Every Best Picture Oscar winner—ever!

Yesterday we had a video of every film that ever won an Oscar for Best Cinematography; now it’s time to see every film that won an Oscar for Best Picture up to last year (Spotlight won the award for 2016).

I have seen most of these; below are the winners I didn’t see:

The Great Ziegfeld
The Life of Emile Zola
Gentleman’s Agreement
The Greatest Show on Earth
Tom Jones
My Fair Lady
No Country for Old Men
The Artist
Birdman (I know, I’m remiss)

It was great to see two of my old favorites mentioned (both in black and white): Marty with Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair, and the movie that nobody watches any more: The Best Years of Our Lives, a fabulous film.


  1. sensorrhea
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    You need to see Amadeus immediately.

    • sensorrhea
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Ideally with a good sound system…

      • Mark R.
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        I concur…

        No Country for Old Men is also a must see imo. Coen brother film based on a Cormac McCarthy novel. Excellent.

        • barn owl
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          And Javier Bardem, who’s a very handsome man, has the most ridiculous haircut!

    • Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Can’t believe you didn’t see that Jerry. We re-watched it for the nth time the other day. Absolutely remarkable. – MC

    • Kevin
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Amadeus is well worth the time.

  2. jwthomas
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    The fact that the Academy labels a particular movie as “Best” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any good. That said, you should definitely see “No Country for Old Men.”

    • George
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      There are a lot of movies that have won Best Picture that are not great movies – but all of them are worth seeing.

  3. Craw
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Best Years is great.

    See Artist, Amadeus, Lady, and Zola.

  4. bluemaas
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Mark R, jwthomas: I have seen most all of these ‘best’ films; I have seen “No Country for Old Men.” Second only to “Son of Saul,” I remember “No Country for Old Men” as .THE ONE. most violent / most viciously human – destroying film I have .ever. viewed.

    A child of mine lives there … … the actual Texas – Mexico border town of its venue – setting, Del Rio. I wish Child were, there, a librarian or a grocer, say. Unfortunately for my peace of mind ? Child is, there, a prosecuting attorney.

    In several parts of Texas ? Prosecuting attorneys are in broad daylight brutally slain by such as of the villains of said film.

    Just sayin’ —

    • jwthomas
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      That’s why it’s no country for old men (or anybody else.) There’s actually more violence suggested than seen. What most interested me about it was that the Coens, makers of great comedy films, saw the world in a much darker way than you’d imagine.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Yet the Coens still infused NCFOM with a dark and dry humor. (It slays me every time I hear J. Bardem ask the attendant at the beat up old gas station “You married into this?”)

        • jwthomas
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Right! Even in their darkest films moments of black humor slip through.

      • bluemaas
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Right away in to the viewing of it, I knew from whence came its title. And I (usually) adore the makings by the Coens and Ms McDormand.

        I saw it long before Kiddo ever finished law school; then the family’s move was … … to there ! I just wish, of course, they all were … … safer.


  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    They say confession is good for the soul, my son. Now go see the baker’s dozen on your cinematic-lacuna list, and sin no more.

  6. davidintoronto
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over “The Greatest Show On Earth.” It’s often cited as one of the worst Best Pictures. (According to Hollywood lore, the award was a sop to DeMille – the famous movie pioneer was getting on in years and had never won an Oscar.)

  7. amyt
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Seen all but 7. Tried to watch Gladiator. Saw only the first 15′. Worst 15′ ever.

    • jeremy pereira
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      I’ve seen many 15 minute sequences in films that are far worse than the first 15 of Gladiator. For example, check out Battlefield Earth.

  8. DrBrydon
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised at how many of those I’ve seen. I miss a few in the early years, and the more recent years.

    But, seriously, dude, see My Fair Lady.

  9. Addie Pray
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I second calls to see Amadeus– it’s certainly not history (Salieri did not kill Mozart) but as thoughtful and insightful drama about creative jealousy and ambition it’s superb and tremendously entertaining. Abraham gives one of the great performances ever, and, of course, the music is sublime. I think people assume that as an 18th century costume drama it must be stodgy and dull, but it is really fun and engaging and funny.

    • Addie Pray
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      (Ideally the original theatrical edit, not the directors cut)

  10. barn owl
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    My psychiatrist colleague uses clips from several of those films in our course (apparently it’s difficult to get footage of actual psychiatric patients):

    A Beautiful Mind
    The King’s Speech

    Xe also uses clips from several other non-winning films in this teaching exercise, including Silver Linings Playbook, As Good As It Gets, and The Basketball Diaries.

    • barn owl
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Oh, and how could I forget Fatal Attraction? Gotta represent the personality disorders!

  11. busterggi
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Skip Birdman, I watched it last week & was disappointed.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Birdman bears viewing by any film fan a couple times just to behold its innovative cut-less (ostensibly) one-shot construction (among its many other virtues).

      • busterggi
        Posted February 21, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        Mebbe but as a supposed comedy it failed. Had it been presented as a psychological drama I’d have been prepared.

      • jeremy pereira
        Posted February 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        No. Technical gimmicks do not save a bad film. I am not saying Birdman is bad (I haven’t seen it) but if the only reason you can give for me to see it is that it is made to look like a single shot, that is no recommendation at all.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

          You speak for all cinephiles?

          One man’s “gimmick” is another man’s meat. For those of us who love film, a major technical innovation alone can make a movie worth watching. (By what authority do you pronounce what can “save” a “bad” film for anyone but yourself?) Plus, I said “among its many other virtues.”

