Shawshank Redeemed! Darabont’s Classic Voted Biggest Ever Oscar Snub


I visited the ‘pictures’ religiously in my youth, probably more that I do now, and 1995 would be the year that would that would forever change my perspective on the world of cinema. Like most weeks, a friend and I trooped over to the Warner Bros. cinema in Manors, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne on a cold February night to see what was on that we hadn’t yet seen. A strange title was one that had us both intrigued and bemused, was THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.

I left that cinema a changed man. I no longer only wanted to see Schwarzenegger on the warpath or Michael Myers stick it to some teen. I found a genuine fondness for intelligent and emotional storytelling. So what if the film was about the love between two men. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION moved me like no film had before and I wanted to tell the world…and I did to friends, family or anyone who would listen.

Despite the films’ initial release being a failure, Shawshank flourished on home video. Something I feel very proud of, as I almost felt single-handedly, that I was part of bringing something special into peoples lives with some strong word-of-mouth, even if I was only fifteen!

From 7 Oscar nominations, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION saw a return of zero. It missed out on the Best Picture to Robert Zemeckis’ FORREST GUMP. Another film I loved, yet, didn’t come anywhere close to how Frank Darabont’s film affected me.

To quote a familiar line from the film “Some birds aren’t meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright.” The film became just that and now is receiving some we deserved recognition in the press release below:


Director Frank Darabont’s uplifting 1994 prison drama The Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman has been named the best Oscar nominee to miss out on the prestigious Best Picture award according to new research carried out to launch the dedicated Sky Movies Oscars® /HD channel.

Sky Movies HD asked over 1,000 film fans across the UK & Ireland to vote on the ‘Best Picture’ Academy Award nominees that never won the Oscar to mark the launch of the channel, which will show Oscar winners 24 hours a day from Monday 11th February through to the channel’s exclusive live UK broadcast of the 85th Academy Awards® on Sunday 24th February.

The Shawshank Redemption beat the same director’s 1999 adaptation of The Green Mile starring Oscar favourite Tom Hanks, pulling in 13.1% compared with the second place 10.6%. Both dramas were adapted from original material from author Stephen King. 

Despite being the biggest grossing film of all time, James Cameron’s 2009 3D science fiction film Avatar failed to take away the ‘Best Picture’ award on the night. The film was however named in third place with voters with 6.5%, followed by Steven Spielberg’s 1998 acclaimed graphic World War II drama Saving Private Ryan, fourth with 5.4%. Spielberg’s globally loved 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was voted in fifth position (4.9%), edging ahead of George Lucas’ original 1977 game-changer Star Wars (sixth place with 4.5%), which would go on to begin the phenomenal franchise of sequels and prequels. 

The 1964 London based Disney classic Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke was highly commended by the UK public who voted the film in seventh place in the list (3.7%).The remainder of the top ten list of ‘Best Picture’ Oscar Snubs tied in eighth place were Brit director David Lean’s 1965 epic romance Doctor Zhivago, Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 cult mobster film Pulp Fiction and Robert Mulligan’s classic 1962 adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, all bringing in 2.9% of the votes.

The Best ‘Best Picture’ Oscar Snub, as voted by the UK & Irish public for Sky Movies HD are:

1. The Shawshank Redemption (lost out to Forrest Gump in 1995) – 13.1%

2. The Green Mile (lost out to American Beauty in 2000) – 10.6%

3. Avatar (lost out to The Hurt Locker in 2010) – 6.5%

4. Saving Private Ryan (lost out to Shakespeare in Love in 1999) – 5.4%

5. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (lost out to Gandhi in 1983) – 4.9%

6. Star Wars (lost out to Annie Hall in 1978) – 4.5%

7. Mary Poppins (lost out to My Fair Lady in 1965) – 3.7%

8. = Doctor Zhivago (lost out to The Sound of Music in 1966) – 2.9%

= Pulp Fiction (lost out to Forrest Gump in 1995) – 2.9%

= To Kill a Mockingbird (lost out to Lawrence of Arabia in 1963) – 2.9%

Director of Sky Movies Ian Lewis said, “Arguably the most prestigious accolade in the film industry, competition is fierce when it comes to the Academy Award® for Best Picture and as we’ve found even some of the
nation’s best-loved movies of all time were pipped to the post in this category.

This year’s Oscars® promises yet another close race in this category and once again Sky Movies is thrilled to be bringing the ceremony exclusively to its customers live on the night. We’re also very excited that our
customers can enjoy a fantastic selection of the Academy®’s most decorated movies all in one place in the lead up to the big night itself on Sky Movies Oscars® / HD, On Demand and on the move with Sky Go and 

The Sky Movies Oscars®/HD channel line-up boasts 10 of last year’s 12 Oscar-winning feature films – including the 5-time Oscar-winning silent film sensation The Artist – as well as a vast array of previous winners including Forrest Gump, Girl, Interrupted, Philadelphia, Kramer vs. Kramer, Pulp Fiction, Boys Don’t Cry and The King’s Speech. The season will also be available On Demand and on the move with Sky Go and with the recently launched Sky Go Extra, which allows customers to download TV from Sky to watch offline, wherever they are.

The Oscars 2013: Red Carpet Live will air from 1130-0130 on Sky Living /HD and Sky Movies Oscars / HD and The 85th Annual Academy Awards will air live exclusively on Sky Movies Oscars / HD from 0130 until 0400 across Sunday 24th and into Monday 25th February.

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Craig was our great north east correspondent, proving that it’s so ‘grim up north’ that losing yourself in a world of film is a foregone prerequisite. He has been studying the best (and often worst) of both classic and modern cinema at the University of Life for as long as he can remember. Craig’s favorite films include THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, JFK, GOODFELLAS, SCARFACE, and most of John Carpenter’s early work, particularly THE THING and HALLOWEEN.


  1. sylvain

    February 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    THE INSIDER – Michael Mann’s masterpiece – should have won in 1999 you bunch of idiots.

  2. Dan Bullock

    February 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks for the unnecessary insult!

    Why not The Truman Show? ;-)

  3. ian clarke

    February 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Bob Hoskins missed out on an Oscar in 1986 starring in Mona Lisa to Paul Newman for The Color of Money. Not only was it a better performance by hoskins it wasn’t even a good one by Newman. An obvious academy sympathy vote for overlooking him many times before

  4. Alienator

    February 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Forget it, to me Goodfellas was the biggest snub losing out to Dances With Wolves (GAG!) Not only was the best picture snub revolting enough, but it also marked the second time legend Martin Scorsese losing out the directors award to an actor on his directing debut! The first was Marty’s Raging Bull against Robert Redford’s Ordinary People, another crime by the Academy.

  5. Dale

    February 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    I would agree Goodfellas was a huge snub over Dances with Wolves. I also tend to think Shawshank Redemption probaly is not that big of a snub to lose to Forrest Gump. Both were great movies.

  6. ian clarke

    February 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    How bad do I feel, I completely forgot about Goodfellas- an even bigger miss than Mona Lisa.

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