The Worst Best Picture Winner From Each Decade – saimmalik

The very first Academy Awards happened in 1929, and since then, they’ve come to be widely known as probably the most prestigious awards within the movie business. Its most necessary award, Finest Image, is maybe probably the most coveted title any movie can aspire to, and those that obtain such standing are typically fairly deserving of it. Nevertheless, through the years, there have been some Best Picture winners that didn’t sit well with audiences.

Every decade, there tends to be no less than one movie that stands proud like a sore thumb, wanting fairly lackluster subsequent to its fellow Oscar recipients. From the terribly boring Cimarron within the ’30s to the forgettable Argo within the 2010s, there are fairly a couple of Finest Image Oscar winners whose victory appears fairly inexplicable, and whose influence on the movie business has confirmed to be slim or downright nonexistent.

11 Twenties: ‘The Broadway Melody’ (1929)

Directed by Harry Beaumont

Picture by way of MGM

Even when it weren’t one of many solely two Finest Image Oscar winners of the Twenties (the opposite one being the very first, Wings, a reasonably distinctive film), The Broadway Melody might in all probability be amongst any decade’s worst lineup of recipients of the award. The primary talkie to win Finest Image, it is a musical romance a few pair of sisters (Bessie Love and Anita Web page) attempting to make it huge on Broadway, however issues of the center complicate their ambitions.

Although the movie is an attention-grabbing historic artifact, exhibiting how early Hollywood musicals have been made, that is just about all it has to supply. Often thought-about the absolute worst Best Picture winner, The Broadway Melody has a narrative that comes off as trite, characters with arcs that are not attention-grabbing, and a evident lack of memorable musical numbers. It was necessary to the business, which makes it price a watch, however fashionable audiences are sure to have a tough time having fun with it.

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10 Thirties: ‘Cimarron’ (1931)

Directed by Wesley Ruggles

Irene Dunne as Sabra and Richard Dix as Yancey in Cimarron (1931)
Picture by way of RKO Radio Photos

The ’30s had no scarcity of Finest Image winners which have aged like milk, from the boring Cavalcade to the cruelly overlong The Nice Ziegfeld, however there actually isn’t any dialogue as to what the worst one is when Cimarron is correct there. Although it has the dignity of being the first Western to win Best Picture, this story a few newspaper editor (Richard Dix) settling into an Oklahoma increase city together with his reluctant spouse (Irene Dunne) is best left within the pit of oblivion that the years have led it to.

As if its racist stereotypes, misogynistic tendencies, and poorly written dialogue weren’t sufficient, Cimarron additionally throws “boring” into its checklist of qualities for good measure. It has lovely visuals and some attention-grabbing scenes, however by the point the credit roll, audiences will certainly begin forgetting all about this movie. It is true that it was solely the fourth-ever recipient of the award, so the Academy was clearly nonetheless getting the cling of issues, however the reality is that their choice in 1931 wasn’t a superb one.

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9 Nineteen Forties: ‘Going My Method’ (1944)

Directed by Leo McCarey

man sitting on a table, pointing at man in chair in
Picture by way of Paramount Photos

Within the dramedy Going My Method, younger Father O’Malley (Bing Crosby) as soon as led a colourful lifetime of romance and music earlier than becoming a member of the clergy. After becoming a member of a parish, he connects with a gang of children in determined want of route, slowly successful over his getting old superior, Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald).

The film is okay sufficient, a candy and tender crowd-pleaser with phenomenal performances, but it surely positively is not a movie that screams “Oscar winner”. Maybe some of the attention-grabbing components of Going My Method is how it caused a new rule to be made on the Oscars when Fitzgerald was nominated for each Finest Main Actor and Finest Supporting Actor (successful the latter). That is the one time an actor has acquired two nominations for a similar efficiency. Not less than a enjoyable little bit of trivia got here out of this in any other case fairly forgettable comedy.

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8 Fifties: ‘The Biggest Present on Earth’ (1952)

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

clowns in a circus performance from
Picture by way of Paramount Photos

One of many lowest-rated Best Picture winners on IMDb, The Biggest Present on Earth is an epic drama concerning the lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant coach in opposition to the backdrop of a circus. It is an entertaining film all in all, however its bloated melodramatic story, lack of attention-grabbing characters, and surprisingly overlong runtime have all prompted it to be remembered as one of many worst Finest Image winners of all time.

