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Top 15 Least Popular Oscar Winning Films

astraya . . . Comments

Since 1929, 80 movies have been awarded the Best Picture Academy Award. Some of these have stood the test of time and critical and popular acclaim. Others – well – haven’t. For every Godfather there is a Terms of Endearment. With the help of IMDB (for rankings), this list contains the 15 least popular Best Pictures ever. If there are any “best of” movies you think deserve to be on the list, be sure to tell us in the comments. Here, they are from best to worst.


Terms of Endearment

IMDb rating: 7.3
Producer/Director: James L Brooks
Stars: Shirley McLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson

Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma’s marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora’s interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways.

Films it beat: (other Best Picture nominees): The Big Chill; The Dresser; The Right Stuff; Tender Mercies

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Chariots of Fire

IMDb rating: 7.3
Producer/Director: David Puttnam, Hugh Hudson
Stars: Ian Charleson, Ben Cross

The story, told in flashback, of two young British sprinters competing for fame in the 1924 Olympics. Eric, a devout Scottish missionary runs because he knows it must please God. Harold, the son of a newly rich Jew runs to prove his place in Cambridge society. In a warmup 100 meter race, Eric defeats Harold, who hires a pro trainer to prepare him. Eric, whose qualifying heat is scheduled for a Sunday, refuses to run despite pressure from the Olympic committee. A compromise is reached when a nobleman allows Eric to compete in his 400 meter slot.

Films it beat: Atlantic City; On Golden Pond; Raiders of the Lost Ark; Reds

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An American in Paris

IMDb rating: 7.3
Producer/Director: Arthur Freed, Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron

Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is “discovered” by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry’s art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound.

Films it beat: Decision Before Dawn; A Place in the Sun; Quo Vadis; A Streetcar Named Desire

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Gentleman’s Agreement

IMDb rating: 7.3
Producer/Director: Darryl F Zanuck, Elia Kazan
Stars: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire

A well-known writer at a progressive New York magazine decides to tackle anti-Semitism in a unique way as his first assignment. Gregory Peck’s character, Philip Green, pretends to be Jewish in order to write about the effects of bigotry. From being refused a job and access to public accommodations, to his son being verbally attacked and his fiancée expressing concern over his assumed identity, Green soon learns what it means to be the object of sectarian prejudice.

Films it beat: The Bishop’s Wife; Crossfire; Great Expectations; Miracle on 34th Street

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IMDb rating: 7.2
Producer/Director: James Cameron, Jon Landau
Stars: Leonardo Di Caprio, Kate Winslet

The ship sinks.

Films it beat: As Good as It Gets; The Full Monty; Good Will Hunting; L A Confidential

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The English Patient

IMDb rating: 7.2
Producer/Director: Saul Zaentz, Anthony Minghella
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas

A burn victim, a nurse, a thief, and a sapper find themselves in each other’s company in an old Italian villa close to the end of World War II. Through flashbacks, we see the life of the burn victim, whose passionate love of a woman and choices he made for her ultimately change the lives of one other person in the villa. Not only is this film a search for the identity of the English patient, but a search for the identities of all the people in the quiet old villa.

Films it beat: Fargo; Jerry Maguire; Secrets & Lies; Shine

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Tom Jones

IMDb rating: 7.1
Producer/Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Albert Finney, Susannah York

Squire Allworthy brings up Tom Jones, abandoned as a baby in mysterious circumstances. Resented by Allworthy’s legitimate heir Blifil, Tom grows into an amiable rascal, fond of the fair sex. He loves Squire Western’s daughter Sophie, but when discovered by his tutors with a local girl Molly, he is banished by his benefactor. After numerous adventures he reaches London and embarks on an affair with the wealthy Lady Bellaston while Squire Western’s sister has arranged a marriage between Sophie and Blifil.

Films it beat: America, America; Cleopatra; How the West Was Won; Lilies of the Field

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The Great Ziegfeld

IMDb rating: 7.0
Producer/Director: Hunt Stromberg, Robert Z Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Myra Loy

At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, sideshow barker Flo Ziegfeld turns the tables on his more successful neighbor Billings, and steals his girlfriend to boot. This pattern is repeated throughout their lives, as Ziegfeld makes and loses many fortunes putting on ever bigger, more spectacular shows (sections of which appear in the film). French revue star Anna Held becomes his first wife, but its not easy being married to the man who “glorified the American girl.” Late in life, now married to Billie Burke, he seems to be all washed up, but…

Films it beat: Anthony Adverse; Dodsworth; Libeled Lady; Mr. Deeds Goes to Town; Romeo and Juliet; San Francisco; The Story of Louis Pasteur; A Tale of Two Cities; Three Smart Girls

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Out of Africa

IMDb rating: 6.9
Producer/Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford

A study of the life of Danish noblewoman and storyteller Karen (‘Isak’) Dinesen Blixen, from her marriage and departure for Kenya in 1913 until her return to Denmark in 1931. As she tries to maintain a coffee farm through various struggles and disasters, and strives to improve relations with the local natives, her marriage of convenience to a titled aristocrat gradually gives way to an enduring romance with the noted hunter and adventurer Denys Finch Hatton.

Films it beat: The Color Purple; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Prizzi’s Honor; Witness

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IMDb rating: 6.9
Producer/Director: Arthur Freed, Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan

Gaston (Jordan), the scion of a wealthy Parisian family finds emotional refuge from the superficial lifestyle of upper class Parisian 1900s society with the former mistress (Gingold) of his uncle (Chevalier) and her outgoing, tomboy granddaughter, Gigi (Caron). When Gaston becomes aware that Gigi has matured into a woman, her grandmother and aunt (Jeans), who have educated Gigi to be a wealthy man’s mistress, enjoin on him to become her provider and on her to accept such a golden opportunity. However, love adds a surprise twist to this delightful turn-of-the 20th century Cinderella story.

Films it beat: Auntie Mame; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; The Defiant Ones; Separate Tables

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Around the World in Eighty Days

IMDb rating: 6.8
Producer/Director: Michael Todd, Michael Anderson
Stars: David Niven, Cantinflas

When Phileas Fogg is challenged to prove his contention that a man can go around the world in 80 days, he bets his entire fortune and leaves with a new butler on a world tour. This Victorian adventure has a kicker; the bank of England has been robbed. Is this Fogg’s way of avoiding arrest? The detective following him believes so, and his butler is becoming unsure.

Films it beat: Friendly Persuasion; Giant; The King and I; The Ten Commandments

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The Greatest Show on Earth

IMDb rating: 6.7
Producer/Director: Cecil B deMille
Stars: Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour

To ensure a full profitable season, circus manager Brad Braden engages The Great Sebastian, though this moves his girlfriend Holly from her hard-won center trapeze spot. Holly and Sebastian begin a dangerous one-upmanship duel in the ring, while he pursues her on the ground. Subplots involve the secret past of Buttons the Clown and the efforts of racketeers to move in on the game concessions.

Films it beat: High Noon; Ivanhoe; Moulin Rouge; The Quiet Man

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IMDb rating: 6.6
Producer/Director: Frank Lloyd, Winfield R Sheehan, Frank Lloyd
Stars: Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook

A cavalcade of English life from New Year’s Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic and the Great War.

Films it beat: 42nd Street; A Farewell to Arms; I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang; Lady for a Day; Little Women; The Private Life of Henry VIII; She Done Him Wrong; Smilin’ Through; State Fair

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The Broadway Melody

IMDb rating: 6.5
Producer/Director: Irving Thalberg and Lawrence Weingarten, Harry Beaumont
Stars: Charles King, Anita Page, Bessie Love, Kenneth Thomson

Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield’s shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet, but when he meets Queenie, he falls in love to her, but Jock Warriner, a member of the New Yorker high society, courts her.

Films it beat: (unofficially – there were no official nominations that year): Alibi; The Hollywood Revue of 1929; In Old Arizona; The Patriot

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IMDb rating: 6.2
Stars: Richard Dix, Irene Dunne

Forty years of social and urban progress in American life from 1889-1929 are seen through the life of a progressive newspaper editor/lawyer in Oklahoma, and the wife who resents his longing for the excitement of the frontier in the years after the Oklahoma land rush.

Films it beat: East Lynne; The Front Page; Skippy; Trader Horn

Buy this DVD at AmazonSome synopses courtesy of IMDB, the Internet Movie Database

Contributor: astraya

  • Ro


  • Geraint

    The one thing about the Oscars that will always make it have a gap between it and popular oppinion is the fact that oscar movies are voted for by move makers and actors. the lowy punter like you and i vote with our feet and dont pay to see rubbish. the oscars have no meaning really other than a big ego stroking festival.

  • Nice list astraya :-)

    (I’m mostly saying that because you seem to agree with me that Titanic sucked not ‘cos I have an educated opinion on film :-D )

  • TDavis

    “Chariots of Fire” is the only movie I have actually fallen asleep to in a theater…..TWICE!

  • I haven’t seen Chariots of Fire but I liked the score from it when the orchestra I was playing in at the time was performing it.

  • Spence425

    Geraint is exactly right. That said, Titanic doesn’t fit on this list. it’s the number one grossing movie of all time for crying out loud. I don’t trust the IMDB ratings i guess.

  • spence – you have to admit though – titanic is not the greatest film :)

  • TMX

    Good idea for a list, not-so-well execution of it. For one, the use of IMDB rankings is not really a good idea since great favor is usually given more recent movies, which isn’t really an issue here, but what is at issue is how users vote. There are a lot of people who never vote in the middle, always choosing to polarize it by giving the movie a really low rating or a really high one. Yeah the list is supposed to reflect popularity, but only according to one site whose problems are well documented. What would have been better would have been a combination of IMDB ratings and Rotten Tomatoes score.

    Also, it is kind of dull to just read the plot outline. I think a better version of this list would be to just look at 10 movies and perhaps offer some explanation as to why the films are held in the position they are and more importantly why at least one of the other films nominated should have won.

    I don’t mean to tear you apart on this; I’m just offering some constructive criticism so please don’t take it personally.

  • xdarkhorsex

    you do get to see kate winslet’s knackers though

  • jin

    You should have pointed out WHY they we’re the least popular in the first place. :) I agree with Titanic as the acting and the whole thing is not that good, more of a blockbuster than a critics choice.

  • Catsy

    I personally hated Shakespeare In Love and was terribly disappointed when it did so well. I only sat through Titanic because somebody begged me to go.

  • sarahenity

    i’ve never seen titanic, but i sure do love the description of it ;)

    great list astraya!

  • Drogo

    I liked how they portrayed the Titanic sinking. Oh No, did I just spoil it for sarahenity? :)

    Titanic wasn’t that great, and I remember how everyone assumed and already knew, that it was going to get the Oscar. That turned me off to the Oscars.

  • Enoooo

    Shakespeare in Love should definitely be on this, it may have gotten a higher score than any of these but not by much. And I’m sure the win over Saving Private Ryan was one of the biggest upsets in Academy Awards history.

  • astraya

    Thanks for the comments so far and thanks to Jamie for finding the clips and pics. I think there’ll be a whole lot more “I loved/I hated” out of this one yet.

    In my draft introduction, I said something like “bearing in mind the limitations of a site like IMDB”, but for some reason I edited that out before I submitted it. I am fully aware of the limitations of IMBD.

    During my research, I found reference to lists made by Variety and Premiere. Both those lists overlap substantially with this one. There are other lists as well. I just searched for “worst best picture winners” and got a number of different sites.

    I’m not a student of film enough to make my own comments about movies. It will be a while yet before I submit a purely subjective or personal opinion list about any subject.

  • The Doppleganger

    Man these look the most boring movies ever!

  • sarahenity

    drogo – now i can’t ever watch it :( what a shame!!

  • icarusfoundyou

    “The ship sinks” yup, anyone who hasn’t seen it, that’s saved 3 hours of your life.

    What a crap film – but what a good list :)

  • ohrmets


    I definitely did not like Titanic. In fact, I hated it. But it is the HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE OF ALL TIME! How does that not qualify as “popular?” One could argue that it is actually the MOST popular movie of all time!

    Interesting list, but you are way off on Titanic.

  • thuss

    Titanic is one of the best movies i have ever seen and how come it is in this damb F***ing list it doesnt deserve to be in this list it is one of the best films ever!!!!

  • thuss: Why do you think it’s one of the best films ever?

  • MT

    The only thing I still don’t understand about Titanic (which was not the best film of that year or any other year for that matter)is why did so many people actually pay to see it? It’s still one of the highest grossing films of all time.
    BTW JF, good idea for a list. Where did you get it from?

  • MT

    I agree Titanic was not an award winning movie. But for the life of me I never understood why so many people paid to see it. Good list JF. Where did you get the idea for it from?

  • downhighway61

    Astraya!!! You should have put a spoiler alert for Titanic! Now I know how it ends.
    Maybe part of the reason Titanic did so well is because people say it repeatedly. And when I say “people” I mean teenage girls.

    MT- He got it from Astraya :)

  • Axel

    Spot on description of Titanic XD

  • Good List, Out of Africa should not have beat the color purple.

  • henry o

    …According to people voting on IMDB The Dark Knight is the 3rd-best movie ever…

  • chris

    This could have been better with a little extra research. A lot of these films listed weren’t up against much competition, whereas there has been a host of now classic films that lost out to inferior pictures. Krammer vs. Kramer beating Apocalypse Now, Rocky beating both Network and Taxi Driver, for instance.

  • Philmont237

    I disagree about “Chariots of Fire.” It (or rather its amazing score) is referenced countless times in other movies and TV shows. It is also extremely popular in running circles where people watch it for motivational reasons when they want to watch a motivational movie but don’t want to get “pumped up.”

  • tapdiva2003

    I completely disagree about “Gigi” and “An American in Paris”. Both were great movies and deserved Best Picture.

  • chris

    alright, I see its been based on IMDB ratings, but thats no good. The Great Ziegfield and Tom Jones are better films than any of their competition, the rest are debatable. LA Confidential should have taken out Titanic though.

  • trojan_man

    Philmont: I totally agree with you. Any runner (professional or recreational) should watch that movie. It does have some boring parts but the struggles that Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams go through carry the rest and keep you interested. Chariots of Fire and Hoosiers are my all-time favorite sports movies (partly because they are based on true stories).

  • Cedestra

    Vangelis is my favorite musician. I still haven’t seen Chariots of Fire, though. Couldn’t be as boring as Lawrence of Arabia (or could it?).
    Was that Albert Finney eating in Tom Jones? Wow, now I know why they cast Ewan McGregor as his early counterpart in Big Fish.

  • Posy

    Really liked Chariots of Fire. Hated Titaic with a vengeance. Sure the sfx were stunning but the acting was atrocious!

  • Yarr

    Hate shine light on the obvious, but though it sucked a softie, Titanic was and is still the highest-grossing film ever. The list is titled “Least Popular”, not “Suckiest”.

    You can count 3 hours worth of reasons why it sucked, but you cannot seriously say that that film was unpopular.

  • bucslim

    Just because it’s the highest grossing movie of all time, doesn’t mean it should win an Oscar. LA Confidential should have won, but that’s not how those things work. There are plenty of examples of how the best picture doesn’t win for whatever reason. Ordinary People, a fine film beat out Raging Bull – widely considered the best picture of the decade. 2001 A Space Odyssey wasn’t even nominated for best picture. The English Patient is one of the most boring movies I’ve ever seen. I love Forrest Gump but it isn’t a ‘better’ movie than Pulp Fiction.

    Subjective awards will always cause problems with what’s popular, what’s epic, and what is truly great. The Academy Awards isn’t immune from this. Just think of Peter O’Toole not winning a Best Actor Oscar for Lawrence of Arabia. That just happened to be the same year Gregory Peck did To Kill a Mockingbird. How the hell are you supposed to choose between those two performances and be justified?

  • Randall


    I’m sorry, I don’t get the idea behind this list… What is meant by “least popular?” My recollection is that “Terms of Endearment” did big box office, as did “The English Patient” and many others on this list.

    Does it refer to rentals? But it seems to me many of these would still be huge as rentals, long after their original release.

    Are you talking about “popular” in terms of current public opinion towards these films? But this still makes no sense to me… A) it’s too soon to judge such a thing in regards to a film like “The English Patient,” which is only about 10 years old… and B) some of the films on this list are major favorites, like “American in Paris.”

    Is it some reference to the current view of the quality of these films? Still I don’t get it… “American in Paris” is a huge classic, one of the greatest musicals ever made. It’s Gene Kelley’s tour de force, second only to “Singin’ in the Rain.” “The Greatest Show on Earth” is one of the greatest “spectacle” films ever made (though I agree it’s inferior to “The Quiet Man” and “Moulin Rouge”–either of which should have won that year). “Gigi” also is one of the best musicals ever, and a fantastic film. “The Great Ziegfeld” and “Tom Jones” are also major cinematic classics.

