If you are one of those people who love the movies, then you may well be familiar with the Best Picture winners from the Oscars over the past few years. However, would you be able to name the year that one of them won the award? Take a look at the 30 Best Pictures from the Oscars for the years 1971 to 2000 listed below. How might you go about memorizing the dates and titles?

List: 30 Best Pictures from the Oscars 1971 to 2000

The French Connection 1971
The Godfather 1972
The Sting 1973
The Godfather Part II 1974
One Hew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1975
Rocky 1976
Annie Hall 1977
The Deer Hunter 1978
Kramer vs. Kramer 1979
Ordinary People 1980
Chariots of Fire 1981
Gandhi 1982
Terms of Endearment 1983
Amadeus 1984
Out of Africa 1985
Platoon 1986
The Last Emperor 1987
Rain Man 1988
Driving Miss Daisy 1989
Dances with Wolves 1990
The Silence of the Lambs 1991
Unforgiven 1992
Schindler’s List 1993
Forrest Gump 1994
Braveheart 1995
The English Patient 1996
Titanic 1997
Shakespeare in Love 1998
American Beauty 1999
Gladiator 2000

If you are a student, you might also be interested in revision and recall techniques.

Exercise: 30 Best Picture Winners

To commit to memory the list of 30 Best Pictures from the Oscars, all that’s required is a journey consisting of 30 stages. If this is information you might want to carry in your head for long-term storage, then I suggest you devise a route solely for this purpose – for example, one that starts at your local movie house.

memorise oscar winners

Listed below are the first 10 stages of a journey that I would use to store the first 10 movies.

1. Box Office
2. Popcorn Counter
3. Cinema Screen
4. Front Row
5. Back Row
6. Screen Projector
7. Restrooms
8. Bar Area
9. Revolving Doors
10. Taxicab Stand

I would eventually extend my journey through my town. And I would make a mental note of the fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth and thirtieth stages. That is, the back row, the taxicab stand, and so on. You’ll see why shortly.

Then I would memorize the list of Best Pictures by translating each film into a key image and then planting each one at a different stage of the journey. So, at the first stage, I imagine someone with a distinctive French accent issuing my tickets. At the second stage, I picture my Godfather buying a large cup of popcorn. At the third stage, I imagine an enormous bee buzzing in front of the cinema screen, and so on.

You may have noticed that here, unlike when we were learning the years of historic events, we don’t require the Dominic System to turn the years into characters. This is because I know that the movies follow a running order from 1971 to 2000 and the journey itself will fix this order in my mind.

I have made a mental note of certain stages along my route – the back row represents 1975, the taxi stand is 1980, and so on, until the year 2000, the thirtieth stage of my journey. This enables me to calculate any intervening year and its corresponding movie simply by jumping to these key stages along my journey, rather than having to run through the whole journey from the start.

Now create your own journey. Like me, you can begin in your local movie house and perhaps extend your route through the town, or you can choose a completely different journey. Don’t forget to make a mental note of the fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth and thirtieth stages.

You should also learn how to remember quotations and how to remember jokes.

Now copy the years into your notebook and try to write the corresponding Best Picture next to each year.

You can also ask a friend to test you on random years, so that you can practise jumping to the key stages along your journey to recall the desired year.