Talk:List of films considered the best/Archive 4

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Tokyo Story

Shouldn't Ozu's Tokyo Story (by virtue of its position in the Halliwell's book) be included in the 'Films acclaimed by critics and filmmakers' section rather than being filed away under 'Japanese'?


Now, I think Terry Gillaim's Brazil is one of the greatest, and so do a lot of other people (see it's page). It's also on the IMDb 250. Does that make it worthy for this list? -Litefantastic 01:43, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

No, please see the discussions above. At the very least, you should find some reputable people who have called it a "best" movie. IMDb 250 does not cut it, I'm afraid. Turnstep 03:23, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
I found a bunch of citations, but they have all been deleted by people who disagreed--Scottandrewhutchins 15:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I removed most of them. It wasn't because I disagree (on the contrary, Brazil it is one of my favorites). The problem is that citations must say that the film was "the best sci-fi film", and the citation has to be a good one. I left the Brattle Theatre quote, which seemed questionable to me because it was just one person's opinion. Another person removed it because it was "a blog". If we didn't take such a strict stand, the article would quickly fill up with everyone's favorite film. -- Samuel Wantman 05:56, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Then it should be cited under U.K. --Scottandrewhutchins 17:31, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Ordering of films

There seems to be different views of how to order the films in the Genre and Nationality sections. The main choices seem to be:

  1. List films that are critical picks first, then audience picks, then box office champs.
  2. List films in alphabetical order.

Are there any other choices? I'm partial to the first choice. -- Samuel Wantman 23:39, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

I try to go alphabetically, since different people have different criteria. Is Roger Ebert a better critic than Stanley Kauffmann? Does Sight and Sound matter more than the American Film Institute? It's too tough a call and invites chaos. Palm_Dogg 23:48, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

The article has been evolving from a list to paragraphs. This was discussed when the article was renamed from "List of films that have been considered the greatest ever". It makes sense to group films together by type if they are in paragraphs (for example, the academy award section). -- Samuel Wantman 20:20, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Name Change Proposal November 2005

I don't edit this article, but I do frequent the 'worst films' article and I've proposed a name change over there to remove the "that have been" part from the article title, and some were wondering if we did, if the regulars over here would be willing to update this article to the same way. That is, "Films considered the greatest ever". Reason being is, I don't think the "that have been" part is actually needed to convey that these films have been considered the worst/greastest ever, and it doesn't even seem correct when one considers that recently released films or particularly infamous/famous films 'are' considered the worst/greatest ever for a period of time. Simply using the word 'considered' essentially conveys this without having to qualify it with "that have been", since a film has been officially been 'considered' whether it's Film E that was 'considered' the worst/greatest ever in 1973 or Film Z that is 'considered' the worst/greatest ever of 2005. Bottom line, the article titles don't necessarily need to contain "that have been" to be gramatically and POV compliant, it just makes them long.

For now, the worst films article will retain the "List of" at the title beginning, but I hope to convince the others (or do it myself w/o "permission") to update the format to be less alphabetical and boring and essentially mirror what you guys have got going over here (think, Star Trek mirror universe, lol), so that we could eventually simply have a consistent pairing of:

  • Films considered the greatest ever
  • Films considered the worst ever

Let me know what you all think, it should help us in deciding the fate of our article name, Thanks! Dannybu2001 18:59, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I agree that the name should be changed to "Films considered the greatest ever." The auxiliary verb is superfluous.

Psfitzgibbon 03:51, 1 May 2006 (UTC) 03:49, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Important: Vote for Deletion underway

This article's cousin article, List of songs that have been considered among the worst ever, is currently in the middle of a VfD at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of songs that have been considered among the worst ever. If it is deleted, this article may soon be deleted as well, since the 'worst songs' article is nearly identical to List of films that have been considered the worst ever, which is nothing but the other side of the coin of this article. As such, some editors and other frequenters of this page may be interested in participating in the ongoing discussion there, and in casting your votes if you have an opinion on the matter. The vote will also likely affect Computer and video games that have been considered the greatest ever. -Silence 21:34, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Oscar "Grand Slam"

It Happened One Night won the "Oscar grand slam" by winning Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Why is that particular combination considered the "grand slam"? The first four - OK as they're of greatest interest to the public, but if IHON had won Best Cinematography rather than Best Screenplay, somebody would probably have said that that combination was the "grand slam". Or of it had won only the first 4, that combination would have been dubbed "grand slam" by somebody. This seems to be a rather arbitrary terminology that has no official status anywhere. JackofOz 04:09, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree somehwat since I consider cinematography and other technical details equally vital. But if it's generally considered the 'grand slam' then we should list it. A better idea is actually listing sweep wins since to me that has greater depth.

GBP in box office totals

Some of the top box office numbers are listed in GBP, rather than USD--shouldn't these all be in the same unit, probably USD, as they were made in the US? Night Gyr 01:07, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I just noticed this as well. Very strange mixing of units. I wonder if we can get a source that will have them all in the same units as just converting them is probbly a bad idea given chanigng exchange rates. Dalf | Talk 22:26, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Films acclaimed in audience polls

If I recall correctly, the channel4/filmfour poll counted not just Star Wars (A New Hope) as the greatest film, but it was the whole trilogy; I think the godfather trilogy came in neatly in second place. Can anyone confirm or deny? Y control 23:04, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Page moves...

I've fairly ambivalent about moving this page... The thing I'm concerned with is consistency - here, we have Films that have been considered the greatest ever, but we have instead List of films that have been considered the worst ever. We really should decide on a format for these titles and stick to them. --Fangz 18:53, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

We discussed the change from "List of..." to the current name when it looked like there was a move to make this more of an article than a list. That change over is not complete (it did happen for the Academy Award section). There was also talk about sections describing the criteria and processes that lead to films being considered "the best". There was talk of trying to bring this article to featured status, and feedback that perhaps it was more article like than list. Recently, the "worst" list talked about the same change. If you look at the criteria for featured lists and featured articles, it seems that this page is closer to the article criteria. What we really need at the top of this talk page is a list of unfinished tasks. -- Samuel Wantman 20:23, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Deep Throat

Deep Throat - (1972), directed by Gerard Damiano and starring Linda Lovelace. Not exactly conventional 'romance', but it was highly rated by the critics upon it's release and is still considered a highly influential example of it's genre. Said to have been one of President Richard Nixon's favourite films.

It is tempting to add a section for "adult films", but something tells me it wouldn't be well-recieved. :) Palm_Dogg 04:34, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Toy Story 2

The reasoning behind the inclusion of Toy Story 2 escapes me. What is said is that it is included based on it being #1 at Rotten Tomatoes. However, it is important to note that, which it has 100% on the tomatometer, there are so many other films that do. The only reason that it is on top is that it has a higher number of reviews than any of the others, while still retaining 100%. For films that have 100%, though, it is far from having the highest average vote rating (on 10). As an example, The Wizard of Oz, which is #6 on the list but only has half the total number of individual reviews, has an average rating of 9.2/10. Toy Story 2 has 8.5/10 on the same scale. Clearly this does not express the views of those rating the film, but rather in inherent problems of simply relying on the Tomatometer for gauging film ratings. It is a popularity indicator, not a quality indicator. For this reason, I have removed Toy Story 2. –Comics (Talk) 04:49, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

By Year Best

The Godfather is listed as being top for a number of years, yet its gross is only $134m, which is less than that of some previous films. Perhaps this has to do with growth curves and one case of a re-release. I don't know, but as it now looks, it is either wrong or unclear. Kdammers 11:14, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Box Office definition

As box office is here interpreted, it means money. Another way of looking at box office is to look at number of viewers or seats sold. This would give a much different list, with many Indian films crowding out many U.S. films. I don't know if the appropriate data are available, but I'd consider them more appropriate than money (which should probably, truthfully, include popcorn, etc. sales). Kdammers 03:00, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

SF -Blade Runner

The text reads: "Blade Runner - Based on the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, it wasn't popular with North American audiences, but it gained international acclaim and ...."

