Following is a list of movies that should have won a Best Picture Oscar but didn't because the Academy was either too shortsighted, or the competition was just too good that year to overcome. {googleads}

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain (lost to Crash) - Even the Academy thought it best to shy away from the subject matter.

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan (lost to Shakespeare in Love) - Spielberg takes on The Bard...and loses.

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction (lost to Forrest Gump) - Gump's first victim.

Shawshank Redemption

Shawshank Redemption (lost to Forrest Gump) - Gump's second victim. Best picture in any other year.


Goodfellas (lost to Dances With Wolves) - One of the best Mob movies ever made takes on Costner's best. DeNiro gets clipped.

Raging Bull

Raging Bull (lost to Ordinary People) - DeNiro loses another one.

Apocalypse Now

Apocaplypse Now (lost to Kramer Vs. Kramer) - The horror! One of the most beautifully horrible films. Brando's short performance alone is enough to see this one.

Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver (lost to Rocky) - DeNiro loses yet another.

Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon (lost to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) - Tough battle here, but Dog Day remains strong over time.


Chinatown (lost to Godfather 2) - Should a sequel win an Oscar?

American Graffiti

American Graffiti (lost to The Sting) - Tough competition.


M*A*S*H (lost to Patton) - The year of the military pic.

The GRaduate

The Graduate (lost to In the Heat of the Night) - A serious injustice here!

Bonnie and CLyde

Bonnie and Clyde (lost to In the Heat of the Night) - What a great year this was.

Dr. Zhivago

Dr. Zhivago (lost to Sound of Music) - Lost to the most over-rated Best Picture winner of all time.

Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (lost to My Fair Lady) - Up against My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins.

the Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments (lost to Around the World in 80 Days) - Doesn't hold up so well over time, but still a classic at Easter time.

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire (lost to An American in Paris) - Won 3 awards for acting but not Best Picture.

Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street (lost to Gentleman's Agreement) - Think the Academy Wants a Do-Over?

It's a Wonderful Life

It's A Wonderful Life (lost to The Best Years of Our Lives) - No movie on the list holds up better over time than Wonderful Life. A classic in every sense of the word.

Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane (lost to How Green Was My Valley) - We assume the Academy is slapping its forehead right now. Doh!

The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath (lost to Rebecca) - The second biggest injustice of the list.

The Queen

The Queen (lost to The Departed) - Even a career performance by Helen Mirren wasn't able to topple the Scorcese juggernaut.

Up in the Air

Up in the Air (lost to The Hurt Locker) - Not saying Hurt Locker didn't deserve it, but Up in the Air deserved it as well.

Midnight Express

Midnight Express (lost to The Deer Hunter) - A tough one to watch, but there's certainly honor in going down to Cimino's Deer Hunter.

Star Wars

Star Wars (lost to Annie Hall) - Surely there's some dignity in losing to Woody Allen, but perhaps in any other year.


Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark (lost to Chariots of Fire) - Looking back, yeah, the greatest adventure epic of all time should have won.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (lost to In the Heat of the Night) - Was too controversial at the time, but should have won on Spencer Tracy's speech alone.

E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (lost to Gandhi) - Should have known better than to go up against the embodiment of passive-aggressiveness.


Fargo (lost to The English Patient) - The Coen Brothers got run through their own wood chipper.

Fellowship of the Ring

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (lost to A Beautiful Mind) - Thankfully the Academy redeemed themselves with a Return of the King trophy.

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight (lost to Slumdog Millionaire) - The greatest superhero movie of all time goes down to a game show.