Live Poll: Classics With Zero Accolades

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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All these movies are classics that, throughout the years, gained in popularity and cinematic stature. Today, on IMDb, they're rated at least 7.5 with more than 10.000 votes. Yet, at the time of their release, even a delayed time, these movies were strangely overlooked by the Oscars or any other festival or critics' circle or journalists' association. In other words, these movies were nominated for nothing.

For which of these classics, do you find the absence of nominations most surprising, if not unbelievable?

(of course, these movies became so popular they were later selected to National Film Registry and were nominated for some DVD-related awards, needless to say that these nominations don't count)
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Posted 1 year ago

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Peter, Champion

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I was able to get this search result which has some more titles without any awards data:
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Thanks Peter, lol it took me 3 months to build this list :)
Those you found are even worse cases, they weren't even included in the NFR or got DVD awards, they won nada.
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Peter, Champion

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It's striking that some of those French titles apparently were not in competition in Cannes or Venice.
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true they were really classic movies....
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Stephen Atwood

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There are several great films on this list.  I can't feign surprise that none of these were recognized by an awards committee.

I rated the following films 10/10:
Le Samouraï (1967)  
Life of Brian (1979)  
Office Space (1999)  
High Plains Drifter (1973)  
Duck Soup (1933)  

I guess I'll vote for one of them.,desc&st_dt=&mode=simple&page=1&a...
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Le samouraï is one of my all-time favorite movies and yes, I can't believe it does not have any IMDb eligible awards either. 
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El Dorado, Duck Soup, or Office Space
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My vote: They Call Me Trinity (1970)

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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There are some great films on your list.

My vote:
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Congratulations ElMaruecan82 on your 509th live poll! As of 27-Sep-2018 5:19 AM Pacific your polls have 995,334 or more votes, for an average of 1,955 votes per poll.

Classics With Zero Accolades
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Dimos Dicoudis