Yet according to, domestic sales total $$27,580,111 ($31+ of $34+ million dmoestic life-time; international n.a.). True, it cost $28= million to make, but according to it was 27th for the year (U.S.), apparently ahead of Airplane II and Road Warrior. Thus, I think the wording "wasn't popoular" is too strong. Kdammers 05:24, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Yeah but it was considered a flop. What makes a film a hit or a flop is ubjective. Waterworld is considered one of the biggest flops when it made $200mn worldwide. Even Spielberg's AI is considered a failure when it made profits overseas though not in America. But it wasn't popular I think refers to the fact that it didn't make an impact like Star Wars or 2001 did.

Many, many SciFi movies have been box office duds only to find adamant love and appreciation years later. Blade Runner is, without a doubt, one of the finest SciFi movies ever made. --Bill W. Smith, Jr. 00:41, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Ebert worshipping

Why is every movie Monsieur Rogert Ebert included in here, while other movie critics ignored? Does what Monsieur Ebert say carry extra weight in Wikipedia? This page has gone from bad to worse. It is potentially here only for movie idolatory, and nothing else. Mandel 16:55, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Probably because he's one of the few film critics to make his entire archives publicly available, and to review older films as well. If you know of any other critics who do this, post their pages here and I'm sure people will cite them. Palm_Dogg 02:42, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Ebert also takes into consideration is own biases and is a reviewer as much as a critic. He has remained consistent and his choices have stood up year after year. Unlike Pauline Kael and others who sometimes pans films that are obviously better than her predjudice would allow her to admit. I imediately think of her approach to Kubrick as an example of her tunnel vision.

F 9/11 - documentary or propaganda?

Before we repeat the past, please read some of the previous discussions about this topic. -- Samuel Wantman 20:40, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Removing the Shining reference

Opinion aside (does anyone really think the "Here's Johnny!" moment was more scary than it was famous?), the Shining is listed in horror for a scary moment, not for the movie itself. I'm removing it unless anyone objects. --Happylobster 21:24, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Done. --Happylobster 19:25, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
The removed text:
The Shining contains what was considered "The scariest moment on film," when the Jack Nicholson character cries "Here's Johnny!" by a Channel 4 (U.K.) poll in 2003.
The issue isn't whether any of us think it was more scary than it was famous. The issue is whether the poll by channel 4 was a reasonable measure of judging the scariest moment on film, and if it was a reasonable metric, whether "the scariest moment on film" fits with our criteria for requiring a citation that claims it was the best horror film of all time. I am not questioning removing it, just trying to clarify the rationale. -- Samuel Wantman 20:08, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Objectively, if they called it "the scariest movie on film," I couldn't justify removing it. However, on a subjective level, I could find any number of published surveys (usually PR generated) lauding a like number of movies as equally worthy. That would diminish the value of this article considerably. The criteria should be higher than this. --Happylobster 21:01, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
The Shining was considered so scary that the books author Stephen King thought that Kubrick was deliberately trying to hurt people. I would say that is a distinction no other film has garnered.

Star Wars

Uh why is star wars not on the fantasy list?

The main (admittedly weak) reason is that most people who do the considering consider it science fiction. Ask yourself this: If you ran a Blockbuster and corporate (which doesn't allow you to make your own custom genre sections) wanted to push Star Wars DVDs, would you put them in the science fiction or the fantasy section?
Another angle: You could argue that it takes place "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" and has a strong "magical theme", so it's a fantasy. Many would agree with you. I'd argue it's more science fiction than not. It's got the Force and spirits and all things mystical. We could collectively call this stuff magic and have ourselves a genuine (hard "i") fantasy. But then TPM went into the whole bit about cellular mitochlorians and gave the Force a (bad) scientific basis. That lumps the Force with Star Wars' faster than light travel and Lucas' dialog as things in the franchise our society has not come to grips with yet.
--Happylobster 12:29, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Silent Films

Modern times is not a silent film. If anything it belongs in comedy.

The current version of this has the following:

Modern Times, the last major American film to make use of silent film conventions such as title cards for dialogue, is the highest-rated silent film on the IMDb. There is a recorded soundtrack, a scene with dialogue spoken over an intercom and Charlie Chaplin sings nonsense lyrics to a song at the end. City Lights, another of Chaplin's films, is the highest-rated movie without any dialogue, spoken or sung. It too has a recorded soundtrack. Metropolis is the highest-rated movie that was totally silent when released. However, IMDb viewers most likely watched the restored version which has a recorded soundtrack.

I'd like to modify it to the following:

Modern Times, the last major American film to make use of silent film conventions such as title cards for dialogue (it had a soundtrack used for a couple of key scenes), is the highest-rated silent film on the IMDb.
Metropolis is the highest-rated truly silent movie on IMDB.

(And I disagree that Metropolis is highly rated because of the sound version. It was highly appreciated long before that version came out. The reference is unnecessary. )

If nobody disputes the changes above, I will apply them. --Happylobster 16:04, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

The original version does not say that Metropolis is highly rated because of the sound version. It is just making it clear that it was a totally silent film when released (albeit, often there was live music at performances). When I wrote this section, it seemed unfair to either not mention Modern Times and City Lights or not mention Metropolis. I decided to mention all three and distinguish the differences between them. Modern Times does have dialogue and singing and the music soundtrack is not just for a couple of scenes, it is in the entire movie. I don't see an advantage to removing the details about these three movies. If you want to make it clearer that Metropolis is not highly rated because of the soundtrack, I would not object, though as I said, I don't interpret the paragraph that way. To be fair, the IMDB voters were comparing silent films WITH soundtracks, and it seems unreasonable to mention Metropolis without mentioning City Lights which, when last I checked, was rated higher than Metropolis. -- Samuel Wantman 09:19, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
It's too much detail compared to the rest of the entries. Maybe a footnote for City Lights? --Happylobster 13:02, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Gay-themed genres

Okay, I'm new here but there's a problem at your page which I frequent and I added the Fantasy part to the genre since I felt it was misrepresented. But someone keeps adding Brokeback Mountain in the genre list under Gay-themed, a genre not recognized by either academia or pop culture. So can someone please put a pill on this and check it out. It's irritating having to delete it every day. —This unsigned comment was added by Artihcus022 (talkcontribs) .

