What films does Oscar like best?

With the 84th Academy Awards almost upon us, the battle is on for the most prestigious of all the Oscars - the best picture prize. Are some types of film more likely to win than others? Explore the chart below to find out how genres have fared in the category since 1927-28.

Select a genre to find out about its Oscar record.

Roll over the decade lines for nominees and winners.

  • 20s*
  • 30s
  • 40s
  • 50s
  • 60s
  • 70s
  • 80s
  • 90s
  • 2000s
  • *1927-29
  • (w) Oscar winner
  • Source: Academy Awards database, American Film Institute, IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes

About the data: The chart shows the percentage of best picture nominees by genre and per decade. It tracks the change from one decade to another - up to 2009. All films have been categorised by the most commonly used genre by the American Film Institute (AFI), the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and Rotten Tomatoes.

For ease of analysis, where a film falls into multiple categories, its most defining category has been used, eg. if it is classed as a crime drama, it is included in crime. The period and historical category includes most epics, crime includes gangster and detective films, the thriller genre includes mystery and suspense and comedy includes comedy drama and romantic comedy. Although the categorisation is not intended to be definitive, it aims to give a flavour of the rise and fall of different genres over time.

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