Golden Globe Best Picture Drama winners from worst to first

Written by:
December 10, 2019
Paramount Pictures

Golden Globe Best Picture Drama winners from worst to first

For people in the movie and television business, a nomination for a Golden Globe means you’ve made it. The event is one of the most important accolades of the Hollywood awards seasons, which builds every year until it culminates with the Academy Awards.

This staple award show in Hollywood was first held Jan. 20, 1944, at the 20th Century Fox studios in Los Angeles, California, to honor 1943 films. Staged and awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the event follows a familiar format of nominations being issued across a wide range of categories until a single nominee—although there have been exceptions, such as during the 1949 awards—is announced as the winner at the big show. While the little statuette is significant for all who earn it, some categories carry more weight than others. The granddaddy of them all is Best Picture in the Drama category.

This article ranks all the films that ever earned that title in the entire history of the Golden Globes in ascending order from worst to first. Since those are subjective terms, Stacker analyzed IMDb data for all the films that have won the Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama and then ranked them according to their IMDb user rating. In cases where there were ties, stalemates were broken by the number of votes the movies received.

The nominees for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards will be announced for Monday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. EST and the show itself takes place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 5. Tom Hanks will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, an acknowledgment of career excellence named for the first director ever to win a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes. The winners—and to a lesser degree, the nominees—will be enshrined forever in the annals of Hollywood history. Of the hundreds of movies released every year, only one will emerge with the Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama. Here’s a look at those who have come before.

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1 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#77. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

- Director: Cecil B. DeMille
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Votes: 11,904
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 152 min

Critics were underwhelmed by “The Greatest Show on Earth,” but the 152-minute, double-intermission big-top circus movie would take three Golden Globes and end 1952 as the year’s highest-grossing movie. With a cast that included James Stewart and Charlton Heston, the movie was created in a partnership between Cecil B. DeMille and Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey.

2 / 77
Otto Preminger Films

#76. The Cardinal (1963)

- Director: Otto Preminger
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Votes: 2,184
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 175 min

Not only did “The Cardinal” win Best Picture-Drama, but John Huston took home his own award for Best Supporting Actor—the film received six nominations. The story about a clergyman confronting Nazism was in direct competition with “America, America” and “Lillies of the Field”—two highly celebrated films. The Golden Globes site points out that the Vatican funded part of the film and the Vatican’s liaison was Joseph Ratzinger, who would go on to become Pope Benedict XVI.

3 / 77
Twentieth Century Fox

#75. The Robe (1953)

- Director: Henry Koster
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Votes: 8,490
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 135 min

A-listers dominated the 1954 Golden Globes, with big-category awards going to the likes of Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy. Big, sweeping technicolor antiquity films were the in-thing when the Roman-Christian epic “The Robe” won Best Picture-Drama. Although “The Robe” came first, it’s probably not as famous as two similarly themed films that came later—“Spartacus” and “Ben-Hur.”

4 / 77
Michael Todd Company

#74. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

- Directors: Michael Anderson, John Farrow
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Votes: 22,708
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 175 min

Although “Around the World in 80 Days” won Best Picture-Drama and its director was nominated, the real story of the night was about a Mexican comedian whose stage name was Cantinflas—his part in the movie earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor-Comedy. Cantiflas accepted his award from Elizabeth Tayor with a widely hailed speech that he delivered after a five-minute standing ovation. The movers and shakers of the Los Angeles Mexican American community organized to honor the moment—many in the community swarmed the theater to cheer—and Cantinflas was celebrated as a national hero in Mexico.

5 / 77
TriStar Pictures,

#73. Bugsy (1991)

- Director: Barry Levinson
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Votes: 24,329
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 136 min

“Bugsy” was a romanticized biopic about gangster Bugsy Siegel’s influence in the early history of Las Vegas. Although it won the big one, it lost out on seven others for a total of eight nominations. That’s likely because it was competing against giants—the other drama nominees were “JFK,” “Thelma and Louise,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” and “The Prince of Tides.”

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6 / 77
Hera Productions

#72. The Turning Point (1977)

- Director: Herbert Ross
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Votes: 3,986
- Metascore: 68
- Runtime: 119 min

Starring Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine, “The Turning Point” was adored by audiences and critics alike—but it was shut out at the Oscars, earning zero wins on 11 nominations. It won the most important Golden Globe, however, and in terms of dramas that involved dancing, it was in good company. “Saturday Night Fever” and “New York, New York” both received several nominations that year.

