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The Worst Oscar Snubs of All Time

Updated April 26, 2021 57.2k votes 4k voters 35.5k views100 items

Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors the very best in film - at least as they see it. It seems each year these nominations are wildly contended by viewers and critics alike. Critical darlings and fan favorites slip trough the cracks and make for some crazy Oscar snubs come award season - and this Oscar snub list has them all.

Naturally some Oscars snubs are far worst than others, and we also have the benefit of hindsight, but can you believe Citizen Kane didn't win Best Picture? Neither did Shawshank Redemption. 2001: A Space Odyssey wasn't even nominated and neither was The Shining or Do the Right Thing. Then there are the poor actors, actresses, and directors who work hard, turn in excellent performances, and campaign for Oscar gold only to never to make the cut. Academy Award snubs are a matter of opinion, but some just can't be ignored.

This isn't to say each of these snubs should have definitely won that year, but the films, actors, and directors listed here definitely deserved a nomination. Jack Nicholson in The Shining probably shouldn't have beaten Robert De Niro in Raging Bull for 1970's Best Actor award, but he certainly should have been on the ballot.

These are the biggest Oscar snubs of all time! Vote up the people and films you feel were wrongfully snubbed by the Academy, or deserved to win if they did garner a nomination.
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  • 1


    Not nominated for Best Director - North by Northwest, 1959

    The Oscar went to William Wyler for Ben-Hur.

  • 2


    Snubbed for Best Picture - 1999

    The Oscar went to Shakespeare in Love.

  • 3
    1,150
    269


    Snubbed for Best Picture - 1941

    The Oscar went to How Green Was My Valley.

  • 4


    Snubbed for Best Director - The Godfather, 1972

    The Oscar went to Bob Fosse for Cabaret.

  • 5
    882
    200


    Not nominated for Best Picture - 1958

    The Oscar went to Gigi.

  • 6


    Snubbed for Best Supporting Actor - Schindler's List, 1994

    Lost to Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive.

  • 7
    810
    180


    Snubbed for Best Actor - Serpico, 1974

    The Oscar went to Art Carney for Harry and Tonto. 

  • 8


    Not nominated for Best Picture - 1968

    The Oscar went to Oliver!

  • 9
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    329


    Snubbed for Best Picture - 1990

    The Oscar went to Dances with Wolves.

  • 10


    Not nominated for Best Director - Taxi Driver, 1976

    The Oscar went to John G. Avildsen for Rocky.

  • 11


    Snubbed for Best Picture - 1981

    The Oscar went to Chariots of Fire.

  • 12
  • 13

    Lost a Best Actress Oscar from the film Elizabeth to Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love.  Both films are during the Renaissance and have a version of Queen Elizabeth I in them.  Both have the leading man played by Joseph Fiennes, who was snubbed entirely.

  • 14


    Snubbed for Best Picture - 1994

    The Oscar went to Forrest Gump.

  • 15
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    Not nominated for best director for Apollo 13.

  • 19
    1,094
    449


    Not nominated for Best Picture - 1980

    The Oscar went to Ordinary People.

  • 20
  • 21


    Not nominated for Best Actress - Sunset Boulevard, 1950

    The Oscar went to Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday.

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    Did not win Best Supporting Actor in 1995 for Forrest Gump

    Won by Martin Landau for Ed Wood

  • 25