The Oscars were first televised in 1953. Ever since, they have been the preeminent award show in film. However, Hollywood doesn't nail it every year, and some Oscar years are simply better than others when it comes to overall quality of content. Which years were best for the Academy Awards was the best? Film buffs often squabble about which movies really deserved the treasured Oscar statue. Time affords cinema fans the opportunity to look back on all of the Academy’s decisions to see which films remain a relevant part of cinema history - as well as which years simply fielded the strongest groups of nominees.
The most memorable Oscars feature heavyweight battles between great films and breathtaking performances. All About Eve versus Sunset Boulevard, Chinatown versus The Godfather II, and Robert DeNiro versus Jack Nicholson are just a few of the big moments. Some years were rife with major Oscar snubs while in other years the nominations were on the mark. What was the best year for the Oscars? Vote up the years below that had the strongest groups of nominees and vote down the years where the Academy was really stretching.
Forrest Gump (Best Picture)
Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Best Actor)
Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Best Director)
Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Best Original Screenplay)
Pulp Fiction (Best Picture)
Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Best Director)
The Shawshank Redemption (Best Picture)
The ceremony was packed with Best Picture selections that could have won the Oscar in any other year. Pulp Fiction became a seminal movie that sparked the independent film movement of the 1990s. The Shawshank Redemption is often cited as one of the best movies ever made, enjoying a top three spot on Ranker's best movies of all time list.
Titanic (Best Picture)
James Cameron (Titanic, Best Director)
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting, Best Original Screenplay)
Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting, Best Supporting Actor)
Jack Nicholson (As Good as It Gets, Best Actor)
Helen Hunt (As Good as It Gets, Best Actress)
Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential, Best Supporting Actress)
L.A. Confidential (Best Picture)
As Good as It Gets (Best Picture)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Best Original Screenplay)
Good Will Hunting (Best Picture)
Kate Winslet (Titanic, Best Actress)
James Cameron's epic Titanic tied Ben-Hur (1959) with 11 Oscar wins.
The Godfather (Best Picture)
Bob Fosse (Cabaret, Best Director)
Liza Minnelli (Cabaret, Best Actress)
Marlon Brando (The Godfather, Best Actor)
Joel Grey (Cabaret, Best Supporting Actor)
Cabaret (Best Picture)
Deliverance (Best Picture)
Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Best Director)
John Boorman (Deliverance, Best Director)
This was the year Marlon Brando boycotted the Oscar ceremony. The actor sent Sacheen Littlefeather to accept his trophy in protest of Hollywood's treatment of Native Americans.
Bob Fosse's Broadway adaptation of Cabaret set a record for the most Academy Award wins (eight) without winning the Oscar for Best Picture.
All About Eve (Best Picture)
Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, Best Director)
Judy Holliday (Born Yesterday, Best Actress)
José Ferrer (Cyrano de Bergerac, Best Actor)
Sunset Boulevard (Best Picture)
Born Yesterday (Best Picture)
Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard, Best Director)
Bette Davis (All About Eve, Best Actress)
John Huston (Blackboard Jungle, Best Director)
Carol Reed (The Third Man, Best Director)
George Cukor (Born Yesterday, Best Director)
Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard, Best Actress)
There may not have been a better race for Best Actress than the one at the 23rd Academy Awards, and somehow Judy Holliday beat out Bette Davis - one of the most acclaimed Hollywood actresses of the day.