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*From what I can find on the history of each film:
*"The Blue Angel" (1930) was an  "international success", and one of the last successful films for the cinema of the Weimar Republic. However it had unexpected consequences for the main participants.Emil Jannings' career  declined, and he was only able to play roles in Nazi propaganda films afterwards. The previously obscure (even in Germany) Marlene Dietrich became a household name, and got a Hollywood contact shortly after the film.  The  director Josef von Sternberg received an exclusive contract with Paramount Pictures, where he created highly ambitious but controversial films. He was fired in 1935, and his own career declined afterwards. 
*"Dracula" (1931) is an adaptation of a 1924 stage play that was loosely based on the 1897 novel. It was one of the most successful horror films of its period, and won praise for its studio (Universal Pictures) and male lead (Bela Lugosi). But it was largely overshadowed by the biggest box-office hit of the year: "Frankenstein" (1931). According to a 1930s film critic, Frankenstein "is far and away the most effective thing of its kind. Beside it ''Dracula'' is tame and, incidentally, ''Dracula'' was produced by the same firm". At the time Universal won few awards, but managed to release a number of major hits. 
*"Freaks" (1932) was censored by the production studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which cut about 26 minutes worth of scenes, in an attempt to tone it down. When released, the film was widely hated by critics and banned by various authorities. It performed disastrously at the box  office, and the studio took a huge loss in profits. Director Tod Browning was blamed for the failure, and was only allowed to direct a hand-full of subsequent films in the 1930s. With his career in constant decline, Browning. retired in 1939. The film started being re-evaluated and attracting an audience ... in the 1960s, by which time MGM had sold away its rights to it and Browning had died. 
*"Duck Soup" (1933) had a mediocre performance at the box office, neither a hit, nor a flop. The critics were unimpressed, and damned it with faint praise. It was the 5th and last film the Marx brothers performed for Paramount Pictures. Its underperformance convinced Paramount to not renew their contracts. 
*"The Petrified Forest" (1936) is the film that turned little -known actor Humphrey Bogart into a star and in retrospect had an influence on film noir and crime dramas.  It was not however one of the top money- makers (box office hits) of its year. 
*"Bringing Up Baby" (1938) was unsurprisingly a box office flop. The producers made the error of casting Katharine Hepburn as the female lead, and she had recently starred in a series of flops. Most critics liked the film, but the audience mostly stayed away from it. Hepburn was famously labeled "box office poison". The film had a more successful re-release in the 1940s and gained cult classic status in the 1950s. By that time Hepburn had made a comeback, her reputation had improved, and the audience actually wanted to check out her past films. 
*"His Girl Friday " (1940) is a peculiar adaptation of a 1928 play. In the play Hildy Johnson is a male reporter, in the film she is a female reporter. Most critics liked the film, and it was a hit comedy. It was however overshadowed by bigger box office hits of 1940, such as "Rebecca" and "The Great Dictator". 
*"Arsenic and Old Lace" (1944) was an adaptation of a hit theatrical play, but much of the play's original lcast was unavailable for the film adaptation for various reasons. The play's main attraction, actor Boris Karloff, was also unavailable. The screenwriters changed parts of the play for the adaptation, though critics conceded that they "turned in a very workable, tightly-compressed script". Critics generally liked the film, but it was an also-run at the box office. It was the 15th most successful film of its year, part of a trend for Frank Capra films to underperform at the box office. 
*"Scarlet Street " (1945) was disliked by critics at the time of release. They claimed that "Joan Bennett is static and colorless, completely lacking the malevolence that should flash in her evil role." and that the film features "dimwitted, unethical, stock characters". 
*"The Big Sleep" (1946) is an unfaithful adaptation of a Raymond Chandler novel, attempting to censore the novels main plot (which featured a pornography ring). The result of numerous rewrites was a famously convoluted and confusing script, whose main attraction for the audience was "hints of dope addiction, voyeurism and fornication". Critics praised Humphrey Bogart (the male lead)'s performance) but claimed that Lauren Bacall (the female lead) had yet to learn acting.  The film performed relatively well at the box office, but was not a spectacular hit.
*"The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946) was one of the biggest box-office hits in 1946, and MGM's most successful film for that year. But critics desribed it as rather monotonous, and few praised Lana Turner''s acting. In later decades, it was considered her finest performance. 
*"The Lady from Shanghai" (1947) was not a hit. Critics disliked the  wordy script , Orson Welles' "rambling style", and the supposedly distracting use of special effects.  Hollywood producers were less than enthusiastic with Rita Hayworth cutting down her long red haired and apppearing as a bleached blonde, at Welles' insistance. In the decades since, the most discussed and imitated scene in the film is the confrontation at the hall of mirrors. 
*"In a Lonely Place" (1950) was relatively well-liked by critics, but blamed for its bleak ending to a promising romance story. Somewhat ironic, because the ending prior to a hasty rewrite involved domestic abuse and murder. The film depicts the character Dixon Steele as a decent person who has anger-management problems, while in the source novel he is a self-serving con-artist and cold-blooded murderer. The film did not perform well at the box office, earning about 1/8 of what Disney's "Cinderella" earned that year. It has since been praised for including Humphrey Bogart's best performance and one of his most memorable quotes. 
*"Johnny Guitar " (1954) performed decently at the box office, but was barely a hit.  It was the 27th most successful film of 1954. The press used it to (once again) attack Joan Crawford:  "... no more femininity comes from her than from the rugged Mr. Heflin in 'Shane.' For the lady, as usual, is as sexless as the lions on the public library steps and as sharp and romantically forbidding as a package of unwrapped razor blades." The American audience did not like the subtext of the film: politically marginalized people of a small town are persecuted on flimsy pretexts, because the locals want to get rid of them. The screenwriters used it a not-so-subtle commentary on McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare. 
*"The Wrong Man" (1956) was mostly disliked by critics. Since this film was based on a real story featured in magazines and books, director Alfred Hitchcock did not even bother with adding any suspense to the story. According to the review of "The Washington Post": "Having succeeded often in making fiction seem like fact, Alfred Hitchcock in 'The Wrong Man' now manages to make fact seem like fiction. But it is not good nor interesting fiction." Also (like the real-life case it was based on) the similarities between the armed robber and his musician look-alike are based on bizarre coincidences, and critics felt it undermined the believability of the plot. 
