MovieChat Forums > CavalcadeĀ (1933) Discussion > Saw Cavalcade. I have now seen all the B...

Saw Cavalcade. I have now seen all the Best Picture Oscar winners!

About 1990, I decided I would make an effort to see all the Best Picture Oscar winners. I saw quite a few of them that year, but it's taken me years to see them all. Sometimes I lose interest and don't see the old ones, sometimes I don't have cable or I don't live close to a good video store. And for a while, I wasn't making much of an effort to see the new ones as they came out.

I finally got Netflix a few years ago and quickly realized that was a good way to see the ones that had so far eluded me. So I saw stuff like Cimarron, How Green Was My Valley, All the King's Men and From Here to Eternity. And also the recent ones I hadn't yet seen, like Million Dollar Baby, Slumdog Millionaire, A Beautiful Mind and Crash.

But Netflix doesn't have Cavalcade. So it looked like I was stuck there. It was the only one left.

But Turners Classic Movies showed it tonight as part of their 31 Days of Oscar programming, so I finally saw it! So I've finally seen all the movies that won the Oscar for Best Picture!

And I very much enjoyed it. I was a little concerned about watching it because I heard it was pretty bad, but I needn't have worried. There's much worse than Cavalcade for Oscar winners!

I started this thread for a couple of reasons. First, to find out how many people have seen all - or nearly all - the Best Picture Oscar winners. What was the first one you saw, and what was the last one? After you decided to see them all, how long did it take?

Also, what are the favorites among the Best Picture Winners? And what are the films that you consider the worst?

The first Best Picture Oscar winner I ever saw was probably either Gone With the Wind or Casablanca or Oliver! (My parents watched a lot of old movies and I remember seeing all these when I was a kid.) The last was Cavalcade.

My favorite Best Picture Oscar Winner is Casablanca. It's still my favorite after all these years. I don't know how many times I've seen it, more than 20 times, I'm sure.

My least favorite is probably Out of Africa, but if I looked at the list I might find something I dislike more than Out of Africa that I've forgotten about. (And count me among the fans who don't have much use for Crash.)

Janet! Donkeys!



Annie Hall is one of my favorite movies! It's the first movie I ever saw that won Best Picture after I saw it. (I think I was 13 when it came out.)

I gave up on the IMDB Top 250. It changes so much. I've been down to only one film left (that was Sleuth, which is kind of hard to see because it's not on Netflix) and then I saw it on YouTube but some other movie had entered the list. Maybe it was The Intouchables or A Separation, but it was something foreign that wasn't on DVD yet and by the time it opened in my area, several more films had crept on to the list. Last I looked, there were about ten movies on the Top 250 that I haven't seen.

Janet! Donkeys!



Congratulations! I've only gotten to around 70. I'm missing a lot of the movies from the '30s and '40s, but TCM is helping me with those as well. I'm going to knock out at least five more with this year's "31 Days of Oscar."

What was the first one you saw, and what was the last one?
I don't know what the first one would have been. The first one I remember seeing in the theaters was Rain Man when I was 11 (though my mom swears up and down that she took me to see Terms of Endearment and The Last Emperor with her). I've seen most of the winners released since then in the theaters. I think I saw everything except for Braveheart, Gladiator, and Crash in the theaters and the LOTR movies, which I have yet to see.

After you decided to see them all, how long did it take?
I haven't done it as methodically as you have. I guess I really started keeping track of this within the past 10 years or so, though. I fully intend to see all the Best Picture winners (16 to go) and visit all 50 states (23 to go).

Also, what are the favorites among the Best Picture Winners?
My favorites are The Sting and An American in Paris. They may not be the best on the list - like Schindler's List or The Godfather - but I can watch them over and over again.

And what are the films that you consider the worst?
I really disliked Gigi, I was bored in The Deer Hunter and Driving Miss Daisy, and I HATED Out of Africa, A Beautiful Mind, and Crash. I remember not liking Unforgiven at the time (when I was around 15), but I'd need to see that one again to really give an informed opinion.


