Monday, September 29, 2008

Empire Strikes Out

Oh, those wacky Brits. Empire magazine has released the results of their poll for "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time", and the results sure are ... interesting.

Perhaps it's who they polled: 10,000 readers chimed in, but only 150 of "Hollywood's finest" and a paltry 50 film critics were also included. Not quite "the most ambitious movie poll ever attempted" as advertised, the list leans heavily on the recent (as expected with that many civilians in the mix), including five movies from this year alone (The Dark Knight sits at #15), as well as (naturally) a lot of English and other non-US films not quite as well known here in the States.

Furthermore, the mag's readership must be predominantly male (and predominantly straight, for that matter). How else to explain the inclusion of five of the six Star Wars movies (yes, even The Phantom Menace) and all four Indiana Jones adventures? And then there's such other head scratchers as ranking Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (one of the worst movies ever made) above Double Indemnity, To Kill a Mockingbird and All About Eve (among many many others) or seeing Point Break (yes, that Point Break) sitting in between Fargo and Amélie. It's enough to make a true cinephile cry/cringe/dissolve into a gelatinous blob.

I've posted the entire list of 500 films in the comment section below (in ascending order, from #500 to #1); read if you dare ...

3 comments:

  1. Ocean's Eleven (2001)
    Saw (2004)
    Back To The Future Part II (1989)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    Superman Returns (2006)
    Jailhouse Rock (1957)
    Sideways (2004)
    In The Company Of Men (1997)
    Amores Perros (2000)
    Ben-Hur (1959)
    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2007)
    Brick (2005)
    Princess Mononoke (1997)
    Superbad (2007)
    Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)
    The Wicker Man (1973)
    The Fountain (2001)
    The Big Red One (1980)
    Scream (1996)
    Topsy-Turvy (1999)
    The Son's Room (2001)
    The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (1947)
    Flesh (1968)
    Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
    Santa Sangre (a.k.a. Holy Blood) (1989)
    Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
    Enter The Dragon (1973)
    Into The Wild (2007)
    Le Doulos (a.k.a. Doulos: The Finger Man) (1962)
    Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)
    Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
    Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)
    The Crow (1994)
    The Deer Hunter (1978)
    Snatch (2000)
    12 Monkeys (1995)
    Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954)
    Juno (2007)
    Dead Man's Shoes (2004)
    Halloween (1978)
    Crash (2004)
    Ikiru (1952)
    Batman (1989)
    Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    28 Days Later (2002)
    Top Gun (1986)
    The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
    Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008)
    Unbreakable (2000)
    Speed (1994)
    King Kong (2005)
    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
    A History Of Violence (2005)
    Ten (2002)
    High Fidelity (2000)
    Dumb & Dumber (1994)
    Hairspray (1988)
    Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
    Atonement (2007)
    Being John Malkovich (1973)
    Akira (1988)
    Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
    The Lost Boys (1987)
    Spider-Man (2002)
    Beauty And The Beast (1991)
    American Psycho (2000)
    The Cat Concerto (1947)
    Good Will Hunting (1997)
    X2: X-Men United (2003)
    Electra Glide In Blue (1973)
    Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
    Danger: Diabolik (1968)
    The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
    Spring In A Small Town (1948)
    Enduring Love (2004)
    Wonder Boys (2000)
    To Have And Have Not (1944)
    Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
    A Man Escaped (1956)
    Lethal Weapon (1987)
    Jerry Maguire (1996)
    Days Of Heaven (1978)
    V For Vendetta (2005)
    Lords Of Dogtown (2005)
    Bad Taste (1987)
    Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
    The Double Life Of Véronique (1991)
    Finding Nemo (2003)
    Heathers (1989)
    Spider-Man 2 (2004)
    A Hard Day's Night (1964)
    Men In Black (1997)
    Zelig (1983)
    The Jungle Book (1967)
