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Film Industry’s List of 100 Favorite Films in The Hollywood Reporter Is Same Old Story

Film Industry's List of 100 Favorite Films in The Hollywood Reporter Is Same Old Story

This week, The Hollywood Reporter published a list of Hollywood’s 100 favorite films, according to 2,120 film industry insiders that included actors, writers, directors, agents and executives.

Unsurprisingly, there are no surprises here. It’s the same old poll we’ve seen time and again, as in AFI’s 100 Years 100 Movies list, with “Citizen Kane” again topping the chart (it was recently dethroned by “Vertigo” in Sight and Sound’s top 50 movies poll). While “The Shawshank Redemption” (number four) and “Forrest Gump” (number 14) are good films that duked it out for Best Picture in 1995, they’re too high on this list. Is the white male demo, likely the bulk of THR’s participants, patting itself on the back here?

Criticwire took the poll to task in a recent post outlining the galling dearth of documentaries, foreign films, films by women and films from non-white directors. The prevalence of these arbitrary top 100 lists seems to be bullying, to a degree, the film community into following the party line. TIME’s 2011 lists are far more interesting and diverse and colorful. (Here are IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, AMC and EW‘s lists.) 

THR’s list is full of familiar names and faces–here’s a look at some of the most (not-so) interesting results of the industry poll:

  • Among directors, Steven Spielberg has the most films on the list–seven, to be precise–among them “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” at number eight, “Schindler’s List” at number 10 and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at number 13.
  • Marlon Brando is the most-represented actor, with five movies on the list (including, of course, “The Godfather,” which came in number one).  Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro are tied for second with four films each.
  • Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” (at number 84) is the most recent release in the lineup, while 1939’s “Wizard of Oz” (number two) and “Gone With the Wind” (number 15) are the oldest.
  • The 1990s was the most popular decade for films with 24 films on the list, followed by the 1970s (18), the 2000s (15) and the 1980s (15).
  • Not surprisingly, older voters chose older movies as their favorites: for example, participants aged 20-29 chose “Pulp Fiction,” while participants over 80 chose “Casablanca.”
  • Twenty percent of THR’s list was comprised of comedies, even though only 3.5 percent of best picture winners have been comedies.
  • Five animated movies made the list: Disney’s “The Lion King” and “The Beauty and the Beast” as well as Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Wall-E” and “Up.”

Check out THR’s full list of Hollywood’s 100 favorite films here.  After the jump, you can watch a mash-up of all 100 films, complete with some very serious underscoring.

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John Luma

The outrage here is misplaced. What would you really expect from "HOLLYWOOD'S 100 FAVORITE Movies"? Not "Greatest." Not "Artistic." Not "Critically Acclaimed." FAVORITE. Meaning, the movies with mass appeal, made for mass appeal. That found mass appeal. The "100 Top" list most critics want simply needs to be based on that measure. Which is not Hollywood's.

Me too

The list is boring because it started out boring. HR gave a list of films to choose from with a lot of bad commercial films on the list, a lot of major Oscar films left off, and with very few foreign films or films directed by women.

If a Hollywood media outlet wants to do a real poll that's actually accurate, they need to let voters choose without looking at a pre-currated list, and then also not let them choose any film that they have actually worked on or are credited on. That would wipe out half of the crappy films on the list(s), since some were obviously only on the list because they employed the most people in Hollywood (i.e. effects-driven and animation) who have only their self-interest in mind. And "Back to the Future" and "Avatar" should not be on any list! It's embarrassing!


There's a lot of good films on the list but it is pretty boring and similar to other 100 best movies lists.

Dennis Harvey

Wow. The fact that the oldest titles are the most obvious duo (Wizard of Oz, GWTW) from the official "greatest year" in the medium 1939, already nearly half a century into its existence, speaks a great deal about how little most professionals know about their own industry's history. Not a huge surprise, but still a pity. I'll bet most of the people polled could name more comic books than they could movies made before 1939 (or 1959, for that matter).


And people wonder why Hollywood keeps producing crap … look at their favorite movies. I mean, even if we just look at Hollywood films – meaning throw out foreign, art, and independent films – and this list is still utter crap. I mean, Shawshank Redemption at #4 … really? If I were to even just write a list of the 100 best prison films Shawshank might not even make the cut.

Also, is anyone also really shocked something like The Searchers of Stagecoach didn't make the list or City Lights. In fact, did a single Chaplin or Ford film make the cut?


Here's a thought: Next time, ask for their favorite 200 movies, then throw out the top 100. This might–repeat, might–yield some more intriguing titles.

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