For the past 84 years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has held an annual awards ceremony honoring the "best" in film. Though, their picks are not always deserved, and many of their decisions - both contemporary and classic ones - are strongly questionable, to put it lightly. While films like Citizen Kane, Raging Bull, and Apocalypse Now have been nominated, they have been beaten by films like How Green Was My Valley, Ordinary People, and Kramer vs. Kramer. But the Academy occasionally makes the right decision, or at least a very good one. Check out some of the great picks after the cut.
Annie Hall (1977, Woody Allen)
Star Wars lost to the little film that could, and it was totally deserved. Well done, voters.
The Apartment (1960, Billy Wilder)
This pick is hardly a surprise, but it remains one of AMPAS's best decisions ever. Wilder's film is a perfect consensus choice.
Casablanca (1943, Michael Curtiz)
Does this really need an explanation? Bogie and Bergman spout great dialogue with a fine supporting cast in tow. It's one of the best.
The French Connection (1971, William Friedkin)
This is a hard-hitting cop film that never ceases to thrill, and the Academy was kind enough to reward it (and Gene Hackman's fantastic performance).
The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)
One of the greatest films ever made, and one of the finest casts ever assembled. Period.
Gone with the Wind (1939, Victor Fleming)
While this epic romance was probably never going to lose this award, it is, nevertheless, a great decision by the Academy.
It Happened One Night (1934, Frank Capra)
This screwball romantic comedy is one of the genre's best offerings, and rom-coms have been trying to reach this level ever since.
On the Waterfront (1954, Elia Kazan)
This classic drama features an iconic performance from Brando. It's just terrific, from the supporting cast to Leonard Bernstein's pounding score.
Platoon (1986, Oliver Stone)
I prefer Hannah and Her Sisters, but this is only one of the best war films ever made. A deserved win, no doubt.
Schindler's List (1993, Steven Spielberg)
The win wasn't going to anyone else, and it didn't deserve to. As a popular choice for the year's best, Spielberg's Holocaust drama is a fine choice.