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My Student Tomato-Meter: 2012 Edition

One year after posting the aggregated results of my average student ratings (on a scale of 1 – 10) for all the films I’ve screened in my classes over the years, I’m now posting the sequel: in the past 12 months I’ve taught an additional 17 classes (six in the fall of 2011, seven in the spring of 2012 and four over the summer) and I have now added the results of these new student ratings to the overall mix. The total list of unique films I’ve shown in film history and aesthetics classes now extends to 132, which means that I screened 54 new films in the past year alone (one of which, starring everyone’s favorite Republican National Convention speaker, now tops the list for the highest rated movie I’ve ever shown). In addition to providing what I hope my readers will find a fascinating insight into what first and second year college students think about a diverse selection of movies, I’d also love for this list to inspire feedback about what essential movies are not listed below that I should consider screening in future classes. So enjoy and please feel free to leave me any feedback you might have.

The complete list in chronological order:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, Germany, 1920) – 6.2
Nosferatu (Murnau, Germany, 1922) – 6.4
Our Hospitality (Keaton, USA, 1923) – 8.3
Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, USA, 1924) – 7.8
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1925) – 5.2
The General (Keaton, USA, 1926) – 8.1
Faust (Murnau, Germany, 1926) – 6.9
Sunrise (Murnau, USA, 1927) – 7.0
Metropolis (Lang, Germany, 1927) – 6.2
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, France, 1928) – 7.5
Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov, Soviet Union, 1929) – 5.5
L’age D’or (Bunuel, France, 1930) – 6.6
City Girl (Murnau, USA, 1930) – 6.5
Earth (Dovzhenko, Soviet Union, 1930) – 3.2
City Lights (Chaplin, USA, 1931) – 8.5
M (Lang, Germany, 1931) – 8.1
L’atalante (Vigo, France, 1934) – 6.7
The Awful Truth (McCarey, USA, 1937) – 8.5
Grand Illusion (Renoir, France, 1937) – 7.1
Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, USA, 1938) – 8.4
Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein, Russia, 1938) – 4.6
The Roaring Twenties (Walsh, USA, 1939) – 8.0
Stagecoach (Ford, USA, 1939) – 7.2
The Rules of the Game (Renoir, France, 1939) – 6.9
The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, USA, 1940) – 7.4
The Lady Eve (Sturges, USA, 1941) – 8.2
Citizen Kane (Welles, USA, 1941) – 8.2
How Green Was My Valley (Ford, USA, 1941) – 6.8
Casablanca (Curtiz, USA, 1942) – 7.6
Cat People (Tourneur, USA, 1942) – 5.5
Double Indemnity (Wilder, USA, 1944) – 7.9
To Have and Have Not (Hawks, USA, 1944) – 7.5
Brief Encounter (Lean, England, 1945) – 8.3
Detour (Ulmer, USA, 1945) – 7.2
Rome, Open City (Rossellini, Italy, 1945) – 6.9
My Darling Clementine (Ford, USA, 1946) – 7.3
The Big Sleep (Hawks, USA, 1946) – 7.0
The Lady from Shanghai (Welles, USA, 1947) – 8.0
Out of the Past (Tourneur, USA, 1947) – 7.3
Bicycle Thieves (de Sica, Italy 1948) – 8.0
Fort Apache (Ford, USA, 1948) – 7.5
Germany Year Zero (Rossellini, Italy/Germany, 1948) – 7.1
Pursued (Walsh, USA, 1948) – 6.9
White Heat (Walsh, USA, 1949) – 8.3
Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, USA, 1952) – 9.1
The Band Wagon (Minnelli, USA, 1953) – 8.0
Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, USA, 1953) – 7.8
Tokyo Story (Ozu, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Rear Window (Hitchcock, USA, 1954) – 8.8
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) – 8.3
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1954) – 7.0
Pather Panchali (Ray, India, 1955) – 6.4
A Man Escaped (Bresson, France, 1956) – 8.0
