Max Von Sydow and Bibi Andersson in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957).

Max Von Sydow and Bibi Andersson in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957).

In 1957, Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster introduced the Best Actor nominees with a song called “It’s Great Not to Be Nominated.” And if you look at this list, you might agree, because this is a great list of films and none of them received even a single Academy Award nomination. They all were completely shut out.

To show how much the Academy got it wrong I list each film, complete with the year it was eligible, and then list all the awards I would have nominated them for (I put the category in bold if I would have given them the Oscar). I played fair to the Academy and only list categories that existed in the respective year to each film. I also only include films that I have been able to verify were eligible (either through official lists, or counting on the research of Inside Oscar). And I give them the nominations I thought they deserved that year – which is why some films lower on the list I nominate for Best Picture, and others that are higher are not — some years are tougher than others.

2010 Update:  (1 Feb)  I am going to type everything I update in green, which for this is not much, but will be hopefully quite a bit with all the History of the Academy Awards series starting tomorrow.  For most of the last year, I have tried to see more of the Oscar nominees that I haven’t seen, so there aren’t very many truly great films I’ve seen that I hadn’t seen before and weren’t nominated for any Oscars, but there are three that I want to mention.  I’m not revising the list, just adding these three as an addendum.  This is also a dry run to see how well it works to re-post things at the top.  So, click on through.

Unfortunately, that does leave out a good chunk of amazing films, including early Foreign films whose eligibility I can’t verify (Nosferatu, Vampyr, M, La Belle at La Bette), a lot of Bergman and Kurosawa films with the same problem (Bergman – Smiles of a Summer Night and Winter Light; Kurosawa – Ikiru, The Hidden Fortress, The Bad Sleep Well, Stray Dog and High and Low). Other films that would have made the list but whose eligibility I can’t confirm are The Cranes are Flying, Ivan’s Childhood, Harakiri, Kirol Lir and Solyaris. I also deliberately left out those films that I know were never eligible, whether because their U.S. release was too long after their original release (rules were later changed to eliminate all films originally released outside of L.A. prior to January 1 of the previous year), thus eliminating My Neighbor Totoro, Saraband and Army of Shadows; also left out is Scenes from a Marriage which the Academy declared ineligible due to having been shown on Swedish television.

So here we have it: the 100 Greatest Films Not Nominated for an Academy Award (whose eligibility I can verify).

100. A Mighty Heart (Michael Winterbottom) – 2007

  • Actress (Angelina Jolie)

99. Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch) – 1940

  • Screenplay

98. Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days (Cristian Mingiu) – 2007

  • Foreign Film

97. Don’t Look Now (Nicholas Roeg) – 1974

  • Editing, Cinematography, Score

96a:  The Ascent (Larita Shepitko) – 1978

  • Director, Editing, Cinematography, Foreign Film  (submitted but not nominated)
  • note:  I finally saw this thanks to the wonderful ECLIPSE Series from Criterion.

96. Death and the Maiden (Roman Polanski) – 1994

  • Actress (Sigourney Weaver)

95. Stranger than Fiction (Marc Forster) – 2006

  • Supporting Actress (Emma Thompson), Original Screenplay

94. Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby) – 1971

  • Original Screenplay, Actress (Ruth Gordon), Art Direction

93. The Long Good Friday (John MacKenzie) – 1982

  • Original Screenplay, Actor (Bob Hoskins), Supporting Actress (Helen Mirren), Editing

92. Lust, Caution (Ang Lee) – 2007

  • Foreign Film (not submitted)
The great actress who never won an Oscar - Deborah Kerr as the object of Roger Livesy (and director Michael Powell's) affection in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

The great actress who never won an Oscar - Deborah Kerr as the object of Roger Livesy (and director Michael Powell's) affection in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

91. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell) – 1945

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor (Roger Livesey), Supporting Actress (Deborah Kerr), Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Interior Decoration

90. Bad Education (Pedro Almodovar) – 2004

  • Original Screenplay, Editing, Makeup, Foreign Film (not submitted)

89. Les Miserables (Claude Lelouch) – 1995

  • Original Screenplay, Foreign Film (not submitted)

88. Cold Comfort Farm (John Schlesinger) – 1996

  • Supporting Actor (Ian McKellen)

87. Arsenic and Old Lace (Frank Capra) – 1944

  • Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Cary Grant), Supporting Actor (Raymond Massey), Supporting Actress (Josephine Hull), Supporting Actress (xxx), Editing, Cinematography, Interior Decoration

86. Clerks (Kevin Smith) – 1994

  • Original Screenplay, Song (“Can’t Even Tell”)

85. Watership Down (Martin Rosen) – 1978

  • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Score, Song (“Bright Eyes”)

84. Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod) – 1931-32

  • Picture, Original Story

83. The Princess and the Warrior (Tom Tykwer) – 2001

  • Score, Foreign Film (eligible in 2000 but not submitted)

82. The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock) – 1935

  • Director, Original Story

81. Dracula (Tod Browning) – 1930-31

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Bela Lugosi), Cinematography, Interior Decoration

80. Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders) – 1988

  • Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Foreign Film (eligible in 1987 but rejected)

79. Homicide (David Mamet) – 1991

  • Cinematography

78. Dead Again (Kenneth Branagh) – 1991

  • Actor (Kenneth Branagh), Actress (Emma Thompson), Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design

77. Point Blank (John Boorman) – 1967

  • Director, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Effects

76. To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks) – 1945

  • Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Supporting Actor (Walter Brennan), Supporting Actress (Lauren Bacall), Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Song (“How Little We Know”)

75. 8 Women (Francois Ozon) – 2002

  • Foreign Film (rejected)

74. Flirting (John Duigan) – 1992

  • Original Screenplay

73. Manon of the Spring (Claude Berri) – 1987

  • Adapted Screenplay, Foreign Film (eligible in 1986 but not submitted)

72. Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski) – 1993

  • Original Screenplay, Actress (Juliette Binoche), Cinematography, Foreign Film (not submitted)

71a:  Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata) – 1994

  • Adapted Screenplay, Foregn Film  (eligible in 1988 but not submitted)

71. Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki) – 1999

  • Foreign Film (eligible in 1997 but rejected)

70. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks) – 1938

  • Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Cary Grant), Actress (Katharine Hepburn), Editing, Sound, Interior Decoration

69. The Invisible Man (James Whale) – 1932-33

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Claude Rains), Cinematography, Sound, Interior Decoration

68. Shoot the Piano Player (Francois Truffaut) – 1960

  • Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Sound, Foreign Film (not submitted)

67. Frankenstein (James Whale) – 1931-32

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Colin Clive), Cinematography, Interior Decoration

66. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick) – 1980

  • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Jack Nicholson), Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound, Art Direction

65. Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino) – 1992

  • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Harvey Keitel), Editing

64. The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola) – 2000

  • Director, Cinematography

63. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell) – 2006

  • Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Song (“You Know My Name”)

62. Tristram Shandy (Michael Winterbottom) – 2006

  • Adapted Screenplay

61. Ride the High Country (Sam Peckinpah) – 1962

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound

    John Cusack in High Fidelity as a guy obsessed with music, making lists and the past (in other words, me).

    John Cusack in High Fidelity as a guy obsessed with music, making lists and the past (in other words, me).

60. High Fidelity (Stephen Frears) – 2000

  • Adapted Screenplay, Actor (John Cusack), Editing

59. Solaris (Steven Soderbergh) – 2002

  • Editing, Sound Editing

58. Kill Bill Volume 1 (Quentin Tarantino) – 2003

  • Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing, Makeup

57. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey) – 1932-33

  • Picture, Original Story, Actor (Groucho Marx)

56. Oliver Twist (David Lean) – 1951

  • Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Alec Guinness), Supporting Actress (Kay Walsh), Cinematography, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Sound, Art Direction, Costume Design

55. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Nicholas Meyer) – 1982

  • Picture, Original Screenplay, Editing, Score, Visual Effects, Sound Effects Editing

54. The Others (Alejandro Amenabar) – 2001

  • Actress (Nicole Kidman), Score

53. Kill Bill Volume 2 (Quentin Tarantino) – 2004

  • Director, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing

52. Silver City (John Sayles) – 2004

  • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Chris Cooper)

51. A Canterbury Tale (Michael Powell) – 1949

  • Picture, Director, Motion Picture Story, Story and Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography

50a.  You Only Live Once (Fritz Lang)  –  1937

  • Picture, Director, Story, Screenplay, Actor (Henry Fonda), Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction

50. The 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock) – 1935

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Sound

49. Night and the City (Jules Dassin) – 1950

  • Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Richard Widmark), Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction

48. Jules and Jim (Francois Truffaut) – 1962

  • Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design, Foreign Film (not submitted)

47. This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner) – 1984

  • Picture, Original Screenplay, Editing, Song (“Big Bottom”), Song (“Stonehenge”)

46. Stardust Memories (Woody Allen) – 1980

  • Picture, Original Screenplay, Editing

45. The World of Apu (Satyijat Ray) – 1960

  • Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Foreign Film (eligible in 1959, but rejected)

44. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam) – 1975

  • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Song (“Knights of the Round Table”)

    Jeff Bridges covered in Steve Buscemi in The Big Lebowski (1998).

    Jeff Bridges covered in Steve Buscemi in The Big Lebowski (1998).

