Your Cinephilia Sits on a Throne of Lies!

Mr. McQueen has nothing to say to you peopleMy internet friends at the AV Club alert us to the results of this fascinating survey, conducted by UK DVD rental outfit Lovefilm. It turns out that, much like jocks in high school, people lie about the things they haven’t done — and in this case, say they’ve seen films they actually haven’t. Important films, where they think they’d look stupid if they admit they’ve missed them.

Here are the top ten films on the list, and the percentage of respondents unfamiliar with each of them:

The Godfather (30 percent)
 (13 percent)
Taxi Driver (11 percent)
2001: A Space Odyssey (9 percent)
Reservoir Dogs (8 percent)
This Is Spinal Tap (7 percent)
Apocalypse Now ( 6 percent)
Blade Runner (5 percent)
Goodfellas (5 percent)
The Great Escape (4 percent)

That’s amazing, isn’t it? Not that one in every 25 Lovefilm subscribers hasn’t seen “The Great Escape” — that’s kind of understandable, actually — but that those people have felt the need to say they have seen it, at one time or another. Me, I’m old and/or obsessive enough to have seen nine of the ten in theatres. How about you guys?

11 thoughts on “Your Cinephilia Sits on a Throne of Lies!”

  1. Yes, funnily, The Great Escape is the only one from that list that I haven’t seen either.

    In theaters (either original release or repertory re-run), I’ve seen 2001, Reservoir Dogs, Apocalypse Now (Redux, though), Blade Runner, and Goodfellas. Possibly Casablanca too, I’m not sure.

  2. I kept half-expecting to hear the music from The Great Escape this weekend during news stories about the mass escape from the prison in Kandahar. Royalty issues, no doubt.

    (Have seen all the movies, but only 3 in a theater.)

  3. Usually on lists like this I find a whole bunch of films that I haven’t seen, but in this case, I have actually seen them all, albeit only Goodfellas and Reservoir Dogs in the theatre (unless you count seeing the director’s cut of Blade Runner at the York and the final cut at The Royal (I think).

  4. I saw 2001 at the late lamented University Theatre in a re-release in 1976 on a class trip (it was the 70s) and saw Blade Runner, Spinal Tap, Reservoir Dogs and Goodfellas all on their original releases. I saw an uncut CITY-TV broadcast of Taxi Driver when I was 12 and it fried my brain; I caught the rest of the flicks first on TV then on tape over the years but never saw The Great Escape until my late 20s. And didn’t like it. Does that disqualify me for anything?

    I’m surprised that Les Enfants de Paradis wasn’t on that list, I’ve never been able to hack my way through it despite it’s beloved status to film professors of a certain vintage.

  5. “Lawrence of Arabia” isn’t on the list, either; I expect neither title has made it far enough into popular culture to be considered an essential touchstone.

    More’s the pity.

  6. I’ve seen six of them theatrically including Casablanca at the Bloor so I should get some sort of bonus point for that.

    I’m not sure that I’ve seen the Godfather… you see it was the late Eighties and I committed myself to watching the whole thing — on VHS. It was on two tapes and, as I recall, I put the second tape in first and proceeded to watch the whole thing and only realized what I’d done when the opening titles appeared after the second tape (really the first tape) started playing. So I can’t say that I always get the pop cultural references to the Godfather because it was so long ago and I saw it backwards. Oh, also, there was likely a girl in the room with me…

    I’ve seen good chunks of The Great Escape on TV but that probably doesn’t count so then I’ve seen eight of the ten although I was bored stupid during 2001 and probably should only get a half credit for that because I don’t remember most of it.

    An equally interesting question might be what iconic films have you not seen and how do you fake your way through those conversations, For example I’ve never seen: Citizen Kane but I know about Rosebud; ET but I’ve seen enough clips over the years that it never seemed necessary to actually sit down and watch it; Grapes of Wrath but I know what Tom Joad was all about; Avatar… and the list goes on.


  7. doc – That might have been Godfather II, I think it needed 2 tapes when the first flick only needed one. But if there was a girl there (and there must have been) the film itself must have been a moot point.

  8. I still haven’t gotten around to The Great Escape – not sure why – but have seen all the others on the list. Casablanca is the only one I didn’t see in a theatre.

  9. I’ve seen all of these, but don’t really care for THE GREAT ESCAPE. (Or CASABLANCA, come to think of it.) I’m supremely jealous of everybody here, though, as I’ve only seen two of them–THE GODFATHER and RESERVOIR DOGS–on the silver screen. My friend made me get tickets for SCHOOL TIES instead of BLADE RUNNER; I never forgave him.

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