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14 Films That Should Have Won the Oscar for Best Picture But Weren’t Even Nominated

Here’s a list in chronological order. Add your choices in the comment section.

by
Kyle Smith

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March 1, 2014 - 8:00 am
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Anytime you’re tempted to care too much about what’s going on with the Oscars, consider the list of great movies that should have won Best Picture yet weren’t even nominated in that category.

1. King Kong (1933)

The landmark in special effects and fantasy captivated the imagination and heralded a new era in which anything anyone could dream up became a cinematic possibility. The closing line was so perfect that Peter Jackson couldn’t resist using it again in his remake seven decades later. But Oscar was obsessed with historical sweep at the time, and gave its top award to the generational family saga Cavalcade

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Top Rated Comments   
I love "Meet Me in St. Louis" and love your description of it as a "family-friendly joy bomb!"

My husband and I like sci-fi, but didn't like AI. It seemed like those who made it couldn't figure out what audience they were targeting.

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I like to think of 2001 as two movies clumsily sutured together. The psychological thriller that makes up the bulk of the middle of the movie is quite engrossing. The psychedelic ending is a swing and a miss though.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting list…when discussing the Oscars, I frequently suggest to others that they open the Wikipedia page for Best Picture and scroll down, reading from the beginning - they list the winners and the other nominees. It’s amazing how many historic, culturally significant, and timeless films have lost to good-but-not-great, forgettable, or downright awful lesser films. It makes you realize how irrelevant the Oscars can sometimes be in the long run.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (41)
All Comments   (41)
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re A.I. Artificial Intelligence over A Beautiful Mind, I think I would've picked Amélie over both.

re Almost Famous over Gladiator, (1) can't recall thinking about Spartacus while watching the latter, (2) Almost Famous's big heart was in its screenplay not its production, and it did win for original screenplay, and (3) it's interesting but feels overlong.

re Psycho over The Apartment, Hitchcock intentionally shot it like a B movie/TV show. No way the A movie folks were going to give it Best Picture during the decade they were fighting a losing battle against TV.

re Vertigo over Gigi they're both overrated, although agree with the placing the former over the latter. Woulda rather seen The Defiant Ones get it, but see production size note on Psycho above.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Academy Awards deserve their place next to the Nobel Peace Prize as irrelevancies, whether they were ever relevant in the first place. At least the Oscars have some entertainment value.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oliver! isn't so bad -- Oliver Reed was terrific as Bill Sykes, hinting brutality with vocal tones & facial expressions that still give me the creeps just thinking about him. The kids are cute & the singing & dancing are good, but Oliver Reed steals the show. And Carol Reed deserved recognition, even if it came 19 years too late. (Carol Reed's Outcast of the Islands is another underrated gem.)

The Great Escape? B+. James Garner is the weak spot. He doesn't have the acting chops so he tries to rely on charm, and charm isn't quite right for that movie. (As if any Nazi prison guard would fall for Garner's ham-handed attempts at clever charm. ) Garner alternates between being too wooden or being too silly. Richard Attenborough hits the right notes of courage and cleverness, too bad Garner isn't up to the match. Steve McQueen's motorcycle scene is truly great, though.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would say Blazing Saddles (1974), but it was in a very competitive year. The Sting, The Excorcist & American Graffiti were nominated, The Sting won. It SHOULD have been nominated though.

Empire Strikes Back - 1981, although this is a tough one in one sense. Star Wars was a much more IMPORTANT movie, but ESB is a BETTER movie. Nonetheless, ESB is a damn sight better than Ordinary People.

The Academy's foolish disdain for comedy is one of it's greatest weaknesses.

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
What about "The Good , the Bad and the Ugly."? The greatest western of all time and far better than "Red River."
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Brazil", 1985, definitely belongs on this list... Terry Gilliam's dystopian fantasy masterpiece, unquestionably one of the best films of the 1980s, absolute must see for anyone with the slightest interest in sci-fi, or Monty Python fans, or fans of artistically ambitious films in general. For conservatives, it makes a commentary on bureaucracy vs. freedom that has never been topped! For me personally, it was the most intense experience I have ever had in a movie theater - I saw it in high school with two friends and the three of us were literally speechless, just dumbstruck at what we'd just seen and trying to take it all in. I've seen it many times since then and always notice something new. Film was famously mishandled by Universal and ignored not only by the Academy but by mainstream US audiences, although it was modestly successful abroad. It did win Best Picture from LA Film Critics (widely seen as a slam at the studio), but ignored at Oscar time except for a couple of technical awards.

BTW: 2001 is a masterpiece, my personal all time #1. A work of supreme genius from start to finish; operates on multiple thematic levels; timeless, which is why it is still frequently screened today, 44 years after first release. It is slow paced, not made for the iphone ADHD culture of today, but if you're bored, it's either because you're not paying attention, or (frankly) you're just not bright enough to appreciate what Kubrick was trying to do.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tom Jones was absolutely terrible and remains so to this day. How it won 1963 Best Picture is beyond me.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The eating scene won the Oscar.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The one that comes to mind is Glory, 1989. Winner Driving Miss Daisy! Other nominees Born of 4th July, Field of Dreams, Dead Poets Society, My Left Foot. Glory is superior to all.

And The Third Man from 1949.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
And the big winners tonight will be (the envelope please)
The Dallas Buyer's Club
12 Years a Slave
Homage must be paid.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
citizen kane
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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