The film is just not with out benefit. The visuals are incredible (as one can anticipate from any Cecil B. DeMille film), some scenes are enjoyable, and James Stewart clearly relishes a job that has him in clown make-up for over two hours and a half. In the end, nonetheless, The Biggest Present on Earth did not make itself worthy of any Oscars, not to mention Finest Image. It took the award in a shock upset from frontrunner Excessive Midday, a selection that might have aged significantly better.

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7 Nineteen Sixties: ‘Tom Jones’ (1963)

Directed by Tony Richardson

Picture by way of Woodfall Movie Productions

Whether or not one is speaking concerning the worst Finest Image winners, the most effective, or probably the most middle-of-the-road, the title of Tom Jones is not very more likely to pop up within the dialog. Certainly, this British comedy concerning the adventures of a romantic and chivalrous man (Albert Finney) in search of love outdoors his class is maybe some of the forgotten items of Oscars historical past, and for good motive.

Chaotic, disgustingly crude, and unbelievably horny, this farcical interval piece might have one thing to supply to people who get pleasure from bizarre journey comedies, however has nothing of worth for anybody outdoors that very particular area of interest. In a 12 months when classics like Cleopatra and America America have been additionally in competition for Finest Image, and when a timeless masterpiece like was launched however not even nominated for the massive Oscar, the truth that a film as weird but unremarkable as Tom Jones took residence the award is inexcusable.

Tom Jones (1963)

Launch Date
August 24, 1963

Tony Richardson

Albert Finney , Susannah York , Hugh Griffith , Edith Evans , Joan Greenwood , Diane Cilento

129 minutes

Watch on Criterion

6 Seventies: ‘Patton’ (1970)

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

George C. Scott as General Patton saluting the American troops while standing against a backdrop of the American flag.
Picture by way of Twentieth Century Fox

One could make a really sturdy case for the Seventies being the strongest decade ever for American cinema, and its lineup of Finest Image winners proves that. Each single one in all them can deservedly be known as a masterpiece, but when one completely needed to be thought-about the weakest, it could in all probability should be Franklin J. Schaffner‘s Patton. It is a great movie with a tour-de-force efficiency by George C. Scott because the controversial titular normal, but it surely’s exhausting for it to dwell as much as classics like The Godfather and Rocky.

Sprawling in its epic scope and gritty in its depiction of struggle as hell, Patton shines as one of many best struggle movies of the Seventies. Some assume it gives a couple of too many shades of heroism to Patton, and others say that within the absence of George C. Scott, it could be a fairly unremarkable film. In any case, Patton is an unbelievable achievement, and the weakest Finest Image winner of its decade solely as a result of it occurred to be launched throughout American cinema’s Golden Age.

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5 Nineteen Eighties: ‘Out of Africa’ (1985)

Directed by Sydney Pollack

man and woman in explorer clothes, outside in a green field
Picture by way of Common Photos

Although the ’80s have been a reasonably nice time for cinema, they admittedly had some Finest Image wins that have not aged effectively. Nevertheless, there’s little room for argument: Out of Africa is definitely the most forgettable pick the Academy made in that decade. It is a interval romantic epic a few Danish baroness (Meryl Streep) in Twentieth-century colonial Kenya, the place she has a passionate affair with a free-spirited hunter (Robert Redford).

Out of Africa is a reasonably good movie, with unbelievable directing and an impressive pair of lead performances, but it surely additionally occurs to be the weakest film in 1986’s lineup of Finest Image nominees, which included classics like Witness and The Coloration Purple. It would not actually do something outrageously improper, but it surely additionally would not do something to face out. For many of its runtime, it settles for being nothing greater than barely boring, leading to one of many Finest Image winners that film followers least get pleasure from revisiting.

