Tuesday, March 9, 2010
War Films and the Oscars
If you want to win an Oscar, make a war movie!
Of the top 15 sci-fi movies, in all-release domestic box office in 2010 dollars, 3 were nominated for best picture (Star Wars, 1977; E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982 and Avatar, 2009). 0 won.
Of the top 15 war movies, in all-release domestic box office in 2010 dollars, 12 were nominated for best picture (2 predated the Oscars: The Birth of a Nation, 1915 and The Big Parade, 1925). The only picture on the top 15 list that was not nominated for a best picture was The Dirty Dozen, 1967. 5 of the top 15 won Best Picture Oscars: Gone with the Wind, 1939; The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957; The Best Years of our Lives, 1946; Lawrence of Arabia, 1962 and Mrs. Miniver, 1942.
The Hurt Locker is the lowest domestic box office revenue war movie and one of the lowest production cost war movies ever to be nominated for Best Picture. Best Picture Oscar nominated films costing less than The Hurt Locker include Battleground, 1949; Life is Beautiful, 1998; Casablanca, 1943; Platoon, 1986 and Coming Home, 1978. Despite its low revenue, The Hurt Locker garnered 9 Oscar nominations and took home the Best Picture Oscar.
War Movies with 9 or More Oscar Nominations in order of Highest to Least Domestic Box Office:
1. Gone with the Wind, 1939 directed by Victor Fleming (The American Civil War)
2. Doctor Zhivago, 1965 directed by David Lean (Russian Revolution)
3. Sergeant York, 1941 directed by Howard Hawks (WWI)
4. For Whom the Bell Tolls, 1943 directed by Sam Wood (Spanish Civil War)
5. Saving Private Ryan, 1998 directed by Steven Spielberg (WWII)
6. Lawrence of Arabia, 1962 directed by David Lean (WWI)
7. Mrs. Miniver, 1942 directed by William Wyler (WWII)
8. Since You Went Away, 1944 directed by John Cromwell (WWII)
9. Schindler's List, 1993 directed by Steven Spielberg (WWII)
10. The Deer Hunter, 1978 directed by Michael Cimino (Vietnam)
11. Judgment at Nuremberg, 1961 directed by Stanley Kramer (WWII)
12. The Hurt Locker, 2009 directed by Kathryn Bigelow (2nd Gulf War)