Oscar: How Good or Bad Are Oscar-Winners?

How good are Oscar-winning movies, artistically, not in terms of star power or box-office appeal?

This was the focus of a survey conducted on our website, www.EmanuelLevy.com in 2008 and then updated in 2012.  The 100 respondents, comprised of 50 industry members and 50 moviegoers) were asked to rank-order the ten best and the ten worst films that have won the highly coveted top prize, the Best Picture.

Here is a summary of the results:

Oscar’s Best Pictures (rank-ordered by percentage of votes)

The Godfather (73%)

The Godfather, Part II (72%)

Casablanca (69%)

All About Eve (56%)

Lawrence of Arabia (54%)

Gone With the Wind (51%)

Schindler’s List (49%)

The Best Years of Our Lives (48%)

No Country for Old Men (47%)

Million Dollar Baby (46%)

Unforgiven (44%)

All Quiet on Western Front (43%)

It Happened One Night (42%)

Bridge on the River Kwai (41%)

On the Waterfront (41%)

Shakespeare in Love (39%)

The Departed (37%)

The Apartment (33%)

Annie Hall (32%)

Tom Jones (31%)

Slumdog Millionaire (30%)

Oliver! (29%)


Oscar’s Worst Pictures (rank-ordered by percentage of votes):

Around the World in 80 Days (57%)

The Greatest Show on Earth (54%)

My Fair Lady (53%)

Braveheart (52%)

A Man for all Seasons (51%)

American Beauty (50%)

Chicago (46%)

Gandhi (45%)

Titanic (44%)

Gladiator (44%)

Chariots of Fire (44%)

Mrs. Miniver (43%)

Forrest Gump (43%)

Driving Miss Daisy (42%)

The King’s Speech (41%)

Crash (41%)

Going My Way (39%)

A Beautiful Mind (35%)

The Broadway Melody (30%)

The Great Ziegfeld (29%)

Cavalcade (28%)

Cimarron (27%)



The survey indicated that 73 percent of the respondents thought that Coppola’s “The Godfather” (1972) was one of the ten best films to win the Best Picture.

And, conversely, 57 percent thought that “Around the World in 80 Days” was one of the worst Oscar-winners.