Top 10 Movies Nominated For Best Picture That You Won’t Believe Lost

Photo Credit:

With the Academy Awards being held this Sunday, now is a good time to take a look at all the winners and losers of the past. This will be the 84th ceremony in which a film has received the grande honor of Best Picture. While I believe that The Artist will be awarded this weekend, there is always room for a surprise snub. But that would be terrible because The Artist was easily the best movie of the year and an indisputable classic! While that may be true, the Academy has not always honored the film that would truly go down in history. Here are the best films that got nominated but ultimately lost the race for the golden statue.

Photo Credit: Citizen Kane (1941)-

Lost to: How Green Was My Valley (14th Academy Awards)

Long since considered by many as the greatest movie of all time, Citizen Kane famously lost to a film that has since been forgotten. This film is not my favorite, but it deserved a win. Orson Welles changed the way that movies were made with this classic film that follows the mystery behind the title character’s last words, “Rosebud”.


Photo Credit: Sunset Blvd. (1950)-

Lost to: All About Eve (23rd Academy Awards)

Very much in line with its much-peppier musical counterpart, Singin’ in the Rain, and even this past year’s best film The Artist, Sunset Blvd. chronicles the change from silent films to “talkies”. It was one of the first of these to appear on screen and by far one of the best. Gloria Swanson gave one of the most haunting performances of all time in this classic thriller of the ages.


Photo Credit: Credit: The Shawshank Redemption/Pulp Fiction (1994)-

Lost to: Forrest Gump (67th Academy Awards)

A lot of people really love Forrest Gump. For me, while the acting is great, there is something off about the message it is trying to deliver. Had either Shawshank or Fiction won, the other would not appear on this list. They are both fantastic films and will definitely go down as classics, at least more so than Forrest Gump.


Photo Credit: 12 Angry Men (1957)-

Lost to: The Bridge on the River Kwai (30th Academy Awards)

This dispute is all about genre. When it comes to war movies, River Kwai is hardly considered one of the best. However, when it comes to courtroom dramas, 12 Angry Men might just be the best. Despite their genres, Men is just such an amazing film because it took a simple story and made it something incredibly tense and emotional. Truly amazing considering most of it takes place in one room.


Photo Credit: Raging Bull (1980)-

Lost to: Ordinary People (53rd Academy Awards)

This is one of the many puzzling Scorsese snubs. The man would not go on to win a Best Picture award until 2006 with The Departed, which, while great, is hardly his best. Raging Bull defined the boxing movie when it first came out. Centered by a career-best performance by Robert De Niro, this film is one of the greatest sports films ever made. Without it we would not have gotten The Fighter or The Wrestler. For that, Scorsese deserves another golden statue.


Photo Credit: Saving Private Ryan (1998)-

Lost to: Shakespeare in Love (71st Academy Awards)

This might be my favorite war movie of all time. Spielberg made such a visceral and disturbing film that never let loose even from its opening moments. If I had to put money on it, I would say that this film will be remembered far better down the road than Shakespeare in Love. So few films before and since have captured the true nature of war in both a terrifying and inspiring way.


Photo Credit: Taxi Driver (1976)-

Lost to: Rocky (49th Academy Awards)

Here is another famous Scorsese snub. Rocky is great and all, but hey, even Scorsese topped it four years later with Raging Bull. The Academy rarely goes for dark movies, but an exception should have been made for Taxi Driver, which is one of the most brilliant examinations of the post-Vietnam era, as well as human sanity.


Photo Credit: Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)-

Lost to: Annie Hall (50th Academy Awards)

Woody Allen is great and all, but it’s freaking Star Wars! Had the Academy known what this franchise would become, I like to think it would have won Best Picture. George Lucas changed the way Hollywood worked with this incredible sci-fi spectacle. It is the perfect representation of what cinema always wanted to be, something that transported you to another world that is both spectacular and human.


Photo Credit: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)-

Lost to: The Best Years of Our Lives (19th Academy Awards)

Perhaps it didn’t win because it is a Christmas movie but this film is one of the best ever made and should have gotten the golden statue. It’s a Wonderful Life is incredibly inspiring and uplifting. Jimmy Stewart gave arguably the best performance of his career in this fantastic Christmas classic.



Photo Credit: The Wizard of Oz (1939)-

Lost to: Gone with the Wind (12th Academy Award)

Okay, it lost to Gone with the Wind, but don’t the Academy know what a tie is? The Wizard of Oz is an indisputable classic and a far more accessible film than something as gargantuan as the over-three-hour Gone with the Wind. Between the transition from black and white to color, you have some of the best characters ever created for the screen and an enthralling fantasy. What a classic.


What do you make of my list? Any other movies that would make your list? Sound off below!

2 Responses to Top 10 Movies Nominated For Best Picture That You Won’t Believe Lost

  1. Phil says:

    re: Wonderful Life, I didn’t think it did very well when it came out. it only gained it’s “christmas classic” status following years of television screenings— which was because it’s copyright had lapsed and wan’t regained through a sort of loophole in the 90s.

    That siad, I’m not sure I even know what “Best Years of our Lives” is.

    I’d say I agree with pretty much every film up there otherwise.

  2. Chris Shaw says:

    Double Indemnity Should Have Totally beaten Going My Way. Nobody Remembers Going My Way, But Everybody Remembers Double Indemnity.

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