Academy Award Rankings

Ranking All The Movies Nominated At The 23rd Academy Awards In 1951

23rd Academy Awards in 1951

“What are the best movies nominated for the 23rd Academy Awards in 1951?” We looked at all 55 movies nominated for an Oscar in 1951 and ranked them again one another to answer that very question!

We took all 55 movies that were nominated for an Academy Award in 1951 and looked at their Rotten Tomato Critic, Rotten Tomato User, IMDB, and Letterboxd scores, ranking them against one another to see which movies came out on top. The movies are ranked on our list below, with the full chart of rankings included at the bottom of the page. We did not use Metacritic scores because of the lack of data for older movies on that site. Metacritic scores will be included when we do rankings for other years in the future.

If you want to see the rankings for additional years you can visit our Academy Award Rankings page.

Happy Viewing!



The Top 1951 Academy Award Movie Rankings



55 ) The Stairs

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Oscar nominated short documentary from 1950



54 ) With These Hands

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Features

Produced by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the film used actors to recreate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and compare working conditions of the early 20th century to that of the 1950s.

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53 ) My Country ‘Tis of Thee

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Two-reel

A panoramic view of American history from the Pilgrims to 1950 utilizing archival footage.



52 ) Grandad of Races

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, One-reel (Win)

The annual horse race held in the Piazza del Campo in Siena is highlighted in all its color, pomp, and pageantry.



51 ) The Fight: Science Against Cancer

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Short Subjects

This Oscar-nominated short explores the genesis of cancerous cells and the mid-20th century state of research into the fight against cancer. The film questions the differences between normal cell growth in the human body and the subversive growth of cancerous cells. Cures have been found for a succession of once invincible diseases, but cancer still presented an enigma at the time of the making of this film—and continues to do so today. The collaboration of a global network of scientists is portrayed in the film, as they painstakingly following every clue that may lead to an eventual solution.



50 ) Why Korea?

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Short Subjects (Win)

30 minute long Oscar winning documentary



49 ) Wabash Avenue

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Original Song

Andy Clark discovers he was cheated out of a half interest in partner Mike’s business, now a thriving dance hall in 1892 Chicago. Unable to win it back, Andy schemes to make Mike’s position untenable. He also hopes to turn Ruby Summers, Mike’s motor-mouthed burlesque queen, into a classier entertainer, and incidentally to make her his own. But at the last minute, Andy’s revenge comes unravelled.

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48 ) Captain Carey, U.S.A.

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Original Song (Win)

A group of agents in the U. S. Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA), are sent to France during World War II, to knock out the French railroad system and, in accomplishing this mission, most of them will be killed because of an inside betrayal. After the war, one of the agents returns to find the traitor.

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47 ) Blaze Busters

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, One-reel

A documentary about firemen and some of the spectacular blazes they fight.



46 ) Singing Guns

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Original Song

Notorious stagecoach robber Rhiannon is unintentionally appointed as deputy when he saves the sheriff’s life and must wear two hats between his new job that he enjoys and his old occupation that he misses.



45 ) The Toast of New Orleans

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Original Song

Snooty opera singer meets a rough-and-tumble fisherman in the Louisiana bayous, but this fisherman can sing! Her agent lures him away to New Orleans to teach him to sing opera, but comes to regret this rash decision when the singers fall in love.

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41 ) Grandma Moses

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Two-reel

1950 short film nominated for an Oscar in the category “Best Short Subject, One-reel”



41 ) I’ll Get By

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture

I’ll Get By is an updated remake of the 1940 20th Century-Fox musical Tin Pan Alley. William Lundigan and Dennis Day play William Spencer and Freddie Lee respectively, successful song publishers who make hits out of such numbers as “I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo”, “Deep in the Heart of Texas”, “You Make Me Feel So Young”, “There Will Never Be Another You”, and other favorites (the rights to all of these songs were conveniently held by 20th Century-Fox). The partnership has some hard times, especially during the feud between ASCAP and the radio networks, when only public-domain songs like “I Dream of Jeannie” were permitted to be broadcast.



