Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ranking the Best Picture Oscar Winners

A few months ago, I revealed my picks for the top 10 Best Picture winners and the top 10 worst ones. But what about the films that fall in between? Check out where they land below. (If Argo manages to lose Sunday, I'll edit the list accordingly.)

Note: My top 10 picks have changed since I first posted them. Also, I've tweaked these rankings many times over the past few days. So, this is in no way a definitive list. It's just how I'd rank them at the moment.

85. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
84. The Broadway Melody (1928-29)
83. Out of Africa (1985)
82. Tom Jones (1963)
81. An American in Paris (1951)

80. Chariots of Fire (1981)
79. Wings (1927-28)
78. Cimarron (1930-31)
77. Rain Man (1988)
76. Gandhi (1982)
75. Cavalcade (1932-33)
74. Gigi (1958)
73. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
72. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
71. All the King's Men (1949)

70. Dances With Wolves (1990)
69. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
68. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
67. You Can't Take It With You (1938)
66. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
65. My Fair Lady (1964)
64. The King's Speech (2010)
63. Forrest Gump (1994)
62. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
61. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

60. Terms of Endearment (1983)
59. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
58. Chicago (2002)
57. A Man for All Seasons (1966)
56. Marty (1955)
55. Crash (2005)
54. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
53. Braveheart (1995)
52. The Sting (1973)
51. Mrs. Miniver (1942)

50. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
49. Ben-Hur (1959)
48. The Last Emperor (1987)
47. Patton (1970)
46. The Lost Weekend (1945)
45. Going My Way (1944)
44. Argo (2012)
43. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
42. The English Patient (1996)
41. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

40. All Quiet on the Western Front (1929-30)
39. The Sound of Music (1965)
38. Hamlet (1948)
37. Grand Hotel (1931-32)
36. Rebecca (1940)
35. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
34. Unforgiven (1992)
33. Titanic (1997)
32. Ordinary People (1980)
31. American Beauty (1999)

30. The Hurt Locker (2009)
29. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
28. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
27. Rocky (1976)
26. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
24. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
23. Gladiator (2000)
22. Amadeus (1984)
21. Oliver! (1968)

20. No Country for Old Men (2007)
19. West Side Story (1961)
18. The Artist (2011)
17. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
16. Platoon (1986)
15. The Godfather Part II (1974)
14. It Happened One Night (1934)
13. Gone with the Wind (1939)
12. Annie Hall (1977)
11. The Departed (2006)

10. From Here to Eternity (1953)
9. All About Eve (1950)
8. On the Waterfront (1954)
7. The Godfather (1972)
6. Schindler's List (1993)
5. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
4. The Deer Hunter (1978)
3. Casablanca (1943)
2. The French Connection (1971)
1. The Apartment (1960)


  1. Oh man you made me feel so guilty for not having seen The Apartment yet! I've only seen four out of your top 10. Making my way to see a lot of great classics I've missed but there are way too many of them! :D

    1. Haha. That's okay. I always feel that way reading other people's blogs. ;)

  2. glad to see The Apartment at the top, I love it!! I'm dying to see From Here to Eternity, I've heard only great things about it. But until a few days ago I had no idea it was that good, because the beach scene has always overshadowed the film itself.

    This is great Josh, it must've been a nightmare to rank them! I know I'd be always doubting certain positions, especially the ones towards the middle.

    1. The Apartment is my favorite film, so it had to top the list. :) Yeah, that scene is the most famous part of From Here to Eternity, but the overall film is much better than that moment.

      Thanks! Indeed it was. I still doubt some of their rankings.

  3. Still need to see a bunch of these. I agree with the ranking of The King's Speech (2010), it had good performances, but to me the story was predictable from the get-go.
    I would personally place Crash & Shakespeare in Love even lower, and Forrest Gump a bit higher on the list. Cool that you put in Argo already :)

    1. Yeah, I know a lot of these films would be lower on other people's list (and vice versa), but so it goes.

      I hope Argo wins. Otherwise, I'll have to fix it. ;)

  4. Wow I haven't seen half of those, though knowing Academy's tastes I bet in more than 25% of cases I'm not missing much :)

    1. Very true. The only film I really don't like is Driving Miss Daisy, but I'm sure there are a lot you wouldn't like. :)

  5. Love your love for The Apartment. I didn't really like All About Eve.

    1. My favorite film has to top the list. :) Fair enough on All About Eve. I love it, even if I'd give Best Picture to Sunset Blvd.

  6. This is an impressive post! I haven't seen your top two. I haven't seen loads of these, actually, but since I so often disagree with the academy, maybe that's not such a terrible thing. :-)

    1. Thanks! Well, at the moment, I'd only give 11 of these Best Picture, so perhaps you're right. ;)

  7. WOW! Nice idea and a really fun conversation starter! Here are 10 random things that stood out for me.

    1. I love seeing Casablanca so high (#1 for me hands down)
    2. Annie Hall at #12. I know I'm in the minority but I'm not as sold as that picture as many others are.
    3. "An American in Paris" at 81? OUCH! You wound me! Love that film.
    4. Schindler's List in the Top 10? 100% agree! Powerful movie!
    5. Titanic ahead of Ben Hur? Hmmmm.
    6. Dances With Wolves seems to be a popular punching bag. But I gotta say I really liked it faults and all.
    7. How did Chariots of Fire win Best Picture? I like it at #80!
    8. Glad No Country made your top 10. It's an all time favorite of mine.
    9. I still haven't see All About Eve. Shame on me!
    10. Driving Mrs. Daisy? YOU ARE CORRECT SIR!

    What a fun post!

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

      1. Can't argue with Casablanca at #1. (It's one of my all-time favorites.)
      2. It's not Allen's best film, but I'm thrilled that it won that year.
      3. Haha. I like that film. I just don't think it's better than the 80 films ranked above it.
      4. Love that movie!
      5. Can't really defend that one. ;)
      6. I like that film too, but I don't love it like other Best Picture winners.
      7. Yay!
      8. Great film. I do think There Will Be Blood deserved to win though.
      9. Indeed! :)
      10. Glad we agree on that one!

  8. Excellent stuff here man. Love seeing so many of my faves ranked so highly, but I really love Driving Miss Daisy all the way at the bottom. That movie does nothing for me.

    1. Thanks man. Driving Miss Daisy: Ha, same here.