Live Poll: Oscar Best Picture Winners Made on the Cheap

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While Hollywood is secretive about its accounting, but it is well-known many major movies have budgets that exceed $100 million. Since 2000, about seventy-five movies have budgets that soared past $200 million in inflation-adjusted dollars alone. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) officially holds the record for the most expensive film ever with a budget of $378.5 million or $412 million inflation-adjusted. The Hobbit trilogy is the most expensive back-to-back film production with combined costs of $623 million after tax credits. When compared to the cost of some of Hollywood's bigger budget productions, these Oscar winners were made for pennies on the dollar, relatively speaking.

Which of these Oscar-winning Best Picture movies produced on a relatively inexpensive budget* is the your favorite? * inflation adjusted in 2018 U.S. Dollars, list may exclude some older Best Picture winners for which no publicized budget is available

See the partial list of least expensive inflation-adjusted Oscar Best Picture winners here: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls045903337/

Poll: https://www.imdb.com/poll/k76V1jjexSs/
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urbanemovies

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Posted 10 months ago

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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Wow, what a list. Tough choice. Four of my favorite films are on that list but, of those, I'd have to go with 'Silence of the Lambs,' with 'American Beauty' probably in second place (but oh 'Kramer vs. Kramer'... like I said, what a list!)
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urbanemovies

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rubyfruit76, Good news, bad news!

Good news
The Business Insider source I was using for the list only ranked the forty-three most recent Oscar Best Picture winners. I was able to obtain budget information on the remaining forty-seven older Oscar Best Picture winners, save three titles for which no budget information was readily available from Wikipedia, Box Office Mojo or The Numbers. As a result, I was able to add a number of interesting movies and the list is almost fully complete at 97%. Plus, I was able to cut the budget threshold from $40 million to $20 million in today's dollars. Thus, making these Oscar winners even more impressive. All were made for less than 5% of what the highest budgeted   movie was made for.

Bad News
Your three choices: American Beauty, $22.3m (just missed) and Kramer vs. Kramer $27.3m and The Silence of the Lambs $34.6 all ended missing the cut on the final, more expansive version. What those three movie accomplished is by no means diminished. I am amazed that half of all Best Picture winners were made for $25 million or less. I think it shows the nature of the award and that story and talent win over a big budget every day. I hope was able to add some different options that are still among your favorites.
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leavey-2

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I go for Platoon (1986), also because it's quite impressive that this movie was produced with a budget of only $6 million.
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urbanemovies

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I agree, I am sure shooting in the Philippines help them stretch their budget.

Production

Platoon was filmed on the island of Luzon in the Philippines starting in February 1986. The production was almost canceled because of the political upheaval in the country, due to then-president Ferdinand Marcos. With the help of well-known Asian producer Mark Hill, the shoot commenced, as scheduled, two days after Marcos fled the country] Shooting lasted 54 days and cost $6.5 million. The production made a deal with the Philippine military for the use of military equipment. The film employed Vietnamese refugees living in the Philippines to act in different roles as Vietnamese in the film. Filming was done chronologically.

Scenes were shot in Mount Makiling (for the forest scenes), Cavite (for the river and village scenes), and Villamor Air Base near Manila.

James Woods, who had starred in Stone's film Salvador, was offered a part in Platoon. He turned it down, later saying he "couldn't face going into another jungle with [Stone]".

Denzel Washington expressed interest in playing the role of Elias.

Upon arrival in the Philippines, the cast was sent on an intensive training course, during which they had to dig foxholes and were subject to forced marches and nighttime "ambushes," which used special-effects explosions. Led by Vietnam War veteran Dale Dye, training put the principal actors—including Sheen, Dafoe, Depp and Whitaker—through an immersive 30-day military-style training regimen. They limited how much food and water they could drink and eat and when the actors slept, fired blanks to keep the tired actors awake. Dye also had a small role as Captain Harris. Stone said that he was trying to break them down, "to mess with their heads so we could get that dog-tired, don't give a damn attitude, the anger, the irritation ... the casual approach to death". Willem Dafoe said "the training was very important to the making of the film", adding to its authenticity and strengthening the camaraderie developed among the cast: "By the time you got through the training and through the film, you had a relationship to the weapon. It wasn't going to kill people, but you felt comfortable with it."

