The Fifty Worst Films of All Time
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (And How They Got That Way) is a 1978 book by Harry Medved, with Randy Dreyfuss and Michael Medved. This book represents choices for the 50 worst sound films ever made, in alphabetical order. The book features a story synopsis for each film, the authors' opinion of its quality, and reprints a selection of contemporary reviews of the films.
The book intentionally excludes silent films because the authors consider them to be "a separate and unique art form and that judging them alongside talkies would be like weighing apples together with oranges". In compiling their list, the authors used egregious examples to represent less reputable film genres, such as blaxploitation films (Trouble Man). The book limits the foreign films considered to only those distributed in the United States, judging it unfair to evaluate local obscurities denied an international release alongside mainstream Hollywood products, while realizing that it would not only be difficult for the authors to view the films, but unlikely that any readers would ever come across them.
The Medveds later continued this theme of "celebrating" bad cinema with The Golden Turkey Awards which again showcased bad and obscure films, and The Hollywood Hall of Shame which examined in some detail several major Hollywood financial disasters, focusing on both the artistic treatments coupled with the technical and organizational ineptitude in the mounting of these films. It has been noted that the book marked the beginning of an explosion of "worst in cinema" prizes nearly resulting in "a state of redundancy almost approaching that of ordinary prizes."
Although a number of low-budget science-fiction productions are cited, the book also lists many mainstream features, including: Airport 1975, At Long Last Love, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Hurry Sundown, King Richard and the Crusaders, Last Year at Marienbad, Lost Horizon, Myra Breckinridge, The Omen, Say One for Me, Solomon and Sheba and an Elvis Presley vehicle, Spinout.
- English, James F. (2008) The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value, Harvard University Press p. 98
- Medved, Harry, and Randy Dreyfuss. The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (And How They Got That Way). 1978, Warner Books. ISBN 0-445-04139-0.
- Medved, Harry, and Randy Dreyfuss. The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (And How They Got That Way). 1978 (1980 Reprint), Australia: Angus & Robertson Publishers, ISBN 0-207-95891-2 (cased edition), 0 207 95892 0 (limp edition).
- Medved, Michael. The Fifty Worst Films Of All Time. 1980. ISBN 0-449-04139-5.