The Sting and An American in Paris are both really incredible movies. I haven't seen American in Paris for a while but I watch The Sting every so often.

I liked A Beautiful Mind a lot more than I thought I would. It's not my kind of movie at all. Jennifer Connelly was great and Russell Crowe was more tolerable than usual, almost moderately so.

Yeah, give Unforgiven another chance. I was really blown away by it. I think I saw it several times at the theater and was very pleased when it won Best Picture.

Janet! Donkeys!


I will. I mean, it's been more than 20 years since I saw Unforgiven, and (I hope) I've matured significantly since then. LOL!


Not counting the 2013 nominees, I've seen all the best picture nominees with the exception of three. The Patriot is lost and East Lynne and The White Parade, which are unavailable except in the UCLA film library.

My least favorite is probably Cimarron. Its just so damn dated. I hate the musicals, especially West Side Story, but that's just personal preference.

Its curtains for you Rocky. Curtains.


That's impressive! I recently noticed that I've seen all but two of the ten nominees for 1939 (Love Affair and Goodbye, Mr. Chips), but there's a lot of years (even recently) where I've only seen the movie that won and maybe one other.

(I just took a look at the list of nominees and the earliest year where I've seen all five is 1962.)

Janet! Donkeys!


I watched it for the same reason, so I can see them all. I can't believe this won over 42nd Street. There must have been something in the way it summed up the era for those who lived it. I think I'll file it under "showing its age" along with Mrs. Miniver and other BPs.

Still not as bad as the ones I would pay to not see again, like The Greatest Show On Earth, Cimarron, Braveheart, The Hurt Locker
but it's among those I've seen once and I'm good.

There are some BPs I love: Gigi, An American in Paris, Terms of Endearment, The Silence of the Lambs, You Can't Take It With You

Some are great but very heavy: Schindler's List, The Lost Weekend

Some are "good but not BP material" to me: Rain Man, Tom Jones, All The Kings Men, The Departed
(In each of those years, another deserved it more, or they were weak years.)

I know everyone has their opinions, and that's what makes it interesting. (I happen to like Shakespeare in Love.)

"Well, for once the rich white man is in control!" C. M. Burns


42nd Street is just amazing. I'm not really a big fan of musicals, but I must admit that I can really get into a well-made, top-of-the-line musical. I love Shall We Dance, Follow the Fleet, The Band Wagon, Easter Parade, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Footlight Parade, Singin' in the Rain, Cabaret. (And Here Come the Girls! I love that beyond all reasonable expectations!) And 42nd Street is one of the best. (But for 1933's Best Picture, I would pick King Kong, just barely edging out Duck Soup, which also wasn't nominated.)

I like Greatest Show on Earth and Cimarron all right. Cimarron is some interesting film-making, to say the least, and Irene Dunne can do no wrong with me. And The Greatest Show on Earth is a circus movie. I love circus movies! Greatest Show isn't as great as Freaks, but what is?

Hurt Locker didn't leave much impression. And Braveheart is kind of like Birth of a Nation in that it's very exciting to watch but at its heart, it's just too detestable.

Oh, man, do I love The Lost Weekend! Yeah, it's heavy, but it's just so well-made and well-acted that you hardly notice that it's also supposed to be important. (Unlike Schindler's List, which just screams "This is important, suckas!" I like Schindler's List, I hasten to add.)

I was rooting for Shakespeare in Love as well. But it was a tough tough year with four great movies (Thin Red Line is one of my very favorite war movies) and one somewhat more moderate contender (Saving Private Ryan). The best film won.

Janet! Donkeys!


Yeah, it's interesting which films weren't even nominated. (His Girl Friday was not, but the less witty, slower-paced original The Front Page was. [i[Singin' In The Rain[/i] was not.)

