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Overrated films


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The most overrated films of all time are, in my opinion:


#1 Citizen Kane

Why isn't Gone With the Wind #1 on the AFI lists? This film is droll and boring compared to Gone With the Wind, a TRUE masterpiece! What the heck do the critics love so much about this "masterpiece"? It's just a slow-moving, noirish film that basically pokes fun at conservative news editors like William Randolph Hearst! BORING!


#2 Casablanca

What do the critics love about this film so much? This is a much better film than Citizen Kane, but I would place it at #5 rather than #2. As a conservative, I like the film because of it's anti-Nazi and pro-French Resistence thene, but I think they just take it too seriously.


#3 The Godfather

Definently NOT your traditional Hollywood film! Made just a decade after the Production Code was abandoned, this film went to new levels in violence (23 deaths), criminals getting away with murder, etc. Again, in my opinion, no film made after the Production Code is a classic, but this could somewhat count as a "classic" if you judge the film by its artistic merit.


#4 Singin' in the Rain

I just don't get it! This and The Wizard of Oz may be the best musicals ever made, but why is it consistently placed on lists like these? I love the film because of the music, the accurate costumes and hairstyles (unlike later films as I mentioned on a previous post), the Technicolor, etc., but that doesn't make it a MASTERPIECE! It is a musical masterpiece, but not a FILM masterpiece on the same level as Gone With the Wind or Lawrence of Arabia. It borders on absurd!


#5 Chinatown

Even more of a departure from tradition than The Godfather, this film is worse than The Godfather because it is littered by F* words (the word is NEVER EVEN uttered in The Godfather!), sex scenes, and a very un-traditional Hollywood ending. Just a stupid, coarse little film that is not a classic, as no film made after the 1960s is.


#6 The Graduate

DRECK! This film was made at the crossroads period between the Production Code and the ratings system, and this film (along with Bonnie & Clyde) are often credited for breaking down the last barriers of the Production Code, who had gotten to a point of laxity even beyond the pre-code era! Being conservative and a devout Roman Catholic, I find this film offensive because of its glorification of sex, immorality, licentious and adultery. Just a stupid film that is SO overrated!


#7 Some Like It Hot

How the heck is this America's "funniest" film? I don't find it very funny, I find it somewhat offensive! Made just a few years after the Production Code had ended its enforcement with the resignation of Joe Breen, the PCA began to approve films that were more vulgar and racy, like this, especially since it contains homosexual overtones! Too overrated. The best comedy, in my opinion, would be a Preston Sturges film like The Lady Eve or a screwball comedy like Bringing Up Baby.


#8 Psycho

You heard what I said about Some Like It Hot being made at the beginning of the Production Code's second "pre-code" period. Just a coarse, violent film that showed the first toilet flushing in a film, censored nudity in a shower, etc. TOO overrated! This is not Alfred Hitchcock's best. To see good Alfred Hitchcock, try Notorious, To Catch a Thief or I Confess, among others.


#9 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid! Those are the only words to describe this post-classic "classic" film made LONG after the Production Code. Written by Ken Kesey, the notorious leader of acid tests in San Francisco during the hippie period of the 60s, the film presents a Communist theme of rebelling against "repressive" institutes like mental wards. My have times changed!


#10 2001: A Space Odyssey

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING! This film is just SO boring! Can I say anything else? No.


Now you've heard my opinion, what are your most overrated and underrated films?

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You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but to base your critical sense on narrow religious dogma sure does limit your credibility as a critic. It's as if a Hindu critic said that "Best Years of Our Lives" was a terrible movie based on the hamburger eating scene. I must defend the Godfather movies. (You can say anything you want about #3 as I don't consider it even BE a sequel. It's strictly a cash cow) In earlier gangster films the murders were sanicized. One bullet to the chest, half an once of blood, and a pithy "Is this the end of Rico." tag line. Sure the bad guys always got it in te end but, they had a GREAT time until the final reel. GF I &II show real murder: pain, terror, and un-pretty wounds...and lots of blood. However, they in no way glorify crime. We see Michael, a Dartmouth grad & war heroe with a bright future get involved with the Mafia. He becomes a murderer has to flee, sees his wife blown apart, his beloved older brother is masscred, his 2nd wife whom he loves dearly hates and fears him so much she has an abortion to prevent any more Corleones like him being born. He has his sister's husband killed. causing HER to hate and fear him. He is hounded by the government and finally ends up having his last brother killed. He ends up bitter alone and miserable. Some FUN eh? Sign me right up!

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Yes, good point. You're not doing the critique of these objectively; you are doing it subjectively which is not fair or reliable. Practically every thing you have listed has something you don't like socially, religiously, or whatever else. Which is fine but not really good when talking about the things wrong with a film. Like psycho you are complaining about the violence and nudity instead of talking about the film as a piece. And perhaps the reasons to why you are complaining are exactly the reason they have not been forgotten all these years later. :)



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CJR, you seem to tout GWTW as the "be all & end all" of classic film and I heartily disagree. While I can appreciate the good character development, fast-moving storyline and sweeping cinematography, I CAN'T understand all the hoopla. IMO, anyone who considers this their all-time favorite would also enjoy a good $5.99 Harlequin Romance novel.

(PS - I do agree about "Citizen Kane" - why was this considered so 'innovative'?)

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Everyone who loves films has their own reasons for liking/disliking a particular movie. If you check the top 100 films list of any critic (e.g. Ebert), you'll find a lot of bizarre stuff.


However, time and time again, many of the same films turn up on these "best of" lists. Everytime one is published, by AFI for instance, there is a lot of discussion about which films belong, which don't, and which were left off. Ultimately, dozens of films not included in this list-du-jour get bandied about and discussed. I think, as a film lover, it is very healthy ... especially if it prompts "the reader" to seek out films to see that they never have. I know that AFI's annual "100 Years" series has helped me find many forgotten classics to watch.


If you want to see a list of overrated films, check out imdb's Top 250 Movies of All Time and witness The Shawshank Redemption, Memento, Pulp Fiction, and Amelie in the top 20!


WRT the ten films listed at the beginning of this topic, it would be hard to label many of them overrated since they perennially show up on these disparate lists. That being said, I've always wondered about #'s 5-7 myself.


... SPOILERS ...


Chinatown's impact is largely related to a scene of gratuitous violence involving Nicholson's nose and a secret between Huston and Dunaway's characters. Does this warrant the film being listed in the top 20 of AFI's 100 greatest American movies of all time? OT - and it's sequel is unspeakably bad, IMO.


The Graduate is terribly dated though mildly amusing. Hardly something, IMO, that should put it on any top 100 list, let alone #7 on AFI's list!


& Some Like It Hot is a one trick pony. Isn't crossdressing so, so funny? No, not really. And, #14 on AFI's list? I'd take almost any Lubitsch or several of Preston Sturges' films instead, thank you very much;-)

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Citizen Kane is mainly noted for its pioneer use of Cinematography and Mise en Scene. Sure the story might not be that interesting to everyone but the main purpose for it being #1 is that it paved the way for a lot of other films using the same techniques. The shots of people inside the mansion to show how lonely they were and the use of crisp focus on every plane of the shots. Orson Wells was very experimental with this film, doing many things that hadn't really been done before. This is drilled into every film student at my school. Just think of it as a pioneer film that inspired many filmmakers for years afterward and still does to a great extent.

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