          • jeremy pereira
            Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            If the only thing you can say for a film is it has x technical gimmick, that is unlikely to be enough to sustain it for 90 minutes or two hours. Sorry, but that is the truth. I could create a film that is done in a single shot but I guarantee it would be a pile of crap.

            Note, by the way, I am not claiming that Birdman is a bad film, and I explicitly said so in my previous post, so I would appreciate it if you didn’t imply that I did.

    • Posted February 21, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      I agree that Birdman is overrated. I think someone here suggested a while back that the only reason Birdman won is that it deals with actors, acting and showbiz – a topic dear to the judges hearts.

  12. mfdempsey1946
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    One of these pictures is the worst movie I have ever seen…

    Worse than “Plan 9 From Outer Space”…

    Worse than “Robot Monster”…

    Worse than “They Saved Hitler’s Brain”…

    “The Sound of Music” — the movie equivalent of a cup of coffee with 37 tablespoons of sugar in it.

    Or as its male lead, Christopher Plummer, reputedly called it: “The Sound of Mucus.”

    Of course, to 20th Century Fox, it was “The Sound of Money”.

    Its director, Robert Wise, reportedly agreed to direct it in returning for Fox’s backing of the film he really wanted to and did subsequently make — “The Sand Pebbles”.

    He also directed or co-directed two Val Lewton horror movies of the 1940s, “The Curse of the Cat People” (a tender study of a frightened little girl) and “The Body Snatchers” (a vivid adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s story about grave robbers).

    His “Odds Against Tomorrow” is a pioneering portrayal of racism powerfully embedded in a taut crime story.

    And his other mega-Oscar winner, “West Side Story” (co-directed with the show’s choreographer, Jerome Robbins)still holds up in many ways.

    Any of these blows away “The Slush of Mush”, at least in my doubtless hanging-offense view.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      I don’t dislike SoM as much as you do, but it’s definitely not good, let alone award-worthy.

      Hell, the only version of “Favorite Things” I ever hope to hear again is Coltrane’s.

      (IIRC, “Sound of Money” was the name of the parody done by Mad magazine when the movie first came out.)

    • Richard
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 3:56 am | Permalink

      As one reviewer said: “There must be something seriously wrong about a film that makes you want to root for the Nazis”.

      (Not a Godwin – I am not comparing anyone to the Nazis!)

  13. Blue
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    sorta relatedly: what .one. y2016 film, nominated ones .or not. of thus: http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/movies/oscar-nominations-2017.html ‘d Any like to see win next Sunday evening ? !

    My pick is “Captain Fantastic,” .not. nominated … … but O – so darlingly reclusive and stunning in both pain and joy ! of http://www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com/captainfantastic. In addition to Mr Mortensen, All of the Cash Children are phenoms.


  14. Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Unlike Cinematography I have made a point of seeing every best picture ever.

  15. BJ
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    You’ve never seen Amadeus?

    I take back everything I’ve said about you and this blog. You’re a monster!

  16. Pliny the in Between
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    “The Best Years of Our Lives” is one of my favorite films. I was fortunate to not serve in a time of war when I was in service, but many of my friends did. It’s still probably the best movie about returning vets that I’ve ever seen.

  17. Claudia Baker
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Amadeus is wonderful. Music is, as someone else said, sublime.

    • bobkillian
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      You know the cliché. “How could I possibly pick out one favorite picture. There are so many blah blah blah.” Well, Amadeus is my gun-to-the-head favorite.

  18. Matthew North
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    See Amadeus Jerry. For many reasons, cinematography, costumes, beautiful set locations, excellent acting. But for two main reasons, the Academy Award winning performance of F. Murray Abraham in the role of Antonio Salieri. And the wonderful music of Mozart played by The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner who, sadly, just died last October.
    The music alone is reason enough for seeing this movie.
    I, of course, have the soundtrack.

    • Posted February 21, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      I agree that Jerry should watch Amadeus but I think it had serious flaws. I can ignore the fact that Salieri was well respected and had no rivalry with Mozart. Thats poetic licence.
      What really bothers me is that this is one of the first films where I noticed the alternate-Hollywood sense of reality. People in it dont behave the way real people behave.
      Best example: Mozart is impressing people at a party. He plays a long, fast intricate piece and then ends it by leaning over and letting out a very loud fart. The whole crowd erupts in laughter. Does anyone really believe this would have gone over well with 18cent European upper classes?

      • busterggi
        Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Might have gone over well but its’ tought to time a fart like that.

      • Posted February 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I have no trouble believing that scene at all. Mozart was notoriously vulgar and his noble patrons would have found it funny. In the 18th century, much parlor room humor was scatological.

      • jeremy pereira
        Posted February 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        I don’t care. All Hollywood films are automatically fiction as far as I’m concerned unless the events are confirmed by independent sources (well, Wikipedia, at least).

  19. Posted February 21, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I guess I’m not much of a movie buff. I’ve only seen (all of) Casablanca, Oliver, Rain Man, Schindler’s List, Forrest Gump and Return of the King. (I do remember falling asleep attempting Midnight Cowboy and Lawrence of Arabia, though.)

  20. drew
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    +1 for Best Years.

    I’m far too young to have seen it in the day, but several years back the wife and I watched all of the films on the AFI top 100 list (With the exception of African Queen, which was not available on DVD at the time [I don’t know if it is now]). For some reason that I still can’t place, the film just affected me.

    It’s so sad that this wonderful film is almost never talked about. It deserves to be higher on the list too.

    • drew
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink


      You seriously haven’t seen Amadeus?

  21. Mike
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Amadeus and No Country for Old Men are must sees,

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