Best Picture Oscar Winners

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 9:45 am

The films listed below are all Best Picture Oscar winners. With the Academy Awards just around the corner, I’ve decided to make my recommendations on a few motion pictures that my fellow cinephiles should find intriguing. If you’re interested in taking my advice (and I really hope you are), then these films can be rented through Netflix or purchased on DVD or Blu-ray through (which gives us a small commission).

If your favorite Best Picture Oscar winners aren’t included, be sure to head to our movie forum or comments section and let us know all about it. We here at Only Good Movies always value the input of our readers.

It Happened One Night (1934) – A reporter looking for a story crosses paths with a wealthy runaway bride. As they travel together, romance begins to bloom, and the cynical reporter (Clark Gable) begins to soften ever so slightly. A monster hit at the box office, it also became the first film to capture awards in all five major Oscar categories.

How Green Was My Valley (1941) – As their family unit slowly disintegrates, a Welsh coal-mining family struggles to hold things together. Starring Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara and Roddy McDowall.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – The second film to win in all five of the major Oscar categories, the movie revolves around a petty criminal (Jack Nicholson) who gets transferred to a mental hospital to avoid hard labor and ends up tragically butting heads with the sadistic Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). Co-starring Will Sampson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd and Brad Dourif.

American Beauty (1999) – Kevin Spacey plays a man who undergoes a mid-life crisis and loves every minute of it. Chris Cooper is his violent, homophobic neighbor with a secret, and Annette Bening is his restless wife. An excellent script combined with Spacey’s ability to play a sympathetic smartass makes American Beauty a solid view from start to finish.

Rain Man (1988) – Determined to get his cut of his late father’s estate, a selfish car dealer (Tom Cruise) nabs his autistic older brother (Dustin Hoffman) from a mental institution and takes off across the country. As he learns to care for his dependent brother, Charlie and Raymond Babbitt begin to bond. A feel-good movie from director Barry Levinson. Hoffman also won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the Jeopardy-loving Raymond.

No Country for Old Men (2007) – A Texas man (Josh Brolin) finds two-million dollars at the site of a drug deal gone bad. He takes the money and immediately becomes the target of a psychopath (Javier Bardem) hired to get it back. As the two men play a deadly cat-and-mouse game, they’re both pursued by a weary sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) who’s nearing the end of his career. All kinds of bleak, many have hailed this film as the finest ever made by the Coen brothers.

Ben-Hur (1959) – The winner of 11 Academy Awards, Ben-Hur stars Charlton Heston as a Jewish merchant who ends up getting put into slavery due to the treachery of a former friend. As he pursues the path of revenge, he encounters Jesus of Nazareth and later takes part in an iconic chariot race. Action and a religious message all wrapped up in a 3 ½ hour package.

Chicago (2002) – As two women await trial for murder, lots of singing and dancing take place.  Who knew that prison life could be so sensual? Set in Chicago’s Jazz era, the film stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah and more.

Marty (1955) – Ernest Borgnine gives the performance of his career as Marty Piletti, a lonely butcher who desperately wants to find someone he can fall in love with. If you’ve ever felt cursed in the romance department, you’ll be able to empathize with Marty.

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Unforgiven (1992) – Clint Eastwood serves as both star and director of this film that looks at the myths and realities of the Old West gunfighter. After a commercial dry spell, this movie vaulted Eastwood back on top. Co-starring Richard Harris, Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman.

The Godfather Part II (1974) – Robert De Niro won an Oscar for his role as the young Don Corleone. While that part is shown in flashbacks, the present-day situation involves Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) trying to maintain his criminal empire while surrounded by enemies…including members of his own family.

Dances with Wolves (1990) – Kevin Costner struck Oscar gold with this tale of a Civil War veteran who requests a frontier post to see the true West before it disappears. This leads to a relationship with the local Indian tribe, a new friend in the form of a wolf, and eventual problems with the villainous white man.

The Lost Weekend (1945) – Picking up Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Writing, The Lost Weekend tells the story of an alcoholic writer on a weekend drinking binge. Fans of Charles Bukowski will want to check it out.

Ordinary People (1980) – Robert Redford made his directorial debut with this tale of an upper-middle class family falling apart following the death of their eldest son and the attempted suicide of the youngest. Timothy Hutton made a name for himself with an Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor, and the rest of the cast is rounded out by Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore and Judd Hirsch.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – The blockbuster fantasy trilogy wrapped up with this film, and the Academy was more than happy to reward Peter Jackson and company for their efforts. If you’ve yet to experience the adventures of Gandalf, Frodo and the rest of the gang, what the hell are you waiting for? Go out and buy this series immediately, starting with the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring.

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Also recommended:


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9 Responses to “Best Picture Oscar Winners”

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March 20, 2010

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December 14, 2010


Good List! I’m working my way through all of them right now, but I’ll pay special attention to these:)


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