Comparing the #TFS100 to other recent Top 100 Films lists

Last week the Talk Film Society, a loose collection of online cinephiles, posted the results of several polls conducted on Twitter in their #TFS100 List.

You know how much I like to crunch numbers and compare things to one another, so, inspired (and assisted) by @nanksh, I got out my trusted Google Sheets and entered the TFS 100, as well as the recent “Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Films” list from THR, the 2012 Sight & Sound Greatest Films Polls (both from critics and directors), and the hundred titles at the top of IMDb’s ever-fluid Top 250 (as it appeared on July 19, 2014).

The Godfather

Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” (1972)

12 films are present on all five lists: The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, Apocalypse Now, Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver, Psycho, Vertigo, Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai), Singin’ in the Rain, Rear Window, Lawrence of Arabia, Sunset Boulevard.

Francis Ford Coppola and Alfred Hitchcock each have three films that appear on every single list.

Now a closer look at the individual Tops 100, starting with the #TFS100:


Spike Jonze’s “her” (2013)

  • There are 102 films on the list. (I won’t complain. That’s for another time.)
  • Release years range from 1927 (Metropolis) to 2013 (HerThe Wolf of Wall Street), with the average year of all films being 1985.
  • Most-represented directors on the list are Steven Spielberg (6 films), Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick (5 each), Christopher Nolan, and David Fincher (4 each).
  • The only film on the list directed by a woman is Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation.
  • The shortest film is Toy Story (81 minutes), the longest Lawrence of Arabia (216 minutes). Average length: 131 minutes.
  • 96 films feature English as the or a primary language. Other represented languages include German (5), French (4), Japanese (3) and Italian (2).
  • Drama is by far the most prominent genre with 65 films, followed by thriller (26), crime (23), adventure (22), sci-fi (20), action (19), mystery (15), romance (14), and fantasy (11).
  • Most of the money for making the films came from the United States (94 titles were financed or co-financed out of the USA). Other countries in the mix are the United Kingdom (18 films), as well as Japan, Germany, and France (4 each).
  • The 102 movies have garnered an average of 1.72 Oscar wins, and an average of 4.73 Academy Award nominations overall. 55 of the films on the list have won an Oscar, and only 16 have not been nominated. (One, Metropolis, was not eligible.)
  • 22 films on the #TFS100 are not listed on any of the other lists, top among them Her (at no. 36), Drive (40) ,The Wolf of Wall Street (46), No Country for Old Men (47), and Magnolia (50).
  • Some Like It Hot is on all the other lists but not on this one.

Next, a look at Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Films (according to THR):

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)

  • This one actually has 100 entries. Well done, THR.
  • Earliest film: The Wizard of Oz (1939).
    Most recent: Inception (2010).
    Average release year: 1980.
  • Top directors: Steven Spielberg (7), Alfred Hitchcock (5), Ridley Scott (4), Christopher Nolan, David Lean, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese (3 each).
  • There are no female directors on the list, at all.
  • Shortest film: Toy Story. Longest: Gone With the Wind (238 minutes).
    Average length: 131 minutes, again.
  • Languages: English (97), Italian, Spanish (2 each)
  • Genres: drama (62), adventure (25), thriller (22), romance (22), comedy (20), crime (19), sci-fi (16), fantasy (15), and action (14).
  • Countries: USA (95), UK (18), Germany (3).
  • Average Oscar wins: 2.58. Nominations: 6.27.
    68 Oscar-winning films, only 8 not nominated.
  • 28 films that are not on the other lists, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (8), Gone With the Wind (15), The Sound of Music (25), The Breakfast Club (27) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (36).
  • City LightsC’era una volta il West (Once Upon a Time in the West), and Rashômon are on all the other lists but not on this one.

