Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time

Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time was a two-hour television special that aired on 22 March 2011 on ABC in the United States.[1] Hosted by Tom Bergeron and Cynthia McFadden,[1][2] it was a collaboration between ABC News and People magazine that let American viewers vote on their favorite films of all time.[1][2][3] The results were presented on the program, which included interviews with some of the stars and directors of the chosen films including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Olivia Newton-John.[1][4] It also showed out-takes, screen tests and behind-the-scenes footage.[1]

People featured a story that corresponded with the special in its 28 March 2011 issue, which came out on March 18.[clarification needed][citation needed]

The categories for the special were Best Film, Best Sci-Fi Film, Best Musical, Best Action Film, Greatest Film Character, Best Horror Film, Best Chick Flick, Greatest Screen Kiss, Best Comedy, Best Animated Film, Best Suspense/Thriller, Most Romantic Screen Couple, Greatest Line, Best Western Film and Best Political/Historical Film.[2][3][5][6]

The televised special counted down the top five films in 10 of the 15 categories: Best Comedy, Best Sci-Fi Film, Best Musical, Greatest Screen Kiss, Greatest Line, Best Action Film, Best Suspense/Thriller, Best Animated Film, Greatest Film Character and Best Film.[6] The results in the remaining 5 categories (Best Horror Film, Best Chick Flick, Most Romantic Screen Couple, Best Western Film and Best Political/Historical Film) were revealed online.[1][2][4]


Over 500,000 votes were cast in the online poll, which was open on the ABC News website from late November 2010 to early January 2011.[1][3] Viewers voted for winners from a list of nominees created by a panel of film industry experts. The panel included actors Kevin Spacey, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, and Cameron Diaz; directors Ivan Reitman, Mel Brooks, Garry Marshall, Michael Moore and Nora Ephron; producers Jerry Weintraub and Harvey Weinstein; writer Neil Simon, and critics and writers Peter Travers, Janet Maslin, James Lipton, Ben Mankiewicz and People's Alynda Wheat and Larry Hackett.[1]

Television resultsEdit

Best ComedyEdit

  1. Airplane! (1980)
  2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  3. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  4. Young Frankenstein (1974)
  5. Tootsie (1982)

Best Sci-Fi FilmEdit

  1. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
  2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  3. Avatar (2009)
  4. The Matrix (1999)
  5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Best MusicalEdit

  1. The Sound of Music (1965)
  2. Grease (1978)
  3. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  4. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  5. West Side Story (1961)

Greatest On-Screen KissEdit

  1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
  2. From Here to Eternity (1953)
  3. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
  4. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
  5. Casablanca (1942)

Greatest LineEdit

  1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." – Gone with the Wind (1939)
  2. "Go ahead, make my day!" – Sudden Impact (1983)
  3. "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." – The Godfather (1972)
  4. "I'll have what she's having." – When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
  5. "Here's looking at you, kid." – Casablanca (1942)

Best Action FilmEdit

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  2. The Dark Knight (2008)
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  4. Die Hard (1988)
  5. Gladiator (2000)

Best Suspense/ThrillerEdit

  1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  2. Jaws (1975)
  3. Psycho (1960)
  4. The Shining (1980)
  5. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Best Animated FilmEdit

  1. The Lion King (1994)
  2. Toy Story (1995)
  3. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  5. Rango (2011)

Greatest Film CharacterEdit

  1. Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump (1994)
  2. James Bond in the James Bond films
  3. Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939)
  4. Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  5. Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films

Best FilmEdit

  1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
  2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  3. The Godfather (1972)
  4. Casablanca (1942)
  5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Online resultsEdit

Most Romantic On-Screen CoupleEdit

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate WinsletTitanic (1997)
  2. Clark Gable and Vivien LeighGone with the Wind (1939)
  3. Richard Gere and Julia RobertsPretty Woman (1990)
  4. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid BergmanCasablanca (1942)
  5. Spencer Tracy and Katharine HepburnAdam's Rib (1949)

Best Horror FilmEdit

  1. The Exorcist (1973)
  2. Halloween (1978)
  3. Poltergeist (1982)
  4. Carrie (1976)
  5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Best Western FilmEdit

  1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  2. Dances with Wolves (1990)
  3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
  4. Unforgiven (1992)
  5. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Best Chick FlickEdit

  1. The Notebook (2004)
  2. Dirty Dancing (1987)
  3. Pretty Woman (1990)
  4. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
  5. The Way We Were (1973)

Best Political/Historical FilmEdit

  1. Schindler's List (1993)
  2. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
  3. 12 Angry Men (1957)
  4. All the President's Men (1976)
  5. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time" (Press release). New York: ABC News. 2011-03-16. Archived from the original on 2011-03-26. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  2. ^ a b c d Caverley, Alyssa (2011-03-22). "ABC Looks at The Greatest Movies of Our Time in New Special". Movie Fanatic. Archived from the original on 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  3. ^ a b c "Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time". ABC News. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-03-26.
  4. ^ a b Stodola, Ellen (2011-03-22). "'The Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time' Recap". The Celebrity Cafe. Archived from the original on 2014-02-19.
  5. ^ "Best Movies Ever | 2011 Best In Film". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2011-04-03. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
  6. ^ a b Best In Film: The Greatest Movies Of Our Time (Television production). ABC News. March 22, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Internet Archive.

External linksEdit