Below are film clips from my thirteen favorite Best Picture winners - not necessarily my favorite movies - just my favorites of the Oscar wins. Settle in to a comfy chair and grab a big cup o' joe - this post is chock full of movie trivia, history, film clips and fun. Please leave a comment at the end if you enjoyed this post - it took me several hours to make my choices and find the best clips I could for you.

A little Academy Award trivia:
  • Did you know that the Best Picture was originally awarded as Best Production?
  • Though the Awards were presentations started in 1927, the first awards ceremony was held in 1929.
  • The very first Outstanding Picture was awarded to two films, Wings for Best Production and Sunrise for Unique and Artistic Picture - a category that was dropped after the first year.
  • The very first Best Picture was awarded to Wings.
  • Titanic (1997) and All About Eve (1950) both hold the record for the most nominations (14) earned by a single film.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Titanic (1997), Ben-Hur (1959) are the three Best Picture winning films with the most Oscars wins (11).
Here are my top 13 favorite Best Pictures in order, starting with the one that is also my favorite movie of all time:

GONE WITH THE WIND, 1939 (13 nominations, 8 wins). I have seen this movie at least once a year for the last 40 years or so. I have the Golden Anniversary VHS edition and the DVD. I love this movie, I love Rhett, I love Scarlet, I love the Theme Song, I love the book. I'll bet you didn't know there were words to the theme song?

Forrest Gump, 1994 (13 Nominations, 6 wins) To this day this is still a film I feel totally connected to. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Forrest Gump would be a baby boomer now too - he grew up and lived in the same decades and experienced the same history as I did and his nostalgia was mine too - Elvis, Viet Nam, Smiley Faces and Watergate. Plus I freakin' love the theme song:

Dances With Wolves, 1990 (12 Nominations, 7 wins) How can you not love a film where a wolf trips Kevin Costner? Besides I learned how to say Buffalo in Lakota Sioux - Tatanka. Seriously, this was a beautiful film from the cinematography to the music score and my second favorite western of all time (sorry Kevin, but Lonesome Dove will always have my western heart):

It Happened One Night, 1934 (5 Nominations, 5 wins including the top 5) Behold the walls of Jericho! I love this scene - "no two men do it alike". Clark Cable could deliver a line with a wink and a smile and some of the best double entendres in the movies.

Gladiator, 2000 (12 Nominations, 5 wins) My favorite historical eras were always the Egyptian and Roman dynasties so I'm a sucker for any movie set in those times - historically accurate or not. I think the thing I loved the most about Gladiator was the dignity of Maxiumus. There was truly something noble and courageous about him that represented the best of what the Roman Empire aspired to. Alas, this was a fictional character but I like to think that maybe there were a few ancient romans like him. "What we do in life echos in Eternity":

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003 (11 Nominations, 11 wins) Frankly,I never thought this series could ever be translated into film, let alone done well. I was wrong. One of the best film adaptations of one of my favorite book series ever. For those of us who have been Lord of the Ring fans for decades this was sort of like closure. Goodbye, Frodo, my old friend.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, 1975 (9 Nominations, 5 wins including the top 5) What can I say? Jack at his best. McMurphy is my hero.

All About Eve, 1950 (14 nominations, 6 wins) Here it is, one of the best lines ever uttered on film, "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"

The Godfather, 1972 (10 Nominations, 3 wins) Gangsta greatness with great direction, great cinematography, great acting, great lines including this pop culture classic:

Terms of Endearment, 1983 (11 Nominations, 5 wins) Aurora, The Pig Stand, an astronaut lothario, driving a 'Vette on the beach and a tear jerking death scene - what more can you ask for?

My Fair Lady, 1964 (12 Nominations, 8 wins) My favorite musical ever made. My favorite scene is the racetrack, "Move yer bloomin' ass!"

Ben Hur, 1959, (12 Nominations, 11 wins) My favorite "epic". Funny how my two favorite epics both starred Charlton Heston (The Ten Commandments was my # 2 fav). Here's the chariot scene - this is like a horse version of the car chase in Bullitt.

Out of Africa, 1985 (11 Nominations, 7 wins) Okay, my very favorite "chick flick". Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and a great theme song by John Berry who won for Best Film Score.

Runners Up: Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Unforgiven (1992), Braveheart (1995), A Beautiful Mind (2001).

See you at the movies.
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