Every year, the cast and crew of movies hope to hear an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. It brings a lot of prestige to the careers of those involved, with a lot of campaigning happening in the lead-up to the nominations being announced. Then, millions watch as they also hope their favorite film wins.
There have been a lot of major upsets over the years, though. Some films that many felt earned the right to be called the year’s best lost out to movies that went by the wayside of pop culture memory. Here are some of the biggest snubs for the Best Picture category.
Citizen Kane – If you ask any film historian what the best film ever made was, there’s a good chance that they’ll say it was Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane”. Nominated in 1942 for Best Picture, “Citizen Kane” lost out to “How Green Was My Valley”, which was a fine film, but has been much maligned over the years because of its win.
Saving Private Ryan – Almost everybody expected “Saving Private Ryan”, the 1998 war epic by Steven Spielberg, to take home the Best Picture title. After all, Spielberg had won for Best Director earlier in the night. It was a huge upset when “Shakespeare in Love” was given the award, instead, which some credit to the now alleged criminal Harvey Weinstein.
Raiders of the Lost Ark – Another Steven Spielberg film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, set off a major franchise thanks to a massive debut. The film grossed nearly $400 million on an $18 million budget during its run, and was nominated for Best Picture. The Oscars have often snubbed major blockbusters, and 1982 was no exception as “Chariots of Fire” instead won despite not having any actors or directors win Oscars for their work.
Goodfellas – Martin Scorsese adapted the book “Wiseguy” into a film called “Goodfellas” that featured a cast with Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci. The film was universally beloved by critics and some consider it one of the best films of the 1990s. At the 63rd Oscars, the Academy decided that it was “Dances with Wolves” that was the better film, however.