February 24, 2017

Watch: What's the Best Ever Oscars Best Picture Line-Up?

best picture nominees oscars fandor keyframe video essay oscars 2017
Out of the 89 years' worth of Best Picture nominees, which year had the strongest contenders? See if you agree with Fandor's picks.

When it comes to the Oscars, everyone remembers who won. What tends to fade from memory are the other nominees, and in a category like Best Picture, there have been some years packed with classics (and others, not so much.) This video from Fandor looks back over the 88 previous groups of Best Picture nominees, and narrows it down to their top three years. Check it out and see if you agree. 

#3: 1976

1976 was an embarrassment of riches for the Academy, with nominees like Bound for Glory (which featured the first ever Steadicam shot in a feature film), the (timely) and classic political thriller All the President's Men, as well as Sidney Lumet's Network, a prophetic nightmare look at the future of TV (at the time, it was satire; now, not so much). There was also Martin Scorsese's inimitable Taxi Driver, but, of course, the Oscar could only go to one, and that year belonged to...Sylvester Stallone, whose Rocky, is exactly the kind of film the Academy typically recognizes (remember when Forrest Gump went up against Pulp Fiction?).

#2: 1939

In a year considered by some to be Hollywood's annus mirabilis, there were 10 nominees for Best Picture (Into the '40s, there were up to 12 nominees, though since 2011, it's been a max of 10)In 1939, almost every film went on to classic status, from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, to Dark Victory, The Wizard of Oz, to Of Mice and Men and the film that made John Wayne famous, Stage Coach. Not to mention that even today, adjusted for inflation, the year's winner, Gone with the Wind, is still the highest-grossing film in history

#1: 1975

Fandor's number one class of Best Picture nominees includes Robert Altman's NashvilleStanley Kubrick's innovative Barry LyndonDog Day AfternoonJaws and winner One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

What do you think of their picks? And who do you think is going to take home the statue this year?      

Your Comment


The 1994 Oscars. Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, and Forrest Gump are a solid group.

February 25, 2017 at 4:25AM, Edited February 25, 4:25AM

Max Murta

Max Murta beat me to it...but yes...1995 Oscars is easily the answer to this question....PULP FICITON...THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION....FORREST GUMP...FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL and QUIZ SHOW....Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption are universally considered in the top ten of films from the last 25 years and in some folks estimation of all time...Gump is still great and loved although I don't think anyone really believes it was the Best Picture from that year anymore...but either way...3 top 25 to top 50 films of all time? Hard to beat...

February 25, 2017 at 10:53AM


That's an absurd thing to say about Shawshank. Top ten? Hou Hsiao-hsien made 4 films that could rank in the top ten. What about the work of Abbas Kiarostami? Edward Yang?

Top ten of the past 25 years? Top 25 to 50 films of all time. Pure hyperbole without a shred of knowledge about cinema history.

February 27, 2017 at 10:29AM, Edited February 27, 10:33AM


There's a great book called "Pictures at a Revolution" by Mark Harris that documents the 5 nominations for the 1968 Oscars' Best Picture. They were 'Bonnie & Clyde', 'The Graduate', 'In the Heat of the Night', 'Doctor Dolittle', and 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'.

While this list might not qualify for the Best Nominations list in question, Harris argues that this was a sea change moment in Hollywood with the latter two nominations representing old Hollywood and the first three ushering a new wave of cinema. It's a great read.

February 27, 2017 at 2:27PM