    “Titanic” was and is crap, yes, but still, sorry… I just don’t get what this list is saying. Can you please explain?

  • dischuker

    one of the other limitations of IMDB is that there is the tyranny of the urgent amongst the voters generally. meaning that newer is better than older. as was posted previously, The Dark Knight, was rated #1 for weeks. i bet if we went and looked at the number of voters for the above ratings, we would see a relatively small sample size compared to the numbers that are voting for godfather, shindler and the like.

    bucslim: don’t forget that shawshank was also that same year. 3 of my favorite movies all came out in the same year and would have won best picture in any number of other years.

  • Mom424

    Astraya; I think you did a pretty good job with this list. All appear to be worthy inclusions – just take a look at the competition each of the chosen films was up against.

    The English Patient beat out Fargo; who but a movie producer picks long and boring over brilliant, funny and great characters? The Greatest Show on Earth beat out The Quiet Man, Around the World beat out The King and I. It goes on and on. Good Job.

    Great Description on Titanic. I resisted seeing it for years, who wants to wait 3 hours for the lead to die? Not me.

  • Randall

    I mean it… I’ve re-read this list three times now, I still don’t get it. What is the idea behind tossing together drek like “Titanic” with classic great films like “Tom Jones” and “American in Paris” and “Gigi?” These latter three are tremendous favorites and have been for thousands, probably millions of people. And while I despise “Titanic,” it was one of the highest grossing films of all time, so I don’t see how it could be described as “unpopular.”

    I’m utterly confused and badly in need of clarity on this list. Seriously. As a film buff, I just don’t comprehend it at all.

  • Egg

    Everyone I knew at the time was in love with Titanic, it was hugely popular when I was young. Everyone wanted a heart of the ocean necklace, the soundtrack and DiCaprio’s babies.

    I’m certain not many people liked The Hours, or Room with a View.

  • Spocker

    I liked Titanic. It had a story within a story. Fictional stereotypical forbidden romance with the stereotypical asshole fiance aside, the characters did have some depth (pun unintended). I mean, I’ve always been fascinated with the whole Titanic phenomena (“A Night to Remember” is a favorite of mine, based on the excellent book by Walter Lord). The appeal of the movie is for a good portion of the movies you connected with characters so that when the sinking occured, you cared about what would happen to them. But it was a chick flick with action. You didn’t know who would live and who would die, at least with the fictional characters.

    It would have probably been better if the romance protion didn’t go on for so long. And maybe they should have focused with more with the real people that were actually on the ship. But I was impressed by the choreography and CGI (which was fairly novel at the time) and the clever use of using reverse printing to portray the other side of the ship (you can tell when they reverse the negative in certain scene where Victor Garber appears, due to his ears).

    I wouldn’t list it in the least popular Best pictures, as something that makes $600 million makes it rather popular, doncha think. I can think of worse movies from Titanic’s era, like “American Beauty”, which somehow beat out “The Green Mile” and “The Sixth Sense”.

  • Randall


    Seriously, honest to god… YOU understand this list? I can’t fathom it. I don’t understand what it’s saying, what it’s point is, and I can’t understand the sense in lumping together great motion pictures whose greatness has long since been generally acknowledged with duds like “Titanic.” I’m lost, and unless someone can explain it to me, I have to say this is the absolute worst list I’ve ever seen on this site, ever.. hands down.

  • Randall

    Clearly the point is that these films shouldn’t have won, that there were better choices… but in regards to some of them, as I’ve said, this is so utterly subjective as to be completely unsupportable. I know of NO major or even half-major film scholars or critics who would say “Tom Jones” was LESS deserving than any of the other choices that year—or that “Gigi” was less deserving than “The Defiant Ones.” Just because there are lots of great films in a single year (but that’s not even the case with some of these) doesn’t mean the film that one didn’t deserve it.

    No, sorry—if that was the idea behind this list, the idea was a good one but the execution was utterly terrible. Sorry astraya… I think I saw in the comments that you say you don’t know much about film, in a scholarly sense–well I would have left this topic alone then.

  • storm_shadow

    Finally a list that puts “Titanic” in its place. As a shit movie.

  • dischuker

    randall: my guess, if i may speak for the list writer, is that the point is to say of all the movies that have won best picture, which of those have the lowest IMDB rating. i think that is it. astraya, admiting her lack of movie knowledge and stating that she is waiting to submit a list that is strictly opinion, was just crunching the numbers.

  • Randall ~ I was hesitant to comment on this list because all I had to say was I love Terms of Endearment. I thought maybe it was “upsets” then I thought maybe critically “least popular” since Titanic was clearly popular with movie-goers. I dunno.

  • daisy

    I totally disagree about Titanic, it is one of my favourite movies and doesn’t fail at making me cry every time I watch it.

  • Blacknimbus

    Titanic was terrible. I would have added Silence of the Lambs to this list as well, as well as Forrest Gump.

    I’m shocked that Titanic is rated low by IMDB. Perhaps teenage girls have moved on to some other saccharine love story.

  • Becca

    Just because a film is rated poorly doesn’t mean it isn’t popular…isn’t Titanic the highest grossing movie of all time despite it’s major suck factor?

  • Randall


    I dunno… still makes no sense to me. If you’re right, then an explanation was in order–what the IMBD rating means, etc. And really, that should have been in the title… “Lowest IMBD Rated Oscar Winners” or whatever. It would have made more sense than “Least Popular.”

  • Randall


    That’s okay, my girlfriend of the time (1984–my second year of college) loved “Terms of Endearment,” which was weird because she was so proto-Goth and punky… but it was a chick flick, and sometimes women just go for chick-flicks regardless, I dunno.

  • Joel

    How would you define “least popular,” as opposed to simply “worst” or “least deserving of a Academy Award.” If popularity has to do with box office numbers or DVD sales/rentals, then a few of these shouldn’t be on this list, Titanic in particular. If it has to do with “standing the tests of time” as you’ve indicated in the comments, I’m not sure enough time has passed for some of these films to be ignored. Chariots of Fire has one of the most recognizable scores in film history; An American in Paris is a favorite for Gene Kelly fans; and Out of Africa will be remembered as one of the late Sydney Pollack’s greatest achievements. Also, if the main criteria is IMDB scores, then Shawshank Redemption–which won zero Oscars–beats classic films like Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, and The Godfather. Like Randall said in #44, if you don’t know much about film, please don’t create uneducated lists.

    That being said, I’ve heard Cimarron is terrible. Has anyone actually seen it? I’ve been trying to watch every Best Picture winner for the past year, and I’m missing Cimarron and Cavalcade.

  • Callie

    Actually, for the time, Titanic was a movie marvel. Your opinion on if you liked it or not doesn’t cancel out the amazing effects, shots, and painstaking reality of the shooting. It’s not my favorite movie ever by far, but it’s also not my preferred genre. I can still apprieciate all the hard work that went into it. Now we have more advanced CGI and special effects, but in 1997 Titanic was a groundbreaker. Plus, it’s already been said, but it was wildly popular.

    Also, Gigi is an amazing movie, and the people voting on IMDB are much more likely to be “OMG Bratz the movie was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo rockin!!!! 10/10!!!!!!!!!” than actual film buffs. Notice how older movies have lower ratings? Yeah.

  • Randall


    I’ve seen Cimarron. It was years ago, and I barely remember it. I don’t recall it being “terrible,” but certainly unmemorable. Worth a look probably. “Cavalcade,” on the other hand, I just plain didn’t like.

  • Damn, I’m with Randall, Mom424 and rushan here. I just don’t get it. Not only did many of these films do *MAJOR* boxoffice, but the list contains many personal favorites.
    Having made my living working in the film biz (*very* directly, I was a script supervisor), a film has to be more than a bit special to make it onto my list of fav’s. So I’m as baffled as I can be by this list, astraya.
    This hurts me to even say, because I like you.
    Perhaps you have an explanation that will clear up the confusion. If you do, please offer it. This many of us can’t be completely unclear about the same thing for no reason.

  • Callie

    I have to go to a meeting..I have a feeling this is going to blow up comment wise in the interim. It’ll certainly be something to coem back to.

  • Randall


    You were a script supervisor? When? Where? Hollywood? Are you still connected?

    Do tell! I have personal reasons for asking… (and no, please don’t think I wanna send you a script… I don’t have… a script. ;-) )

  • sherriant

    I agree with Spocker(42) about Titanic. I liked the movie, but I think it would have been better without the fake love story. If they had filmed around a few different people from different classes and shown their stories, it would have been more enjoyable. For me, at least. That said, I love disaster movies, and this one qualifies.

  • Bob

    Titanic is actually very popular, and it was a pretty good film. It just happens to also be a popular thing to bash it without any reason. But hey, I always feel cool when I act like a sheep and bash something just because I know nobody will ever ask me what’s actually wrong with it and reveal that I have nothing but a herd mentality behind my “opinion.” Yeah, that’s always fun.

  • Brickhouse

    Wowser! It’s odd when there are more non-winners I’ve heard of than winners. I can’t believe The King and I or The Ten Commandments both lost. And As Good As It Gets, hell even The Full Monty should’ve won instead.

    This is why I watch The People’s Choice Awards.

  • Ghidoran

    Titanic is in the top ten list for most money made ever. How can anyone say it was not popular? Even I feel emotional about it, and I usually don’t. It was a great movie!

  • s0aar

    lol…the ship sinks.

  • Ghidoran: IMDB says that Titanic is not very popular. Being a fan of Leo, I also felt bad. But seriously, apart from DeCaprio, there was nothing good about the movie.

    astraya: Nice list, though I have seen very few of these movies. Personally I hated Shakespeare In Love and Chicago also. They didn’t deserve an Oscar. But then, this list is based on IMDB ratings. Great work.

  • Mom424

    Randall: You only disagree with some of the films on the list.
    Cavalcade over Farewell to Arms
    Greatest Show on Earth over The Quiet Man
    Around the World over The King and I or 10 Commandments
    Out of Africa over Kiss of the Spiderwoman or The Color Purple
    The English Patient over Fargo
    Titanic over LA Confidential
    These are the ones that I am sure about; an argument could also be made about the choice of Gigi in favor of Cat on A Hot Tin Roof or The Defiant ones as well as Terms of Endearment beating out The Big Chill. What about A Place in the Sun up against An American in Paris?

    A couple of the way-old movies I haven’t seen so I can offer no opinion but I do agree that the inclusion of Tom Jones is a mistake.

    Rushfan: I cry like a damn baby every time I watch Bruce and the gang in Armageddon. Does that make it Oscar-worthy? :)

  • Terms of Endearment is so much better than The Big Chill, words cannot express. That movie managed to simultaneously suck and blow. ;)

    “Who am I if I’m not the man who’s failing Emma?”

    Jack Nicholson, Shirley McLaine, Debra Winger’s best movie by far. It’s not just a tear-jerker. It’s funny and smart. Diffrent strokes for diffrent folks, I suppose. Oh, and Armageddon? Really? ;)

  • copperdragon

    it looks like the list is a combination of the Oscar winners with the lowest IMDB rankings (conveying “popularity”) and possibly astraya’s personal opinion (especially regarding the more recent movies, like Titanic).

  • Randall


    It’s not just a matter of disagreement; I simply could not and still cannot understand what this list is supposed to be about. What does the title of it mean to YOU? “Least Popular Oscar Winning Films”… and then it has some of the top-grossing pictures of all time on it, and several classics that are beloved? I didn’t get it and I still don’t.

    Now Dischuker has explained to me that it was apparently all about the IMDB ratings, but then I think that should have been more clearly explained, and the list title is still confusing as hell. And I know about the IMDB site, I go there frequently, but I had no clue, before this, that there were ratings on there that anyone could enter in on. And I don’t get the point of assembling a list based on such a thing. Films are judged on how much money they make and on their critical/artistic merit… not ever on people clicking buttons on the internet.

    Lastly, what are you saying, in your comment? Sure, SOME of the selections on this list seem obvious–Farewell to Arms should have won over Cavalcade, for instance… but where is this great swell of critical or even popular opinion that says The Color Purple or Kiss of the Spiderwoman should have won over Out of Africa? It’s not that either of the three of these was *obviously* better than the other–it’s not a matter of one of them clearly having gotten slighted. I probably would have picked Kiss of the Spiderwoman, myself, but I acknowledge that Out of Africa was really pretty much just as good a film. And there are others here with the same ambiguity.

    And arguments can be made about lots of things, but again, I am not aware of some great swell of critical opinion or otherwise that says Gigi was less deserving of an oscar than Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or The Defiant Ones. As I said, just because a year has a lot of great films, that doesn’t mean the film that one deserved it any less than the others.

    I mean, tastes are subjective, sure… that’s true. But it can be taken way too far. If you LIKE The Defiant Ones better, okay–fine… but to imply in a list that Gigi was or is less popular and less deserving—I mean, that’s silly. Sometimes there’s just lots of great films… and somebody has to win. Individually we can say that we think such and such film should have won instead of the one that did, but a list like this should be for clear and obvious injustices at the Oscars, not based on, “gee maybe The Defiant Ones was .07% better a film than Gigi”… do you follow me?

    My main gripe with the list, though, is that I just didn’t understand it. It still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  • Mom424

    Segue: I don’t believe the point of the list is to say that any of the included films are bad. I think that the point is that in retrospect other films were more worthy.

    Personally having no first-hand knowledge of films or any scholarly interest (I like what I like is my rule of thumb), I wouldn’t have attempted a list such as this.

    May I be so bold as to suggest that maybe this attempt by Astraya to be ill-advised? Even though I do, for the most part, understand why they were chosen, it would perhaps be better tackled by a film expert.

  • Sedulous

    I can tell you right that that Good Will Hunting and As Good As It Get’s were ten times better than Titanic. Also it would have been interesting to see the ratings of the movies they competed against. IMDB ratings come from all the users who vote on them not by IMDB themselves so I think they are ratings you can trust. If I remember right a lot of the moves have hundreds of thousands of votes so they tend to be pretty accurate. Also if you haven’t seen the movie “Shine” which competed against the English Patient, make sure you see it. Such an awesome movie, one of my all time favorites.

    I love the lists that are based on the opinions of many people and not just on the list maker alone….makes them more credible IMO.

  • Mom424

    Randall: Point taken, I bow to your superior knowledge in this one instance. :)
    Don’t go expecting it to become a trend.

  • Randall


    Don’t worry, I won’t.

    I’m just in a bad mood right now. I just had what we can describe as a major professional disappointment and right at the moment I’m way past the point of having it up to *here* with a certain institution of higher learning.

  • Callie

    It just seems too opinion based to me. For instance, I hate Saving Private Ryan, but I’m well aware I’m pretty much the only person in the world who feels that way. That doesn’t mean I’d stick it on a worst movies ever list for everyone. Only my own.

  • MT

    IMDB rankings are a hard way to judge popularity of movies for a couple of reasons. One is that a movie will often increase in ratings right after it is shown on TV or released on DVD and more people “Google” it or visit the IMDB site to find out more about it or it’s stars. This of course means more recent movies as opposed to older movies with limited exposure never increase in ratings. You also have to have to register with IMBD to add comments about the movie (good or bad)which also increase’s popularity. Also, the Academy voting is and has always been very political. A perfect example is Spielberg not winning for Color Purple, which was by most accounts was the best movie of the year, but winning years later with Scheindlers List. I know a big media push to see Titanic occurred the year it was released. Maybe that was the reason for all the ticket sales. But I also think movie theatres in the big multiplexes sold tickets for Titanic even when customers were paying to see another movie. It’s happened before. Bottom line is there is no “Best Movie”. It’s only what your personal choice is that matters.

  • 1980 Raging Bull > Ordinary People
    1982 E.T. > Gandhi
    1990 Goodfellas > Dances With Wolves
    1994 The Shawshank Redemption > Forrest Gump
    1998 Saving Private Ryan > Shakespeare In Love
    2005 Brokeback Mountain > Crash
    2006 Little Miss Sunshine > The Departed

    Each of the movies listed above on the left should have won Best Picture over the film that did win it.

  • dustin

    spocker (42). American beauty somehow beat out the sixth sense and the green mile probably because it was a better movie

  • copperdragon

    Should have won (instead of the ones that did for those years)
    The Right Stuff
    Raiders of the lost Ark
    LA Confidential
    The Color Purple
    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    High Noon

    popular and deserving winners:
    Tom Jones

  • I’m back (can’t sleep) to mention that astraya is in Korea (99% sure) and it’s the middle of the night there, so that’s probably why he’s not here explaining stuff :-)

  • Sedulous

    Little Miss Sunshine wasn’t better than the Departed, it was funny but I honestly don’t get where the nomination came from for that. I prefer Crash to Brokeback Mountain as well. I agree with the rest of your choices. I thought Good Will Hunting was a better movie than Titanic but I can see why they gave it best picture it was……titanic.