The Searchers (John Ford, USA, 1956) – 7.4
Aparajito (Ray, India, 1956) – 6.6
Vertigo (Hitchcock, USA, 1958) – 8.8
Some Came Running (Minnelli, USA, 1958) – 8.0
Touch of Evil (Welles, USA, 1958) – 7.6
Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9.2
The 400 Blows (Truffaut, France, 1959) – 8.9
North By Northwest (Hitchcock, USA, 1959) – 8.6
Rio Bravo (Hawks, USA, 1959) – 8.0
Pickpocket (Bresson, France, 1959) – 7.3
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Resnais, France, 1959) – 6.8
Psycho (Hitchcock, USA, 1960) – 8.9
Breathless (Godard, France, 1960) – 7.7
Viridiana (Bunuel, Spain, 1961) – 5.8
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, USA, 1962) – 8.3
Le Doulos (Melville, France, 1962) – 7.1
Contempt (Godard, France, 1963) – 8.3
8 1/2 (Fellini, Italy, 1963) – 6.5
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy, France, 1964) – 8.3
Onibaba (Shindo, Japan, 1964) – 8.0
Alphaville (Godard, France, 1965) – 6.0
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, Italy, 1966) – 9.6
Point Blank (Boorman, USA, 1966) – 7.0
Le Samourai (Melville, France, 1967) – 8.4
Le Boucher (Chabrol, France, 1970) – 7.5
Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman, USA, 1971) – 7.7
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman, USA, 1971) – 6.8
Love in the Afternoon (Rohmer, France, 1972) – 8.6
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder, Germany, 1973) – 7.8
The Long Goodbye (Altman, USA, 1973) – 7.6
Chinatown (Polanski, USA, 1974) – 8.2
Young Frankenstein (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 7.6
Taxi Driver (Scorsese, USA, 1976) – 8.8
Annie Hall (Allen, USA, 1977) – 6.6
Days of Heaven (Malick, USA, 1978) – 7.2
Killer of Sheep (Burnett, USA, 1978) – 7.1
Raging Bull (Scorsese, USA, 1980) – 8.3
Popeye (Altman, USA, 1980) – 5.2
The Slumber Party Massacre (Jones, USA, 1982) – 6.8
A Short Film About Love (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 8.6
The Thin Blue Line (Morris, USA, 1988) – 7.8
The Lovers on the Bridge (Carax, France, 1991) – 8.0
Deep Cover (Duke, USA, 1992) – 8.4
The Player (Altman, USA, 1992) – 8.0
Groundhog Day (Ramis, USA, 1993) – 8.1
Naked (Leigh, UK, 1993) 6.3
Chungking Express (Wong, Hong Kong, 1994) – 7.9
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1996) – 5.8
The Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami, Iran, 1997) – 7.2
The Mirror (Panahi, Iran, 1997) – 5.1
The Bird People in China (Miike, Japan, 1998) – 6.6
Ravenous (Bird, UK/USA, 1999) – 8.2
Nowhere to Hide (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 7.9
Audition (Miike, Japan, 1999) – 7.6
Beau Travail (Denis, France/Djibouti, 1999) – 5.4
Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier, Denmark/Sweden, 2000) – 9.5
JSA: Joint Security Area (Park, S. Korea, 2000) – 8.7
Failan (Song, S. Korea, 2000) – 7.9
The Day I Became a Woman (Meshkini, Iran, 2000) – 7.5
In the Mood for Love (Wong, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.4
The Devil’s Backbone (del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2001) – 8.6
Mulholland Drive (Lynch, USA, 2001) – 7.7
Avalon (Oshii, Japan/Poland, 2001) – 7.6
Far From Heaven (Haynes, USA, 2002) – 7.9
The Tracker (de Heer, Australia, 2002) – 7.7
Save the Green Planet (Jang, S. Korea, 2003) – 6.8
3-Iron (Kim, S. Korea, 2004) – 8.8
Memories of Murder (Bong, S. Korea, 2004) – 8.5
Grizzly Man (Herzog, USA, 2004) – 8.1
Moolade (Sembene, Senegal, 2004) – 7.8
The Proposition (Hillcoat, Australia, 2005) – 8.1
The Host (Bong, South Korea, 2006) – 8.8
Offside (Panahi, Iran, 2006) – 7.8
Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
The Social Network (Fincher, USA, 2010) – 8.5
The Hunter (Pitts, Iran, 2010) – 6.8
Drive (Refn, USA, 2011) – 8.1
Sleeping Sickness (Kohler, Germany, 2011) – 6.6

