List

Oscars' Second Best Pictures

By Cecilia Cygnar

These films are all critically-acclaimed classics but they did not win Oscars' most coveted prize: the Best Picture of the year. Was the film that won better? You decide.

  • It's a Wonderful Life

    1946 by Frank Capra

    This holiday "must see" film was nominated for Best Picture but lost to The Best Years of Our Lives. George Bailey would be crushed, but at least he has his friends.

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  • Citizen Kane

    1941 by Orson Welles

    This movie is often touted as the best film ever made, but it lost out on the Best Picture trophy in 1941 to How Green Was My Valley.

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  • The Searchers

    1956 by John Ford

    This John Ford/ John Wayne masterpiece is arguably the best western film ever made, but it was not even nominated for Best Picture, in the year that Around the World in 80 Days won the award.

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  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    1962 by Robert Mulligan

    Though Gregory Peck won a Best Actor Oscar for his fantastic portrayal of Harper Lee's Atticus Finch, this film lost the Best Picture Oscar to Lawrence of Arabia.

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  • Vertigo

    1958 by Alfred Hitchcock

    This Hitchcock masterpiece was not even nominated for Best Picture in the year that Gigi won the award. Vertigo, often considered Hitchcock's best film now, was not well-received when it came out in 1958.

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  • Psycho

    1960 by Alfred Hitchcock

    Unlike Vertigo, this film was an immediate critical and audience success for Hitchcock, but that did not mean it got nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. The Apartment won that year instead. Nevertheless, like Citizen Kane, this film changed movie making forever.

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  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    1969 by George Hill

    This Newman-Redford cult classic film might have given its name to a film festival but it failed to win the Best Picture, losing to Midnight Cowboy. Four years later, Newman and Redford paired again with director George Roy Hill for The Sting which did win Best Picture for 1973.

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  • Chinatown

    1974 by Roman Polanski

    One of the best endings in cinema history missed out on Best Picture fame, losing to The Godfather Part II.

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  • Goodfellas

    1990 by Martin Scorsese

    Martin Scorsese had to wait until 2006's The Departed to win not only a Best Director Oscar, but a Best Picture Oscar as well. Along with Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, Goodfellas is a Scorsese triumph, but all three lost the coveted Best Picture trophy. Goodfellas lost to Dances with Wolves, Raging Bull lost to Ordinary People, and Taxi Driver lost to Rocky.

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