The Palme d'Or, or Golden Palm, is a prize that has been awarded at the Cannes Film Festival in the years 1955-1963, 1966, and 1975-present. It is frequently referred to as Cannes' "Top Prize," though it does not have such an official designation. Each year, various awards are given to films, including occasional "Jury Prizes" and "Grand Jury Prizes," "Best Director" prizes, as well as Camera d'Or prizes, but it is generally accepted that the Palm d'Or is at the top of the hierarchy, just as Best Picture is given pride of place over such awards as Best Director at the U.S. Academy Awards.

It should be noted that the Palme d'Or is awarded by a small jury selected each year, as opposed to the Academy Awards Best Picture award, which is given by a large jury of members that persist from year to year. The result of this difference is that the Academy Awards tend to be more consistent, which can also be regarded as more conservative, whereas the Cannes awards tend to be more quirky, subjective, and therefore more daring and counter to mainstream taste. It also means that the Cannes awards tend to be more controversial, so that often a Palme d'Or award winner such as Dancer In The Dark may be greeted by more boos than cheers when the award is announced. Besides this difference, the more obvious difference is that the Palme d'Or is a truly international award, whereas the Academy Awards tend to ghettoize non-American films into a separate Best Foreign Film section.

What awards, and how many awards are given at Cannes are determined arbitrarily on a year-to-year basis, and an award such as the Palme d'Or can be given to multiple films in the same year. In years when there was no Palme d'Or there was often (though not always) a nearly equivalent Grand Prix. In 1969, for example, the Grand Prix went to Lindsay Anderson's If.... This could be regarded as a sort of "top prize" for those years, but this is complecated by the fact that in some years there were both a Palme d'Or and Grand Prix given seperately to different films. Palm d'Or's supremacy is then assumed. Besides the Palm d'Or given to feature films, there is also a Palm d'Or given to short films.

If this all seems confusing, just remember the simple rule of thumb: "It's good to win a prize at Cannes."

Following is a list of all of the feature films given the prize designated "Palme d'Or," in reverse chronological order, up to the year 2001:

2001

The Son's Room

2000

Dancer In The Dark

1999

Rosetta

1998

Eternity And A Day

1997

A Taste Of Cherry
Unagi

1996

Secrets And Lies

1995

Underground

1994

Pulp Fiction

1993

Farewell My Concubine

1992

Intentions

1991

Barton Fink

1990

Wild At Heart

1989

Sex, Lies and Videotape

1988

Pelle The Conqueror

1987

Under The Sun Of Satan

1986

The Mission

1985

When Father Was Away On Business

1984

Paris, Texas

1983

The Ballad Of Narayama

1982

Yol
Missing

1981

Man of Iron

1980

Kagemusha

1979

Apocalypse Now

1978

The Tree Of Wooden Clogs

1977

Padre Padrone

1976

Taxi Driver

1975

Chronicle Of The Years Of Embers

1966

Signore E Signori
A Man And A Woman

1963

The Leopard

1962

O Pagador de Promessas

1961

Une Aussi Longue Absence
Viridiana

1960

La Dolce Vita

1959

Black Orpheus

1958

The Cranes Are Flying

1957

Friendly Persuasion

1956

Le Monde du Silence

1955

Marty

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