Magazine article Newsweek

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked: How All 90 Movies Stack Up; Newsweek's Epic, Definitive and Infallible Ranking of Every Top Oscar Winner since the Start of the Academy Awards in 1929

Magazine article Newsweek

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked: How All 90 Movies Stack Up; Newsweek's Epic, Definitive and Infallible Ranking of Every Top Oscar Winner since the Start of the Academy Awards in 1929

Article excerpt

Byline: Dante A. Ciampaglia and Mary Kaye Schilling

If you want to feel bad about the Academy Awards, rank every best picture winner since the statuettes made their debut in a 15-minute ceremony on May 16, 1929. There are some truly excellent films on the list, but too many are painfully mediocre.

We all know the dubious reasons dubious movies are crowned the year's best: the lowest of low- takes politics, the academy making up for past snubs, Hollywood's aversion to risk, the industry deciding to solve a social ill, Harvey Weinstein. But understanding the forces at work on Oscar night doesn't help heal the heartbreak and frustration the awards can cause. The record will always show that stone-cold 1976 classics Network and All the President's Men were beaten by Rocky. And then there's the historic injustice of Hollywood's greatest musical, Singin' in the Rain, being ignored for a best picture nomination in 1952.

Don't get us wrong: Rocky is as enormously fun as it was more than 40 years ago. But the best picture Oscar was designed to award excellence, not just an ability to thrill the masses. Sometimes both are accomplished (just watch any of the films in our Top 10), and, occasionally, a film wins that is simply superb and not a blockbuster. …

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