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.

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