12
   

Worst Best Pictures of All Time

 
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 09:44 am
Not the best of these sorts of lists, but at least it brings the topic up to the present:
******************************************************************
Ten Worst Oscar Best Pictures of All Time

10) Ordinary People

Robert Redford has directed some great movies. Besides his other nominated films like Quiz Show, I also like The Horse Whisperer. Maybe we have this Best Picture winner to thank for giving him the confidence to keep stepping behind the camera, but it couldn’t have been for its own merits. I mean, a family death drama is so obvious. In the year of Raging Bull, The Elephant Man and the unnominated The Empire Strikes Back, we say no. Even though Donald Sutherland always rules.

9) Shakespeare In Love

I always thought this just got the generic costume drama award. It’s cute, and a tiny bit literate (though it’s not that highbrow to make Romeo and Juliet references), but it's still just your standard romance. If you still have fond memories of it, just remember that it beat Saving Private Ryan and Life is Beautiful, and that Joseph Fiennes is now on a failing TV show.

8) Around The World In 80 Days

This movie makes everyone’s list of the worst Best Picture winners, so it would be irresponsible to leave it off mine. The overlong three hour Jules Verne adaptation seems an unusual choice at all. Guess it’s the costumes and the literary cred. I actually like the Jackie Chan version that came out in 2004. Sammo Hung as Wong Fei-Hung and a fight on the Statue of Liberty’s head, that’s some good stuff.

7) How Green Was My Valley

In 1941, this sprawling coal miner epic must have seemed like solid Oscar bait. Back then, they might have thought that competing nominee Citizen Kane was just a technical gimmick that wouldn’t be remembered as technique moved on. They couldn’t have known that it would become the go-to study in film schools for generations. And I don’t think Citizen Kane is the most moving or emotional movie of all time either, but history and the A.F.I. have definitely spoken on this one.

6) Rebecca

I know, it’s blasphemy to say anything negative about the master, Alfred Hitchcock, but his one Best Picture winner is the one that never worked for me. It’s such a slow, boring marital drama where nothing happens. When Olivier finally reveals the big twist, it’s less of an “ah-ha!” and more of a “Why didn’t you just say so to begin with?”

5) Crash

I actually think Crash was a perfectly good story about ensembles intersecting and ironic things happening. I just think the idea that it “tackled” racism was preposterous. Its idea that L.A. is racist because we drive cars is childish. Also, making every story have racism in it is as unrealistic as telling a story with no racism in it. They should have just told entertaining dramatic stories and not been so proud of themselves.

4) Chariots Of Fire

Yes, I’m putting the “classic” sports movie with the landmark score on this list. Maybe I’m a product of the modern age (I’m no fan of MTV editing though), but this movie is boring. I’ll pretend that watching people run is exciting if that’s the "gripping" subject material, but it’s mainly about talking about running. Shin splints are more exciting.

3) Forrest Gump

I actually liked Forrest Gump when it first came out. It was never better than Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption or Quiz Show, which it beat (man, 1994 was a great year for movies), but it certainly seemed like a fine mainstream choice. Well, watch it again and from today’s perspective it doesn’t hold up at all. In a post 9/11 world, some not-full-retard telling strangers about how his childhood girlfriend got molested just seems creepy. Now that the presidential visual effects are nothing special, the movie’s not really about anything.

2) The English Patient

This one always pissed me off. Just make it long and put it in the desert and it’s a Best Picture, right? I resent that. I also resent that people rave about this film’s cinematography. What, they pointed the camera at the desert and it was pretty? This was probably the beginning of the end for Best Picture credibility, as most of this list was inspired by recent winners. We had to struggle to go back before the ‘90s.