  • logar

    #70 Sedulous

    Ahh… As Good As It Gets… One of my favorite lines from any movie (As I recall it):

    Secretary: “How do you write women so well?”

    Melvin: “I think of a man… And I take away reason and accountability.”

    Friggin’ hilarious.

  • Miss Destiny

    When I first started seeing the previews for Titanic I swore I would never watch it. It’s what, 10, 11 years later? I still haven’t. :)

    I’m not watching a boat sink for three hours. I’m sure there are some neat video game versions of Battleship that will satisfy that desire in about ten minutes.

    I’ve actually never seen any of these movies. I typically stay away from the long and boring Oscar stuff unless I see something I like in the previews or if maybe there’s a certain actor/actress I like in it. I guess I prefer crappy superhero and action movies, goofy comedies and the occasional chick flick. I’m definitely not a movie person and I get told I have awful taste in movies.

    Strange list though, I’m not sure I get the concept.

  • logar

    75. REHuntJr

    I have to agree with Sedulous on this one, too… Little Miss Sunshine was a cute little movie, but I much preferred The Departed. Granted, The Departed is probably less deserving of an Oscar than some of Scorsese’s other work, but…

  • Carol

    I usually don’t agree with the Oscar’s best movies…I never know what the crieteria is, but that’s just me.

    Randall: I think you’re right on this one…this list seems really confused.

    I can’t find some connection between those movies to understand why they are on the list…maybe it’s the IMDB rating, the only thing I could spot…but to me it should be just one more fun detail than the actual base of the list…But who am I to criticize? I have never posted anything here…don’t know the hard time it must be.

  • Good list. Thanks for including films it beat. It mad the list even more interesting.
    Copperdragon, I agree pretty much with alternative choices.
    REHuntJr, I agree except for I think Forrest Gump & Crash deserved it over the others.
    So many times there are a huge amount of great movies in one year which causes so many to lose out.

    For instance 1939 movies: Gone with the Wind (winner)
    Films it beat
    o Dark Victory –
    o Goodbye, Mr. Chips –
    o Love Affair
    o Mr. Smith Goes to Washington –
    o Ninotchka –
    o Of Mice and Men –
    o Stagecoach –
    o The Wizard of Oz –
    o Wuthering Heights –

  • chaitanya

    just to set the record straight …. titanic is a great movie. an epic! and I don’t care about the number of oscars it won or the money it grossed. 10/10

  • I was curios about how IMDb rankings work and came across this.

  • Joe

    We mustn’t take the Academy Awards too seriously. The members of the academy don’t. “Art” isn’t a contest. Nobody “decides” anything. It’s just a big, fun show.

  • smurff

    Ive scrolled up and down a couple of times and can not see the logic.
    Titanic if I am not mistaken, was one of the biggest money spinners at the time.
    I stand to be corrected.

  • Zac R C

    Awwwr… Crash isn’t on here?

  • YogiBarrister

    One of my favorite books on movies is a trade paperback by the film critic, Danny Peary, titled, ALTERNATE OSCARS.
    As for the listversers who don’t like SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, #11 and #14, I suggest you read William Goldman’s famous essay about why that film deserved to win over SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
    And don’t get me talking about CRASH. I just finished watching season five of the greatest television show in history, THE WIRE, which has a similar theme. That’s sixty-four one hour episodes, every single one of them better written and better acted than the clunker that won best picture. We are indeed in the golden age of television, the reason being, the best writers are working in that medium. American movies for the most part are visual eye candy, stripped of dialogue so they appeal to an international audience.
    I’m not sure whether IMBD gets their ratings from critics or viewers, I think it’s the later. If you are looking for ratings based on critical review, metacritics is a good site.

  • YogiBarrister

    Well that’s irritating. I just wasted ten minutes on a comment that didn’t appear.

  • Does this list work if you substitute “Lowest Rated” for “Least Popular”?

  • bucslim

    Randall – working at an institution of higher learning myself, I feel your pain. I’ve had several of those ‘resume update’ moments myself in the last two weeks.

    I sometimes expect the buildings to be on fire when I arrive to work in the morning – what with all the nin-com-poops and the grabassery and downright buffonery they engage in on a daily basis. Most of these people might have extra capitolized letters after their name, but most of them have shit for brains and shit coming out of their mouths.

    These are the same people who when the teacher was dismissing everybody for Christmas break they raised thier hand and reminded the teacher to assign homework.

  • YogiBarrister, me too, did it have a link in it?
    I think somtimes it takes longer when there is.

  • YogiBarrister

    I’ll give the Reader’s Digest version of my disappeared comment, without the links.
    Read Danny Peary’s book, ALTERNATE OSCARS
    Read William Goldman’s essay about SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
    Watch more television, especially THE WIRE
    CRASH sucks because the dialogue is clunky, the acting forced.
    Metacritics is a good site to find movies.

  • I was curious about how IMDb works and came across this

  • YogiBarrister

    Blogball, yeah, it had a bunch of links. Here’s the link to Danny Peary’s book, ALTERNATE OSCARS. It’s now outdated by fifteen years. but still one of my all time favorites.

  • YogiBarrister

    Blogball, yeah, it had a bunch of links. Now I know you can no longer put links in the comments. Too bad, that was a cool feature of this site. There are often more interesting things down here than in the actual list.

  • thematic

    Good effort on the list, seems to have done the trick judging by the amount of comments so far.

    Its hard to say whether the amount of money made at the box office is indicative of the calibre of a movie, I have seen plenty movies that were crap purley because of the hype around them, Titanic being one that was worth seeing once and never again in my opinion anyway.

  • YogiBarrister, Wow I didn’t know that was not allowed anymore. I just thought it took longer to show up. That is really too bad. I really liked that feature too. Maybe we can work it by leaving out the http://www.or something and then we can at least cut and paste it and then add what’s missing in the link.
    For instance here is a link about IMDb rankings I left out the www. In the beginning

  • Randall


    Can you summarize Goldman’s thoughts on Saving Private Ryan? Just curious.

  • YogiBarrister Wow I didn’t know that was not allowed anymore. I just thought it took longer to show up. That is really too bad. I really liked that feature too. Maybe we can work it by leaving out the .com or something and then we can at least cut and paste it and then add what’s missing in the link.

  • Randall


    Those people aren’t my problem–remember, I’m kind of an academic myself. Faculty aren’t the ones causing me grief. See, I also work at a university where most of the faculty are very secure with themselves, and are successful people at the top of their respective fields… it’s, uh… *that* prestigious a university. So they don’t tend to be idiots, and they don’t tend to be the insecure types who take their insecurities out on other people.

    Rather, it’s the self-important moronic assholes in administration that are my problem. These are the people who are not at all bright, who went to bad schools, and this is all they have in life–and then they proceed to make stupid, idiotic decisions based on zero logic and common sense.

    sorry folks, just a brief exchange betwixt bucslim and myself about the horrors of working in higher education. Nothing to see here, go back to your little list web site.

  • YogiBarrister

    Randall, if my faulty memory serves me right, Goldman was basically saying that after the first incredible scene, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was just one war movie cliche after another, with Tom Sizemore playing the part of William Bendix. I don’t necessarily agree, but I do think SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE was a better movie. Tom Stoppard knows a thing or two about the subject and writing dialogue.
    Most movies today are non stop action films, stripped of clever dialogue so as to appeal to an international audience.

  • Anon

    Just pooped (sorry, *popped*) in in a great rush. Haven’t read a single comment yet. Sorry. But I’ll have to run these through ‘1000’ films to see before you die, so I shall know which one (ones) to die to! First glance suggests you’re asking us to clear out half our Video/DVD shelves here at home!

  • Randall


    Interesting. I think I’d agree with Goldman’s assessment in large measure–like all things Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan did a good job with the visceral get-the-point-across stuff, but other than that was… lacking. In other words, it was shallow. It doesn’t SEEM that way because Spielberg as ever distracts us with spectacle and action and well-knit and composed scenes. But if you take those bits out of the film that affect you and/or visually excite you or get to you…. you find that what you have left is… not much. I found the final scene moving and touching… I found Tom Hanks’ performance to be good and I liked the point of his character. It’s not a BAD movie by *any* means. But its not the GREAT film that some people say it is.

    I thought “Band of Brothers” was a far better piece of work (never mind that it was a miniseries… same difference) but of course that was based on an excellent book which was truth, not fiction.

  • kiwiboi

    Astraya – interesting list..thanks.

  • stanundman

    L.A. Confidential is such an amazing movie and Titanic was mediocre romance at best. Great list though my friend :)

  • 58. Randall
    You were a script supervisor? When? Where? Hollywood? Are you still connected?
    Do tell! I have personal reasons for asking… (and no, please don’t think I wanna send you a script… I don’t have… a script.
    Randall, yes, I was a script supervisor in Hollywood, CA. during the 80’s and 90’s. I worked fairly constantly, which is pretty good considering it’s a free-lance world.
    The only real connection I still have would be my brother, a commercial director, who has won 7 or 8 Clio’s.

  • Randall, I should mention that I had a lot of other connections, like Malvin Wald, who wrote “The Naked City” and scads of documentaries…even traveling to Cuba to interview Castro. He would phone me up until the day before he died.
    I was good friends with a lot of the old-time movie and radio actors, but they had the bad taste to keep on dying, and so end our friendship.
    Life is a funny old duck, Randall.
    But it’s fun while it lasts.

  • Randall


    Good lord… we need to talk.

    Not only do I have a powerful love for old Hollywood and films in general… I am, also, you know… well how do I put this? I’m of course not just the smart-ass know-it-all who contributes his annoying persona to this web site. I have of course a real-life existence, which I mention here from time to time, but I also have *another* real-life existence which I keep more quiet about, which has to do with writing. I have something large in the works which is nearly finished… (okay, why am I being so cagey? It’s a book, a novel). And it has a cousin right behind it that I’m also working on.

    Publication looks likely… but the thing is, I wrote this thing with the express idea in mind of it being “cinematic.”

    Well, I may be saying too much. Anyway, I’d love to talk….

  • Mom424, knowing a bit about how the Academy members actually select the movies each year (not really because it’s the *best* movie, the reasons are myriad and absurd), no one could do such a list without angering 3/4’s of the readers.
    If the Academy members actually voted for the movie they thought was the best movie for that year, then yes, a list could be done and make sense. That isn’t how it is. That isn’t how it ever was, or likely ever will be.
    Sad, but true.

  • Island_boggs

    i like chariots of fire, the rest of these i saw sucked

  • Deziner

    You know you can look at a historical list of the winners of best picture and think “Wow , that’s a klunker”, or ” gee, I liked that”, or all the other little comments your brain utters as you continue to scan downward. Sure doesn’t hit home until you read a list like this and actually get to see what the contenders were for each of those winning positions. I know that out of the possible choices, these are definitely not MY pick for winner…much less most of my family members, friends I call, friends I don’t call, or even the stranger I meet in line at the market. (Lists like this sometimes helps in those meetings of strangers)

    Regardless aren’t these awards a United States opinion? Do they reflect the reception of a film on an international basis? If this is an international award why is it only held in Hollywood, unlike the Olympics, and if not, then why is this rating such a guidepost of all is “worthwhile” to the entertainment community of the world?

    Astraya– Thank you for the list.I think I’ll add a few titles to my DVD service.

    Oh and..Titanic=A lot of drama..the ship sinks..with drama…:-)

  • Gravy

    Thats like Metallica losing to Jethro Tull.

  • revkev

    As someone that has actually seen all these films (except Cavalcade – not available on DVD) I cannot disagree with the list, although I liked Cimarron and The Great Ziegfeld more than your list does. I hear Cavalcade is dreadful. But number one on my list would be the Greatest Show on Earth. It is laughably bad. Gentlemen’s Agreement is just boring.

  • Anon

    blogball, (84),

    For instance 1939 movies: Gone with the Wind (winner)
    Films it beat
    o Dark Victory –
    o Goodbye, Mr. Chips –
    o Love Affair
    o Mr. Smith Goes to Washington –
    o Ninotchka –
    o Of Mice and Men –
    o Stagecoach –
    o The Wizard of Oz –
    o Wuthering Heights –

    You left out Korda’s magnificent ‘The Four Feathers’! How could you? How could you?

  • glittershrooms

    Sorry Astraya, good effort on the list but I did not like it. The title was indeed confusing and I agree with Randall particulary When he wrote :”…I think I saw in the comments that you say you don’t know much about film, in a scholarly sense–well I would have left this topic alone then…”
    I’m sure we have a few movie buffs/experts/scholars on this site that would have rocked this list (Segue?) and gave us an opinion instead of the dull and boring “1.blah 2.blah 3.blah etc…” format.

  • Anon


    For what it’s worth, Halliwell adds:

    Destry Rides Again
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    La Rêgle du Jeu (Best foreign film???)

    Just goes to show how bloody absurd *the best* of anything is.

    Bach better than Beethoven?
    Einstein than Newton?
    Maradona than Pelé?
    Freud than Jung? (Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh)

    I would stick my neck out and say ‘The Godfather’ is better than ‘The Punisher¡ when they are that far apart. O.K. I’m now waiting for an outraged response. Come on then.

  • Anon

    Correction: ‘The Punisher’

  • Adam

    One of the best films I’ve ever seen in my life is Cloverfield. The special effects of that movie were awesome and spectacular! It’s like the 1998 remake of Godzilla only this time the monster in Cloverfield remained a mystery to the public until the grand opening. After the ends credits of Cloverfield have passed in the very end, you will hear a transmission that sounds like “Help us!” But if you put that transmission in reverse, it says “It’s still alive!” It is very likely that there will be a Cloverfield sequel.

  • 111. Randall -Good lord… we need to talk.
    Especially when I tell you that after I left the script supervising job, I went to work for a novelist in Hollywood, that expanded into publicity/setting up events and doing first line edits for a number of the members of the Southern California Mystery Writers of America.
    I’m not just a pretty face, Randall. I know my way around.

  • Randall (68): I think the Color Purple should absolutely have beaten Out of Africa – it is an absolutely incredible movie with some stunning acting – particularly from Oprah and Woopie Goldberg. :)

  • YogiBarrister: if you put more than one link in a comment it goes to moderation and cyn or I have to approve it – I just got up and there is nothing in moderation – did your comment show up in the end?

  • Randall


    “I’m not just a pretty face, Randall. I know my way around.”

    I’m sure… well we DO have to talk…

    would you….. care to read a chapter?

  • Randall


    re: The Color Purple. To each his own. It’s known how I feel about Spielberg. But yes, it’s a good movie. I just think, you know… three good movies, roughly the same quality…

    As I recall though, the talk about that back then was because Spielberg was still viewed as the kiddie action film guy. Thus he didn’t win.

    re: the comment thing with YogiBarrister–I had the same problem yesterday on the Animal Testing thread–I submitted a comment OVER and OVER again with ONE link in it, and it would not take it, no matter how many times I tried.

  • Randall, YES!

  • How do you want to handle getting it to me?
    email or snailmail?

  • Riya B.

    …meh, this list is okay. You kind of turned me off of this list when I saw that Titanic was on it. It’s not my number one favorite film,but it is in my top twenty, so…yeah.

  • Bill

    How “Terms of Endearment” beat “The Right Stuff” to me, ranks #1 as the biggest Oscar ‘Best Movie’ blunder ever. That movie was a masterpiece. “The Sand Pebbles” is another great movie that was robbed of an Oscar by an inferior movie.

  • Randall


    Definitely email.

    what you could do is email ME at [email address removed] (NO that is NOT my real name, by the way) and send me your email address if you like—that way you don’t have to post it here… how’s that? Then I’ll email you back.

  • why is titanic on tis list? its a good movie.

  • lightningclash

    The oscars are a complete farce. the studios control who wins. Titanic for example cost a LOAD of money to make. How to make that money back? DVD sales. And what sells DVDs more than a header above the title that says “Winner: Best picture”. This is the way it always has been with the “big” awards like best director/picture/actor/actress. You’ll never see a film that truly deserves an Oscar based on originality and talent. last years Best Picture was the only one that truly deserved the honour in years. (“No country for old men”… just try to find a movie that deserves best picture more than that film.) The studios decide who wins, it’s all about money. Sad really, but when you think about it long enough it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise.

  • YogiBarrister

    Jamie, the comment and links now appear. It just occurred to me that checking out the links before you post them isn’t such a bad idea. I was guilty of linking to a disgusting clip from PINK FLAMINGOES myself, and then yesterday, that split penis link was too much. I’ll never masturbate again, until that awful image is deleted from my memory. :)

  • Cdavis

    Might want to check for more plagiarism. Another crappy list that reeks of “borrowed” writing.

  • Yogi: hahaha

  • Cdavis: some synopses are from IMDB – it says so at the bottom of the list.

  • Emibby

    Titanic is flippin’ amazing! How did it win 11 Academy Awards? I haven’t seen any of the other ones though, so I won’t say anything.

