Best Ever Oscar-Winning Movies

Movies that tackle the challenges of real life are often the ones that are remembered the longest. That’s why it’s no surprise that many Academy Award-winning films have been those that have taken on heavy topics like discrimination, addiction, and even the horrors of war. 

The Oscars have existed for almost a century now, which means there’s a long history of movies being recognized for having exceptional performances, writing, and directing.  

From dramas about the struggles of alcoholics to coming-of-age stories about young women finding their independence and unique voices, these are some of the most meaningful Oscar-winning movies from every year.

1939-1940: ” The Wizard of Oz”

When people think of the classic movie that won the very first Academy Award for Best Picture, a few things come to mind: the yellow brick road, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and, of course, the munchkins.  

The Wizard of Oz, based on the book by L. Frank Baum, tells the story of a young girl named Dorothy and her journey to find home and understand who she is.  

When she and her dog, Toto, are swept away by a tornado and wind up in the strange and magical land of Oz, they discover that they have been brought there to help the Wizard find the Great Oz and reunite him with his magical ruby slippers. Throughout the film, Dorothy learns that bravery and kindness are what really matter in life.

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1940-1941: “Rebecca”

This is one of the earliest examples of a film that has stood the test of time beautifully. It’s still just as fresh, just as relevant, and just as haunting as it was when it won Best Picture over 80 years ago. 

In this adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel, a young woman falls in love with a man who is about to marry her widowed employer. The film follows the young woman’s story after the marriage, as she grapples with the legacy of her husband’s first wife, Rebecca, who was sinister and deeply troubled. 

The beautiful black-and-white cinematography, haunting score, and stunning set design make this film feel like it’s been ripped from the pages of a classic gothic novel.

1941-1942: ” Mrs. Miniver”

This film is one that should be talked about more, as it’s not just an Oscar-winning movie, but also a great film in general. Mrs. Miniver is a film about a family living in the British countryside that is struggling with the rise of fascism in Europe and the fear that the country will be drawn into war. 

The film follows the Miniver family and their daily struggles to get by amidst a time of uncertainty and worry. The film was released in a time that was very tense in terms of international politics and was intended to remind Americans not to be complacent about the rise of the Nazis.

1942-1943: “Casablanca”

This film is the gold standard for what a great drama looks like. The film follows a man who owns a bar in Casablanca during the early stages of World War II. He has a complicated past with a woman who is allied with the leaders of the resistance movement. 

The two lovers must decide whether they should fight or flee from the growing fascist threat. It’s a film that has become a cultural touchstone, thanks in part to its iconic lines, such as “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”  

The story is timeless, the characters are fully realized, and the cinematography is beautiful. It’s no wonder that this film has been referenced and parodied countless times over the years.

1943-1944: ” Going My Way”

This film is a classic example of a film that is enjoyable to watch but also has a lot of depth. Going My Way is about a young priest who arrives at a parish that is notorious for bad behavior. 

The bishop does not want to shut the parish down but instead tries to make it work. He hands the reins over to the young priest and sees what happens. 

The priest is a young, enthusiastic, and kind man who wants to change the parish and make it a better place for all involved. The priest meets a sassy nightclub singer, and the two begin to fall in love.

1944-1945: ” Anchors Aweigh” and ” The Story of G.I. Joe”

This double feature is a great example of how the Oscars often recognize films based on their themes and messages, rather than their Oscar-winning performances. Both films are about the realities of war, the importance of friendship, and remembering the people who fought and died for their country.  

The two films that were nominated for Best Picture both took on heavy themes, but the one that ultimately won was The Story of G.I. Joe, which is about the lives of soldiers on the home front. The film is a documentary and looks at the effect that the war had on America and its citizens.

1945-1946: ” The Lost Weekend.”

The Lost Weekend is an excellent example of how the Oscars often recognise films that tackle issues that are challenging but important. The film is about a struggling alcoholic who tries to stop drinking but fails miserably. His addiction causes him to lose everything and makes his life a living hell. 

It’s a tragic story, but it’s also an important cautionary tale that highlights the harmful effects of alcohol abuse. The Lost Weekend won Best Picture, and it is a film that should be watched and remembered to this day.

1946-1947: ” Gentleman’s Agreement” and ” Hamlet”

These two films were nominated for Best Picture in the same year, but only one could come out on top. Gentleman’s Agreement was the film that took the top prize, while the other film, Hamlet, was awarded two other Oscars.  

Gentleman’s Agreement is a film about a journalist who pretends to be Jewish in order to write about anti-Semitism and show the unfair discrimination that Jewish people faced in the years following World War II. It’s a film about finding your voice and using it to call out injustice. 

Hamlet is one of the most famous plays ever written and has been performed many times in many different ways. The film is an adaptation of the play and takes a new cinematic look at the story.


The Academy Award for Best Picture is the most coveted award in the movie industry. It is also one of the most difficult awards to win, as only a handful of films are fortunate enough to bag it every year. The Oscars reward excellence in cinema and acknowledge performances from actors, production designers, cinematographers, and other film crew members.

So there you have it—the best Oscar-winning movies of all time. If you want to make your home movie night extra special, then there’s no better way to do it than by watching one of the best movies ever made. They are great for many different occasions and will give you something to talk about for years to come.