All 87 Best Picture Oscar Winners Ranked From the terrifying (Silence of the Lambs) to the undeserving (Birdman), and the classic (The Godfather) to the god-awful (Crash). The comments section is open for yelling!
And for each Oscar Winner, the movies which it beat are listed – an additional reminder of good films in that year.
Gigi is ranked #87; All about Eve is ranked #1.
Information is provided on each movie. The description for All About Eve is:
Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Written by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
The other Oscars it won: Mankiewicz (Best Director); Mankiewicz (Best Screenplay); George Sanders (Best Supporting Actor); Edith Head and Charles LeMaire (Best Costume Design – Black and White); Thomas T. Moulton, 20th Century-Fox Studio Sound Department (Best Sound Recording)
What it beat for Best Picture: Born Yesterday, Father of the Bride, King Solomon’s Mines, Sunset Blvd.
All About Eve is a character study of both Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) and Margo Channing (Bette Davis), and it is perfect. The two women’s roles created lasting archetypes: Eve is the backstabbing climber, and Margo is the aging viper whose secret kindness and vulnerability is matched only by her need for the world to revolve around her. Mankiewicz’s dialogue — he based the screenplay on a short story by Mary Orr that had been published in Cosmopolitan — is sharp and memorable; the actors’ deliveries of it, especially from Davis’ mouth, give the movie a pace and sound that works as well now as it did in 1950. It’s an examination of women’s (rightful) fears about getting older, a glamorous look at post-World War II New York theater society, and the perils of ambition without morality. George Saunders, who plays the vicious “fishwife” critic Addison DeWitt, is another of the movie’s famous characters, and his motives are complicated and opaque as he hones in on Eve. (Chew on this, from Addison to Eve: “You’re an improbable person, Eve, and so am I. We have that in common. Also a contempt for humanity, an inability to love and be loved, insatiable ambition, and talent. We deserve each other.”) Looking back, it’s fascinating that All About Eve and Sunset Blvd., with their similar themes, were released the same year, and there are plenty of people who would argue that Billy Wilder’s movie is the better one: I love both! What I don’t love, though, is that Davis did not win Best Actress for her portrayal of Margo. Since she and Baxter were both nominated in the category — the first time at that point that two actresses from the same movie faced each other — it’s likely that they split the All About Eve vote, and Judy Holliday won for Born Yesterday instead. As Margo would say, it’s funny business, a woman’s career. At least the Academy got it right on Best Picture — one of the best ever made.