Best Picture Nominees: 1920s-1930s

For years in which I’ve seen every film nominated for Best Picture, they’re ranked from best to worst in its listing. Otherwise, films are listed in alphabetical order. Titles in bold are ones I’ve seen, and the ones in italics are personal favorites. Additionally, titles marked with an asterisk are the films that won Best Picture in its given year.

1st Academy Awards (1927-1928):

The first year of the Academy Awards saw two different Best Picture categories: Outstanding Picture and Unique and Artistic Picture. The former category would go on to be recognized as the Best Picture category we know today, but I still want to include the nominees from the latter category as they’re just as worthy of mention.

Outstanding Picture:

  1. Wings*
  2. 7th Heaven
  3. The Racket

Unique and Artistic Picture:

  1. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans*
  2. The Crowd
  3. Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness

2nd Academy Awards (1928-1929):

  • Alibi
  • The Broadway Melody*
  • The Hollywood Revue of 1929
  • In Old Arizona
  • The Patriot

3rd Academy Awards (1929-1930):

  1. All Quiet on the Western Front*
  2. The Divorcee
  3. The Big House
  4. The Love Parade
  5. Disraeli

4th Academy Awards (1930-1931):

  • Cimarron*
  • East Lynne
  • The Front Page
  • Skippy
  • Trader Horn

5th Academy Awards (1931-1932):

  • Arrowsmith
  • Bad Girl
  • The Champ
  • Five Star Final
  • Grand Hotel*
  • One Hour with You
  • Shanghai Express
  • The Smiling Lieutenant

6th Academy Awards (1932-1933):

  1. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
  2. 42nd Street
  3. Lady for a Day
  4. Smilin’ Through
  5. State Fair
  6. A Farewell to Arms
  7. Little Women
  8. The Private Life of Henry VIII.
  9. She Done Him Wrong
  10. Cavalcade*

7th Academy Awards (1934):

  • The Barretts of Wimpole Street
  • Cleopatra
  • Flirtation Walk
  • The Gay Divorcee
  • Here Comes the Navy
  • The House of Rothschild
  • Imitation of Life
  • It Happened One Night*
  • One Night of Love
  • The Thin Man
  • Viva Villa!
  • The White Parade

8th Academy Awards (1935):

  • Alice Adams
  • Broadway Melody of 1936
  • Captain Blood
  • David Copperfield
  • The Informer
  • The Lives of a Bengal Lancer
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Les Misérables
  • Mutiny on the Bounty*
  • Naughty Marietta
  • Ruggles of Red Gap
  • Top Hat

9th Academy Awards (1936):

  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
  • Dodsworth
  • Libeled Lady
  • San Francisco
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The Story of Louis Pasteur
  • Three Smart Girls
  • The Great Ziegfeld*
  • Anthony Adverse

10th Academy Awards (1937):

  • The Awful Truth
  • Captains Courageous
  • Dead End
  • The Good Earth
  • In Old Chicago
  • The Life of Emile Zola*
  • Lost Horizon
  • One Hundred Men and a Girl
  • Stage Door
  • A Star Is Born
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