41 ) Louisa

Nominated For:

  • Best Sound, Recording

The start of the famous Finnish film series. Strong women take care of the property while the men focus on chasing women.



41 ) Wrong Way Butch

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, One-reel

This Pete Smith Specialty short was produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor. Using humor, it shows what can happen when tools and machinery are misused and safety devices are ignored.



40 ) The Black Rose

Nominated For:

  • Best Costume Design, Color

In the time of the crusades, a Saxon youth is forced to run away from England. He goes with his loyal retainer who brings along a British long bow. The two go all the way to China where they become involved in intrigues in the court of Kubla Kahn.

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39 ) The Red Danube

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White

A Russian ballerina in Vienna tries to flee KGB agents and defect.

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38 ) Destination Moon

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
  • Best Effects, Special Effects (Win)

Postulates the first manned trip to the moon, happening in the (then) near future, and being funded by a consortium of private backers. Assorted difficulties occur and must be overcome in-flight. Attempted to be realistic, with Robert A. Heinlein providing advice.

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37 ) Trouble Indemnity

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Cartoons

An insurance salesman enters Magoo’s house hoping to make a sale. Magoo refuses but the salesman is eventually able to sell Magoo some by posing as one of Magoo’s old college chums. Magoo is now worth a hefty sum and is ready to collect after being bitten by a dog (actually a tiger rug) but, instead of going to the insurance building, enters a building under construction next door to it. The salesman and his boss notice Magoo walking around the steel skeleton of the building and realizing, “If he falls, the company falls”, they rush over making several attempts to save Magoo’s life and keep him from endangering himself.



36 ) The West Point Story

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture

A Broadway director helps the West Point cadets put on a show, aided by two lovely ladies and assorted complications.

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35 ) No Sad Songs for Me

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

Mary Scott learns she only has ten months to live before dying of an incurable disease. She manages to keep the news from her husband, Brad and daughter, Polly. She tries to make every moment of her life count, but her effort is weakened by the discovery that Brad is interested in his assistant, Chris Radner. But when she learns that Brad does indeed love her and not Chris, and that Chris is leaving town, she realizes what she must do to ensure the future happiness of Brad and Polly. She persuades Chris to stay, makes a genuine friend of her and watches Polly grow towards Chris.

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34 ) When Willie Comes Marching Home

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story

When Willie leaves home to join the war effort he is all ready to become a hero, but he is only frustrated when his posting ends up to be in his home town, and he is recruited into training, keeping him from the action. However, when he finds himself accidently behind enemy lines he unexpectedly becomes a hero after all.

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33 ) Our Very Own

Nominated For:

  • Best Sound, Recording

A high-school senior (Ann Blyth) learns she has foster parents (Jane Wyatt, Donald Cook) and sets out to find her natural mother.

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32 ) Trio

Nominated For:

  • Best Sound, Recording

W. Somerset Maugham introduces three more of his stories about human foibles.

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31 ) The Titan: Story of Michelangelo

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Features (Win)

The life and works of the great artist Michelangelo Buonarroti are shown against the historical background of his time. It begins with his earliest artworks, and follows his life and career as he achieves lasting fame. The documentary includes detailed looks at some of the artist’s most renowned creations.

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30 ) That Forsyte Woman

Nominated For:

  • Best Costume Design, Color

Soames and Irene Forsyte have a marriage of convenience. Young Jolyon Forsyte is a black sheep who ran away with the maid after his wife’s death. Teenager June Forsyte has found love with an artist, Phillip Bosinny. The interactions between the Forsytes and the people and society around them is the truss for this love story set in the rigid and strict times of the Victorian age.

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29 ) Samson and Delilah

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (Win)
  • Best Cinematography, Color
  • Best Costume Design, Color (Win)
  • Best Effects, Special Effects
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

The classic story of Samson and Delilah as told by Cecil B. DeMille.

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28 ) The Magnificent Yankee

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White

Director John Sturges’ 1950 film biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes stars Louis Calhern, Ann Harding.and Richard Anderson.

