Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Best Picture Winners

I have a general rule that when I choose Oscar Best Picture mistakes, I only choose from the nominees. I am ignoring that rule today. Here are the films that I think should have won Best Picture. Nominee or not. 



 1929-Blackmail. My first change. Originally The Broadway Melody won. That film was horrible and the critics will tell you the same thing. This was Britain's first 'talkie' film. It is only fitting that the first talkie would be made by the master himself Alfred Hitchcock. But, this film was not nominated.

1930-All Quiet on the Western Front 

1931-M To be fair I haven't actually seen M. But anything has to be better than Cimarron. I will see M ASAP.

1932-Grand Hotel

1933-I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. Cavalcade is nice, particularly for a history buff such as myself, but This one is much better and is capped off by an outstanding performance by Paul Muni.

1934-It Happened One Night. Duh

1935-Mutiny on the Bounty. 

1936-My Man Godfrey. While The Great Ziegfeld is nice and certainly excellent to look at, it lacks all of the charm and heart that My Man Godfrey portrays with ease.

1937- The Life of Emile Zola.

1938-You Can't Take it With You

1939-Gone with the Wind. Again, duh.


1941-Citizen Kane. This is another one that is a 'duh'. How Green Was my Valley was nice. But I mean come on, this is Citizen Kane we're talking about. Best movie ever? No. One of the best? Definitely.

1942-Mrs Miniver.

1943-I have an RT friend who would get mad if I didn't agree with this film's win. But as it just so happens I totally agree with the win.

1944-Gaslight. Going my Way was a decent film with good performances, but this one was a better film with better performances.

1945-The Lost Weekend

1946-It's A Wonderful Life. I know why The Best Years of Our Lives won. It was a WWII coming home film the year after WWII ended. It still isn't a better film than It's A Wonderful Life which everyone has seen. It's aged better than Citizen Kane in some respects.

1947- Miracle on 34th Street. is it an odd choice? Yeah probably. But it was a nominee so it is fair game for a pick. Call me a fool but I just liked this one better than Gentleman's Agreement.

1948- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Hamlet was well acted by Olivier, but this one was still a much more entertaining and a far better film to watch.

1949-All the King's Men.

1950-All About Eve

1951-This is another example of a spectacle winning over the better film. An American in Paris was nice and pretty to look at, but let's be honest here, this film won 3/4ths of the acting awards. It was a far superior film.

1952-Singin' in the Rain. Once again we have a spectacle beating out a far superior (and in this case un-nominated) film. You can't look at the cover of this film without thinking of the song...or A Clockwork Orange, whichever.

1953-From Here to Eternity

1954-On the Waterfront

1955-The Night of the Hunter. This film wasn't liked when it first came out, but today we know it as one of the best films ever made. Rightly so. It's better than Marty at least (no shame on Marty which is still a superb film)

1956-The King and I. This and Around the World in 80 Days are both very visually excellent films. But, this one has amazing performances (particularly bu Yul Brenner) Around the World does not.

1957- The Bridge on the River Kwai

1958-The Defiant Ones. Gigi just doesn't have that much to it. It's a fluff film. The Defiant Ones is excellent and is also topped off by two great performances by Poitier and Curtis.


1960-Psycho. The Apartment is a good film don't get me wrong, but I would still give it to Psycho which is by far a superior film. The Apartment didn't start a whole new genre and have some of the most recognizable music in history. Psycho did. I know the Academy would give Picture and Director to Hitchcock for this one if they had a do-over.

1961-West Side Story

1962-Lawrence of Arabia

1963-The Great Escape. This film is incredibly well made. Tom Jones is just flat out dumb. 

1964-Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. My Fair Lady was a decent film. But almost everything it won it robbed from this film.

1965-The Sound of Music

1966-A Man for All Seasons

1967-Bonnie and Clyde. In the Heat of the Night was a very well made film, but this one was better. Plain and simple.

1968-The Lion in Winter-Oliver was a nice fluff film, but it doesn't even come close to matching the outstanding performances in this film.

1969-Anne of 1000 Days. Midnight Cowboy was well made and it had some solid performances, but man, this one was way better. Watch it before you disagree.


1971-The French Connection

1972-The Godfather

1973-The Sting

1974-The Godfather Part II

1975-One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1976-Taxi Driver. Rocky was a great film in its own right. Taxi Driver is just better that's all.

1978-The Deer Hunter

1979-Apocalypse Now. Kramer vs. Kramer was a great film with a powerful message, but Apocalypse now really beats it in every way.

1980-Raging Bull. Ordinary People is nice (you notice how the Academy goes for 'nice' films?) but raging Bull is a fantastic film and De Niro rocked in this one.