I've been around here for a while and I do not agree with your opinion and find it irritating to have to revert the deletion, so let's discuss it. There have been comments with the reversions, and the deletion was reverted by more than one person. I reverted it once, because it followed the guidelines of the page, and the precedent of past discussions. The citation says that it was "voted the greatest gay-themed film ever by The Advocate magazine." Academia DOES recognize LGBT film as a genre. I know that there are classes in the subject at SFSU and other institutions, as well as books on the subject, and film festivals. Perhaps pop culture does not recognize it where you live, but where I live (San Francisco) it is quite recognized and popular. -- Samuel Wantman 09:06, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Have to side with Sam on this one, but don't you think you should either rename the category "LGBT", or list other, better, (in this straight, conservative user's opinion) films like Philadelphia or La Cage aux Folles? :) Palm_Dogg 13:44, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Fair point but it's not a genre. LGBT are films with those 'themes' a genre is a broad term listing the types of films. For instance, most Westerns are about cowboys in the wild west and their lives, a romance is about the courtship of two lovers and so on. And besides listing a film under 'gay-themed' undermines the point of the gay rights movement since it wants to be accepted by mainstream society. So if we can list a film under 'gay-themed' or LGBT then we can justifiably list a film under 'heterosexual-themed' films and another thing BBM's defeat at the Academy Awards is only stunning to a handful albeit vocal group not universally. I stand by my deletion and while it amy be taught in certain universities, LGBT isn't recognized universally by academia while the other genres are. --Articus 022 includes not one but two relevant articles: "List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films" and "New Queer Cinema". Please remove both of these articles from the category "Film genres" -- you better have a good explanation handy -- before mutilating this article again. Similarly also gives credence to this legitimate genre. 02:23, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Please don't use this catagory. It is _definatley_ offensive. This film should be treated as romance; that's what it is. --CalPaterson 12:12, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Actually, I was just about to make this thread to ask if anyone else was a bit disturbed by this page's assertion that any movie with gay characters in it is "gay-themed", (Does that mean that any movie without gay characters in it is "straight-themed"? Is a movie with lots of Jewish characters in it "Jew-themed"? Yowza.) or that "gay-themed" is a canonical genre. I'm glad to see that a thread for this matter already exists, where I can voice my discontent. Listing Brokeback Mountain as "greatest gay-themed film" seems to me to be about as justified as if we had a "Television series that have been considered the greatest ever" page and listed Roots there as "greatest black-themed TV series". A sexual orientation is not a genre, it's a character trait. I would, however, not object to "Brokeback Mountain" being listed under "Romance Films", "Western Films", or conceivably "Drama Films", since it clearly and uncontroversially fits into all three of those categories, as long as citations could be provided. Otherwise, until "gay-themed" is listed as a true genre at Cinematic genre, it is presumptious to list it as such here. Plus, it opens the way for listing any movie on this page, since all one has to do is invent a new "genre" that fits a certain movie's storyline and say it's "the greatest movie of that genre".
  • At the very least, even if we do leave "gay-themed" films on the page, we need to remove it from the "genre" section and create a new "Films that are considered the greatest in their particular theme", with thematic subdivisions. That seems a bit excessive, however, and I can't think of many other films that are known only as the greatest according to their "theme". What's next, are we going to list Titanic as the greatest "boat-themed film"? How silly. -Silence 22:30, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I can see your points, but I don't think it is up to us to decide if something should or should not be a genre. Netflix has a genre of Lesbian and Gay films, as does many sellers of videos. We have a list of them here on Wikipedia. That is sufficient for me to conclude that the genre is verifiable. My problem is that I cannot find a citation to reference. I did not find one doing a google search. If anyone can find a citation, I think the film should be restored to the list. -- Samuel Wantman 19:23, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

If the genre is not listed and described on Cinematic genre, it should not be listed here regardless of whether references can be provided for it. (As a corollary, if valid and noteworthy references can be provided for it, it should probably be added to and described at "cinematic genre" before we discuss adding it here.) I agree with you that citations and verifiability are by far the most important criterion here, but even if some people use "gay" as a genre, that doesn't mean that everyone (or even most people) do; if I could find two sources that listed "black-themed" as a genre, would that be sufficient to include Roots as one of the best "black-themed films" ever in a general, wide-spanning list like this? Of course not. In fact, I'm very tempted to say that one of our criteria for including a genre on this page should be that that genre has its own full-fledged article on Wikipedia, as without that, it's very possible for fringe and quasi-noteworthy genres to creep into this list and cause bloat and inconsistencies. But again, as I said, I wouldn't at all object to a (referenced) inclusion of Brokeback Mountain in "romance" or "western" genres. -Silence 19:30, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

There is List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films, which has been comprehensive and extant for quite some time. There are film companies that just produce LGBT films, there are film festivals just devoted to LGBT films. I note on the Cinematic genre talk page a quote by film theorist, David Bordwell:

Grouping by period or country (American films of the 1930s), by director or star or producer or writer or studio, by technical process (CinemaScope films), by cycle (the 'fallen women' films), by series (the 007 movies), by style (German Expressionism), by structure (narrative), by ideology (Reaganite cinema), by venue ('drive-in movies'), by purpose (home movies), by audience ('teenpix'), by subject or theme (family film, paranoid-politics movies). (Bordwell 1989, 148)

It seems that audience groupings should be added to the list of Cinematic genre. The article seems by no means comprehensive of ALL genre, but more exemplary in nature. I have no problem with adding many audience groupings as genres, teenpix, black exploition films, LGBT, etc... These films should be listed wherever the CITATION claims they are the best. Otherwise, we'll end up with too many subgenres; the best LGBT, Western; the best Black Teen Epic, etc... -- Samuel Wantman 07:33, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

I think if gay-themed movies are considered a genre, Brokeback Mountain should not be listed as the best ever. There is no evidence pointing it to be the best ever. Dog Day Afternoon is higher rated on and although I feel like I am relying to much on IMDB, there is no other source for rating "Gay" movies besides that, and listing Brokeback Mountain is completely subjective and shouldn't be allowed.

The IMDB does not say which films they consider "gay themed", so if you use the criteria that it has to be have a main-character who is gay, I don't think it would be Dog Day. It would probably be American Beauty which is higher rated. So the IMDB is a tricky citatation. The citation for Brokeback is missing, and normally I would remove a film without a citation, but in this case the claim seems extremely likely to be correct, so I think we should let it stand unless it is shown that the claim is not correct. I think critical approval of a film by winning way more awards than any other of it type is about the best reason to include a film on this list. The problem is that the claim has to be verifiable, and it is often very difficult to verify this claim. I suspect that eventually a citation will be found. It seems likely that someone else will write that "Brokeback has won more awards than any other gay film" and then we can point to the claim. In the mean time, perhaps some language describing the fuzziness of the genre should be added to the section. -- Samuel Wantman 08:29, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, a bona fide list of the "The 50 Greatest LGBT films" has finally arrived! It has clearly-stated and reasonable definitions and criteria, is broadly-enough based and professionally administered to be taken seriously (courtesy of Logo, the LGBT TV channel), is gay viewer-driven rather than critic-anointed or advert-co-opted. And guess which film it says is rated #1? So y'all (not you Sam) need to stop insisting nobody out there considers LBGT film a genre, include it in the text already, and let's move on. Lethiere 09:10, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

I understand why it is difficult to use IMDB, but the fact Brokeback Mountain won a lot of awards, is it was submitted to a lot of festivals to give them awards. There are way more awards to win today then there was when Dog Day Afternoon came out, to keep with my example. I just don't think that Brokeback should be there, although if there was ever a vote it would win, untill there is a source. It sets an unwanted precedent for not citing material.

By country?

What does this mean: is it the films that are widely loved that happen to come from the named countries, or films that happened to be beloved in those nations? I ask because, while I know Kurosawa is regarded as the best Japanese director virtually everywhere else, his films seem to be reviled in Japan itself, and yet three of his films show up on the list. elvenscout742 00:23, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think this is either/or. What you've said would be a good addition to the section about Japan, along with the films that ARE considered the best Japanese films in Japan (cited, of course). -- Samuel Wantman 02:15, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Speaking of countries, Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning is listed under Finland. Is this for real? — Loadmaster 19:59, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Hoop Dreams

The current version of this page has an image of the Hoop Dreams DVD cover apropos of nothing. Jonathan F 01:58, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I found this odd too. But I do know that Ebert listed it as one of the best movies of the 1990s (I think it was #1). --Andland 16:23, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, something's missing here...

Could it be the conspicuous omission of ANYTHING by Fellini, Godard, Truffaut, Tarkovsky, Allen, Keaton, Kieslowski, and others? I certainly respect the work that has gone into creating this otherwise good page, but leaving out Fellini is like not mentioning Beethoven in a discussion of Western art music. What kind of credibility can one assign to a purported "Greatest Ever" list that includes "Star Wars: Episode IV" but not "8 1/2"? And since when is monetary earning (particularly when the market mostly comprises American teenagers) a useful indicator in evaluating art?

