Top 10 Worst "Best Picture" Oscar Winners
#10 - FORREST GUMP [1994]
FORREST GUMP [1994] Image

Other Nominees: Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption

#09 - DANCES WITH WOLVES [1990]
DANCES WITH WOLVES [1990] Image

Other Nominee: Goodfellas

#08 - HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY [1941]
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY [1941] Image

Other Nominees: Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Suspicion, Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Sergeant York

#07 - KRAMER VS. KRAMER [1979]
KRAMER VS. KRAMER [1979] Image

Other Nominees: Apocalypse Now, Breaking Away

#06 - TERMS OF ENDEARMENT [1983]
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT [1983] Image

Other Nominees: The Right Stuff, The Big Chill, Tender Mercies

#05 - A BEAUTIFUL MIND [2001]
A BEAUTIFUL MIND [2001] Image

Other Nominee: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

#04 - SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE [1998]
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE [1998] Image

Other Nominees: Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, Life is Beautiful

#03 - CAVALCADE [1933]
CAVALCADE [1933] Image

Other Nominees: 42nd Street, A Farewell to Arms, I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

#02 - THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH [1952]
THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH [1952] Image

Other Nominees: High Noon, The Quiet Man

Not Nominated: Singin' in the Rain

#01 - AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS [1956]
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS [1956] Image

Other Nominee: Giant

 

RUNNER-UPS: Cimarron [1931], Mrs. Miniver [1942], Marty [1955], Oliver! [1968], The Sting [1973], Ordinary People [1980], Gandhi [1982], Out of Africa [1985], Driving Miss Daisy [1989], Gladiator [2000], Chicago [2002], Million Dollar Baby [2004], Crash [2005]

User Comments - Add a Comment
Dervil Pradep - 2009-02-21 21:00:11

There is no way Crash only deserves an honorable mention, it should be in the top 5, at least. Encino Man was in this movie, for the love of God.

Jamie - 2009-02-22 21:57:46

Ti-fucking-tanic

Yep - 2009-02-23 00:57:01

1971: The French Connection won. Clockwork Orange was nominated

Marty Murray - 2009-02-25 21:49:51

I think "Shakespeare in Love" is the worst winner on the list, but only comparitively so with the others pictures nominated. I don't think "A Beautiful Mind" is a bad winner, Crash or Chicago could definetly replace it on this list.

Alien - 2009-02-27 09:01:58

How about • Rocky (1976) Other Nominees: • All the President's Men (1976) • Bound for Glory (1976) • Network (1976) • Taxi Driver (1976)

Graham Wheeler - 2009-03-07 18:44:53

This website is a travesty, a sham, and a mockery..."it's a travashamockery". Forrest Gump in the top 10 of the all time worst oscar best picture winners? Psh. Granted the other nominees were also more than deserving, Forrest Gump is an American classic and a brilliant work of art.

Jason - 2009-03-08 22:49:02

You are completely incorrect by saying that Forest Gump and Dances with Wolves are bad Oscar Winners. They are both classics and two of the best movies of all time.

ChrisLongski - 2009-03-16 10:08:45

The site operator does not get it at all... How Green Was my Valley is a true classic. Hey, just because it doesn't have T&A, chases and explosions and gun battles...

DICK - 2009-05-06 02:45:14

Yes, this list is absolute shite. Crash is only an honourable mention, and yet Forrest Gump is included? How Green is My Valley? You only included that because it beat Citizen Kane, it doesn't mean it's not a classic. Let me tell you that Crash was an absolute piece of crap. Everyone's racist, we get it. It's a problem we get it. Those actors will make a few mil and people will cry because a little girl is shot and survives or some crap, Terrance Howard will have his nuts licked and David Cronenberg had his title stolen. Honorable mention over Forrest Gump?

Nebitno skroz. - 2009-05-18 12:21:13

2008: Slumdog Millionaire? Please!!!!

Aditya - 2009-06-13 04:47:33

^^ True... It should have been The Dark Knight any day of the week... Slumdog is... well, dog...