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27 ) Mister 880

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role

The Skipper is a charming old man loved by all his neighbors. What they don’t know is that he is also Mr. 880, an amateurish counterfeiter who has amazingly managed to elude the Secret Service for 20 years.

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26 ) Beaver Valley

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Two-reel (Win)

Short documentary film directed by James Algar. It was produced by Walt Disney as part of the True-Life Adventures series of nature documentaries



25 ) King Solomon’s Mines

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography, Color (Win)
  • Best Film Editing (Win)
  • Best Picture

Adventurer Allan Quartermain leads an expedition into uncharted African territory in an attempt to locate an explorer who went missing during his search for the fabled diamond mines of King Solomon.

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24 ) Mystery Street

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story

When a young woman’s skeletal remains turn up on a Massachusetts beach, Barnstable cop Peter Morales teams with Boston police and uses forensics, with the help of a Harvard professor, to determine the woman’s identity, how she died, and who killed her.

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23 ) Three Little Words

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture

Song-and-dance man Bert Kalmar can’t continue his stage career after an injury for while, so he has to earn his money as a lyricst. Per chance he meets composer Harry Ruby and their first song is a hit. Ruby gets Kalmar to marry is former partner Jessie Brown, and Kalmar and Jessie prevent Ruby from getting married to the wrong girls. But due to the fact, that Ruby has caused a backer’s withdrawal for a Kalmar play, they end their relation.

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22 ) Jerry’s Cousin

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Cartoons

When Tom’s harassment gets out of hand, Jerry writes to his Cousin Muscles, a tough inner city mouse, and asks for his help.



21 ) The Men

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay

Fred Zinnemann’s sensitive film on the plight of paraplegic WWII veterans features Marlon Brando in his superbly moving screen debut. He plays Lt. Bud Wilozek, one of a group of veterans recovering in the paraplegic ward of a hospital in his hometown. His former fiancée, Ellen (Teresa Wright), explains to his physician, Dr. Brock (Everett Sloane), her concern about his isolation and apparent depression since he has broken their engagment and refuses to see her. He counsels her to be patient, but when he decides to broach the issue with Bud, the embittered patient reacts angrily to the doctor’s intrusiveness, and continues to refuse to see Ellen. The doctor cajoles the withdrawn paraplegic into the life of the ward, where fellow patients begin to pull Bud out of his spiritual miasma. At length, his sense of hope starts to return, and after seeing Ellen for the first time in months, he begins to contemplate the possibility of marriage.

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20 ) Annie Get Your Gun

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
  • Best Cinematography, Color
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture (Win)

This film adaptation of Irving Berlin’s classic musical stars Betty Hutton as gunslinger Annie Oakley, who romances fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler (Howard Keel) as they travel with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Previously off target when it comes to love, Annie proves you can get a man with a gun in this battle-of-the-sexes extravaganza, which features timeless numbers like “Anything You Can Do” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

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19 ) Broken Arrow

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Best Cinematography, Color
  • Best Writing, Screenplay

Indian scout Tom Jeffords (James Stewart) is sent out to stem the war between the Whites and Apaches in the late 1870s. He learns (through an uncomfortably close encounter) that the Indians kill only to protect themselves, or out of retaliation for white atrocities.

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17 ) Father of the Bride

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role

Proud father Stanley Banks remembers the day his daughter, Kay, got married. Starting when she announces her engagement through to the wedding itself, we learn of all the surprises and disasters along the way.

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17 ) The Flame and the Arrow

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography, Color
  • Best Picture
  • Best Writing, Screenplay
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

Dardo, a Robin Hood-like figure, and his loyal followers use a Roman ruin in Medieval Lombardy as their headquarters as they conduct an insurgency against their Hessian conquerors.

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16 ) Gerald McBoing-Boing

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Cartoons (Win)

The story of a little boy who would only talk in sound effects. With story by Dr. Seuss (and Bill Scott of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame) this cartoon won the Oscar for best short subject (animated) for 1950.

