Crunching the Numbers: Which Best Pictures are Most-Seen, Least-Seen, and Most Beloved?
Our friend and neighbor and oft-time reader, Vinny, who has his own blog, The Sayings of Uncle Vinny, recently crunched the numbers on the 71 readers who have ranked Oscar’s best picture winners. This is what he came up with.
Some analysis of votes received in Erik Lundegaard’s “Rank Oscar’s Best Picture Winners.”
First, a note on “ranking” vs “percentile rank.”
I started out sorting results by “Rank” (Ex.: “The Godfather at No. 1; ”Crash“ at No. 77), but soon switched to “Percentile Rank” (0% to 100%, with 100% being best) because it gives a better sense of the popularity of the films. Emily, for example, who only watched 21 movies, ranked “Slumdog Millionare” as her least favorite (#21), putting that film on even footing with a very good film that was ranked #21 by someone who has seen most or all of the best pictures. CM Gardner saw 81 filmes and ranked “Schindler’s List” as #21. Putting it in terms of percentage makes it easier to see how people feel about the movies.
What do we love? What do we hate?
“The Godfather,” no surprise, has the best overall ranking, with an average percentile rank of 84.4% (+/- 16). It was seen by nearly everyone (67 of the 71 readers). It's also the least-hated film on the list. Its lowest score was 30.3%, which might sound bad, but the next least-hated film is “Schindler’s List,” which still hit a low of 24.4% on somebody’s list. From there the “minimum” scores swiftly descend into the low teens, with a full 75 of the 85 films hated by someone: Each of them scored in someone’s bottom 10%.
Here are the nine films that stayed out of the bottom 10% on everyone’s lists:
|title||year||Avg Score||Lowest Score|
|One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest||1975||68.33||19.05|
|In the Heat of the Night||1967||41.91||14.81|
|The Bridge on the River Kwai||1957||62.02||13.21|
|Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans||1928||78.67||12.82|
|The Best Years of Our Lives||1946||56.48||11.29|
Only three films failed to crack the top 50% on anyone’s list: “The Broadway Melody” (27% at its highest), “The Great Ziegfeld” (41%) and “Cavalcade” (41%). In the same way that very few movies were hated by nobody, very few movies didn’t have some love showered on them by somebody: 77 of the 85 made it into the top 20% of at least one list.
Here are those unbeloved eight films:
|title||year||Avg Score||Best Score|
|The Broadway Melody||1929||5.63||27.16|
|The Great Ziegfeld||1936||18.19||41.18|
|The Greatest Show on Earth||1952||15.23||75.29|
Opinion differed the most on “All Quiet on the Western Front”, where 30 voters gave a spread (standard deviation) of 30 points around the average score of ~60%. Nobody was confused about “The Broadway Melody,” whose standard deviation was only 7.5% around a score of 5.6%. Ouch!
What have we seen?
The average voter has seen 57 of the 85 films. Two people have only seen 21 while three saw all 85. The least-seen movie was “The Life of Emile Zola,” with only 11 viewings. Two films, “Forrest Gump and “Slumdog Millionaire,” were seen by everyone.
Here are the 10 most-viewed best-picture winners. Well, 14 most-viewed. A big tie at the end there. Second sort on chronology:
|The Silence of the Lambs||1991||69|
|Shakespeare in Love||1998||69|
|No Country for Old Men||2007||67|
|One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest||1975||66|
|A Beautiful Mind||2001||66|
And here are the 10 (well, 11) least-viewed best-picture winners:
|The Life of Emile Zola||1937||11|
|The Broadway Melody||1929||13|
|The Great Ziegfeld||1936||16|
|Going My Way||1944||19|
|Mutiny of the Bounty||1935||28|
|The Greatest Show on Earth||1952||28|
More to come...