7 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#71. Love Story (1970)

- Director: Arthur Hiller
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Votes: 27,815
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 100 min

“Love Story” was a huge global hit that took in $135 million worldwide—that was a lot of money in 1970. The Ali MacGraw/Ryan O’Neal romantic drama was a critical smash, too, cleaning up at the Golden Globes with five wins on seven nominations. Golden Globes credits “Love Story” with “helping to set the template for the modern ‘chick flick’” and the quote “love means never having to say you’re sorry” is among the most famous lines in movie history.

8 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#70. Going My Way (1944)

- Director: Leo McCarey
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 9,529
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 126 min

Bing Crosby was arguably the biggest star in the world in 1943 and “Going My Way” was arguably the biggest movie of his career. The highest-grossing movie of the year, the musical dramedy raked in a then-huge $16 million.

9 / 77
Twentieth Century Fox

#69. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

- Director: Elia Kazan
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 13,703
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 118 min

“Gentleman’s Agreement”—like “Crossfire” just four months earlier—dealt frankly with bigotry and anti-Semitism, using language and racial slurs that shocked audiences at the time. The movie won widespread praise for its courage in taking on America’s postwar failures, but that boldness was swiftly punished when the directors of both movies were dragged before the House Un-American Activities Committee. The director of “Crossfire” was blacklisted and Elia Kazan became a pariah as both men eventually caved into the communist hunters and named names.

10 / 77
Mirage Enterprises

#68. Out of Africa (1985)

- Director: Sydney Pollack
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 66,401
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 161 min

Even the critics who thought it was too long and too slow raved about the sweeping cinematography that defined “Out of Africa,” which was shot on location in Kenya. Robert Redford and Meryl Streep played the principals, whose efforts earned the movie the title of Best Picture-Drama despite the fact that it was up against the likes of “The Color Purple” and “Witness.”

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11 / 77
Ixtlan

#67. Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

- Director: Oliver Stone
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 91,612
- Metascore: 75
- Runtime: 145 min

Oliver Stone’s gritty and intense “Born on the Fourth of July” cast Tom Cruise as real-life paralyzed Vietnam-veteran-turned-peace-activist Ron Kovic. The role earned Cruise his first Golden Globe for Best Actor-Drama, and for his efforts, Ron Kovic gave the actor his actual Bronze Star.

12 / 77
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#66. The Descendants (2011)

- Director: Alexander Payne
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 225,649
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 115 min

“The Descendants” won Best Picture-Drama and George Clooney’s performance earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor. The film, which portrays Clooney as an attorney struggling to balance money and a family legacy beat out big movies like “The Help,” “Moneyball,” “The Ides of March,” and “Hugo.”

13 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#65. Terms of Endearment (1983)

- Director: James L. Brooks
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 50,683
- Metascore: 79
- Runtime: 132 min

“Terms of Endearment” won Best Picture-Drama, but the film picked up three other wins, as well. Best Actress went to Shirley MacLaine, Best Script went to James L. Brooks, and Jack Nicholson won Best Supporting Actor. Nicholson was lucky to land the role—the part was written specifically for Burt Reynolds, who loved the script but was already committed to another project.

14 / 77
Miramax

#64. The English Patient (1996)

- Director: Anthony Minghella
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 168,807
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 162 min

A sweeping war drama set during World War II, “The English Patient” earned nearly universal critical acclaim. After it won the Golden Globe for Best Picture, “The English Patient” went on to clean up at the Academy Awards—the movie won nine Oscars.

15 / 77
A24

#63. Moonlight (2016)

- Director: Barry Jenkins
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 238,969
- Metascore: 99
- Runtime: 111 min

Shot on a budget of only $1.5 million, “Moonlight” went on to earn $60 million at the worldwide box office as well as the Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama—but the movie’s most famous moment was yet to come. At the 2017 Academy Awards, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the winner in the Best Picture category. In one of the most infamous moments in Oscars history, the pair misread a botched envelope and mistakenly gave the award to “La La Land” instead of “Moonlight.”

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16 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#62. Babel (2006)

- Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 276,987
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 143 min

A year after “Babel” won the 2007 Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett would team up again in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008—that was also nominated for Best Picture. Alejandro G. Iñárritu was nominated for Best Director, but he lost to Martin Scorsese and “The Departed.”

17 / 77
Hal Wallis Productions

#61. Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

- Director: Charles Jarrott
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 6,290
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 145 min

British historical drama “Anne of the Thousand Days” was nominated for seven Golden Globes and took home four, including Best Picture-Drama. It beat out both “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Midnight Cowboy.” Richard Burton was nominated for Best Actor, but lost to John Wayne for his efforts in “True Grit.”

