Who better to judge the best movies of all time than the people who make them? Studio chiefs, Oscar winners and TV royalty all were surveyed as THR publishes its first definitive entertainment-industry ranking of cinema’s most superlative.
Is it wrong to already declare this the No. 1 movie list of all time? After all, there are other movie lists. Lots and lots of others. So many lists, you couldn’t list them all. But this is the first to ask the entertainment industry itself to pick its choices for the best pictures ever made. In May, THR sent an online ballot all over town — to every studio, agency, publicity firm and production house on either side of the 405. Not everybody was initially thrilled to participate.
“I reject the idea,” Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan told THR. “To me, it’s the equivalent of having a party-size bag of Nacho Doritos, then being told to eat only five.” In the end, though, he sent in his favorites (one of which is 1961’s Yojimbo), as did a total of 2,120 industry members, including Fox chief Jim Gianopulos, Disney’s Alan Horn, director Gary Ross, producer Frank Marshall, Warners’ Sue Kroll, agent Robert Newman, attorney John Burke, filmmaker John Singleton and many more. These are the results: the greatest movies ever made, according to Hollywood.
There are some surprises here. It’s a far more commercial list than the usual critics’ picks. Who knew, for instance, that Back to the Future would get more love than Lawrence of Arabia? There also are shocking omissions — The 400 Blows, La Dolce Vita, The Gold Rush and dozens of other undeniably great films. And there are interesting differences of opinion along professional divides: Directors, writers and agents all agreed on their choice for the greatest movie ever (hint: It rhymes with “Schmodfather”), while cinematographers chose 2001: A Space Odyssey and entertainment lawyers, the big softies, picked The Shawshank Redemption.
Whether you agree with their choices or not, there’s lots to enjoy on these pages, from the reunion photographs to the whereabouts of famous props to THR critic Todd McCarthy’s own assessment of Hollywood’s top pick. But keep in mind, movie lists aren’t forever. As Michael Bay points out, “Your favorite film could change every day.”
Story originally published on THR.com
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