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Member Lists

Past Foreign Film Oscar Winners
List creator: underdog
Created on: February 14, 2003 - 11:17 AM PST
Description: These are all the Foreign Language Oscar winners available on DVD, with my particular favorites so noted. The award has been given out annually since 1947. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll see how universal it is to sigh. Updated frequently.

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Shoeshine (1947)
Not Rated
  DeSica's underseen neorealist classic was the first winner of this award
Monsieur Vincent (1947)
Not Rated
  Just out on DVD!
Bicycle Thieves (Criterion Collection) (1948)
  And DeSica made it two in a row with this film school staple, still pulls the strings of my hearts
Rashomon (Criterion Collection) (1951)
  Kurosawa first gained renowned on these shores with this still influential example of great storytelling
Forbidden Games (Criterion Collection) (1952)
  War's affects on the lives of children is the theme of Rene Clement's absolute masterpiece, beautiful, poignant and ultimately powerful. Hard to believe this was once controversial.
Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (Criterion Collection) (1955)
Not Rated
  Favorite Kurosawa actor Mifune starred in this exciting non-Kurosawa adventure
La Strada (Criterion Collection) (1954)
Not Rated
  Bittersweet and still lovely; in my own Fellini Top 5.
Nights of Cabiria (Criterion Collection) (1957)
Not Rated
  Two in a row for Fellini. Giuletta Masina (Fellini's spouse) was unforgettable in this, one of my favorites of his. (While we're at it, why is Fellini's 1956 Oscar winner La Strada not on DVD?)
Mon Oncle (Criterion Collection) (1958)
Not Rated
  Jacques Tati's first color film features the beloved Monseiur Hulot character. Is now officially my favorite Tati film. Brilliantly conceived.
Black Orpheus (Criterion Collection) (1959)
  Non-stop Brazilian soundtrack paints the background of this beautiful Carnaval-set film
The Virgin Spring (Criterion Collection) (1959)
  Beautiful, harrowing (just what you'd expect from Bergman).
Through a Glass Darkly (Criterion Collection) (1961)
  Bergman classic is a lot less pretentious than the so-perfectly-Swedish name would suggest; very compelling
8 1/2 (Criterion Collection) (1963)
  Possibly Fellini's best, or "most important" film is a visual feast; probably of greatest interest to filmmakers everywhere, but anyone can with an open mind will embrace it
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963)
Not Rated
  Haven't seen this one yesterday or today, but maybe tomorrow.
The Shop on Main Street (Criterion Collection) (1965)
Not Rated
  One of quite a few great Czech films on this list, and one of my personal "sleeper" picks
A Man and a Woman (1966)
Not Rated
  Cleverly titled romantic film was a hit worldwide
Closely Watched Trains (Criterion Collection) (1966)
  Was actually the 1967 winner, and another Czech classic
War and Peace - Part I (Disc 1 of 3) (1967)
  I confess I haven't seen this one yet but I'm sure it's sweeping and grand and, heck, it's shorter than reading the damned novel.
Costa Gavras' Z (Criterion) (1969)
  Just as brilliant and timely today as it was back then; ahead of its time; one of my personal picks
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)
  DeSica's last was a subtle indictment of facism and the psychological horrors of WWII
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Criterion Collection) (1972)
  One of Bunuel's most popular films was a little lighter but still surreal satire
Day for Night (1973)
  Could this really be Truffaut's only Foreign Film Oscar??
Amarcord (Criterion Collection) (1974)
Not Rated
  Fellini's fourth Foreign Film Oscar, an amazing record. It's also the film that epitomizes the term "Fellini-esque" for the robust, exaggerated, circus-like feel of its characters and world.
Dersu Uzala (1975)
  Striking Kurosawa film was a Japanese-Russia co-production, and marked a comeback for sorts for the master director after a bit of a quiet period
Black and White in Color/The Sky Above, The Mud Below (1976)
Not Rated
  This WWI-set satire won an Oscar for Jean-Jacques Annaud (Quest for Fire, The Bear, etc), amusing, but also now a bit dated.
Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978)
  Ayoung boy when this came out, I remember people getting out their handkerchiefs in droves, loving the hell out of this one. First Depardieu film I ever saw
The Tin Drum (Criterion Collection) (1979)
  A bit dated in style but still an unforgettable, often harrowing film.
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Disc 1 of 2) (1979)
Not Rated
  Also a little dated now but still highly likeable romantic comedy
Mephisto (1981)
Not Rated
  Whatever happened to Klaus Maria Brandauer? He was unforgettable in this chilling WWII tale
Fanny & Alexander: Theatrical Version (Criterion Collection) (1982)
  Bergman's most autobiographical work is also probably his loveliest. Finally out on DVD!
Dangerous Moves (1984)
Not Rated
  A Scandanavian movie about chess sounds pretty deadly dull but this is a fairly compelling film, although also a little dated now, too. But Liv Ullmann is always good. Newly released to DVD.
The Official Story (1985)
  Finally, a film from Latin American gets this award; still one of the best films about the screwed up political situation in Argentina.
Babette's Feast (Criterion) (1987)
  A feast for the eyes and hearts
Pelle the Conqueror (1988)
  A bit too melancholy and sentimental for my taste, but still a good film, with the always absorbing Max Von Sydow at the center
Cinema Paradiso (Special Edition) (Disc 1: Theatrical Cut) (1988)
  As sentimental as it gets, but I'm still a sucker for this one; a valentine to the movies
Mediterraneo (1991)
Not Rated
  Currently N/A on disc, alas; I recall not thinking it was the best foreign film that year but that it was also quite good fun
Indochine (1992)
  Passion, French, Deneuve, beautiful locations, what else do you want?
Belle Epoque (1992)
  Sexy and entertaining Spanish movie, if not particularly memorable
Burnt by the Sun (1994)
  One of the better portrayals of the repercussions of the Stalin era, this Russian film is subtle but powerful, with touches of magical realism. The director himself stars.
Antonia's Line (1995)
  Marleen Gorris is about the only woman to win this award so far; a lovely little family comedy/drama
Kolya (1996)
  Sentimental, yes, but still very rewarding and lovely Czech film
Character (1997)
  Intelligent Dutch period piece was a surprise winner; many great reviews for this (I found it uninvolving but maybe that's just me)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
  Half a great film, half an overly manipulative and borderline offensive dramedy, but see it and judge for yourself
All About My Mother (1999)
  At last Almodovar wins an Oscar, for this superior, bittersweet melodrama; takes the sting out of Talk to Her not being eligible for a nomination; another one of my personal picks
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  Certainly one of the most popular winners in this category, and still one of my personal favorites.
No Man's Land (2001)
  Like many I was surprised Amelie didn't pull down the award in 2002, but after seeing this brilliantly conceived very black comedy/war film, it was very apparent how deserving it was.
Nowhere in Africa (2001)
  Director Link's earlier film, Beyond Silence, was nominated for an Oscar but didn't win; Still waiting to see this one so I'm reserving commentary
The Barbarian Invasions (2003)
  Provocative and talky film was winner in what was admittedly a fairly weak year if you ask me. Worth seeing for Arcand fans.
The Sea Inside (2004)
  Haven't seen this yet but will - so the only guarantee I can make is that Bardem is outstanding as always.
Tsotsi (2005)
  Good not great, but still touching and shows a part of the world most of us probably haven't seen.
The Lives of Others (2006)
  This one made my best films of the year list; intelligent, moving and also suspenseful. Hard to believe it's his first feature.
The Counterfeiters (2007)
  Haven't seen this one yet but look forward to it.
Departures (2008)
  Sentimental but quite moving and memorable.
The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) (2009)
  Suspenseful, interesting, worthy -- if also not quite as deep as some claimed.

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