Would love to watch TCM with you. Totally agree on Irene Dunne. (Love her appearance on What's My Line? on YouTube too.)

P.S. Congratulations on watching all the BPs!

"Well, for once the rich white man is in control!" C. M. Burns


Last night I watched Wait Until Dark and I was really into it! I've been wanting to see it for close to 20 years because I had a co-worker who just raved about it.

Later I watched the 1939 version of Of Mice and Men on TCM On Demand. I don't usually watch two movies in one day but I got kind of caught up in Of Mice and Men. It's really good! I've never seen the whole thing. (Great opening! The Wolf Man and the Penguin running to jump up on a moving boxcar!) Of Mice and Men probably would have won Best Picture in just about any other year but it barely squeaks into honorable mention in 1939.

I also had Virginia Woolf on for a while when I was doing some other stuff. I've seen it a bunch of times. It's great! A perfect movie. What with all the great stuff in this movie, my favorite bit is Sandy Dennis excitedly shouting "Hump the Hostess!" when George is listing the party games.

Janet! Donkeys!


I actually just saw it myself so I'm now in the same category as you

What was the first one you saw, and what was the last one?

First-The Sound of Music (1965)
Last-Cavalcade (1933)

After you decided to see them all, how long did it take?

When I embarked on the quest to watch them all, I'd say it took five years (I primarily waited much of that time for Netflix to release it...but I'm watching the TCM recording now)

what are the favorites among the Best Picture Winners?

I'll do a top ten list of my favorites amongst them and then top ten of which ones I consider the best:


1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
3. The Sound of Music (1965)
4. Titanic (1997)
5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
6. Schindler's List (1993)
7. Forrest Gump (1994)
8. Gone With the Wind (1939)
9. Gladiator (2000)
10. The Godfather: Part II (1974)


1. Gone With the Wind (1939)
2. Casablanca (1942)
3. Schindler's List (1993)
4. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
5. The Godfather (1972)
6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
7. On The Waterfront (1954)
8. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
9. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
10. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

And what are the films that you consider the worst?

The only one I really disliked was Shakespeare in Love. I'll do a top five list here and list which one deserved to win, even if #2-5 I consider good films


1. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
SHOULD HAVE WON: Saving Private Ryan (surprise surprise!)

2. Crash (2005)
SHOULD HAVE WON: Brokeback Mountain

3. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

4. An American in Paris (1951)
SHOULD HAVE WON: A Streetcar Named Desire

5. American Beauty (1999)

When God made Tom Cruise, he was only joking.


I'll go to my grave thinking that The King and I should have won over Around The World In 80 Days. I think the only reason it won was because of all the major movie stars of the day making a cameo appearance. The King And I had romance, humor, great songs and Around The World was a big snore-fest.


I understand not loving An American in Paris, but you really think it's one of the five worst? I mean, the choreography alone makes it a very worthy film.


The only Best Picture Oscar winner I truly think is dreadful is "Shakespeare in Love"...those other four I also enjoyed but felt another win was more deserving. As great as "An American in Paris" is, I feel "A Streetcar Named Desire" was more deserving of Best Picture....there probably are others I could use for that slot but that one just stood out due to how excellent "Desire" was.

When God made Tom Cruise, he was only joking.


Oh, OK. That makes a little more sense. Personally, I love Streetcar, but I couldn't imagine An American in Paris making anyone's bottom five, you know? It's a great film, even if it wasn't the most deserving that year.

Just saw Going My Way and saw that it beat out Gaslight, Double Indemnity, and Since You Went Away. My jaw kind of dropped over that one, but then my mom made an interesting point. Going My Way was the only nominee that was hopeful and escapist during a time when the country needed hope and escapism. That's probably why it won so much.


Around 1998 I decided to do the same thing. I've seen quite a few but had some lapses along the way so I still haven't seen them all yet. But with Turner Classic Movies doing their 30 Days Of Oscar I'm hoping to catch up on a few.