18 / 77
Columbia Pictures

#60. All the King's Men (1949)

- Director: Robert Rossen
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 12,243
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 110 min

A cautionary tale about the seductive powers of corruption, “All the King’s Men” was based loosely on the legendary populist Louisiana politician Huey Long. Director Robert Rossen—a socialist and former member of the Communist Party—launched the movie as one of Hollywood’s first independent filmmakers. John Wayne turned the part down, calling the script unpatriotic, so the role went to Broderick Crawford, who went on to Beat John Wayne’s “Sands of Iwo Jima” at the Academy Awards.

19 / 77
Highroad Productions

#59. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

- Director: J. Lee Thompson
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 42,823
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 158 min

“The Guns of the Navarone” won the Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama, but it would be a pair of well-received “Planet of the Apes” sequels that made British director J. Lee Thompson a star. The all-star cast included Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn, the latter of whom parlayed his success into several big follow-up roles culminating in “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1964.

20 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#58. The Hours (2002)

- Director: Stephen Daldry
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 118,566
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 110 min

Nicole Kidman came into “The Hours” hot off of her success in “Moulin Rouge!”—and she landed a Golden Globe for Best Actress in “The Hours,” which also won Best Picture-Drama. One of the women Kidman beat out was Meryl Streep, who was also nominated for Best Actress in “The Hours.” Streep, however, went on to win Best Supporting Actress for a different movie, “Adaptation.”

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21 / 77
Forward Pass

#57. The Aviator (2004)

- Director: Martin Scorsese
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 314,324
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 170 min

Martin Scorsese’s Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator” featured a cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, and Gwen Stefani. It beat out stiff competition that included “Million Dollar Baby” and “Hotel Rwanda.” DiCaprio struck Hollywood gold with Scorsese several other times, including “The Departed,” “Gangs of New York,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

22 / 77
Twentieth Century Fox

#56. The Song of Bernadette (1943)

- Director: Henry King
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 5,637
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 156 min

By the time “The Song of Bernadette” became a movie in 1943, the Franz Werfel novel of the same name had been on the best-seller list since 1941. The religious-themed movie premiered on Christmas Day, and was well received by war-weary critics and audiences alike.

23 / 77
Curtleigh Productions

#55. The Defiant Ones (1958)

- Director: Stanley Kramer
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 12,258
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 96 min

Both Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier were nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes for their roles in “The Defiant Ones,” although neither won. The story of two escaped convicts contained racial themes that were at the forefront of the national discussion in 1958, and it was powerful enough to beat out the favorite “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” for Best Picture-Drama.

24 / 77
IPC Films

#54. On Golden Pond (1981)

- Director: Mark Rydell
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 25,891
- Metascore: 68
- Runtime: 109 min

“On Golden Pond” would go down as Henry Fonda’s final role—and it’s widely considered to be one of his best. It was also the only time he worked with his daughter, Jane Fonda. He won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role as Norman Thayer, and he went on close his career by winning an Academy Award for the same part.

25 / 77
Columbia Pictures

#53. Midnight Express (1978)

- Director: Alan Parker
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 67,513
- Metascore: 59
- Runtime: 121 min

“Midnight Express” made the career of the man who wrote the script—Oliver Stone. The movie told the true story of an American traveler named Billy Hayes, who served time in and escaped from a Turkish prison after being caught and convicted of smuggling hash. The telling of the story, however, stirred controversy and Stone later apologized to the Turkish government for his depiction of the incident.

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26 / 77
Columbia Pictures

#52. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

- Director: Ang Lee
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 94,496
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 136 min

Emma Thompson didn’t just star in “Sense and Sensibility,” she also wrote it. Not only did the romantic drama—also starring Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, and Hugh Grant—win Best Picture-Drama, but Thompson won the Golden Globe for Best Script.

27 / 77
Warner Bros

#51. Johnny Belinda (1948)

- Director: Jean Negulesco
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 3,943
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 102 min

Director Jean Negulesco was fired from Warner Bros. when “Johnny Belinda” failed to deliver at the box office. The movie, however, impressed critics more than audiences. It won two Golden Globes—it tied for Best Picture with “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”—and Jane Wyman won Best Actress. Negulesco translated his accolades into a successful career with 20th Century Fox.

28 / 77
Highland Films

#50. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

- Director: Fred Zinnemann
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 28,830
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 120 min

“A Man for All Seasons” traveled a long road to get to the big screen. It was originally a successful BBC radio show—so successful, in fact, that they turned it into a television program. Then Robert Bolt wrote it into a play that opened in London before moving to Broadway. It was such a hit that Bolt then wrote it into a movie, which won four out of five Golden Globes before going on to crush at the Oscars with six wins on eight nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and for Bolt, Best Screenplay.