I realize that, given the nature of this encyclopedia, the editors have chosen to strictly apply the criterion that a film be cited as the greatest by some evaluator of note, but I suggest this condition be either relaxed or revised to give this article wider utility. How about changing the criterion to something like "Films that ARE [not have been] considered to be the greatest ever" by rankings of international repute, e.g., Sight & Sound, AFI, Village Voice, etc.? This would inch the article toward the impossible, but worthy goal of objectivity.


Psfitzgibbon 03:54, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Like all articles at Wikipedia, information must be verifiable. If you have citations that say that any films by the directors mentioned ARE considered a best film, PLEASE add it. If you can document any other measure of a films greatness, please add it. Nothing here is set in stone, but without verifiability, the page quickly degenerates into a meaningless collection of everyone's favorite films. -- Samuel Wantman 10:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
In particular there must be lots of usable quotes out there, but in books and magazines that have not been regurgiated onto the web. I don't doubt there are several choice quotes about Fellini for example. But we need to find them and cite them :). Pcb21 Pete 10:41, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Both points taken--you're absolutely right that verifiability is critical. Once I get a little extra time, I'll make it my personal mission to add worthy films like 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, Mirror, and Annie Hall (along with their appropriate citations).

But, I still feel strongly that box office earnings should not have any bearing on whether a film is included on this page. Surely we can agree that the Harry Potter series doesn't belong on a Greatest Novels list. Financial success is entirely irrelevant to the merit of an artwork, don't you think? If so, the section Biggest Box Office Sucesses should be removed since such information is already found on the wikipage List of highest-grossing films. At most, I think it should be mentioned under Films acclaimed in audience polls that Gone With the Wind is the highest-grossing film, adjusted for inflation. Thanks,Psfitzgibbon 23:38, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Whether they are indicative of great art I'm rather doubtful, but box office earnings are some measure of success . I think the information should remain here.
I was pondering your point the other day. People who study film in a deep way (in a more academic way than say, Ebert) are the kind of people who will make interesting comments about Fellini. But it is just not in their nature to use words like "the greatest ever". Although it is crucial to have citations, I have slowly come to the conclusion that our inclusion criteria (i.e. "must say the best by some measure") does not capture everything it ideally should. I don't have any quick-fire solutions though... Pcb21 Pete 19:13, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, interesting thought on the nature of film scholars -- I think you're probably right. If the editors are willing to consider recasting the inclusion criteria, I'd be happy to toss in my two cents. We can discuss this later, but I think the Sight and Sound Polls should figure largely.

And I agree that box office success is a measure of success, just not the kind that merits inclusion on this page: financial. Again, consider the market -- the demographic is composed largely of teenagers. Of course, I have nothing against teens, except that their brains are a decade away from being fully formed, they're extremely limited experientially, and their tastes are, by definition, puerile. Early teenagers don't get to vote for trivial things like governors and referendums, so why should we let them vote for something as monumental as the greatest film of all time? (It's neither my business, nor is it pertinent, but I want you to know that my insides hurt when I consider that Shrek 2 and the Harry Potter movies appear not only with, but ABOVE real greats like The Seventh Seal and Au Hasard Balthazar.)

I realize that people have worked hard to make the two Greatest Box Office Successes sections look as good as they do. I respect that, but unfortunately these sections don't belong on the page. With due respect, you yourself said that "Whether they [box office successes] are indicative of great art I'm rather doubtful." I agree completely, which is why the sections should go -- we're not merely discussing great artworks; we're enumerating them! The Rolling Stones sell a lot of tickets, but are they considered to be among the greatest musicians ever? Of course not, because monetary earnings and artistic integrity are distinct -- the two can intersect, but they don't correspond. Besides, Greatest Box Office Successes already have their very own page: List of highest-grossing films.

Best, Psfitzgibbon 01:01, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I also think that there is too much weighting to box office (followed by too much of the IMDB, especially for non-US/UK films). I'd be agreeable to summarizing the box office section to a few paragraphs (not lists), in a style similar to the Academy Award section. Information removed can be mored to List of highest-grossing films if it is not there already. -- Samuel Wantman 22:11, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Love Story

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Love Story gross two-hundred million dollars in the 1970s? Adjusted for inflation this would be about nine-hundred-million today, placing it at about #4 on the list of highest grossing. 01:18, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

According to the IMDB it grossed $106,400,000 in the USA. -- Samuel Wantman 07:02, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

La Jetee, by Chris Marker (1962)

Candidate for inclusion under the banner of one of the greatest science fiction movies made. Please consider the following:

  • "The movie that inspired Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys, Chris Marker's La jetée is a landmark of science-fiction filmmaking, a 28-minute masterpiece told almost entirely in still frames." Jason Enkeny, All Movie Guide, at
  • "One of the finest science fiction films ever made, Chris Marker's La jetée is a brilliant philosophical treatise packed into 28 minutes of film." Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide, at

  • La Jetee voted one of the "100 Best Films of the 20th Century" in the Village Voice newspapers First Annual Film Critics' Poll. Fifty or more distinguished film critics, including Molly Haskell, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Andrew Sarris and others, were asked to vote in this film poll. See
  • "Constructed solely from the hero's voice-over narration and a series of black-and-white stills (save for one indelible moving image), La Jetée remains one of the most startling and haunting films to ever fall under the banner of science fiction." Jason Anderson, 28/11/02, Eye Weekly, at
  • "Shot by one of the French New Wave's most eccentric talents (think of the implications of that), Chris Marker, La Jetée is a 30-minute black-and-white short that is easily one of the most influential science fiction films of the last 50 years. A cited source for 12 Monkeys, the short is also a clear influence on the Terminator films." Louis Black, 4/12/1999, The Austin Chronicle, at
  • "Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée (1962) is probably best known today as the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's 1995 film 12 Monkeys. Some also consider it an influence on other popular time-travel films such as the Terminator series. Most serious critics acknowledge that Marker's film is vastly superior to any of its imitators in its brilliant use of still images and sparse narration to construct a story which is both compelling and haunting." Sander Lee, Senses of Cinema, at
  • ""La Jetee" speaks to issues around time and memory, but this film is much more accessible -- and thrilling. (It inspired Terry Gilliam to make "12 Monkeys.") The bittersweet music, the narrator's steady voice that sounds like a scientist's, the museum-quality photos, and the gripping plot all make "La Jetee" an inimitable experience. This is Marker's masterpiece." Jonathan Curiel, 21/11/03, San Franciso Chronicle, at
  • "La Jetée’s elliptic opening and closing scene display the same action from two perspectives, seen simultaneously by a man near the beginning and end of his life. It is the preeminent rendition of a classic paradox, and it is a science-fiction film stripped to its bare essence, its science." Rumsey Taylor, Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to Theatres Near You, at

Thanks. Dingodangodongo 08:08, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for finding all the citations. The problem with all these quotes is that they do not definitively state that it is "the best sci-fi movie ever made". Most of them say "among the best". If we used "among the best" to be the criteria for inclusion on this list we would have virtually every very good film ever made listed. The best citation above is Pauline Kael's but she hedges by saying "very possibly", and the quote is 40 years old. I'd like to hear some other opinions as this seems borderline to me. --Samuel Wantman 00:39, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Appreciate your consideration. Dingodangodongo 08:08, 21 October 2006 (UTC) 05:59, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Why is this here?

