View Full Version : Which film has had the most all-round success?
04-29-2003, 01:22 PM
By all-round success I mean a combination of the following with roughly equal weight:
1)critical acclaim: eg. all-time great films polls like Sight and Sound.
2)popular acclaim: eg. IMDB rankings, other polls open to the general public
3)awards: Oscars, Golden Globes etc.
I contend that the no.1 film using these criteria is clear: Godfather. It's routinely near the top any all-time critical list. It's no.1 on IMDB. It won three major Oscars including Best Picture as well as several Golden Globes. It was the box-office champ for its year and after adjusting for inflation ranks 21 in the all-time US rankings.
Do you agree Godfather is no.1? Which films come closest? Gone with the Wind? Star Wars?
04-29-2003, 01:27 PM
Three come to mind:
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King*
*Once it's released of course. ;)
04-29-2003, 01:32 PM
Err, I meant to add the following:
1) All were on virtually everyones Top 10 lists.**
2) Mega popular acclaim. The masses loved them.**
3) Tons of awards.**
4) Huge, huge, huge box office success!**
** And of course RotK will be no exception. ;)
04-29-2003, 01:36 PM
I'd say it goes like this(all IMHO, of course):
1. LOTR: FOTR
2. Godfather, Part II
3. Godfather, Part I
Other than that, it's diffficult. Two Towers was phenomenal, made more money, but won far less oscars than FOTR.
04-29-2003, 01:39 PM
Yeah I forgot about LOTR. Though it's probably ROTK which will come closest to Godfather. FOTR did really well in two of the categories: popular acclaim and box-office. It did OK in the other two: it won several minor Oscars but no major ones and its critical reception was moderately good. I think ROTK will win some major Oscars and it should do about as well as FOTR at the box-office and IMDB.
04-29-2003, 01:46 PM
Hmm. How can you rank FOTR above Godfather? It did worse in pretty much every category.
As for Godfather 2 it did a lot worse than 1 at the box-office and roughly as well in the other categories. But yes it should definitely be there among the runners-up.
04-29-2003, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by CyberPundit
Yeah I forgot about LOTR......its critical reception was moderately good.
I don't mean to nitpick, but it's critical reception was very good. Ditto for TTT. ;)
04-29-2003, 02:49 PM
If you want 'all around' success I don't think you can beat Star Wars.
Think of the sequels, the spin offs, the books, the comic books, the toys, the games, the...everything.
That's a ton of success.
04-29-2003, 02:55 PM
Gone With the Wind
13 Oscar nominations and 10 Academy Awards (8 competitive & 2 honorary). Only 2 films have more nominations or Oscars in Academy history.
People's Choice Awards winner as "Favorite Film of All Time" (1989)
One of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry.
All-time Box Office champ (adjusted for inflation). Next-highest rank is over $100M behind.
In the Top 50 of the Centenary list compiled by FIAF (polling international film archives) and in the Top 10 list by the American Film Institute
In the Top 100 all-time lists among the critics' staffs for the periodicals Time Out, Premiere, Entertainment Weekly, Empire, Movieline and Film Review
There are fewer than 10 movies that have their own United States Postage Stamp. GWTW is one.
I think B.O. numbers are much more accurate indicators of popular acclaim than the IMDB (since the latter is not a representative sampling at all)
GWTW doesn't have the same critical reverence as does the Coppola film, but any movie guide you run into will typically award it among its highest ratings.
04-29-2003, 02:59 PM
Just a little factoid: in terms of box office revenues, the most succesful film of all time, worldwide, is... Ti-fuckin'-tanic (http://us.imdb.com/Charts/worldtopmovies).
Don't shoot the messenger.
04-29-2003, 03:00 PM
"I don't mean to nitpick, but it's critical reception was very good"
By the standards of Godfather, not really. I doubt there are too many critics who would put FOTR on their top ten all-time list. The critics liked it for sure but very few that I know of hailed it as an out-and-out mastepiece.
04-29-2003, 03:12 PM
Yes it had critical acclaim.
Some many catch phrases from the original three have entered our pop culture. What other film has the product line that Star Wars has? Who does not know how the Star Wars theme goes?
Come on people the answere is Star Wars.
04-29-2003, 03:19 PM
"I think B.O. numbers are much more accurate indicators of popular acclaim than the IMDB"
There is a reason I had two separate categories. Popular acclaim is different from box-office in that often people go in large numbers to see a movie without necessarily thinking it's a masterpiece. Most people probably don't consider , say, the Phantom Menace to be a mastepiece. That's why I wanted a separat categoy of "popular acclaim". Sure IMDB is not a perfect measure but I think Godfather would come near the top of any poll open to the public.
