The Top 10 Oscar Winning Movies

Jul 16, 2003

The Bottom Line These are the best of the Best Picture winners

Well, since I wrote an essay about the Best Films who were snubbed at Oscar Time, I decided to list the top 10 movies that did walk away with Best Picture Honors. This in no way implies that it they were the best pictures in their respected year (Example, Forrest Gump is on my list and I thought Shawshank Redemption was better, both came out in 1994), but they are the best among the Best Picture Winners.

10. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) : A truly sweet and heartwarming drama about a custody battle between two adults. Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep deliver astounding emotional performances that were as real as they can get. Great dialogue and very believable everyday life events, a classic in every sense of the word, one of Hoffman’s best roles in his career.

9. Titanic (1997) : The highest grossing film of all time, Titanic also cost the most to date at $200 million. Many thought this would be its downfall, a historical story translated into Hollywood terms with special effects. James Cameron, as only he can do , directed a fantastic tale of a peasant boy played by Leo DiCaprio and his romance with the daughter of rich folk (Kate Winslet) whose romance was outlawed in the midst of the worst ship disaster ever. Good performances throughout, very believable action scenes as the ship sinks, heart-wrenching to see the people perish in the disaster. A great cinematic achievement.

8. The Sting (1973) : A funny and witty con man comedy starring the now infamous duo of Robert Redford and Paul Newman in this movie about a con of a lifetime at the racetrack. There is great chemistry between the two actors, one of the best in cinematic history, the two also buddied up in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. A real feel good of a movie that’s very enjoyable even 30 years later.

7. Rain Man (1988) : In this Barry Levinson film, Dustin Hoffman steals the show again in yet again another best actor role alongside Tom Cruise in a story about a man (Cruise) who is informed he has a brother who is autistic and the journey to find the love he has for him. Hoffman portrays Raymond to perfection, the film is touching and the acting is superb.

6. Forrest Gump (1994) : I admit I love this movie even though in hindsight I think Shawshank Redemption should have won that year. Tom Hanks winsbest actor for the second year in a row for his portrayal of Forrest Gump, a simple man from Alabama who is not the smartest person, the movie follows him through extraordinary eras in our lifetime, from Vietnam, to ping pong championships, to his historic cross country running, Forrest keeps it simple and focuses on his childhood love Jenny, a love that carried him through strenuous times in his life. An instant classic and a very rewarding picture.

5. The Godfather (1972) : Francis Ford Coppola’s Masterpiece and the beginning of a saga, The Godfather ranks #1 among all viewers on The Internet Movie Database. A gem of a movie which focuses on the organized crime family the Corleones. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino play the Godfather and his son Michael, the heir to the title and their dealings with the other families. A sad, tragic story about crime and how it affects everyone involved, legendary acting, great music that will last a lifetime and beautiful scenery solidify this movie as one of the best ever made.

4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) : Set in a mental institution, this movie focuses on a man deemed insane but is very sane most of the time, just crazy at times. Jack Nicholson delivers a /stirring account of McMurphy as the movie focuses on life in a mental institution and the desire to be set free. A real tear-jerker and one of the best cast performances I have ever seen. Good music to fit the mood and great dialogue.

3. The Godfather II (1974) : As great as The Godfather was, I thought the sequel was more entertaining, not to mention it had Robert De Niro, one of my favorite actors play Vito Corleone, Michael’s Dad, as a youngster in New York and how he claimed the title of Godfather. I like the way the movie went back and forth from the early days of Vito to the current days of Michael as the Godfather, again very similar to the first movie but a slight nod to this one as the better of the 2.

2. Braveheart (1995) : Mel Gibson masterpiece Epic story of William Wallace, a peasant Scot who led an uprising against the heavily armed Brits in th 14th century, very inspiring tale of the underdog stepping up and challenging the bully. Sad tale full of great characters, acting, score and cinematography, very symbolic scenes and very memorable quotes throughout. It boasts one of the most realistic battle scenes ever to be captured on film. A movie for the ages.

1. Schindler’s List (1993) : Steven Spielberg’s defining moment to his career was a movie very difficult for him to make due to his heritage. This epic tale of a German man who dedicated his life to saving jews from the concentration camps in Germany during WWII. A very difficult movie to watch but one that has to be watched, it is shot in black and white and has a documentary feel to it. Incredible performances by Liam Neeson as Schindler and Ben Kingsley plays Itzhak Stern, Schindler’s accountant and a Jew himself. The movie has horrific crimes by the Nazis depicted in very graphic detail and you are not human if you don’t find yourself teary-eyed after seeing this. This epic earned Spielberg his first Oscar as Director and Picture, well deserved, my #1 best movie that won Best Picture

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