29 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#49. Ordinary People (1980)

- Director: Robert Redford
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 43,280
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 124 min

“Ordinary People” was Robert Redford’s first movie as a director, and his debut work rocked the house with five Golden Globes—big ones, too. Not only was it named Best Picture, but Mary Tyler Moore won Best Actress and Redford himself won Best Director. It was a breakout year for Timothy Hutton, who won Best Supporting Actor and also was named the Golden Globes New Star of the Year.

30 / 77
Recorded Picture Company

#48. The Last Emperor (1987)

- Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 86,883
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 163 min

“The Last Emperor” wasn’t the only big, sweeping Far East epic in contention for Best Picture-Drama at the 1988 Golden Globes. The movie beat out genre-similar “Empire of the Sun,” as well as “La Bamba,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Cry Freedom,” and “Nuts.” In all, it took home four out of five Golden Globe nominations, which gave it enough momentum to win nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

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31 / 77
Philip D'Antoni Productions

#47. The French Connection (1971)

- Director: William Friedkin
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 101,799
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 104 min

There was a time before not too long ago when all on-screen car chase sequences were judged by how they stacked up to “The French Connection.” For 2003 Cecil B. DeMille Award-winner Gene Hackman, it was the start of a long run of Golden Globe victories. The movie won Best Picture-Drama, Hackman won Best Actor, and Best Director went to William Friedkin, who followed up two years later with another Golden Globe for “The Exorcist.”

32 / 77
Focus Features

#46. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

- Director: Ang Lee
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 305,801
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 134 min

Although many great movies with LGBTQ+ themes and characters came before, “Brokeback Mountain” was a seminal moment for the gay community’s representation in American cinema. The neo-Western romantic drama, which is the Golden Globes’ categorization, won four trophies on seven nominations, including Best Director for Ang Lee. It went on to win three Academy Awards.

33 / 77
Warner Bros.

#45. Argo (2012)

- Director: Ben Affleck
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 544,139
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 120 min

“Argo” depicted the true story of a daring and inventive charade carried out by the CIA to sneak American embassy workers out of Iran during the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It was a night to remember for director Ben Affleck, who also starred in the movie—of the five nominations the movie received, its two wins were for Best Picture-Drama and Best Director. It went on to win three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

34 / 77
Columbia Pictures

#44. The Social Network (2010)

- Director: David Fincher
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 580,232
- Metascore: 95
- Runtime: 120 min

“The Social Network,” which the real Mark Zuckerberg never authorized or contributed to, chronicles the Facebook co-founder’s rise from dorm-room nerd to the youngest billionaire in history. It ruled the Golden Globes in 2011, beating out huge movies like “Black Swan” and “The Fighter” for Best Picture-Drama, which was one of just six nominations and three wins.

35 / 77
Wallis-Hazen

#43. Becket (1964)

- Director: Peter Glenville
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 12,892
- Metascore: 68
- Runtime: 148 min

When “Becket” won Best Picture-Drama in 1965, it served as the fourth consecutive year that a big, heavy religious-historical drama earned that title—“The Cardinal,” “Ben-Hur,” and “Spartacus” won before that. Starring Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole, it was adapted from a Broadway play.

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36 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#42. A Place in the Sun (1951)

- Director: George Stevens
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 18,562
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 122 min

Not only was Elizabeth Taylor forced to shoot a beach scene on a frigid day in Lake Tahoe in December, but her heavy-impact collapse in “A Place in the Sun” is regarded as one of the great faints in movie history, according to the Golden Globes. Paramount delayed the release of the movie until 1951 because it didn’t want “A Place in the Sun” to have to compete against “Sunset Boulevard” in 1950.

37 / 77
Columbia Pictures

#41. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

- Director: Robert Benton
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 121,587
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 105 min

Dustin Hoffman got top billing for “Kramer vs. Kramer,” but the divorce drama’s win at the 1980 Golden Globes was all about Meryl Streep. She won Best Supporting Actress, her very first Golden Globe and the start of a record 29-nomination run that culminated with a Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2017.

38 / 77
Universal Pictures

#40. Atonement (2007)

- Director: Joe Wright
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 232,946
- Metascore: 85
- Runtime: 123 min

“Atonement” was so well received that it won Best Picture-Drama over movies like “American Gangster,” “There Will be Blood,” and “No Country for Old Men.” Unfortunately for Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and the rest of the people who brought the film to life, they didn’t get to enjoy it the way they should have. Standing in solidarity with the striking Writers Guild, the Screen Actors Guild refused to cross the picket line, so there was no Golden Globes production that year and the winners were announced at a press conference with no presenters, no actors, no nominees, and no fanfare.

