Ben Hur. Titanic. Gone With the Wind. What do these epic films have in common besides being longer than a baseball game? Try being nominated for a plethora (I had to get that word out of my system) of Academy Awards, while ultimately going on to win the pennant, the Best Picture of the Year. But what about the World Series washouts? Did they always deserve to lose to the prom-kings? If the aforementioned blockbusters and their allies (Forrest Gump, Gladiator, Chicago, etc.) are the Yankees of cinema, what about the Dodgers? The Yankees have been crowned world champions a record twenty-six times, but the Dodgers have come up short twelve times, despite making a second-best eighteen appearances. Who are these also-rans? Has Father Time weathered a new attitude about these bridesmaids? Let’s take a closer look…

Ten Commandments. Letterman’s Top Ten List. A really bad Blake Edwards movie (we know, there’re a plethora them. Damn. There it is again.). Ten songs on the #1 selling album of all time (we know you’ll look it up). Ten fingers to dial in your America’s Got Talent vote on the ten-digit keypad, and ten toes to kick your cell phone through the pet door every time some ninny in the audience thinks it’s still funny to yell “Jerry!” All in all, it’s a hell of a sexier number to start out with then, say, four.

Best Picture-nominated films with at least 10 Academy Award nominations….that didn’t win Best Picture. My Honors English teacher would kill me. Heck, my 4th-grade teacher would at least maim me.

My apologies to Orson Welles. Natch, Citizen Kane had nine.

10 nominations:

1956: Giant — Lost to Around the World in Eighty Days (8 nom’s).

A rewarding George Stevens soap-epic about a Texas oil tycoon (James Dean’s final role) and the conflict that ensues with Rock Hudson’s and Elizabeth Taylor’s family. Thank god for Venus-like Taylor, Texas sure is…we’ll just leave it at dusty (at least it was before this summer). Please direct angry-Texan mail to Dave Yen.

1967: Bonnie & Clyde — Lost to In the Heat of the Night (7 nom’s).

Stylish and prototypical gangster movie that set the standard for a new era of on-screen violence. The bloody climax was controversial at the time, and remains macabre even by today’s measures.

1972: Cabaret — Lost to The Godfather (11 nom’s).

‘Nough said.

1973: The Exorcist — Lost to The Sting (also 10 nom’s).

Still scares the Hell out of people. Perhaps literally.

1976: Network — Lost to Rocky (also 10 nom’s).

Five acting nods alone, but Rocky Balboa deserved the victory after losing to Apollo.

1981: On Golden Pond — Lost to Chariots of Fire (7 nom’s).

A beautiful and underrated film. Your grandparents were right!

1982: Tootsie — Lost to Gandhi (11 nom’s).

The greatest humanitarian of all time over cross-dressing Dustin Hoffman in 80’s leotards?

2000: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon — Lost to Gladiator (12 nom’s).

Maybe the trick is christening your movie with a single G-word. (Gladiator, Gandhi, Godfather, Gigi…)

2002: Gangs of New York — Lost to The Hours.

Just kidding. Chicago (13 nom’s).

2003: Master and Commander — Lost to Return of the King (11 nom’s).

Lance Armstrong would have lost to The King.

I’m sure you’ll find some absentees that I missed, so we welcome your input, as always. Hell, I’m a writer for Oscar Frenzy, not Time magazine.

Of the ten — whoa…spooky — losing films above, they all probably lost to a more worthy opponent, except for perhaps On Golden Pond.

For the next column we will move past our cozy number ten into films that were nominated for even more Oscars, yet still managed to lose the Best Picture race. We will dig into such Grade A directors as Spielberg, Scorcesee, and Capra, a prestigious bunch who all have tasted the pain of second place, or first loser. The moral of the story? Mr. Rogers said it best: “Often out of periods of losing come the greatest strivings toward a new winning streak.” Just ask Steven, Martin, and Frank.Traitor movie download