Should Hollywood’s top 100 films be taken seriously?

“Who better to judge the best movies of all time than the people who make them?” wrote the Hollywood Reporter when it published its first definitive ‘Hollywood’s 100 favorite films’ ranking. We can’t help but think the viewers might be a less biased judge, but THR wrangled together a group of studio chiefs, Oscar winners and TV royalty to take the survey. The results are interesting, if not surprising.

The Godfather is top movie

The top five are a predictable bunch, with Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Citizen Kane, and The Wizard of Oz bagging fifth, fourth, third and second place respectively. The overall winner? 1972’s The Godfather. You guessed that too, right?

Rounding out the Top 10 are equally obvious choices that include Schindler’s List (10th), 2001: A Space Odyssey (9th), E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (8th), The Godfather: Part II (7th) and Casablanca (6th).

Sunset Boulevard, Star Wars, Psycho, Toy Story, Alien, Titanic, The Graduate, A Clockwork Orange – it’s all just so vanilla and begs the question: What’s the point of yet another list that tries to declare the greatest movies of all time?

There are thousands of these lists out there on the web! We’re pretty sure we’ve had a go at some point. According to the Hollywood Reporter though, no other list of the best motion pictures has ever been chosen by the entertainment industry itself until now, and working in the biz makes all the difference, right?

Not everyone is convinced.

In May they sent an online ballot to every studio, PR firm, agency and production house to gather the statistics, but as CriticWire points out, the 100 films they picked are lacking diversity. Where are the films helmed by females, the representation of languages other than English, the world cinematic studio releases and the lead characters of any ethnicity other than Caucasian?

They’re there, but barely. “If you harbor any illusions that the industry is interested in anything other than English-language stories made by, and largely about, white men,” IndieWire said, you’re wrong.

As counted up, the Reporter’s list of 100 favourite films has: one film by a female director, two films by a non-white director, no documentaries, three films in a language other than English, five releases before 1950 and 15 that were released after the year 2000.

That last part cannot be right, surely? This century holds 10 greater films than the entire hundred odd years of previous cinematic history? Sure, technology has come along in leaps and bounds since the Golden Age of cinema, but that doesn’t mean the conveyor belt that churns out franchise after franchise and recycled plot after recycled plot is making better movies now. More likely the folks questioned were operating from memory alone, so the earlier the film, the less likely they were to remember its existence and worth.

Plus, Hollywood is still an old white boy’s club, stubbornly clinging to an ideal the television industry realised a long time ago was redundant. Of course they’re going to pat themselves on the back. So we, like CriticWire have come to the conclusion that this probably isn’t the 100 best films of all time.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a look and see what Hollywood thinks of itself. Check out the full list here.

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