Every year, the list of Academy Award nominations for best picture is carefully scrutinized for deserving films left off the list. In 2015, many people felt World War II epic “Unbroken,” based on the true story of late Olympian Louis Zamperini, deserved a nomination.
Through the decades, many other popular and critically acclaimed films were overlooked for the best picture award. What follows is a list of some of the biggest snubs in Academy Award history. If you haven’t seen these blockbusters or want to watch again, check to see if they are available on demand through the magic of CenturyLink’s Prism TV.
Widely recognized as the best Batman adaptation, “The Dark Knight” was not nominated for a best picture Oscar. Heath Ledger, the actor who played the Joker, died of an accidental drug overdose shortly after filming for the movie ended. His performance as a psychologically disturbed villain was convincing and universally acclaimed, and he won a posthumous Oscar for best supporting actor in a supporting role.
“Toy Story,” 1996
Toy Story was the first feature-length computer-animated film and the first produced by Pixar. It was the top-grossing film on its opening weekend and eventually amassed more than $361 million worldwide, according to boxofficemojo.com. Its commercial success spawned two sequels, and “Toy Story 4” is slated for release in 2018. Of course, it also generated millions in toy and merchandise sales.
“The Shawshank Redemption,” 1994
This film was overshadowed by Forrest Gump, but in the years since, its popularity has grown. “’The Shawshank Redemption’ is currently ranked at No. 1 on the IMDb list of the top 250 greatest films ever made,” notes cbsnews.com. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman play a pair of prisoner friends who hope to somehow escape. The film’s message of maintaining hope in a hopeless situation apparently resonates with and inspires audiences.
Thought to be the first-ever slasher film, at the time the cinematic significance of the movie was unappreciated. Though it’s seen as legendary horror director Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, the movie was not nominated for best picture. The story of hotel owner Norman Bates has inspired many other films and a current spinoff series on the A&E Network.
“High Noon,” 1952
“Set almost entirely in real-time, the iconic Gary Cooper turns in a memorable performance as veteran town marshal Gary Kane, who has just one more outlaw to face before he can go on his honeymoon with bride Amy (Grace Kelly),” explains cbsnews.com. Kelly played leading roles in several successful films and won a best actress Academy Award before she retired from acting in 1956 to become part of a real-life fairytale when she married a prince and become Monaco’s Princess Grace.
“It’s a Wonderful Life,” 1946
Directed by Frank Capra, this is one of the defining films of the holiday season. It is replayed many times each year on numerous networks, but it was a box office failure that left Capra $525,000 in debt, according to mentalfloss.com. “I didn’t even think of it as a Christmas story when I first ran across it,” Capra reportedly said. “I just liked the idea.” Cary Grant was originally supposed to play George Bailey, but James Stewart eventually got the role for which he is best remembered.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” 1938
Based on a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, “Snow White” was the first full-length cel-animated feature film and the first Walt Disney animated movie. Disney won an honorary Oscar, but the film did not get any awards, even though it earned four times the revenue of any other film from that year. Today its adjusted earnings of more than $948 million places it 10th on the list of highest-grossing films of all time, reports boxofficemojo.com.
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