Best Picture nominees:
What won: Wings
A reason often cited for why this film won over the other two is the country's fascination for aviation in the wake of Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight. Wings was also a technical achievement. The dogfights in this film are top notch and even by today's standards look very convincing and are very entertaining.
What should have won: 7th Heaven
The best movie of the three is 7th Heaven. The acting is better, the directing is better, and the cinematography is better. The Academy agrees with most of this as this film won for Best Actress, Best Director (Drama), and Best Writing (Adapted). Janet Gaynor puts on her best performance of the three films she won for these Awards. Frank Borzage improves the play this film was based off of with some excellent cinematic techniques. In almost every respect, 7th Heaven is better than Wings. Also, at a time in which the Academy was formed to protect the film industry from religious and governmental groups, a movie with religious themes and no scenes involving drunk characters (the other two nominees feature this) would have been a good poster child for Hollywood. I am quite surprised this did not happen.
My Best Picture nominee rankings:
1. 7th Heaven (8/10)
2. Wings (7/10)
3. The Racket (6/10)