Golden Globe Best Picture Comedy/Musical winners from worst to first

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December 17, 2019
Twentieth Century Fox

Golden Globe Best Picture Comedy/Musical winners from worst to first

The Golden Globes function as a warm-up to the awards season, providing a sense of the films that may garner the most attention. The awards ceremony is also a bit of a bellwether for the Oscars, as Golden Globe nominees and winners are announced ahead of Academy Awards (widely considered a bit more buttoned-up and prestigious than the Golden Globes).

Golden Globe Awards are chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with its 90 or so members of primarily critics and journalists, while the Academy Awards are decided by some 8,000 industry pros serving as members of the Academy. And while the Oscars have just one Best Picture category, the Golden Globes break the Best Picture award into two categories: Best Motion Picture Drama and Musical or Comedy. This distinction, established in 1951 “so that no genre would be slighted,”  allows films with lighter, less serious subjects to gain serious recognition.

Musicals and comedies have won Best Picture Oscars to be sure, most notably during the 1960s, but since that era there have been very few Best Picture Oscar winners in these categories aside from “Annie Hall,” and “Shakespeare in Love”—both romances that skew as much toward drama as they do toward comedy. As for musicals, “Chicago” won in 2003 and “The Artist” did in 2011; both films also won the Golden Globe Best Picture Musical or Comedy.

Since musicals and comedies are far less likely to win awards, this Best Picture Golden Globe offers key insight into notable movies that received critical attention when they might have otherwise been overlooked.

Stacker compiled a list of all winners of the Golden Globe Award for "Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy" over the years and ranked them from lowest to highest based on their IMDb user ratings, #1 being the highest rated. There was no award given for movies made in 1953, although the classic “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” came out that year. The reason for no award that year? That remains “an unsolved mystery.” In 1959 through 1963 the Golden Globes presented an award to a single film in each of the two categories and returned to a combined award in 1964. We’ve ranked the comedy winners for those years.

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1 / 67
Barwood Films

#67. A Star Is Born (1976)

- Director: Frank Pierson
- IMDb user rating: 6.2
- Votes: 9,045
- Metascore: 59
- Runtime: 139 min

The Barbra Streisand remake of “A Star is Born” is regarded as the worst of the four film versions which include Janet Gaynor’s in 1937, Judy Garland’s in 1954, and Lady Gaga’s in 2018. Each was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar except for Streisand. However, her hit “Evergreen” from the 1976 movie did take the Academy Award for Best Original Song. While the 1976 film was snubbed by the Academy in Best Picture and acting categories, it swept the 1977 Golden Globes in the Musical or Comedy category with Streisand taking Best Actress, and co-star Kris Kristofferson taking Best Actor. Notably, the 2018 “A Star is Born” received a Golden Globes Best Picture nomination in the Drama category rather than Musical or Comedy.

2 / 67
Touchstone Pictures

#66. Green Card (1990)

- Director: Peter Weir
- IMDb user rating: 6.2
- Votes: 21,388
- Metascore: 58
- Runtime: 103 min

Gérard Depardieu won the Best Actor Golden Globe in the Musical or Comedy category for his turn as brutish Frenchman who marries to get a green card. Andie MacDowell plays the woman who marries him so she can impress a co-op board. “Green Card” was nominated alongside “Ghost,” “Home Alone,” and “Pretty Woman”—films that have shown considerably more cultural staying power nearly 30 years later. “Green Card” has some of director Peter Weir’s stylistic signatures, but it’s central class conflict, Depardieu’s oafish former criminal clashing with MacDowell’s uptight botanist, may rub viewers the wrong way.

3 / 67
Hollywood Pictures

#65. Evita (1996)

- Director: Alan Parker
- IMDb user rating: 6.3
- Votes: 32,604
- Metascore: 45
- Runtime: 135 min

Madonna won the Best Actress Musical or Comedy Golden Globe for her turn as the title character, Evita. Notably, she was up against Frances McDormand for “Fargo” (in this same category) who ended up with the Best Actress Oscar that year. “Evita” was notorious for casting a pop star in the lead. Madonna wasn’t esteemed as an actress due to critically panned performances in “Shanghai Surprise” and “Body of Evidence.” In “Evita” her performance was passable with Roger Ebert saying it had a “certain opaque quality,” while critic Owen Gleiberman at E.W. called Madonna’s singing beautiful, but wrote that “her face is fixed, almost tranquilized—a porcelain mask.”

4 / 67
Woodfall Film Productions

#64. Tom Jones (1963)

- Director: Tony Richardson
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Votes: 10,722
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 129 min

“Tom Jones” won the Best Picture Oscar in addition to its Golden Globe win. Leading man Albert Finney won a special Golden Globe for “New Star of the Year.” “Tom Jones” adapts a 1749 Henry Fielding novel and presents British society with bawdy, comedic presentations of sex—including one ribald scene where Jones and one of his many female lovers gnaw at their dinner with risqué gusto.

