Best Of The Best Pictures: Best Cinematography

Now things are starting to get interesting. Whether black and white or color, all of these films have some great looking images. I’m really happy about my top 5.

Let’s start with the ones that didn’t make it.

25.) The King’s Speech (nominated)
24.) The English Patient (WON)
23.) The Silence Of The Lambs
22.) Patton
21.) Dances With Wolves (WON)
20.) Chariots Of Fire (WON)
19.) The Deer Hunter (nominated)
18.) Ben-Hur (WON)
17.) On The Waterfront (WON)
16.) The Godfather Part II
15.) Rocky
14.) From Here To Eternity (WON)
13.) Mrs. Miniver (WON)
12.) The Apartment (nominated)
11.) The Sting (nominated)

Now for my runners up!

10.) The Last Emperor (WON)

A lot of nice images, with an especially great use of symmetry.

9.) Unforgiven (nominated)

Great composition, and anything involving landscapes looked amazing.

8.) Titanic (WON)

Surprise, I’m not nominating this. But it looked wonderful nevertheless.

7.) Schindler’s List (WON)

There were a lot of memorable and powerful shots in this holocaust drama.

6.) Lawrence Of Arabia (WON)

Last minute swap, but there’s no denying that desert looked amazing.

And now we arrive at the top five. We have four Oscar winners and two Oscar nominees. In alphabetical order, here they are.



It’s a contemporary film that you wouldn’t expect to see brilliant cinematography. But DP Conrad L. Hall does an amazing job with the depth and composition that perfectly frame the story. It does everything great cinematography is supposed to do.



One shot. That’s all you need. You just need to see the film to realize how fluid it all is, and then you wonder why aren’t all movies done in one shot. And then you go back to some of your favorite movies and you try to imagine it in one shot. And I know it’s technically not one shot, but it looks like it, and that’s really all that matters.



There are some brilliant images in this classic Billy Wilder drama. While a lot of black and white movies to get a lot of memorable imagery across, The Lost Weekend‘s cinematography is especially effective for putting you in the mindset that the lead character is supposed to be in.



There’s only one word to describe the cinematography in Out Of AfricaBeautiful. The colors are beautiful. The framing is beautiful. The angles are beautiful. This film is the cinematic equivalent of that ex-girlfriend who had no personality but was so beautiful that you didn’t care.



Ah, Hitchcock. Every Hitchcock film I’ve seen has some brilliant cinematography, proving that the man knows how to use the camera in his movies. And the black and white images in this psychological thriller are downright chilling. All throughout the film I was thinking, “Nothing scary is going on right now… so why am I afraid?”


7.) Titanic

4.) Amadeus

3.) The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

2.) A Beautiful Mind
2.) Ben-Hur
2.) Forrest Gump
2.) Gone With The Wind
2.) Lawrence Of Arabia
2.) Out Of Africa
2.) Platoon
2.) Rebecca

1.) All Quiet On The Western Front
1.) An American In Paris
1.) Birdman
1.) Casablanca
1.) Crash
1.) Gandhi
1.) Gigi
1.) The Godfather
1.) Going My Way
1.) The Lost Weekend
1.) Midnight Cowboy
1.) My Fair Lady
1.) Oliver
1.) Shakespeare In Love
1.) Unforgiven

Next up – Best Film Editing.

3 thoughts on “Best Of The Best Pictures: Best Cinematography

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