erik lundegaard

Movies - The Oscars posts

Tuesday February 19, 2013

The Worst Best Picture

The worst of the best pictures?

Thus far, 61 people have sent me their rankings of the Academy's choices for best picture from 1927 to 2011. That's about 55 more people than I thought we were going to get. Two days ago I listed off who's winning in the best best-picture race. This is a post about who's losing. Which is the worst best picture the Academy has chosen?

It's not much of a surprise.

Oddly, save for that one film, there is generally less agreement on which of the Academy's best pictures is worst. Those 61 readers chose 19 different movies in the No. 1 slot but 29 different movies for last place.

Here are the 18 best pictures who received just one vote as our worst best picture:

  • The Broadway Melody (1929)
  • Cimarron (1931)
  • The Great Ziegfield (1936)
  • How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  • Mrs. Miniver (1942)
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  • The French Connection (1971)
  • Terms of Endearment (1983)
  • Amadeus (1984)
  • Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
  • Unforgiven (1992)
  • Titanic (1997)
  • Chicago (2002)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
  • Million Dollar Baby (2004)
  • The Departed (2006)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  • The Hurt Locker (2009)

I know. “Unforgiven”? “Amadeus”? But there 'tis.

Four movies received two votes each:

  • Rocky (1976)
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • Forrest Gump (1994)
  • Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Five movies received three votes each:

  • Cavalcade (1933)
  • The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
  • Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
  • Dances with Wolves (1990)
  • A Beautiful Mind (2001)

There's a surprise, at least to me, for our second-worst movie. With four votes:

  • Braveheart (1995)

No surprise at all, as I said, with our choice for the worst best picture the Academy ever chose. In a landslide with 16 votes:

  • Crash (2005)

Make sure you get your votes in. We'll be parsing the numbers on a deeper level soon.

the worst of the best pictures?

Posted at 07:11 AM on Feb 19, 2013 in category Movies - The Oscars
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GOB Bluth (Kevin) Ranks the Best Pictures: from 'The Godfather Part II' to 'The Greatest Show on Earth'

The Godfather Part IIGOB Bluth (Kevin) Ranks the Best Pictures

1. The Godfather Part II (1974)
2. The Sound of Music (1965)
3. No Country for Old Men (2007)
4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
5. Terms of Endearment (1983)
6. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1928)
7. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
8. The Godfather (1972)
9. Schindler’s List (1993)
10. Gone with the Wind (1939)

11. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
12. Casablanca (1943)
13. Forrest Gump (1994)
14. Annie Hall (1977)
15. All About Eve (1950)
16. Ordinary People (1980)
17. The Departed (2006)
18. Braveheart (1995)
19. Gladiator (2000)
20. American Beauty (1999)

21. The Hurt Locker (2009)
22. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
23. It Happened One Night (1934)
24. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
25. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
26. The French Connection (1971)
27. Unforgiven (1992)
28. Patton (1970)
29. On the Waterfront (1954)
30. Dances with Wolves (1990)

31. Platoon (1986)
32. Ghandi (1982)
33. The King’s Speech (2010)
34. A Man for All Seasons (1966)
35. The Deer Hunter (1978)
36. Rocky (1976)
37. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
38. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
39. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
40. The Sting (1973)

41. Chicago (2002)
42. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
43. Titanic (1997)
44. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
45. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
46. My Fair Lady (1964)
47. Chariots of Fire (1981)
48. West Side Story (1961)
49. An American in Paris (1951)
50. The Apartment (1960)

51. Rain Man (1988)
52. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
53. Gigi (1958)
54. The Lost Weekend (1945)
55. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
56. Going My Way (1944)
57. From Here to Eternity (1953)
58. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
59. You Can’t Take it With You (1938)
60. The English Patient (1996)

61. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
62. Oliver! (1968)
63. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
64. All the King’s Men (1949)
65. Grand Hotel (1932)
66. Mutiny of the Bounty (1935)
67. Marty (1955)
68. Amadeus (1984)
69. The Artist (2011)
70. Ben-Hur (1959)

71. Out of Africa (1985)
72. Mrs. Miniver (1942)
73. Rebecca (1940)
74. Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
75. Hamlet (1948)
76. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
77. Crash (2005)
78. The Last Emperor (1987)
79. Tom Jones (1963)
80. Wings (1927)

81. Cimarron (1931)
82. Cavalcade (1933)
83. The Broadway Melody (1929)
84. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
85. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

My comment

A third reader listing all 85 movies! And another victory for Coppola and another defeat for the Academy in 1952, which chose “Greatest Show” over “High Noon,” and didn't bother to nominate “Singin' in the Rain.” Agree with the low placement for “Around the World in 80 Days,” which is dullsville, a Cinemascope travellogue; but “Last Emperor” below “Crash”? I'll take the former just for its colors. Its yellows.

