Sunday Showdown: AFI vs IMDb #87

Continuing my weekly battle between the American Film Institute (the scholars) and the Internet Movie Database (the masses). This week:

#87: 12 Angry Men(AFI) vs Inglourious Basterds (IMDb)

Quinton Tarantino – Such a Basterd

The one thing I love about Inglourious Basterds is Brad Pitt’s pronunciation of Nazis: Nat-zees.  Really this film was more of a social experiment than anything else: is the highly-graphic, utterly-gratuitous Tarantino-esque violence more acceptable if it portrayed against the Nat-zees rather than some poor kid named Marvin in the back of a car?

I was pretty okay with it until the David Bowie music video about 2/3 of the way through.  But Tarantino has always been known for his complete disregard for cinematic rules… so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.   You always know what to expect with Q.T.: a spit in the face to all things normal.

Regardless, how do you compare Inglourious Basterds to 12 Angry Men?  Definitely no graphic, gratuitous violence in 12 Angry Men (and seriously, in comparison to Basterds they really don’t seem that angry).   Unfortunately, I’ve used 12 Angry Men too many times as a group dynamics-teaching exercise in my college classes to really see it as an award-winning film any longer.

12 Ang… Zzzzzzzzz…

12 Angry Men shows back up as #8 on the IMDb list – totally unbelievable to me, especially for IMDb. It definitely won’t win as #8. I’m not even going to choose it as #87.  That’s right; this week I’m going with sheer entertainment value over award-winningness. 

Maybe if Henry Fonda could’ve worked the word Nat-zees in there, the results would’ve been different.

So IMDb gets a vote — bringing the overall count to AFI – 10, IMDb – 4. Next week  2001: A Space Odyssey (the movie I love to hate) and Platoon.


3 thoughts on “Sunday Showdown: AFI vs IMDb #87

  1. I suppose I need to see “Basterds” at some point. I almost picked it up when they revealed it slotted in to Tarantino’s meta-verse (somehow…I forget the details now); but I am a bear of little brain and tend to forget things.

  2. I feel the same way about 12 Angry Men. Over the years I’ve tried to watch it, and while yes there some rather compelling scenes, it really doesn’t grip you like a good classic does.

    I love Inglorious Basterds for its sheer gusto to say, “Yes we all know how the war in Europe ended, but we’re going to pretend that never happened.” I also agree that Pitt’s role in that movie is fantastic.

    “I want my scalps!”

    Bro, don’t insult the intelligence of little brained bears; you know that you a far more dim then them.

  3. Good choice. I love “12 Angry Men” but I.B. is flat out brilliant. Anthony, why does it not shock me that you haven’t seen it? We need to rectify that (I have a copy. You can’t borrow it. But, you can come over and watch it).

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