Why is Birth of a Nation here? I'm curious how it could be considered one of the greatest movies ever.-- 03:16, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it still is, though I am of the camp that it is poor melodrama in addition to being one of the most virulently racist films ever made. It looks like it was removed in the overhaul, so that's a good thing. --Scottandrewhutchins 15:05, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


The animation section says "Aladdin 1992 was the most succesful movie of 1992. A title (Most succesful movie) which no other animated movie in history has." Personally, I don't think being the most succesful movie of 1992 makes it the best film in the ANIMATION genre. Any other opinions? -- Samuel Wantman 09:15, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely. - SimonP 12:04, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Well Beauty And The Beast is considered one of the greatest animated movies of all time because it's the only animated movie to be nominated for the Academy Award For Best Picture. Something which no other animated movie has been nominated so far, something which no other animated movie had been nominated before. So why doesn't Aladdin, the only animated movie ever to be "Most Succesful Movie Of The Year" be considered one of the greatest animated movie of all time? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
How can you claim that Aladdin is the only animated movie to have been a year's most successful? Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was by far the highest grossing film of 1937. Pinocchio was the top film of 1940 and Cinderella was in 1950. In recent years Toy Story was the top film of 1995 and Shrek 2 made the most money in 2004. - SimonP 04:04, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
It should stay. It is one of the most recognizable Disney movies of all time. Despite how angry Robin Williams was at Disney at the time he still saw the role of The Genie as his best performance. The current president of Disney sees this as their "90s Masterpiece". Its songs "A Whole New World" and "Never Had A Friend Like Me" have been referenced many times in television programs and movies. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DaffyDuck619 (talkcontribs) .

I always thought it was released in 1994, but it's like what I said, when you look at the literally hundreds of great movies of 1992 it is a big whoop, especially when it was ranked Most Succesful, especially when it wasn't nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture yet those that were not the Most Succesful Movie of that year. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DaffyDuck619 (talkcontribs) .

So it wasn't the only animated film to be the top film of the year so that argument is moot. There is no other citation for being "the best animated film". Being "one of the most recognizable Disney movie"s is not sufficient. The current pres of Disney calling it their "90s masterpiece" is not sufficient. Famous songs are not sufficient. I see no valid claim. -- Samuel Wantman 10:50, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Remember when I first added it and you deleted it for the first time, you said "third highest of 1994 doesn't really cut it", well now that information of it being THE highest grossing film of 1992 has been found it should be on that list. -- DaffyDuck619

And how does being THE highest grossing film of 1992 make it the greatest film in the animation genre? It is not the highest grossing film of the 6 films mentioned as being THE highest grossing films of their year (that probably is Shrek 2). It is not THE highest grossing adjusted for inflation (that would be Snow White). So what is your claim that it is "the greatest animation film" and what is the citation? Make a good case. I'm willing to be convinced.-- Samuel Wantman 01:52, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Okay I found a good case, it's the only traditionally animated movie to be nominated for the MTV Movie Award and there have been hundreds (if not thousands) of traditionally animated movies made since the MTV Movie Awards were created. And they include movies like Beauty And The Beast, The Lion King and Spirited Away. If you want citation check out it's trivia page on, and before you call an unreliable source it's the only website (other then wikipedia) on the internet that has that bit up there BECAUSE every other website doesn't keep history for the MTV Movie Awards (not even

Brazilian Cinema

I added Central Station and Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol. This last one's entry, however, needs citations that I didn't have time to look for, though I sure of what I'm talking about. The reasons are that City of God is a mediocre movie and it being the only one here is an afront to Brazil's Cinema. Central Sation, nevertheless, is also barely one of the top-ten, but reaches the Academy Award criteria to be put. So, basicaly, we have an OSCAR movie, a pop movie, and a masterpiece cult movie. Anyhow, as Deus e o Diabo is very revolutionary, and terrible for those who don't like Cinema Novo, maybe another title should be added.

I would appreciate help here looking for critics' and filmmakers' citations, and selecting the best Brazilian films.

--El Chemaniaco 00:41, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

March of the Penguins

'March of the Penguins', in the documentary section. It won best documentary Oscar in 2005. Does that suffice to add it to the list? GregCovey 01:47, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Probably not, as there have been dozens of films to have won that award. - SimonP 13:51, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Mary Poppins Should Be There

Before I begin I would like to say that I am searching for citation that is needed for Aladdin to be included in the list. Anyway I believe Mary Poppins should be in it's list because it's like Beauty and the Beast, the only one under its genre to be nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards, its genre is human actors interacting with cartoon characters, yes the interaction was only like for 15 minutes but still they interacted with cartoon characters and puts it in the same genre as Who Framed Rogerr Rabit or Space Jam. DaffyDuck619

What about the Lord of the Rings? Gollum, and several other characters, were animated. - SimonP 13:50, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Empire Strikes Back vs. Godfather II as best sequel

I don't understand how Empire Strikes Back is considered the "best sequel ever" when The Godfather Part II is regarded as better than its original, which in turn is considered the best in any genre. I think the line should be removed. Anyone else agree? --Happylobster 17:30, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Move from FTHBCTGE to "List of Best Ever Films"

I want to move this page to "List of Best Ever Films." Wikipedia convention is to start list pages with "List of..." so that part is easy. It would be nice to start with "List of Films..." so the page could be alphabetized under "F" but "List of Best Ever whatever" would be a good way to alphabetize all "Best Ever" pages (remember you can ignore "List of " in terms of alphabetizing so it starts with a "B"). I'm trying to start List of Best Ever Anime and I'd like to follow a clear naming convention. - Peregrinefisher 08:59, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

It is already difficult to keep everyone's favorite films off this list. This article does not claim that these ARE the best films, but that they are CONSIDERED the best. It is an article about opinions. I think the "have been considered" helps make that clearer. Also, there is much more prose in this article than most lists, and if you check the archives there has been discussion about adding more prose, to make this read more like an article. The Academy Award section is written this way, and I think the rest of the article would be improved if there was more prose. There should be discussion about why some films get considered great while others fade into obscurity, what critics like in movies and why, what audiences like and why, etc... So I don't see a need to move the article, and I can see disadvantages. -- Samuel Wantman 21:43, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Australian book Greatest Films of All Time

Is there any evidence this book exists? I can understand a book not being on Amazon or eBay, but legally a copy of every book published in Australia has to be placed in the National Library of Australia, but there is no copy of it there. Until there is some way to double check the contents of this book, it can't be considered a verifiable source. Daffy, since you have a copy of the book could you provide more information such as the author and publisher? - SimonP 11:22, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Mary Poppins

I removed the following from the animation section:

  • Mary Poppins (1964) - highest ranked movie where actors and actresses interact with cartoon characters in channel 4 (UK)'s top 100 family films of all time [1] and only Disney movie to win the Academy Award for Best Actress (or Best Actor)

I have several problems with this listing:

  1. The poll was asking about "family films" so it was not a poll looking for the best animated film.
  2. Mary Poppins wasn't the highest rated animated film in the survey (Shrek was).
  3. The citation says that it was "the highest ranked movie where actors and actresses interact with cartoon characters". There aren't many of these films so it isn't hard to be the highest rated of them. What this is essentially saying is that Mary Poppins is the intersection of two sets, the set of 100 top family films in a poll, and the very small set of films that combine live action and animation. I don't see how the intersection of these two sets leads to "the best animated film"
  4. Mary Poppins isn't known for being an animated film, it is primarily live action with perhaps 10 or 15 minutes of animation.
  5. Being the only Disney movie to win an Academy Award for Best Actress has nothing to do with being the best animated film. The Best Actress, after all, was not animated!

After my revert, the section was restored by the original contributor. As a believer in the one revert rule, I'm asking for other opinions and/or discussion. -- Samuel Wantman 08:42, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

After it was moved to "Fantasy" films, I removed it from there as well. Replace "comedy" above with "fantasy" for my reasons. -- Samuel Wantman 19:09, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
So why'd you delete it when I moved it to fantasy, it doesn't fall under the animation genre but it sure as heck falls under the fantasy movie genre.

