Novel Spaces is in its 10th year! Over the coming months we'll be featuring some of the most popular posts from our archives. This one was first published March 27, 2011.
By Charles Gramlich
Lana and I watched a show on TV the other night about the greatest movies of all time, as voted by—well—people like me and you. There were a number of different lists, greatest overall, greatest musical, greatest action/suspense, etc. Apparently a group of “experts” narrowed the choices down initially and then people were allowed to vote for the top five in each category. Gone with the Wind was first in the greatest overall category, which told me one thing right away: More women than men voted in the poll. I’ve never actually even seen the movie and have no plans to do so. The vote did nothing to change my mind that I probably wouldn’t consider it the greatest movie of all time.
I was much more interested in the picks for greatest Science Fiction flicks of all time. Here’s the TV voters list:
5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
4. The Matrix
1. Star Wars
This list is, of course, incorrect! Although, the only real travesty here is Avatar, which does not deserve to be in the top ten even.
The “correct” list(s). That is, “my” lists are as follows:
5. Jurassic Park
4. Blade Runner
3. Star Wars
2. The Matrix
1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
The first three of these are separated by a bare fraction from each other. And honorable mentions in this category include War of the Worlds (Original version), E.T., Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes, and Logan’s Run.
4. The Terminator
3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (first version)
2. The Thing (Carpenter version)
The first four of these are very close, and honorable mentions that come very close to unseating number 5 are The Road Warrior, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Aliens.
I also struggled a bit with some assignments. Does Jurassic Park go with general SF or SF/Horror/Thriller? The Matrix is certainly a thriller with strong elements of horror. In the end, though, I didn’t think the horror elements of either were the primary strength of these movies. So there you have it, the TV lists and the “true” lists. I’m sure everyone will agree! Feel free to tell me how much you agree. :)