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Christmas Gift Guide

1965 winner: 'Thunderball'

'The Greatest Story Ever Told'

1979 winner: 'Alien'

'The Black Hole'

1992 winner: 'Death Becomes Her'

1998 winner: 'What Dreams May Come'

'Mighty Joe Young'

2006 winner: 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'

'Poseidon'

In its 50-year run of 24 films, the James Bond franchise has gathered 14 Academy Award nominations, but only ever walked away with four wins -- and two of those were for 2012's "Skyfall." The win for "Thunderball" (which was more for the underwater sequence than for the functioning jetpack) was the first of these and a surprise when it was up against...

Caption by / Photo by Eon Productions/MGM

It may have been critically panned and completely failed to break even, but the epic retelling of Jesus' life boasted more impressive effects than 007's sharktastic adventures.

Caption by / Photo by MGM

Don't start yelling at me on Twitter just yet. "Alien" is clearly one of the greatest films ever made. But that year it was up against "The Black Hole", "Moonraker", "1941" and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". So who should have won?

Caption by / Photo by Twentieth Century Fox

Thought I was going to say "Star Trek", right? Maybe it's a product of my advanced age, but this film blew my mind and had, at the time, the longest shot of CGI ever made.

Caption by / Photo by Disney

To my great shame, I saw this film in the cinema and I still feel bad about myself. Nominated along with "Alien 3" and "Batman Returns", the surprise isn't necessarily that this movie won. It's that the Academy didn't pull a 1973 and just not give out the award.

Caption by / Photo by Universal Pictures

Could have been subtitled the "Oscar winner that everyone forgot existed". Critically panned, there's a reason this wasn't a high-profile flick at Robin Williams' memorial. Don't get me wrong, rivals "Armageddon" and "Mighty Joe Young" aren't exactly "Citizen Kane" but...

Caption by / Photo by Polygram Filmed Entertainment

... given that the original "Mighty Joe Young" picked up the Oscar for Special Effects (as it was called back in 1949), there would have been a nice symmetry for the win. Plus, with "King Kong" winning in '76 and '05, it would prove that great apes are the best cinema.

Caption by / Photo by Disney

Yes, the series that ate Johnny Depp's career has an Oscar. That's all you need to know.

Caption by / Photo by Disney

Of course, the other options for that year were "Superman Returns" and "Poseidon". But at the least "Poseidon" has distinction of making it into the Guinness Book of Records for having the most detailed CGI model in a film.

Caption by / Photo by Warner Bros
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