When lists for worst movies to win Best Picture Oscars are written, one film often rises (falls?) to the top (bottom?). Well, yes, "Crash", but also "Around the World in 80 Days". So two films, we guess.
"Around the World in 80 Days" is obviously based on the Jules Verne book of the same name. As we wrote before, the novel is rather disappointing to even those of us who were huge Verne fans as children. It's mostly a tedious travelogue that is saved by a rather clever plot twist (spoiler alert, if you have been living under the rock for the last 150 years): the international date line!
In any case, the 1956 movie, the brainchild of producer Mike Todd, supposedly took away the tediousness and replaced it with a raucous romp. It won five Oscars, including Best Picture. Shirley MacLaine played an Indian princess. It's really not good.
Todd, of course, is probably best-known for being Elizabeth Taylor's (favorite?) husband. He was the only one she didn't divorce, as he perished in a plane crash at the age of 48. Todd was Jewish (Taylor converted after his death), and was born with a rather Jewy name of Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen. "Todd" came from his childhood nickname. We're not sure where "Mike" came from.
In any case, as terrible as his movie was, it also created a new Hollywood trend: the star cameo. Some 40 famous names, from Buster Keaton to Frank Sinatra to Peter Lorre, appeared in bit parts. So not just a bad Best Picture winner, but bad influence as well!