*"Peeping Tom" (1960) was controversial from the start for its depiction of violence and "its lurid sexual content". Critics universally hated it and attacked it in hyperbolic fashion.  A reviewer for the Tribune  claimed that "the only really satisfactory way to dispose of Peeping Tom would be to shovel it up and flush it swiftly down the nearest sewer." The director of the film, Michael Powell, was "subsequently ostracized by the film industry and found it almost impossible to work thereafter." Curiously the critics in France loved this British  film.  The film has been widely imitated since then, and is one of the main ancestors of the slasher genre. 
*"Shoot the Piano Player" (1960) failed at the box office, both at home and abroad. But it attracted a cult audience of cinephiles. What puzzled most people (and attracted the cult audience) was that director François Truffaut mixed elements and tropes from three unrelated genres:  "crime melodrama, romance and slapstick". It is not often you see a film noir with extensive homages to the Marx brothers. 
*"Eyes Without a Face" (1960) was met with mixed reviews in Europe, ranging  "ranging from mild enthusiasm to general disdain or disappointment". Several critics were disappointed that "serious" director Georges Franju was wasting his talent on a horror film, claiming that horror was not a serious genre.  An English reviewer called it  "the sickest film since I started film criticism". 
*"Cape Fear" (1962) enraged the censors because  "there was a continuous threat of sexual assault on a child." Several critics liked the film, but still described the subject matter as disgusting. The film was among the most controversial films releaded in the 1960s.
*"Contempt" (1963) was well-liked by critics, but criticized for leaving the motivations of its characters unclear, and a narrative mostly indicating "irritation and ennui."
*"Bande à part" (1964) was critically well-liked, but barely promoted for the box office. Unclear how many were even aware of its existence at the time. Parts of the film have since been reproduced in other films by some high-profile fans, such as Quentin Tarantino. 
*"For a Few Dollars More" (1965) "became the highest-grossing film of any nationality in the history of Italian cinema", breaking a number of records. But the critics hated it. Roger Ebert described it as being plotless, and depending on "one great old Western cliché after another". 
*"El Dorado" (1966) was a minor box office hit, and critically well-liked. But did not make even the top 25 of films in 1966-1967, in its initial release. The film was well-directed and acted, but was seen as unoriginal and a near-remake of "Rio Bravo" (1959). (Same director, same screenwriter, very similar plots). 
*"Le samouraï" (1967) was a highly influential neo-noir film, copied many times over the years. But not particularly successful outside France, and Alain Delon was not a box-office draw in English-speaking countries. 
*"Night of the Living Dead" (1968) was a surprise box-office hit, "earning over 250 times its budgetwhich made". Some critics liked the film, but most of them attacked it as an "unrelieved orgy of sadism" or a "junk movie". Some of the reviewers verbally attacked the "irresponsible" director George A. Romero for the subject matter he chose.
*"The Party" (1968)  was not a box-office hit, and not particularly well-liked by critics. It has since gained a cult audience, and film critics considered it an innovative comedy in neo-realist style. Its poor box-office performance is often blamed on the timing of its release. It was released on April 4, 1968, the date of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. With the subsequent series of riots across the United States, the film did not get much attention from the press. And audiences were not crossing rioting crowds to go see a comedy. 
*"They Call Me Trinity" (1970) was a major box office hit.  "The film was popular abroad, such as in Spain where it out grossed all previous Italian Westerns except ''For A Few Dollars More''. Critics gave it mediocre reviews and faint praise. It has since been regarder as the best film for the-action-comedy duo of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. 
*"Le cercle rouge" (1970) was a box office hit, the 5th  most successful film of 1970 in French box office.  Critics warn however that aspects of the film may be baffling for the audience. Large parts of the film do not have any dialogue or human voice, and one character seems to inexplicably teleport between scenes. 
*"High Plains Drifter" (1973) performed unspectacularly at the box office,  as the 20th highest-grossing film of 1973. Many critics disliked its iconoclastic approach to the Western, and the film was denounced by (among others) John Wayne for its depiction of the American people.  The New York Times review described it as "more than a little silly".
 *"The Mirror" (1975) received limited distribution, due to its enigmatic nature and plotless narrative. Critics and audiences often described it as incomprehensible, and audience members reportedly walked out in protest in mid-film. It was suggested as an entry for the Cannes Film Festival, but vetoed by the State Committee for Cinematography (the Soviet Union's  state directory body of Soviet film production) which considered it a poor example for Soviet cinema. Andrei Tarkovsky, a director with several flops, was (again) accused of wasting public funds. Tarkovsky was forced into self-exile in the 1980s, because he had a higher reputation (and more funding) in Italy than in the Soviet Union. 
*"Monty Python's Life of Brian" (1979) was a box-office hit in the United Kingdom and "the highest grossing British film in North America that year". But it was subject to controversy and attempts to boycott it due to supposed blashphemy, and a number of critics dismissed it as "raucous and crude" and "tasteless". Curiously one critic complained that the film caused him to fall asleep, out of boredom. Several critics also disliked the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", which became a surprise hit in the United Kingdom. 
*"Escape from Alcatraz" (1979) was loved by the critics and considered among the best films of its year. It performed rather poorly at the box office, and was the 15th most successful film of its year. It grossed aboutr 20 million dollars less than "The Muppet Movie", with Kermit the Frog being more of a box-office attraction that Clint Eastwood. 
*"The Warriors " (1979) was a surprise box-office hit.But controversial, because it supposedly inspired outbreaks of vandalism and three murders.  Critics mostly despised it, for its supposed lack of realism, stilted dialogue, shallow characters, and its stylized violence. 
*"A Perfect World" (1993) was highly praised by critics and is still considered underrated by many of them.  It performed relatively well at the box office, but earned less than half of the gross of "Schindler's List" and "The Fugitive". 
*"Office Space" (1999) was a box office flop that went on to cult-classic status, with high-sales in the home video market. Some critics liked it (and claimed they could relate to the life of a frustrated white-collar worker), but others viewed it as mediocre at best. Stephen Holden of the New York Times described it as following: , "It has the loose-jointed feel of a bunch of sketches packed together into a narrative that doesn't gather much momentum."