Top 20 Best Picture Winners Ever(1-10)
10. Lawrence of Arabia (1962 ? 35th Best Picture Winner) Plot: Bio-pic on the life of British Army officer T.E. Lawrence, who served as a liaison to the Arab world, specifically in revolt to the Ottoman Turkish rule in 1916. Why It¡¯s Great: Any time you got David Lean behind the lens on a film, great things happened. Lawrence of Arabia is one of the best examples of his mastery. A stellar cast, which included Alec Guinness, Peter O¡¯Toole, Omar Sharif and Anthony Quinn, certainly didn¡¯t hurt either. Other nominees for the 1962 Best Picture: The Longest Day, The Music Man, Mutiny on the Bounty and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Oscar Wins: 7 Budget: $15 million ($110.014 million) IMDB User Rating: 8.5
9. Gone with the Wind (1939 ? 12th Best Picture Winner) Plot: Civil War-era romance follows the travails of manipulative drama queen Scarlett O¡¯Hara. Why It¡¯s Great: It wasn¡¯t the first sweeping film told on a grand scale ¨C Birth of a Nation and Wings pre-dated it ¨C but in 1939 it was the most ambitious film to date. GWTW gets a lot of mileage for being a huge production during an age when people were still getting used to what films could be. Having a terrific cast including one of the biggest movie stars of all time in Clark Gable didn¡¯t hurt either. Other noms in 1939: Dark Victory, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz and Wuthering Heights.
Oscar Wins: 8 Budget: $3.85 million ($61.518 million) IMDB User Rating: 8.2
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991 ? 64th Best Picture Winner) Plot: FBI trainee Clarice Starling works with Hannibal ¡°The Cannibal¡± Lecter to catch a serial killer. Why It¡¯s Great: This film works because of Jonathan Demme¡¯s direction, Jodie Foster¡¯s likability in the lead role, and Anthony Hopkins¡¯ outrageous-but-never-over-the-top cannibal Lecter. Also, Craig McKay¡¯s editing in the climactic moments raise the tension to a fever pitch. Silence defeated Bugsy, Beauty and the Beast, JFK and The Prince of Tides for the statue. Oscar Wins: 5 Budget: $19 million ($30.896 million) IMDB User Rating: 8.7
7. Rocky (1976 ? 49th Best Picture Winner) Plot: Philadelphia club fighter Rocky Balboa gets a chance to fight the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Why It¡¯s Great: The original is a much better film than its five sequels indicate. While the others are good, Rocky is inarguably one of the greatest films ever made. On March 28, 1977, it captured the Best Picture Oscar against competition like Taxi Driver, Network, All the President¡¯s Men, and Bound for Glory. It also won awards for Best Film Editing and Best Director. Oscar Wins: 3 Budget: $1.1 million ($4.286 million) IMDB User Rating: 8.1
6. One Flew over the Cuckoo¡¯s Nest (1975 ? 48th Best Picture Winner) Plot: Small-time criminal and anti-authority inmate goes to a State Mental Hospital and, one-by-one, brings the patients out of their shells. Why It¡¯s Great: Louise Fletcher¡¯s Nurse Ratched villain is one of the best to grace the big screen and star Jack Nicholson is delightfully unhinged as ¡°Mac¡± McMurphy. But for us, it¡¯s the Chief (Will Sampson) giving this film its heart and soul. Other BP nominees included Barry Lyndon, Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws and Nashville. Oscar Wins: 5 Budget: $3 million ($12.367 million) IMDB User Rating: 8.8
5.Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003 ? 76th Best Picture Winner) Plot: Concluding chapter in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Why It¡¯s Great: The Academy wasn¡¯t just honoring one film when it gave Return of the Kind 11 awards. Few would argue ROTK is drastically better than its predecessors, but it is a fitting end to a meticulously crafted endeavor. Other nominees: Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Mystic River and Seabiscuit.
Oscar Wins: 11 Budget: $94 million ($114.348 million) IMDB User Rating: 8.9
4. Schindler¡¯s List (1993 ? 66th Best Picture Winner) Plot: German Oskar Schindler saved more than 1,000 Jewish people during World War II by organizing factories with a purpose flying under the radar of the Nazis. Why It¡¯s Great: Director Steven Spielberg poured everything he had into this production, and it shows. Highly disturbing, hard-to-watch, and yet an uplifting portrait of bravery in the face of tyranny, Schindler¡¯s List is an unforgettably moving experience. Other nominees (BP): In the Name of the Father, The Fugitive, The Piano, The Remains of the Day.
Oscar Wins: 7 Budget: $22 million ($33.721 million) IMDB User Rating: 8.9
3. Casablanca (1942 ? 16th Best Picture Winner) Plot: An American expatriate helps an ex-flame escape the Nazis in World War II Morocco. Why It¡¯s Great: This was Humphrey Bogart¡¯s 49th big screen performance. Up to this point, he¡¯d forged a reputation for cool with films, such as The Maltese Falcon, They Drive By Night and Dark Victory. Casablanca elevated him to icon status with a performance demonstrating the hard shell of a man we were used to with a surprising sensitivity that makes director Michael Curtiz¡¯s film stand out as something more than just another romantic drama. Casablanca bested For Whom the Bell Tolls, Heaven Can Wait, The Human Comedy, In Which We Serve, Madame Curie, The More the Merrier, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Song of Bernadette and Watch on the Rhine, for the Oscar.
Oscar Wins: 3 Budget: $950,000 ($12.93 million) IMDB User Rating: 8.7
2. The Godfather (1972 ? 45th Best Picture Winner) Plot: The story follows a transition of power from Don Vito Corleone to his unlikely heir Michael amid the growing drug trade from 1945 to 1955. Why It¡¯s Great: Maybe the greatest cast ever assembled. A stellar novel from writer Mario Puzo. An eager and talented young director. And an unflinching look at the ugly side of mob life. A near-perfect film. Other nominees for the top prize: Cabaret, Deliverance, The Emigrants and Sounder.
Oscar Wins: 3 Budget: $6.5 million ($34.462 million) IMDB User Rating: 9.2
1.The Godfather Part II (1974 ? 47th Best Picture Winner) Plot: The Godfather Part II covers Don Vito in his younger days (as played by Robert De Niro), while catching up with Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in the present. Why It¡¯s Great: De Niro and Pacino, in their prime, in the same movie ¨C what else is there to say? Director Francis Ford Coppola was in his territory with the Mario Puzo novel, and it shows in every minute of the 200-minute runtime. Other BP nominees included The Conversation (also directed by Coppola), Lenny, The Towering Inferno and Chinatown.
Oscar Wins: 7 Budget: $13 million ($58.468 million) IMDB User Rating: 9.1