5 / 67
Ladbroke

#63. Yentl (1983)

- Director: Barbra Streisand
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Votes: 11,709
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 133 min

This musical was Barbra Streisand’s directorial debut. She also stars playing a teenager who disguises herself as a 17-year-old boy in order to study in the early 1900s when women weren’t allowed. Streisand was in her early 40s at the time, and her well-known persona as a powerhouse singer and movie star makes the gender-bending antics more improbable than the age gap between herself and the character.

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6 / 67
DreamWorks

#62. Dreamgirls (2006)

- Director: Bill Condon
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Votes: 65,456
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 130 min

Jennifer Hudson’s star-making performance in the film adaptation of the Broadway hit “Dreamgirls” was a standout in a film cast with superstars Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy. Both Murphy and Hudson won Golden Globes for their Supporting Performances, and Hudson would win the Oscar, as well. “Dreamgirls” was praised for featuring a predominantly black cast in positive roles.

7 / 67
Sol C. Siegel Productions

#61. Les Girls (1957)

- Director: George Cukor
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Votes: 2,329
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 114 min

Gene Kelly stars in this glitzy MGM musical with sweeping set pieces and opulent costumes as the backdrop for the popular song and dance man as women vie for his heart. The spectacle becomes glaringly off-key in a contemporary light. In the titular number, “Les Girls,” Kelly dances around different “international” women including white women costumed in blackface and “yellowface” to indicate African and Asian ethnicity.

8 / 67
Granley Company

#60. That Touch of Mink (1962)

- Director: Delbert Mann
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Votes: 7,999
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 99 min

This romantic comedy was the only film that paired major matinee stars Doris Day and Cary Grant together. Day stars in her familiar typecast role, as a goody-two-shoes trying to bait a dashing ladies man into proposing marriage. He eventually succumbs, restoring social order around gender roles.

9 / 67
ABC Motion Pictures

#59. Prizzi's Honor (1985)

- Director: John Huston
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Votes: 21,520
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 130 min

“Prizzi’s Honor” cast Jack Nicholson as a mobster who leaves his longtime girlfriend (played Anjelica Huston) for another criminal (Kathleen Turner). Huston’s father, John Huston, directed, and she was Nicholson’s girlfriend in real life at the time. Like the couple in the film, Nicholson left her for another woman before the film premiered. Huston spoke of their break-up in an interview with Vulture where she details the blowback for winning Best Supporting Actress for “Prizzi’s Honor,” beating Oprah Winfrey in “The Color Purple.”

10 / 67
Universal Pictures

#58. Babe (1995)

- Director: Chris Noonan
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Votes: 111,088
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 91 min

“Babe,” the live action kids’ film with CGI effects that create talking animals impressed audiences with its technical feats matched by a surprisingly sweet story. James Cromwell gave an acclaimed performance as a curmudgeon with a heart of gold who interacts with the pig, Babe, and other critters. Notably, “Babe” was nominated alongside “Toy Story,” a film that would go on to launch a booming franchise.

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11 / 67
Twentieth Century Fox

#57. With a Song in My Heart (1952)

- Director: Walter Lang
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Votes: 1,161
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 117 min

Susan Hayward stars as the 1930s singer Jane Froman in this melodramatic biopic. Hayward lip syncs recordings voiced by Froman in a story that features rousing USO performances as it dramatizes Froman’s recovery from a near-fatal plane crash while traveling to perform for troops during World War II.

12 / 67
Otto Preminger Films

#56. Carmen Jones (1954)

- Director: Otto Preminger
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Votes: 4,190
- Metascore: 65
- Runtime: 105 min

Shot in early CinemaScope with an all-black cast, “Carmen Jones” uses the music from the 1875 opera “Carmen,” adapting it to a military base during World War II. Though stars Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte were singers, their voices were dubbed by opera singers, in this melodramatic, strangely seedy story of brutal violence. In a 2007 review for The Guardian, Andrew Pulver notes the film “now feels like a relic from the gruesome social straitjacket that was segregation; every frame, you feel, is freighted with the tension imposed by the never-appearing white folks.”

13 / 67
Twentieth Century Fox

#55. Working Girl (1988)

- Director: Mike Nichols
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Votes: 48,768
- Metascore: 73
- Runtime: 113 min

“Working Girl” dramatized the 1980s zeitgeist around women gaining power in the corporate workplace. Stars Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver play two such cultural stereotypes. Weaver is the ball-busting maneater, while Griffith offers a softer fantasy of a working woman who has, as her character puts it “a head for business and a bod for sin.” She’s smart, sexy, and notably, non-threatening. Harrison Ford plays the businessman love interest caught between the two women.

