Alternate Best Picture Winners (1927-Today)
Outstanding Picture, Production: Wings
Unique and Artistic Production: Sunrise
What should have won BP of 1927: Metropolis
If it could win for BP of 1928: The Passion of Joan of Arc
141 7.5 7.91. Wings (1927)
The first true Best Picture winner according to the Academy.
499 8.5 8.42. Sunrise (1927)
The winner of Best Artistic Production.
1611 8.3 8.33. Metropolis (1927)
The film I would have selected for Best Film of 1927.
573 8.8 8.34. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
This is my pick of the best film of 1928, even over The Wind and The Circus.
What won: The Broadway Melody
What should have won: Pandora's Box
68 6 6.55. The Broadway Melody (1929)
Won, and really dated today. Probably borders on so-bad-it's-good today anyways.
What won: All Quiet on the Western Front
Distant Runner-up: Earth
503 7.8 8.17. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Won, and deservedly so.
What won: Cimarron
What should have won: City Lights
Runner-ups include: Dracula, Frankenstein, and Little Caesar.
57 5.7 69. Cimarron (1931)
Had promise, but never deserved Best Picture.
1053 8.6 8.610. City Lights (1931)
Should have won, and easily Charlie Chaplin's best movie.
What won: Grand Hotel
What should have won: Shanghai Express
205 7.6 7.711. Grand Hotel (1932)
165 7.4 7.512. Shanghai Express (1932)
What won: Cavalcade
What should have won: King Kong
49 5.5 6.113. Cavalcade (1933)
Terrible movie; never should have won.
1011 7.4 814. King Kong (1933)
Groundbreaking and epic; should have won Best Picture.
What won: It Happened One Night
What should have won: The Thin Man
691 8.2 8.315. It Happened One Night (1934)
This film won, and I regret giving this film a 9 star rating already.
273 7.9 8.216. The Thin Man (1934)
A highly iconic who-done-it film and the movie that should have won Best Picture of the year.
What won: Mutiny on the Bounty
What should have won: The 39 Steps
218 7.4 7.917. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
A fine Best Picture winner.
602 7.5 7.918. The 39 Steps (1935)
Very early Hitchcock that was better than Mutiny.
What won: The Great Ziegfeld
What should have won: My Man Godfrey
Runner-ups include: Dodsworth, Libeled Lady, and Modern Times
86 7.1 6.919. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
One of the worst Best Picture winners ever made.
68 7.5 7.920. Libeled Lady (1936)
What Won: The Life of Emile Zola
What should have won: Grand Illusion
Runner-ups include: The Awful Truth, Lost Horizon, and Stage Door
Overrated: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
114 7.3 7.421. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
411 8.3 8.222. Grand Illusion (1937)
What Won: You Can't Take It With You
What should have won: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Honorable Mentions: Angels with Dirty Faces, Bringing up Baby, A Christmas Carol, Jezebel, and Pygmalion
208 7.3 823. You Can't Take It with You (1938)
I am not a fan of Frank Capra. But it doesn't take a genius to tell that this is quite possibly the worst film he's ever done (personally, it's runner up to Arsenic and Old Lace).
483 7.7 824. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
The purest of all Robin Hood movies. Definitely should have been the winner over YCTIWY.
What won: Gone With the Wind
What should have won: The Women
Runner-ups include: Dark Victory, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Stagecoach, and Wuthering Heights
Overrated: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Wizard of Oz
2179 7.8 8.225. Gone with the Wind (1939)
I only saw this movie one time, and I can safely say that this is definitely a good movie that I highly recommend all of you to watch if you haven't already.
115 7.5 826. The Women (1939)
Regardless, Gone with the Wind is a touch overrated, with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington AND The Wizard of Oz extremely so. If anything, the best of the best of 1939 is the Citizen Kane of all chick flicks, 1939's The Women (NOT the remake).
What won: Rebecca
What should have won: Fantasia
Runner ups include: Foreign Correspondent, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator, The Letter, Pinocchio, The Philadelphia Story, and The Thief of Bagdad
980 8 8.227. Rebecca (1940)
A common misconception is that either Grapes of Wrath or Philadelphia Story won Best Picture in 1940. Neither is true. Instead, the true Best Picture winner of 1940 was a little film by Alfred Hitchcock, and trust me when I say that, inspite of how good a year 1940 was, this was perhaps his weakest of all of his movies (not that that's saying much).
1785 7.5 7.828. Fantasia (1940)
Again, a ton of truly great movies in 1940; Grapes of Wrath, Philadelphia Story, Foreign Correspondent, The Great Dictator, and Pinocchio just to name a few. But if I were to choose which film won Best Picture in 1940, I would have to give it to the pure embodiment of art in film itself, Fantasia.