  • MzFly

    Jfrater, I agree with you about The Color Purple. I’m not a huge Speilberg fan but the actors’ performances in that film certainly made a more lasting impression than anything I witnessed in Out Of Africa.
    Also, I can’t believe Gigi won over Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Cat is one of my personal faves.
    I do have to disagree with #15 though. I think Terms is a great film and has stood the test of time.

  • MzFly: you are right about Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – it is amazing as well. I have a copy on DVD.

  • Tivvyred

    CRASH anyone?

  • Anon

    Randall, (111),

    Surely during your time and experiencce in LV and other sites you must have culled ideas for characters? Perhaps we’d all better be on the qui vive!

    I wonder how many more of us here are actual or aspiring writers of some kind or other?

    Sounds as though your ambition over-arches any other possibility though.

    Writing *well* can be a soul-wrenching business (not for nothing do such creations get referred to as the author’s *children*), and even to get a minor piece or marginal scientific paper rejected tears at the heart.

    Sincerely, and truly sincerely, the very, very best of luck.

    Perhaps the sad thing is we shall never know it’s *one of our own*. Or alternatively, every time a new star blazes across the literary or cinametic firmament, we shall all be wondering. Randall? Our Randall???? (Well, we DO know your age.)

  • Randall, you might get several emails from having published that link. Mine will be the one with the two names separated by a dot; the first name starts with the same letter as segue, the second name starts with d and has a z in the middle.

  • I have removed your email addy Randall – to prevent spam. I think segue obviously has it noted down now. If not I will forward it.

  • Kreachure

    Nice list! I have so many things to say about this, and I’m sorry that I came in so late in the comments.

    First: To all those saying that they don’t get that the list is called “Top 15 least popular” films, yet it has things like Titanic which is the highest-grossing movie ever:

    PLEASE read the intro. It explains how it considered these particular films to be the “least popular” even though they’re box office hits:

    “Some of these have stood the test of time and critical and popular acclaim. Others – well – haven’t.”

    That’s it. In other words, these are films that were so incredibly popular by the time of their release that they broke box office records and even won the Oscar. But, in retrospective, it was just the heat of the moment and they weren’t really all that great, and probably didn’t deserve to win the Oscar at all, over other nominees which were better but overlooked amid the zany popularity.

  • Kreachure


    wherEEEEEeeever you aaare
    I believe
    the heart does
    go oooooo-oooon…

    you oOOOOpen the dooor
    And you’re here
    my heart and
    my heart will
    go oooon and oooooooooooooon…


  • Duke of Omnium

    Some of the most egregious wins on this list, in comparison with the losing nominees are An American in Paris over either Streetcar or A Place in the Sun; Terms of Endearment over The Big Chill; and The Greatest Show on Earth over High Noon. I’d probably include The English Patient over Fargo, except that I’ve always thought of Fargo as more of a clever movie than a great one. Off the list, of course, was How Green Was My Valley (1941) over Citizen Kane or The Maltese Falcon, and Forrest Gump over either The Shawshank Redemption or Pulp Fiction. In all of these cases, IMO, the losers I mentioned have simply stood up much better over the years.

  • #144. jfrater
    I have removed your email addy Randall – to prevent spam.
    Jamie, thanks.
    I emailed Randall immediately, but the thought of spam was in my mind as well. Hence my sort of wacky explanation of how he’d be able to identify mine. Still, if he does get in touch with you, you have my permission to give Randall my email address.

  • Ana

    The ship sinks?? Shut up!!
    Now, no one tell me the ending of Passion of the Christ!

    Great list as always :)

  • Randall


    Thanks, I’m checking.


    Thanks Jamie… stupid me, spam never occurred to me. I don’t use that address very often.


    When the thing is published… I will, I think, probably reveal myself here. Mainly because I’ll expect all of you to BUY it. Can’t do that if you don’t know what to buy. ;-)

    Sadly, once my cover is blown… well… maybe I’ll just change nom de plumes and personas. ;-)

  • Kreachure

    Okay, I’ll keep going:

    I don’t consider myself a film expert, but I do consider myself a fan. So when I watched the 80th Academy Awards show, and paid close attention to the segment showcasing every single Best Picture Oscar-winning movie by year (awesome stuff), there were indeed many films which made me raise an eyebrow, not only because I hadn’t even heard of a few, but also because I didn’t expect some of those to actually be winners of the Best Picture award.

    Here’s a clip similar to what was shown on the Oscars broadcast (sorry, couldn’t find a clip of the original):

    80 years of Best Picture Oscars clip

  • kreachure: you might want to read this topic on the forums. :)

  • astraya

    Yes, I’m in Korea, so I’ve been asleep during all this. I am now vertical but only just awake, so what follows may be slightly disconnected.
    Randall, I’m flattered. Two weeks ago the rockers list was the worst ever on this site. In your opinion. A non-expert may not be able to offer his own opinion (and maybe should not), but can still contribute by searching for and summarising others’. And it broadens my knowledge, and also, judging by some of the comments above, that of others.
    I fully acknowledge the shortcomings of the Academy Award system and of the IMDB. Anyone with any sort of knowledge about those two entities does.
    I can’t explain it any better than Kreachure in 145. See also Sedulous at 70. (Thanks!)
    I was stunned that Titanic was voted so low, but once I’d decided to base the list on the IMBD ratings, I had to include it. The only explanation I can offer is that different sorts of people vote on IMDB than saw Titanic in such great numbers. That might also explain the current (?too) high rating for Dark Knight – that movie appeals to the sort of people who are likely to vote on the site.
    Thanks to anyone who said “great list”.

    One point of clarification: all the synopses except Titanic are taken from IMDB.

    I’m always fascinated by the hints commenters drop about their real lives and the things that people discover that they have in common.

  • Randall


    You know I like you, man, but sorry… I just couldn’t get the list. I think it was the title, which I found hugely confusing… and then I disagreed with some of the choices–severely disagreed–but that’s something else again… except that some of those choices furthered my confusion.

    I just would never have relied on the IMDB rating, that’s just me. If anyone can chime in on IMDB… then it kind of doesn’t follow that it’s a worthy rating system for what is “quality” in terms of cinema and what ain’t. I mean, it’s not like cinema is Angie’s List. If you’ve got 5 million teenagers who know only what came out within the last five years and what the latest video games are… and 100,000 adults who know a *little* better… and both groups are voting on, say, “Gigi,” you can bet “Gigi” is going down. Badly.

    But to say that’s some comment on the popularity of “Gigi” is silly. As movies go it’s a classic, a huge one, and it’s got a pretty large devoted following, relatively speaking, and was, I believe, a huge box office hit at the time. AND as I’ve said, I know of no film scholars who say it shouldn’t have won the Oscar that year, in favor of some other film in particular.

    Sorry dude, not trying to be super-critical, I just found the idea behind the list to be okay, but the execution badly flawed.

    No offense. At least you didn’t write that Rockers list.

  • Randall


    The chapter has been sent.

  • parkerjh

    The number one movie that will not stand the “test of time” in 15-20 years from now is Forrest Gump. What a grossly pathetic, and “pop” culture movie. Certainly maybe it will become more of a comedy.

  • Lucy

    isn’t Titanic on like number 1 on imdb? how the hell did it make it on this list?

  • Kreachure

    jfrater: Holy crap! Thanks for the heads up…

    astraya: Oh no, thank you for the list! And you’re right, it’s fun to see the things you learn about commenters’ lives… I didn’t know you were from the wonderful land of Korea! Ah, I only get to dream of live Starcraft TV broadcast channels, kekeke… :) (JK, there are plenty more things I adore about your awesome country!)

    Randall: It may seem to you that astraya should have used some aid other than the Imdb ranking for this list… but as it turns out, it’s in fact a fairly accurate portrait of the critical acclaim and popularity of most films. If you don’t believe me at all, and/or want more opinions on the subject, please check out this Wikipedia article (and its footnotes):

    Criticism of the Academy Awards

    In the end, beauty of the arts is in the eye of the beholder… and the Seventh Art is certainly no exception.

  • Anon

    Randall, (150),

    Of course we’ll all buy it, how could we fail? We’ll expect autographed copies, needless to say … but don’t expect sales here until it goes out of hardback and into cheapo pulp in the airports (may you be so lucky).

    And as you’ll be stinkin rich then, I’ll sell you my Spanner cover-name … for a price.

  • ohrmets

    Although I mentioned my hatred of Titanic earlier in the comments, I’ve had a bit of a change of heart.

    The movie was terrible, but I saw it in the theater on my very first date! I distinctly remember my 7th grade girlfriend crying at poor Leo’s death while I awkwardly put my arm around her shoulder. And I even got a kiss before her Mom picked her up!

    In conclusion: bad movie, great memory!

  • jazjsmom

    I actually enjoyed Titanic the first time I saw it, but it wasn’t so enjoyable that I wanted to see it again. It’s one of those movies that is alright to see, but I would never want to own it. I wasn’t that impressed with the acting and it was kind of cheezy to me. I mean besides the fact that you know it’s going to end badly, there isn’t much to add to the excitement of it. Although, I did cry at the end, and to my amusement the whole theater sounded like one big sob. lol

  • Jake

    Titanic really shouldn’t be on the list, I think it would be more appropriate to put it on a list of movies that got so popular people began to hate them. Severe over exposure caused a serious backlash for that movie, even though the only particularly valid complaints I hear are that it was too long and the script was repetitive. As for knowing that the ship sinks, it’s not a mystery movie. What makes a story good is how is portrayed, rather than what happens at the end.
    Titanic used to be an overrated movie, but now it really is an over-bashed movie.

  • #155. Randall
    The chapter has been sent.
    Got it, Randall. I’ll download and print tomorrow.
    Sounds interesting.

  • Jenova4

    Astraya: I think a better gauge for this list, if one was to go on ratings, would have been to check a site like Rotten Tomatoes. It lists the general critical consensus (as well as a people’s consensus on the films) and the box office numbers. This might have made for a more detailed list and perhaps might have elucidated your purpose of this list to members such as Randall.

  • Sunshine

    A Streetcar Named Desire lost out to some Gene Kelly musical? Oh, no. :(

  • Tom Wang

    Good list, I noticed the top 6 were out before 1960. It makes sense that they wouldn’t have the greatest rank as they are ranked well outside of the era which created them, well before easily accessed archived criticisms online. The trend I notice for sites like IMDb is that movies are ranked high and over time fall to a lower value. I haven’t noticed it the other way around.

    It’s kind of like trying to rank Olympians based on their best times, the worst ones will tend to be the oldest and that wouldn’t be fair either. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s not a level ‘playing’ field.

    Another good list idea might be to rank the worst movies that won over movies that clearly deserved it. The movies above are above average ranked, but I don’t know how the field ranked because I haven’t heard of the majority of those movies.

    That being said ‘Titanic’ was/is a terrible movie. I’m just glad I didn’t see it until it played at the $1 dollar theater.

  • astraya

    Randall: We disagree? Fine, we disagree. You like me?? God, what do you do to the people you don’t like?
    Jenova: I did think about consulting Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic as well as IMDB, but their ratings systems are too different to make any easy comparison and calculation of a single list.

    In all areas of life, there is a tension between immediate popularity, lasting popularity, critical acclaim and awards, and also between how those things are measured. This site shows that on a regular basis.

    BTW, at the end of the Passion of the Christ, Jesus dies.

  • LooLoo

    What SHOULDA won those years, IMHO:
    15 Right Stuff (a fine film)
    14 Raiders or the Lost Ark (Chariots didn’t have a satisfying conclusion, it just – stopped. Tho I do like the scene where they race around the Oxford U courtyard)
    13 Streetcar (American in Paris is a hackneyed & schmaltzy love story set to recycled Gershwin songs – Gene Kelly falls in love with his best friend’s fiancee or girlfriend. The only 2 good dance/musical numbers are “I Got Rhythm” with those street urchins & that grand finale ballet)
    12 Miracle on 34th Street (Gent’s Agreement is slow & preachy. BTW, Gypsy Rose Lee’s sister “Dainty” June Havoc co-starred)
    11 Full Monty
    10 Fargo (the Coen Brothers’ best)
    9 America America
    8 ?????
    7 Witness (Out of Africa too long & dull)
    6 Kitty on the Warm Aluminum Roof (Gigi is underwhelming for a grand MGM musical)
    5 Giant (Around the World in Less Than 3 Months is too whimsical & too full of “spot the cameo”)
    4 High Noon OR Quiet Man (tho I hate John Wayne)
    3 42nd Street
    2 ???
    1 The Front Page
    “That’s all, folks!”

  • Vera Lynn

    I am in the minority here, but I LOVED The English Patient. He came back for her. He said he would, and he did. He came back for her. I cried and cried.

    Never saw Titanic.

    Love Gene Kelly,but…

    Any list that can generate this kind of response is a good one. Thank you Astraya!

  • Vera Lynn

    rushfan (66) Bart Simpson (Im not a fan, but I catch a few random episodes here and there) said, “That sucks and blows. I didn’t even know that was possible.” I laughed at that. Sucks and blows. Opposite.

  • Anon

    The following comparative concensus opinion by some more critics and public is drawn from:
    Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide = M (Top rating, 4 stars)
    Halliwell’s Video & DVD Guide = H (Top rating, 4 stars)
    Amazon public rating = A (Top rating, 5 stars)
    A place in ‘1000 films to see before you die’ is noted as * (no placement is -)

    I didn’t set out to prove anything or make any point by this study, merely out of interest to provide a wider perspective, since the claim is that apart from being unworthy Oscar winners, these films are not (or no longer) supported critically.

    I’m well aware that Maltin is a much softer critic than Halliwell, and that Amazon films are, by and large, reviewed by a sector of the public interested in the particular genre in question. Also a glance at the very first entries of ‘1000 films to see … will reveal that ‘Ace Ventura’ is included, while ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ is not. Bizarre! Even so, most of the all time greats do find their way into its fold. It also seemed possible that having been accoladed with an Oscar might have coloured criticisms, but apparently not, or not unduly.

    It seems to me though that the additional information brought to bear here suggests there are at least a couple of pretty doubtful entries, including one I would never have included (‘Tom Jones’), but many others are indeed true bummers that merit a big raspberry in the given context.

    M4 H4 A5 *is top possible score *13 (as achieved by e.g. ‘Brief Encounter’)

    The number following the title is the aggregate rating

    M2 H2 A4 -‘Terms of Endearment’ -8
    M3.5 H3 A4 *‘Chariots of Fire’ *10.5
    M3.5 H4 A4 *‘An American in Paris *11.5
    M3 H2 A4 -‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ -9
    M3.5 H2 A3.5 *‘Titanic’ *9
    M3.5 H2 A3.5 *‘The English Patient’ *9
    M4 H4 A3.5 *‘Tom Jones’ *11.5
    M3.5 H2 A4.5 -‘The Great Ziegfeld’ -10
    M3.5 H2 A4.5 -‘Out of Africa’ -10
    M4 H3 A4 *‘Gigi’ *11
    M3 H3 A4 *‘Around the World in 80 Days’ *10
    M3.5 H1 A4 -‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ -8.5
    M4 H2 A4 -‘Cavalcade’ -10
    M2.5 H1 A4 -‘The Broadway Melody’ -7.5
    M2.5 H1 A3 -‘Cimarron’ -6.5

    Most highly regarded: *11.5
    Lowest score: -6.5

    See how they line up with your own assessment

  • Anon

    LooLoo, (168),

    I picked one of your films to see how it lined up by the same criteria used for the *clay pigeons* in my (171).
    Sure as hell you’ll find this irritating (I would in your place), but believe me it’s only intended out of interest, although I will admit I wanted to compare with a film I enjoyed.

    M4 H1 A5 -‘America America’ -10

    Don’t ask me why Halliwell virtually pulls the plug on it, or whether it was even considered for ‘1000 to see …, but I think it does prove how difficult it can be to get universal consensus in these sort of areas.

  • Lordofreimes

    “Crash”, That sucked

  • alakdan13

    Titanic – Least Popular? Its the highest selling movie ever! You cannot just put titles in the list juz because you hated it. It’s so biased. You should’ve titled it “Top 15 Crappy Oscar Winning Films” or something like that.

    *I thought Titanic was a great film.

  • MPW

    A good list overall, but I have to disagree with the inclusion of Titanic, I first saw that movie when I was 9, and I was entertained throughout. The titties were an added bonus for me as a 9 year old. :)


    i know this has been said before, but i still for some reason feel compelled to put in my $.02.
    i think it’s a fine concept for a list, but IMDb is unreliable for determining actual popularity.
    also, i haven’t seen any of these movies, so i can’t really talk about their quality.

  • Randall


    “We disagree? Fine, we disagree. You like me?? God, what do you do to the people you don’t like?”

    They suffer, astraya…. they suffer.

