Oscar’s Crimes – Reform

All Points Bulletin:
Be on the lookout for a small, bald, gold man. He is 13 and 1/2 inches tall, weighs 8.5 lbs, sexual organs seem to be absent, tends to stand very still, constantly wielding a crusader’s sword, and is made of gold plated britannium on a black metal base. He is wanted for a list of crimes against the art of film that spans over 83 years. Consider him to be armed and dangerous.


Over the past several weeks, I’ve done nothing but whine about Oscar’s many mistakes. But the point of dealing with criminals in the modern age is reform. I believe in Oscar’s ability to do good. And in the spirit of the old bromide that says “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” I will try to make up for some of my complaining now.

What I have done is looked for something positive in each year of the Academy’s history. I have decided to list from each year an award where they got it completely right. To its credit, it usually happens that the Academy rewards excellent work in the right way.

And please, before the talkbacks or emails start, this is my no means meant to be a comprehensive list. There are plenty of years where there was more than one Oscar given to the right recipient. And don’t think that if I don’t name the Best Picture for that particular year that I am implying that it didn’t deserve it that year. But for the sake of variety and brevity I’m keeping with just one Oscar per year to call out as hitting just the right note.

With all that said, here you go, Oscar. Ya done good, kid:

1927-28 – Best Cinematography for Sunrise
1928-29 – Best Actress to Mary Pickford for Coquette
1929-30 – Best Picture for All Quiet On The Western Front
1930-31 – Best Cinematography for Tabu
1931-32 – Special Award to Walt Disney for the creation of Mickey Mouse
1932-33 – Best Short Subject (Cartoon) for The Three Little Pigs
1934 – Best Actress to Claudette Colbert for It Happened One Night
1935 – Best Picture for Mutiny On The Bounty
1936 – Best Song for Swing Time (The Way You Look Tonight)
1937 – Best Short Subject (Animated) for The Old Mill
1938 – Best Interior Decoration for The Adventures Of Robin Hood
1939 – Best Actress to Vivien Leigh for Gone With The Wind
1940 – Best Song for Pinocchio (When You Wish Upon A Star)
1941 – Best Original Screenplay for Citizen Kane
1942 – Best Song for Holiday Inn (White Christmas)
1943 – Best Picture for Casablanca

1944 – Best Actress to Ingrid Bergman for Gaslight
1945 – Best Actress to Joan Crawford for Mildred Pierce
1946 – Best Supporting Actor to Harold Russell for The Best Years Of Our Lives
1947 – Best Art Direction-Set Direction (Color) for Black Narcissus
1948 – Best Supporting Actor to Walter Huston for Treasure Of The Sierra Madre
1949 – Best Song for Neptune’s Daughter (Baby It’s Cold Outside)
1950 – Best Cinematography for The Third Man
1951 – Best Supporting Actress to Kim Hunter for A Streetcar Named Desire
1952 – Best Actor to Gary Cooper for High Noon
1953 – Best Actress to Audrey Hepburn for Roman Holiday
1954 – Best Picture for On The Waterfront
1955 – Best Supporting Actor to Jack Lemmon for Mister Roberts
1956 – Best Actor to Yul Brynner for The King and I
1957 – Best Picture for The Bridge On The River Kwai
1958 – Best Short Subject (Cartoon) for Knighty Knight Bugs
1959 – Best Cinematography (Color) for Ben-Hur
1960 – Best Special Effects for The Time Machine
1961 – Best Picture for West Side Story
1962 – Best Picture for Lawrence Of Arabia

1963 – Best Supporting Actor to Melvyn Douglas for Hud
1964 – Best Actress to Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins
1965 – Best Director to Robert Wise for The Sound Of Music
1966 – Best Actress to Elizabeth Taylor for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
1967 – Best Supporting Actor to George Kennedy for Cool Hand Luke
1968 – Best Supporting Actress to Ruth Gordon for Rosemary’s Baby
1969 – Best Picture for Midnight Cowboy
1970 – Best Actor to George C. Scott for Patton
1971 – Best Actress to Jane Fonda for Klute
1972 – Best Picture for The Godfather
1973 – Best Sound for The Exorcist
1974 – Best Supporting Actor to Robert De Niro for The Godfather Part II
1975 – Best Actor to Jack Nicholson for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
1976 – Best Writing (Directly For The Screen) for Network
1977 – Best Writing (Directly For The Screen) for Annie Hall
1978 – Best Supporting Actor to Christopher Walken for The Deer Hunter
1979 – Best Cinematography for Apocalypse Now
1980 – Best Actor to Robert De Niro for Raging Bull
1981 – Best Art Direction for Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1982 – Best Original Score for E.T.-The Extra Terrestrial
1983 – Best Original Score for The Right Stuff
1984 – Best Picture for Amadeus

1985 – Best Costume Design for Ran
1986 – Best Director to Oliver Stone for Platoon
1987 – Best Original Song for Dirty Dancing (I’ve Had The Time Of My Life)
1988 – Best Supporting Actor to Kevin Kline for A Fish Called Wanda
1989 – Best Art Direction for Batman
1990 – Best Supporting Actor to Joe Pesci for Goodfellas
1991 – Best Actor to Anthony Hopkins for The Silence Of The Lambs
1992 – Best Picture for Unforgiven
1993 – Best Picture for Schindler’s List
1994 – Best Actor to Tom Hanks for Forrest Gump
1995 – Best Film Editing for Apollo 13
1996 – Best Actress to Frances McDormand for Fargo
1997 – Best Animated Short Film for Geri’s Game
1998 – Best Director to Steven Spielberg for Saving Private Ryan
1999 – Best Original Score for The Red Violin
2000 – Best Foreign Film for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2001 – Best Actor to Denzel Washington for Training Day
2002 – Best Animated Feature Film for Spirited Away
2003 – Best Original Song for The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (Into The West)
2004 – Best Animated Feature Film for The Incredibles
2005 – Best Editing for Crash
2006 – Best Cinematography for Pan’s Labyrinth
2007 – Best Supporting Actor to Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men
2008 – Best Supporting Actor to Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
2009 – Best Supporting Actor to Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds

Again, there are many more examples, but at least we have these. Please let us know what some of yours are as well.


I'm a family man who got his Drama degree back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and now works at a desk. I love movies of all kinds, and I am still working my way through the list of 1001 movies you must see before you die.

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