Entertainment Weakly

By now, many of you have perused Entertainment Weekly‘s odd collection of top-100 lists. In their latest issue, they have lists for movies, albums, plays, TV shows and books. First, let me commend them for attempting this. As a list lover myself, I was eager to see what they would select. With that said, the lists aren’t just misguided – they are just plain odd.

It’s as if the movie list were written by children, or perhaps by people who hadn’t actually seen these films – or at least not seen them recently – and simply put together a list of the top 1,000 films and then drew 100 from that list in random order. Only the top 5 seem to make much sense at all and, even then, the omission of Gone With the Wind (dropping it to #10), ranked below It’s a Wonderful Life and Mean Streets, is a huge mistake.

I fully realize most people will not agree with my own lists on this Website, but at least I tried to rationalize why a certain film was ranked, say, #51, as opposed to #50. It appears as if no such thought process went into EW‘s effort. Indeed, by their own admission, they didn’t want the list to be too heavy with just one director. So they chose just ONE Chaplin film, just two Kazans, etc. And in their attempt to create variety and get some contemporary filmmakers (such as Wes Anderson) on the list, they ended up with films that few critics would place in the top 100 of all time.

NOT making the list: The Sting, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Third Man, Modern Times, Children of Paradise, Wuthering Heights, East of Eden, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bridge on the River Kwai, Grapes of Wrath and The Exorcist.

Making the list: The Best Years of Our Lives, The Dark Knight, Dirty Harry, It Happened One Night, The Maltese Falcon, Night of the Living Dead, The Piano, Rushmore and Top Hat, which was ranked ABOVE Lawrence of Arabia. Really?!

The music list may be an even more colossal failure. There are NO albums by CCR, Simon and Garfunkel, Queen or ELO. And the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, judged by many to be the best album of all time, didn’t even make the top 100. That single omission raises doubts about every other entry on all five of their lists.

One Response to “Entertainment Weakly”
  1. cameron says:

    I’m reminded that even with flawed lists such as this, one can find hidden gems that had somehow slipped past your viewing eyeballs. Case in point: “Crumb,” the really good doc from 1994 after Robert Crumb, the famous underground artist. I’m ashamed to admit I had never seen it, but it’s now on my list of top 10 docs of all time.