  • Samantha

    I don’t think this is fair. Sometimes films get low ratings on IMDB ‘cos they’re kinda old and no one is familiar with them. I wasn’t around when “An American in Paris” was released but everyone I know has seen the film. As a film ages, it usually has fewer and fewer fans. I WAS around for “Terms of Endearment” and while I’m not into chick flicks, it was an enormous success when it was released.

    I belong to IMDB but it is a place where people can harp on their favs and rip on their hated movies. Hardly a “cross-section” of average folks. I think of it for the movie-obsessed (of which I am one). But that’s a very small percentage of “real folks.”

  • astraya

    It’s now late evening here, so I don’t have time to type at length. I’ll be back. (That sounds familiar!)

  • Jenova4

    astraya (167)
    Jesus Dies?
    Now you’ve ruined the ending for me.

  • Film_Fan

    It’s interesting to note that “Titanic” and “The Broadway Melody” shared one thing in common. They both incorporated the latest technologies to wow the public, as well as the academy. With “The Broadway Melody,” of course, it was sound. With “Titanic,” it was computer generated graphics.

    I remember that one of the comments I heard, repeatedly, about “Titanic,” was “fantastic special effects.” I’m sure the same held true for “The Broadway Melody,” which was marketed as “all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing.” As with “The Broadway Melody,” which to today’s audiences seems static because of the restrictions imposed by the early sound recording equipment, I’m sure that the computer generated special effects used in the Titanic will eventually take on a dated appearance, and will be viewed with amusement by future generations.

    One bit of trivia about “The Broadway Melody;” in spite of the fact that it was released nearly 80 years ago, one of the film’s principal stars is still alive, and still acting! SEE:

  • Luke

    How about Titanic?

  • Luke

    My bad.

  • astraya

    Jenova: hahahaha!

    I am taking a break from pretending to plan my lessons for the coming semester. In fairly random order:

    Something to keep in mind is the difference between between immediate popularity (which is driven by hype marketing and emotion) and lasting popularity (which is based more on reflection). On the other hand, many extremely (lastingingly) popular (and critically acclaimed) films did badly at the box office: the Shawshank Redemption, This is Spinal Tap and Blade Runner spring to mind.

    The number of votes that IMBD (or any other site) records for each film is not necessarily linked to that film’s popularity. In the IMDB top 40, 12 angry men, 7 samurai, Rear window, Once upon a time in the west, North by north-west, Sunset boulevarde, It’s a wonderful life and Lawrence of Arabia have gained significantly fewer votes (ie in the 10s of thousands) than 31 other movies (in the 100s of thousands), but are right up there with the best. (That adds up to 39 – also in the top 40 is WALL-E. Possibly it’s too early to call that one yet.) At the other end of the scale, it doesn’t take many votes to establish that a movie is a stinker. Mere thousands of people have voted for most of those movies. Related to this is that possibly millions of people saw Titanic. Merely 179,326 of them have voted on IMDB. (As far as I can see, the most-voted-for movie is Shawshank, with 365,000.)

    Large numbers and averages change very slowly over time. If there is a general reappraisal (up or down) of any movie, the bulk of votes already cast is going to ensure that the rating stays approximately the same for a while yet.

    However I (or anyone else) compile a list of “least popular” or “worst” movies, there are always going to be people who disagree.

    Someone mentioned Rotten Tomatoes. RT has two scales, which I don’t fully understand. The “average ratings” for the films above show a broad correlation with the IMBD ratings:
    Terms of Endearment IMDB 7.3 RT 7.4
    Chariots of Fire 7.3 v 7.4
    American in Paris 7.3 v 7.8
    Gentleman’s Agreement 7.3 v 7.1
    Titanic 7.2 v 7.4
    English Patient 7.2 v 7.8
    Tom Jones 7.1 v 7.8
    Great Ziegfeld 7 v 5.9
    Out of Africa 6.9 v 6.2
    Gigi 6.9 v 7.5
    Around the World in 80 Days 6.8 v 6
    Greatest Show on Earth 6.7 v 5.3
    Cavalcade 6.6 v 6.4
    Broadway Melody 6.5 v 5.7
    Cimarron 6.2 v 5.5

    None of these films is rated in the 5-7s in one list and in the the 8-9s in the other. Only two movies show a difference of more than one point.

    Jamie did me a disservice on the front page, by adding “Movies that stink”. It has never been my contention that these are bad movies – merely ones that have not stood the test of time. Even 6.2 for Cimarron places it over half-way, and only it, Broadway Melody and Cavalcade sit below 2/3rds.

    IMDB provides a breakdown of the votes for each movie. Shawshank has a very sharp curve: almost 60% of the people voted 10, considerably fewer 9, 8 or 7, then almost none 6-2. Interestingly, 3.4% (over 12,000) of the people voted 1. Titanic has a much chunkier curve: only 28% of the people voted 10, and more people voted 7 and 8 than voted 9. There are significant scores of 6-2, and 8% voted 1. The Beast of Yucca Flats (to take an acknowledged stinker at random), has a dramatic curve in the other direction: most voted 1, sharply fewer voted 2-3, almost none 4-9, but over 10% voted 10. (Masochism? Irony? Confusion?)

    To repeat: the Academy award system and the IMDB voting procedure both have significant problems. I saw a connection that I thought might be of interest to LU readers, and presented information for your education, entertainment and debate. Interestingly, my first suggestion to Jamie was a list of the most popular best picture winners, but while doing my research I thought that a list of the least popular might be more interesting. I suspect that a list of most popular would not have attracted as many or some of the sorts of comments that this one did. (Randall!!!!)

    Enough from me for a while.

  • Anon


    Ahhh. Had we but known at the start our favourite films were not being buried alive!

    It’s surely inevitable though that with films, books, music, indeed any artform, what survives after a while is quite different from what was popular at first sight, reading or hearing? Very few works have the capacity to make it through history (test of time). Consider too such factors as the transitional period from recent to historical, and the slings and arrows of fashionability. Apart from anything else, the burden of sheer quantity just keeps increasing and increasing. I have lists of vast numbers of all sorts of things I’d like to have at home by way of books, CDs and DVDs. But there is neither the means to purchase or the space to store them. Above all, the free time in my life to run them past me ain’t there. (I’m too busy plugged in to LV.) Music is least problematical. It’s possible to do something else and listen at the same time. Even so.

    My father was an ardent stamp collector all his life. When he started, and for a while after, one could look at any stamp ever issued with the country name covered, but know which, roughly when it had been issued, and so on. It was possible to make and maintain a well-represented world collection. Suddenly there was a tidal wave of issues and the whole scene changed. From then on specialisation became the only option. Many of the older issues became unpopular by default because *something had to go*, not because they were actually *trash stamps*.

    It seems to me that films are a bit like that. I’ve estimated with shock that I must have seen around 2000 in my life without trying. We’ve never rented or taken cable or satellite TV. For some that won’t be a big score (neither Shaft’s nor Bender’s). Yet there are literally hundreds of the world’s finest I never have seen and never will see.

    Speaking for myself, at times I have found that in any field of interest I can find a sense of freshness and personal discovery in something worthy which has since been more or less cast to one side and is now virtually unknown. This in contrast with repetition of the great, well-known war horses yet one more time.

    Above I mentioned Korda’s ‘The Four Feathers’, a film I was tranfixed by as a child. A short while ago we came on it among the cheapo classical film DVDs on the shelves at our local hyper (yes, they exist in Chile now). I snapped it up. Would I have responded on the spot or even at all if it had not been part of my own earlier experience?

    It seems obviously that many categories, types and ages of films will attract their own general or specialist audiences, numbers of adherents and types of criticism. These mixtures clearly don’t facilitate a *level playing field*, as comments above clearly indicate. Critics’ opinions must also attract or discourage folks from watching or buying.

    This also prompts me to wonder about voter sampling. How are the voters who amount to *popular opinion* recruited? Is the possibility of biased sampling eliminated rigorously? If the majority are committed film fans, should not the opinions of professional critics also weigh in, as they do in other such selecting, in sport, for example?

    (Sorry, I don’t know anything about these processes. Just musing. If my comments are pointless or stating the obvious, ignore them. You need telling?)

    Full marks from me for your idea and the consequent list for stimulating so much thought, debate and informed comment.

  • astraya

    Anon: all of what you say makes sense, and is all part of the “significant problems” I mentioned in my last post.

    My field of study was (and my passion is) classical music, which is littered with changing fashions and composers who were acclaimed in their lifetimes and are now all but forgotten (Salieri (well, remembered for the wrong (and incorrect) reasons) and Hummel) or who were neglected or critically savaged in their lifetimes and are now acclaimed as greats (Schubert and Bizet).

    My guilty pleasure is 1970s pop music. What is now played as “classics from the 70s” doesn’t match up with what was actually popular at the time. When I was in high school, a reporter from the school newspaper came around asking people what their favourite pop song. When the paper was published, there it was: last place, one vote, “Hotel California”. (I forget what was first.) When my younger sister was at (another) high school (into the 1980s by then), the same thing happened. When that paper was published, there it was: first place, “Shoop-shoop diddy-whop, come-a-come-a wang-dang”. (Yes, I can remember the title.)

    Back to the topic: In a way, the response to this list has mirrored to the response to many films. Some people said “I loved it”, some people said “I liked the idea, but I don’t think (insert name of film, probably Titanic) should be on it”, some people (ok, Randall) said “I hate it).
    Sometimes our own response to a movie can change. I remember seeing a movie called (I think) “Who’s minding the mint?”, in which a ragtag group of people plot to steal an increasing amount of money from the mint. I thought it was the funniest movie ever. Some time later, I saw it at the video-store, rented it and said to my house-sharer “Watch this with me”. 90 minutes later, neither of us had laughed. (I’ve just found that on IMDB, and it rated 7. (If we can trust IMDB, of course!))

  • justme

    i agree with randall here. this list doesn’t make any sense. how does a movie qualify as least popular? i like movie lists, but this one is really off. geez.

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  • Randall


    Sorry… but “American in Paris” hasn’t “standed the test of time?” WHAT? “Gigi” hasn’t “standed the test of time?” “Tom Jones” hasn’t? Are you kidding? Even some of the others, while not huge favorites of most people, are still very well remembered, particularly by film buffs.

    Again, I’m sorry, but this goes right back to this list making *absolutely zero sense.” If ANYONE can vote at IMDB then the rating is MEANINGLESS. It’s like internet polls and voting for what you think is the prettiest car for 2008 or something. You have NO IDEA who’s voting and why they’re voting in the numbers they do. Fine, you want to have a rating like that, no problem–but don’t write a list *based* on such a nebulous rating system and make blanket statements about the films on it “not having stood the test of time.” There’s nothing to support it.

    I recall in the Book of Lists years ago, I think, a list of films which would have made better Oscar winners than the films that won given each particular year. That list, if I recall, was probably compiled by polling film critics. At least a bit more reliable than going by anonymous ratings from god knows who.

    But at any rate, all that is beside the point. “Gigi” and the others are still very popular, beloved films. For god’s sake, I don’t speak just for myself–every woman I’ve ever met in my freakin’ life has loved Gene Kelley (he had something with the ladies, that guy) and particularly “American in Paris” (it’s a brilliantly staged and beautifully photographed film) and they’ve also loved “Gigi”–it’s a winner with women and girls and always has been ever since Colette wrote the damn book. I, personally, just like to ogle Leslie Caron. But the point is, there’s just NO support whatsoever for saying these films “haven’t stood the test of time.” A statement like that is just silly–and this doesn’t only apply to the films I’ve mentioned.

    I’m sorry, I know I’ve got a reputation here now for being critical of lists, but I can’t help it in this instance.

  • astraya

    I’m worried about your blood pressure. We decided about 24 hours ago that we disagreed over this point, remember. If you were ever likely to persuade me otherwise, you’ve lost your chance by being so insistent about it.
    I compared two lists. I collated the results. I submitted the list to Jamie. He found it interesting enough to publish it. He published it. If you have a problem with that, please have it succinctly and quietly.

  • Randall


    “I’m worried about your blood pressure.”

    Me too, come to think of it. Why did you irk me? ;-)

    I don’t know what to tell you, astraya. I’ve gone a hell of a lot easier on you than I would on others… and you’re clearly not grateful. ;-)

    But come now. It was your statement about these films “not having stood the test of time” that brought me back to this. I completely believe your dispassion about the subject, but you seem to go an extra step and condemn films that don’t really deserve it, if you follow me.

    But whatever, my (relatively mild) criticisms offend you, I’ll not press the point.

  • Anon

    astraya, (186),

    Thanks for your considered reply (too often not forthcoming in topics). Just to take your first comment before I read on through the rest of your comment and up to date.

    I actually took the comparison other than philately I was going to make out of my own mouth, as I thought it would be too irrelevant. Music:

    Krommer (Kramar), Volckmann, Fuchs, Hummel, Reiche and Onslow are just a small fistful of composers who stand rescued from oblivion a fraction more in my collection. Not great, but often delectable and wonderfully inventive.

    Fashion: When I first became conscious of the history of music, Beethoven stood as the undisputed king, probably equally in the popular and academic minds (except those of a few of the then composers). Nowadays he is perhaps more usually considered as one of a ruling trinity, together with Bach and Mozart.

  • Anon

    Astraya (cont.),

    Apart from the obvious point that we rate it highly, the first question we ask before we buy a DVD (or used to buy a video), unless at a throwaway price in a charity shop, is not, “Is this a great film?”, or “Did this one rivet us to our seats?”, but, “Is this a film we shall want to watch over and again? Will it stand repetition for us?”

    On your point of changing perceptions. Sometimes this happens simply because the film indeed makes all its impact on first showing, be it humour or dramatic content. Also one’s own subconscious memory can alter it. When at long last we were able to find ‘Mon. Hulot’s Holiday’ at an affordable price, it was as hilarious as ever for me … but different over the decades since I last saw it. I recalled the gags as coming at Pythonesque speed and was surprised how relatively leisurely was the pacing. My minf had done a *digest job*. Sometimes a film may gather force because one realises, either on reflection, by later viewing, or by defending it against a critical friend, some deeper inner message or intention that was missed to begin with.

  • Anon

    And, as with your ‘Who’s Minding the Mint’, a lot may depend on your mood on both occasions, or the company. My father had a totally uninhibted sense of humour, and would guffaw in the cinema at anything that tickled him (e.g. Tati, Bob Hope), but in an infectious, not irritating fashion. My mother used to say that could affect the audience nearby and even spread throughout the auditorium (cheer leader?). If I share anything I find funny and they sit there with a poker face, no way can I enjoy, I’d rather just switch off and walk away.

    By the way: ‘Who’s Minding the Mint’: 3.5 stars Maltin, 1 star Halliwell: good approving write-ups from both. I haven’t seen it.

  • Anon


    Thanks for sticking ‘Tom Jones’ up there for me. I just love that erotic scene with the food. It proves yet again that under the right circumstances a heavy layer of period clothing can be at least as conducive to horniness as humping naked flesh. I don’t mind ogling Miss York either, thank you very much.

    It seems to me, and I’ve noticed it before in other lists, that it’s not so much the list itself as the way it’s introduced that causes problems. Perhaps this is a point worthy of consideration? (Although we should be aware of the pressures involved in publishing a list almost daily.)

  • Duke of Omnium

    If you accept the premise that IMDB users are a fair cross-section of both casual and fanatical film fans – and I do – then you can make a good case for the list’s title (i.e. “popular”) being accurate. Popularity or personal appeal is usually not the same as artistic value.

    As far as having “stood the test of time”, it’s worth noting that aesthetic standards certainly change over time, even in the few decades that these films were released. Academy Awards are voted the year after the films are released, not 20 years later; and Academy voters do not seem to use “standing the test of time” as a voting criterion.

  • Anon

    How about a new Oscar category, ‘Retrospectives’, where the (now considered) best of a given past year’s films are put up? The lapse (obviously at least a decade) would be appropriate to *standing the test of time*.

  • Sgt. Batguano

    The best part of this list is seeing what lost. Some awards were bogus and others were the best of a poor year.

    “Shakespeare in Love” gets its own special place in hell. That Best Picture award was a travesty of a mockery of a sham. I stopped watching the Academy Awards after it beat out Private Ryan. What does the Academy have against Speilberg anyway? They also took Out of Africa over The Color Purple.

    I don’t think Titanic was Oscar worthy, especially against L A Confidential, but I thought it was a decent movie. I saw a humor website years ago that compared Titanic to The Shining. I was shocked at the number of similarities.

    One of the “all time classics” that I never “got” was The Philadelphia Story (1940). It tops many “best of” lists. Love the actors, don’t care for the movie.

    Crash? It was way over the top and about as subtle as a runaway train. I’ve seen After School Specials that had more depth. I would go with Departed (and I usually find Scorsese a little overrated).

