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The Top 25 Best Production Design Winners So Far (Updated)

Well, we’re back at it today! Continuing a tradition I’ve been keen on for years, I’m ranking the new crop of Academy Award winners. For nearly all of the Oscar categories, you’ll see me list the top 25 recipients of that prize. Sometimes, our newest winner will appear. Other times, they’ll be relegated to the Honorable Mention category. Who knows, maybe one or two won’t even make the cut? It’s a list series that I’ll do each and every single year, in the weeks after the ceremony concludes. So, while this is a fun way to think about the Oscars in the aftermath of the latest telecast, it’s also a beginning for another column here on the site. Of course, definitely show us your own lists as well, in the comments section below. We’re definitely keen to know what you all think!

This week, I’ll be doing the Best Production Design category. Sometimes, this is a field where “best” can mean “most,” but it’s no surefire thing. Flashy contenders do tend to do very well, however, as you’ll see below. Frankly, as I always say with this piece, it’s hard to beat Batman here, as what Anton Furst realized is pretty spectacular. That being said, La La Land and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood did come close. It’s another category where it’s very hard to dislike any of the victorious films. They’re just all great looking movies, plain and simple. How does our most recent winner in Dune fare? What of last year’s impressive Mank? Does it maintain its initial spot? You’ll have to see next, but Dune also does come in at a pretty impressive spot, so the competition is fierce. Read on for more…

Here are what I consider to be the 25 best winners of the Best Production Design Oscar, to date:


25. The Great Gatsby (2013)
24. The Godfather: Part II
23. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
22. Doctor Zhivago
21. Hugo
20. The Apartment
19. Avatar
18. Schindler’s List
17. Moulin Rouge!
16. Mad Max: Fury Road
15. Dick Tracy
14. Lawrence of Arabia
13. Mank
12. Chicago
11. Raiders of the Lost Ark
10. Dune
9. Barry Lyndon
8. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Black Panther
6. Star Wars
5. Titanic
4. Pan’s Labyrinth
3. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
2. La La Land
1. Batman

Honorable Mention: All That Jazz, The Aviator, Cabaret, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Last Emperor, and Memoirs of a Geisha


Stay tuned for another category later on this week or early next week!


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1 year ago

Love this category it’s like another character in the film.

1. Sleepy Hollow
2. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
3. Hugo
4. Batman
5 Titanic
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Alice In Wonderland
8. Restoration
9. Black Panther
10. Star Wars
11. Dick Tracy
12. Chicago
13. The English Patient
14. Oliver !
15. The Shape of Water
16. Cabaret
17. Schindler’s List
18 . Gandhi
19. A Room With A View
20. Shakespeare In Love
21. Fanny and Alexander
22. Black Narcissus
23. To Kill A Mockingbird
24. The Apartment
25. Howard’s End

HM Dangerous Liaisons , An American in Paris, The Sting, The Godfather Part II , The Diary of Anne Frank, Gaslight, , Spartacus, Amadeus, Little Women ( 1949)



Written by Joey Magidson

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