14 / 67
Mervyn LeRoy Productions Inc.

#54. A Majority of One (1961)

- Director: Mervyn LeRoy
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Votes: 935
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 156 min

Alec Guinness stars as a Japanese man, Asano, in make-up that George Takei, who had a small role in “A Majority of One” finds shocking and describes as making “the eyes look cold, sinister, almost reptilian. It was grotesquely offensive.” Rosalind Russell plays a Jewish woman transplanted to Japan who falls for Asano in a film celebrated during its era for its anti-prejudice message—one totally lost from a contemporary viewpoint.

15 / 67
Paramount Pictures

#53. Heaven Can Wait (1978)

- Directors: Warren Beatty, Buck Henry
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Votes: 17,288
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 101 min

Warren Beatty was Hollywood’s “it” boy of the 1970s, a famous womanizer who had at one time been romantically linked to his “Heaven Can Wait” co-star, Julie Christie. Beatty co-directed this light comedy about the afterlife with Buck Henry. It was a stark departure the arty style of his prior films “Bonnie and Clyde” and the acclaimed revisionist western “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” in which Christie also co-starred.

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16 / 67
Orion Pictures

#52. Arthur (1981)

- Director: Steve Gordon
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Votes: 24,381
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 97 min

Liza Minnelli and Dudley Moore (as the titular Arthur) make an unlikely pair in this hugely popular comedy about an alcoholic billionaire who falls for a low-class waitress. The film indulges in the popular 1980s lust-for-wealth theme, and features John Gielgud as Arthur’s wise and content servant. The film was remade in 2011 with Russell Brand playing the unhappy rich man.

17 / 67
Twentieth Century Fox

#51. Romancing the Stone (1984)

- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Votes: 77,423
- Metascore: 63
- Runtime: 106 min

This rollicking adventure film marked Kathleen Turner’s first major starring role after playing the diabolical femme fatale in “Body Heat.” In “Romancing the Stone” she goes against type as a nerdy writer caught up in adventurous intrigue after drug dealers kidnap her sister. This huge hit bolstered the careers of its three stars, Turner, Michael Douglas, and Danny DeVito.

18 / 67
Focus Features

#50. The Kids Are All Right (2010)

- Director: Lisa Cholodenko
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 121,847
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 106 min

“The Kids Are All Right” marked a mainstream foray into lesbian representation that was considered positive despite straight actresses Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in the lead roles. Mark Ruffalo played the long-absent-now-found sperm donor to the couple’s children who ends up in an affair with one of the women—which somewhat stifles the progressive representation of a gay couple.

19 / 67
Twentieth Century Fox

#49. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

- Directors: Chris Columbus, Chuck Jones
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 227,437
- Metascore: 53
- Runtime: 125 min

Robin Williams gave a beloved performance in one of his major early '90s comedy hits in which he dresses in drag to incognito-nanny his estranged kids. Though the premise skews sentimental and ridiculous, audiences responded positively to William’s good-natured, charismatic portrayal. He was honored with a Best Actor Golden Globe in the Musical or Comedy category for the role.

20 / 67
The Mirisch Corporation

#48. The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1966)

- Director: Norman Jewison
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 7,352
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 126 min

New York Times reviewer wrote of this “cold war comedy”: “Go to the theater to enjoy this farce. The cold war has owed us all a good laugh for a long, long time.” Released during tensions between the U.S. and Russia, this film features Alan Arkin as a Russian lieutenant sent to land to find a boat to fix his crew’s stuck submarine. Instead, he and his gang engage in various misunderstandings with the Americans vacationing near the shore.

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21 / 67
Paramount Pictures

#47. The Longest Yard (1974)

- Director: Robert Aldrich
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 15,940
- Metascore: 61
- Runtime: 121 min

This genre mash-up follows a prison league football squad whose motivation springs from their desire to beat the prison guard team. Burt Reynolds plays a former pro-footballer doing 18 months for an illicit police chase. Prison scenes rival the brutality on the field in a film that was praised for its potential subversive subtext about critiquing authority.

22 / 67
Universal Pictures

#46. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

- Director: John Madden
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 204,542
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 123 min

Critics and audiences adored the fictionalized love story between Shakespeare and a woman posing as a man to act in his plays. Ralph Fiennes plays the literary genius with Gwyneth Paltrow as Viola, the disguised actor. She won a Best Actress Golden Globe for Comedy or Musical in addition to a Best Actress Oscar. “Shakespeare in Love” also won the Best Picture Oscar that year—a somewhat rare feat for a comedy, although this one has dramatic elements, a literary bent, and a period setting.

