Movie reel to reel projector and clapboard

I invite you to join me on my Oscar Best Picture winner challenge. Watch all the Academy Award-winning best picture films since the 1920s. While we are a movie family, there are quite a few films that received the Academy Award for best picture over the years that I haven’t seen yet (highlighted in red font in this post). You can find printable Oscar Best Picture challenge checklists at the end of this post.


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Oscars Best Picture challenge

popcorn movie

Here’s a list of all the films that received the Oscar for Best Picture. Those in red font are movies I have not yet seen. And if you’re looking for some travel destination inspiration, I’ve also provided the most prominent filming locations (not always where the best pictures were set). Primary source for locations: UMIB

2020s Best Picture Oscar Winners

2023 Academy Award Best Picture Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once filming location travel destination inspiration: Gloucester, Massachusetts

2022 Academy Award Best Picture Winner: Coda

Coda filming location travel destination inspiration: California

2021 Academy Award Best Picture Winner: Nomadland

Nomadland filming location travel destination inspiration: Nevada, South Dakota, Nebraska, Arizona, California


2020 Academy Award Best Picture Winner: Parasite

Parasite filming location travel destination inspiration: South Korea


2010s Oscar Best Picture Winners

2019 Academy Award Best Picture: Green Book

Green Book filming location travel destination inspiration: Green Book is a road trip movie so lots of locales in the U.S., but primarily shot in the New Orleans / southeast Louisiana area.

2018: The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water filming location travel destination inspiration: Although the setting of The Shape of Water was in a U.S. government laboratory, this Oscar best picture was filmed in Hamilton and Toronto, Canada.

2017: Moonlight
Moonlight filming location travel destination inspiration: Miami

2016: Spotlight
Spotlight filming location travel destination inspiration: Boston and Hamilton, Canada

2015: Birdman
Birdman filming location travel destination inspiration: St. James Theatre in New York City

2014: 12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave filming location travel destination inspiration: New Orleans

2013: Argo
Argo filming location travel destination inspiration: While Argo is set in Tehran, Iran, the majority of this Oscar best pic was filmed in Los Angeles.

2012: The Artist
The Artist filming location travel destination inspiration: Los Angeles

2011: The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech filming location travel destination inspiration: London

2010: The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker filming location travel destination inspiration: Amman, Jordan


2000s Best Picture Oscar Winners

2009: Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire filming location travel destination inspiration: Mumbai, India

2008: No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men filming location travel destination inspiration: Texas and New Mexico

2007: The Departed
The Departed filming location travel destination inspiration: While the movie is set in Boston, most of the filming of The Departed took place in New York City.

2006: Crash Rewatched for the second time, but felt like the first time as I hardly remembered any of it. Such a great ensemble cast.
Crash filming location travel destination inspiration: Los Angeles

2005: Million Dollar Baby
Million Dollar Baby filming location travel destination inspiration: Los Angeles

2004: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King filming location travel destination inspiration: New Zealand

2003: Chicago
Chicago filming location travel destination inspiration: You would think the Oscar-winning Chicago would be filmed in its namesake, but filming actually took place in Toronto.

2002: A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind filming location travel destination inspiration: New Jersey and New York

2001: Gladiator
Gladiator filming location travel destination inspiration: While Gladiator was set in Rome, much of the filming took place in England, Morocco, Malta and 10 other locations.

2000: American Beauty
American Beauty filming location travel destination inspiration: Los Angeles



1990s Best Picture Oscar Winners

1999: Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love filming location travel destination inspiration: England

1998: Titanic (Titanic is a very long movie – especially when you are 8 months pregnant while watching it. I took several bio breaks – you know with all that water.)
Titanic filming location travel destination inspiration: Most of the film was shot near Tijuana, Mexico with on-location shots in Nova Scotia among others.

1997: The English Patient
The English Patient filming location travel destination inspiration: Italy and Tunisia

1996: Braveheart (We watched this again recently, but it had been decades so didn’t remember much – and another really long movie (3 hours). Even though I’ve heard Braveheart is one of the most inaccurate historical movies of all times (and a little disturbing in some scenes, I still loved it.
Braveheart filming location travel destination inspiration: Scotland

1995: Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump filming location travel destination inspiration: While Forrest runs and travels around, most of the movie is set in Alabama. Much of the filming for Forrest Gump took place in South Carolina.

1994: Schindler’s List
Schindler’s List filming location travel destination inspiration: Poland

1993: Unforgiven
Unforgiven filming location travel destination inspiration: Set in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, Unforgiven was filmed in Alberta, Canada.