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15 ) The Furies

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White

A New Mexico cattle man and his strong-willed daughter clash over the man’s choice for a new bride. Things get worse when the elder man has his daughter’s lover hanged. With the help of an old flame, a gambler, the daughter puts into motion a plan to drive her father from his estate.

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14 ) Cinderella

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Original Song
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture
  • Best Sound, Recording

Cinderella has faith her dreams of a better life will come true. With help from her loyal mice friends and a wave of her Fairy Godmother’s wand, Cinderella’s rags are magically turned into a glorious gown and off she goes to the Royal Ball. But when the clock strikes midnight, the spell is broken, leaving a single glass slipper… the only key to the ultimate fairy-tale ending!

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13 ) Panic in the Streets

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story (Win)

One night in the New Orleans slums, vicious hoodlum Blackie and his friends kill an illegal immigrant who won too much in a card game. Next morning, Dr. Clint Reed of the Public Health Service confirms the dead man had pneumonic plague. To prevent a catastrophic epidemic, Clint must find and inoculate the killers and their associates, with the reluctant aid of police captain Tom Warren, despite official skepticism, and in total secrecy, lest panic empty the city. Can a doctor turn detective? He has 48 hours to try…

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11 ) Cyrano de Bergerac

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Win)

José Ferrer won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portayal of the swordsman-poet using his silver tongue to woo the woman he loves for another man. Cyrano de Bergerac is a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand. Although there was a real Cyrano de Bergerac, the play is a fictionalization of his life that follows the broad outlines of it. The entire play is written in verse, in rhyming couplets of twelve syllables per line, very close to the Alexandrine format, but the verses sometimes lack a caesura. It is also meticulously researched, down to the names of the members of the Académie française and the dames précieuses glimpsed before the performance in the first scene. The play has been translated and performed many times, and is responsible for introducing the word “panache” into the English language.

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11 ) No Way Out

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay

The Biddle brothers, shot while robbing a gas station, are taken to the prison ward of the County Hospital; Ray Biddle, a rabid racist, wants no treatment from black resident Dr. Luther Brooks. When brother John dies while Luther tries to save him, Ray is certain it’s murder and becomes obsessed with vengeance. But there are black racists around too, and the situation slides rapidly toward violence.

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10 ) Caged

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay

Caged tells the story of a teenage newlywed, who is sent to prison for being an accessory to a robbery. Her experiences while incarcerated, along with the killing of her husband, change her from a very frightened young girl into a hardened convict.

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9 ) Born Yesterday

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Win)
  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White
  • Best Director
  • Best Picture
  • Best Writing, Screenplay

Uncouth, loud-mouth junkyard tycoon Harry Brock descends upon Washington D.C. to buy himself a congressman or two, bringing with him his mistress, ex-showgirl Billie Dawn.

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7 ) Adam’s Rib

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay

When a woman attempts to kill her uncaring husband, prosecutor Adam Bonner gets the case. Unfortunately for him his wife Amanda (who happens to be a lawyer too) decides to defend the woman in court. Amanda uses everything she can to win the case and Adam gets mad about it. As a result, their perfect marriage is disturbed by everyday quarrels.

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7 ) Bitter Rice

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story

Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice worker, Silvana, and the soon-to-be-discharged soldier, Marco. Walter follows her to the rice fields, and the four characters become involved in a complex plot involving robbery, love, and murder.

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6 ) Harvey

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Win)

The classic stage hit gets the Hollywood treatment in the story of Elwood P. Dowd who makes friends with a spirit taking the form of a human-sized rabbit named Harvey that only he sees (and a few privileged others on occasion also.) After his sister tries to commit him to a mental institution, a comedy of errors ensues. Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for a family mending its wounds and for romance blossoming in unexpected places.

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5 ) The Asphalt Jungle

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing, Screenplay

Recently paroled from prison, legendary burglar “Doc” Riedenschneider, with funding from Alonzo Emmerich, a crooked lawyer, gathers a small group of veteran criminals together in the Midwest for a big jewel heist.

