Tonight’s Contenders: Best Picture Punch-Up

Once again it’s the time of year when we turn to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to tell us who paid the most money for a small gold-plated statue.  This tradition of self-congratulation and back-patting goes back to 1929 so from over 80 options the number of former Best Picture winners was winnowed down to showcase the best of the best from each decade.

The choices for Monday Movie Nights Best Picture Punch-Up are:

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) – 136min

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Casablanca (1942) – 102min

Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

On the Waterfront (1954) – 108min

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Midnight Cowboy (1969) – 113min

A naive prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City.

Rocky (1976) – 119min

Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

The Last Emperor (1986) – 163min

The story of the final Emperor of China.

The English Patient (1996) – 162min

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

No Country for Old Men (2007) 122min

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

12 Years a Slave (2013) 134min

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

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