43. The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen) – 1998

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore), Art Direction

42. Thirteen Days (Roger Donaldson) – 2000

  • Supporting Actor (Bruce Greenwood), Supporting Actor (xxx), Editing

41. A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood) – 1993

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor (Kevin Costner)

40. Persona (Ingmar Bergman) – 1967

  • Picture, Original Screenplay, Actress (Liv Ullmann), Supporting Actress (Bibi Andersson), Cinematography, Art Direction, Foreign Film (eligible in 1966, but rejected)

39. Oh What a Lovely War (Richard Attenborough) – 1969

  • Picture, Director, Sound, Art Direction, Costume Design

38. King Kong (Ernest B. Schoedsack) – 1932-33

  • Picture, Director, Original Story, Cinematography, Sound

37. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Sidney Lumet) – 2007

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Albert Finney), Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei), Editing

36. Badlands (Terrence Malick) – 1974

  • Director, Actress (Sissy Spacek), Cinematography

35. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick) – 1999

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction

34. The Big Heat (Fritz Lang) – 1953

  • Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Glen Ford), Supporting Actor (Lee Marvin), Supporting Actress (Gloria Grahame), Editing, Cinematography, Sound

33. Repulsion (Roman Polanski) – 1965

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress (Catherine Deneuve), Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Foreign Film (not submitted)

32. Belle de Jour (Luis Bunuel) – 1968

  • Adapted Screenplay, Actress (Catherine Deneuve), Cinematography, Art Direction, Foreign Film (eligible in 1967 but not submitted)

31. The Killing (Stanley Kubrick) – 1956

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Sound

30. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir) – 1950

  • Picture, Story and Screenplay, Art Direction

29. Say Anything (Cameron Crowe) – 1989

  • Picture, Original Screenplay, Actor (John Cusack), Supporting Actor (John Mahoney), Song (“All for Love”)

28. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir) – 1979

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design

27. Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander MacKendrick) – 1957

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor (Tony Curtis), Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction

26. The Petrified Forest (Archie Mayo) – 1936

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Leslie Howard), Actress (Bette Davis), Supporting Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Editing, Cinematography

25. Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh) – 1993

  • Picture, Director, Actor (Kenneth Branagh), Actress (Emma Thompson), Supporting Actor (Michael Keaton), Supporting Actor (Denzel Washington), Score, Art Direction, Costume Design

24. Three Kings (David O. Russell) – 1999

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor (George Clooney), Editing, Sound

23. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks) – 1940

  • Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Cary Grant), Actress (Rosalind Russell), Editing, Sound

22. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks) – 1946

  • Director, Screenplay, Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Supporting Actress (Martha Vickers), Editing, Cinematography, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Sound, Interior Decoration

* note – 1946 is one of the hardest years for Best Picture – my 5 nominees are Children of Paradise, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Best Years of Our Lives, Notorious and Brief Encounter, which leaves out Olivier’s Henry V and The Big Sleep.

21. Stairway to Heaven (Michael Powell) – 1947

  • Picture, Director, Original Story, Original Screenplay, Actor (David Niven), Actress (Kim Hunter), Editing, Sound

20. Blood Simple (Joel and Ethan Coen) – 1985

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor (M. Emmet Walsh), Actress (Frances McDoramnd), Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound

19. Miller’s Crossing (Joel and Ethan Coen) – 1990

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Albert Finney), Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Costume Design

18. Aguirre – the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog) – 1977

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor (Klaus Kinski), Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound, Costume Design, Foreign Film (eligible in 1973 but not submitted)

17. Scarface (Howard Hawks) – 1931-32

  • Picture, Director, Original Story, Actor (Paul Muni), Cinematography, Interior Decoration

16. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin) – 1930-31

  • Picture, Director, Original Story, Actor (Charlie Chaplin), Cinematography, Interior Decoration

15. The Good the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone) – 1968

  • Picture, Director, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Special Visual Effects, Costume Design

14. Gallipoli (Peter Weir) – 1981

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Sound

13. The Fountain (Darren Aronofsky) – 2006

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor (Hugh Jackman), Editing, Cinematography, Score, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup

12. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone) – 1969

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Henry Fonda), Cinematography, Original Score, Sound

11. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese) – 1973

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro), Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction

10. Fantasia (James Algar among other) – 1941

  • Picture, Editing, Sound

9. The Searchers (John Ford) – 1956

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Sound

8. The Ice Storm (Ang Lee) – 1997

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress (Joan Allen), Supporting Actress (Sigourney Weaver)

7. Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges) – 1942

  • Picture, Director, Original Story, Original Screenplay, Actor (Joel McCrea), Editing, Cinematography, Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Interior Decoration

6. Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles) – 1967

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Orson Welles)

5. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin) – 1936

  • Picture, Director, Original Story, Actor (Charlie Chaplin), Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound, Interior Decoration

4. Metropolis (Fritz Lang) – 1927-28

  • Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Interior Decoration, Engineering Effects

3. Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick) – 1957

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Kirk Douglas), Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound, Art Direction

* note – Paths of Glory is the unluckiest film in my awards page. It not only loses all 9 of its nominations, but it comes in second place in 8 of them and loses to Bridge on the River Kwai in all 8 categories (all but Art Direction).

"Old man, your future's all used up."  Orson Welles in his masterpiece, Touch of Evil (1958).

"Old man, your future's all used up." Orson Welles in his masterpiece, Touch of Evil (1958).

2. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles) – 1958

  • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Orson Welles), Supporting Actress (Marlene Dietrich), Editing, Cinematography, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Sound, Art Direction

1. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman) – 1958

  • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor (Gunnar Bjornstrand), Supporting Actress (Bibi Andersson), Editing, Cinematography, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Art Direction, Costume Design, Foreign Film (eligible but rejected in 1957)
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