23 / 67
Miramax

#45. Chicago (2002)

- Director: Rob Marshall
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 204,859
- Metascore: 82
- Runtime: 113 min

“Chicago” was heralded at the time of its release as inaugurating a new era of Hollywood musicals. The film was popular with audiences and features the quick-cut style of early aughts editing, in line with films like “Moulin Rouge!” and music videos of the era. The film cast major stars who weren’t known for their singing, but offered performances acceptable to audiences. The cast included Richard Gere, John C. Reilly, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Renée Zellweger.

24 / 67
The Weinstein Company

#44. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

- Director: Woody Allen
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 231,354
- Metascore: 70
- Runtime: 96 min

“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” began a spate of Woody Allen’s late masterpieces that includes “Match Point,” “Midnight in Paris,” and “Blue Jasmine.” However, resurfacing attention on sexual abuse allegations from Dylan Farrow ignited debates on the value of Allen’s films in light of the claims. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” returns to familiar and troubling Allen themes that objectify his female characters. Still, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” features outstanding performances from Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and Scarlett Johansson as tempestuous artists caught up in a love triangle.

25 / 67
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#43. The Sunshine Boys (1975)

- Director: Herbert Ross
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 5,211
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 111 min

The vaudeville variety tradition has long been a staple of American entertainment; the revival of “The Gong Show” is a recent example. “The Sunshine Boys” stars vaudeville stalwart George Burns and Walter Matthau as a long-retired comedy team reunited for a variety TV show. The film now seems a relic of a bygone comedy era. Burns was plucked from relative obscurity for the role. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and his career enjoyed a resurgence due to this film until he passed in the '90s at age 100.

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26 / 67
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

#42. Guys and Dolls (1955)

- Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 14,426
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 150 min

Marlon Brando plays a singing and dancing gangster, partnered with co-star Frank Sinatra, and their “dolls” or dames. “Variety” reports there’s a new remake in the works since the success of musicals like “La La Land.” “Guys and Dolls” also reportedly features “one of the greatest collections of showtunes,” including “Luck Be a Lady,” which is worth watching to see the then-future “Godfather” actor, Brando, performing the tune with choreography that includes tossing cash at fellow gangsters.

27 / 67
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#41. An American in Paris (1951)

- Director: Vincente Minnelli
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 28,094
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 114 min

This colorful spectacle starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron premiered during Hollywood’s golden age of musicals that generally featured elaborate sets and costumes with exuberant colors and choreography meant to inspire euphoria in viewers. The visual design in this film is inspired by paintings with many backdrops referencing the work of French masters while human dancers erupt against the two-dimensional backdrops and romanticized Parisian tableaus.

28 / 67
Columbia Pictures

#40. American Hustle (2013)

- Director: David O. Russell
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 425,891
- Metascore: 90
- Runtime: 138 min

The allure of “American Hustle” comes as much from the enthusiastic precision with which it recreates the 1970s as it does from its elaborate plot involving hustles and schemes. Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams wear resplendent disco-era evening outfits in an extended scene involving an intricate con game. Christian Bale also stars, alongside Bradley Cooper who sports a tight poodle perm hairstyle reminiscent of the era.

29 / 67
Columbia Pictures

#39. Hope and Glory (1987)

- Director: John Boorman
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 11,751
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 113 min

John Boorman directed “Deliverance” and the totally bizarre “Zardoz,” but “Hope and Glory” was his most acclaimed film, nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, however, without winning. Boorman’s “Hope and Glory” is based on his own childhood experience as a young boy in England during World War II, where the events are often as wondrous as they are harrowing.

30 / 67
DreamWorks

#38. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

- Director: Tim Burton
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 328,243
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 116 min

Johnny Depp lends his eccentric and theatrical performance style to the film adaptation of the darkly gruesome Broadway show. Tim Burton directs his frequent leading man (alongside Helena Bonham Carter) in a musical that uses expressionistic, macabre visuals to showcase Burton’s signature, horror-infused, off-kilter style.

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31 / 67
Stanley Kramer Productions

#37. The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)

- Director: Stanley Kramer
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 2,906
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 139 min

Anthony Quinn plays the mayor of a small Italian town who outwits a German officer at the tail end of World War II by hiding a million bottles of wine in a nearby cave. “The New York Times” panned the film when it premiered in 1969, taking aim at the director and novelist of the source material, writing: “it's exactly the sort of big, square, mechanical film you might expect a sophisticated Hollywood computer—or Stanley Kramer—to make from Robert Crichton's small, square, mechanical novel.”

32 / 67
Warner Bros.