39 / 77
Universal Pictures

#39. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

- Director: Steven Spielberg
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 345,295
- Metascore: 91
- Runtime: 115 min

In the annals of family sci-fi movies, there’s “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” and there’s everything else. Pulling in more than $1 billion worldwide, it was the highest-grossing movie of all time both at the U.S. box office and overseas—a title it held until “Titanic” knocked it off its perch in 1997. Widely considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made, “E.T.” was selected in 1994 to be preserved in the United States National Film Registry among movies that are “culturally, historically, aesthetically significant.”

40 / 77
Twentieth Century Fox

#38. Titanic (1997)

- Director: James Cameron
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 981,303
- Metascore: 75
- Runtime: 194 min

As its title implies, everything about “Titanic” was big. Budgeted at more than $200 million—a record at the time—the movie cost more to make than the actual ship cost to build. It pulled in more than $1.84 billion worldwide on its original run—another record at the time—and swept the 1998 awards season with four Golden Globes and 11 Oscars on a record 14 nominations—including Best Picture for both.

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41 / 77
Twentieth Century Fox

#37. Avatar (2009)

- Director: James Cameron
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 1,067,156
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 162 min

A little more than a decade after “Titanic” made all the other movies of its time look small, James Cameron once again broke records and ushered in a new era of stunning visual effects—this time in the form of modernized 3D with “Avatar.” Although the mood of the 2009 Globes was clouded by a tragic earthquake in Haiti, Cameron struck gold yet again with an award for Best Picture-Drama and Best Director. “Avatar” did $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office in its first six months.

42 / 77
Haworth Productions

#36. The Lion in Winter (1968)

- Director: Anthony Harvey
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 27,437
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 134 min

“The Lion in Winter” was yet another major 1960s historical epic and yet another Best Actor win for Peter O’Toole as King Henry II—he won the same award for playing the same character in “Becket” in 1965. The movie had the added benefit of co-starring Katharine Hepburn at the top of her game—she would go on to win an Academy Award for her role in “The Lion in Winter.”

43 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#35. The Lost Weekend (1945)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 31,263
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 101 min

Austrian director Billy Wilder was a refugee of sorts in Hollywood after fleeing the rise of Nazism in his native country when he made “The Lost Weekend.” An intense movie chronicling a man on a dangerous alcoholic bender, the movie’s producers were granted unprecedented access to film in Bellevue Hospital.

44 / 77
Warner Bros.

#34. East of Eden (1955)

- Director: Elia Kazan
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 37,715
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 118 min

James Dean lived only long enough to see one of his three movies on the big screen—“Rebel Without a Cause.” Dean was killed in a car wreck at the age of 25 just a few months before he was posthumously awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in “East of Eden.” He had just finished filming his third and final movie “Giant,” which he also never got to see on the big screen.

45 / 77
Bryna Productions

#33. Spartacus (1960)

- Director: Stanley Kubrick
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 115,878
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 197 min

“Spartacus” rode a wave of interest in antiquity epics all the way to six Golden Globe nominations and the title of Best Picture-Drama. The story of the most famous slave rebellion in history, “Spartacus” was filmed over the course of 167 days, including six weeks of Stanley Kubrick directing a single, epic Romans vs. rebels battle sequence that included 8,500 extras.

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46 / 77
IFC Productions

#32. Boyhood (2014)

- Director: Richard Linklater
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 320,594
- Metascore: 100
- Runtime: 165 min

In all of Hollywood history, there’s never been a movie quite like “Boyhood.” Filmed over the course of 12 years with the same actor progressing through childhood in real-time, the movie was originally called “12 Years,” but Richard Linklater changed it to avoid bumping up against “12 Years a Slave.” Linklater filmed with Ellar Coltrane for a few weeks every year from when Coltrane was 6 years old in first grade through the age of 18 at the end of high school.

47 / 77
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

#31. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

- Director: William Wyler
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 54,277
- Metascore: 92
- Runtime: 170 min

What started as an article in Time magazine about the difficulty troops faced in reacclimating to life back home after World War II eventually became “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Although the film featured stars like Fredric March and Dana Andrews, director William Wyler—himself a military combat veteran—cast a disabled non-actor for a key part in the movie.