In other news, how's the magic show coming?

OK, who's next?

Rank Oscar's best pictures from 1927 to today.

Posted at 06:39 AM on Feb 19, 2013 in category Movies - The Oscars
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Monday February 18, 2013

David Murphy Ranks the Best Pictures: from 'Lawrence of Arabia' to 'Crash'

Lawrence of ArabiaDavid Murphy Ranks the Best Pictures

1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
2. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1928)
3. The Godfather Part II (1974)
4. The Godfather (1972)
5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
6. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
7. Annie Hall (1977)
8. Casablanca (1943)
9. The Apartment (1960)
10. Patton (1970)

11. On the Waterfront (1954)
12. Oliver! (1968)
13. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
14. Schindler’s List (1993)
15. Unforgiven (1992)
16. The Last Emperor (1987)
17. West Side Story (1961)
18. The Deer Hunter (1978)
19. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
20. Rebecca (1940)

21. The French Connection (1971)
22. No Country for Old Men (2007)
23. Platoon (1986)
24. The Departed (2006)
25. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
26. The Hurt Locker (2009)
27. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
28. Rocky (1976)
29. An American in Paris (1951)
30. Amadeus (1984)

31. Ghandi (1982)
32. Out of Africa (1985)
33. From Here to Eternity (1953)
34. Ordinary People (1980)
35. The Sting (1973)
36. Terms of Endearment (1983)
37. All About Eve (1950)
38. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
39. Dances with Wolves (1990)
40. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

41. Tom Jones (1963)
42. Ben-Hur (1959)
43. Marty (1955)
44. Gone with the Wind (1939)
45. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
46. My Fair Lady (1964)
47. The Lost Weekend (1945)
48. All the King’s Men (1949)
49. A Man for All Seasons (1966)
50. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

51. Chariots of Fire (1981)
52. Rain Man (1988)
53. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
54. Mrs. Miniver (1942)
55. Titanic (1997)
56. Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
57. Mutiny of the Bounty (1935)
58. It Happened One Night (1934)
59. Hamlet (1948)
60. The English Patient (1996)

61. Grand Hotel (1932)
62. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
63. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
64. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
65. You Can’t Take it With You (1938)
66. The Sound of Music (1965)
67. Braveheart (1995)
68. Wings (1927)
69. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
70. Chicago (2002)

71. Gigi (1958)
72. Gladiator (2000)
73. American Beauty (1999)
74. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
75. Forrest Gump (1994)
76. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
77. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
78. Going My Way (1944)
79. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
80. The Broadway Melody (1929)

81. Cavalcade (1933)
82. Cimarron (1931)
83. Crash (2005)

Haven't seen

The King’s Speech (2010)
The Artist (2011)

David's comment

Realized I hadn't seen the last two, but then I've been so disappointed in who wins the Oscars that it made it really hard to rank the films I just didn't like. I had to find the films I just thought had no business being on the list and start from there, meaning that from about Gone With the Wind down, those films are ones that I just don't care about at all.

Years ago, I decided I'd watch all of the Best Picture nominees, so I had to sit through Cimarron, Cavalcade, and those other early winners that really aren't very good. I still think Lawrence is the best film Hollywood has made, but most of the Top 20 became more of an enjoyability/achievement/theme discussion. Should something as huge as Lawrence go up against Annie Hall? Patton against Waterfront? I split the difference. But what bothers me the most is the way you can tell how much the Weinstein Bros. have influenced the process from the 90's on. My head hurts.

My comment

RE: Harvey Weinstein: Yep. He's pushing “Silver Linings Playbook” this year. We all want an SOB on our side but most of the time Harvey's on the other side. 

OK, who's next?

Rank Oscar's best pictures from 1927 to today.

Posted at 09:27 AM on Feb 18, 2013 in category Movies - The Oscars
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Sunday February 17, 2013

What's the Best Best Picture?