#36. The Goodbye Girl (1977)

- Director: Herbert Ross
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 11,679
- Metascore: 64
- Runtime: 111 min

Marsha Mason was a frequent star in film adaptations of Neil Simon’s plays in the 1970s and 1980s when the two were a couple. In “The Goodbye Girl” Mason is singularly winning as a single mom whose boyfriend left her, but not before subletting their shared apartment to an actor played by Richard Dreyfuss. The talky, romantic comedy features a classic meet-cute and delightful tension as the mismatched pair figure out they’re perfect together.

33 / 67
Twentieth Century Fox

#35. The King and I (1956)

- Director: Walter Lang
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 22,572
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 133 min

Yul Brynner was often cast in exotic roles such as the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses in “The Ten Commandments” and in this musical as the King of Siam. The actor was actually of Russian and Swiss-Mongolian descent. He’s one of the few actors to star on Broadway and successfully transition to the lead in the film adaptation. He won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in “The King and I.”

34 / 67
Romulus Films

#34. Oliver! (1968)

- Director: Carol Reed
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 32,104
- Metascore: 74
- Runtime: 153 min

This acclaimed musical had an epic scope with its sprawling plot and large scale dance numbers set in London’s street markets and upper-class districts. It also includes the orphanage number in which the young Oliver recites the quotable line, “Please, sir, I want some more” and incites rage from the grown-ups. The film also stars Oliver Reed as a particularly menacing Bill Sikes from Charles Dickens’ classic novel.

35 / 67
Universal Pictures

#33. American Graffiti (1973)

- Director: George Lucas
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 76,548
- Metascore: 97
- Runtime: 110 min

Before “Stars Wars,” George Lucas made “American Graffiti” about teens cruising on a summer night. The acclaimed film starred a bevy of then-unknown actors like Suzanne Somers, Harrison Ford, and Richard Dreyfuss whose careers were soon to explode. The film also starred Cindy Williams and Ron Howard and inspired the TV show “Happy Days,” which likewise inspired the show “Laverne & Shirley.”

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36 / 67
Columbia Pictures

#32. Tootsie (1982)

- Director: Sydney Pollack
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 91,363
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 116 min

Dustin Hoffman famously remarks to his love interest (played by Jessica Lange): “I was a better man with you as a woman than I ever was with a woman as a man.” Hoffman plays an actor who passes as a woman to secure a role on a soap opera, but the ruse brings trouble when he falls in love with his co-star who thinks he’s a woman and sets him up with her dad. The movie was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2018.

37 / 67
The Zanuck Company

#31. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

- Director: Bruce Beresford
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 91,436
- Metascore: 81
- Runtime: 99 min

“Driving Miss Daisy” features what has aged into an offensive premise—the relationship between a cantankerous white Jewish woman and her accommodating black chauffeur. Jessica Tandy won the Best Actress Oscar, but Morgan Freeman, also nominated in the Best Actor category did not. The film was adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by the white Southern playwright Alfred Fox Uhry, and the material denigrates the experience of the black driver in service of the gentle awakening of a white woman.

38 / 67
IAC Films

#30. Lady Bird (2017)

- Director: Greta Gerwig
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 190,483
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 94 min

Greta Gerwig wrote and directed this acclaimed coming-of-age story about Lady Bird, played by Saoirse Ronan, a headstrong radical in her final year of high school. Gerwig’s original story offers a fresh take on young female adulthood. Laurie Metcalf gives a stellar performance as Lady Bird’s critical mom. The goodbye scene between the two hits viewers in the heart.

39 / 67
Universal Pictures

#29. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

- Director: Michael Apted
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 15,608
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 124 min

Sissy Spacek burst on the scene as an actress in the 1970s most notably in “Badlands,” “Carrie,” and then this biopic about the life of country singer Loretta Lynn. Spacek does her own singing and uses a deep Kentucky accent. Early scenes depict the abject poverty of Lynn’s home life in Kentucky before she married 22-year-old Doo (Tommy Lee Jones) at age 15. A harshly realistic scene of the couple on their wedding night captures gender relations at the time as Loretta says “no” over and over while Doo tells her to “hush.”

40 / 67
Avenue Pictures

#28. The Player (1992)

- Director: Robert Altman
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 50,644
- Metascore: 86
- Runtime: 124 min

Robert Altman’s noir-inspired thriller offers a scatching critique of Hollywood in its story about a studio exec who covers up the murder of a disgruntled screenwriter. The film opens with a virtuoso long take, almost eight minutes long, that moves through offices, looks through windows and hovers in the parking lot of a production studio, roving amongst the players as if a watchful eye. Constant overlapping dialogue about movies is overheard including discussions of a long opening take and movie pitch of “The Graduate Part 2.”

