Offbeat Oscars: 10 Outside-the-Box Best Picture Winners

Serial-killer thrillers, neurotic-nebbish rom-coms, silent French movies — these winners went against the grain

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'The Silence of the Lambs' (1991)

Before Jonathan Demme's adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel, the idea of a horror movie winning Best Picture felt like the Toxic Avenger winning Miss America — there wasn't much in the Academy's history to suggest they would ever crown a movie this violent and misanthropic, particularly one that wasn't shrouded in the fog of war. Of course, when Hannibal Lecter escapes from his cell, he likes to make a show of it: Not only was this the first pure horror movie to so much as score a nomination since The Exorcist in 1973, it was also only the third film in Oscar history to walk away with all five of the top prizes.

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