• Dolly Darbar

Great Movies With Zero Oscar Wins

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

‘And the Oscar Goes To…’ .. Most of the filmmakers dream to win an Oscar at least once in their lifetime. The Oscars are regarded as the most famous and prestigious awards in the entertainment industry, presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But in recent years, the artists and the critics have long called out the Academy Awards for the lack of racial diversity among the nominees. Every year the Oscars bring accusations and criticism from those who got snubbed. How could that film not win Best Picture? how could he lose out to him? However, it was not the same last year, when the South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s film “Parasite” won the Oscar for Best Picture, marking the first time an international film has won a top award. But however, this win can’t redeem the academy’s failings over the years.


Admitting that the standards for a film to be nominated for the best picture Oscar award is exceedingly high, there have been times when the Academy has let down the audience with its decisions and choices- films that were nominated and were beaten by inferior films or at times the classic films were not even nominated. For example, one of the greatest living American directors- Martin Scorsese has been nominated for 71 Academy Awards and most of his wins have been in the technical categories or others have been acting awards to the lead characters. In Fact, nine Scorsese films have received Best Picture nominations; only one has won- “The Departed”, seems like the Academy is not keen on Martin Scorsese. Just like Scorsese, there are other filmmakers and movies that haven’t got the deserved recognition at the Oscars.


So here are a few brilliant movies that deserved Oscars but had zero wins.

  • Shawshank Redemption

Here were some of the biggest Oscar snubs in film history. Why don’t you share your choices with us in the comment section below and tell us which movie deserved to win an Oscar!

Directed by Frank Darabont with impeccable script and screenplay “Shawshank Redemption” is based upon legendary Stephen King's novel and currently ranks at No. 1 on the IMDb list of the top 250 greatest films ever made. The film is about two men- Red (Morgan Freeman, left) and Andy (Tim Robbins) who eventually become prisoner friends, serving life sentences in prison who long to escape their bounds. The movie is not some “prison-drama” in any sense but is about loyalty, time, patience and the friendship that grows between the two men and the main message of the film- maintaining hope in hopeless situations continues to resonate with the audience. Nonetheless the movie lost out to "Forrest Gump" at the 67th annual Academy Awards.


“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”

(Movie Quote)

  • Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese is one of the most legendary directors of all time, however his relations with the Academy has been cold, where most of his films lose out to the other inferior films in the best picture category. Taxi Driver is one of Scorsese’s finest works. Released in 1976, the film is about Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) , who suffers from insomnia and takes a job as a New York City cabbie. Growing increasingly detached from reality, he becomes obsessed with the idea of saving the world after meeting the campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd). The film is dark and compelling with a lot of twisted drama. The film perfectly captures the spirit of the place and of the era in which it is set. The film was named one of the 100 greatest films of all time by Time magazine. The film ended up being nominated for several different Oscars but one category- Best Director. Scorsese wasn’t nominated for the same and this was a huge snub as many expected it could win. On the plus side, the film won the Palme d’Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival and many other notable awards and remains one of the most acclaimed masterpieces in the history of cinema.

You Talkin’ To Me?”

(One of the iconic dialogues from the movie)

  • Get Out

Despite the fact that the movie was nominated in 4 categories at the 2018 Oscars, the film managed to win only one- Best Original Screenplay. With this movie, the Academy had one chance to make things interesting, as “Get Out” was the closest horror genre movie to come in years. A thought-provoking horror- thriller movie with captivating plot and is about benevolent racism- obviously not the blatant and the scary kind. The movie is about a young black man who goes to meet his white girlfriend’s parents. But what’s the twist here- he can’t get out! He gets stuck in a weird white place. This Spine-chilling flick, written and directed by Jordan Peele lost to The Shape of Water which was disappointing and uninspiring to many.

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

Can you believe the legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has never won an Oscar for best director despite being nominated multiple times. Kubrick was a major perfectionist and wanted to present something different and an immersive experience to the audience with 2001: A Space Odyssey. The filmmaker had experimented with different array of films and this movie was no other. The film remains as one of the most influential pieces of cinema. The movie was way ahead of its time, in fact this movie paved the way for all the science fiction movies that came after it. But the Academy did not agree with the same. Kubrick never managed to take home the award for Best Director. The film lost out to Dickens-inspired "Oliver!", the musical by Carol Reed and the film only managed to nab the Academy Award for Best Special Visual Effects.

  • Raging Bull

Yet another masterpiece by Martin Scorsese starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci didn’t get the deserved appreciation at the 1981 Oscars. The film was nominated for several categories but lost to “Ordinary People” directed by Robert Redforth. The film is not only about boxing but rage, jealousy, emotions and how the consequences scuttles his professional growth. It is about a middleweight boxer who is violent, insecure, struggles to express his feelings and eventually gets obsessed with the sport and controlling everything in his life. Scorsese did an amazing job on the film and so the critics and cinema scholars believe this to be the Oscars biggest snubs of all time!

  • Saving Private Ryan

Some say Saving Private Ryan was the big loser on Oscar night at the 1999 Oscars. The film is directed by Steven Spielberg and is considered one of the best World War II epics of all times. Steven was expected to take home the big prize of the evening but it lost out to “Shakespeare in Love”- disappointing many! Although the film was nominated for 11 Oscars that night and won many, it did not win for the Best Picture award. The film includes many horrific war sequences ever produced on scenes. It’s gritty, emotional and one of the most immersing movies of all times. Did you know Spielberg directed Saving Private Ryan as a tribute to his father, who served in the U.S. Army and Signal Corps, and fought in Burma during World War II.


Here were some of the biggest Oscar snubs in modern film history. Why don’t you share your choices with us in the comment section below and tell us which movie deserved to win an Oscar!