And how can you say there aren't many films where actors and actresses there's The Three Cabelleros, Songs Of The South, So Dear To My Heart, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Pete's Dragon, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Heavy Traffic, Coonskin, Tom Thumb (Tom waves to Woody Woodpecker, Woody Woodpecker waved back it's interaction), Rock-A-Doodle, Cool World, The Pagemaster, Space Jam, Small Soldiers, Dinosaur, The Adventures Of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Monkey Bone, Osmosios Jones, Looney Tunes: Back In Action, The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, Fat Albert, Charlotte's Web, Underdog, Transformers, Enchanted, Voltron and last but not least Where the Wild Things are. That's 27 movies, it's not as many as animated movies there are nor as many live action movies but it's a lot. And Disney has made a lot of great movies with superb leading actors and actresses so being the only Disney movie to win the academy award for Best Lead (whether it be Actor or Actress) it really should count as a big whoop. And it should also count as an even bigger whoop when it is only one of two Disney movies to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, because Disney has made literally thousands of great films. DaffyDuck619

I'll try and explain this again. Any film "x" listed as being considered the best of "y" genre should have a citation saying "'x' is the best 'y' film of all time" Your citation does not say that. The poll cited was for FAMILY films not FANTASY films. If Mary Poppins was at the top of the poll you could say it was the best FAMILY film. It was not even the top FANTASY film in the selections for to FAMILY films. Your citation says that out of the all the films picked as the best FAMILY films this was the top one from a very select list of 27 or so films, a list that has nothing to do with FANTASY films. Likewise, being the only Disney film that won the Best Lead has nothing to do with being the best FANTASY film. -- Samuel Wantman 06:36, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't anyone else have an opinion on Daffy's recent additions? I don't believe in edit wars. -- Samuel Wantman 07:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Animation mixed with real actors isn't really a genre, and even if it is there is no citation for Mary Poppins being the best of it. The same goes for Aladdin, the category isn't for traditional animation it is simply animation. - SimonP 11:19, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Animation/Live Action is not a genre, but the usage of one particular class of special effect. Old school, it's a gimmick. Currently, it's a cliche. By DaffyDuck's argument, Lord of the Rings could be the best regarded animated/live action movie(s) considering how many Oscars it won and how much lobbying Serkis had for a nomination.
Frankly, with a name like DaffyDuck, I'm surprised he/she's not using bias towards Warner Brothers' fare. --Happylobster 17:43, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Action genre

Why isn't there an Action genre section in "Films that are considered the greatest in their particular genre"? 20:02, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Here are some suggestions from AFI's list “100 Years… 100 Thrills”

Yeah I agree there should be an action genre DaffyDuck619

Johann Schlinker 17:21, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Why are some of the highest grosing films there but others aren't

I mean Shrek 2 did make more money than the others listed in the section (and Aladdin) but it's not in there. As well as Bruce Almighty made more money than the others listed in the section. Yet they're both not listed. But listed in other sections ARE the highest grossing in that category. So what gives?!

Please bring this to your talk page, Daffy. --Happylobster 01:30, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm not Daffy, nor am I registered so I don't have a talk page

Oh, sure you do! It's the one that suggests you're currently acting as a sock puppet ( For all of your enthusiasm, you'd actually be appreciated if you played nice with others. --Happylobster 05:23, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Box Office Gross vs. Tickets Sold

Are there any sources that rank movies according to the (estimated) number of tickets sold instead of by the amount of money they grossed? If so, this would perhaps be a more informative assessment of a film's "greatness", since it does not have to be adjusted for inflation. — Loadmaster 19:48, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

There must be some source. I think it was William K. Everson who was assessing success of silent films over contemporary films using this method. --Scottandrewhutchins 16:25, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Does Box Office = Greatness?

I side with the anonymous editor that took out the entries for South Park and Shrek based on ticket sales, and recommend extending that to any other entries in this list because of their box office take. This list is for the "greatest" films, which suggests a critical standard rather than one based on sales. Otherwise, many lousy films that got to number one are more deserving on this page than better films with limited distribution. Maybe there should be a page or an elaboration about box office. But I don't think it belongs here. Does anyone else agree? --Happylobster 12:10, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Box office has absolutely nothing to do with being "great". --Scottandrewhutchins 16:17, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
I've removed all mention of box office from the article. I think it reads much better now. Most of the information can be found at the links noted at the top of the article. What is now missing from any article is the box office champs for specific genres or countries. I considered leaving that information here, but I think it would be better placed in the linked articles about box office champs. -- Samuel Wantman 03:16, 17 October 2006 (UTC)


Where is a discussion on NPOV that justifies the neutrality flag on the page? I'm going to remove the flag unless someone can explain. Thanks. --Happylobster 19:03, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I removed the flag. --Happylobster 16:58, 4 October 2006 (UTC)


Why are there no nouvelle vague films listed? A list of great French cinema needs to have some mention of Godard. There ought to be mention of Cocteau as well. --Scottandrewhutchins 16:15, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't presume to know anything about French New Wave. But by its own definition on the Wikipedia page, it isn't even a movement, let alone a defined genre. So I'd argue you can't just put up "best French New Wave film" as a genre on this page and, for example, select what ranks highest amongst the films in IMDB (agreed?). If there's a specific film that can objectively (not subjectively) be called "the best" against others within its genre/nationality (or a higher standard if you're going to suggest it doesn't fit a genre), then it should definitely be included. --Happylobster 14:58, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Name change

Barring any serious objections, I'd like to change the name of this article to simply Films considered the greatest ever (see discussion above). This not only sounds better, but aligns the page with other similar ones. Turnstep 02:27, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Fine by me.--Happylobster 15:13, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Done! Turnstep 15:45, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Toy Story 2 Best Film Ever?

Not my choice. But based on the criteria we use, does Toy Story 2's high ranking at give it similar prestige The Godfather has on IMDB? --Happylobster 14:23, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I would say no way. There are over 100 other films with a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. SubSeven 02:09, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I essentially agree. But none of the other 100% films has as many critics supporting it at #1. It's a weak argument, but a valid one. --Happylobster 02:47, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
A few would probably argue that, but of course the larger number of reviews is just a function of Toy Story being a recent, major release. There's no way for an older film like Chinatown to rack up 100+ RT-approved reviews no matter how good it is. I could buy a #1 overall ranking on Metacritic as a qualification for this article, but RT just doesn't work in my opinion. SubSeven 04:06, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Nanook, documentary

I always read that Nanook of the North, the silent documentary on an eskimo family was the first modern documentary and, "to many people", still the best, setting the way of forecoming films. I will search authorities on this later, but I'd like to know others' opinion on this. Nazroon 04:53, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

It's a scam. It's all staged. The guy who played Nanook, who died of starvation a few years later, had more than one wife (which Flaherty deliberately obscured) and thought the record biting scene was stupid, but did it anyway out of friendship with Flaherty. --Scottandrewhutchins 20:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Second best?

