IMDB or the Internet Movie Data Base is famous as the go to location to find everything about movies. The amount of detail is incredible and it makes anyone with an Internet connection an automatic movie guru. One of the top features of the IMDB site is its ranking system which allows millions of its users to rank the databases movies. This has created a list of the best movies ever … according to IMDB users. The list fluctuates as new movies are released with movies moving up and down the list in huge jumps. However the top 100 is a pretty stable and the list is a great barometer for Internet user’s movie preferences. So after crunching databases and a lot spreadsheet formulas we’ve come up with some very interesting stats behind IMDBs top 100 movies.
10 – The Top 100 breakdown by rating
As you can see the vast majority of the movies are rated R. This is surprising considering the Hollywood Blockbuster system that limits the creativity of big releases so that they are PG-13. There was only one film rated X in the Top 100: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
9 – The Top 100 breakdown by genre
The top five genres were in order: Crime, Drama, War, Sci-Fi and Comedy.
8 – Biggest box office
The biggest world wide box office holder of the Top 100 IMDB movies would be The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King which according to BoxOfficeMojo made $1,119,900,000. However for just the American release then the top movie would be The Dark Knight which made $533,316,061.
7 – Top foreign film
The majority of films in the Top 100 are American followed by British films. The Italians had a bunch with their spaghetti westerns. The highest ranked foreign film is The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly which was made by film companies based in Italy, Spain and West Germany but targeted towards American audiences. The highest ranked “purest” foreign film would have to be Japan’s Seven Samurai and Brazil’s City of God which rank very close to each other and are constantly shifting as to who is ranked higher.
6 – The movie breakdown by decade
Since the ranking system has only been around for a small amount of time newer movies are favored over older flicks. Yet there are some older movies that even though they haven’t been around for decades they have still soared into the Top 100 just by their merits alone. The earliest movie is in IMDB Top 100 is Metropolis which was released in 1927.
As you can see the 90s was the decade that produced the most Top 100 movies although that might be because the most active Internet users grew up in the 90s. The year with the most Top 100 movies is 1994 with five movies but more surprising was 1957 which had four:
and 1994 these were released:
5 – Top Directors
The directors in the Top 100 were not too surprising: Martin Scorsese and
Sergio Leone both had four each while Alfred Hitchcock , Billy Wilder , Christopher Nolan had five each with the winner Stanley Kubrick getting six movies:
4 – Movie length
Movie length is a relative thing. The theatrical release of Apocalypse Now was 153 min yet the redux version is 202 min. So for the shortest and longest films I used the time of the theatrical release. The shortest movie in the Top 100 is Chaplin’s Modern Times (1931) at 87min and the longest is Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984) which is 229 min or 3hrs and 49min. The average time of all 100 movies is 133 min or 2hrs and 13min.
3 – Top Actors
There are a few big franchies that dominate the IMDB Top 100: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Dark Knight Trilogy and The Godfather series . This makes for some interesting mentions. For example Kenny Baker who plays R2D2 is one of the top actors as in addition to the Star Wars films he also had a part in Amadeus. So I used a point system where I’ve counted the franchise roles as one.
So Alec Guinness who was in the Star Wars films was also in The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia so I gave him three points. Charles Chaplin was in three movies. Danny Aiello is the go to guy for mafia movies. James Earl Jones’s voice work gets him in the top with his work in Star Wars and the Lion King but he was also in Dr. Strangelove so three point for him. So keeping the franchises in mind the most mentioned actors in the IMDB Top 100 are:
Jack Nicholson 4pts:
Morgan Freeman 4pts:
Tom Hanks 4pts
Robert De Niro 5pts
2 – Most mentions for writers
Once again because of the franchises certain writers get more points. J.R.R. Tolkien gets a mention but a more impressive author would be Stephen King whose books made these Top 100 movies:
Tarantino, Sergio Leone , Chaplin Francis Ford Coppola all had three films where they were the primary writers. George Lucas has more with his Star Wars trilogy as well as writing Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Billy Wilder ties as the winner with five movie writing credits in the Top 100:
The Nolan Brothers also have five movie writing credits in the Top 100 with:
1 – Most mentioned
When I first started out on this I though Clint Eastwood would be the top mentioned person as a highly respected actor and director but he only had a few points. So when giving points for acting, writing and directing then the most points for the Top 100 films of IMDB would be Charlie Chaplin for writing, directing and then staring in these three Top 100 films:
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