  • Ahhhhh, the movies we just love. For whatever reason, BladeRunner is well up in my top 100. Not necessarily the version released to the public, though I adore every moment of it, but the Directors Cut, the other various cuts…Cinema Paradiso…Doors (the one with Gwyenth Paltrow, not the one about the band, though that is good, too)…Philadelphia Story…Front Page…Thin Man (all of the series) …Adam’s Rib…drat, I have a million favorite movies, and an equal number I hate.

  • Anon


    Every time I pass ‘Blade Runner’ in my battered copy of Maltin’s, I’m tenpted to subject that otherwise moderately useful tome to ‘Fahrenheit 451’!!! An absurd, insolent one point five stars out of four and “… defeated by a muddled script and main characters with no appeal whatsoever.” Pahhh! Surely that quote stands best as a self-parody of the criticism and the critic themselves?

  • Diogenes

    “the directors cut” of bladerunner is much less droll than the “original release”. Having to listen to a monotone pseudo film noirish voice over, while viewing unparreled views of the future is counter-active. Getting rid of the voice over is so much better in “MY VIEW”.And the addition of unicorn and “the shining” landscape ending adds hope.
    Fahrenheit 451 is an overated one, but i havent seen it sence i was howeverold. I do remember certain things, but that british style of sci-fi (yeh, i know- Truffaut) i never was fooled fully enough by (in the way i would have liked to havebeen).. And they got the robot dog thing with the probiscus all wrong! That thing horrified me in the book.
    It’s too lowbudget looking , in the way that the movie “a clockworkorange” was.

  • Duke of Omnium

    I’m not sure that Out of Africa over The Color Purple is the great outrage that some people seem to think it was. Out of Africa is a film that was beautifully acted, well scripted, sumptuously photographed and had a score that still might be my favorite. It had “serious” stars and a “serious” director. It even a redeeming, if vague, message, and a bittersweet ending. The Oscars love Big Films, although that’s not as sure as it was back then.

    It’s probably not true anymore, but at the time, Pollack was better respected than Spielberg, at least in terms of art. After all, Pollack had never made anything as bad as 1941.

    Was the choice a slap at Spielberg? Probably. But at the time, it was not an egregious choice for Best Picture, and to my mind, still isn’t.

  • After reviewing both, the original version of BladeRunner *is* better than the Director’s Cut, an unusual state of affairs, but *any* version, for me, is fine. My husband detests the movie. One of our extremely rare disagreements of taste.
    Anon, I have not seen the movie of ‘Fahrenheit 451?, and will not. The book is such a favorite of mine, I just can’t take the chance that the movie will ruin it. OTOH, I did see a stage production of it, which Bradbury himself had a hand in producing and directing. Even so, I left with a feeling of let down.
    Randall, you are spot on re: Gene Kelley. I would, and still will, watch anything, anytime, anywhere with Gene Kelley in it. It’s not just that, either, but An American in Paris *has* stood the test of time, New York, New York while a little more tattered about the edges, is still a movie I will watch without undue urging.
    Is it a generational thing, or just good taste?

  • Anon

    Diogenes and segue,

    My slipping in of 451ºF was a title-play *take*, being as that’s the temp. at which books burn, the fate I intended for Maltin at that point. I haven’t seen it either, but the fact that Julie Christie’s in it might drive me to watch it even if wild horses were pulling in the other direction. On the other hand, after reading the critiques, maybe I’ll just watch ‘Darling’ or ‘The Go-Between’ again instead.

    Memo to self: must get ‘Away From Her’ next DVD buying binge.

    And that’s another burning reason for burnin’ Malting. Julie’s among many important Brit actors left off his Index of Stars. Philistine.

    Another shout for Gene Kelly here. Usually wonderful and utterly engaging.

  • Anon, of course! 451! I know that as well as I know anything, but my mind was on something else.
    When I lived in Los Angeles, and worked in the book world, after retiring from the film biz, I got to know Ray Bradbury quite well. Nice, nice guy. Perfect memory. Perfect manners.

    I understand your pining to watch Julie Christie. What a looker!
    When I was going around, setting the book signings for a couple of the authors I worked for, I had a stalker. He thought I looked exactly like Diana Rigg! It got to the point where we actually had to hire on a bodyguard for me. I do bear a similarity to Ms. Rigg, though my hair is longer and thicker and I’m a bit thinner, otherwise we could be sisters…but this was creepy and scary. He just always had to be next to me, finding excuses to touch me…YUCK!
    If it wouldn’t have been bad for the authors, I would have had the guy arrested.

  • astraya

    This morning I profitably occupied my time by searching for “worst best picture winners”. I found a number of lists of various shapes and sizes. I collated those. All of my/IMDB’s 15 least popular titles appear on at least one of those lists (indeed on an average of 3.5333 of them). 12 appear on 2 or more (an average of 4.1666 of them). (An American in Paris, Titanic and Tom Jones escape). Of the bottom 15 on the combined list, 8 appear on my list.
    The bottom 13 (which appear on 4 of more lists), are (an asterisk indicates the movies on my list, the number gives the IMDB rating for those that aren’t):
    Around the World*
    Greatest Show*
    Oliver! 7.6
    Forrest Gump 8.5 1994
    Broadway Melody*
    Braveheart 8.3 1995
    Beautiful Mind 7.9 2001
    Crash 8.1 2004
    Gladiator 8.3 2000
    Terms of Endearment*
    Driving Miss Daisy 7.5 1989

    The fact that all but one of the other movies come from the last 20 years might indicate that the jury is still out on those.

    However we judge it, we can comfortably state that Around the world, Greatest show, Cavalcade, Broadway melody, Terms of Endearment and Cimarron are among the least popular best picture winners.

    At the other end of the scale, IMDB’s top 15 list is: The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Schindler’s List, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Casablanca, American Beauty, The Silence of the Lambs, Lawrence of Arabia, The Departed, Forrest Gump, No Country for Old Men, Amadeus, The Apartment, The Bridge on the River Kwai
    Of those, Silence of the Lambs is on 1 of the lists I reviewed this morning, American Beauty is on 2 and Forrest Gump is on 6. It’s probably safe to say that Forrest Gump is one of the more problematic of recent best picture winners.

    Randall: I’m not denying that American in Paris, Gigi and Tom Jones have their merits, their fans, and their place in film-buff-dom, but they are all niche films – two musicals/dances and an historic comedy/drama. If it helps your blood pressure, those appear on 2, 1 and 1 respectively of the lists I reviewed this morning and are quite clearly among the best worst best picture winners.
    If I had based my list on any other site or source (or even on my own preference), you would currently be having a go at me for including eg Oliver! (BTW no-one seems to have commented about the preponderance of musicals on this list.)
    I have never “condemned” any of these films. Apart from one brief comment, to which you take such objection, I have presented these at face value. You have decided to make your own interpretation.
    I defend the right of “ANYONE” to vote on a major internet site. It’s called the democratistion of the internet. I have no flag to wave for IMDB. It is a useful site. It has its value. It has its limitations.

    On the night of my 21st birthday party we watched an Australian movie that had been made in the area that we’d just moved to, then The Life of Brian. My father, who’s moderately strict in terms of religion, was sitting directly behind me. I thought “What can I laugh at, and what can’t I?”. At the line “This man wanks as highly as any in Wome”, there was a huge guffaw from behind me. I thought “Phew, I’m safe from now on”.

    The “best composer” list seems to have extended backwards, from Beethoven to Mozart then to Bach. What they have in common is that they wrote in pretty well all the genres of their day. It is hard to think of any other composer in the last 300 years who covered the field like that. I’m preparing a musical list at the moment. Of Bach’s output, at least the 48 Preludes and Fugues, the Goldbergs, the Mass, the John Passion, any one of about 6 cantatas (eg Wachet Auf), the c minor passacaglia and the cello suites all bear serious claim to being the greatest work in their respective categories. It is hard to think of any other composer, even Mozart or Beethoven, who can seriously be considered in so many categories: Mozart might have a claim to the greatest 18th century symphony, greatest comic opera (ever), clarinet concerto, chamber work, disqualified from greatest choral work for incompleteness; Beethoven might have a claim to the 19th century symphony (perhaps ever), piano sonata (ever), piano variations, string quartet, violin sonata. (Please don’t Anon or anyone else take me to task over that random list of 5 minutes’ thought. It is necessarily incomplete.)
    I have now spent most of the morning on this. I’d better go and do something productive, like have a nap before lunch. It’s good for the blood pressure.

  • Anon


    No taking to task. The brave deserve better. Just to claim that if you talk variations and keyboard, we’ve got a dead heat on our hands. But if separated: harpsichord (Goldbergs, ever): piano (Diabellis, ever). Variations are one of my favourite genres: they’d make a good list.

    Apart from heading the field in string sextets written for French films, Brahms actually came pretty close to writing something of everything, except for opera (although the Alto Rhapsody came close). Apparently he was branded a coward by some fathead critic for *funking* that. So Wagner and Liszt weren’t cowards for not writing … (sorry, that liszt’s too long)?

    I loved that ‘Life of Brian’ one of yours. Pity my dear old dad isn’t still around, I’d share it with him over a not-so-quiet guffaw.

    How the hell do you choose a Bach cantata? It’s usually the last one I listened to (BWVs 146, 28 & 48 in one gulp, as it happens).

    Funny how the old boy was widely considered a relic of the past, a kind of square of his time, by many contemporaries, and even by some of his own sons. Yet so many of my jazz-loving friends find so much in his rhythms and written-out extemporisations, and he is nowadays often rightly considered as much a pre-Romantic for the intensity of emotion he can generate.

    I’d never forget Beecham’s verdict on Bach harpsichord music: Two skeletons copulating on a corrugated iron roof (no doubt to a film by Tennessee Williams).

    My other favourite Bach quip was told against himself by Flash Harry (Malcolm Sargent). He was untypically late for a Sunday morning performance in London and hailed a taxi, explaining, “Quick my man, I have to get to the BBC concert hall in ten minutes time for a live performance. There’s an extra pound in it for you if you can make it. The cabbie looked at his watch, looked at Sargent quizzically and asked, “‘Ere, you must be that geezer wot’s bin playin’ them Batch cantatters every Sunday mornin fer years, ain’tcha, guv?” and continued when Sargent, agreeably surprised, concurred, “Well then, you can bleedin’ well get out and walk!”

  • 205. astraya
    This morning I profitably occupied my time by searching for “worst best picture winners”
    I honestly don’t care how many non-professional lists you consult. The result is going to remain the same: Wrong!
    The average man-on-the-street hasn’t got the foggiest idea about what actually goes into the creating of a movie, good, bad, or indifferent. And too many times the truly brilliant movies are completely overlooked by the common movie goer because it takes too much effort to understand, “A Beautiful Mind” being one which leaps to mind. It’s not an “action” movie, there are no great sex scenes, nothing to keep the average intellect amused for 2 hours. What it does have is the story of a brilliant man, whose brilliance is hampered by mental disease, which he fights with every ounce of will he is capable of, then finding even more.
    It’s a movie of incredible strength and character, but no car chases and overt sex. No wonder it ends up on the “Least” list.

  • segue: So we might as well give up on democratic government then too… as the average man-on-the-street hasn’t got the foggiest idea about politics/economics/environmental management/social justice either.

  • 208. Tempyra , we’re talking about MOVIES! MOVIES! MOVIES!
    Get the difference?
    Not much in common, there. Before an election, the smarter of the voters actually read up on the issues. You know all those handy little pamphlets we get in the mail? Yeah, those. Go online, too, to research more deeply.
    I have to admit that the adverts the politico’s play on tv are only usually for a laugh, but will, now and again, give one a moment to pause and consider a question…then back to the basics of research. Anyone who goes to the polls unprepared gets the government he deserves.

  • Randall


    “So we might as well give up on democratic government then too…”

    No no…. the analogy isn’t valid. *Art is NOT democratic.* It never was and never will be. When we’ve tried to force it to be so, we’ve only gotten AT BEST the very tiniest bits of goodness steeped in monumental crap (social realism, for instance) …and while this is true of Art anyway, in general, it’s magnified a hundred times when you try forcing democracy into Art.

    Art of any kind, high or low, is always the creation of talented and skilled individuals (their skill and talent varies greatly of course, as do their taste and compositional skills and so on—all of which accounts for whether the art they create is high or low) who then pass it along to… well, either to a small group that appreciates it and values it, or to a mass who appreciate it and value it. But it isn’t “democratic” just because you get 90% of the mass public (or more) to appreciate it.

    I value more accessible art, sure. I imagine we all do. But there’s a line that be crossed where it’s no longer accessibility that we’re talking about. Then art is… no longer “art,” in my opinion.

  • segue: Same principle though – everyone gets their say, educated or not. If you’re happy that your government is ‘the choice of the people’ then why not accept public opinion of a movie?

    The average person probably spends a hell of a lot more time watching and discussing movies than politics.

  • Randall


    You… resemble Diana Rigg? Ha ha… you haven’t seen the part of my tome yet, where she plays a very minor, but key point for the narrator. ;-) I was deeply and passionately infatuated with Diana Rigg as a boy… I think she was my very first love. ;-) (It was the Avengers, of course… I had a crush on her at 4 or 5 years old, when the show was on in first-run of syndication back in the late 60s. ;-) )

    I later believed that I had “imprinted” on Diana, as Desmond Morris puts it, and that she became the loose template for most of the women I got involved with in life. ;-) I’ve said that were I to meet her, she’s the only woman I can think of in all creation that I would bow down to. ;-)

  • Meh… I was bored and wanted to see what you guys would say – don’t take it toooo seriously :-D

    I give up now. Although I still think the average person probably knows more about movies than politics :lol:

  • Randall


    “Same principle though – everyone gets their say, educated or not.”

    But no, Tempyra, it really *isn’t* like that. We don’t value art based on numbers. And we wouldn’t want it that way.

    Certainly I wouldn’t want a world where “everyone gets their say” in regards to art. We’d have shit, then, for art, and that’s pretty much it. This isn’t about *denying* people a say in art–I’m all for everyone having access to art and of course I’m all for people having a right to an (informed) opinion… but I am NOT in favor of everyone having an EQUAL say in art, which would be frankly disastrous to it. And in fact, we do *not* have such a situation in the world we live in. And as I said, when we’ve tried, we’ve gotten… largely shit.

    Saying all this will get me pinned with an elitist tag, but I’m sorry–I’d challenge *anyone* to prove me wrong about it.

  • Randall

    “Although I still think the average person probably knows more about movies than politics…”

    You know, on one level, maybe… but remember that politics means MORE to people in another sense. They value it more highly. So you have a point, but also think of the implications… It isn’t *dangerous* really, when people know nothing about art. But in a democracy it’s dangerous as hell when people participate in politics but lack the knowledge they need to make proper choices and decisions.

    It makes me shudder.

  • 212. Randall
    You… resemble Diana Rigg?
    Yep. My choice, had I been given one, would have been Audrey Hepburn, but I am most assuredly a leggy, lithe, tipped-nosed Diana Rigg.
    You may bow at your convenience. ;-)

  • Randall


    “you may bow at your convenience.”

    Ha ha! Only to the real article, madam. ;-)

  • Randall/segue:

    So then, who gets to decide who is worthy of voting for the best/worst movies? What qualifies one to have an opinion? (To answer that last question – I believe it would have to be objectivity, which certainly isn’t restricted to film experts/professional movie critics.)

    And if the average person doesn’t get an ‘equal’ say in the merit of a film then why should they bother going to watch it, if they can’t give their opinion? To better themselves in hope of one day being able to influence future films?

  • Anon


    “segue: So we might as well give up on democratic government then too… as the average man-on-the-street hasn’t got the foggiest idea about politics/economics/environmental management/social justice either.

    Churchill (who believed fervently in democracy), remarked that the best argument against it (democracy) was a five minute chat with an average voter!

  • Anon:

    “Churchill (who believed fervently in democracy), remarked that the best argument against it (democracy) was a five minute chat with an average voter!”

    Strange isn’t it? Hurts my brain almost :-)

  • Anon


    I’m sure better minds than mine on the subject are formulating answers and may already have posted by the time this gets submitted.

    You will never get a final answer to a situation that is basically highly subjective. What you need to do (here) is to define very carefully what type of voters are and are not making the choice. You must clarify you sampling process. Then only the process itself can be challenged, not the results. Much also depends on your goal. Specific (a limited type of voter) or comprehensive (opinion across the board)? If you want to get the most comprehensive answer possible, some mixture of popular and expert opinion will be required, and added to that should probably be applied weighting. This is extremely difficult and sensitive, even for professional opinion pollsters. Again, no matter what system you devise, it will be challenged.

    The comprehensive system, a mixture of popular and expert, is often employed when selecting *a best* sports person, for example, or judging something competetive on TV.

