Oscarfever! 2012: Best Picture Lists

In honor of tomorrow’s big show, here’s a couple big Oscar-related lists for the day.  First, I’ve ranked all 76 of the Best Picture winners I’ve seen:
1. Casablanca   
2. Annie Hall
3. Sunrise
4. All About Eve
5. An American in Paris
6. Gone With the Wind
7. My Fair Lady
8. Unforgiven
9. The Godfather Part II
10. Lawrence of Arabia
11. Amadeus
12. On the Waterfront
13. The French Connection
14. The Godfather
15. It Happened One Night
16. The Best Years of Our Lives
17. Rebecca
18. All Quiet on the Western Front
19. The Apartment
20. How Green Was My Valley
21. The English Patient
22. The Departed
23. West Side Story
24. Patton
25. Wings
26. Gigi
27. The Sting
28. No Country for Old Men
29. Going My Way
30. Out of Africa
31. Mutiny on the Bounty
32. Hamlet
33. Midnight Cowboy
34. The Bridge on the River Kwai
35. The Silence of the Lambs
36. Platoon
37. The Return of the King
38. The Last Emperor
39. Schindler’s List
40. The Deer Hunter
41. All the King’s Men
42. Rocky
43. The Hurt Locker
44. Titanic
45. Marty
46. Ordinary People
47. Ben-Hur
48. You Can’t Take It With You
49. In the Heat of the Night
50. Slumdog Millionaire
51. Terms of Endearment
52. Shakespeare in Love
53. Braveheart
54. The Broadway Melody
55. Oliver!
56. Grand Hotel
57. Dances with Wolves
58. A Man for All Seasons
59. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
60. The King’s Speech
61. Kramer vs. Kramer
62. American Beauty
63. Gandhi
64. The Lost Weekend
65. Cimarron
66. Forrest Gump
67. Million Dollar Baby
68. Chariots of Fire
69. The Sound of Music
70. Rain Man
71. Gladiator
72. Cavalcade
73. A Beautiful Mind
74. Gentlemen’s Agreement
75. Driving Miss Daisy
76. Crash

 The seven winners I haven’t seen yet are: The Great Ziegfeld, The Life of Emile Zola
Mrs. Miniver, The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in 80 Days, Tom Jones,  and Chicago.

Second, a list of all the actual winners in chronological order, followed in parentheses by the actual nominee I would have picked (limited of course by the films I’ve seen) and my personal choice as Best Picture.  I’m following as best I can the Oscar eligibility rules for Hollywood films (foreign film release dates are too complicated, so for the sake of this exercise, let’s just assume that films have been released simultaneously in all parts of the world).  

Looking at this list, it’s reassuring how many great movies have been nominated for Best Picture, even if the eventual winners were lackluster.  18 times my favorite of the year was one of the nominees, with my favorite winning six times (Sunrise, Casablanca, All About Eve, An American in Paris, Annie Hall and Unforgiven).  If The Tree of Life pulls off a huge upset tomorrow, it’ll be the seventh.