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4 Nineties: ‘Shakespeare in Love’ (1998)

Directed by John Madden

Shakespeare kissing his lover's forehead in
Picture by way of Miramax Movies

Frankly, the primary motive why Shakespeare in Love has aged so poorly normally audiences’ eyes is its Finest Image standing. Although it was positively undeserving of it (notably in a 12 months when it was competing in opposition to Steven Spielberg‘s WWII masterpiece Saving Personal Ryan), it is typically some of the underappreciated movies of the ’90s, and sure: one of the best of 1998. With wit and romance, it reveals a William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) who’s younger and out of concepts, however meets his match (Gwyneth Paltrow) and is impressed by her to jot down one in all his most well-known works.

Cleverly written, visually lovely, and stuffed with heartwarming romance the best way the style would not provide a lot of nowadays, Shakespeare in Love advantages from an important director and gifted lead actors, whose chemistry is off the charts. It definitely is not outstanding sufficient in any division to make its seven Oscar wins comprehensible, but when it weren’t for these wins and the best way they’ve led modern audiences to evaluate it rather more strictly, this may absolutely be a way more extremely revered movie.

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3 2000s: ‘Crash’ (2004)

Directed by Paul Haggis

Matt Dillon holding Thandiwe Newton in 'Crash'
Picture by way of Lions Gate Movies

Not a lot is left to say about Crash that hasn’t been stated earlier than. Overwhelmingly preachy, emotionally manipulative, and with the identical quantity of subtlety as an elephant in a jewellery retailer, it is thought-about by many to be the worst Finest Image Oscar winner of recent instances. It takes place in post-September 11 L.A., the place tensions erupt when the lives of quite a lot of equally boring characters converge throughout a 36-hour interval.

Multi-story narratives of intertwined fates had been a factor lengthy earlier than Crash got here out, but it surely had completely nothing recent or attention-grabbing to carry to the desk. Its complexity and ambition are admirable, and it has a couple of emotionally highly effective moments, but it surely’s all introduced down by its lackluster screenplay, forgettable performances, and heavy-handed themes that provide takes on racism and prejudice which are questionable at finest.

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2 2010s: ‘Argo’ (2012)

Directed by Ben Affleck

Tony (Ben Affleck) and Jack (Bryan Cranston) sitting at a briefing in Argo (2012)
Picture by way of Warner Bros.

A political thriller that is low on the thrills and excessive on the politics, Argo is a few CIA agent launching a harmful operation to rescue six American hostages in Tehran, performing beneath the quilt of a Hollywood producer scouting a location. It is a comparatively clever and intense movie, with some nice performances and a enjoyable story, however in a 12 months when the Finest Image nominee lineup was stacked with movies like Amour and Django Unchained, it is exhausting to grasp how Argo was the one which the Academy thought was the most effective film of 2012.

The forgettable narrative, bland directing, and the truth that it’s much less historically accurate than it pretends to be, all led to it rapidly rising previous and changing into often called probably the most unexceptional Finest Image winner of the 2010s. It is undeniably entertaining and really a lot price a look ahead to these seeking to meet up with their Finest Image winner watchlist, however there have been far superior motion pictures that 12 months and historical past has been proof of that.


Launch Date
March 22, 2012


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1 2020s: ‘Nomadland’ (2020)

Directed by Chloé Zhao

woman walking through a field with a lamp, in front of a sunset
Picture by way of Searchlight Photos

Thus far, the 2020s Finest Image Oscar lineup has been surprisingly stable (and that may in all probability continue to be the case this year). Each recipient of Hollywood’s greatest award this decade has been excellent, however there’s one which seemingly won’t be among the many most memorable Finest Image winners a couple of years from now: Nomadland, a naturalistic drama a few lady in her sixties who, after dropping the whole lot within the Nice Recession, embarks on a journey residing as a van-dwelling nomad.

Written, directed, and produced by triple-threat Chloé Zhao on the high of her recreation, Nomadland is an exquisite story of group and household, diving deep into the human situation in its exploration of what precisely makes a house. It is an distinctive film that was very a lot deserving of its Finest Image win, however subsequent to the profoundly heartwarming crowd-pleaser CODA and the über-ambitious existentialist epic The whole lot In every single place All at As soon as, it is simply not as universally pleasurable.


Launch Date
January 29, 2021

Chloé Zhao

Frances McDormand , Homosexual DeForest , Patricia Grier , Linda Could , Angela Reyes , Carl R. Hughes


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