musical or comedy motion picture award, beating The Producers, Pride and Prejudice and Mrs Henderson Presents.
Phoenix thanked Cash and his late wife June Carter-Cash for "sharing their life with all of us".
GOLDEN GLOBE ORIGINS
The Golden Globes are given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)
The HFPA is a group of Los Angeles-based journalists working for overseas publications
Founded in 1943, the first annual Golden Globe Awards took place in 1944
Unlike the Oscars, the Globes have separate categories for dramas, and comedies or musicals
A Globes win is seen as a good indication of Oscars success
In the TV comedy actress category, the four Desperate Housewives stars lost out in favour of Mary Louise Parker for Weeds.
But Desperate Housewives did pick up the best comedy award for the second year running.
Hit ABC drama Lost won the best TV drama category, beating Rome, Prison Break, Grey's Anatomy and Commander in Chief.
British actor Hugh Laurie won the best actor in a TV drama for medical series House, an accolade he missed out on last year.
Geena Davis was named best actress in a TV drama for Commander in Chief, in which she plays the first female president of the US.
Steve Carell won best actor in a comedy for the US version of The Office. Ricky Gervais won the same award in 2004 for the original UK series, which he co-created.