1) A Beautiful Mind

This is just the most blatant case of let’s do a movie about somebody with a disease and win awards for it. Now, the real John Nash triumphed over amazing adversity and his wife was a warrior. Just don’t get all smug about how likeable his imaginary friends are and how magical the visual connections he sees in newspapers are. FYI: That’s not an enlightening perspective on schizophrenia. It’s just Oscar bait.
******************************************************************

I'll go with the author on Around the World in 80 Days (that's an easy one -- it's always included in these sorts of lists), which is a genuinely bad movie. Not sure about the others -- not that I think they were the best movies or even particularly good choices, but because I'm not convinced they're the worst Best Picture winners ever. But then that depends on how one defines "worst." Is it based on the inherent merits of the film itself, or is it based on the contention that there were other films that should have been given the award instead. How Green Was My Valley is a good, if flawed, film, but it's a terrible choice considering that it was up against Citizen Kane for the 1941 Academy Award (not to mention The Maltese Falcon and The Little Foxes). On the other hand, Oliver! wasn't a terribly distinguished movie, but 1968 was a pretty weak year for movies, and it might have been the best of an undistinguished lot of nominees that year.

So, what is your pick for the worst best movies of all time?
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 09:55 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Not the best of these sorts of lists, but at least it brings the topic up to the present:


The list appears to represent the opinion of the writer only. Lists based on a survey are usually better.

My candidates would be from fairly recent "Best Picture" winners such as Braveheart, Gladiator, and American Beauty.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:20 am
interesting, i've only seen two films on that list, gump and valley, quite enjoyed how green was my valley
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:29 am
I've seen them all. I can only agree with 80 Days and English Patient as being not worth the time. A bigger head scratcher for me was Slumdog Millionaire. I thought it needed some serious editing.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  4  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:47 am
How are Gladiator and Titanic not on that list? Two of the most bloated, facile mega-movies I've ever seen. If your film's budget is larger than an island nation's economy and it has the plot of a cheap romance novel -- well, it just ain't right.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:47 am
These were never named Best Picture, but then, I rarely go to movies so I wouldn't know a Best Picture if it bit me, but I wanted to contribute some horrible movies to this list anyway - hope you don't mind.

Wings of Fire with Peter Falk - hideous movie. What was it all about, anyway? I sat through the whole dreary horrible thing - should've walked out.

Oliver Twist - when the 1968 version came out, I fell in love with the story, with Fagin, Oliver, Nancy... but I bought it for my daughter and thought I'd watch it before I sent it to her and I found it long, boring, and plainly terrible. I was only 10 when it came out so that shows you what I knew then.

It's a Wonderful World - gack.

Miracle on 34th Street - gack.

When Harry Met Sally - well, anything with what'shername in it - Meg Ryan. I cannot stand her acting - seems she just does one part, and not well at that.

An Officer and a Gentleman - I hate Richard Gere, too Smile

Terms of Endearment - I hate Debra Winger Smile And Shirley MacLean.

That gangster one with Warren Beatty. Actually, I didn't even see that one - just don't like Warren Beatty Smile

ha ha ha



wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:53 am
@patiodog,
patiodog wrote:

How are Gladiator and Titanic not on that list? Two of the most bloated, facile mega-movies I've ever seen. If your film's budget is larger than an island nation's economy and it has the plot of a cheap romance novel -- well, it just ain't right.


The article that joefromchicago linked indicates the list was one person's opinion only. We should come up with our own list based on a consensus among the posts on this thread.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:55 am
@djjd62,
How Green Was My Valley was a good novel, but the motion picture made sentimental crap out it (in my never humble opinion). Still and all, for a sentimental crap movie, it was a good sentimental crap movie. One of the English television networks made a television "mini-series" of it and did a first class job.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 11:00 am
@patiodog,
patiodog wrote:
If your film's budget is larger than an island nation's economy and it has the plot of a cheap romance novel -- well, it just ain't right.


You didn't like The Lord of the Rings?

(Hehehehehehehe . . . i crack me up.)

Gladiator, as an historical motion picure, bore exactly that relationship to history which Christian Science bears to science. I was even more appalled when i learned of the hyssie fits that Crowe threw around the director and producer, telling them he was the world's greatest actor--oh, please. Not an actor with much a range of expression, i found him particularly wooden in that role.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 11:16 am
The Broadway Melody (1928-29) is quite simply a wretched movie, even if we take into consideration the fact that it was produced during the dawn of the sound era. It is a musical with only one song. The acting is leaden, the plot is creaky, and the direction is aimless. I'm not sure, however, that it is a lot worse than the other pictures that were nominated that year -- 1928 wasn't a very good year for films in general. The Crowd is probably the best, but it was a silent picture in a year when everybody was captivated by sound.