48 / 77
The Mirisch Corporation

#30. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

- Director: Norman Jewison
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 62,026
- Metascore: 75
- Runtime: 110 min

Few actors have ever had bigger years than the one Sidney Portier had in 1967 when he starred in both “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” The two films confronted race relations in the United States in a way that few movies had ever done before— just in time for the Golden Globes in the socially turbulent year of 1968. The movie went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but the ceremonies were postponed in the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

49 / 77
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#29. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

- Director: David Lean
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 65,617
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 197 min

“Doctor Zhivago” was a giant production that stormed the Golden Globes in a record sweep that has never been matched before or since. The Russian Revolution love drama—which included several veterans from the previous year’s winner, “Lawrence of Arabia”—stands alone as the only movie to be nominated in five categories and to win all five.

50 / 77
Tig Productions

#28. Dances With Wolves (1990)

- Director: Kevin Costner
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 225,350
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 181 min

“Dances With Wolves” earned Kevin Costner a Golden Globe for Best Director in his directorial debut, and he was nominated for Best Actor for his starring role in the epic, which chronicles his character’s kinship with the Lakota Sioux. Because of the movie’s positive treatment of Native Americans, the Sioux Nation adopted Costner as an honorary member of their community.

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51 / 77
Universal Pictures

#27. Scent of a Woman (1992)

- Director: Martin Brest
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 239,016
- Metascore: 59
- Runtime: 156 min

Although it’s not really a quote, Al Pacino’s famous “hoo-ah” exclamation in “Scent of a Woman” might go down as one of the most quoted lines in movie history. Pacino, who was honored with a Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2001, won Best Actor for his role as a blind man in the quirky drama. It was one of the toughest fields ever—Pacino was up against Denzel Washington for “Malcolm X,” Robert Downey Jr. for “Chaplain,” and Jack Nicholson for “Hoffa.”

52 / 77
Warner Bros

#26. The Exorcist (1973)

- Director: William Friedkin
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 342,445
- Metascore: 81
- Runtime: 122 min

The most famous and influential supernatural horror movie of all time, “The Exorcist” earned an unheard-of-for-its-genre $441 million at the worldwide box office. It was the highest-grossing horror movie of all time for nearly half a century until it was finally surpassed by “It” in 2017.

53 / 77
GK Films

#25. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

- Director: Bryan Singer
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 393,239
- Metascore: 49
- Runtime: 134 min

“Bohemian Rhapsody” stands as one of the most controversial Best Picture-Drama victories in modern Golden Globes history. The movie received lukewarm reviews and was up against “Black Panther,” “A Star is Born,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and “BlacKkKlansman”—four movies that were either critical darlings, box office blockbusters, or both. Even more, there was backstage drama with director Bryan Singer, who had been accused of sexual misconduct and was fired shortly before the movie wrapped. It’s important to note that Rami Malek received widespread acclaim for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

54 / 77
United Artists

#24. Rain Man (1988)

- Director: Barry Levinson
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 449,021
- Metascore: 65
- Runtime: 133 min

Although the condition is much more commonly understood today, “Rain Man” was the first introduction to autism for many Americans. The movie was up against ferocious competition—seven movies in total were nominated for Best Picture in the Drama category in 1988, with a near-record number of ties in nominations. “Rain Main” doubled up, earning Best Picture and Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

55 / 77
Regency Enterprises

#23. The Revenant (2015)

- Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 643,790
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 156 min

Leonardo DiCaprio won the Golden Globe for Best Actor-Drama for his rugged and gritty portrayal of real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass in “The Revenant.” The man-vs.-nature/revenge thriller went on to earn DiCaprio an Academy Award in the same category, his first Oscar win after a string of five previous losses.

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56 / 77
Celador Films

#22. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

- Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 759,931
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 120 min

“Slumdog Millionaire” was an international sensation that went on to win eight Academy Awards. The movie, which chronicles a woefully poor child pulled from the slums of India by an appearance on a game show, won four Golden Globes. “Schindler’s List” remains the only other movie ever to win Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

57 / 77
Horizon Pictures

#21. On the Waterfront (1954)

- Director: Elia Kazan
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 131,795
- Metascore: 91
- Runtime: 108 min

Marlon Brando took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor-Drama for his role in “On the Waterfront,” which also won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. One of the most celebrated and studied movies of all time, “On the Waterfront” put Brando’s method acting skills on showcase. His “I could have been a contender” monologue remains film school 101 subject matter.

58 / 77
Horizon Pictures

#20. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

- Director: David Lean
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 190,144
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 161 min

World War II epic “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was the first Golden Globe win for David Lean—but it would not be his last. He took the pioneering techniques he used in the movie and perfected them for his second Golden Globe-winning film, 1963’s “Lawrence of Arabia,” which is the defining movie of the 70mm, Technicolor, CinemaScope generation of films. He won again two years after that for “Doctor Zhivago.”