The guidelines on top mention the posibility of listing the runners up to the films considered the best. But these have often been removed. I see no problem with listing the number 2 spots especially for a comprehensive poll like the IMDB (there is already a list of the top 25 films just relating the the IMDB). I'd like to refine the criteria for listing a #2 spot to genre or nationality polls that included all films of the genre or nationality, or that list a large number of the "best" films. Objections? --Samuel Wantman 04:05, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I object. The purpose of the page is films considered the greatest ever. If you allow for the second best (why not some bronze medals as well?) you open the floodgates for anything that could remotely be considered almost the greatest. This list will explode geometrically and become useless. If anything, the page should be shorter with tougher criteria. --Happylobster 21:05, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd also recommend altering the guildelines to remove the "maybe second best" part. --Happylobster 21:07, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
#2 films have peppered this list since we started requiring citations. There are currently: Halliwell's top list way past #1, the IMDB list goes to #25, the Academy Awards lists more than the three films that top the winners list, and #2 runners up listings for Westerns and Documentaries. There may be others I missed. I don't see anything wrong with having these. The purpose as you say of the page is films considered the greatest ever. We have often included the top two listings from a comprehensive survey and the page has not been over-loaded with entries. The purpose of this page is to educate people looking to find out about great films. Having the #2 films serves that purpose. -- Samuel Wantman 04:53, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
That's a subjective statement, Sam. Where do you stop? If you want a survey of great films, why not have the #3, #4 or #5 films in respected lists as well? You can't objectively say that having the #2 film serves that purpose. It's POV, counter to the goals of Wikipedia. A page dedicated to an analysis of IMDB's top 250 might be worthwhile, or a survey of specific list's best films. But when you say "Greatest Films Ever" on an objective basis, you can't go beyond #1 without opening it to an endless, unwieldy list that can justify anything. The whole reason we adamantly blocked DaffyDuck's desire to have Aladdin on the animation part of the list was for a specific reason. It's an outstanding movie worthy of praise. But it has never risen above every other animated film by any respected standard. Once you allow for "really great films" in a list of the greatest, this becomes an utter POV mess.
I maintain that allowing what Sam suggests will make the page unwieldy and meaningless. Can anyone else weigh in on this? --Happylobster 14:59, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I would agree with what you are saying if it were not the case that #2 films have been included for a long time, and that has been part of the guidelines for a long time. You are reacting to what I've been saying as if I am trying to change things. The reality is that you have been trying to change things. Having the #2 entry from a well respected list can be held to NPOV standards, and has been held to those standards. My intent in starting this dialogue was to try an make it clear when #2 entries would be acceptable and when they would not be. I too would like to hear more views on this. -- Samuel Wantman 04:02, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. But the reason the status quo changed was because people exploited this kind of slack with any number of reasons to get their favorite film in. We ultimately took a hard line (and, personally, without being aware of the prior status quo) because the page became so large and a frequent candidate for deletion. If left open, even for second best films, I think the we'd fall back to the same problem. Let's see what others say. --Happylobster 14:14, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

IMDB Top 10 or Top 25?

Anybody else have an opinion? I notice there's an edit war happening about the IMDB list. It would help to discuss the issue here. -- Samuel Wantman 20:06, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Top 10: Shorter the page, the better. --Happylobster 16:19, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I also think 10 is enough. Any other opinions? -- Samuel Wantman 20:39, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

After being posted here for a month, and with only two opinions, both to shorten the list to 10, I did so. -- Samuel Wantman 00:48, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

An anon keeps reverting this. Please discuss the change here. -- Samuel Wantman 23:10, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I've been editing this 'cause I think the more the merrier. But I will stop editing if everyone dislikes it so much (don't get why). {{subst:unsigned: }}

Here's the problem. There are many comprehensive lists of "best films". We already mention a couple. This article is meant to be a summary of all those lists. We have to decide how many to include here. Certainly, we can't include the entire list, and there really isn't any reason to, because the complete list is linked. So collectively we have to decide how many to include. My view on this is that listing the top film is always ok. A brief mention of a #2 spot is warranted if the film would not be mentioned otherwise, and the list is comprehensive (all of a genre), and as many as 10 if it is a list that includes every film and the list itself is notable (IMDB, a respected critic, etc...) If we don't limit the article to "the best", it will quickly fill with too much information. Sometimes more is too much. -- Samuel Wantman 22:28, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I will edit no more then.

Lord of the Rings under American films?

The Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand, and directed by a New Zealander, with much of the special effects rendered at the New Zealand Weta Studios. On what basis do you define a film's "nationality"?

Where is it definied as an American film on the page? If you wanted a criteria, you might account for where it's made (majority in New Zealand) or where it made most of its money (majority in the U.S.). I would argue that with most commercially successful films with international distribution, that it doesn't claim any nationality at all (which is how it's represented in the current page). --Happylobster 15:05, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

War Films

According to the list, From Here to Eternity won more Academy Awards than any other war film. The English Patient, however, won 9 Academy Awards as opposed to From Here to Eternity's 8.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Nice to see that matter has been corrected. However, Apocalypse Now should not have been taken off of that list. It is ranked higher than any other war film on AFI's 100 years...100 movies until Schindler's List at number 9. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Except that it isn't. By my count there are about 5 war films ahead of it at AFI, and that isn't counting Star Wars or Dr. Strangelove.
4 - Gone with the Wind (1939)
5 - Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
9 - Schindler's List
13 - The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
17 - The African Queen (1951)
28 - Apocalypse Now (1979)
--Samuel Wantman 06:45, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
The latter part of my babble is the more important. I would suggest skipping to the last sentence. Oops, missed those others (The African Queen and The Bridge on the River Kwai). However, Star Wars is considered to be in the genre of fantasy or science fiction (as where it appears in the article), not war. Dr. Strangelove is anti war, but considered to be a comedy as opposed to war (as where it appears in this article).Reading what I said earlier, the way I phrased what I was saying would cause one to believe that I didn't think Lawrence of Arabia and Gone with the Wind were war films. I should have phrased what I was writing differently.But anyway, Apocalypse Now is still considered to be one of the greatest war films ever made. I do think it deserves to be on the list as well. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
No argument that Apocalypse Now is considered to be one of the greatest war films ever made. However, we have criteria (on the top of this page) for films making it into the article. Without these criteria the article quickly fills with everyone's favorite film with the typical comment "considered one of the greatest " attched to it. That isn't enough. A film has to have a citation saying it is "the best" film of its genre. Please find a citation calling Apocolypse Now the best and add it to the article. -- Samuel Wantman 01:46, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Drama films not a category?

Should one be added? And what would be included in it? The Godfather is ranked the #1 drama on IMDb. Made of people 01:23, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Films with the most awards


1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 109
2. Sideways (2004) 92
3. American Beauty (1999) 88
4. Titanic (1997) 87
5. Brokeback Mountain (2005) 76
6. Wo hu cang long (2000) 74
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 72
8. L.A. Confidential (1997) 70
9. Lost in Translation (2003) 68
10. Schindler's List (1993) 68

I removed this entire section. I looked around IMDB and did not find this list anywhere. The citation only goes to the main page of the site. If this data was compiled from their information by the editor that added it here, how do we verify its accuracy? If it was compiled by the IMDB, where is the link to the data?

Even if it was compiled by the IMDB, how do we know that these statistics are complete? Does the IMDB make any claims about this data? Do they claim that these are the top ten award winners, or do they just say that these are the top 10 films for the data they currently have in their database. If the latter, I'm not sure we should be including this data.

I'd be supportive of returning this to the article if the data was collated by the IMDB and they make a claim about the table's accuracy and meaning. -- Samuel Wantman 20:37, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Photos requested

This tag was just added to this talk page. I'm moving it down here because this article used to have many photos. There used to be film posters illustrating each section. They were all removed because they did not fit the fair use guidelines. I'm not sure what other illustrations would make sense for this article, so putting this tag on the top of the talk page would only incite the same conflict about adding and removing film posters. -- Samuel Wantman 21:24, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Hong Kong

I have just added a new section and A Better Tomorrow as that was second best of that list to another film that is from China, I am not sure if the other HK film Infernal Affairs can be considered for the list as that seems to be highest on the IMDB top 250 to this date ranked at 242. Willirennen 19:44, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


Very surprised that there still isn't sections for either Action or Adventure (or both together). But please, try to find references to something other than the freaking IMDB, as it is infamous for being easily manipulated. When Serentiy came out, "Firefly" fans flooded the board to goose its rankings. RoyBatty42 22:05, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Dances With Wolves

Are you kidding me? best western ever? no fucking way

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC).