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41 / 67
Aspen Productions (I)

#27. MASH (1970)

- Director: Robert Altman
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 64,361
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 116 min

“M*A*S*H” marked the beginning of the Hollywood New Wave film movement that gained legs in the 1970s as films turned from light, entertaining Hollywood fare with happy endings to scathing critiques of the American status quo that resisted giving viewers an easy out. Altman’s film style often employs a roving camera and improvising actors to achieve a fresh, anti-Hollywood sense of realism. The 1970 review in "The Hollywood Reporter” raved: “M*A*S*H is irreverent of many things: war, sex, bureaucracy, military decorum, but never of the unquenchable spirit of its people […] near the front lines of the Korean War […] who acknowledge they, too, are prisoners of war.”

42 / 67
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#26. Sideways (2004)

- Director: Alexander Payne
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 172,088
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 127 min

Paul Giamatti, as an unpublished novelist, proved he had the chops to be a romantic leading man in this hilarious comedy-drama about people obsessed with the intricate nature of wine. Thomas Haden Church stars as the writer’s sidekick in this detail-oriented film about masculine crisis and picking up and starting over after disappointment.

43 / 67
Twentieth Century Fox

#25. Moulin Rouge! (2001)

- Director: Baz Luhrmann
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 255,795
- Metascore: 66
- Runtime: 127 min

Baz Luhrmann’s frenetic musical encapsulates the postmodern style of its cultural moment. The film merged aesthetics of differing film and music genres in a pastiche of references where clashing was the very point. The visual style is wild in its use of camera angle, color, and composition in a story set during turn-of-the-century France, in which way it more reflects the turn-of-the-millennium time period in which it premiered.

44 / 67
Universal Pictures

#24. Les Misérables (2012)

- Director: Tom Hooper
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 291,819
- Metascore: 63
- Runtime: 158 min

This rousing epic musical with its nearly three-hour running time divided critics. Anthony Lane at “The New Yorker” describes the film as an “inflationary bombast,” while other reviews praised the melodramatic spectacle that essentially depicts characters suffering in decades-long anguish. These various, nonstop ordeals happen in ways that are both small and soul-stirring, and big in that they inspire revolution against tyranny. The cast includes Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, and Russell Crowe, who all sing.

45 / 67
Twentieth Century Fox

#23. Breaking Away (1979)

- Director: Peter Yates
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 20,502
- Metascore: 91
- Runtime: 101 min

One of Dennis Quaid’s early breakout roles was Mike in “Breaking Away.” He plays a bitter working-class “cutter” in small-town Indiana angry at the lack of prospects for young men like him. “Breaking Away” examines class differences between the blue-collar and college-bound through its sentimental drama about bicycle racing. Paul Dooley plays an establishment dad who resists the changes the young men around him seek.

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46 / 67
TriStar Pictures

#22. As Good as It Gets (1997)

- Director: James L. Brooks
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 259,798
- Metascore: 67
- Runtime: 139 min

Audiences loved this story (to the tune of over $300 million worldwide) about a homophobic novelist with OCD (Jack Nicholson) who begrudgingly helps a gay artist (Greg Kinnear) after the painter is severely injured during a robbery. Helen Hunt plays the single mom waitress who enables the two men to connect and somehow along the way falls for the cranky, selfish writer.

47 / 67
Focus Features

#21. Lost in Translation (2003)

- Director: Sofia Coppola
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 383,170
- Metascore: 89
- Runtime: 102 min

Sofia Coppola’s second film, after 1999’s “The Virgin Suicides,” examines loneliness and the impossibility of connection in the modern world. To explore these themes, the film focuses on two Americans played by Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray staying at a Tokyo hotel as the foreign culture exacerbates their sense of dislocation. Famously, the pair’s final words to one another go unheard, or “lost” and untranslated in sync with the overarching theme.

48 / 67
Warner Bros.

#20. The Hangover (2009)

- Director: Todd Phillips
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 683,292
- Metascore: 73
- Runtime: 100 min

“The Hangover” burst onto the cultural scene in a box office bonanza. The film details a phantasm of the male psyche around fears of marriage. Set in Las Vegas, four “bachelor party” cohorts enter a drug-fueled dreamscape where they endure mishap and a series of initiatory injuries as they try to piece together what has happened and locate a lost groom.

49 / 67
Allied Artists Pictures

#19. Cabaret (1972)

- Director: Bob Fosse
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 45,005
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 124 min

This was the first musical to receive an ‘X’ rating, the classification for adult films before the official change to NC-17. “Cabaret” takes place in 1930s Berlin (in the midst of the Nazi regime’s rise) at a risque nightclub where burlesque debauchery reigns. Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey play unapologetically bawdy performers, and the fascist backdrop ups a specter of horror.

