Entertainment

People Who Won Oscars for the Wrong Film 

Ranker Film
Updated June 14, 2019 23k votes 3k voters 328.1k views 23 items

Sometimes, the Academy sets out to right an Oscar mistake, finally giving top awards to the most deserving of actors and directors... but not for their best work. Which stars have won Academy Awards, but a few years too late? For actors and directors who've made it big in Hollywood, there's no award like an Academy Award. No accolade is more prestigious than the Oscar: it is the high water mark of a career and no actor is the same after a win or even a nomination. Unfortunately sometimes the Academy gets it wrong.

This occasionally results in make up Oscars - honoring the great work of top actors or directors, for a film that maybe wasn't their best outing. Other times, the Academy might give a farewell Oscar to an iconic actor who is retiring and hasn't yet won. From Scorsese to Elizabeth Taylor, the Oscars have honored some questionable films and roles, in an effort to make the Oscar dreams of film legends finally come true.

Whatever the case these are the actors and directors who won an Oscar... but for the wrong film. Vote up the directors and actors who should've won Oscars for other films in their bodies of work, but got consolation Oscars instead.
Morgan Freeman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list People Who Won Oscars for the Wrong Film
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

The Film He Won For: Million Dollar Baby
The Film He Should Have Won For: Shawshank Redemption

Million Dollar Baby is a wonderful film, but it's not Shawshank Redemption. Shawshank is currently sits atop many a best movies of all time list and Morgan Freeman is the heart of that film. He should have won Best Actor for Shawshank, long before he won Best Supporting Actor for Million Dollar Baby.
Did they win for the wrong film?

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Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list People Who Won Oscars for the Wrong Film
Photo: Metaweb/CC-BY

The Film He Won For: Scent of a Woman
The Film He Should Have Won For: The Godfather

This almost goes without saying. Scent of a Woman is a great dramedy, but The Godfather is universally agreed upon as nearly perfect. Pacino not winning for that powerhouse performance is one of the worst snubs of all time.
Did they win for the wrong film?

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Martin Scorsese is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list People Who Won Oscars for the Wrong Film
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

The Film He Won For: The Departed
The Films He Should Have Won For: Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, Taxi Driver, The Color of Money

And the legacy Oscar goes to... Sure, The Departed was great. But how is it possible this was Scorsese's first and only Oscar win? This man made many of the greatest films in history, all well before he made The Departed. Martin Scorsese should not be one-time Best Directing award winner.
Did they win for the wrong film?

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Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list People Who Won Oscars for the Wrong Film
Photo: flickr/CC0

The Film He Won For: As Good as It Gets
The Films He Should Have Won For: Chinatown, The Shining

Sure, Jack Nicholson was great in the sugary sweet As Good as It Gets. But that performance pales in comparison to both Chinatown and The Shining, each a cinema classic. He is in literally every scene in Chinatown and Roger Ebert cites his performance as being the thing that keeps it "from becoming just a genre crime picture".
Did they win for the wrong film?

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