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4 ) The Gunfighter

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story

Gregory Peck stars as an aging notorious gunslinger, Johnny Ringo. Sick of killing he tries to avoid trouble, but when a cocksure young man named Eddie draws on him, Ringo has no choice but to kill him. Now Eddie’s three brothers are after him. Ringo decides to return East to see his estranged wife and young son before the brothers catch up with him.

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3 ) The Third Man

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Win)
  • Best Director
  • Best Film Editing

Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, “The Third Man” stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime, only to find him dead. Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning of a “third man” present at the time of Harry’s death, running into interference from British officer Maj. Calloway and falling head-over-heels for Harry’s grief-stricken lover, Anna.

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2 ) Sunset Boulevard

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Win)
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
  • Best Director
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Win)
  • Best Picture
  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay (Win)

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

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1 ) All About Eve

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Win)
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (Win)
  • Best Director (Win)
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
  • Best Picture (Win)
  • Best Sound, Recording (Win)
  • Best Writing, Screenplay (Win)

From the moment she glimpses her idol at the stage door, Eve Harrington is determined to take the reins of power away from the great actress Margo Channing. Eve maneuvers her way into Margo’s Broadway role, becomes a sensation and even causes turmoil in the lives of Margo’s director boyfriend, her playwright and his wife. Only the cynical drama critic sees through Eve, admiring her audacity and perfect pattern of deceit.

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The Best 23rd Academy Award Rankings



1951 Academy Award Rankings

Film RT Critic RT User IMDB Letterboxd Overal Rank
All About Eve 1 2 2 3 1
Sunset Boulevard 7 1 1 1 2
The Third Man 7 3 3 2 3
The Gunfighter 1 5 8 5 4
The Asphalt Jungle 9 7 6 5 5
Harvey 16 3 5 4 6
Adam’s Rib 1 8 11 10 7
Bitter Rice 1 16 8 5 7
Born Yesterday 11 8 11 10 9
Caged 22 10 8 5 10
Cyrano de Bergerac 17 11 13 13 11
No Way Out 17 11 13 13 11
Panic in the Streets 11 17 17 10 13
Cinderella 9 14 17 16 14
The Furies 22 13 16 9 15
Gerald McBoing-Boing 22 5 23 16 16
Father of the Bride 13 18 20 16 17
The Flame and the Arrow 1 24 26 16 17
Broken Arrow 15 20 20 16 19
Annie Get Your Gun 1 21 26 26 20
The Men 19 18 20 21 21
Jerry’s Cousin 22 38 7 13 22
Three Little Words 22 14 26 21 23
Mystery Street 22 22 23 21 24
King Solomon’s Mines 14 25 30 26 25
Beaver Valley 22 38 4 34 26
Mister 880 22 31 23 25 27
The Magnificent Yankee 22 29 26 26 28
Samson and Delilah 21 27 31 26 29
That Forsyte Woman 22 23 35 26 30
The Titan: Story of Michelangelo 22 38 13 34 31
Trio 22 36 17 34 32
Our Very Own 22 25 31 34 33
When Willie Comes Marching Home 22 38 36 21 34
No Sad Songs for Me 22 31 31 34 35
The West Point Story 22 28 47 26 36
Trouble Indemnity 22 38 31 34 37
Destination Moon 20 34 41 32 38
The Red Danube 22 30 41 34 39
The Black Rose 22 35 41 32 40
Grandma Moses 22 38 37 34 41
I’ll Get By 22 38 37 34 41
Louisa 22 38 37 34 41
Wrong Way Butch 22 38 37 34 41
The Toast of New Orleans 22 33 45 34 45
Singing Guns 22 38 41 34 46
Blaze Busters 22 38 45 34 47
Captain Carey, U.S.A. 22 37 47 34 48
Wabash Avenue 22 38 47 34 49
Why Korea? 22 38 50 34 50
The Fight: Science Against Cancer 22 38 51 34 51
Grandad of Races 22 38 52 34 52
My Country ‘Tis of Thee 22 38 53 34 53
With These Hands 22 38 54 34 54
The Stairs 22 38 55 34 55

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