If you want to take a stroll down Oscar memory lane before the Academy Awards on Sunday, Netflix has a wide range of Oscar-winning films for you to check out. We've included some of the greatest here. We've also included some of the not-so-great ones, because the Academy has a long history of making a fool of itself.
In 1929, "Wings" became the first Best Picture winner, and unlike all the others, it is a silent film. This World War I tale spared no expense to re-enact the biplane dogfights that took place in the skies over France, even requiring the pilots to film their close-up shots while flying the planes.
"The Greatest Show On Earth"
is a kitschy Cecil B. DeMille
blockbuster about the drama behind the scenes at a circus. It's also one of the earliest examples of the Academy screwing up, as it won Best Picture in 1952 over classics like "High Noon" and "The Quiet Man." When "Crash" controversially won Best Picture in 2006, this was the film it was compared to.
Audrey Hepburn's legendary debut film, "Roman Holiday,"
has a link to this year's Oscars. The film was written in secret by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo
, whom Bryan Cranston
got a Best Actor nod this year for playing.
Before the Academy became known for handing out all its awards to serious films, it was giving out Best Picture to films like "Around The World In 80 Days" in 1957. It's a fun and brilliantly made comedy, but it beat out DeMille's final (and arguably best) film, "The Ten Commandments." In hindsight, the Academy picked the wrong film to honor DeMille with its top prize.
If you've never seen the 1962 film adaptation of the late Harper Lee's classic "To Kill a Mockingbird,"
you owe it to yourself to see it. It finally got Gregory Peck
an Oscar after being nominated five times, and Horton Foote
's Oscar-winning screenplay is one of the defining examples of adapting a book to the screen.
Twentieth Century Fox
In the same year as "Mockingbird," there was also the legendary World War II epic "The Longest Day." The mission of this film was simple: try to depict the D-Day invasion as faithfully as possible. Judging by its Oscar wins in cinematography and visual effects and its Best Picture nom, it succeeded.
Twentieth Century Fox
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" got William Goldman a screenplay Oscar for a script that includes the famous line, "You crazy? The fall will probably kill ya!" If you're a Marvel fan, you might remember the use of the song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" in "Spider-Man 2." That song came from this movie, and it won an Oscar for that, too.
Fast forward to 1988, and there's another film connected to this year's Oscars in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" In addition to three competitive Oscars, "Roger Rabbit" won a Special Achievement Award for Richard Williams, who directed the animation for the film. Williams is in contention for Best Animated Short this year for his highly detailed pet project, "Prologue."
"Cinema Paradiso" is one of the defining films of Italian cinema. It's a bittersweet tale about a famous director who reminisces about his childhood friendship with the projectionist at the only cinema in his village. It's a love letter to both movies and the experience of watching them, with an ending that is absolutely beautiful.
Daniel Day Lewis' rise to the title of Oscar King began with "My Left Foot" He has been nominated for Best Actor five times and has three wins. Day-Lewis is one of only two persons to win three or more Oscars for leading roles. The other? Four-time winner Katherine Hepburn.
Odds are you've probably seen "Forrest Gump" multiple times. Can't blame you if you did. It won six Oscars in 1995, including Best Picture, Actor, Director and Adapted Screenplay. Still, go see it again, and when you do, see it back-to-back with...
"Pulp Fiction," a film that won Best Original Screenplay in '95 but lost to "Gump" in every category it was nominated against. To this day, "Gump" vs. "Pulp" remains one of the biggest Oscar debates. Watch them together and pick a side.
It's a good thing Matt Damon
won a screenplay Oscar for the script he co-wrote with Ben Affleck
for "Good Will Hunting,"
because if he loses Best Actor to Leo on Sunday, it will be the third time he's failed to win in that category. Don't worry, Matt. It's not your fault.
It still baffles many how "Shakespeare in Love"
managed to beat Steven Spielberg
's "Saving Private Ryan" for Best Picture. Look no further than its producer, Harvey Weinstein
, whose success campaigning for this film made him an awards circuit mainstay.
is one of the best films of the past 20 years to take Best Picture. Hitting different themes while being simultaneously moving and creepy, it features Kevin Spacey
at the top of his game and was a breakthrough film for director Sam Mendes
, who went on to direct the two most recent Bond films, "Skyfall" and "Spectre."