Your Top Three: Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners

Your Top Three: Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners

Feb 26, 2014

Your Top Three is a series here at where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.

There are 85 movies that have been named Best Picture at the Academy Awards. We doubt even one of them is loved by all of our readers, let alone the entirety of the planet's movie fans. So, this could be an interesting discussion.

It also could be one of the most difficult. We may complain about a lot of the winners of late, especially in relation to movies that should have taken the Oscar instead. But there are still a whole ton of great movies on the list -- enough that it's very hard to narrow down the three best among them. 

After all, there are two Godfather movies in there. Plus some of the other classics truly considered some of the best pictures of all time, such as Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia and No Country for Old Men. Okay, maybe it's too early to label that last one with the others, but anyway it's an example of a modern classic among the bunch.

Rather than just name the three titles you consider the "best," which could be kind of limited given the caliber mentioned above, I'd like to see your top three favorites, which hopefully are more interesting and more varied subjective choices. Plus, these are, after all, products of a popularity contest, not a scientific calculation of definite superior quality.

Maybe you have a soft spot for The Sound of Music or unashamedly really like Crash or simply prefer the old-fashioned grand-scale winners like Around the World in 80 Days and The Greatest Show on Earth. Please, don't be afraid to not name the obvious picks.

Here are my top three favorite Best Picure winners:

1. The Apartment

Billy Wilder's cynical non-rom-com is a masterpiece as far as its balance of tone, jumping back and forth between humorous and serious moments and dealing with some heavy issues for something that superficially seems like a light play on office crushes. Brilliant writing, directing, acting, cinematography and especially production design -- it's perfection.


2. The Best Years of Our Lives

Every time I watch this three-hour drama by William Wyler, I'm amazed that a work involving such critical postwar themes was achieved in Hollywood so immediately, and I'm forever impressed with the casting and performance of Harold Russell. There are few American movies so honest about America than this. 


3. You Can't Take It with You

Most people consider Frank Capra's adaptation of the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman play to be one of the least deserving Best Picture winners. It may have even won under unfair circumstances. But I enjoy the heck out of it. I simply adore Jean Arthur and both Lionel Barrymore and Edward Arnold are a hoot as culturally clashing family heads. Even the most liberal or libertarian viewer has to find its messages rather silly, but nobody can deny its heart is in the right place. 


Your Picks (the top four being Unforgiven and a tie for second place with The Godfather Part IICasablanca and No Country for Old Men):














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Will Turner