Your People's Choice award is a good indicator but it was 15 years ago and I doubt a similar poll today would have GWTW no.1. I agree that GWTW is close overall but IMO Godfather's advantage among elite critics is bigger than GWTW's box-office advantage. Godfather ranks 21 on the all-time box-office list but GWTW would struggle to make the top 50 of any poll by serious critics especially if international critics are included. YMMV.
04-29-2003, 03:26 PM
I'm a pretty serious Star Wars fan, but I gotta go with Gone With the Wind. Based on the criteria of the OP, I don't see how Star Wars measures up:
Critical acclaim: Star Wars didn't receive anywhere near the same amount of critical accolades as GWTW.
Popular acclaim: Not everybody was a Star Wars fan. GWTW was an International sensation. Acid test: Which film would your Mother or Grandmother rather watch?
Awards: No contest here.
Box Office: Adjusted for inflation, GWTW is number 1.
04-29-2003, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by CyberPundit
How can you rank FOTR above Godfather? It did worse in pretty much every category.
Fewer action-figures and toys, though!
04-29-2003, 05:31 PM
Gotta jump on the Star Wars bandwagon, on account of universal, timeless themes (the quest, the aging hero, the princess who kicks ass). It wasn't appropriately celebrated by the critics in its day, but that's no fault of the film. Look at the worldwide appeal! Grandmas and grandkids can watch it together!
GWTW suffers IMHO b/c the book is sooooo much better - plus the last act of the movie falls apart; once Scarlett and Rhett get married, it's all downhill b/c of the stuff from the book that they hadn't included.
04-29-2003, 06:54 PM
"It wasn't appropriately celebrated by the critics in its day, but that's no fault of the film."
This may or may not be true but it's outside the scope of this discussion. I am interested in objective measures of success not whether a film is deserving of such success.
Star Wars does really well in box-office and popular acclaim but it falls relatively short in awards and critical acclaim. I would rate it behind both Godfather and GWTW though ahead of FOTR. If ROTK wins a couple of major Oscars next year, especially Best Picture, it will give Star Wars a run for its money.
04-29-2003, 07:18 PM
OK, let's get this straight:
Star Wars got plenty of critical acclaim when it was first released. You'd be hard-pressed to name a critic who didn't rave about it.
Few awards, of course, since the film was perceived as being lightweight entertainment. But the critics loved Star Wars.
04-29-2003, 07:25 PM
If ROTK wins a couple of major Oscars next year, especially Best Picture, it will give Star Wars a run for its money.
Given that none of the SW films won any major Oscars, I'd think that would be the nail in the coffin--better critical reaction, more awards, and a box office that compares very favorably.Sure IMDB is not a perfect measure but I think Godfather would come near the top of any poll open to the public.You're probably right--the generation that would most likely look back at GWTW is slowly fading away (and largely not the demographic to vote on IMDB anyway).
Looking at the IMDB breakdown, males give GWTW a 7.9 on average, but females an 8.6. In fact, it's in the Female's Top 20 on the IMDB, while it doesn't place in the Top 50 for males. However, females only represent less than 1/3 of the GWTW voters who identify as such. If you extrapolated out the percentages to reflect the actual U.S. (say) population, you'd get a ranking that'd probably break the Top 100 (though the Coppola would still be higher, natch).
Anyway, it's not a movie I'm that fond of anyway, so I'm willing to concede it as 2nd.
04-29-2003, 07:35 PM
Well, there are different levels of critical acclaim. I am sure the critics liked Star Wars but you won't find too many critics voting for it in their all-time lists. In the famous Sight and Sound poll (2002) it received only three votes compared to about 60 votes for Godfather 1-2. Even if you half that number for just Godfather there is still a huge difference.
04-29-2003, 07:46 PM
In case it isn't clear my previous post is in response to Reality Chuck.
The problem for ROTK would be box-office. Even if it reaches 400 million it won't be close to Star War's inflation-adjusted gross.
04-29-2003, 08:26 PM
Yeah, but that SW gross includes all the re-releases (including the Special Edition). There's no doubt that the Lucas film would still come out ahead, but ROTK will still, I suspect, have a respectably healthy BO total when everything's said and done.
I am sure the critics liked Star Wars but you won't find too many critics voting for it in their all-time lists. In the famous Sight and Sound poll (2002) it received only three votes
Hey, even GWTW did better than that! :D 5 FTR
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