Here's the image showing a colorful and modern representation of major gaming markets highlighted on a world map, featuring symbols like game controllers and speech bubbles

5 Movies That Won Oscars You Didn’t Know About

Oscar night is a spectacle of glitz, glamour, and cinematic grandeur, where movies that won Oscars become instant classics.
June 7, 2024
8 mins read

However, the Academy Awards have a rich history of honoring films that, despite their critical acclaim and Oscar victories, have flown under the radar of mainstream audiences.

From emotional dramas to epic adventures, these films showcase an eclectic mix of storytelling and cinematic brilliance.

So, buckle up as we embark on a journey through the lesser-known corridors of the Oscars, exploring five remarkable yet overlooked Oscar-winning movies.

1. Ordinary People (1980)

“Ordinary People,” a profound drama directed by Robert Redford, took home four Oscars in 1980, including Best Picture. Surprisingly, this film remains a quiet whisper in the annals of film history.

Facing the formidable “Raging Bull” by Martin Scorsese, “Ordinary People” not only won Best Picture but also clinched Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor.

The film, set against the backdrop of an affluent Chicago suburb, delves into the complex emotional landscape of a family shattered by tragedy.

It’s a masterful exploration of grief, guilt, and the slow, often painful journey of healing. The movie’s nuanced portrayal of suburban life and its underlying tensions paved the way for future films exploring similar themes.

It’s a testament to Redford’s directorial prowess and a film that deserves to be revisited for its emotional depth and cinematic craftsmanship.

2. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” a high-seas adventure epic, earned two Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing.

Despite its grand narrative and visual spectacle, this film often sails unnoticed in the vast ocean of Oscar-winning movies. Set during the Napoleonic Wars and starring Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey, the film is a riveting tale of naval warfare, camaraderie, and survival.

Based on Patrick O’Brian’s celebrated Aubrey-Maturin series, it stands out for its meticulous attention to historical detail and breathtaking maritime sequences. The film’s ability to blend action-packed adventure with thoughtful character development makes it a standout entry in the genre.

Its portrayal of leadership, loyalty, and the relentless pursuit of a formidable enemy showcases the best of historical drama and action cinema. “Master and Commander” is a film that truly captures the essence of adventure on the high seas, making it a deserving but underappreciated Oscar winner.

3. Elizabeth (1998)

Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth” is a stunning historical drama that won the Oscar for Best Makeup. This film, centered on the tumultuous early reign of Queen Elizabeth I, played by Cate Blanchett, is a tour de force of period filmmaking.

It presents a gripping narrative filled with political intrigue, assassination attempts, and the challenges of a female monarch in a male-dominated world. While the film bends historical accuracy for dramatic effect, it excels in creating a vivid portrayal of Elizabeth’s struggle to assert her authority and navigate the treacherous waters of 16th-century English politics.

Blanchett’s riveting performance brings depth and humanity to the iconic queen, showcasing her evolution from a vulnerable princess to a formidable ruler.

The film’s Oscar for Best Makeup is well-deserved, as it brilliantly brings to life the era’s aesthetic, from the opulent costumes to the intricate courtly decor. However, its true achievement lies in its captivating storytelling and Blanchett’s unforgettable portrayal of one of history’s most powerful women.

4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” is more than just a retelling of the classic vampire tale; it’s a cinematic masterpiece that redefined the genre.

Winning Oscars for Best Sound Editing, Best Makeup, and Best Costume, this film goes beyond conventional horror to present a grand, Gothic romance. Starring Gary Oldman as the tragic Vlad the Impaler, the film explores themes of love, loss, and the consequences of immortality. Its lush visuals and bombastic soundtrack contribute to an atmosphere that is at once horrific and romantic.

The film is known for its intense portrayal of Dracula’s quest for love across centuries, blending horror elements with a touching love story. Coppola’s direction elevates the material, making “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” a unique and unforgettable entry in the vampire genre.

It’s a film that captures the transition from the Industrial Age to the Modern era, using the vampire mythos to explore deeper themes of time, technology, and transformation.

5. Ford v Ferrari (2019)

“Ford v Ferrari,” a recent addition to the list of movies that won Oscars, is an exhilarating sports drama that captured the essence of rivalry and innovation in the automotive world.

Winning Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing, this film tells the true story of the American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles as they challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

Starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, “Ford v Ferrari” is more than just a movie about racing; it’s a tale of perseverance, friendship, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

The film’s dynamic editing and sound design immerse viewers in the high-stakes world of motorsport, making every race sequence a thrilling experience.

It’s a film that resonates with anyone who appreciates the spirit of competition and the drive to push boundaries, both on and off the track.


As we wrap up this cinematic journey, it’s clear that the world of movies that won Oscars is vast and varied. From the emotional depths of “Ordinary People” to the high-seas adventure of “Master and Commander,” these films offer a glimpse into the diverse storytelling that the Academy Awards recognize.

“Elizabeth,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” and “Ford v Ferrari” further illustrate the range of genres and narratives that have been honored with Oscars.

These films are not just triumphs in their respective categories but also serve as a reminder of the lesser-known gems in Oscar history. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone like celebrating college graduation or looking for a way to unwind and get through finals week, these movies offer an escape into worlds of drama, history, adventure, and inspiration.

So next time you’re exploring movies that won Oscars, consider these underrated masterpieces and discover the depth and richness of Oscar-winning cinema.

Don't Miss