Mike D. - 2009-06-29 08:01:35

I think what they're saying may be that one of the other films nominated should have won, not that the winner is necessarily a bad film...at least I hope so.

Vespasian - 2009-08-12 05:48:53

By far, it was the biggest travesty in Academy history for anyone to have voted for "Shakespeare in Love" for Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan. Shakespeare in Love has for the most part been forgotten since the initial months of its release, while Saving Private Ryan has become a classic and a symbol of America's role in WW2. And another joke was Slum Dog Millionaire winning in 08, any movie where the title characters are on a cheesy game show (Who wants to be a Millionaire) does not deserve to be named best movie of the year, especially if a movie like Frost/Nixon or Milk are also in contention. Since when did the musicals come back from the dead? Another sham is Rocky winning in a year that included All the Presidents Men, Network, and Taxi Driver.

Dai Jones - 2010-01-04 05:34:53

Forest Gump? How Green is my Valley? I expect to see the Godfather on that list. Absolutely rubbish list, so much so I am compelled to write. Rocky? Not a great film, but not as bad as people are making out. The history of sequels destroyed the original. Crash was rubbish. The Dark Knight, quite possibly the worst film of all time, is the most shameful academy moment. It makes most B films look good. Equally, for character, script, and purpose, Inglorious Basterds still remains the only film I have ever walked out of out of shame for how awful it was.. I say walked, but I am a paraplegic.

Jon Brown - 2010-01-17 04:59:19

You have bad taste in worst movies

Quentin - 2010-01-25 02:04:37

The only movie on this list that actually stunk was Around the World in 80 Days. All the others were good, but the other nominees were better. The problem with the Academy is that they tend to ignore horror films, fantasy films, sci-fi films (Annie Hall beating Star Wars should be on the list), and superhero films (even though The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 2 are really the only ones worthy of Best Picture) go unnoticed and ignored. I think that this favoritism has been most especially represented in recent years, as almost every best Picture winner is a small-time drama that is often unworthy. And to Dai Jones, you should be ashamed for even mentioning the Godfather in this topic of conversation. It is the greatest movie of all time. Lastly, in my personal opinion, the worst travesty of all time is Saving Private Ryan not winning.

Yea... - 2010-05-20 21:17:34

Can't really complain that A Beautiful Mind beat The Fellowship of the Ring, The Return of the King pretty much made up for that. And as a stand-alone film, the Fellowship of the Ring was kinda meh. Not only should Shakespeare in Love not have won, it should have been in fucking third! The Thin Red Line was an excellent movie too!

Jason - 2010-06-17 21:24:14

Ordinary People should have been #1 with a bullet. Such a forgettable, garbage melodrama, yet it beat Raging Bull.

Joseph A. Hansen - 2010-07-26 23:33:34

This list is fantastic, I absolutely agree with everything on this list, lol, anyone who thinks Forest Gump is "one of the greatest movies of all time" has probably never seen a movie before

bgman - 2010-11-02 21:53:04

How could you have missed Rocky. What a god awful p.o.s.

midsize - 2010-12-13 21:57:32

There seems to be a canon of worst best picture winners, but everybody sorts them out differently. I'm surprised that "Crash" got only a mention, as most lists count it among the very worst Oscar travesties. "Citizen Kane" and "High Noon" always make the lists, and "Dances...", "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Ordinary People" are also common. The (often) top 3 outrages -- Kane, High Noon, and Brokeback -- can be explained easily by outside pressure on the industry. Brokeback and High Noon were very controversial, and WR Hearst single-handedly forced the movie establishment to bury Kane under threat of economic warfare. I leave it you to decide if commercial cowardice is unforgivable in what is, at heart, a business. I think it's important to remember that Oscars reflect the tenor of their times, not of ours. I don't doubt that if the Oscar voting were to be done again, "The Graduate", "Clockwork Orange", "Taxi Driver/Network", "Apocalypse Now", and "Raging Bull" would win. However, at the time they lost, the winners better captured the zeitgeist. Also, even "Cimarron" might have won over the (very small at the time) Academy simply by virtue of the scale of its production. The end-result might have been dreck by our standards, but Hollywood at the time was a very different place, run by people with a different attitude about what they found impressive and what best represented their industry. In short, while I -- like everyone else -- have my personal opinions about what should have won what year, I think almost all questionable winners can be explained by something other than corruption or artistic bankruptcy on the part of the Academy.