I kid you not. It did in fact set a record number of wins for a western. It also happens to be the highest grossing western, but that fact does not meet the criteria for inclusion on this page. We do include record number of academy awards as a measure, correct or not in your opinion. -- Samuel Wantman 23:05, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Would that fact be able to put it back in the list

- Reading up on the history of this page Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was put in there but kept getting put out for some reason. - Now I for one agree with DaffyDuck619 that being the most iconic children's movie is eligible for inclusion, children's movies fall in every category. - Now that source he provided might not be reliable BUT I think we should make an exception (for it has many people's opinions on the movie and many people saying it is the most iconic children's movie of all time), they're USER reviews so of course they'll be USER submitted where do you think they come from Roger Ebert's bum. - So what do you think, should being the most iconic children's movie of all time make it eligible for greatest film of all time.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The criteria for this list can be met in several different ways. If Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is what you claim, then finding sources that confirm this shouldn't be that difficult. Until then, it needs to stay out of the article. CovenantD 01:44, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
FYI, the anonymous user has been banned for being a sockpuppet. -- Samuel Wantman 01:53, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Modern Times (film)

A recent edit[2] has revealed a problem with this entry. Is it a silent film or not? From what I could see, IMDb doesn't have an actual genre called "Silent," so that doesn't help in determining it's ranking. CovenantD 23:11, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

The entry explained the difficulty of determining which film was the highest ranking at IMDB by listing the three highest rated "silent" films and explaining the differences between them. Clearly, there are no other films that could be considered silent films that are ranked higher than the three mentioned. If we were to pick one and say it was the highest ranked that would be a problem. The removed paragraph has been in the article for about a year. I'm restoring it to the article. If you think there needs to be some additional language to explain the situation, by all means add it. Otherwise what harm is there in keeping the entries? -- Samuel Wantman 21:48, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, let's see if I can explain my confusion better. The edit in question moved it from Silent to Comedy and changed " the highest-rated silent film on the IMDb" to "...however, it is not a silent film." I guess because it has a soundtrack, even if there's almost no talking (except at the end, according to the film's article). Now, because IMDb doesn't specifically list it as a silent film, and the film's article makes no claims to "silent film" status, I have to wonder who is calling it a silent film? CovenantD 00:07, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
BTW, you restored the entry to "Silent" but didn't remove it from "Comedy." CovenantD 06:50, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't see it in comedy, and don't know why it was put there. I removed it. I've tried to clarify the silent film issue. There was always music with films, after 1927 it changed from being live to being a soundtrack. City Lights is such a film. Since there is a gray area, I've tried to explaine the shades of gray. -- Samuel Wantman 07:49, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Modern Times is not a silent film. Silent films did not have synchronized soundtracks. They would often have a musical score, but not foley effects, dialogue: no synchronized soundtrack. I've taken the liberty of revising the Metropolis entry to better explain why that film is important and moving Modern Times to comedy, where it belongs. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:56, 2 March 2007 (UTC).
Yeah, well, you also put in several uncited claims "[Metropolis] has been cited as a major influence on many modern filmmakers; The design of the droid C-3PO from Star Wars was inspired by the robot in this film") and didn't provide justification for Modern Times to be considered one of the greatest comedies. Honestly, it doesn't matter whether or not you consider Modern Times to be silent or not. What matters, at this point, is a citation from either side calling it a silent or saying it's not. This is the kind of grey area that leads to Original Research. CovenantD 18:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
The C-3PO reference was taken from the Wikipedia Metropolis page. If you look at early production art ( by Ralph McQuarrie for the Star Wars film you will better see the inspiration. This is something that is well documented in many of the "Making of" books from the Star Wars films, including "The Art of Star Wars."
There is no "whether you consider" or "grey area" in regards to Modern Times; the film has a synchronized soundtrack. That is the distinction between silent vs. talkie -- end of story. You don't need a citation to determine this in most cases -- put a DVD in and if sound starts coming out of people's mouths, chances are it's not silent. There are a few films that might require some minimal research to determine whether the soundtrack was present originally (I'd have to rewatch scenes in City Lights and read up a bit on the technical aspects of production to answer your question in regards to that film); but Modern Times is certainly not one of them.

I can't see a way out of this without it becoming original research, so I removed the entire section. None of the "Silent" films had citations that specifically said that they were "the best silent film". What all the removed entries had was a determination that the film was the highest ranking "silent" film on some larger list (imdb, sight and sound, etc...) But the boundary between silent and talkie is not clear. "Silent" film is a misnomer. They were rarely silent. I don't see the distinction between Metropolis (which was shown with live music) and City Lights which had a recorded score. I suspect there are citations out there that do in fact talk about "the best silent film", but until someone adds one, I don't think we should be deciding what is and isn't a "silent" film. -- Samuel Wantman 08:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

There's undoubtedly libraries of books about the silent film era. We just need an expert. Anybody at the Film Project have a PhD in Media History? CovenantD 08:27, 3 March 2007 (UTC)


Lage Raho Munnabhai in NOT a musical (though it has songs like any/most other Indian films). It is a comedy. It is wrong to classify it as a Musical. 06:08, 21 March 2007 (UTC) yogesh kulkarni.

This may be true, I don't know anything about this film. However, it does appear atop the IMDB list of musicals. It is not up to us to decide if it is a musical, just to cite whether it has been called the greatest musical ever, and the citation shows that it has. -- Samuel Wantman 06:33, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


Rocky does not belong here. See the review of reputable critics like Vincent Canby or Andrew Sarris. It's derivative crap. --Scottandrewhutchins 15:09, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Rocky fits within the loose interpretation of what qualifies for a best movie, regardless of what one or two experts might say. The 8th place listing for IMDB is silly (though others allow for a second or third best...why stop at an 8th?). But places it first, and on that criteria, it's a best sports film. It's place relies solely on whether that website is reputable enough. --Happylobster 15:34, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see evidence that it is reputable. It looks like a new site, created mostly as a vehicle for advertising. I could not find any information other than lists of films. There is no explanation of the ratings, other than it being from users of the site. I suspect there is a very low sampling, as there are many zero's and fives on the list. For example, this list has several films rated zero that are quite good. That implies that there are no votes for these films. Links to sites such as this one are basically spam. I'm removing all mention of unless there is evidence that it is reputable. -- Samuel Wantman 17:14, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I do agree that does not look reputable. However, Rocky did win Best Picture and Best Director Academy Awards. Certainly this alone does not quailify it as Best Movie, but it is not unreasonable that it could be considered best sports film. Maybe if I can find a better citation. TK421 17:12, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I do think that Rocky deserves to be here due to the fact that it is one of only two movies to be classified as "sports" movies to win Best Picture (Chariots of Fire being the other, also deserving of mention in the sports area).

Jean-Luc Godard

Why are there no Godard films on the list, even under France? He is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of all time. --Scottandrewhutchins 20:15, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

The reason is because nobody contributing to this page has found a Godard film with a citation calling it "the best xxx film". This might be because nobody has looked for it. If you can find such a citation, add the film to the appropriate section. There are many films that are "one of the most acclaimed" and many directors that are "one of the most acclaimed". However this list is about "the best", and not our opinions about what are the best, but the verifiable opinions of others. -- Samuel Wantman 18:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

My Study

I am a film major and I just actually did a study on "greatest film" lists. Taking into account IMDB, NSFC, Sight and Sound, Time Magazine's top 100, and Eyewitness Film Book's list I was curious as to what films they all shared as well as top films by director, country. It serves to help my curiosity because it would be obvious which films I need to see, etc. There was only 6 that they share: Singin' In the Rain, Metropolis, Godfathers I and II, Lawrence of Arabia, the 400 Blows, and Citizen Kane. While I don't think my study should be quoted as a source at all, I think since those films are on all five of my samples, they should be included in some context.

Include them. If you follow the guidelines at the top of this page, it won't be original research to list the films. -- Samuel Wantman 19:34, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Pather Panchali

I believe this should be under Bangladesh, not India, right? Imran 01:46, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

The Apu Trilogy is also listed under India. Pather Panchali is the first film in the Apu Trilogy, so I think one or the other should be listed (under Bangladesh). Imran 01:49, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
The film was made in West Bengal, which is part of India. -- Samuel Wantman 01:51, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the clarification. Imran 02:14, 1 April 2007 (UTC)