12 Times The “Best Picture” did not win.

When compared to the Grammys, the Academy’s track record of awarding the best work of the year is dramatically easier to defend. When examining my list of films below, truthfully, each of those that took home the Oscar for Best Picture are strong works deserving recognition.   The question is, looking back, I can;t help feel there were a few times where the BEST FILM did not win.


Year           What Won                              Better Choice(s)

1942               “How Green Is My Valley

“Citizen Kane."

Yes, the Orson Welles film, that for 70 years has topped lists as the best film of all time?



1952               “Greatest Show on Earth”                              “High Noon”

Cecil B. DeMille                                           Fred Zinnemann’s

” The Quiet Man”

John Ford’s

 “Singin’ In the Rain”


1968               “Oliver!”                                                 “Romeo and Juliet”       Franco Zeffirelli

Carol Reed

“2001: A Space Odyssey,” Stanley Kubrick

 Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece that has stood the test of time and has established it’s self as a classic that transcends the Sci-Fi genre as is often sited as one of most influential movies ever made. 2001 is a film that directors frequently site as a major influence and inspiration. The idea that Kubrick lost the Oscar to Carol Reed- even Hal 9000 can’t figure that one out. 


1976               “Rocky”                                                        “All the President’s Men,”

John G. Avildsen                                   Alan J. Pakula

Based on the story of Woodward and Bernstein, the two uncover Reporters that made the name “Watergate” famous and led to the only resignation of an American President.



Sidney Lumet

A film filled with the powerful writing of  Paddy Chayefsky.including the famous line “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”


“Taxi Driver”

The first Scorsese film to demonstrate that he would become one of the greatest directors in history.



1979   `           “Kramer vs. Kramer”                                     “Apocalypse Now”

Robert Benton                                  

A powerful tale set during the Viet Nam War, of a clandestine mission into Cambodia to assassinate an American colonel played by Marlon Brando, who has lost touch with reality.



1980               “Ordinary People”                                                “Raging Bull”

Martin Scorsese

The black and White film showed boxing with a clarity and power that hit the audiences as hard as the fighters in the ring. This film has held up well over time, and has become a true classic.



1982                              Gandhi”                                                         “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,”

Richard Attenborough                          Steven Spielberg

When ET phone’s home all America hoped the call would go through. When so many films about Extra Terrestrials are shown as evil and bent on destroying the Earth; it was fun to cheer of the cutest alien to ever appear on screen. 



1983               “Dances With Wolves”                             “Goodfellas,”

 Kevin Costner                                     Martin Scorsese

Here was the Academy’s chance To fix their recent mistakes and give Scorsese films the recognition the deserved, opportunity missed.

1994               “Forrest Gump”                                             “Pulp Fiction”

Quentin Tarantino

“Pulp Fiction”  gives us a film filled with drug dealers, Assassins, and crooks who live in a world of violence, yet they are surprisingly likeable. 

Shawshank Redemption”

Frank Darabont

Is often listed as the #1 viewers pick on IMBD. ”


1997            “Titanic”

                      James Careron                                                          “Good Will Hunting.”  Gus Van Sant

Cameron’s “I’m the king of the world” acceptance speech bothered many as much as the fact that the better written Good Will Hunting film did not take home the Oscar.



1998               “Shakespeare in Love”                                        “Saving Private Ryan”

Steven Spielberg

Battle scenes have a tendency to hold our attention, but “Ryan” transcended the cliché and demonstrated what can only be called masterful film-making.



2005               “Crash”                                               “Brokeback Mountain”

 Ang Lee

No one has yet presented a credible explanation how after wining best director and best adapted screenplay, “Brokeback Mountain” lost the award for best picture to  Crash.

About Lane J. Lubell
When I began this site, I was a student at "The Latin School of Chicago, and it consumed the majority of my waking hours, the remaining time was split between, making movies, hanging with friends, and spending time with family. Toss in eating and a few hours of sleep; and there was not all that much time left over. I provided that explanation to lower expectation of daily posts, and to point out that simply because I did not review a given film does not mean I did not find it worthy; more likely, homework took precedence. I am now attending Northwestern University where I'm enrolled in RTVF (Radio, Television, Video and Film) department. While I was very happy at Latin, and still go back to see each theater performance; I'm glad to be done with AP Calculus, and love that I get to take a larger percentage of classes focusing on literature, philosophy ,writing and film. I'm still just getting my feet wet here, but I have met some people that share my love of film and theater and we are already planing on some collaborations. Who knows, maybe I could even get a few of them to post a review here on CinemaShadow.com . I made this site not to "Talk to people" about films; but to 'Talk with People" about films. To that end; I would love to have others post comments, list their favorite movies, recommend films, new and old, that you think are worth watching.

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