Stone makes a cameo appearance as the battalion commander of 3/22 Infantry in the final battle, which was based on the historic New Year's Day Battle of 1968 in which he had taken part while on duty in South Vietnam. Dale Dye, who played Bravo company's commander Captain Harris, is a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran who also served as the film's technical advisor.

The movie is "Dedicated to the men who fought and died in the Vietnam War

(Edited)
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HONORABLE MENTIONS ($20 MILLION -$35 MILLION BUDGETS) * No budget information available for The Life of Emile Zola (1937),Going My Way (1944) and All the King's Men (1949).


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975 | Movie 8.7 (801,122)
Initial budget: $4.4 millionAdjusted for inflation: $20.27 million

Mrs. Miniver 1942 | Movie 7.6 (13,720)
Initial budget: $1.34 millionAdjusted for inflation: $20.47 million

Spotlight 2015 | Movie 8.1 (342,676)  
Initial budget: $20 million Adjusted for inflation: $20.91 million

12 Years a Slave 2013 | Movie 8.1 (555,306)
Initial budget: $20 million Adjusted for inflation: $21.28 million

Gentleman's Agreement
1947 | Movie 7.4 (12,892)
Initial budget: $1.985 million Adjusted for inflation: $21.396 million

Midnight Cowboy 1969 | Movie 7.9 (87,689)
Initial budget: $2.2 million Adjusted for inflation: $21.89 million

American Beauty
1999 | Movie 8.4 (961,584)
Initial budget: $15 million Adjusted for inflation: $22.3 million

Cimarron 1931 | Movie 6.0 (4,572)
Initial budget: $ 1.433 million Adjusted for inflation: $ 22.44 million

Rebecca 1940 | Movie 8.1 (107,196)
Initial budget: $1.288 million Adjusted for inflation: $22.91 million

Cavalcade
1933 | Movie 6.0 (3,777)
Initial budget: $ 1.18 million Adjusted for inflation: $ 23.32 million

The Best Years of Our Lives
1946 | Movie 8.1 (51,620)
Initial budget: $2.1 million Adjusted for inflation: $24.55 million

The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 | Movie 8.2 (180,286)
Initial budget: $2.8 million Adjusted for inflation: $24.55 million

Unforgiven 1992 | Movie 8.2 (329,441)
Initial budget: $14 million Adjusted for inflation: $24.73 million

An American in Paris 1951 | Movie 7.2 (26,441)
Initial budget: $2.7 million Adjusted for inflation: $25.22 million

The Apartment 1960 | Movie 8.3 (136,901)
Initial budget: $3.0 million Adjusted for inflation: $25.24 million

Kramer vs. Kramer 1979 | Movie 7.8 (114,390) 
Initial budget: $8 million Adjusted for inflation: $27.31 million


Gigi
1958 | Movie 6.8 (17,195)
Initial budget: $3.3 million Adjusted for inflation: $28.43 million

Wings 1927 | Movie 7.7 (9,716)
Initial budget: $ 2.0 million Adjusted for inflation: $ 28.95 million

You Can't Take It with You 1938 | Movie 8.0 (20,514)
Initial budget: $1.645 million Adjusted for inflation: $29.26 million

The Sting 1973 | Movie 8.3 (211,512)
Initial budget: $5.5 million Adjusted for inflation: $29.64 million

No Country for Old Men
2007 | Movie 8.1 (738,350)
Initial budget: $25 million Adjusted for inflation: $29.88 million

The Godfather
1972 | Movie 9.2 (1,382,125)
Initial budget: $5 million Adjusted for inflation: $30.07 million

The Silence of the Lambs
1991 | Movie 8.6 (1,082,448)
 Initial budget: $19 million Adjusted for inflation: $34.57 million

Mutiny on the Bounty 1935 | Movie 7.8 (18,456)
Initial budget: $1.95 million Adjusted for inflation: $34.68 million
(Edited)
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urbanemovies

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 removed Oscar Best Picture anomaly (#4 lowest budget) from answer pool

The Broadway Melody
1929 | Movie 6.2 (5,518)
Initial budget: $ 0.379 million Adjusted for inflation: $ 5.52 million

removed Oscar Best Picture anomaly (#20 lowest budget) from answer pool

Tom Jones 1963 | Movie 6.7 (9,927)
Initial budget: $1.0 million Adjusted for inflation: $16.22 million
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Urb,

This list includes lot's of great films and many of my favorites. It's really hard to choose.

