By Joules Dellinger
Did you know that there have been almost 90 Best Picture winners over the years? With awards season coming, I thought it would be fun to pick my favorite Best Picture winner of each decade! Have fun reading my picks and browse DVD Netflix's list of every Best Picture winner, the only place you can rent them all!
With just two Best Picture winners in the 1920s, I’m going to have to go with The Broadway Melody of 1929. This was the first musical to win the Best Picture award and it’s filled with show tunes! You can find it here:
The 1930s had some notable and memorable Best Picture winners, including It Happened One Night and You Can’t Take it With You. However, my winner for this decade is Gone With the Wind, the 1939 Best Picture winner. Clocking in at almost 4 hours, it’s quite the saga… I remember watching it on (multiple) videotapes when I was a pre-teen. Even though it was released almost 80 years ago, it’s still one of those classics that will keep you hanging on to the next scene. Find it here:
I’m not as familiar with the Best Picture winners from the 1950s, but they include: Ben-Hur, Gigi, Around the World in 80 Days, and From Here to Eternity. I chose 1952’s Best Picture winner of The Greatest Show on Earth because it reminds me a bit of the new movie The Greatest Showman. Cecil B. DeMille directs The Greatest Show on Earth, and it is described as a splashy, three-ring epic about the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I’m adding it to my queue now! Find it here:
My 1960s pick for Best Picture was super difficult for me because winners include West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964), and The Sound of Music (1965). All three of these movies are well-loved by me, but one of them has to win…
I’m going to pick West Side Story only because I currently have the music downloaded on my iPhone so that I can sing along to the score on my way into work. From the instrumental first song to the emotional death scene, I feel like my fellow drivers should thank me for entertaining them on a regular basis by singing along to this soundtrack! Find it here:
The 1970s were also a super competitive time for Best Picture movies, with winners including: The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Rocky (1976), and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).
I’m going to have to pick The Godfather AND The Godfather Part II as the winners of this decade. Even now, forty years later, there are disagreements about which movie is better. But the one thing that is clear is that viewers are passionate about both! You can find them here:
My 1980s pick is absolutely going to be the 1988 Best Picture winner: Rain Man, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. Tom Cruise was a force to be reckoned with in the '80s, and this movie was (arguably) one of his best. I loved the development of the relationship between Charlie Babbit and his autistic savant brother, Raymond. You can find it here:
Oh goodness, the 1990s list is really, really hard to pick from. Just look at all this '90s goodness:
1990 winner: “Dances With Wolves”
1991 winner: “The Silence of the Lambs”
1992 winner: “Unforgiven”
1993 winner: “Schindler’s List”
1994 winner: “Forrest Gump”
1995 winner: “Braveheart”
1996 winner: “The English Patient”
1997 winner: “Titanic”
1998 winner: “Shakespeare in Love”
1999 winner: “American Beauty”
I’m going to have to pick Titanic as the winner of the decade. Even though there is obviously some amazing competition, Titanic was absolutely amazing to watch on the big screen. It won 11 Oscars and, even now, viewers argue over whether Jack really needed to die, or if he could have fit on that piece of wood with Rose. I remember just sobbing in the movie theater at the end of the movie. Stock up on tissues and find it here:
I enjoyed almost every one of the winners from the 2000–2009, but I’m picking Chicago (2002) as my decade winner. I recently re-watched it and fell in love with the movie – and the songs – all over again. Man, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones were absolute perfection! Find it here:
My 2010s Pick: TBD.....
Since this decade isn’t over yet, there are a couple more future contenders! This year’s Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 and the 90th Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 4, 2018.
In the meantime, go through this list of EVERY Best Picture winner and rent the ones you haven't seen (or the ones you love to rewatch)!
Joules Dellinger has been blogging since 2011 at Pocketful of Joules on everything from fashion, travel, parenting, thrifting and lots of lots of silliness.
She likes movies where the women kick butt and the men are goofy (and shirtless). She doesn’t care which Kardashian is pregnant and thinks Beyoncé is overrated. Follow her on Twitter at @JoulesDellinger or on Instagram at @PocketfulofJoules