Chris G - 2011-02-26 14:51:30

An interesting list, in each case there was a superior film nominated in that year. However, Saving Private Ryan wasn't one of them. Oh, don't get me wrong, Shakespeare in Love is crap, no question, but SPR is no more than a stiff, stock WWII movie. Sure the first 20 minutes is technical virtuosity... but the rest? Yawn. It's the same war movie they've been making since WWII. The wise cracking Jewish guy from New York, the scared guy who risks everyones life, the handsome tragic guy and the fatherly midwestern captain; all straight out of central casting. This movie is a shiny retread of The Longest Day. Nothing new to say. Empty and vacuous like ALL of Speilberg's work

 

[Editor's Note: Good point, I preferred Thin Red Line myself.]

bob - 2011-09-05 18:01:25
u mean dishonorable mention
Tatu - 2011-11-26 19:35:15

There is absolutely no way that Forrest Gump should have won Best Picture particularly when Pulp Fiction (a superb film) was nominated the same year.

Whazup - 2012-02-26 18:05:01

REALLY? Anyone who thinks that Forrest Gump sucks can die in a hole. An American drama that shows how simple things can accomplish anything only a fat b*****d would think such a repulsive thing. Forrest gump and Dances with Wolves shOuld be the best because everyone remembers the golden tear jerking movies

j wright - 2012-03-03 17:36:09
"Chariots of Fire" (1981) should be on this list. The movie it beat out? "Raiders of the Lost Ark". After 30 years, which movie is considered the classic and which has become entirely forgettable?
Jimmy - 2012-05-26 21:25:12

"Annie Hall" should definitely be on this list, in the number one slot. That was a complete waste of an hour and a half. I'll never get that time back! Plus, how the heck did a crap movie like that beat Star Wars for Best Picture? Annie Hall is one of the worst movies of all time, regardless of any awards being attached to it. It's worse because of the fact that it received awards though, because it caused me to waste my time over it (I watched it this week, wondering what movie had beaten Star Wars). This movie was an utter waste of time.

Meg - 2012-06-17 16:10:09

J wright, you think "Chariots of Fire" has been entirely *forgettable*? May I ask if you've seen it? It is a classic, too, only a different kind, not an installment of an ongoing series of great fun action-adventure blockbusters, but a beautifully rendered inspirational story with an incredible soundtrack. "Forgettable". Then why is it being re-released in theatres, and why has a stage production been developed? I think both movies are great. Raiders of the Lost Ark is as entertaining as a movie could be. And, of course, as part of a series, it's generated an iconic character and made a lasting impression on the *pop culture landscape*. Having a new Indiana Jones movie come out certainly helps. Raiders of the Lost Ark certainly inspires a good deal of pop cultural references, but surely you don't judge the merit of a film based on how many jokes and imitations it spawns? ROTLA may have a steadier presence, as the most popular of a popular series of widely accessible action adventure series, but that does not lessen the significance and quality of Chariots of Fire. Your opinion is a matter of personal taste; culturally, both movies are classics in their own way.

Falcon41 - 2012-11-12 04:46:50

Instead of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, the Best Picture Winner in 1956 should have been THE SEARCHERS.

Peter Fodey - 2014-05-27 23:24:13

I definitely agree that "A Clockwork Orange" should have nabbed the prize in 1971.

Luke - 2014-06-13 01:37:51

Forrest Gump and Gladiator should both be a lot higher - Forrest Gump because of who it beat, and Gladiator because it is overall a rather dull film.

Silent Bob - 2014-11-17 01:30:39

For A Beautiful Mind, for the Other Nominees, I think In the Bedroom should also be put in that category. It should've won, in my opinion.