Chicago Miramax

Winning the best-picture Oscar doesn’t just signal that a movie is regarded by Hollywood as the top achievement in the medium for the year. It can also help cement a movie’s status as an enduring classic, like past winners “The Godfather,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” and “On the Waterfront.”

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But the Academy voters don’t always get it right. Tucked away in the 90 years of Oscar ceremonies are best-picture winners that quickly vanished from the zeitgeist, never to be heard from again. That’s often because they weren’t as good as originally thought.

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With no clear frontrunner in this year’s field of best-picture nominees — will the Academy go with audience favorite “Black Panther,” or critical darling “Roma,” or a movie that has been winning through award season like “Green Book” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” — it’s hard to tell just yet if we’re looking at an upset year when the Oscars air on February 24.

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Here we look back on the 10 most disappointing best-picture winners and choose the nominees that should have won:


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