Some Oscar winners show up long enough to claim their trophy, and then fade into obscurity. Take a look back at the winners everyone forgot, and find out which hidden gems have been forgotten and overshadowed.
Winning an Oscar does not guarantee that a film will linger in memory. In fact, some Oscar-winning movies completely fade away after their moment in the spotlight.
How Green Was My Valley: John Ford surprised audiences with the sugary story of “How Green Was My Valley,” Best Picture winner of 1941. Set in Wales but filmed in Malibu, the movie was up against such films as “Citizen Kane,” “The Maltese Falcon” and “Sergeant York,” which makes the win even more surprising. The film has since faded into obscurity, save for when it’s cited as an example of one of Ford’s not-so-great films.
Gentleman’s Agreement: The Best Picture winner of 1948 is rarely re-broadcast. “Gentleman’s Agreement” had the right cast in Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire, but the plot didn’t strike with audiences. Peck plays a man who masquerades as a Jew in order to study bigotry. It beat “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Bishop’s Wife,” two holiday classics, to win the Academy Award.
Gigi: The 1958 Best Picture winner was a lavish musical with rich costumes, eye-popping sets and a cast with serious pipes…but it has since been overshadowed by much more well-known Hollywood musicals. “Gigi” beat movies like “Auntie Mame,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “The Defiant Ones” to win the statue, and yet it is barely mentioned in conversations about lavish musicals of the era.
Ordinary People: Though rich with amazing performances from Timothy Hutton and Mary Tyler Moore, “Ordinary People” has become an obscure film despite its 1980 Oscar win. This film won against Scorsese’s “Raging Bull,” and yet it is barely remembered today.
The Oscars are meant to award greatness, but sometimes the label doesn’t quite last. Have you seen any of these forgotten Oscar winners? View them for yourself to find out what many movie buffs may be missing.