My vote:
Casablanca (1942)
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urbanemovies

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Thanks, the initial list only went back about 45 years, I was able to get budgets for another 43 Best Winners so the list is a bit different now with more early films and almost 98% complete.
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urbanemovies

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Oscar Best Picture Winners Made on the Cheap
Inclusion Cut-Off $25 million in 2018 U.S. Dollars

Qualifying 2019 Oscar Best Picture Nominees
Green Book Budget $23 million in 2018 U.S. Dollars
The Favourite Budget $15 million in 2018 U.S. Dollars
BlacKkKlansman Budget $15 million in 2018 U.S. Dollars
Roma Budget $15 million in 2018 U.S. Dollars
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urbanemovies

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Oscar Best Picture Winners Made on the Cheap
Inclusion Cut-Off $25 million in 2018 U.S. Dollars

2019 Oscar Best Picture Winner
Green Book Budget $23 million in 2018 U.S. Dollars
Green Book 2018 posterpng
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reworked opening

While $25 million or less may seem like a lot money when it comes to keep the lights on at home. When it comes to making a major motion picture, it is not generally considered an excessive amount, however. Hollywood is secretive about its accounting; but it is not a secret that many major movies have budgets that exceed $100 million. Since 2000, about seventy-five movies had budgets that soared past $200 million in inflation-adjusted dollars alone.

(Edited)
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bump
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Urb,

Minor typo:
5. Hamlet (1948)

Extra dollar sign:
Adjusted for inflation: $ $7.072 million (£5.496 million)

Should be:
Adjusted for inflation: $7.072 million (£5.496 million)

= = =

Minor typo:
35. Unforgiven (1992)

Missing space:
Adjusted for inflation: $24.73million

Should be:
Adjusted for inflation: $24.73 million
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urbanemovies

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THANKS, CORRECTED
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Urb,

Thanks for making the corrections.
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Oh my gosh, it may actually be painful to vote for just one, lol. So many good ones. So many great ones (and a great idea for a poll). 

I noticed a typo (here in bold): Which of these select Oscar-winning Best Picture movies produced on a relatively inexpensive budget* is the your favorite? *maximum $25m inflation adjusted budget in 2018 U.S. Dollars and a 7.0+ IMDb rating

May I suggest a few more small edits? (in bold below)

At first glance, $25 million may seem like a lot money. Certainly, it is enough to keep the lights on at home, but it wouldn't cover the expenses of many major motion pictures. While Hollywood is generally secretive about its accounting, it is not a secret that it is common for major movies to have budgets that even exceed $100 million. Since 2000 alone, about 75 movies had budgets that soared past $200 million in inflation-adjusted dollars alone.

Officially, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)holds the record for the most expensive film ever with a production budget of $378.5 million or $412 million inflation-adjusted, while The Hobbit trilogy is the most expensive back-to-back film production with combined costs of $623 million or $675.6 million inflation-adjusted (after tax credits).



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urbanemovies

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Thanks, corrected
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Thanks, Urb. 

I'm sorry, though, because I don't think I indicated the one typo clearly:

As it is now, it reads "Which of these select Oscar-winning Best Picture movies...  is the your favorite?"

You've got a "the" in there between "is" and "your."  What's weird is that I made the exact same typo in a poll I made a couple of weeks ago. : )
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urbanemovies

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Thanks, the source is likely a cut-n-paste problem and sloppy proof-reading on my part.

Which of these select Oscar-winning Best Picture movies produced on a relatively inexpensive budget* is your favorite? *maximum $25m inflation adjusted budget in 2018 U.S. Dollars and a 7.0+ IMDb rating

Thanks.corrected.
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Congratulations urbanemovies on your 343rd live poll! As of 24-Jul-2019 10:54 PM Pacific your polls have 473,285 or more votes, for an average of 1,380 votes per poll.

Oscar Best Picture Winners Made on the Cheap
7959th Live Poll: https://www.imdb.com/poll/k76V1jjexSs/
Seen:
http://www.imdb.com/seen/ls045903337/

This is the 3,607th Title poll. Such polls have a total of 8,496,011 votes for an average of 2,355 votes per poll.
Total Number of Votes			17,654,494
Projected Date of 20 Million Votes	21-Dec-2020
Days Until 20 Million Votes		516
This is the list of urbanemovies' polls as of 18-Jul-2019:

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Key Threads - IMDb Poll FAQs Index https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/faq-key-threads-imdb-poll-faqs-index

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