27/28: Sunrise/Wings (Sunrise, Sunrise)
28/29: The Broadway Melody (The Broadway Melody, The Docks of New York)
29/30: All Quiet on the Western Front (All Quiet on the Western Front, The Man with a Movie Camera)
30/31: Cimarron (The Front Page, City Lights)
31/32: Grand Hotel (Shanghai Express, Trouble in Paradise)
32/33: Cavalcade (42nd Street, Duck Soup)
1934: It Happened One Night (The Thin Man, L’Atalante)
1935: Mutiny on the Bounty (Top Hat, Top Hat)
1936: The Great Ziegfeld (Dodsworth, Swing Time)
1937: The Life of Emile Zola (The Awful Truth, Make Way For Tomorrow)
1938: You Can’t Take It with You (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Bringing Up Baby)
1939: Gone with the Wind (Stagecoach, The Rules of the Game)
1940: Rebecca (The Philadelphia Story, The Shop Around the Corner)
1941: How Green Was My Valley (Citizen Kane, Citizen Kane)
1942: Mrs. Miniver (The Magnificent Ambersons, Cat People)
1943: Casablanca (Casablanca, Casablanca)
1944: Going My Way (Double Indemnity, A Canterbury Tale)
1945: The Lost Weekend (The Bells of St. Mary’s, Children of Paradise)
1946: The Best Years of Our Lives (It’s a Wonderful Life, The Big Sleep)
1947: Gentlemen’s Agreement (Crossfire, Black Narcissus)
1948: Hamlet (The Red Shoes, The Red Shoes)
1949: All the King’s Men (A Letter to Three Wives, The Third Man)
1950: All About Eve (All About Eve, All About Eve)
1951: An American in Paris (An American in Paris, An American in Paris)
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth (The Quiet Man, Singin’ in the Rain)
1953: From Here to Eternity (Roman Holiday, Ugetsu)
1954: On the Waterfront (On the Waterfront, Seven Samurai)
1955: Marty (Mister Roberts, Night of the Hunter)
1956: Around the World in 80 Days (The Ten Commandments, The Searchers)
1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai (Witness for the Prosecution, Funny Face)
1958: Gigi (Gigi, Vertigo)
1959: Ben-Hur (Anatomy of a Murder, North by Northwest)
1960: The Apartment (The Apartment, Psycho)
1961: West Side Story (West Side Story, A Woman is a Woman)
1962: Lawrence of Arabia (Lawrence of Arabia, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)
1963: Tom Jones (How the West Was Won, The Birds)
1964: My Fair Lady (Dr. Strangelove, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)
1965: The Sound of Music (Dr. Zhivago, Pierrot le fou)
1966: A Man for All Seasons (A Man for All Seasons, Au hasard Balthazar)
1967: In the Heat of the Night (Bonnie & Clyde, Playtime)
1968: Oliver! (The Lion in Winter, Once Upon a Time in the West)
1969: Midnight Cowboy (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, A Touch of Zen)
1970: Patton (Patton, Claire’s Knee)
1971: The French Connection (The French Connection, Two-Lane Blacktop)
1972: The Godfather (Cabaret, Cabaret)
1973: The Sting (The Sting, F for Fake)
1974: The Godfather Part II (Chinatown, Celine & Julie Go Boating)
1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Jaws, Jaws)
1976: Rocky (Taxi Driver, Taxi Driver)
1977: Annie Hall (Annie Hall, Annie Hall)
1978: The Deer Hunter (The Deer Hunter, Days of Heaven)
1979: Kramer vs. Kramer (All that Jazz, Manhattan)
1980: Ordinary People (Raging Bull, The Empire Strikes Back)
1981: Chariots of Fire (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Raiders of the Lost Ark)
1982: Gandhi (The Verdict, Fitzcarraldo)
1983: Terms of Endearment (The Right Stuff, Sans soleil)
1984: Amadeus (Amadeus, Stranger than Paradise)
1985: Out of Africa (Out of Africa, Ran)
1986: Platoon (Hannah and her Sisters, Hannah and Her Sisters)
1987: The Last Emperor (Broadcast News, The Princess Bride)
1988: Rain Man (Dangerous Liaisons, Dangerous Liaisons)
1989: Driving Miss Daisy (Field of Dreams, Do the Right Thing)
1990: Dances with Wolves (Goodfellas, Miller’s Crossing)
1991: Silence of the Lambs (JFK, Slacker)
1992: Unforgiven (Unforgiven, Unforgiven)
1993: Schindler’s List (In the Name of the Father, Three Colors: Blue)
1994: Forrest Gump (Pulp Fiction, Chungking Express)
1995: Braveheart (Sense & Sensibility, Dead Man)
1996: The English Patient (The English Patient, Transpotting)
1997: Titanic (Titanic, Boogie Nights)
1998: Shakespeare in Love (The Thin Red Line, The Big Lebowski)
1999: American Beauty (The Insider, Eyes Wide Shut)
2000: Gladiator (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
2001: A Beautiful Mind (The Fellowship of the Ring, Millennium Mambo)
2002: Chicago (The Two Towers, Punch-Drunk Love)
2003: Return of the King (Master and Commander, Kill Bill Vol. 1)
2004: Million Dollar Baby (The Aviator, 2046)
2005: Crash (Munich, The New World)
2006: The Departed (The Departed, The Wind that Shakes the Barley)
2007: No Country for Old Men (There Will Be Blood, I’m Not There)
2008: Slumdog Millionaire (Milk, WALL-E)
2009: The Hurt Locker (Inglourious Basterds, Inglourious Basterds)
2010: The King’s Speech (True Grit, Certified Copy)
2011: ??? ?????? (The Tree of Life, The Tree of Life)

2 thoughts on “Oscarfever! 2012: Best Picture Lists

  1. As always, I love the support of musicals. Looking over all the nominees, it's amazing how some years have 5 (or more) great movies (1939, 1940, 1958, 1975, 1980) and others feel like sad filler (1959, 1970, 1990. 1991, 2004)
    I'm glad that you came down on the side of All About Eve in the ongoing, and endless debate between it and Sunset Boulevard. Both great movies, but the dialogue in All About Eve is just about the best ever.
    Seems like you got a problem with the Coen Brothers, maybe?
    My winners: Brief Encounter (1946), Pan's Labyrinth (2006)


  2. All About Eve's competition in 1950, for me, is Rashomon, not Sunset Blvd.. I've gone back and forth, but I think I've settled on Eve as the winner.

    I like the Coens a lot, they have two of my #1 films of the year with Miller's Crossing and The Big Lebowski and True Grit was my favorite of last year's nominees. I just prefer The English Patient to Fargo, which is inexplicable to most people.

    Brief Encounter I like a lot (my favorite David Lean film), Pan's Labyrinth not so much (I prefer the Hellboy movies).


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