1981-On Golden Pond. Chariots of Fire was a very good film, but On Golden Pond was far superior particularly when it comes to Fonda and Hepburn's amazing Oscar winning performances.

1982-Blade Runner. Ben Kingsley in Gandhi is one of the best performances I have ever seen. But Blade Runner is still a superior film. No shame on Gandhi.

1983- Terms of Endearment

1984-The Killing Fields. I know that I have some RT friends who have Amadeus as their favorite film. Before you disagree, watch this film. It is absolutely fantastic.

1985-The Color Purple. Out of Africa has little merit and critics today don't even like it. The Color Purple is an utterly amazing film that didn't deserve to go 0-11 with its Oscar noms.


1987-Hope and Glory. The Last Emperor was a visually amazing film, but once again it lacked the heart and character that this film had. 0-7 in Oscars. It's one of my favorites and more people need to see it.

1988-Rain Man

1989-Dead Poets Society/Do The Right Thin. These two are interchangeable. I would have been okay with either one winning. Driving Miss Daisy was good, but it was the weakest of all of the nominees with the exception of Born on the Fourth of July which was not a good film.


1991-The Silence of the Lambs 


1993-Schindler's List

1994-Pulp Fiction. I debated a bit for this one. If you feel that Forrest Gump or Shawshank deserved the win that's fine too.

1995-Braveheart/The Usual Suspects. I just couldn't decide which one. So, you determine for yourself which one of these two is better.

1996-Fargo. With the exceptions of a few of the performances, The English Patient was a kind of bland film. Fargo was hilarious and had some exceptional performances.

1997-Good Will Hunting. Debate this if you want, but I think that Good Will Hunting had more quality to it than Titanic. Don't worry, Titanic still deserved all the technical awards and was a great film overall. I just felt that this was better.

1998-Saving Private Ryan. I think that this film's loss to Shakespeare in Love was the worst mistake in Oscar history, you all voted this film's loss as the worst mistake in history, we all know that Shakespeare in Love isn't even close to the same level of quality that this film has. If Shakespeare hadn't won, we would forget its existence within a few decades. We still may. Saving Private Ryan will be around forever.

1999-American Beauty


2001-The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Within 7 years, This film was ranked by the AFI as one of the best films ever. Aside from Crowe's stellar performance, A Beautiful Mind pales in comparison.

2002-The Pianist. Once again Mirimax took away Best Picture from a WWII film that won Best Director. However, this time the film that took best Picture was actually really good. Chicago is an excellent film. But, The Pianist is far better.

2003-The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2004-Million Dollar Baby

2005-Crash. Before you argue with me on this one, look deep into your heart and ask yourself if they had replaced Jake Gyllenhaal with Maggie Gyllenhaal and gave you the exact same story, nobody would care. And before you bash Crash for being 'emotionally manipulative' ask yourself what that truly means. if you watch Airplane! and you laugh and your emotion changes from whatever it was to really happy, isn't Airplane! being 'emotionally manipulative'? Just think about it.

2006-The Departed

2007-No Country for Old men/There Will Be Blood. These two are interchangeable for me. If either one had won I wouldn't have been upset. 

 2008-The Dark Knight.  Since I'm ruling the world here, I will give it to The Dark Knight. Were films like Milk better? In some ways yes. Did this film deserve a nomination at least? YES!!! I mean The Reader? Come on, not even Hugh Jackman who was the host for this year bothered to see it. The critics weren't a fan of it either.

2009-The Hurt Locker

2010-The King's Speech

There you have it, the films that I agree with winning, or should have won, Best Picture. Please let me know what you think!


  1. Great post Lord. I agree with you in many respects. I like all the love for Scorsese especially with Goodfellas and Raging Bull. I also agree with you on Crash. I have always said that Brokeback Mountain is just Romeo and Juliet with two guys and Shakespeare told it better. My only big disagreement is The King's Speech. I liked it alright, but I found it to be a straightforward A-B narrative that was always going to be a good movie. David Fincher took material that didn't even deserve to be a movie and made a wonderful movie out of it. Therefore, for the craft of filmmaking the edge for me goes to The Social Network. Great blog and a lot of work.

  2. Agree with Sparky. The Social Network was the better film for me. Hell, Inception, Black Swan, and even True Grit were better for me than The King's Speech because they weren't so typical. The King's Speech offered nothing really new besides a potential king with a stutter and a scene where he shouts profanities. I like how you did this list by showing which films won and which should have won that year.

  3. Great list! I disagree on a few, but no two people think the same. My Netflix queue is getting a workout.

  4. So Christian, you see a lot of films here you want to see then?