Sunday, October 30, 2011

Top Ranked Films of George Lucas

George Lucas
2 titles, 71st in points with 11,435

Wow, talk about doing a lot with a little, Lucas managed to crack the top 100 with just 2 titles in the top 1000. It's a little surprising that with his skills he hasn't made more quality films, he's become formulaic and almost a parody of his former self - I know, that sounds like Woody Allen as well, analyzing himself.

These are all the films of Lucas’ that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.

1. Star Wars (A New Hope) (1978) #8
2. American Graffiti (1973) #461

Out of the top 1000, his first
3. THX 1138 (1971) #1920

One thing worth mentioning - he had Raiders of the Lost Ark all set to be a film of his, and buddy Steven Spielberg had just had his first bomb with 1941, so Lucas got Spielberg to direct his own project in order to come back with a ready-made hit.

Not many titles, probably overranked at 43rd without much of a body of serious films. At IMDB, they have Empire Strikes Back properly ranked above the first Star Wars film, it’s much better science fiction and introduced Yoda, the ice planet, the land walkers, the floating city, and a non-Hollywood ending (a hero left hanging with one arm severed), albeit one that set up the third film rather than complete itself like the first film. This is much richer and more like science fiction literature than the first film, likely due to the addition of SF author and screenwriter Leigh Brackett, missing on the first. The second trilogy is forgettable and unnecessary by comparison, Lucas would have served the filmgoing public better by filming some classic science fiction that is yet unfilmed (The Left Hand of Darkness, Lord of Light, Floating Worlds all come to mind), there are a couple of hundred great SF books still just sitting there begging for films.

I would urge them to film some of these rather than recreating populist war films that are little more than westerns in space; there’s much more intelligent fiction out there that doesn’t even rely on typical good vs evil scenarios – I mean, that could be put to pasture by now, we need to evolve psychologically. Examples that got past this are Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – there’s no evil, just exploration, evolution, and the wonders of the universe, no bad guys or shootouts necessary if you have a little imagination remaining.

[I first had The Empire Strikes Back ranked here, but it was correctly pointed out that Irvin Kershner directed that, so I corrected the error. Ironically, this placed Kershner in the top 200 directors at 137th with the 90th film overall]

See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

1 comment:

Davey Morrison said...

I'd probably agree that "Empire" is the best of the "Star Wars" films (it's a toss-up for me between "Star Wars" and "Empire")--but Lucas didn't direct it, and was apparently pretty unhappy with the finished product until after its release.