    Iron Man (2008)
    Dirty Dancing (1987)
    RoboCop (1987)
    Do The Right Thing (1989)
    Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    Batman Returns (1992)
    The Incredibles (2004)
    Greed (1924)
    Killer Of Sheep (1977)
    Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
    The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007)
    Casino (1995)
    Cloverfield (2008)
    Garden State (2004)
    Paris, Texas (1984)
    Mulholland Drive (2001)
    2 Days In Paris (2007)
    Election (1999)
    The English Patient (1996)
    Rain Man (1988)
    The Great Silence (1968)
    Ace In The Hole (1951)
    The Shop Around The Corner (1940)
    Serenity (2005)
    Caché (2005)
    Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)
    Children Of Men (2006)
    Ratatouille (2007)
    The Goonies (1985)
    Mean Streets (1973)
    Zodiac (2007)
    Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994)
    Hot Fuzz (2007)
    WALL-E (2008)
    Army Of Darkness (1992)
    Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)
    Rocky (1976)
    The Breakfast Club (1985)
    Airplane! (1980)
    Cabaret (1972)
    Predator (1987)
    The Bourne Identity (2002)
    Natural Born Killers (1994)
    Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
    The Elephant Man (1980)
    Clerks (1994)
    The Return (2003)
    The Lady Eve (1941)
    Russian Ark (2002)
    The Long Goodbye (1973)
    Napoléon (1927)
    Sunshine (2007)
    Un Chien Andalou (1929)
    Bugsy Malone (1976)
    Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
    Zulu (1964)
    Planet Of The Apes (1968)
    Arthur (1981)
    Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
    All About Eve (1950)
    Leave Her To Heaven (1945)
    Fatal Attraction (1987)
    The Last Waltz (1978)
    Monsters, Inc. (2001)
    The Gold Rush (1925)
    The Passenger (1975)
    High And Low (1963)
    Spirited Away (2001)
    Jules and Jim (1962)
    300 (2006)
    Titanic (1997)
    The Seventh Seal (1957)
    The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
    Grease (1978)
    The Sixth Sense (1999)
    The Green Mile (1999)
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (2005)
    The Lives Of Others (2006)
    The Truman Show (1998)
    The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
    Out Of Sight (1998)
    Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
    Lone Star (1996)
    The Last Seduction (1994)
    Aladdin (1992)
    Funny Face (1957)
    Braveheart (1995)
    The Lion King (1994)
    Rebecca (1940)
    Midnight Run (1988)
    Trainspotting (1996)
    Sense And Sensibility (1995)
    Sweet Smell Of Success (1957)
    Battleship Potemkin (1925)
    Suspiria (1977)
    American History X (1998)
    Gremlins (1984)
    Transformers (2007)
    The Terminator (1984)
    Midnight Cowboy (1969)
    Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)
    The Prestige (2006)
    Radio Days (1987)
    Together (2000)
    The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)
    Love And Death (1975)
    Sawdust And Tinsel (1953)
    The Palm Beach Story (1942)
    Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
    It Happened One Night (1934)
    All The President’s Men (1976)
    The Untouchables (1987)
    The Red Balloon (1956)
    La Maman Et La Putain (1973)
    La Belle Et La Bête (1946)
    Rocco And His Brothers (1960)
    Rashomon (1950)
    The Thing (1982)
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
    Secrets And Lies (1996)
    L’Avventura (1960)
    Solaris (1972)
    Scarface (1983)
    Ran (1985)
    The Godfather Part III (1990)
    Interview With The Vampire (1994)
    The Road Warrior (1982)
    National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
    Carlito’s Way (1993)
    On The Town (1949)
    Layer Cake (2004)
    My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
    Sin City (2005)
    The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970)
    Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
    The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)
    A Place In The Sun (1951)
    The Lady Vanishes (1938)
    Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989)
    Ghost World (2001)
    A. I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
    American Graffiti (1973)
    Das Boot (1981)
    The Virgin Suicides (1999)
    Roman Holiday (1953)
    Field Of Dreams (1989)
    Groundhog Day (1993)
    The Blues Brothers (1980)
    The Black Cat (19934)
