Academy Award Winners Pick the 10 Best Movies

About a poll of Academy Award winners including directors, producers, writers, and actors on the 10 best movies ever made.



The People's Almanac took a poll of all living award winners of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences in the fields of producing, directing, screenwriting, and acting. We asked each of them the same question: What do you consider the five best motion pictures of all time?

Thirty-two Oscar winners replied to our question. We tabulated their replies, giving their first choices 5 points, their second choices 4 points, and so on. From the results of this poll, we list the 10 motion pictures that received the highest number of points as the best film in cinema history.

1. Gone with the Wind U.S. 1939

2. Citizen Kane U.S. 1941

3. Grand Illusion France 1937

4. The Grapes of Wrath U.S. 1940

5. The Bicycle Thief Italy 1947

5. Modern Times U.S. 1936

7. All Quiet on the Western Front U.S. 1930

7. Casablanca U.S. 1943

9. On the Waterfront U.S. 1954

10. The Crowd U.S. 1928

Those Who Voted in the Poll

(Films for which they won the Motion Picture Academy Award are in parentheses.)

ACTORS: Cliff Robertson (Charly); John Wayne (True Grit).

ACTRESSES: Louise Fletcher (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest); Jane Fonda (Klute); Princess Grace of Monaco (The Country Girl).

DIRECTORS: John Avildsen (Rocky); Delbert Mann (Marty); Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, West Side Story).

PRODUCERS: Tony Bill (The Sting); Robert Chartoff (Rocky); Philip D'Antoni (The French Connection); Carl Laemmle, Jr. (All Quiet on the Western Front); Frank McCarthy (Patton); Tony Richardson (Tom Jones); Albert S. Ruddy (The Godfather); Sam Spiegel (Lawrence of Arabia); Hal Wallis (Casablanca); Jack Warner (My Fair Lady); Irwin Winkler (Rocky).

SCREENWRITERS: Edward Anhalt (Becket, Panic in the Streets); I. A. L. Diamond (The Apartment); Howard Koch (Casablanca); Norman Krasna (Princess O'Rourke); Ring Lardner, Jr. (M* A* S* H, Woman of the Year); Jeremy Larner (The Candidate); Alan Jay Lerner (An American in Paris, Gigi); James Poe (Around the World in 80 Days); George Seaton (The Country Girl, Miracle on 34th Street); Sidney Sheldon (The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer); Stirling Silliphant (In the Heat of the Night); Daniel Taradash (From Here to Eternity); Frank Tarloff (Father Goose).

Note: Although the screenwriters generally showed a preference for Citizen Kane and Modern Times, the producers voted so overwhelmingly for Gone with the Wind (which was the biggest money-making picture for over 25 years) that it won the overall poll.

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