59 / 77
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#19. Ben-Hur (1959)

- Director: William Wyler
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 205,726
- Metascore: 90
- Runtime: 212 min

In an era dominated by huge, big-budget, big-studio, big-cast epic movies that paid tribute to the empires of Antiquity, “Ben-Hur” stood tall above them all. Clocking in at a marathon three hours and 30 minutes, the enormous production involved dangerous daredevil stunts with horses and other large animals. “Ben-Hur”—which picked up four Golden Globes and 11 Academy Awards—was made in a time when Ancient Rome movies were so popular that Andrew Marton won an award for Best Direction of a Chariot Race.

60 / 77
Hemdale

#18. Platoon (1986)

- Director: Oliver Stone
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 358,967
- Metascore: 92
- Runtime: 120 min

Considered by many to be the defining Vietnam movie, “Platoon” starred Charlie Sheen, but was based on director Oliver Stone’s own experiences in the war. Already the first Vietnam veteran to win a Golden Globe for “Midnight Express,” “Platoon” made Stone the first to win a Globe for Best Director, as well.

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61 / 77
Chartoff-Winkler Productions

#17. Rocky (1976)

- Director: John G. Avildsen
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 484,704
- Metascore: 70
- Runtime: 120 min

Nearly 45 years after its release, “Rocky” remains the movie and the character that defines Sylvester Stallone’s career. A complete unknown in the industry at the time, Stallone wrote the movie and pushed relentlessly for United Artists to allow him to play the lead—the studio wanted a big name like James Caan or Burt Reynolds. Just like the fictional boxer he created, Stallone’s refusal to quit paid off, and on a six-figure budget, “Rocky” became a blockbuster that spawned one of the most successful franchises of all time.

62 / 77
Regency Enterprises

#16. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

- Director: Steve McQueen
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 592,314
- Metascore: 96
- Runtime: 134 min

Based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped into and eventually freed from slavery, “12 Years a Slave” received a fawning reception from audiences and critics alike. It was the first movie with an African American director to win both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Director.

63 / 77
Warner Bros.

#15. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

- Director: John Huston
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 106,159
- Metascore: 98
- Runtime: 126 min

Father-and-son team Walter and John Huston won Best Supporting Actor and Best Director, respectively, for their work on “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” The movie, however, found itself in a rare tie and wound up sharing the award with the Jane Wyman drama “Johnny Belinda.”

64 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#14. Chinatown (1974)

- Director: Roman Polanski
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 272,725
- Metascore: 92
- Runtime: 130 min

“Chinatown” is a Hollywood classic and one of the greatest movies in the careers of both Roman Polanski and Jack Nicholson, but the fact that it won the Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama remains controversial to this day. It beat “The Godfather Part II,” which won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and is considered by many to be as good or even better than its predecessor with Marlon Brando.

65 / 77
Blueprint Pictures

#13. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

- Director: Martin McDonagh
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 368,379
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 115 min

A tale about brutality and the pursuit of justice in rural America, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” had a stellar night at the 2018 Golden Globes. It won four major awards: Best Picture-Drama, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor. The film, however, was not without its detractors, many of whom were critical of the movie’s handling of race and police brutality when those topics were at the forefront of the national discussion.

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66 / 77
Universal Pictures

#12. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

- Director: Ron Howard
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 790,351
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 135 min

The story of a schizophrenic math genius, “A Beautiful Mind” won four Golden Globes during a big night for Australians in film. Russell Crowe won Best Actor for “A Beautiful Mind,” Nicole Kidman won Best Actress-Comedy for “Moulin Rouge,” which also won Best Musical or Comedy and was directed by Baz Luhrmann—all three are Aussies.

67 / 77
Horizon Pictures

#11. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

- Director: David Lean
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 249,146
- Metascore: 100
- Runtime: 228 min

David Lean was already a Golden Globe winner thanks to “The Bridge on the River Kwai” when he outdid himself with the outsized production that was “Lawrence of Arabia.” Ranked among the greatest movies not just of the 70mm era, but of all time, “Lawrence of Arabia” was filmed over the course of a year and a half in some of the most severe desert environments on Earth. It ran a whopping 216 minutes and cost a then-astronomical $15 million to make.