Sight & Sound’s 2012 Critics’ Top 100 Films:

Late Spring

Yasujirô Ozu’s “Banshun” (“Late Spring,” 1949)

  • Earliest: D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance (1916).
    Most recent: Mulholland Dr. (2001).
    Average year: 1960 (earliest of all the lists).
  • Directors: Alfred HitchcockIngmar Bergman, and Jean-Luc Godard (4 films each), Andrei Tarkovsky, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Francis Ford Coppola, Jean Renoir, Orson Welles, and Robert Bresson (3 films each).
  • Two films directed by women: Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, and Claire Denis’ Beau travail.
  • Shortest: Un chien andalou (16 minutes). Longest: Shoa (566 minutes).
    Average: 131 minutes. Again!
  • Languages: English (49), French (27), German (12), Italian (11), Japanese (7), and Russian (6). The majority of films on the list is not in English.
  • Genres: drama (81), romance (22), crime (14), thriller, mystery (13 each), war, and comedy (10 each).
  • Countries: United States (36), France (32), Italy (13), United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany (7 each).
  • Average Oscar wins: 0.48, and 1.85 nominations.
    Only 18 films on the list have won Oscars, 59 were not nominated, or not eligible.
  • 26 films on this list are not on the other lists, including Yasujirô Ozu’s Banshun (Late Spring) (15), Béla Tarr’s Sátántangó (35), Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (35), Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma (48) and La jetée (53).
  • GoodfellasOne Flew Over The Cuckoo’s NestThe Shining, and A Clockwork Orange are on all the other lists but not this one.

Sight & Sound’s 2012 Directors’ Top 100 Films:

La strada

Federico Fellini’s “La strada” (1954)

  • Earliest film: The Gold Rush (1925).
    Most recent: There Will Be Blood (2007).
    Average release year: 1963.
  • Directors: Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Robert Bresson, Stanley Kubrick (4 each), Alfred Hitchcock, Andrei Tarkovsky, Billy Wilder, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Charlie Chaplin, Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes, Luis Buñuel, Martin Scorsese, Michelangelo Antonioni (3 each).
  • Only film directed by a woman: Claire Denis’ Beau travail.
  • Shortest: Un chien andalou (16 minutes). Longest: Shoa (566 minutes).
    Average: 125 minutes.
  • Languages: English (52), French (26), Italian (15), German (12), Russian (7).
  • Genres: drama (83), crime (18), thriller (14), mystery, comedy (13 each), romance (12).
  • Countries: USA (42), France (32), Italy (19), UK (9), Germany (7).
  • Average Oscar wins: 0.66. Nominations: 2.15.
    23 Oscar-winning films, 56 not nominated or eligible.
  • 21 films are not on any of the other lists, including: Federico Fellini’s La strada (26), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St Matthew), Fellini’s Amarcord, Elem Klimov’s Idi i smotri (Come and See) (all tied at no. 30), and Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana (37).
  • Casablanca is not on this list but all the other ones.

IMDb Top 100:

City of God

Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s “Cidade de Deus” (“City of God,” 2002)

  • Earliest: City Lights (1931).
    Most recent: Django Unchained (2012).
    Average: 1981.
  • Directors: Billy Wilder, Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick (5 each), Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, Sergio Leone, and Steven Spielberg (4 each).
  • Kátia Lund (City of God) is the only female director on the list.
  • Shortest film: Modern Times (87 minutes).
    Longest: Once Upon a Time in America (229 minutes).
    Average run time: 132 minutes.
  • Languages: English (87), German (9), Japanese, and Italian (5 each).
  • Genres: drama (64), crime (26), thriller (24), adventure (23), action (20), mystery, comedy (15 each), war (13), sci-fi, and fantasy (12 each).
  • Countries: USA (78), UK (16), Germany (10), France, Italy (7 each), Japan (5).
  • Average Oscars won: 1.77. Nominations: 4.81.
    53 have won at least one Oscar, only 18 have not been nominated.
  • 27 films are not on any of the other lists, including: Cidade de Deus (City of God) (21), Luc Besson’s Léon (The Professional) (27), Roberto Benigni’s La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful) (29),Tony Kaye’s American History X (31), and Hayao Miyazaki’s Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away) (36).
  • 2001: A Space OdysseyRaging BullChinatown, and Blade Runner appear on all the other lists but not this one.

If anyone interested in (and capable of) data visualization wants access to my spreadsheet in order to make some awesome graphs and charts and stuff: leave a comment or get in touch via Twitter (@SebastianNebel) or e-mail (


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