    Even so, there is still no generally agreed outcome of the *Best soccer player ever* contest between Pelé and Maradona.
    How could there be?

  • Anon


    Scares mine witless.

  • Anon: What you’re saying seems far too scientific… :-D

    I have to go – it’s late and I’m working tomorrow. I look forward to the next 20 hours (approx.) worth of opinions that I’ll get to read when I return :-)

  • Anon

    Tempyra, (223), (for when you return).

    Well, debatable whether polling is a science, an art or a big con trick.

    I’m not speaking for myself anyway. I know what I like and I like what I know, and no bunch of clever dicks or egg-heads are gonna change my mind.

  • Diogenes

    Oh, and I tossed and turned thru out the night, knowing that i was wrong and wondering how it would transpire in my absense. Ah, think nothing of it-twas just a phantom. The truth is that The Mechanical Hound, Truffaut hath not filmed, but it would later make a cameo with the director in spielberg’s Close Encounters. The dancing jig betwixt them; out on the “landing pad” of devil’s mountain, before the “arrival”?

    i’m just foolin.
    Has been said that the green forests and unicorn running through was a dream indicating Ford’s character was a replicant, so is it hopeful or not? the ending i should have said was the closing of doors to the credits, leaving the shinning ending off. is that right?
    who knows
    i’m justa chump really, but i had to reset some of my thoughts for myself.

  • astraya

    Sphygmomanometers for everyone, thanks, nurse.

    A few random comments and questions.
    Anyone who is saying “best” and “worst” in this discussion is missing the point entirely. That’s not what this list is about. Never has been.
    Whenever you compare two people, places, things or concepts, one will be more (adjective) and the other will be less (adjective). That doesn’t mean that the second isn’t (adjective) in his/her/its own right; it simply means that it is less (adjective) than the other one. (Of course they might be equally (adjective).) Who is the more popular LU member out of Mom242 and Randall?
    Whenever you compare three people, places, things or concepts, one will be the most (adjective), one will be the least (adjective) and one will be hovering somewhere in between. Who is the more popular out of Mom242, Randall and the late, lamented S_R?
    I am not comparing these movies with Weekend at Bernies, Lost in Space and To Wong Foo, thanks for everything, Julie Newmar. I am comparing them to the Godfather, One flew over the cuckoo’s nest and Casablanca. Gigi v the Godfather. Sorry Leslie.
    One of the problems (which I have never denied) with my list and this discussion in general is that we have different ideas about “popular”, “less popular” and “least popular”.
    Look up the world “popular” in any dictionary and you will find words like “the opinion of ordinary people” or “the population in general”. Not the experts.
    Does popular opinion have any part to play in the assessment of a movie’s place in motion picture history? (or music, or art, or literature) I say yes. (But of course it’s not the only thing. I generally agree with what Randall said about that a few posts ago.)
    If so, who gets to voice their opinion? Who decides who gets to voice their opinion? Who decides who decides who gets to voice their opinion? (and so on) How is that opinion gathered? How many people’s opinions are required before you can be satisfied of a meaningful result?
    Politics and sport are analogies up to a point, but all analogies break down somewhere. The point remains that Randall’s obviously intelligent, educated, considered vote counts for exactly as much as Fred Bloggs from Butte, Montana. (Sorry, Fred and sorry, Butte.) Ask one person, and they’ll say “Obama”. Ask another, and they’ll say “McCain”. Keep on asking until you get a meaningful result or run out of voters.
    In the field of sport, some stars enter the popular imagination and some don’t. Favourite out of Comaneci and Latynina? Maybe it’s the “more-recent-bias”, but my guess is that the overwhelming majority is going to say Nadia. I’m sure Larissa will cry herself to sleep over it.
    Perhaps a closer analogy is American Idol. ANYONE can vote, but that does not render the process meaningless. It has very great meaning to anyone who decides to give it very great meaning. Of course, us what’s educationed will probably sneer at the people involved, the process, the result and the underlying assumptions, but I doubt that David Cook will be losing two much sleep tonight slapping himself on the forehead and saying “God, this is so meaningless until some acknowledged music critic pronounces me the best or the most popular”.

    My wife has just complained that I am spending too much time on this site. Maybe she’s right.

  • MT

    I have learned to never check the option that emails me whenever a new comment is posted. My email ( a secondary one thank goodness) is full of mindless weblogs. What I have also learned is that most people that post comments here are pseudo intellectual, overbearing, full of them selves, know it all’s with entirely too much time on their hands. Just because you bought the T-shirt that says “I’m smarter than you” does not make it true.

  • Anon

    MT, (227)

    In Chile we call them (ourselves?), or at least the official media versions, *Opinionologos*. I like that word.

    astraya, (226),

    Don’t lose time, let alone sleep. I’ve said it before for another list. It would be a dull, boring topic where everyone read and gasped in admiration: “Ah, how 100% true,” and zapped on to the next without leaving a mark, let alone a bitter debating point. You have 227 here so far. My score is 86 and not still counting, I’ve chucked in the traditional handful of earth and I’m shovelling the rest on top now. THAT’S RELATIVE POPULARITY. Swap yer???

  • Vera Lynn

    Astraya (226) Mom424

  • Green Is Good

    Since a lot of List U’s have commented on Titanic, I’ll throw in my lame opinion.

    It was an entertaining film. Beautiful visually, well paced, and all the actors were capable in their performances. And of course, it made huge bank.

    The ratings for the Academy Awards have been declining over the years, and rightly so. They waste time with crappy dance numbers, annoying mini doc’s, and other time wasters which drag out the show to 3 bloated hours.

    If a popular film is nominated, more people will tune in.

    They ought go back to early days of the Oscars, when they had a banquet at the Roosevelt Ballroom, and announce the winners the next day.

  • Anon


    I’ve just come back from a fine lunch at my mother-in-law’s (she’s 4 years older than me!) with a couple of thoughts on the definition of popular/popularity. I hope I’m not splitting hairs. Liar! I love splitting hairs.

    On a vote for the most popular soccer team in England by votes per team, Man U would win hands down. On a vote for the most unpopular (nay hated team) in England, Man U would win hands down.

    Given that a fistful of critics hailed a film and also made it clear they were in no doubt the public does or would love it, I would tend to bow to their experience and accept that as a critical opinion of a popular film without need to wait for mass voting.

    I thought it would be interesting to go to my own criteria as above and spot differences between professional critical and public reaction to some films we have bought specifically or as cheapos, or that are on our wants list. Now I know the Amazon voting doesn’t compare with your other system(s) because it’s sometimes no more than the write-up of one or two purchasers. Even so, I was surprised how little critical and public evaluationss differed across the board, and quite surprised at some of the titles where they did. In fact the only film that was significantly better supported by critics than the public was ‘Gosford Park’. No surprise my lowbrow taste for such as ‘Road’ films and ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ (just for the hilarity of Robin Williams’s Scottish accent), or perhaps even ‘The Little Shop of Horrors’ was supported by public consent and flushed down the tube by critics. However, that the following all rated significantly higher for ordinary buyers of their DVDs than for critics came as quite a shock: ‘Amadeus’, ‘Angels and Insects’, ‘Jean de Florette’, ‘Jour de Fête’, ‘Microcosmos’, among others.

    I imagine more comprehensive public voting systems would yield different results.

  • Anon, m’ dear, it’s quality, not quantity, that counts.

    To all of you who gripe that the public should get to vote on the Academy Awards, or Best Picture: Do the spectators get to vote on who wins the Olympic games? Gymnastics? Diving? Any of the sports where it’s not obvious by being fastest, or highest?

  • Diogenes

    whatsa Sphygmomanometer Astraya?

    anybody rememer that inflated Citizin Cane flic by that backwards-talentlivin kid, whatshisname? How popular is “Howa Greena Wah Mah Valley” now?

  • 233. Diogenes
    whatsa Sphygmomanometer Astraya?
    It’s a device you put around the neck of a particularly annoying person and inflate.

  • Vera Lynn

    It measures blood pressure.

  • #235. Vera Lynn
    It measures blood pressure.
    My answer is better.

  • Vera Lynn

    segue (236) You are so bad!! I thought you wanted to inform and educate. I tease. ;)

  • 237. Vera Lynn
    segue (236) You are so bad!! I thought you wanted to inform and educate. I tease.
    Sometimes I just want to be bad.
    tee hee ;-)

  • Anon

    I scrolled backwards from here as far as Vera, (135), where the answer was:

  • Vera Lynn

    Anon (239) Huh??

  • Anon

    Sorry, pressed submit by mistake. (Why should I submit?)

    “It measures blood pressure.”

    And I knew what the question was and where it had originated here. I suffer from hypertension!

    However, segue, you’re so right (as always), yours is indeed better, in which case there are those who might prefer a
    SphygRANDALLanometer or Sphyg(fill name as appropriate)anometer rather than a SphygMOManometer.

  • Anon

    segue, (232),

    We are in ablsolute, total and harmonious agreement. That’s my life philosophy. To sum up, the majority is always wrong except when it agrees with the minority. And dictatorship of the masses implies the potential destruction of everything we value. Long live élitism in all its most odious forms.

    In fact I’ve only been analysing or musing on the various ways selections are made in my comments above, not expressing a personal viewpoint.

    To be serious, there are times though when too much expert knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and can lead to blinkered judgements based on, well élistist, values. In my field, for example, experts tend to devalue one beautiful flower which is aesthetically equal to another if the first grows like a weed in everyone’s garden. Now that’s fine if you’re simply awarding to skilled growers, otherwise it ranks as rank snobbery.

  • Vera Lynn

    Anon (241) SphygRANDALLanometer! Hahahah. Too funny. I don’t mind him so much (a bit pretentious) but his comments are soooo loooong I skip over them. Too much of a “good” thing, perhaps. Anyway, no earors tonight. ;)

  • Anon

    Vera, (243)

    “soooo loooong I skip over them”

    (Sighs sadly and resignedly). I know. That’s why no one ever reads or replies to mine on things I REALLY care DEEPLY about. If only I stuck to these 1-6 line flippant smart-arse blogs, I’d be on a winner.

  • Diogenes

    whoa, you guys are starting to speak like your’e all one creature.
    not taking your own advise segue: around the neck,
    not in the head.
    only because i took that comment personally. was it/ was it not, directed at me? oooo I’m confuzzled by my own misplacement within this “clique”.
    so sorry, i’m not myself lately.bit of a shit.
    and this kinda chit chat is for a lonely heart i feel swaying on a rope above me.

    MT: your a cup of clear water,next to these jerks. sheesh!

  • Vera Lynn

    Anon (244) In read and enjoy you. I learn from you. Randall is, um, somewhat more verbose. He gets on his high horse (Hi MPW). He’s over the top with his opinions. You have a “tongue in cheek” element to your comments.

  • Vera Lynn

    Diogenes (245) You have been here since the beginning. I have more than respect for you than you know. I won’t assume to know why you’re mad, but I do know that you’re angry. Don’t give up on JFrater and us. Stay. Please. You are part of our family.

  • astraya

    Vera @ 229: I was speaking rhetorically. I didn’t expect anyone to actually vote!

    Everyone at 233-241: LOL. Made my day. (First day back at school. Three lessons timetabled, home-room teachers took two of them, meaning that I did a lot of sitting around, pretending to plan future lessons, glancing at the recent comments now and again. I’ve got five classes tomorrow, so that’ll be a challenge.)

    (Shortest post from me for ages. I can do that.)

  • astraya

    Anon: Every competition has one of those. I’ve seen a series of t-shirts that say “I support two teams. Mine and whoever’s playing [any one of, for example] Manly, Collingwood, Transvaal, Manchester United).”

  • 245. Diogenes
    whoa, you guys are starting to speak like your’e all one creature.
    not taking your own advise segue: around the neck,
    not in the head.
    only because i took that comment personally. was it/ was it not, directed at me?
    Oh, my dear God, Diogenes, NO! Of course it wasn’t directed at you.
    You did ask the question, so I can understand how you’d reach that conclusion, but no, no, no.
    It’s actually a pretty old and faded joke, and probably should have stayed that way.

  • Anon

    Diogenes, (245), segue (250),

    No, no, no. Thanks for asking, oh Greek philly who lived in a barrel and admired dogs. Great job. It led on to a bit of harmless fun all round, and, God knows, that’s scarce enough in some of these topics. Look how we made astraya’s day after all those handfuls of mud, bad eggs and rotten tomatoes about the actual topic. Sorry it unintentionally misfired on you. But all’s well …, surely?

  • Anon

    astraya, (249),

    “Anon: Every competition has one of those. I’ve seen a series of t-shirts that say “I support two teams. Mine and whoever’s playing [any one of, for example] Manly, Collingwood, Transvaal, Manchester United).””

    Reminds me of a sad little tale I read somewhere. A kid in Manchester was lifelong fan of some lesser local soccer team such as Oldham. But he always left the T-shirt hanging on his wall and went out wearing a Man U one (a team he hated). This out of shame at his team’s lowly status and also to avoid mockery and social ostracization, as well as remaining popular. Every other kid without exception was genuinely on the Man U bandwaggon. Unlike had he been a Man City, Liverpool or Arsenal supporter, he didn’t even need to worry about being beaten up. His team was held in too low contempt for that.

    When not in good health, my mother had a home-help, a lovely, lively lady; a bucket of fun who lived in a dyed-in-the-wool working class district. She told us she always voted Conservative at election times by conviction, but never failed to place a prominent ‘VOTE LABOUR’ poster in her window!

  • Anon

    Vera, (246),

    “You have a “tongue in cheek” element to your comments.”

    Not always, Vera, not always. Not if I care sufficiently about a topic and know enough about it, and someone has offended against what I am sure is true; or has stated as a hard fact something that at best is in doubt; or has otherwise shot their keyboard off irresponsibly or ill-advisedly.

    Also it’s prudent to try to avoid altogether topics one knows or cares little or nothing about: or at best to post flippantly or lightheartedly there.

  • Diogenes

    no real harm done.

    but you guys are still jerks!
    smilely face with one eye winking icon goes here.

  • Mom424

    Vera Lynn: I just finished catching up on the comments. Thank you :)

  • astraya

    Anon: two stories. A female friend told me about the time her Mancunian father, who lived in London but had a broad accent, was on his way home (swathed in red) from an MU match in London and ended up in a train carriage with a large number of Welsh rugby supporters, Wales just having beaten England. One of the Welshmen said “Aye, boyo, ’tis a great day for the Welsh”. My friend’s father kept his mouth shut, grinned as widely as he could with his mouth shut and nodded vigorously.
    (Possibly apocryphal:) Two Sydney boys were playing football in the park when a dog attacked one. The other came to his aid but in the process killed the dog. A reporter from the local newspaper saw this and said to the boy “I’ll write about you in the paper: “[Team A] supporter bravely saves friend from mauling by savage dog”. The boy said “I’m not a [team A] supporter; I’m a [team B] supporter”. “Oh then,” said the reporter, “[Team B] brat kills beloved family pet.”

    What was the topic again? Ah yes, movies.

  • #254. Diogenes
    no real harm done.
    but you guys are still jerks!
    smilely face with one eye winking icon goes here.
    Anon, so, you feeling much like a jerk?
    Me neither.

  • Anon

    segue, (257),

    It would seem that jerky, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder.

    Despite my professed élitism and fierce individuality, in this matter I’m happy to bide with the democratic verdict of the majority here. Provided the nays keep neighing (or braying?) to themselves, that is.

    Besides, voting arguably tells us as much or more about the voter than the voted for. Now how’s that for a jerk off?

    Jerky, or jerked meat, by the way, is a very tasty and nutritious food comprising thinly sliced strips of raw meat (usually either beef or horse) completely dried in the sun. It is then chewed without cooking. Ideal sustenance for trekking, etc. The word jerky owes its origin to the Spanish we use for the same product down here, charqui, which in turn has its source in one of the precolumbian Peruvian languages, perhaps Inca (dried camellid meat?).

    I can now visualise Diogenes imagining himself slicing the thinest of cuts from my rump with a very highly honed knife and laying them carefully out on a dust-free zone in the full sun. Sorry, old son. I’m far too old, tough, gristly and knackered for that. You might boil me down for glue, that’s all.

  • Anon

    astraya, (256),

    Don’t knock it. They’re helping your topic count to mount up steadily. We all came in here for the topic. Never mind why we stayed.

    It occurred to me before now to wonder what might be the average topic:non-topic ratio per LV entry, and also which entry has kept the highest % on-topic, and which is the off-topic winner. The analytical work involved in this would perhaps be beyond even those who waste most time on LV. Who me??? What do you mean, me????

  • Vera Lynn

    I feel like Im at a family reunion. Y’all are great.

