12 Classic Movies the Oscars Shouldn't Have Snubbed


The Oscars is the grandest, most prestigious award show that's dedicated entirely to film. For 89 years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has honored the world's best movies, actors, directors, cinematographers, composers and everyone in between with golden Oscar statues, declaring each one of them the best of the best.

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And for the most part, those awards have gone to the right people.

The Academy is comprised of over 7,000 men and women working in cinema. That's a lot of people and a lot of opinions about movies. So it's not surprising that throughout the years, there have been quite a few snubs that probably deserved, in retrospect, to win Best Picture. Not that the actual winners weren't also deserving, but there are a handful of classic films that definitely should have won, but didn't.

With the Oscars coming up on February 26th, now is as good of time as any to remember some of the classics that totally got snubbed. Because snubbed movies deserve love too.

The Shining (1980)

Jack Nicholson played a psychopathic writer who tries to murder his family in a secluded hotel in the middle of a blizzard (spoiler alert). The scene where he "huffs and puffs and blows" Shelley Duvall's house in with an axe is one of the greatest movie scenes of all time.

"Heeeeere's Johnny!"

What actually won: The award for Best Picture in 1980 went to Ordinary People.

Scarface (1983)

The cult classic from Brian De Palma didn't win Best Picture, which makes sense, because it wasn't nominated. But based on everyone's obsession with Tony Montana, you'd think it would have gotten a nod.

"Say hello to my little friend."

What actually won: The award for Best Picture went to Terms of Endearment.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Coen Brothers plus The Dude equals pure cinematic gold.


What actually won: The award went to Shakespeare In Love.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Here's something that's a little hard to believe: No science-fiction film has ever won Best Picture at the Oscars. Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey should have at least been nominated, and considering the impact it has had on the last nearly 50 years of cinema, it certainly deserves the crown more than that particular year's winner. It was a game-changing masterpiece, due to its innovative special effects, and it was the biggest box office hit of 1968.

What actually won: The big winner that year was Oliver!.

The Truman Show (1998)

The first movie that proved Jim Carrey could act. You know, seriously act. The Truman Show was thought-provoking and surprisingly moving. It was a look at what would happen a TV show spied on everything we did, turning us into a secret reality show. The movie hit the mark in so many social ways, but the Academy didn't give it the recognition it deserved.

What actually won: Of course, the award went to Shakespeare in Love.

Vertigo (1958)

James Stewart and Kim Novak starred in Alfred Hitchcock's perverse story of obsession. Technically, Vertigo was a flop at the box office, which proves that people just weren't ready for Hitchcock in 1958. And clearly neither was the Academy.


What actually won: The award that year went to Gigi.

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Cool Hand Luke came out the same year as some other really great counter-cultural movies (like The Graduate and Bonnie & Clyde). In terms of box office receipts, they all happened to outshine the Paul Newman classic (of course, at the time, it wasn't a classic).

credit: Warner Bros.

What actually won: The winner that year was In the Heat of the Night.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray is hilariously forced to relive the same day over and over and over again, which turns out to be an existential nightmare. But even though it's a movie so many of us have watched over and over and over again, it wasn't nominated for Best Picture, even though it most definitely should have been. Because Bill Murray is king.

What actually won: Schindler's List took home the prize that year, which obviously deserved every accolade it received. But... Groundhog Day.

Do the Right Thing (1989)

Spike Lee's film was revolutionary, hilarious, and brilliant. It came out long before #OscarsSoWhite became a thing, and it was clear that the Academy had no love for a movie honestly depicting real-life racial tensions.

Spike Lee

What actually won: Best Picture winner that year was the Pollyannaish Driving Miss Daisy, a movie that also theoretically depicted racial tensions, but in a less "fight the power" kind of way. That, it turned out, the Academy was more comfortable with.

Thelma and Louise (1991)

We've always wondered how a movie can land six nominations in major categories (two in Best Actress for Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, Screenplay, Director, Cinematography and Editing), but somehow not get a Best Picture nomination. Perhaps we'll never know.


What actually won: Silence of the Lambs took the prize for Best Picture.

Singin' in the Rain (1951)

The Academy is super into musicals (La La Land is currently nominated for no fewer than 14 Oscars), but they were definitely not into Singin' in the Rain starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. But they should have been, because it's all about Hollywood. And Hollywood loves Hollywood.


What actually won: The winner of the Best Picture award was The Greatest Show on Earth.

City of God (2002)

It's a pretty big deal with a foreign language film picks up four major Oscar nominations, but it's confusing when said film doesn't land a Best Picture nod. City of God was a brilliantly done movie that absolutely deserved the nomination.

City of God
credit: Miramax

What actually won: Ultimately, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King took home the Oscar that year.

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