Cavalcade (1932-33) is often listed among the worst best pictures. I wouldn't know -- I've never seen it. It's one of only two Oscar-winning best pictures not to be released on DVD. Maybe that says it all.

The Great Ziegfeld (1936) is a mess of a film -- too long, too uninspired, and too loose with the facts (as was the case with all biopics in that era). Nominees Mr. Deeds Goes to Town or A Tale of Two Cities would have been better choices. My Man Godfrey, which wasn't nominated, would have been even better.

You Can't Take it With You (1938): Frank Capra took the Kauffman and Hart stage play and pretty much ruined it -- it's Capra-corn of the worst sort. Robin Hood would have been a much better choice. La Grande Illusion would have been even better, but Hollywood wasn't into giving out awards to foreign films at that time.

How Green Was My Valley (1941): see my comments above.

Going My Way (1944): Another film that, even on its own merits, is just not very good. And given that Double Indemnity was nominated that same year, it looks even worse.

An American in Paris (1951): I don't understand why people like this film. The Gershwin songs are great, but the film butchers every single one of them: the staging, the choreography, the singing -- it's worse than The Bandwagon. How anyone could have voted for this instead of A Streetcar Named Desire (which was nominated) or The African Queen (which wasn't) is an abiding mystery to me.

The Greatest Show on Earth (1952): This film is usually on everyone's "worst best" lists, alongside Around the World in 80 Days. It's a big, sloppy Cecil B. DeMille production, in the spirit of all big, sloppy DeMille productions. High Noon and The Quiet Man were nominated the same year. Singin' in the Rain wasn't (probably because An American in Paris had won the year before -- that's adding insult to injury). Nobody in their right mind thinks that The Greatest Show on Earth is better than any of those three films.

Marty (1955): Today, Marty would be a Lifetime Original Movie, starring Edward James Olmos. It's really just a Philco Television Playhouse script that was tweaked into a motion picture -- and it shows. There's little depth to the characters or to the situations. It's all surface and pathos. In the same year, Mister Roberts (nominated) and Rebel Without a Cause (not nominated) would have been better choices.

More anon...
patiodog
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 11:18 am
@Setanta,
I at least found the first two LOTR films entertaining, though not really the third (which one on behalf of the trilogy, methinks).





OK, that's disingenuous. I saw both Gladiator and Titanic to break the tedium of long-distance drives, and laughed heartily throughout each. I don't expect that this was the intended effect, however.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 11:25 am
@patiodog,
patiodog wrote:
I at least found the first two LOTR films entertaining, though not really the third (which one on behalf of the trilogy, methinks).


I really cracked up when i heard a comedian on the radio refer to those movies as "Brokeback trilogy." Them hobbit boys did seem just a tad gay.
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 11:29 am
@Setanta,
But of course they were. One's even named "Merry." (Wow, that's entanderiffic.)
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 11:41 am
@joefromchicago,
To pick The Greatest Show on Earth over either High Noon or The Quiet Man is a criminal act, not to even mention a mortal sin. High Noon is only the finest Western ever filmed and The Quiet Man is possibly the only John Wayne movie to ever deserve any award.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 11:43 am
@patiodog,
What's this **** about people named Merry???
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:26 pm
@joefromchicago,
3. would be TITANIC

2. Titanic

1. Titanic

Talk about a bloated movie with no real story. I wasted 3 hours of my life watching something that looked like it was written by a 10 year old.

If Cameron hadn't spent millions making a boat sink this one would have sunk faster than the actual Titanic. Waterworld wasted almost as much money and was a better film in many respects.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:28 pm
@parados,
never saw it, never will
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:34 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
What's this **** about people named Merry???



Um. Er. The Irish bloke started it!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:16 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:
. . . and The Quiet Man is possibly the only John Wayne movie to ever deserve any award.


What award would that have been? Most unconvincing accent by an overrated actor in a leading role?
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:44 pm
These are the films that have gotten more than one vote by posters on this thread:

Titanic
Gladiator
Around the World in 80 Days
The Greatest Show on Earth
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Worst Best Pictures of All Time
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 05/26/2019 at 03:21:09