The Non-minees For Best Picture Oscar

2001 empire

Traditionally, genre films have been snubbed by the Oscars, that is a given. But in recent years, such films have snuck into the list of nominees. A few years back Avatar, Inception, District 9  and the film versions of The Lord Of The Rings received Best Picture nominations. Most know that the fantasy epic The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King actually won for Best Picture in 2003.

While that is all well and good, there are numerous worthwhile sci-fi, fantasy, animated and horror films that were ignored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at least when it comes to the most valued prize, the Best Picture pick. The following are notable genre classics throughout the decades that should’ve at least received a nomination for Best Picture.

1930s-1940s: Frankenstein (1931) is still revered today as a genuine horror and sci-fi masterpiece with Boris kongKarloff’s iconic performance as the Creature. King Kong (1933) was a groundbreaking film that influenced many generations of filmmakers to this day with its unforgettable, dreamlike scenes that transported viewers into a lost world filled with a giant gorilla and dangerous dinosaurs.

Although Walt Disney received a special Oscar for Snow White And The Seven Dwarves (1937), the film failed to be nominated for Best Picture. What was nominated instead of the groundbreaking first full-length animated film? Such well-regarded classics like Test Pilot and Alexander’s Ragtime Band–note the sarcasm. Disney’s followup animated masterpieces Pinocchio (1940) and Bambi (1942) were also ignored by the Academy when it came to announcing the Best Picture nominations.


But the Academy wasn’t too dense, in this time period a few fantasy films received Best Picture nominations starting with Lost Horizon (1937), The Wizard Of Oz (1939) and It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).

1950s-1960s: Many nominated films in these two day earth stilldecades were either musicals or dramas. Unlike the previous decades there weren’t any genre films recognized with the exceptions of Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins, Doctor Doolittle (both of which are really musicals) and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. Horror and animated films were for the virtually absent among the list of Oscar nominees. Sci-fi films in this time period began to grow out their zero-budget, infantile trappings. There was an explosion of sci-fi films in the 1950s, many of them worthy of recognition by the Academy like The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951), War Of The Worlds (1953), Forbidden Planet (1956) and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957). But the Academy members failed to see the merit of these films, which are still fondly revered.

planet of apesKubrick’s next film after Dr. Strangelove is considered by most people as the greatest sci-fi film ever made. Yet 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was largely ignored by the Oscars. The other important sci-fi masterpiece that came out in the same year Planet Of The Apes was also snubbed by the Oscars except for a special makeup Oscar. By the way, does anyone know what won that year for Best Picture? Oliver! Another musical snoozefest and films that were nominated included Rachel, Rachel and The Lion In Winter. Are any of these films venerated by film lovers today? Thought not. Continue reading

One Man Star Wars Trilogy


“The Force is strong with this one” I’m not talking about Luke Skywalker, I’m talking about One Man Star Wars writer and actor, Charles Ross. One Man Star Wars is a hysterical show where Ross singlehandedly performs highlights from the George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy.  Not only does he play the roles of the characters, he also acts out the parts of many of the ships suchs as the X-Wing fighters, TIE fighters and Imperial Walkers. One of the highlights includes Luke Skywalker’s reaction to Darth Vader when he has his helmet and mask removed, it was hysterical! Ross started touring this theatrical oddity in 2002, he has performed the show over 1,200 times in more than 180 cities across four continents and still finds a way to keep it fresh. 

Ross takes a few breaks between each movie and asks the audiences questions such as “Has anyone here watched all six Star Wars Movies in One day?” He answers the cheers with “You’re in the right place.” He said he started the show as a comedy act where he performed highlights of the first movie. The act was a huge hit and prompted him to expand the act to a full show that covered the complete trilogy. He had performed the show for a few years and came home one day to an email from Lucasfilm. The subject line said “Future project”  When he opened it the message said “We know about you, please contact us” He then realized he had never contacted Lucasfilm to ask for their permission to perform the show. He thought Boba Fett was going to show up and take him away. He sent a tape of the show but was asked to see them in CA. When he got there he was asked to perform the show at a Star Wars convention in front of thousands of die-hard fans. The fans loved it and Lucasfilm worked out a deal that allowed Ross to keep performing the show.

After the success of his Star Wars show, Ross left outer space and traveled to Middle Earth to write and perform One Man Lord of the Rings. “One ring to rule them all” or as he puts it, “One nerd to perform the whole trilogy” based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King. This show has also been a huge hit for Charles. Sir Ian McKellan (Gandalf) himself said “If you liked Lord of the Rings, You’ll love Charlie Ross’ version.”

The Force is strong with this one, my Precious. You shall not pass… the chance to see these shows so check out  and to see tours dates for Charles Ross’ performances.

Jim McLernon

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