1992: The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs filming location travel destination inspiration: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1991: Dances with Wolves
Dances with Wolves filming location travel destination inspiration: Mainly in South Dakota

1990: Driving Miss Daisy (although my husband says we did see it, I don’t remember it – and I think I would…I mean Morgan Freeman)
Driving Miss Daisy filming location travel destination inspiration: Atlanta, Georgia



1980s Oscars Best Picture Winners

1989: Rain Man
Rain Main filming location travel destination inspiration: All over the U.S., but primarily filmed in Cincinnati, Ohio

1988: The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor filming location travel destination inspiration: The Forbidden City in Beijing, China

1987: Platoon
Platoon filming location travel destination inspiration: While this Oscar winner was set in Vietnam, Platoon was filmed in the Philippines.

1986: Out of Africa
Out of Africa filming location travel destination inspiration: Kenya, Africa

1985: Amadeus (Rewatched this Oscar winner recently; beautiful soundtrack)
Amadeus filming location travel destination inspiration: While set in Vienna, Austria, Amadeus was filmed in Prague, Czech Republic.

1984: Terms of Endearment
Terms of Endearment filming location travel destination inspiration: Houston, Texas

1983: Gandhi
Gandhi filming location travel destination inspiration: Mumbai, Indai

1982: Chariots of Fire
Braveheart filming location travel destination inspiration: Set in Paris, Chariots of Fire was filmed mainly in England and Scotland.

1981: Ordinary People (I took a writing workship with Judy Guest who critiqued my first novel; she’s the author of the best-selling book of this same title.)
Ordinary People filming location travel destination inspiration: Chicago

1980: Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer filming location travel destination inspiration: New York, New York


1970s Oscar Best Picture Winners

1979: The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter filming location travel destination inspiration: The Deer Hunter was shot in 42 different locations according to IMDb. Story of this best picture winner was set in Pennsylvania, with most filming shot on location in Washington state.

1978: Annie Hall
Annie Hall filming location travel destination inspiration: New York City

1977: Rocky
Rocky filming location travel destination inspiration (have you ever run up the Rocky stairs in Philly? I have. I was in town for a conference and asked our driver to wait for us as I persuaded two coworkers to join me): Set in Philadelphia, Rocky was also filmed in Philadelphia as well as Los Angeles.

1976: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (We recently rewatched this classic Oscar-winning best picture. I forgot how well-done this was.)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest filming location travel destination inspiration: Salem, Oregon



1975: The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II filming location travel destination inspiration: More than 30 filming locations for The Godfather Part II, but mainly in Italy and New York City – with their home shot on location in Lake Tahoe.

1974: The Sting
The Sting filming location travel destination inspiration: Set in Chicago, most of The Sting was filmed at the Universal Studios with a few iconic scenes around LA such as Santa Monica.

1973: The Godfather
The Godfather filming location travel destination inspiration: New York City, Sicily and California

1972: The French Connection
The French Connection filming location travel destination inspiration: New York City, New York

1971: Patton (This was my dad’s favorite movie. His second favorite? Candyshack!)
Patton filming location travel destination inspiration: England

1970: Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy filming location travel destination inspiration: New York City


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1960s Oscar Best Picture Winners

1969: Oliver!
Oliver filming location travel destination inspiration: London stage sets

1968: In the Heat of the Night (I think I may have seen this Oscar best pic winner, but not certain.)
In the Heat of the Night filming location travel destination inspiration: While the movie was set in Sparta, Mississippi, much of In the Heat of the Night was filmed in Sparta, Illinois.

1967: A Man for All Seasons
A Man for All Seasons filming location travel destination inspiration: England

1966: The Sound of Music (We recently rewatched this classic Oscar best pic; love the music! And was surprised that the DVD version had an intermission.)
The Sound of Music filming location travel destination inspiration: Salzberg, Austria (external) and Century Fox Studios in Hollywood (internal)

1965: My Fair Lady (This is the movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture the year I was born. I haven’t seen it…yet! Let me know in the comments which movie won the Oscar for Best Pic the year you were born.
My Fair Lady filming location travel destination inspiration: London

1964: Tom Jones
Tom Jones filming location travel destination inspiration: England

1963: Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia filming location travel destination inspiration: With a total of 32 filming locations, Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in Spain, Morocco, England, Jodan and California (Imperial Sands Recreation Area).

