A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966)
What is it? Biopic of saint and martyr and all-round good guy Sir Thomas Moore (Paul Scofield) trapped in an impossible situation between conscience, Catholicism and King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) when the latter breaks with the Church.
Why did it win? It's hard to imagine a more worthy subject for a film than Moore, who's got all that nobility and saintliness nailed but was also a decent and likeable man - and the film's great script and performances brought that home. The other nominees were just decent: sex romp Alfie; Cold War satire The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming; China-set drama The Sand Pebbles and domestic drama (in the sense of "domestic disturbance") Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Did it deserve to win? Among the nominees, maybe, but not over the rest of the films out that year. Also released and not even slightly nominated were (deep breath) The Battle of Algiers, Blow Up, Au Hazard Balthazar, Andrei Rublev and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Oh, and a little Western called The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. That and Battle of Algiers are probably the best films of the year, but we wouldn't want to argue with Clint Eastwood so let's say that the Leone film deserved it.
Worth a look? Yes, but watch the rest of the list in the second paragraph first.