How well do you know the films that won the Best Picture Award at the Academy Awards? Think you could name most of them?

Are you sure?

Below is a list of all the past winners of the Best Picture award, since the start of the Academy Awards. Running from 1927 through 2019, this list includes all the films that took home the trophy.

In addition to the list of winners, is a small selection of the category’s biggest losers – iconic films which were nominated, but missed out on the award.

Keep reading to find out what films won… and what films didn’t.

Advertisements

The Best Picture winners 1927 – 2019

Before we get started, let’s answer a common question: What was the first film to win the Best Picture Award?

The answer: Wings

It’s the sort of question that is likely to pop up in a pub quiz, so commit the answer to memory.

OK, now that’s out of the way, let’s get to the list…

  • 1927/28 – Wings
  • 1928/29 – The Broadway Melody
  • 1929/30 – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • 1930/31 – Cimarron
  • 1931/32 – Grand Hotel
  • 1932/33 – Cavalcade
  • 1934 – It Happened One Night
  • 1935 – Mutiny on the Bounty
  • 1936 – The Great Ziegfeld
  • 1937 – The Life of Emile Zola
  • 1938 – You Can’t Take It with You
  • 1939 – Gone with the Wind
Image: ©MGM
  • 1940 – Rebecca
  • 1941 – How Green Was My Valley
  • 1942 – Mrs. Miniver
  • 1943 – Casablanca
  • 1944 – Going My Way
  • 1945 – The Lost Weekend
  • 1946 – The Best Years of Our Lives
  • 1947 – Gentleman’s Agreement
  • 1948 – Hamlet
  • 1949 – All the King’s Men
  • 1950 – All About Eve
  • 1951 – An American in Paris
  • 1952 – The Greatest Show on Earth
  • 1953 – From Here to Eternity
  • 1954 – On the Waterfront
  • 1955 – Marty
  • 1956 – Around the World in 80 Days
  • 1957 – The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • 1958 – Gigi
  • 1959 – Ben-Hur
Image: ©MGM
  • 1960 – The Apartment
  • 1961 – West Side Story
  • 1962 – Lawrence of Arabia
  • 1963 – Tom Jones
  • 1964 – My Fair Lady
  • 1965 – The Sound of Music
  • 1966 – A Man for All Seasons
  • 1967 – In the Heat of the Night
  • 1968 – Oliver!
  • 1969 – Midnight Cowboy
  • 1970 – Patton
  • 1971 – The French Connection
  • 1972 – The Godfather
  • 1973 – The Sting
  • 1974 – The Godfather Part II
  • 1975 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Image: ©United Artists
  • 1976 – Rocky
  • 1977 – Annie Hall
  • 1978 – The Deer Hunter
  • 1979 – Kramer vs. Kramer
  • 1980 – Ordinary People
  • 1981 – Chariots of Fire
  • 1982 – Gandhi
  • 1983 – Terms of Endearment
  • 1984 – Amadeus
  • 1985 – Out of Africa
  • 1986 – Platoon
  • 1987 – The Last Emperor
  • 1988 – Rain Man
  • 1989 – Driving Miss Daisy
  • 1990 – Dances with Wolves
  • 1991 – The Silence of the Lambs
Image: ©Orion Pictures/MGM
  • 1992 – Unforgiven
  • 1993 – Schindler’s List
  • 1994 – Forrest Gump
  • 1995 – Braveheart
  • 1996 – The English Patient
  • 1997 – Titanic
  • 1998 – Shakespeare in Love
  • 1999 – American Beauty
  • 2000 – Gladiator
  • 2001 – A Beautiful Mind
  • 2002 – Chicago
  • 2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • 2004 – Million Dollar Baby
  • 2005 – Crash
  • 2006 – The Departed
  • 2007 – No Country for Old Men
  • 2008 – Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 – The Hurt Locker
  • 2010 – The King’s Speech
  • 2011 – The Artist
  • 2012 – Argo
  • 2013 – 12 Years a Slave
  • 2014 – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • 2015 – Spotlight
  • 2016 – Moonlight
  • 2017 – The Shape of Water
  • 2018 – Green Book
  • 2019 – Parasite
Advertisements

What films didn’t win Best Picture?

What’s interesting to note about the list above is that not all of the past winners of the Best Picture Award are all that memorable/appealing. Sure, you’ve heard the names of most of the films on this list, but have you watched them all? Really?

What’s perhaps even more interesting to note are the films which were nominated for Best Picture in their respective years, but DIDN’T win the award!

Star Wars
Image: ©Disney/Lucasfilm

For example, Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture, but lost out to Annie Hall. And Star Wars isn’t alone.

Some of the biggest ‘losers’ of the Best Picture award include: 

The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, It’s A Wonderful Life, To Kill a Mockingbird, Mary Poppins, The Exorcist, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Ghost, Beauty and the Beast, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Sixth Sense, Moulin Rouge!, Avatar, Toy Story 3, The Martian and Joker.

Yep, all of these films were nominated for Best Picture, yet all missed out on the top spot. How crazy is that?

Advertisements

Think about the number of times you’ve watched Star Wars, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast or Raiders of the Lost Ark – or how often these films appear in ‘best of’ lists. Now compare this number to the number of times you’ve watched some of the other films on the Best Picture list. It differs greatly, doesn’t it?

Perhaps the true test of a good movie doesn’t always lie in the title of Best Picture, but in how the movie appeals to you and to general audiences.

Now let us all be thankful that the abomination that was Cats (2019) is nowhere near this list.

Read more:

Advertisements