In 1998, a poll conducted by the American Film Institute determined that Citizen Kane and Casablanca were the two most beloved movies among film industry professionals. Sixteen years later, a poll conducted by The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the film industry no longer holds those two classics in quite the same regard: Citizen Kane placed third on the list, while Casablanca placed sixth. Taking their place at the number one and two spots were The Godfather and The Wizard of Oz.
Unlike most critics’ lists, The Hollywood Reporter list places popular classics like Back to the Future and Forrest Gump over more artistic, challenging fare like Raging Bull and The Seven Samurai. Important landmarks in film history like Vertigo, City Lights, The Seventh Seal, and 8 1/2 are completely absent while titles which are unlikely to be studied closely by future film historians such as Airplane! and Ghostbusters made the cut.
A total of 2,120 industry members participated in the poll, including Fox chief Jim Gianopulos, Disney’s Alan Horn, Hunger Games director Gary Ross, producer Frank Marshall, Warners’ Sue Kroll, agent Robert Newman, attorney John Burke, and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.
At first, Gilligan was reluctant to participate, arguing that singling out just one movie as “the greatest ever”; was an impossible task. “To me, it’s the equivalent of having a party-size bag of Nacho Doritos, then being told to eat only five,”; he said, a sentiment which was echoed by Transformers director Michael Bay, who said, “Your favourite film could change every day.”; In the end, Gilligan submitted a list which included the Japanese classic Yojimbo (a film which Gilligan’s industry colleagues all seem to agree is inferior to Good Will Hunting and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).
For the full results of The Hollywood Reporter“s survey, click here.