What won: How Green Was My Valley
What should have won: Citizen Kane (of course)
My personal favorite: The Maltese Falcon
254 7.5 7.929. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Seriously, who remembers this movie in any way other than that film that beat Citizen Kane for Best Picture?
2317 8.1 8.430. Citizen Kane (1941)
Personally, prefer The Maltese Falcon, but there's no denying its status as arguably the greatest movie ever made.
What won: Mrs. Miniver
What should have won (for this year): Casablanca
Runner-up: The Magnificient Ambersons
137 7.5 7.731. Mrs. Miniver (1942)
A cloyingly sentimental propaganda film won Best Picture. Why? Because by that time, we already declared World War II.
2828 8.2 8.632. Casablanca (1942)
An interesting story here. Even though this is one of the greatest films ever made and deserved to win Best Picture, there's only one problem: It won for 1943 when it was a 1942 movie. Therefore, it should have won for 1942 rather than 1943.
What won (instead of the year before): Casablanca
What should have won: Shadow of a Doubt
3 8 6.233. Casablanca, Casablanca (1985)
See above for Casablanca.
NOTE: I know this is the wrong movie, but I can't use the same poster twice.
649 7.9 834. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
If we are to play by the literal calender date, this would have been my choice for Best Picture of 1943.
What won: Going My Way
What should have won: Double Indemnity
86 7.4 7.435. Going My Way (1944)
Good movie, though not my personal choice for Best Picture.
833 8.3 8.436. Double Indemnity (1944)
The film that should have won, and is easily Billy Wilder's best movie by far.
What won: The Lost Weekend
What should have won: Spellbound
420 7.8 8.137. The Lost Weekend (1945)
555 7.4 7.738. Spellbound (1945)
What won: The Best Years of Our Lives
What should have won: Beauty and the Beast
Runner-ups include: Great Expectations, Notorious, The Razor's Edge, and The Yearling
Good, but overrated: It's a Wonderful Life
353 8 8.239. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Personally, I really enjoyed this movie, even moreso than It's a Wonderful Life.
353 7.8 840. Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Even compared to the Disney version of 1991 (which I like a great deal), this is one of the truly great fantasy films of all time. So many fantasy that was snubbed in the past, but at the bare minimum, this should have been the first pure fantasy film to have taken home top honors.
Oh, and did I mention I find It's a Wonderful Life to be overrated? Good, but overrated.
What won: Gentleman's Agreement
What should have won: The Bishop's Wife
145 7.3 7.441. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
All I know about this film is that it won. Frankly, I never saw this movie.
126 7.4 7.642. The Bishop's Wife (1947)
Of the films I saw (and truly eligible for Best Picture of 1947), this is the one that I'd highly recommend the most.
What won: Hamlet
Tied for win: The Red Shoes
Runner-ups include: Macbeth, Oliver Twist, The Three Musketeers, and The Treasure of Sierra Madre
Overrated: Bicycle Thieves
180 7.4 7.943. Hamlet (1948)
The only Shakespeare film to have won Best Picture (not counting West Side Story as a remake).
407 8.1 8.344. The Red Shoes (1948)
This movie is an equal in quality to Hamlet.
Winner: All the King's Men
Should have won: The Third Man
Honorable Mentions: Colorado Territory, The Fountainhead, The Heiress, Little Women, and White Heat
89 7.4 7.645. All the King's Men (1949)
One of the few political films I greatly admire. But whatever you do, do not watch the Sean Penn remake.
916 8.2 8.446. The Third Man (1949)
This iconic noir film should have won over All the King's Men regardless.
Winner: All About Eve
Runner-up: Sunset Boulevard
Honorable Mentions: The Asphalt Jungle, Harvey, King Solomon's Mines, Rashomon, and Winchester '73
918 8.2 8.447. All About Eve (1950)
Even though this film beat out Sunset Boulevard for Best Picture, I actually prefer this movie to Sunset.
1234 8.5 8.648. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
A dangerously close second. This was definitely a prime example of a film in which the top 2 best films of the year competed for Best Picture, and both are among the greatest films ever made.
Winner: An American in Paris
Should have won: The Day the Earth Stood Still
Honorable Mentions: The Racket, Strangers on a Train, and The Thing from Another World
Overrated: A Streetcar Named Desire
400 7.2 7.349. An American in Paris (1951)
All style, and literally no substance. Heck, there isn't even a story to this movie, or any real characters. It's just stylish--albeit dated--musical numbers over cheesy sets in technicolor. And it won Best Picture over A Streetcar Named Desire!? Feh!
715 7.5 7.850. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Yes, I am selecting this film as being superior to A Streetcar Named Desire because let's face it; that film is dated and overacted too. And this is one of the greatest Science Fiction films ever made.
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