Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most famous and influential movie directors of all-time. His style has been admired and copied by countless directors, and his movies are still fervently studied today. Hitchcock was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director five different times, but did not win any of them.
2. The Shawshank Redemption Loses Best Picture To Forrest Gump
The Shawshank Redemption is considered by many to be one of the greatest movies ever made. It has repeatedly topped the IMDB Top 250 movies of all-time list, even surpassing The Godfather. Despite this, it was unable to take home the Best Picture Oscar for 1994 as the Academy went for the sentimental cheese of Forrest Gump (which is a good movie... just not a great one.)
Widely considered to be the pinnacle of cinema as an art form, Citizen Kane is essential viewing for anyone who enjoys movies. Director and star Orson Welles was often on the outs with the film industry due to his sometimes avant-garde views and his perfectionist streak. Citizen Kane is his crowning achievement, but it lost Best Picture to How Green Was My Valley, a movie you've likely never heard of.
Unforgiven is Clint Eastwood's masterpiece. It is the role he was born to play. Eastwood's acting style has often been parodied, but if you give the man material within his range, he really can turn in a great performance... and he does so as retired gunslinger William Munny. However, when it came to award season, Eastwood lost to Al Pacino for the film Scent of a Woman. Pacino's win was widely considered to be an attempt at making up for one of the several Oscars he pretty much should've won at the height of his career, and thus the snub cycle continues.
Raging Bull is yet another film considered by many to be among the best ever made. Its style has been imitated countless times and influenced pretty much every boxing movie made after it. In fact, Roger Ebert named it the best movie of the 80s and one of the top ten greatest movies of all time. In 1980, it was up for Best Picture but lost to Robert Redford's directorial debut, Ordinary People.
The Dark Knight was robbed by the Academy. There's no other way to say it. It was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2008 and completely dominated the box office landscape, yet didn't even earn a nomination for Best Picture. A year later, the Academy expanded the list of Best Picture nominees from five to ten, a switch which is often informally referred to as "The Dark Knight Rule."
Oozing with style and great performances, Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive is one of the best films of 2011. The aforementioned Dark Knight rule had expanded the field for Best Picture nominees, and Drive looked to be a sure thing. But once again, the Academy refused to embrace a genre film and only nominated nine pictures, despite having another spot available. Even worse was that the voters nominated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a movie which boasts a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes. Oof.
8. Al Pacino Loses Best Actor for The Godfather Part II
I know I'm saying this a lot, but The Godfather Part II is one of the greatest movies ever made. Every single performance is excellent, and it was one of the first sequels to equal (some say surpass) the original film. Al Pacino was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, and was widely expected to win, but somehow lost to Art Carney for the film Harry and Tonto, a movie about an old man who travels across the country with his pet cat.
9. Fargo Loses Best Picture to The English Patient
Look, no one is planning on making a TV show of The English Patient 18 years after it left theaters. That's the impact of Fargo, one of the Coen Brothers' crowning achievements. Most people now just remember The English Patient as the butt of Elaine Benes' jokes on Seinfeld.
10. Leonardo DiCaprio is Snubbed for Best Actor for Titanic
The Academy just really has it out for Leonardo DiCaprio. Despite starring in Titanic, which was the highest grossing film ever at the time, he was not given an Oscar nomination, while just about every other single person involved with the production was. Over 200 people contacted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to voice their displeasure.
11. Brokeback Mountain Loses Best Picture to Crash
Brokeback Mountain won both the Producers Guild of America and Directors Guild of America awards for Best Picture, as well as the Writers Guild of America award for Best Adapted Screenplay. It is the only movie in the history of film to win all three of those awards and not win the Academy Award of Best Picture. It lost to Crash, which is consistently ranked as one of the worst Best Picture winners of all time.
12. Goodfellas Loses Best Picture to Dances With Wolves
I don't need to tell you how great of a movie Goodfellas is. I'll just say that it was up against The Godfather Part III, Ghost, Awakenings and the eventual winner, Dances With Wolves, a three hour Kevin Costner vanity project. When was the last time you watched any of those?
Anthony Perkins gave the performance of a lifetime in Psycho. No one could have played the role like he did, making Norman Bates a conflicted and pitiful character that remains one of the most memorable of all-time. The Academy didn't see it that way, though, and Perkins received no love from them during awards season.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest directors ever, Stanley Kubrick's films shaped popular culture and have influenced countless filmmakers. As such, Kubrick was nominated for Best Director four times, and lost every one of them. He did win an Oscar for special effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey, but was only awarded that after basically revolutionizing special effects and their capabilities.
15. Saving Private Ryan Loses Best Picture to Shakespeare In Love
Easily the best war movie made, Saving Private Ryan is a gut-wrenching portrayal of the horrors, heroism and sacrifices that made up World War II. Its opening D-Day sequence alone is one of the greatest things ever committed to film. It's well known that the Academy love period pieces, especially about World War II, so what do they do? They give the Oscar to Shakespeare in Love, a historically inaccurate period piece set even further back in time.
16. Humphrey Bogart Loses Best Actor for Casablanca
You've seen the image of Bogart as Rick Blaine more times than you can count. He is one of the most memorable characters in the history of movies. He lost the Oscar to Paul Lukas for Watch On the Rhine. You've never heard of that movie and you have no idea what Paul Lukas looks like.
17. Selma Gets Snubbed for Best Director and Best Actor
If you've seen Selma, you know that it handles some extremely upsetting material with class and respect. For a movie that is a period drama about non-violent protest, the "action" scenes are remarkably well directed and impressive. Place that alongside David Oyelowo's fantastic performance and you've got a couple of quite ridiculous omissions.
18. Pulp Fiction Loses Best Picture to Forrest Gump
Pulp Fiction absolutely changed moviemaking. An entire generation of filmmakers and the rest of the 1990s on film were directly affected by Quentin Tarantino's non-linear crime tale. It's probably the most quotable movie on this list and has inspired the most Halloween costumes. It, just like The Shawshank Redemption, lost to Forrest Gump.
19. The Lego Movie is Snubbed for Best Animated Feature
There's no excuse for this. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96% and a box office haul of 468 Million dollars, how can it be argued that The Lego Movie is not at least a candidate to be the Best Animated Feature film of 2014? This is just another piece of evidence that supports the idea that the Academy system is broken and arbitrary.
20. Mickey Rourke Loses Best Actor for The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke completely transformed himself into Randy "The Ram" Robinson for The Wrestler. His heartbreaking portrayal seemed to have been drawn deep from within himself, pulling from his own ups and downs in Hollywood, and brought him back into the minds of critics as a great actor. Nothing against the eventual winner, Sean Penn in Milk, but it's always seemed like it is a lot harder to play a fictional character than a historical person. With history, you can always fall back on the fact that you're pretending to be someone who really acted that way. When playing a fictional character, you must do a good enough job that the audience accepts the existence of this person even though they have no obligation to do so. Rourke got robbed.