Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ranking the Best Picture Oscar Lineups of the 1980s

Sydney Pollack won 2 Oscars for Out of Africa in the '80s.

After years of watching Best Picture nominees, I've only got 25 left to see. Here are my rankings for the 1980s lineups. If you missed them, you can also check out my rankings for the 1990s and 2000s. Note: Winners are in bold and pictured below.

10. 1989

Nominees: Born on the Fourth of July, Dead Poets Society, Driving Miss Daisy, Field of Dreams, My Left Foot

9. 1984

Nominees: Amadeus, The Killing Fields, A Passage to India, Places in the Heart, A Soldier's Story

8. 1988

Nominees: The Accidental Tourist, Dangerous Liaisons, Mississippi Burning, Rain Man, Working Girl

7. 1985

Nominees: The Color Purple, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Out of Africa, Prizzi's Honor, Witness

6. 1981

Nominees: Atlantic City, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reds

5. 1987

Nominees: Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Hope and Glory, The Last Emperor, Moonstruck

4. 1982

Nominees: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Gandhi, Missing, Tootsie, The Verdict

3. 1983

Nominees: The Big Chill, The Dresser, The Right Stuff, Tender Mercies, Terms of Endearment

2. 1980

Nominees: Coal Miner's Daughter, The Elephant Man, Ordinary People, Raging Bull, Tess

1. 1986

Nominees: Children of a Lesser God, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Mission, Platoon, A Room with a View


  1. Nice ranking here. 1986 is pretty strong, and diverse, which is nice. I don't love all the films there, but it's a very respectable ballot.

    1. Thanks man. These lineups were SO hard to rank. The '80s were all over the place.

  2. Great idea and I like your ranking though I'd have '87 a couple of notches higher.

    1. Thanks. I like the '87 lineup, but I think the lineups ahead of it have a few better films in them.

  3. The '80s are so varied, it's very strange. They remind me of the '60s, where the new filmmakers were arriving, but Old Hollywood was still trying to hang on. 1986 is a great top choice, though.

    1. Thanks. Yeah, the '80s are kind of an odd decade.

  4. Great rankings. I'd probably have '80 at 1 and '82 at 2, but it's a tough call. I personally don't think film was very well represented by the Oscars in the 1980s. I mean somewhat, but not for the most part.

    1. Thanks man! Yeah, these were hard to rank, since most years are a hodgepodge of mediocre to great films. Coal Miner's Daughter brings down '80 a little for me, but it's difficult to compare these years.