So You Wanna Win Best Picture?

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (Amblin)

To be clear this article is not meant in any way, shape or form to disparage the Academy. This list is aimed at the film enthusiast who may, as I used to, get a bit too worked up about who won or lost. Granted you will link your opinion to a sense of justice, however, it bears keeping in mind that below are 25 films all were nominated for Best Picture, did not win but all have a legacy stronger than most winners of the award. Ultimately, time, the public and critical re-appraisal are what determine the films that last, awards, while nice, are in the moment comparatively speaking. The Oscars are a great show and if something or someone you like wins it’s even better but if not it’s not the end of the world. The list below is evidence of that.

Films That Didn’t Win Best Picture

1. Citizen Kane
2. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
3. King Kong
4. The Wizard of Oz
5. The Color Purple
6. The Sixth Sense
7. The Maltese Falcon
8. Apocalypse Now
9. Raging Bull
10. Star Wars
11. JFK
12. A Few Good Men
13. Pulp Fiction
14. As Good As It Gets
15. Double Indemnity
16. It’s a Wonderful Life
17. High Noon
18. Miracle on 34th Street
19. The Ten Commandments
20. Dr. Strangelove
21. The Graduate
22. The Exorcist
23. Chinatown
24. Jaws
25. Taxi Driver


  1. Edmund Davis Quinn · February 21, 2012

    Excellent list, but the Oscars are often not a good show at all, see last year.

    • bernardovillela · February 21, 2012

      Last year wasn’t great but I wasn’t as down on it as everyone else was, call me weird (“You’re weird.”). At the very least it was an attempt. I love Billy Crystal but bringing him back after so many years just smacks of desperation. I really wish Eddie Murphy didn’t feel the need to foolishly drop out. His selection thematically was rather ideal current projects to promote/longevity. I readily admit I’m biased towards the Oscars naturally but they do usually manage to put on a better show than even other film awards.

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