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The 10 greatest Oscars’ Best Picture winners, from Casablanca to Lawrence of Arabia

Geoffrey Macnab
Clockwise from top right: Lawrence of Arabia, The Apartment, The Godfather Part II, The Best Years of our Lives: Columbia/Paramount

Look over the list of best picture winners over the years and you realise that almost every film selected is still in circulation.

William Wellman’s Wings, the very first winner in 1927, is readily available on DVD and Blu-Ray, as are such other early winners as Cimarron and Broadway Melody.

Most of the other Best Picture winners are titles that any film lover will recognise instantly. The blind spots are obvious. The Academy never chooses foreign language titles. In recent years, it has shunned comedies.

The Shape of Water may have won in 2018 but voters are generally wary about genre pictures. You don’t see many sci-fi or martial arts titles on the list.

There is a growing divide between what wins at the Oscars and what makes the money at the box office. Even so, the best picture Oscar remains one of the most reliable bellwethers for films that will have an afterlife.

Click through to see the greatest Best Picture winners.

Follow along with all the latest Oscars coverage from The Independent here.