50 / 67
Warner Bros.

#18. My Fair Lady (1964)

- Director: George Cukor
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 81,380
- Metascore: 95
- Runtime: 170 min

Leading lady Audrey Hepburn’s singing was all dubbed in this musical about changing a woman’s voice. Audiences find the love-hate dynamic between elocution professor Henry Higgins and the cockney-prone Eliza romantic. However, the “fix-her-up” scenario rings overtly sexist and classist as the “offensively low” (in Henry’s words) Eliza ends the film ambiguously remaining servant to her prior tormentor.

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51 / 67
Fox 2000 Pictures

#17. Walk the Line (2005)

- Director: James Mangold
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 219,897
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 136 min

The Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” along with Joaquin Phoenix’s performance was snubbed by the Academy Awards. Reese Witherspoon, however, won the Best Actress Oscar for what was considered an exuberant pitch-perfect turn as June Carter. Phoenix won the Best Actor Golden Globe in the film’s category for his immersive, affective portrayal of the legendary Johnny Cash. Phoenix does all the singing, despite it being “completely foreign” to the actor who prepared for the part at a “rock’n’roll boot camp.”

52 / 67
Warner Bros.

#16. Auntie Mame (1958)

- Director: Morton DaCosta
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 9,703
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 143 min

Rosalind Russell also won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Award for her turn as a rambunctious party girl, an eccentric aunt of a certain age. She’s given charge of her orphaned nephew and precedes to rock his world in an acclaimed performance considered a highlight of a career that also includes her iconic turn in “His Girl Friday."

53 / 67
Orion Pictures

#15. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

- Director: Woody Allen
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 63,021
- Metascore: 90
- Runtime: 107 min

Woody Allen’s talky drama focuses on three sisters and their creative lives and love affairs as intellectuals and wannabe artistes in 1980s Manhattan. Allen stars in a movie that weaves in his familiar themes on neurosis and infidelity amid an ensemble cast that includes Mia Farrow. Dianne Wiest shines (and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar) as a winsome failing actress who finally gets it together. Surprisingly, Max von Sydow steals scenes as a reclusive genius who detests society and people.

54 / 67
Studio 37

#14. The Artist (2011)

- Director: Michel Hazanavicius
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 220,081
- Metascore: 89
- Runtime: 100 min

“The Artist” was a surprise hit because it seemed to have all the characteristics popular audiences shun. It was shot in a style that mimicked films of the silent era, in black and white, with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Nevertheless, the film enraptured audiences earning over $130 million worldwide and winning the Best Picture Oscar in addition to the Golden Globe’s Award for Best Musical or Comedy. The film offers an uplifting and nostalgic look at the film industry’s transition from the silent era to “talkies.”

55 / 67
Columbia Pictures

#13. Almost Famous (2000)

- Director: Cameron Crowe
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 238,825
- Metascore: 90
- Runtime: 122 min

“Almost Famous” is the autobiographical story of Cameron Crowe’s experiences as a writer for Rolling Stone while he was still in high school. However, the film’s most remembered for launching Kate Hudson as a major actress who could be recognized for much more than her novel resemblance to her famous mother, Goldie Hawn. Hudson won the Best Supporting Performance by an Actress Golden Globe for her portrayal of Penny Lane, a rock band groupie with surprising depth.

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56 / 67
Pixar Animation Studios

#12. Toy Story 2 (1999)

- Directors: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 492,047
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 92 min

“Toy Story 2” premiered as that rare sequel considered as good or better than the original film. Audiences and critics were as impressed with the sentimental, funny story as they were with the then-burgeoning CGI effects that allowed viewers to revel in technological wonder. At one point during production, the sequel was almost accidentally deleted from Pixar computers.

57 / 67
The Mirisch Production Company

#11. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

- Director: Norman Jewison
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 36,146
- Metascore: 67
- Runtime: 181 min

“Fiddler on the Roof” premiered in the same year as violent, cynical films like “A Clockwork Orange” and “The French Connection,” which won the Best Picture Oscar. The adaptation of the Broadway musical uses realistic sets to recreate an early 1900s Ukranian village where a Jewish patriarch grapples with marrying off five daughters.

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58 / 67
Robert Wise Productions

#10. The Sound of Music (1965)

- Director: Robert Wise
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 187,488
- Metascore: 63
- Runtime: 172 min

“The Sound of Music” became the first official blockbuster, the highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release with huge receipts garnered from audiences returning to the theater again and again. The film was a huge critical and financial success, and it still is a hit with audiences nearly a half-century later with a sing-along theatrical re-release in 2000. The film features a wholesome story set against the backdrop of encroaching Nazi takeover and offers audiences feel-good escapism.