1962: West Side Story
West Side Story filming location travel destination inspiration: New York

1961: The Apartment I’m a huge fan of Jack Lemmon so loved this movie – you may also like The Out of Towners – hilarious events when he and his wife travel to New York City.
The Apartment filming location travel destination inspiration: New York City

1960: Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur filming location travel destination inspiration: Italy



1950s Oscar Best Picture Winners

1959: Gigi
Gigi filming location travel destination inspiration: Paris

1958: The Bridge on the River Kwai (My sister-in-law grew up near this location in Thailand; you can find one of her authentic Thai recipes in another blog post.
The Bridge on the River Kwai filming location travel destination inspiration: Although this movie was set in Thailand where the real bridge on the Kwai River, The Bridge on the River Kwai was primarily filmed in Sri Lanka.

1957: Around the World in 80 Days
Around the World in 80 Days filming location travel destination inspiration: The World

1956: Marty
Marty filming location travel destination inspiration: New York

1955: On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront filming location travel destination inspiration: New Jersey

1954: From Here to Eternity
From Here to Eternity filming location travel destination inspiration: Hawaii

1953: The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth filming location travel destination inspiration: Sarasota, Florida

1952: An American in Paris
An American in Paris filming location travel destination inspiration: You’d think Paris, but An American in Paris was shot in the MGM studios in Hollywood (apparently over the objections of star Gene Kelly).

1951: All About Eve
All About Eve filming location travel destination inspiration: Mainly filmed in the Hollywood’s 20th Fox Studio, with a few shots in New York, Connecticut and San Francisco theatres.

1950: All the King’s Men
All the King’s filming location travel destination inspiration: California


1940s Oscar Best Picture Winners

1949: Hamlet
Hamlet filming location travel destination inspiration: England

1948: Gentleman’s Agreement
Gentleman’s Agreement filming location travel destination inspiration: New York, Connecticut and Hollywood, California

1947: The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives filming location travel destination inspiration:
Hollywood, California

1946: The Lost Weekend
The Lost Weekend filming location travel destination inspiration: New York City

1945: Going My Way
Going My Way filming location travel destination inspiration: California

1944: Casablanca (my favorite classic movie)
Casablanca filming location travel destination inspiration: While the setting for this movie is primarily in Morocco and Paris, Casablanca was filmed in Arizona and California.

1943: Mrs. Miniver
Mrs. Miniver filming location travel destination inspiration: Set in England, Mrs. Miniver was shot in the MGM Studios in California. (during WWII)

1942: How Green Was My Valley
How Green Was My Valley filming location travel destination inspiration: California

1941: Rebecca
Rebecca filming location travel destination inspiration: California

1940: Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind filming location travel destination inspiration: Arkansas, Georgia and California

1930s Oscar Best Picture Winners

1939: You Can’t Take It With You
You Cant’ Take It With You filming location travel destination inspiration: Hollywood

1938: The Life of Emile Zola
The Life of Emile Zola filming location travel destination inspiration: Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California with the exception of Goff Island in Laguna Beach, California for the Devil’s Island scenes.

1937: The Great Ziegfeld
The Great Ziegfeld filming location travel destination inspiration: MGM Studios in California

1936: Mutiny on the Bounty
Mutiny on the Bounty filming location travel destination inspiration: Mainly California and French Polynesian

1935: It Happened One Night
It Happened One Night filming location travel destination inspiration: California

1933/1934: Cavalcade
Cavalcade filming location travel destination inspiration: California

1932/1933: Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel filming location travel destination inspiration: MGM Studios, California

1931/1932: Cimarron
Cimarron filming location travel destination inspiration: Arizona and California

1930/1931: All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front filming location travel destination inspiration: California


1920s Oscar Best Picture Winners

1929/1930: The Broadway Melody
The Broadway Melody filming location travel destination inspiration: MGM Studios, California

1928/1929: Wings
Wings filming location travel destination inspiration: Tucson, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas


Oscar Best Picture challenge printable checklists

If you’d like to check off the Oscar best pictures you watch during this challenge, below are a one-page checklist and a large-print checklist you can download and print. I’m working on an electronic version and will post soon.


Pin it for later – Oscar Best Picture movies

Oscars best picture Academy Awards statue

Best picture Oscar movie winners challenge director chair and movie clapper


Author

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

54 comments

  1. What did you think of the movie parasite?
    Apparently its fantastic but it has subtitles which makes for a different mood to sit and watch it.
    I’m curious, I haven’t heard of any personal reviews.

    1. We all three were blown away by it! It so deserved all the awards and accolades. Honestly, I forgot there were subtitles…I only remember how I felt after it was over…so many emotions. Highly recommend!

  2. The Apartment! I don’t even know if I’ve seen it! And yet, I’ve seen My Fair Lady heaps of times in the past. I think, it was my first vinyl album 😀 I find it interesting, you’ve seen my years. And, I’ve seen your years.