    Le Quai Des Brumes (a.k.a. Port of Shadows) (1938)
    Ninotchka (1939)
    The Verdict (1982)
    First Blood (1982)
    The Leopard (1963)
    Darling (1965)
    Sunrise (1927)
    My Darling Clementine (1946)
    Pandora’s Box (1929)
    All That Jazz (1979)
    The Philadelphia Story (1940)
    Downfall (2004)
    Dazed And Confused (1993)
    Heimat (1984)
    King Kong (1933)
    Brighton Rock (1947)
    Forrest Gump (1994)
    Cinema Paradiso (1988)
    Requiem For A Dream (2000)
    Delicatessen (1991)
    Black Narcissus (1947)
    Battle Royale (2000)
    The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
    Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984)
    Jurassic Park (1993)
    Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
    Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
    Festen (a.k.a. The Celebration) (1998)
    No Country For Old Men (2007)
    Léon (a.k.a. The Professional) (1994)
    William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996)
    Get Carter (1971)
    Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
    Safe (1995)
    Mother And Son (1997)
    McCabe & Mrs Miller (1971)
    Far From Heaven (2002)
    The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
    M. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)
    The Magnificent Seven (1960)
    Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)
    Jackie Brown (1997)
    Army Of Shadows (1969)
    Songs From The Second Floor (2000)
    M (1931)
    Moulin Rouge! (2001)
    Platoon (1986)
    Local Hero (1983)
    The Departed (2006)
    The Misfits (1961)
    The Exorcist (1973)
    The Addiction (1995)
    The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)
    Monty Python's Life Of Brian (1979)
    The Killer (1989)
    JFK (1991)
    Before Sunrise (1995)
    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
    Fargo (1996)
    Point Break (1991)
    Amélie (1999)
    It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
    The Bicycle Thief (1948)
    Ed Wood (1994)
    Eraserhead (1977)
    Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    Big (1988)
    Ghostbusters (1984)
    School Of Rock (2003)
    The Big Country (1958)
    United 93 (2006)
    Paths Of Glory (1957)
    Dirty Harry (1971)
    Le Samourai (1967)
    Performance (1970)
    Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970)
    To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
    Toy Story 2 (1999)
    Hellzapoppin' (1941)
    City Of God (2002)
    A Canterbury Tale (1944)
    Rushmore (1998)
    Superman (1978)
    Memento (2000)
    The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
    Brief Encounter (1945)
    La Haine (1995)
    Viridiana (1961)
    Tootsie (1982)
    Don't Look Now (1973)
    Goldfinger (1964)
    Partie De Campagne (a.k.a. A Day in the Country) (1936)
    The Searchers (1956)
    The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)
    A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
    The Year Of Living Dangerously (1982)
    Being There (1979)
    The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
    Unforgiven (1992)
    True Romance (1993)
    Saving Private Ryan (1998)
    Badlands (1973)
    Betty Blue (1986)
    The Innocents (1961)
    Boogie Nights (1997)
    Gladiator (2000)
    The French Connection (1971)
    The Red Shoes (1948)
    Z (1969)
    Notorious (1946)
    Shampoo (1975)
    Sophie's Choice (1982)
    There Will Be Blood (2007)
    Cyrano De Bergerac (1991)
    Almost Famous (2000)
    Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    As Good As It Gets (1997)
    Blow Out (1981)
    Cool Hand Luke (1967)
    Dances With Wolves (1990)
    Amadeus (1984)
    Duck Soup (1933)
    Seven (1995)
    Double Indemnity (1944)
    Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
    The Last Of The Mohicans (1992)
    The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
    Harvey (1950)
    Lost In Translation (2003)
    The Sting (1973)
    Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid (1973)
    A Bout De Souffle (a.k.a. Breathless) (1960)
    The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
    A Woman Under The Influence (1974)
    The Princess Bride (1987)
    Los Olvidados (1950)
    The Battle Of Algiers (1966)
    The Wages Of Fear (1953)
    Withnail And I (1987)
    Miller's Crossing (1990)
    Rio Bravo (1959)
    Blazing Saddles (1974)
    The Conversation (1974)
    Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)
    I Am Cuba (1964)
    Fitzcarraldo (1982)
    Before Sunset (2004)
    Touch Of Evil (1958)
    The Tree Of Wooden Clogs (1978)
    An American Werewolf In London (1981)
    A Man For All Seasons (1966)
    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
    The Rules Of The Game (1939)
    Rear Window (1954)
    The Hustler (1961)
    Raising Arizona (1987)
    Network (1976)
    Toy Story (1995)
    North By Northwest (1959)
    Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    American Beauty (1999)
    Yojimbo (1961)
    The Wild Bunch (1969)
    The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973)
    Once Upon A Time In America (1984)
    Return Of The Jedi (1983)
    When Harry Met Sally ... (1989)
    Magnolia (1999)
    Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
    The King Of Comedy (1983)
    Carrie (1976)
    Blue Velvet (1986)
    L. A. Confidential (1997)
    Brazil (1985)
    The Great Escape (1963)
    Batman Begins (2005)
    The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943)
    The Thin Red Line (1998)
    Rosemary’s Baby (1996)
    Spartacus (1960)
    Manhattan (1979)
    A Matter Of Life And Death (a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven) (1946)
    The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948)
    Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
    12 Angry Men (1957)
    The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
    Stand By Me (1986)
    Red (1994)
    Annie Hall (1977)
    Tokyo Story (1953)
    Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    Harold And Maude (1971)
    Oldboy (2003)
    Sunset Boulevard (1950)
    The Graduate (1967)
    The Usual Suspects (1995)
    Come And See (1985)
    Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)
    His Girl Friday (1940)
    Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)
    Casino Royale (2006)
    La Dolce Vita (1960)
    The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
    Donnie Darko (2001)
    The Shining (1980)
    8½ (1963)
    Seven Samurai (1954)
    Evil Dead II (1987)
    This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
    E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    On The Waterfront (1954)
    Psycho (1960)
    Schindler's List (1993)
    The Big Lebowski (1998)
    Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949)
    The 400 Blows (1959)
    Vertigo (1958)
    The Matrix (1999)
    Heat (1995)
    A Clockwork Orange (1971)
    Andrei Rublev (1969)
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
    The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)
    Alien (1979)
    Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
    Gone With The Wind (1939)
    Aliens (1986)
    Die Hard (1988)
    Citizen Kane (1941)
    Some Like It Hot (1959)
    Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964)
    The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1967)
    The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
    Back To The Future (1985)
    Star Wars (1977)
    The Third Man (1949)
    Blade Runner (1982)
    The Godfather Part II (1974)
    Casablanca (1942)
    Taxi Driver (1976)
    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    The Dark Knight (2008)
    Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
    Chinatown (1974)
    The Apartment (1960)
    Raging Bull (1980)
    Fight Club (1999)
    Pulp Fiction (1994)
    Singin’ In The Rain (1952)
    Apocalypse Now (1979)
    GoodFellas (1990)
    Jaws (1975)
    The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
    The Godfather (1972)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with you totally on the male heterosexual thing, as when i used to read empire (as a bisexual female film fan fyi) i found it a bit too boys club and too much sci fi and action for my taste - though they did include a few girly classics on this list too.

    The non american comment is a bit unjust though as there are loads of hollywood entries and not many british i can see.. a lot of the foreign films out there are really great anyway... but i'm sure i'm preaching to the choir on that :)

    love your site btw!

    ReplyDelete
  3. To be clear, I wasn't knocking the presence of the non-American films, just noting that there were quite a few that might not be as familiar to some.

    Thanks for commenting!

    - kch

    ReplyDelete

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