Program Details

“And the Loser Is . . .”  Best Picture Nominees Few People Remember: Part I

Kurt F. Stone
Movies / Storytelling
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Ask most film buffs what "All Quiet on the Western Front", "Gentleman's Agreement", and "Around the World in Eighty Days" have in common, and they will likely tell you that they each won the Oscar for Best Picture. But ask those same film buffs what "The Informer", "Separate Tables", and "The Sundowners" have in common, and they will likely be stumped. For the latter are films nominated for Best Picture Oscars, lost and have mostly been forgotten. Those films which received Best Picture nominations but lost (there have been nearly 470 losers) must have been good, very good. Otherwise, they never would have been nominated in the first place.


  1. "Disraeli" (1929/30): George Arliss stars in a superlative biopic about the British novelist/Prime Minister.
  2. "Five Star Final" (1931): Edward G. Robinson reportedly considered his role as a hard-bitten journalist to be his all-time favorite.
  3. "Mildred Pierce" (1945): Joan Crawford at her very best in a film about a mother who gives and gives to a daughter (Ann Blyth) who takes more than she deserves.
  4. "Great Expectations" (1946): This film has long been considered the best rendition of a Dickens’ novel ever put on film.

About the Instructor

  • Kurt F. Stone, D.D., is now in his 23rd year with Lifelong Learning. His passion for film is, he says, "genetic," having been born in Hollywood, CA, and raised both in and around the movie industry. Stone is a multi-disciplinary sort of man who has also written two well-received books on Congress, published nearly 900 essays, is an ordained rabbi, and earns his living as a medical ethicist.


    Recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award