The best of the best pictures

As of now, 61 people have sent me their rankings of the Academy's choices for best picture from 1927 to 2011. That's about 55 more people than I thought we were going to get.

We'll crunch the numbers in more detail soon, but I thought I'd let you know the tally so far.

For the No. 1 slot? The best best picture? Nineteen different movies got votes.

Five movies got one vote each:

  • Gone with the Wind (1939)
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • The Sound of Music (1965)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

Two movies got two votes:

  • Amadeus (1984)
  • No Country for Old Men (2007)

Four movies got three votes:

  • The Apartment (1960)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Schindler's List (1993)
  • American Beauty (1999)

Four movies got four votes each:

  • Sunrise: A Tale of Two Humans (1928)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  • Annie Hall (1977)
  • Titanic (1997)

Two movies are tied for third place with five votes:

  • Casablanca (1943)
  • The Godfather (1972)

In second place, with six votes:

  • The Godfather: Part II

And leading the pack with eight votes:

  • All About Eve (1950)

“Eve” is surprising. So are the four votes both “Titanic” and “Sunrise” received: the former because I thought it wasn't well-liked; the latter because it's a silent film most of us (including me) haven't seen.

No complaints, by the way, if you haven't voted.

A few of these movies also made the worst list. Which we'll get to next.

the best of the best pictures

Posted at 02:24 PM on Feb 17, 2013 in category Movies - The Oscars
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Thomas Meier Ranks the Best Pictures: from 'Sunrise' to 'Broadway Melody'

Sunrise: A Tale of Two HumansThomas Meier ranks the Oscar winners for best picture

1. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1928)
2. Casablanca (1943)
3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
4. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
5. All About Eve (1950)
6. Gone with the Wind (1939)
7. The Hurt Locker (2009)
8. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
9. Annie Hall (1977)
10. It Happened One Night (1934)

11. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
12. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
13. Schindler’s List (1993)
14. The Deer Hunter (1978)
15. West Side Story (1961)
16. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
17. The Godfather Part II (1974)
18. The Godfather (1972)
19. Rebecca (1940)
20. On the Waterfront (1954)

21. Out of Africa (1985)
22. Unforgiven (1992)
23. Platoon (1986)
24. Amadeus (1984)
25. An American in Paris (1951)
26. All the King’s Men (1949)
27. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
28. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
29. The Artist (2011)
30. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

31. Patton (1970)
32. Ordinary People (1980)
33. From Here to Eternity (1953)
34. The English Patient (1996)
35. Terms of Endearment (1983)
36. You Can’t Take it With You (1938)
37. Mutiny of the Bounty (1935)
38. The Departed (2006)
39. The French Connection (1971)
40. No Country for Old Men (2007)

41. American Beauty (1999)
42. Chariots of Fire (1981)
43. A Man for All Seasons (1966)
44. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
45. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
46. The Apartment (1960)
47. Tom Jones (1963)
48. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
49. The Last Emperor (1987)
50. Rocky (1976)

51. The Sting (1973)
52. Gigi (1958)
53. Hamlet (1948)
54. Titanic (1997)
55. Marty (1955)
56. The Sound of Music (1965)
57. Grand Hotel (1932)
58. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
59. Wings (1927)
60. The Lost Weekend (1945)

61. Crash (2005)
62. Ben-Hur (1959)
63. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
64. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
65. My Fair Lady (1964)
66. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
67. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
68. Dances with Wolves (1990)
69. Ghandi (1982)
70. The King’s Speech (2010)

71. Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
72. Oliver! (1968)
73. Mrs. Miniver (1942)
74. Gladiator (2000)
75. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
76. Chicago (2002)
77. Forrest Gump (1994)
78. Rain Man (1988)
79. Braveheart (1995)
80. Cimarron (1931)

81. Cavalcade (1933)
82. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
83. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
84. Going My Way (1944)
85. The Broadway Melody (1929)

My comment

Another reader listing all 85 movies. Wow. Takes effort to do the '20s and '30s best pictures. Those don't just turn up every day on Turner Classics.

I like how Thomas' best and worst are like a metaphor for the 1920s: Riding high in 1928, the crash in 1929.

OK, who's next?

Rank Oscar's best pictures from 1927 to today.

Posted at 08:17 AM on Feb 17, 2013 in category Movies - The Oscars
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