68 / 77
AMLF

#10. Amadeus (1984)

- Director: Milos Forman
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 345,468
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 160 min

The story of Mozart, his bitter rival, and the madness of their relationship, “Amadeus” won four major Golden Globes: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Script, and Best Actor for F. Murray Abraham. It stands alone with only three other films—“A Man for All Seasons,” “The Sound of Music,” and “My Fair Lady”—as one of just four movies ever to win Best Picture at the Oscars and the Golden Globes as well as a Tony for Best Play.

69 / 77
DreamWorks

#9. American Beauty (1999)

- Director: Sam Mendes
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 1,009,916
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 122 min

“American Beauty” was the first movie to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture-Drama in the new millennium and it was the only movie from the 1990s to win that wasn’t a period piece. The movie put Kevin Spacey on the map as a bona fide leading man and went on to capture five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Spacey.

70 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#8. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Votes: 184,923
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 110 min

One of the greatest Hollywood movies ever made about Hollywood, “Sunset Boulevard” won four Golden Globes including Best Picture-Drama, Best Score, Best Director, and Best Actress for Gloria Swanson’s iconic role. Its most lasting impact, however, might be the use of a dramatic device that was immediately aped by filmmakers everywhere and remains a staple today—the deceased subject of a movie narrating the film in flashback.

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71 / 77
DreamWorks

#7. Gladiator (2000)

- Director: Ridley Scott
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Votes: 1,247,545
- Metascore: 67
- Runtime: 155 min

“The Gladiator” was 40 years removed from the height of what the Golden Globes calls the “sword-and-sandal epic genre” defined by movies like “Ben-Hur” and “Spartacus,” but it breathed new life into the concept. Russell Crowe played a Roman general betrayed by an emperor in the form of Joaquin Phoenix. It beat out “Erin Brockovich,” “Traffic” and other big hits and then went on to win five Academy Awards out of 12 Oscar nominations.

72 / 77
DreamWorks

#6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

- Director: Steven Spielberg
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Votes: 1,144,540
- Metascore: 91
- Runtime: 169 min

Of the countless movies that have dealt with World War II, “Saving Private Ryan” stands head and shoulders above them all. The opening scene made all combat sequences that came before look dated and mild, and it stands today as arguably the greatest work by both Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. In one of the most unforgivable upsets in Oscars history, the 1999 Academy Award for Best Picture went to “Shakespeare in Love,” a Ben Affleck period piece that was muscled through awards season by none other than Harvey Weinstein.

73 / 77
Fantasy Films

#5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

- Director: Milos Forman
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Votes: 853,307
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 133 min

Jack Nicholson’s role as a rebel battling a vindictive nurse at a mental hospital earned “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” the status of a protest film that showcased the poor treatment of mental-health patients. Kirk Douglas bought the rights to the film then transferred them to his son, Michael Douglas, who launched his career by producing the movie. It won every single one of the six nominations it received—one of the greatest sweeps in Golden Globes history.

74 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#4. Forrest Gump (1994)

- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Votes: 1,663,835
- Metascore: 82
- Runtime: 142 min

“Forrest Gump,” the story of a simple man who overcame his shortcomings, delighted both audiences and critics alike. The technique of inserting Tom Hanks’ fictional character into actual famous historical settings signaled the arrival of a new technique in filmmaking. It was Hanks’ second consecutive score—he won a Golden Globe for “Philadelphia” the year before.

75 / 77
Universal Pictures

#3. Schindler's List (1993)

- Director: Steven Spielberg
- IMDb user rating: 8.9
- Votes: 1,121,024
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 195 min

Just as “Saving Private Ryan” set the standard for films dealing with World War II, Steven Spielberg also set the bar for movies that address the Holocaust, which the Nazis waged under the cover of the chaos that war brought. “Schindler’s List” won three Golden Globes before it went on to pick up seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture for both.

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76 / 77
New Line Cinema

#2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

- Director: Peter Jackson
- IMDb user rating: 8.9
- Votes: 1,534,544
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 201 min

Middle-Earth fantasy saga “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” was the final installment of Peter Jackson’s epic blockbuster trilogy. In what is arguably the greatest sweep in awards season history, the movie won four Golden Globes out of four nominations and then won a stunning 11 Academy Awards out of 11 nominations.

77 / 77
Paramount Pictures

#1. The Godfather (1972)

- Director: Francis Ford Coppola
- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Votes: 1,483,208
- Metascore: 100
- Runtime: 175 min

Nearly a half-century later, and “The Godfather” remains the drama by which all other dramas are judged. Marlon Brando helmed the cast of the iconic mafia saga, which included Al Pacino as a son who reluctantly inherits his father’s crime dynasty—only to discover it was his destiny all along. It won five Golden Globes before taking Best Picture at the Academy Awards—just like its equally triumphant sequel.

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