Every year we expend so much effort on the Oscars. Who will win? Who should win? Who got snubbed? Who gave the best speech? It’s pretty much five straight months of this, non-stop.

But can you name last year’s Best Picture winner off the top of your head? Okay, you might remember Moonlight because of the crazy wrong envelope kerfuffle. What about the Best Picture in 2016? How about the year before that? (It was Spotlight and Birdman. I looked it up, because I didn’t remember.)

The Oscars are fun, and yes, they are important for a lot of reasons. But they do not guarantee cinematic immortality. Plenty of the most famous and most beloved movies of all time didn’t win a single Academy Award (including Dr. StrangeloveIt’s a Wonderful LifeTaxi DriverDo the Right ThingVertigo, and The Shawshank Redemption). And then there are the classics that didn’t even merit a single nomination. All 12 of the films below are classics of their respective genres. Some of them have been watched for almost a century. And none of them got even one (1) Oscar nomination. So don’t fret, fans of awesome films like A Ghost Story that are almost certainly going to be ignored by the Academy this year. Pundits may talk about the Oscars as a race. But in the macro view, they’re just the beginning of a much longer journey.

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