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List: No love from Oscar

Movies never nominated for an Academy Award

- The Washington Times - Friday, January 28, 2011

The nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced Tuesday. This week, The List looks at 20 quality films that didn't receive an Oscar nomination.

  • The Others (2001) — There are only a handful of characters in this poetically haunting movie. Nicole Kidman, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, is a blend of harshness and poignancy. The film went on to win 22 international film awards but was snubbed by Oscar.
  • Legally Blonde (2001) —  The adorable Reese Witherspoon won many hearts with this clever comedy that made her a bankable Hollywood star. The film was nominated for two Golden Globes.
  • House of Games (1987) —  A psychiatrist played by Lindsay Crouse seeks to help a patient deal with his gambling debt but gets too involved with Joe Mantegna's clever con-man. David Mamet's screenplay was nominated for a Golden Globe. The film also won four awards at the Venice Film Festival.
  • This is Spinal Tap (1984) —  Rob Reiner's witty rock "mockumentary" about a fake British metal band and their bungling 1982 American tour has become a cult classic. Who can forget the band — raring to rock the house — getting lost in a labyrinth of stadium tunnels? In 2002, the film was added to the National Film Registry.
  • The Terminator (1984) —  Directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his most noted roles, this futuristic sc-fi film is number 170 on IMDb's top 250 films, and earned a 100 percent positive rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Local Hero (1983) —  Peter Riegert, playing an advance man for Houston oil tycoon Burt Lancaster, finds himself in a quirky Scottish seaside village. Bill Forsyth's little comedy has aged well with time. The British loved it, and gave Mr. Forsyth the BAFTA for best director.
  • The Shining (1980) —  In this stylish haunted-house masterpiece directed by Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson posts a brilliant performance as a man influenced by a spiritual presence. Ironically, this horror classic was nominated for two Razzie awards, for worst director and worst actress, Shelly Duvall.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974) —  The musical "Spamalot" spun off this cult classic, which is listed at number 74 on IMDb's top 250 films.
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1969) —  Henry Fonda is evil personified in this revenge film, perhaps one of the greatest Westerns ever made. How could Oscar have denied this classic, which is listed at number 20 on IMDb's top 250 films. Ennio Morricone's theme music is a gem.
  • Fail-Safe (1964) —  This Sidney Lumet nuclear thriller has Henry Fonda playing the calm, wise president trying to stop a Strategic Air Command plane accidentally sent to bomb Moscow.
  • The Haunting (1963) —  A team of paranormal investigators spends several nights in an eerie mansion called "Hill House" that seems to be alive itself. On the Bravo network´s "100 Scariest Movie Moments," "The Haunting" was 18th. Director Robert Wise was nominated for a Golden Globe.
  • The Searchers (1956) —  John Wayne plays an atypical anti-hero role in this film, which is considered by many to be a masterpiece of filmmaking, and the most influential film from director John Ford.
  • 3:10 to Yuma (1957) — This intimate Western sees good-guy rancher Van Heflin seeking to bring charismatic bad guy Glenn Ford to justice at Yuma jail. It was nominated for a BAFTA for "Best Film from any Source."
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) —  In this cold-blooded vintage British comedy, Alec Guinness plays eight members of the D'Ascoyne family. In 2000, Total Film magazine readers voted the film as the 25th-greatest comedy film, and, in 2004, named it the seventh-greatest British film.
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) —  Lana Turner and John Garfield heat up the screen in this classic film noir of forbidden lust, intrigue and murder. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 94 percent of critics gave the film a positive review.
  • My Darling Clementine (1946) —  In this John Ford classic, Henry Fonda is at his finest as the quintessential Wyatt Earp. Victor Mature is excellent as Doc Holliday. The Italian press loved it and gave it a top award.
  • The Shop Around the Corner (1940) —  Long before "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan there was Ernst Lubitsch's classic "The Shop Around the Corner." This sublime and tender romantic comedy starred Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan. It was ranked number 28 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years  100 Passions" list in 2002.
  • Modern Times (1936) —  Charlie Chaplin plays the Little Tramp character struggling to survive in the modern, industrialized world. This classic is number 29 on IMDb's top 250 films.
  • King Kong (1933) —  An immediate box-office sensation, this Depression-era film and "Beauty and the Beast" fable was ranked number 24 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years  100 Passions" list.
  • Scarface: The Shame of the Nation (1932) —  Starring the brilliant Paul Muni, this raw and violent movie, which had trouble getting past the censors, chronicles the tragic rise and fall of one of the nastiest gangsters to grace the silver screen.

Compiled by John Haydon, who only included films he has seen.

Sources:, Tim Dirks at,, The Washington Times' Gary Arnold, American Film Institute,,, www.rottentomatoes and Wikipedia

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