The Worst 'Best Pictures'

Not long ago, a pair of Newsweek writers — Mary Kaye Schilling and Dante A. Ciampaglia —put together a list of the best and worst "Best Picture" winners from 90 years of Academy Awards. The Godfather, Part II, Gone With The Wind and Godfather top the list as the best "Best Picture" winners.

But what's at the bottom of the Oscar barrel? According to Schilling and Ciampaglia, these are the worst of the best.

90. Crash (2008)

At one especially melodramatic moment in this overwrought film, Sandra Bullock weeps, "I am angry all the time and I don't know why." 

I do. You're in a bad movie. (I've been kind enough to cue up the moment for you.)

89. Cimarron (1930-31)

Next up: A film billing itself as "Terrific As All Creation," an RKO production starring Richard Dix and Irene Dunn. Critics Schilling and Ciampaglia decry Cimarron's "racist caricatures, lazy pacing and indiscriminate storytelling."

88. Broadway Melody (1928-29)

87. Cavalcade (1932-33)

86. The Greatest Show On Earth (1952)

Maybe this movie is awful, but the trailer is brilliantly bizarre. It begins with three circus clowns carrying props. At one delicious moment, Danny, a cross-dressing clown in a satin dress, hauls in two colorful balls and has a brief, but telling conversation with Cecil B. DeMille, the film's director.

Danny: "Mr. DeMille."

DeMille: "It's a wonderful sound, Danny."

Danny: "Yeah."

DeMille, looking at the clown's ass: "Laughter from children."

Then DeMille looks picks up the ball, looks at the camera and makes his pitch to the audience.

85. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

I guess a movie's Oscar chances improve if it has the word "great" or "greatest" in the title. 

84. Out of Africa (1985)

Pretty sure I fell asleep viewing this. Schilling and Ciampaglia agree, saying this Sydney Pollack movie with star power of Redford and Streep is "like watching a beautifully shot nature doc in slow motion, only less exciting."

83. Around The World in 80 Days (1956)

There's a big brag at about 1:31 of this trailer: "48 fantastic stars and 52 best picture awards." Even the 3-minute trailer is unbearable. Ugh.

82. Forrest Gump (1994)

I hate, hate, hate this film. Makes me want to stalk Robert Zemecki and offer him a box of poisoned chocolates.

81. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

This Elia Kazan-directed film tackles anti-Semitism, but critics Schilling and Ciampaglia call it "superficial."

The full article is here.