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
This 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.
“Vertigo” 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
This 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
The 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”.
“M” (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
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 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
Frank 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
Despite 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 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.Read also