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Historic Oscar snubs: Five movies that should have been nominated


Monte Yazzie

The 2018 Oscar nominations were announced this week; as with most years usually the favorites make the cut, but there are always some surprises. This is the Super Bowl for the film industry, and fans arduously pick who they think should win the big prize for best film, actor or director.

However, amidst all the films nominated over the history of the Academy Awards there are always films that barely missed the cut, films that got the infamous snub. It’s interesting how history can treat a film, while some don’t always stand the test of time, some have aged far better than they were received at the original time of release.

So here are five films from the past that should have been nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award:

  • Night of the Hunter (1955)


There are images in director Charles Laughton’s film “Night of the Hunter” that are simply iconic, breathtaking images have influenced cinema in ways that are too great to truly grasp. Peaked with a performance that is still as haunting and malicious as any performance today, Robert Mitchum’s character is the epitome of evil. Populated with romantic dramas in 1955, leaving no room for a film noir as dark as “Night of the Hunter,” the Best Picture winner would ultimately go to Delbert Mann’s “Marty.”

  • Zodiac (2004)


Director David Fincher’s atmospheric, unnerving film “Zodiac” is undeniably one of the best films of the last two decades. The film is a masterclass of procedure, with Fincher quietly filling the frames with nuanced performances, and plotting the chase for a serial killer with deliberate attention to the mood of the 1970’s and the hysteria caused by the media. While it may not have been enough to overtake Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby,” it’s a film that gets considerably better as it ages.

  • The Long Goodbye (1973)


It was a tough year sneaking into the Best Picture category in 1973, with heavyweights like “The Exorcist” and “Cries and Whispers” filling the ballot and the winner “The Sting” maintaining much praise with an all-star cast that included, Robert Redford, and Paul Newman, in leading roles; I like to think that there is still room for Robert Altman’s detective story “The Long Goodbye.” Lead by a stellar performance from Elliot Gould, Altman weaves an impressive story that restructures the characteristics of the crime genre.

  • City Lights (1931)


Charlie Chaplin’s influence on comedic performance is legendary. The films Chaplin produced over his career are lauded for numerous reasons, whether it’s performance, political satire, or its insights into human nature, Chaplin’s catalog is a must watch for any film fan. While all of Chaplin’s work could be categorized as his best, “City Lights” for me is the crowning achievement of the Little Tramp’s career. While Chaplin was more than likely well ahead of his time, it’s a shame that this film wasn’t recognized for its monumental achievement.

  • Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)


Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western “Once Upon A Time In The West” is one of the best Western films of all time. While it’s a shame that western genre films like “Rio Bravo” and “The Searchers” were overlooked for Best Picture nominations, “Once Upon A Time In The West” seemed to have the best chance considering “Oliver!” was the winner of Best Picture in 1968. Leone would again be snubbed sixteen years later for the film “Once Upon A Time In America.”