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The Best (and Worst) of Best Original Song

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  • Andrew Carden
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    #220075

    Over the coming weeks and perhaps even months on our website, me and my girlfriend will going back and reviewing every single Best Original Song category at the Oscars, from 1934 (when “The Continental” from The Gay Divorcee emerged the very first winner), all the way through 2015 and “Writing’s on the Wall”‘s victory. It will no doubt be a fun and fascinating project, ultimately resulting in a full ranking, from best to worst, of all of the Academy’s winners here.

    In skimming through the Academy’s list, I’m reminded of some of the eyebrow-raising events in this category, the inexplicable snubs of classic tracks from films like “Cabaret” and “Saturday Night Fever.” Yet, there are also so many brilliant songs that were recognized, not just the legendary likes of “Over the Rainbow” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” but more obscure gems like “The Windmills of Your Mind” and “Never on Sunday.” We’re really pumped to embark on this project and excited to uncover some lost classics, especially from that late-30s/early-40s era when they seemed to be nominating everything under the sun.

    What are some of your favorite/least favorite winners and nominees in Best Original Song? How about some of the worst nomination snubs? (Just as I’m typing this, I remember “The Rose”…)

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    Teridax
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    #220077

    “Goldfinger” from Goldfinger.

    Also “One Kind of Love” from Love & Mercy and “See You Again” from Furious 7 hit me really hard, especially with the former not even being eligible for some stupid reason. 

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    BenitoDelicias
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    #220078

    The Rose (amazing song) was inelegible, the singer (forgot her name) said she never wrote it specifically for the film, even if she hadn’t recorded until it was used in the film. 

    According to Wikipedia:
    “The Rose” did not receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Despite not having been recorded prior to the soundtrack of the film The Rose, the song had not been written for the film. According to McBroom, AMPAS inquired of her if the song had been written for the movie, and McBroom answered honestly (that it had not). McBroom did however win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for “The Rose”, as that award’s governing body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), does not share AMPAS’ official meticulousness over a nominated song’s being completely original with its parent film.[6] 

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    Mad Max Guitarist
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    #220079

    The best is “Let It Be”

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    romit98
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    #220080

    The worst is probably “Writing’s on the Wall”. Its victory lowered the credibility of this category.

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    Anonymous
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    #220081

    Travelin’ Thru is probably one of my favorites.

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    AMG
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    #220082

    Skyfall is one of my favourites, largely because it allowed Adele to perform at the ceremony, and she also won an OSCAR!!! 

    In terms of the songs I have heard, there aren’t any I actively dislike.  

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    Eduardo Galhardo
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    #220083

    10 Best Oscar Winners for Best Original Song

    1. “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz (1939)
    2. “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio (1940)
    3. “The Way We Were” from The Way We Were (1973)
    4. “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
    5. “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast (1991)
    6. “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic (1997)
    7. “Streets of Philadelphia” from Philadelphia (1993)
    8. “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas (1995)
    9. “Into the West” from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
    10. “(I’ve) Had the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing (1987)

    10 Best Oscar Nominees for Best Original Song

    1. “I Have Nothing” from The Bodyguard (1992)
    2. “Endless Love” from Endless Love (1981)
    3. “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tail (1986)
    4. “Because You Loved Me” from Up Close & Personal (1996)
    5. “Alfie” from Alfie (1966)
    6. “May It Be” from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    7. “The Prayer” from Quest for Camelot (1998)
    8. “Simple Song #3” from Youth (2015)
    9. “Against all Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” from Against All Odds (1984)
    10. “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi (2012)

    10 Worst Oscar Winners for Best Original Song

    1. “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” from Hustle & Flow (2005)
    2. “Talk to the Animals” from Doctor Dolittle (1967)
    3. “It Goes Like It Goes” from Norma Rae (1979)
    4. “You Light Up My Life” from You Light Up My Life (1977)
    5. “Say You, Say Me” from White Nights (1985)
    6. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” from The Woman in Red (1984)
    7. “Things Have Changed” from Wonder Boys (2000)
    8. “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre (2015)
    9. “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets (2011)
    10. “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters Inc. (2001)

    Biggest Snubs for Best Original Song

    1. “Someday My Prince Will Come” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    2. “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid (1989)
    3. “The Rose” from The Rose (1979)
    4. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
    5. “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
    6. “New York, New York” from “New York, New York” (1977)
    7. “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge! (2001)
    8. “If We Hold On Together” From The Land Before Time (1988)
    9. “Kissing You” from Romeo + Juliet (1996)
    10. “Something So Right” from Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

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    Manuel Colon
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    #220084

    One of the best nominations ever is I’ve Seen It All from Dancer In The Dark, written by Bjork, Lars Von Trier and Sjón

    And a worst snub is Young And Beautiful, by Lana Del Rey. So wrong, even more when you know Happy by Pharrell was nominated. 

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    Andrew Carden
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    #220085

    Biggest Snubs for Best Original Song

    1. “Someday My Prince Will Come” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    2. “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid (1989)
    3. “The Rose” from The Rose (1979)
    4. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
    5. “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
    6. “New York, New York” from “New York, New York” (1977)
    7. “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge! (2001)
    8. “If We Hold On Together” From The Land Before Time (1988)
    9. “Kissing You” from Romeo + Juliet (1996)
    10. “Life’s a Happy Song” from The Muppets (2011)

    Some fantastic selections there. I would argue “Part of Your World” is vastly superior to both “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Grl.” Nuts that “Pure Imagination” and “New York, New York” were shut out, though I imagine the floppiness of the latter’s picture did that one in.

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    M H
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    #220086

    The Rose (amazing song) was inelegible, the singer (forgot her name) said she never wrote it specifically for the film, even if she hadn’t recorded until it was used in the film. 

    According to Wikipedia:
    “The Rose” did not receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Despite not having been recorded prior to the soundtrack of the film The Rose, the song had not been written for the film. According to McBroom, AMPAS inquired of her if the song had been written for the movie, and McBroom answered honestly (that it had not). McBroom did however win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for “The Rose”, as that award’s governing body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), does not share AMPAS’ official meticulousness over a nominated song’s being completely original with its parent film.[6] 

    If I remember correctly, “Come What May” was ineligible for the same reason.  

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    Anonymous
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    #220087

    I’ve found this category unnecessary since the Grammys added an equivalent one, and there are not many essential songs from quality movies these days.

    So many Song nominees recently are from movies that voters didn’t acknowledge the existence of otherwise, for good reason. 

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    Patrick
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    #220088

    I can’t take this category seriously after Lana Del Rey was snubbed two years in a row for two brilliant songs. Big Eyes wasn’t very good, but I Can Fly should’ve been submitted instead of it.

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    Cameron
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    #220089

    Into the West by Annie Lennox is def my favorite from the last few years.

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    OnTheAisle
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    #220090

    The best is “Let It Be”

    Sadly, “Let It Be” was not nominated for Best Song. The Beatles won Best Song Score for the film.

    The Best Song recipient for 1970 was “For All We Know” from Lovers and Other Strangers.

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