Every movie geek would have, at some point, kept a track of the number of movies he or she has seen from the Imdb Top 250 list. The higher percentage of movies you have seen than those around you, the better you feel about yourself. And on the other side of the table, if a movie features in this list, then it is sort of a vindication of the belief of the filmmaker in the movie. An appearance in this list, even for a brief period at times, is literally an advertisement to those who are still debating on viewing the movie, to jump ahead in the queue and buy the theatre ticket / DVD.
It ain’t a mean feat to creep into this Top 250 list. Imdb has tightened its criterion for evaluating movie ratings over the years; at present, it only considers votes from regular voters (definition of which has been purposely withheld) to calculate the relative rating for a movie that are to feature in this list; further, a minimum of 25,000 votes (currently) are needed to be in contention, though most Hollywood movies get that many votes comfortably. With votes coming in from the general audience, it seems like a better score to look at as compared to critics’ reviews, which seem to be laced with a bit too much cynicism nowadays.
But if you thought being in the Top 250 was tough, then how about the Top 10. The best of the lot, the mightiest of the mighty, the outstanding ten. Imdb’s Top 10 includes movies that belong in a different league altogether; they are classics, they cannot be touched or spoiled, to ever call any one of them as “overrated” is blasphemy. Newer releases will find it difficult to come close to them, forget being a part of their group. Only back in 2008, The Dark Knight was welcomed in this group, being the latest movie till date to make it to the Imdb Top 10. 2013’s Inception briefly flirted with the group, though was eventually dismissed, and stands at #13 as of now. When will we see another movie manage to break the Top 10, and stay in that group, is something that no one can really answer. It would be easier to predict box-office collections for much of it also gets driven by marketing and hype, but difficult to talk beforehand of the Imdb rating for that is a function of the final quality of the film.
So today we salute the greatest of the great, those 10 unforgettable movies, and give you a lowdown on the composition of this group.
–> The Imdb Top 10 features a movie each from the 1950s (12 Angry Men) and the 1960s (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), two from the 1970s (The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II), but none from the 1980s. The 1990s is the most prolific year as far as this list is concerned with four movies in the Top 10 (The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, Schindler’s List, Fight Club). The last decade saw the release of the two remaining movies of this list (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Dark Knight).
–> What a year 1994 must have been! It features two movies in the Top 10 list, viz. The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction. And guess what… The Shawshank Redemption, which had a limited release in September, was given a wider release on 14th October of the year, the same day that a certain Quentin Tarantino released Pulp Fiction. The same day! But while Pulp Fiction was an instant box-office success, The Shawshank Redemption had a disappointing theatrical collection. The greatness of some are only discovered later.
–> In today’s world, when every studio wants to build a franchise and earn a quick buck, the Imdb Top 10 list teaches that the quality of the film and its eventual appreciation has nothing to do with its predecessor’s success. Only 3 of these 10 films are sequels (The Godfather: Part II, The Dark Knight, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
–> Only one of these 10 films did not receive a single Oscar nomination. Wanna guess which one? The Clint Eastwood western flick The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The film infact had received mixed responses upon its release, with the depiction of violence being criticised; over the years though people have come to treat this ‘Spaghetti Western’ for the class act that it is.
–> The 10 movies amongst themselves have accumulated 71 Oscar nominations and have won 29 Oscars. Schindler’s List has the highest Oscar nominations (12) in this list, while The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has the highest Oscar wins (11; it won in all the categories that it was nominated in).
–> There are 9 directors involved in the making of these 10 movies, with only Francis Ford Coppola featuring twice (The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II). Each of these directors are Oscar nominees / winners (not necessarily for the movie in this list), except for Sergio Leone who helmed The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
–> The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has the highest box-office collections of the films in this group. The number is a staggering $1.11 billion in worldwide earnings, which currently makes it the all-time eighth biggest Hollywood movie.
–> 6 of these 10 movies give credit to a book for the source material (including The Godfather: Part II which has some parts of the movie based on the Mario Puzo novel). Pulp Fiction, The Dark Knight, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and 12 Angry Men, had scripts written directly for the movie itself.
–> Schindler’s List is the only film amongst the lot which is based around true events.
–> 6 of these 10 movies begin with the word “The”. We know, we are just being silly now!
So which of these 10 have you not watched? Words cannot describe what you are missing out on. Here are the elite Imdb Top 10!