And a countdown of the current top 10 highest rated films:

8. 3-Iron (Kim, S. Korea, 2004 – 8.8
8. The Host (Bong, S. Korea, 2006) – 8.8
8. Rear Window (Hitchcock, USA, 1954) – 8.8
8. Taxi Driver (Scorsese, USA, 1976) – 8.8
8. Vertigo (Hitchcock, USA, 1958) – 8.8
6. The 400 Blows (Truffaut, France, 1959) – 8.9
6. Psycho (Hitchcock, USA, 1960) – 8.9
4. Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, USA, 1952) – 9.1
4. Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
3. Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9.2
2. Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier, Denmark/Sweden, 2000) – 9.5
1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, Italy/USA, 1966) – 9.6

Intriguingly, only four of last year’s top ten remain in the top ten for this year. To compare this year’s results with last year’s, go here:

https://whitecitycinema.com/2011/08/22/my-student-tomato-meter/

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About michaelgloversmith

Filmmaker, author and Film Studies instructor. View all posts by michaelgloversmith

11 responses to “My Student Tomato-Meter: 2012 Edition

  • jilliemae

    Wow, I am shocked that Dancer in the Dark and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly were the top two! It just goes to show you that the classics never go out of style, regardless of the generation watching.

    • michaelgloversmith

      I should point out that both The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Dancer in the Dark are films that I’ve only screened one time. If I were to show them in more classes, the average user rating would probably go down (although I suspect it wouldn’t go down much in GBU’s case).

  • Matthew

    Interesting to see what your students are responding to.  Sorry we didn’t get a chance to hang out and chew the fat beyond the Q&A!  We’ll do so next time I’m in town.  Speaking of, you know that Bowls is in town now to help run the screenings this week?  Hopefully you guys can meet up before he heads back to STL.

    Thanks again, buddy – we’ll be in touch!   Matt

    ________________________________

  • The Movie Waffler (@moviewaffle)

    Found your site through the LAMB, looks like a great read.

  • Adam

    Bar-ton Fink! Bar-ton Fink!

  • chrisfilm

    Ouch. Some of these are disappointing. No love for Cat People – what a shame. The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly as the top rated makes me want to lock your students in a room with real classic westerns until they know what’s right!

  • david

    Congrats to be a LAMB first,Mike,my blog was listed just a month earlier.

    Again,the ratings are very very interesting,from the very beginning,silent comedies are much favored than any other silent art films.

    The top 10 list is quite plot-driven I have to say,it’s normal because of the age factor and I think it would change dramatically after 3-5 years!

    You really need to consider of adding some Chinese movies.

    A question,would you adjust your display list according to the ratings? Like reducing the numbers of the movies in categories these low-ratings movies fit in?

    • michaelgloversmith

      That’s a keen observation about the top 10 being plot-driven. Most of my students want their movies to not only feature strong narratives but also to be extremely economical in terms of how the narratives unfold. Films where the “story” is of secondary importance (8 1/2, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Tokyo Story, etc.) never fare as well.

      It’s funny you should talk about adding Chinese movies. The only ones I’ve shown so far are Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love. But this semester I’m also going to show a bunch of Hong Kong films for the first time: The Bride with White Hair, Needing You, Infernal Affairs and Dumplings.

      And, no, I will not refuse to show a movie because it has a low rating. Battleship Potemkin, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Man with the Movie Camera have relatively low ratings but they are ultimately too important NOT to show!

  • My Student Tomato-Meter: 2013 Edition | White City Cinema

    […] from one year to the next — as evidenced by a comparison between the current ratings with the 2012 and 2011 editions of the […]

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