Will ’12 Years a Slave’ break Oscar curse of solo Golden Globe win?

When “12 Years a Slave” won Best Drama Picture at the Golden Globes Sunday, it seemed like great news for its Oscar chances, But then I flashed back to a statistic I unearthed the last time a movie took the top category but nothing else. While it might be help the film build momentum at this critical stage in the awards race, this Best Picture win might also be a bad luck charm.

“Babel” (2006) was the last film to take home only Drama Picture as its only award. That year Martin Scorsese won Best Director for “The Departed,” and it was that film which went on to win the top Oscar.

Eight other films have won just this one Golden Globe: “A Place in the Sun” (1951), “The Robe” (1953), “East of Eden” (1956), “The Defiant Ones” (1958), “Spartacus” (1960), “The Chapman Report” (1962), “Rocky” (1976), and “Bugsy” (1991).

Of these, only one went on to win the Best Picture Oscar: “Rocky.”

In four of those years, the Best Musical/Comedy Picture winner at the Globes ended up winning the Oscar:

– “A Place in the Sun” was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “An American in Paris.”

– “Spartacus” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, and “The Apartment” won the Oscar.

– “The Defiant Ones” was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “Gigi”

– “The Chapman Report” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, and “Tom Jones” won the Oscar

That could be good news for this year’s Musical/Comedy champ, “American Hustle.” But it might also be of benefit to “Gravity.” Three times the Drama Picture winner lost the Oscar to one of its Golden Globe rivals:

– “The Robe” was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “From Here to Eternity.”

– “East of Eden” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, and “Marty” won the Oscar.

– “Bugsy” was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Will “12 Years a Slave” continue this unfortunate streak of solo-Globe-winners falling short at the Oscars, or will it pull off an underdog victory like “Rocky”?

4 thoughts on “Will ’12 Years a Slave’ break Oscar curse of solo Golden Globe win?

  1. This doesn’t mean much other than fun statistics. At GG, the land of star worshipping and B kissing, 12YAS wasn’t competitive in the other categories. And it was never competitive in the below-the-line categories. Some pundits predicted a shut out for 12YAS. The fact that it rallied and won BP is more significant than the silly history recall. The English Patient at GG only won 2 awards, BP and Score, and it went on to sweep at the Oscars. Is winning the score award at GG can really turn a film’s fortune that much around?

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