So, I’m jumping on the Oscar bandwagon a little late in the day but just in time to squeak in with a few quick words on my favourite best picture winners, in chronological order.
1. It Happened One Night (1934)
Directed by Frank Capra and starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, It Happened One Night, is a delightful romantic comedy that fizzes and crackles with wit and chemistry. It may seem a little dated in places – not least the story of the spoilt heiress who runs away from her responsibilities – but it’s so funny and charming, you really won’t mind.
Watch it here
2. Gone With the Wind (1939)
With the American civil war as a backdrop, GWTW is an epic, Technicolor spectacle. It tells the story of the selfish and spoilt Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara, as she pursues another woman’s husband while her own turbulent marriage to the strong-willed Rhett Butler unravels. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable are unforgettable as the doomed lovers. And that final scene on the staircase…? Ah!
3. All About Eve (1950)
Another absolute classic, All About Eve stars Bette Davis as successful actress Margo Channing whose life is forever altered when Anne Baxter’s up and coming Eve wheedles her way into her life.
4. The Apartment (1960)
With legendary director Billy Wilder at the helm, and Jack Lemmon, Shirley Maclaine and Fred MacMurray in front of the camera, this dark and dramatic romantic comedy was an instant classic.
5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Jack Nicholson gives a truly stellar performance as R.P. McMurphy, the man who wangles his way into a psychiatric hospital instead of prison. If you’ve never seen it, you really should. Now.
6. Platoon (1986)
Oliver Stone’s Vietnam war film follows a very fresh-faced Charlie Sheen as he struggles with the horrors of war, and senior officers Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berringer) and Willem Dafoe (Sgt. Elias).
7. The Last Emporer (1987)
Bernardo Berolucci’s beautifully shot epic follows Pu Yi, China’s last emperor, who came to the throne in 1908 at the age of three.
8. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
“It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.” Buffalo Bill utters these immortal words to his latest victim as Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) investigates, with the help of incarcerated serial killer Hannibal “the cannibal” Lecter. Genius.
9. The Departed (2006)
Martin Scorsese directs an all-star cast in this gritty, violent tale of an undercover cop who infiltrates the local mob, at the same time as it becomes clear there’s a mole working for the mob. Watch the trailer
Beautifully kooky, charming and delightfully refreshing, this black and white silent film harks back to the golden era of silent films.