Ooh, fun thread!

What was the first one you saw, and what was the last one?

The first Best Picture I saw was probably something family-oriented like The Sound of Music, or otherwise Gone with the Wind from the womb! But practically, I'm on the young side, and Titanic was probably the first Best Picture winner I saw in a single sitting, from start to finish. I think A Beautiful Mind was the first I actually saw in a theater. But I've seen most of the Best Picture winners since then in the theaters.

The last Best Picture I saw was Cavalcade, which I just watched tonight.

After you decided to see them all, how long did it take?

I've been a film buff for years and go out of my way to watch all the Oscar nominees and most critically acclaimed films. I don't think I ever methodically decided to see all the Best Picture winners ASAP, but I've been more consciously seeking out great films for the past 10 years. But I still have some Best Pictures left to see:

The Broadway Melody
The Greatest Show on Earth
Gigi - but I've fast-forwarded through it before
The Last Emperor

Also, what are the favorites among the Best Picture Winners?

Grand Hotel
It Happened One Night
Gone with the Wind
Mrs. Miniver
The Apartment
West Side Story
The Sound of Music
Annie Hall
The Deer Hunter
The Silence of the Lambs
Schindler's List
Forrest Gump
Shakespeare in Love
A Beautiful Mind
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Slumdog Millionaire

Other winners that I don't count among my top favorites but which are undeniably excellent:
All About Eve
On the Waterfront
Midnight Cowboy
The Godfather
The Godfather Part II
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

And what are the films that you consider the worst?

There are many Best Pictures I disagree with, but they are still very good or great films. A few are even listed above.

Then there are so many solid, fine films which I would hardly resent had they not won Best Picture for all the wrong reasons or beaten far superior films (How Green Was My Valley, The Lost Weekend, A Man for All Seasons, Patton, Chariots of Fire, Rain Man, Driving Miss Daisy, The Hurt Locker, The King's Speech, Argo, maybe even 12 Years a Slave, the more I think about it).

Then there are the stuffy, unfocused, drawn-out winners from the 1930s. Cavalcade especially, though it's nothing if not compulsively watchable. The Great Ziegfeld is mostly boring; there were better musicals that year alone. The Life of Emile Zola and Mutiny on the Bounty are solid but unspectacular and belong more to the list above.

My own least favorites probably owe more to my personal taste than anything else. I can't stand David Lean's two winners, The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. They just bored me to tears, and as much as I love Peter O'Toole, I have no desire to ever see either of them again. And I don't know why, but I didn't think No Country for Old Men was even a good movie, as excellent as Javier Bardem was. No Country was technically well made, as was The French Connection, but these were two of my least favorites for sure.

Finally, there are the winners that are hardly any good - Cavalcade, Ziegfeld, Gentleman's Agreement, Around the World in 80 Days, Out of Africa, and The English Patient.

So if I had to make a bottom 10, I would include:

Cavalcade (just all over the place and not very well done, though worth the watch)

The Great Ziegfeld (pleasant in moments, but it drags)

The Life of Emile Zola (fine, but forgettable)

Gentleman's Agreement (as with Cavalcade, I was never bored, but it just wasn't very well done, hardly convincing at all)

Around the World in 80 Days (pleasant and technically strong, but far from a Best anything)

Lawrence of Arabia (guess it's just me, but boring)

The French Connection (so overrated and hardly suspenseful outside of the excellent car chase scene)

Out of Africa (boring and stilted except for the flying scene, and I love Meryl)

The English Patient (has its moments, but Elaine Benes was generally right about this bloated romance)

No Country for Old Men (lacking suspense and appealing characters, though Bardem deserved his Oscar and the sound design was impeccable)


I'm watching them too! All I have left are The Broadway Melody, Marty and Twelve years a slave.
My favorites were Gone with the wind, Lawrence of Arabia, The Life of Emile Zola and The sound of Music.
My least favories were Crash, Midnight Cowboy, Tom Jones, Mrs. Miniver and The English Patient

I did sixty in five minutes once...