  • 258. Anon …Jerky, or jerked meat, by the way, is a very tasty and nutritious food comprising thinly sliced strips of raw meat (usually either beef or horse) completely dried in the sun. It is then chewed without cooking. Ideal sustenance for trekking, etc…
    As tasty as that sounds, the only red meat my body will allow me to digest is lamb. Even that must be carefully prepared.
    It seems that between my disease and my meds, everything in my world becomes constricted, so I celebrate the ones I am left, the ones I am allowed.
    Last night, to my sadness, Bok Choy, had to be stricken from the foods I can eat.
    Ah, what, after all, is food in a life of unrelenting pain? I have my ocean, my woods, my garden, my fabulous husband, my incredible children, my grandchild, about whom the universe revolves, my art, my photography, my writing, my friends, both in the flesh and here on LV,…I am blessed beyond measure.
    Someone wants to call me a jerk? Fine. I’m a jerk. I’m an élitist daughter-of-a-bitch with a smug sense of self-satisfaction. And I probably will be until the day I die. When I’m wrong, or when something I’ve said has been taken the wrong way, I apologize, and I do so meaning every word of the apology. It pains me to hurt another without intending to do so.
    When that apology is thrown back in my face, I no longer care. Apology withdrawn. I have enough problems without worrying about people who can’t accept a well-meant apology.
    Case closed.

  • Anon



  • Anon

    I think that’s the shortest post I’ve ever done or am ever likely to, and no others more sincere.

  • 262. Anon
    263. Anon
    You’re welcome.
    (I’m blushing!)

  • Diogenes

    Well.. I almost don’t believe it! ..and I hope you will find the humor in this, but it is now I who will apologize to you, Segue. It was definately not my intention for my last post to be takin seriously within these last two sentences I wrote:

    “but you guys are still jerks!
    smilely face with one eye winking icon goes here.”

    The first two lines:
    no real harm done.”
    was my acceptance of the missunderstanding, ect
    “Surely” -was a reply to Anon’s “Sorry it unintentionally misfired on you. But all’s well …, surely?”

    the space between the first two sentences and the last two sentences was a gap and a pause. the kidding joke.
    “smilely face with one eye winking icon goes here”- was meant as reference to the actual icon others use to “jest” or “kid” or “you know what I mean, -wink-.”
    I am now sorry all around (from begining to end) about the confusion.
    Please, no hard feelings.

  • Diogenes, I understand how the confusion happened, and I accept the apology you shouldn’t have to be making!
    It was just a bunch of misplaced words everywhere, by everyone.
    No hard feelings.

  • Diogenes

    Happy face icon goes here!

  • Anon

    So as not to be left out of 265-267,

    I did suppose you were probably offering an olive branch in you 254, Dodgy-knees, including the winky-smiley. But when poor segue came back so hurt (boy, do you not what she has to endure?), I thought maybe everyone knew their way around LV better and I hadn’t picked up on the true vibes.

    Let’s hope we’re one BHF (big happy family) again now, yeah?

    Adds winky-wanky-wonky smiler for effect.

  • Anon

    sorry, … do you know … NOT … do you not …

    Why do so many of these idiocies escape me, and not only me?

  • I make the odd typo now and again, Anon, certainly you caught me in two attempts at posting that didn’t quite come off just last night!

  • astraya

    Those of us who have established a record of general well-typedness really shouldn’t have to point out our own tpyos, or have thm ponted ot for us. Mst f th tme we “read” wht th prson ment to say anywhy, r cn fgr it oot.
    The exception might be if there was, or could be, a geniune mistake in meaning.
    You all wank as some of my closest friends.

  • Point well made and well taken, astraya, though wanking is not my strong suit.

  • Anon

    astraya and segue,

    I DO hope somebody who shall be nameless here but calls himself after a philosopher who lived a barrel will not be offended or take it personally (HUGE SMILEY THING). But I understand Diogenes once wanked vewy highly indeed in ancient Gweece. Weally and twuly. (ANOTHER HUGE SMILEY THING).

  • astraya

    I didn’t know that part of the story.
    While searching wiki, I found 12 people named Diogenes. Maybe we need a list called “top 10 people named Diogenes”. Would “our” Diogenes make the cut?
    What time in Chile? What hours do you keep? You sometimes post in the middle of the afternoon here, which must be in the middle of the night there.

  • Anon

    Hi astraya,

    God, you made me look at the time in BRH corner of the screen and it says 0.44, so I’m guessing that’s nearly quarter to one in the night. I guess over time I must have posted during all of the 24 hours by now. I’m totally and utterly harpic (round the bend). But at least the olympics are over. I have to finish a letter to my cousin Tony before I can put Windows to bed too.

    I looked up the Diogenes one last night. Had it on standby and couldn’t resist loosing it on a shocked and flabberghasted world when you two gave me the feed lines. I loved his reply to a complainant though, “If only I could ease my hunger so readily by rubbing my tummy for a bit”, or words to that effect.

    I wondered which one our “Diogenes” named for, or might it be all of them? He’s lucky then. One Diogenes called after many. I’m struggling with many imitators named after one unique and inimitable Anon. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, yes?

    Well, it really is submit and goodnight folks now (0.56)

  • astraya

    Anon: If my calculations are correct, we’re exactly 12 hours out of synch.

  • astraya

    Anon: my calculations aren’t correct. It’s 12 hours in the southern summer and 13 hours now. For some reason I thought that it is currently summer south of the border. I don’t know why.

  • Anon


    We’re just at the end of winter. There’s a saying here: if you survive August (the most severe month), you’ll survive another year. Being a med. climate, the conditions right now are similar to spring just before leaf-burst in Britain. Almond blossom, camellias, irises, pussy willows, daffodils, apricot blossom, magnolias, wild cyclamens and a few things like geraniums (pelargniums) that have hung on and flowered right through where sheltered near the house. Apart from the blossom, magnolias and the common irises, apart from a very few *garden nuts*, Chileans won’t have any of the others. In fact we have a lot more stuff, mostly brought across from UK. Some of it also derived from a Chilean equivalent to ourselves who has a fantastic park-like semi-wild garden, but he’s a very long drive away, so we only visit and *exchange* occasionally. Including varietes of daffodil and camellia, I totted up around 80 different in flower yesterday, so we really are coming out of the winter slough with a bang. Right now we’ve got heavy showers interspersed with sunshine. There have been light frosts within the last week (enough to damage some flowers if not covered). We can have hot sunshine at any day throughout winter, and often do. Frost draining down from the snowcapped Andes, the backdrop to our garden, is our biggest *herbicide*. It will soon be time to get our working boots on and begin investigating the lowland early spring wildflowers by the Pacific (they will certainly be out already). Next month is bound to see the first real heat of the year.

    The movement of the hour affects our time difference with UK. We are currently 5 hours behind our friends and relations there, but it drops to 3 in our summer after we put ours forward one and theirs go back one. This is not synchronised by the same date! So we have to calculate carefully about catching people at work or not waking them up in the small wee hours if phoning.

    The guy who moved for the changing of the hour in the British parliament, William Willett, lived in my English birthplace near London, and there is a large woodland there preserved in his name, with a monument. Riding through those woods on horseback gave him the idea.

  • astraya

    I spent a couple of formative years in a wintry part of Australia. Someone we knew had a daffodil farm, which blossomed around the time of my birthday. I still have quite a thing for daffodils, and they are one of the few flowers I can reliably identify.
    One thing many Koreans have asked me about is the reversal of seasons in the southern hemisphere. Coming up to Christmas, I told them that Christmas in Australia is summer, and is very hot. On Dec 26 2006 I had to say to them, well, it, kinda, well, SNOWED in parts of Australia yesterday.

  • Vera Lynn

    Astraya (226) Who is the most popular…

    Now that this thread has died down, I was voting AND correcting. You said Mom 242. It was my secret game. No one else noticed you had her name wrong. :)

  • Anon

    astraya, (279),

    Hoping you’ll come acriss this rather belated and short-shrift reply. The daffodils are getting better all the time. They are now one of my faves as they do so well here. We have canal irrigation (like ancient Egypt!) during the summer, so can keep them always from drying out at the roots, at least that great majority of them which needs that condition. Bulbs have always been among the garden tops. My first was crocuses, then tulips and next irises, all in quick succession when I was still a late teenager. I guess they took precendence over daffs for their much wider range of colours. I still love them all (so does Anita), and the limited basic yellow and white range (with subsidiary orange to red) of daffs no longer bothers me. They have such a subtle range of shape and size, i.e., variations on a theme.

    Plant identification, if one can, is more than just *listmanship*. It’s taxonomy, that which enables us to identify, discuss and obtain so much of what we like in life (and avoid that we don’t too, I guess). It pertains to literature, music, films, the natural world, machines, food, well just about everything really, and not least, people! In the case of plants and people, which are basically binomials based on relationships, there is also the fascinating factor that one of the names contains the unique, individual identity, while the other leads off down the avenue of wider and wider general relationships.

    I find I just get confused when confronted by organisms I cannot place and put a name to. They are like strangers passing on the street. Or I simply ignore them because I cannot fit them into anywhere that makes sense. Like a book that has lost its cover, title and author’s name, maybe.

  • astraya

    Vera Lynn: having taken a quick scroll back through the comments, it would appear that the score is Mom 24244242424 1 vote (yours) v everyone else 0.
    I’ve never been able to remember which way round Mom’s 2s and 4s go. You knew who I meant, and your correction was way too subtle.

  • 281. Anon, I share your love of all of those delightful bulbs, plus a few more: Lycoris squamigera, the blushing named Naked Lady, whose beautiful pink trumpet stands alone atop its long green stem; and my favorite of all, Zamtedescjoa, the Calla Lily, in all of it’s delicate colors.

    I had been wanting Lycoris squamigera for years, but the bulbs are extremely pricey, then a couple of weeks ago our garden clean-up man told us of an empty lot about a mile away, with 1000’s of them growing wild. We went over and dug up a 150 or so.
    Now, if I can just find a lotful of Zamtedescjoa I’ll be a very happy gardener!

  • SuperHero3

    Ordinary People had no business stealing the Best Picture away from Raging Bull.

  • wingsfan

    I personally HATED Oscar Winner Annie Hall.

  • Parker

    ah i love an american in paris. maybe just because i love Gene Kelly. and i love titanic.

  • I4gotmyMANTRA

    i think the that annoyed the most people in the last decade was crash. and lets face it, it just wasnt that i good. I still have a dent in my skull.

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  • catchick

    I have to admit to NOT reading all of the comments before posting here… but I think I got the gist of the list.

    What most of these movies seem to have in great common is extreme overkill of the viewing audience. These movies were the blockbusters of their day… everyone flocked to see them.

    I admit freely to seeing Titanic in the theatre and crying from the beginning to the end… but not because of the acting… my tears were for the 1,517 souls on board that were lost at sea. And I was horribly embarrassed for James Cameron when he shouted “I’m the king of the world” at the oscars. I think you could’ve heard a pin drop if it weren’t for the music playing when he said that.

    That said.. I still think this is a good list. All of the lists on LU leave us all with differing opinions. I don’t think it appropriate to call any list “the worst ever”. That is an insult to the time the submitter spent on research, not to mention that it was most likely submitted, as I imagine any list is, for the entainment value.

  • Aussi

    I love what you put for the titanic description, cause thats all it is. It is truly terrible and utterly predictable and i don’t understand why that won best picture that year, i mean, wtf mate?

  • kweng

    why is titanic here? i mean i think everyone surely knows this film and that it won an oscar

  • AshleyR

    the english patient beat fargo?! ok ive never seen the english patient but fargo is one of the most kick ass movies ive ever seen! (though i wanna punch the screen every time i hear YAH) haha

  • demirah

    how about chicago,that sucked and it`ve been beaten
    LOTR:two towers
    gangs of NY
    the pianist

  • Sam

    The English Patient is my fav movie, for that i think it deserved it

  • >>xXx

    I think this is by far the worst list on this site …

    It absolutely makes no sense to decide the popularity based on IMDB ratings which tells you how good the movie is…

  • Robert

    lmao the ship sinks..

  • Titanic was insanely popular, the score on IMDB is just showing how it’ overrated.

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  • Mememe

    I now understand Elaine Bennes’ hate for ‘The English Patient’ – it won over FARGO?!!!

    There’re plenty of others here which I personally wouldn’t have chosen over at least one of their competitors (Gigi vs Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Around the World in 80 days vs Ten Commandments), but the Oscars were always about politics. Never mind them – let’s just enjoy the movies and flip the bird at the Academy.

    Oh, and if Cameron wins for Avatar, you bet he’s going for the ‘I see you’ gag like he did with the ‘I’m king of the world’ gag… (though I really hope not).

    • Film_Fan

      I FINALLY saw a copy of Cimarron — albeit, on Youtube. While I admit it was probably not the "best" film of 1931, it certainly was memorable, and I personally feel it does NOT deserve such a low rating.

      The major complaint appearing in the comments posted on the Internet Movie Database site is that the film is racist. I totally disagree. While some of the characterizations were stereotypical — notably Isaiah, the young black boy — nonetheless, he was was eventually presented as a hero who literally sacrificed his life to save his employer's child.

      The film also offers harsh criticism of the treatment of American Indians, and more than once, bluntly states that their land was stolen from them–hardly a theme of most westerns made well into the 1950s. (The tender scene of an elderly Indian man giving a white child a present, and the mother's horrified reaction to the child's fraternization with "dirty Indians" also spoke volumes. Later, the mother is forced to come to terms with her racist feelings.)

      Another complaint deals with the "overacting" by the lead, Richard Dix. I'll admit, while some of his posturing and stances are more in line with silent acting techniques–as is the case with MOST films made during that period; nonetheless, he does underplay some scenes beautifully, and I was drawn to his larger than life characterization. Irene Dunne is excellent, and deserved her nomination for best actress!

      What stays in my mind, though, is the epic quality of the film, and some remarkably photographed scenes –especially the land rush near the film's opening, and later, the shoot-out in the town's square. Both are excellent, even by today's standards.

  • Film_Fan

    I FINALLY saw a copy of Cimarron — albeit, on Youtube. While I admit it was probably not the "best" film of 1931, it certainly was memorable, and I personally feel it does NOT deserve such a low rating.

    The major complaint appearing in the comments posted on the Internet Movie Database site is that the film is racist. I totally disagree. While some of the characterizations were stereotypical — notably Isaiah, the young black boy — nonetheless, he was was eventually presented as a hero who literally sacrificed his life to save his employer's child.

    The film also offers harsh criticism of the treatment of American Indians, and more than once, bluntly states that their land was stolen from them–hardly a theme of most westerns made well into the 1950s. (The tender scene of an elderly Indian man giving a white child a present, and the mother's horrified reaction to the child's fraternization with "dirty Indians" also spoke volumes. Later, the mother is forced to come to terms with her racist feelings.)

    Another complaint deals with the "overacting" by the lead, Richard Dix. I'll admit, while some of his posturing and stances are more in line with silent acting techniques–as is the case with MOST films made during that period–he does underplay some scenes beautifully, and I was drawn to his larger than life characterization. Irene Dunne is excellent, and deserved her nomination for best actress!

    What stays in my mind, though, is the epic quality of the film, and some remarkably photographed scenes –especially the land rush near the film's opening, and later, the shoot-out in the town's square. Both are excellent, even by today's standards.

    >>Mod: This post was accidentally posted as a reply, above. Please delete the original.<<

  • stephen

    Titanic is a queer man's movie so yes guys it does deserve to be on their

  • Bidzi

    The list is confusing….. some of the movies in the list were smash hit….. I think that's the way popularity is determined…. also some of them are very good quality and classic movies……anyway never mind….. not a good list…….
    BUT the comments are amazing……. wow… so many critics… so many experts…… mind blowing………some of the comments are even bigger than the list………….. great going guys….. keep on…….maybe this list will take place in the list of lengthiest comments……… go on…….

  • Dances with Wolves

  • stef

    The ship did not sink there was much more to it

  • stef again

    the ship did not JUST sink, i knew it did ;)

  • Gerry Alanguilan

    How can “Titanic” be in a list of “Least Popular Movies”? How can a movie that’s made a billion dollars worldwide be “least popular”? It’s perfectly obvious that it’s only the noisy elitists online who don’t like this movie, but there are millions of people all over the world who quietly enjoyed it. Doesn’t that say something about this movie’s impact on culture worldwide? LEAST POPULAR? Obviously, someone out there is delusional. You can have the opinion that this movie sucked, and that would be all right, and there’s no debating that. But there’s no debating the enormous popularity of this movie.

  • Name

    i got one question how come voting is good enough for a president but not good enough for movies

  • soaseaftesy


  • Parity5

    The number one movie for ever is “Titanic” I love this movie so much.

  • Gigi beat Auntie Mame?

    Gigi beat Auntie Mame?

    Gigi beat Auntie Mame?


  • titanic lover

    name says it all!!!!!!!

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  • Lisa

    Wow credibility shot. Titanic was one of the MOST popular movies. It wouldn’t have made the success it had if it weren’t.

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