10 Best Movies That Didn’t Win An Oscar32 comments

Posted on 23 Jul 2009 at 5:05pm

Presented annually since 1927, the Academy awards or Oscars are presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The original category of the award was the most outstanding picture or best picture category. The following are the list of the top 10 movies which were hot favorites to win the Oscar but didn’t receive the Best Picture Oscars.

10. 12 Angry Men

12 angry menThis movie by Sidney Lumets, with writer Reginald Rose who deserved equal kudos, was robbed of the Best Picture Oscar when “The Bridge on The River Kwai” was given the Best Picture. The strongest point of “12 Angry Men” is that they have to vote for acquittal as they are not certain of guilt. The boy on trial is not necessarily innocent which is revealed in the almost unnoticeable moments of darkness within the film. The film also deserves true praise for a superb ensemble cast. Every single actor in the film deserved an award. But in spite of the hopes among several people, this hot favorite for an Oscar award did not succeed in winning one.

9. Vertigo

vertigoVertigo” is one of the fans’ favorite Alfred Hitchcock films. It is a psychological thriller, which got nominated for only sound and set design and not for Best Picture category. In spite of several elements in the film which made it Oscar-worthy, the film like many other films of Hitchcock never won the award.

8. Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

dr strange loveThis is a brilliant, satirical, provocative black fantasy/comedy by producer/director Stanley Kubrick. It features an inadvertent, accidental and pre-emptive nuclear attack. This landmark film was the first political satire on nuclear war which was highly successful commercially and hence the hot favorite for an Oscar award. The film however failed to receive the award.

7. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

crouching tiger hidden dragon yeohThe makers of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” had produced nothing short of a miracle according to movie critics and reviews. The movie is a foreign language drama and considered to be one of the greatest martial arts movies of all time. The film failed to make it to the Oscars because it was thought to fall short of perfection owing to a number of inherent flaws. The flaws notwithstanding, the movie is a rare example of thoughtful and fearless experimentation by Taiwanese director, Ang Lee. Combat via martial arts has been portrayed beautifully in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.

6. M

mM” (1931) by Fritz Langs tells the story of a child killer who is unleashing terror in a small German city. “M” is an impressive movie because of its relevance even in modern times. The film was expected to win the Oscar award because of the superb depiction of the hard-pressed police, and also Lang’s portrayal of a baby-faced killer which has not been surpassed by film-makers since. Many scenes from the movie stand out. The scene where the mother of the murdered child is seen to prepare her daughter’s dinner busily and the scene where the criminals go about hunting for Becker in the office building are truly outstanding ones.

5. Citizen Kane

citizen kane This movie was nominated for Oscars in nine different categories in 1941. However it won only the Best Original Screenplay by Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz. The movie was alleged to be based on the life of powerful newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst. It is the story of a man who gains the world and loses his soul. The cinematography of the film is truly excellent and the film was named the best film by the AFI for the right reasons.

4. Star Wars Trilogy

star wars trilogyStar Wars Trilogy” is one of the most influential and exhilarating trilogies in the history of motion pictures. The “Star Wars” trilogy (episodes IV-VI) is available in one glorious package. “Star Wars” by George Lucas is an absolutely stunning sci-fi masterpiece which is one of the most entertaining and inventive films ever made. The film, however, failed to win an Oscar.

3. It’s A Wonderful Life

it's wonderful lifeFrank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” is another extraordinary movie which failed to win an Oscar in spite of being a hot favorite. Jimmy Stewart was aptly chosen to play George Bailey. The supporting cast was perfectly matched. Donna Reed, as well as the other characters of the town, had acted wonderfully. The values of “It’s A Wonderful Life” still hold true today and it is indisputably one of the most popular movie classics.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

shawshank redemptionDespite seven nominations, “The Shawshank Redemption” never got an Oscar. “The Shawshank Redemption” shows the life of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) when he is convicted for the murder of his wife. The movie has very powerful scenes and the climax is really touching and will make viewers to think. This movie is also the highest rated film on Yahoo Movies. In a 2005 BBC poll, it was voted to be the best film never to have won the Best Picture.

1. Apocalypse Now

apocalypse nowApocalypse Now” (1979) is a ground-breaking and visually beautiful masterpiece by producer/director Francis Ford Coppola. The film’s symbolic and surrealistic sequences detailing the fear, violence, confusion and nightmarish madness of the Vietnam War made it a film worthy of winning the Oscar award. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall), Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, but the film won only two well-deserved awards: Best Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro) and Best Sound. In August 2001, a new version of the film, titled “Apocalypse Now Redux” was released.

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  1. Ralph Stout

    You forgot Raging Bull!

  2. lauren

    how do you forget Saving Private Ryan…

  3. Brian

    To Kill a Mockingbird should be on the list.

  4. Silly sam

    Hello. Goodfellas.

  5. Kenneth Miller

    Apocalypse Now trembles in the shadow of Full Metal Jacket.

    And why the hell isn’t Blade Runner on here?

  6. Tim Bolgeo

    You forgot John Wayne’s THE QUIET MAN!

  7. G

    Star Wars did in fact win several oscars, some other fanboy will certainly double-check your other listings.


  8. Agreed with nu. 2 The Shawshank Redemption. Like that movie very much, watch it few times on HBO without boring.

  9. Doug

    Fight Club, should be on this list.
    If I had a chance to pick one to go it would be Its a Wonderful Life, because of all the horrible sappy spin off copies (except for the Married With Children one) it created that crowd out all other content at Chistmas.

  10. Sucky title. A lot of these films *did* win Academy Awards, so the title should have been “10 Best Movies That Didn’t Win A Best Picture Oscar”. *sigh*

  11. Doug B

    Great List. Though Lost in Translation needs to be there.

  12. Flash Jack from Gundagai

    What about 2001: A Space Odyssey…did not receve the Oscar for Makeup, because the reviewers believed the apes in it were real, rather than human, instead it went to Planet of the Apes….because it had humans in it, pretending to be apes, and it showed….!
    It also missed out on the Best Picture…who can remember the Best Picture for 1968??

  13. Anonymous

    What about Taxi Driver?

  14. HunkaHunkaBurninLove

    Saving Private Ryan lost to Shakespeare in Love.

  15. Bobson

    The Shawshank Redemption did not win any Oscars, I believe, because it was released the same year as the movie Titanic, which swept it across the board. Some of the above probably have a similar story, if you look into it.

  16. Schol

    And what about The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) ???

    Hate and Love…

    A great masterpîece !

  17. Judson

    Boogie Nights

  18. Andre

    I’m pretty sure Crouching Tiger won for best foreign language film. Check your facts retard.

  19. Daria

    “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” actually won an Oscar for the best foreign language film.

  20. Yola

    No Wizard of Oz?

  21. Jeroen

    a colleague of mine pointed out that Citizen Kane DID in fact win an oscar:


  22. Jeroen

    err ok hang on everybody, the author of this article did not make any mistakes as he clearly states this concerns only the oscars for BEST PICTURE which indeed none of these films won.

    i stand corrected

  23. Fred Hac

    CRASH!!!!!!! One of the best films of all time!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. morgan2010

    What about Night of hte living dead.. which changed a whole genre of films forever… and have you seen the movie that inspired it with Vincent Price, The last man on the earth.?

  25. Affan Shemle

    Hey you missed Goodfellas. Add it.