    1. Too funny! And I’ve watched The Apartment several times. I love musicals so I’m sure I’ll love My Fair Lady!

  3. I used to keep a list of Oscar best picture winners to track & mark off the ones I’ve seen. Kind of lost track & stopped updating the list. Some of them I’ve watched multiple times like Spotlight, interesting to know it was partly filmed in Hamilton. I just finished watching “Crash” last night. Maybe I should revive my list.

    1. I think that sounds like a great idea as I’d love others to join me on my challenge. I’ve seen several of these over and over again (Like Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Godfather I and II and more).

  4. OK sad but true…I had to go all the way back to the 1990’s to get to a movie I had seen. I need to work on my movie watching I guess.

  5. Doesn’t get much better than the 1990s and 2000s, in my opinion. I’m totally up for this challenge! Thanks for posting.

  6. Great idea! My dad owns every movie on DVD that has won Best Picture and has spent years collecting them all. I’ve seen a lot on this list, but not all. I would like to eventually say that I have seen them all.

    1. Wow…that’s so cool! We have a lot of these movies on DVD as well, but not all of them. Thankful for streaming these days.

  7. Well I definitely learned something about myself after reading this post. I haven’t seen any of the movies on this list from 2005-present. I got married in 2004 and started having kids, and there aren’t really kid-friendly titles on the list, so I guess that explains it. My husband and I need to plan more date nights. Haha.

    1. Thank you! There are a few filming locations I’d like to check out like Austria – and also Morocco (even though Casablance wasn’t actually filmed there).

  8. Okay, I as I read the list I recognized the movies from the 90’s-2006. Then at that point I had my first baby in 2007 and I think I must have been totally out of the loop from then on because I do not recognize any of them!

  9. I LOVE movies. I’ve watched the Academy Awards every year since early childhood. I’d seen all the Best Picture winners until you got to the 1950s and earlier. I’ve missed some of those. Every year I watch all of the Best Picture nominated films, before the Oscars. This year I got to watch all the documentaries and shorts as well. So fun.

    1. We’re a movie-loving family also and watch all the Best Picture-nominated films. We do watch some of the nominated documentaries and shorts as well…need to be more intentional going forward. That’s amazing how many you have watched…so impressive!

  10. We saw Parasite after your suggestion awhile ago and surprised by all the complex thoughts it provoked. A moving and interesting movie for sure that encourages conversation- my kind of movie!

    1. I’ve been to a few filming locations of movies and TV shows like Kauai (we did a movie tour and saw where they filmed Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and more) as well as San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Spain (Game of Thrones’ Dragonstone). I would love to take a tour of where they filmed Sound of Music in Austria.

  11. We’re not much for movie-goers and we don’t want much at our home either, but I do love great movies that receive awards & get good personal reviews from people I know. The movie Parasite sounds fascinating & I like your personal comments on the movie; it makes me want to check it out!

  12. I’ve seen them all as far back as Oliver. Then it gets a bit sketchy. Dare I say though that the best movie of a year rarely wins the Oscar.

    1. I don’t always agree with the Oscar nominations or winners, but they do encourage me to watch flicks I may not have watched otherwise…like Parasite…which I loved.

  13. Even though I’m not a huge movie going person, the 1990’s were some of my favorites. And who doesn’t love a little “Gone with the Wind”?!?!

  14. I love how you have all of this info here! I would definitely fail at this challenge because we hardly ever watch anything. But this list is helpful when we decide to have a movie night!

    1. Haha! I haven’t made much progress on the list other than rewatching ones I’ve already seen. I think I’ll have a few movie marathons in my future.

  15. Love this list and idea! I have quite a few I have already seen, but I need to step up my upcoming movie list with these recommendations. Perfect for an upcoming snow day!

  16. Wow, I am a slacker! I think The Sound of Music and Titanic are the only of these movies I’ve seen. However, when I was in Philadelphia, I did see the steps from Rocky, so now I have to watch it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. There are so many great Oscar best pictures! I made a couple of my coworkers run up the Rocky stairs with me when we were in Philly for a trade show!

  17. Interesting! And I realized I haven’t watched movies the past few years. I don’t recognized most of them. lol. But now I want to watch Nomadland.

  18. I am sooo out of the loop with movies! I just don’t have the time anymore. At least I recognized about half of them. LOL

  19. What a great idea! We haven’t seen many great new movies since the pandemic took a toll on movie making. It’s fun to scroll down your list to remember movies that we loved: Greenbook and Parasite!

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