To get you ready for the upcoming 89th Academy Awards ceremony, we’ve put together this list of some of the greatest Best Picture Oscar winners to ever exist.
“Gone with the Wind” (G)
This 1939 classic is one of the longest films on the list, reaching up to about four hours of total screen time. With multiple intermissions and an impressive musical score, this historical romance features Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh falling in love during the American Civil War. It is a true classic in the history of film and features the memorable line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
“My Fair Lady” (PG)
Based on the stage play, Pygmalion, the film “My Fair Lady” was one of Audrey Hepburn’s most memorable roles, aside from her work in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” In this 1964 Oscar winner, Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) attempts to turn Eliza Doolittle (Hepburn) into a true lady with comical and emotional tribulations along the way.
“The Godfather” (R)
If you’ve seen the 1998 romantic comedy, “You’ve Got Mail,” then you know that “’The Godfather’ is the I Ching. ‘The Godfather’ is the sum of all wisdom.” The 1972 American crime drama was the first of an outstanding trilogy based on the lives of the fictional Corleone family. The brief look into the mobster lifestyle was unlike anything the movie business had seen and it definitely made a name for itself.
“Rain Man” (R)
This 1988 film starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman portrays the story of a selfish car dealer, Charlie (Cruise), who learns that his father has died and left his $3 million estate to an unnamed trustee (Hoffman). Through some sleuthing skills, Charlie learns that the unnamed person is his autistic older brother, Raymond, whom he never knew about. In an emotional, dramatic series of events, Charlie and Raymond go on a cross-country road trip and end up learning a lot about each other.
“Forrest Gump” (PG-13)
Tom Hanks won an Oscar for Best Actor in this 1994 film portraying a lovably slow-witted man, recounting amazing stories from his life, all while waiting for a bus. Forrest Gump tells multiple strangers about his accounts of some of the most defining moments of modern history, including the Vietnam War, the assassination of John Lennon and witnessing the Watergate break-in. The film won six Academy Awards in total and instantly became an American classic film.
This 1997 film is a fictional account based on the actual event of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, as it made its way across the Atlantic from England to the United States. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio portray star-crossed lovers from opposite worlds that are determined to make it through the tragedy together. Along with Best Picture, the iconic film won 10 additional Oscars including Best Director, Best Original Song and many others.
The most recent winner of the honorary “Best Picture” award is the 2015 drama, “Spotlight.” The film features a star-studded cast that portrays The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team of investigative journalists while they attempt to uncover a controversial epidemic of child sex abuse in the Boston area Catholic churches. The emotional film hit on a tough subject and also earned “Best Original Screenplay” at the 2015 Academy Awards.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these classic films to prepare for what is sure to be an outstanding Academy Award ceremony in February.
This article is presented by Parks Lincoln of Tampa in Tampa, Florida.