59 / 67
Lawrence Turman

#9. The Graduate (1967)

- Director: Mike Nichols
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 242,453
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 106 min

In 1967, “The Graduate” stood out as defining the counterculture generation. In his star-making role as Benjamin Braddock, Dustin Hoffman became the quintessential representation for rebellion against parents and a society filled with stifling conventions. The film also used a stark, new film style (inspired by European Art Cinema) coupling these visuals with the evocative score by Simon and Garfunkel, which included “The Sounds of Silence” with lyrics about darkness and “restless dreams.”

60 / 67
Walt Disney Pictures

#8. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

- Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 398,821
- Metascore: 95
- Runtime: 84 min

The Golden Globes began giving a separate award for Best Animated Feature in 2007 (“Cars” won), while the Academy Awards started in 2002 giving the first honor to “Shrek.” Disney’s animated “Beauty and the Beast” introduced a princess with brains and spunk and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar (it won for Song and Score), in addition to winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture.

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61 / 67
Summit Entertainment

#7. La La Land (2016)

- Director: Damien Chazelle
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 455,176
- Metascore: 93
- Runtime: 128 min

The Golden Globe Awards are considered a solid barometer for gauging what film will win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The revisionist musical “La La Land” captured a sense of nostalgic mirth, nixing the dark side of fame in its romantic tale of a starlet in love. The film won the Golden Globe and had 93% odds to win going into Oscar night. On the night, however, it lost to “Moonlight” after a snafu during which it was briefly and mistakenly named the winner.

62 / 67
Twentieth Century Fox

#6. The Martian (2015)

- Director: Ridley Scott
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 703,586
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 144 min

Matt Damon won the Best Actor Golden Globe (Musical or Comedy) for his role as the titular martian stranded alone on the red planet. Both the film and Damon were nominated for Oscars. “The Martian” was nominated for Academy Awards in seven categories, but didn’t get any wins. The Golden Globe Awards in this category often honor popular, crowd-pleasing films, like “The Martian,” that are otherwise overlooked in favor of more serious fare. “Spotlight” (about child abuse in the Catholic church) won the Best Picture Oscar the same year.

63 / 67
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#5. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

- Director: Wes Anderson
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 652,135
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 99 min

Wes Anderson’s madcap, stylized look at life in a hotel beat “Birdman” to win the Best Picture Musical or Comedy Golden Globe. However, “Birdman” won Best Picture on Oscar Night. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won for Original Score, as well as Makeup and Hairstyling, Costume Design, and Production Design—wins that honored Anderson’s precise and detailed film style in those areas.

64 / 67
Ashton Productions

#4. Some Like It Hot (1959)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 227,078
- Metascore: 97
- Runtime: 121 min

“Some Like It Hot” brings together Marilyn Monroe (she won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her portrayal) with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis who dress in drag throughout the film in a ploy to evade mafia thugs. Considered one of the greatest comedies of all time, “Some Like It Hot” is also famous for the dialogue at the end when Joe E. Brown as Osgood, says “Well, nobody’s perfect” after finding out Lemmon’s character is really a man.

65 / 67
Participant

#3. Green Book (2018)

- Director: Peter Farrelly
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 264,161
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 130 min

“Green Book” was a hit with audiences and critics that won the Best Picture Oscar while co-star Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of pianist Dr. Don Shirley. Ali apologized to Shirley’s family when controversy arose because the film is largely based on the experience of Shirley’s driver, Tony Vallelonga, whose son co-wrote the screenplay. The film also drew criticism for putting forth a “white savior” narrative.

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66 / 67
The Mirisch Corporation

#2. The Apartment (1960)

- Director: Billy Wilder
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 149,382
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 125 min

“The Apartment” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture. Director Billy Wilder brings his acerbic style to this rom-com with a critique of American life at its center. Jack Lemmon plays a corporate cog who gets ahead by renting out his apartment to his bosses for trysts. The romance moves alongside tragedy when a woman (Shirley MacLaine) attempts suicide after a hopeless and tawdry affair.

67 / 67
Walt Disney Pictures

#1. The Lion King (1994)

- Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Votes: 874,166
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 88 min

“The Lion King” was a runaway box office success in 1994 playing in at least 1,000 theaters for 36 weeks and receiving more theatrical runs in 2002 and 2011. The film was a cultural touchstone for the millennial generation who rewatched the animated classic on VCRs as children. Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” won the Oscar for Best Original Song with Hans Zimmer winning for Best Original Score. The 2019 remake made over $1.6 billion worldwide, showing the “Hamlet”-esque story about a traumatized kid, the lion Simba, still endures.

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