Funny to come upon this thread. I am in the process of rewatching all of the Best Picture winners, because I am putting a book together about them. Wish me luck!

I am in my mid-50's and have been a movie fanatic since before I was ten. At one point in the 90's I decided to go out of my way to see the winners I had not yet seen (there weren't many left) and I keep up every year. I am pretty sure "Cavalcade" was the toughest to find for myself as well, and I am now waiting to get a copy of it before taking notes. I am also seeking copies of "Wings" and "The Broadway Melody" before completing my section leading up to 1939. I may end up buying them, which would be slightly ironic as I think "The Broadway Melody" is a prime candidate for Oscar's worst Best Picture.

Here is my brief on take the 30's films I have recently revisited:

1) All Quiet On The Western Front: Still one of the most powerful anti-war films ever made. You can feel its influence on every one to follow.

2) Cimarron: Edna Ferber wrote great sprawling stories dealing with dynamic entrepreneurs and societal prejudices, as "Show Boat" and "Giant" would later prove, and "Cimarron" is in this tradition. At times it feels so rushed it probably should have been a mini-series, and it has many awkward, of its time moments, but its status as the lowest-rated Oscar winner on IMDB is not deserved.

3) Grand Hotel: The first all-star film remains one of the best. It's been remade once, become a Broadway musical and been the inspiration for nearly every film that takes place in a hotel, on a ship or in an airport, but it is one of those originals that can not be equaled, let alone topped.

4) Cavalcade: Have not rewatched it yet, but my memories are positive. The introduction of the Titanic is quite understated and all the more effective for it. I would call "Cavalcade" an English "Magnificent Ambersons" in terms of its content, although it in no way approaches Welles' bravura film making.

5) It Happened One Night: Frank Capra's first Oscar winner and a thorough delight, although it's a bit of an odd Oscar winner. The other winners that decade all seemed to be examples of how big movies could be. This charmer is relaxed, unforced and one of the rare out and out romantic comedies to win Best Picture.

6) Mutiny On The Bounty: A timeless story, a magnificent cast and then state-of-the art technology are put to great use here. All three stars were nominated for Best Oscar, and they almost assuredly canceled each other out.

7) The Great Ziegfeld: This biography of one of the greatest of all Broadway producers starts out very well, buoyed by William Powell's terrific lead performance, but once Ziegfeld achieves success it seems like hours of the film are devoted to presentations of his stage acts. On camera they are boring, and slow the previously entertaining drama to a halt.

8) The Life of Emile Zola: The bulk of the film is a simplistic, obviously fictionalized look at Zola's growth from a starving artist into a socially conscious philosophical novelist. It hits an impressive stride, though, in its trial sequences as Zola comes to the aid of the unfairly convicted Captain Dreyfus. Oddly, Dreyfus's Jewishness is barely hinted at, although in 1937, with Nazism on the rise, it was almost assuredly the reason the film was made.

9) You Can't Take It With You: Capra's second Best Picture winner adds his sense of populism to this film version of a feel-good Broadway comedy, without weighing it down.

10) Gone With The Wind: There is nothing one can say about this film that has not already been said, but it is the finest example of MGM's great story-telling abilities and pretty much has it all. I would go back and add Gable's lead performance and Max Steiner's unforgettable score to its many Oscars if I could.

As for your other questions...there is till one Oscar winner I have not seen and it is the last of the trilogy "The Lord of the Rings". I had had enough watching all the CGI in the first two and never bothered to see it. I will have to when I start writing about more modern films, and will rewatch (sigh!) the first two as well.

There have been many Oscar winners I myself would not have chosen, but there are very few I really do not like. "Out of Africa" and "A Man For All Seasons" come to mind.