Best Decades in Film History

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  1. According to the They Shoot Pictures top 1000 list (1-10: 5 pts, 11-100: 3 pts, 101-1000: 1 pt, 2000s not considered):
  2. 60s - 228 pts
  3. 50s - 222 pts
  4. 70s - 192 pts
  5. 80s - 159 pts
  6. 40s - 129 pts
  7. 90s - 114 pts
  8. 30s - 103 pts
  9. 20s - 69 pts
  10. 10s - 9 pts

  1. According to Filmsite's Greatest 300 list (1 pt each):
  2. 40s - 58 pts
  3. 30s - 50 pts
  4. 50s - 48 pts
  5. 70s - 41 pts
  6. 60s - 36 pts
  7. 80s - 33 pts
  8. 90s - 25 pts
  9. 20s - 13 pts
  10. 10s - 3 pts

  1. From AFI's 400 Greatest Films (top 100: 3 pts, 101-400: 1 pt, 2000s not counted, 90s suffer from missing '97-'99):
  2. 50s - 101 pts
  3. 60s - 94 pts
  4. 70s - 90 pts
  5. 30s - 86 pts
  6. 40s - 85 pts
  7. 80s - 70 pts
  8. 90s - 46 pts
  9. 20s - 21 pts
  10. 10s - 7 pts
  1. From the Los Angeles Daily News Reader's Poll Top 100 (1 pt each, 90s suffer from not considering '97-'99):
  2. 50s - 29
  3. 40s - 17
  4. 60s - 14
  5. 70s - 16
  6. 30s - 14
  7. 80s - 11
  8. 90s - 7
  9. 20s - 3
  10. 10s - 0
  1. For the final list, I've combined the points of these lists. I doubled the points in the reader's poll list to make them more significant, but critics choices' remains more important (especially the They Shoot Pictures list, which combines the opinions of several respected critical sources). I also added an arbitrary 40 points to the 90s list to make up for the unconsidered 90s years in several of the above lists. In conclusion, the best decades are:
  2. 50s - 429 pts
  3. 60s - 386 pts
  4. 70s - 355 pts
  5. 40s - 306 pts
  6. 80s - 284 pts
  7. 30s - 277 pts
  8. 90s - 239 pts
  9. 20s - 109 pts
  10. 10s - 28 pts
    Author Comments: 

    Strangely, the 50s also put out some of the worst ever made (mostly, B-cinema sci-fi). I personally think 1939-1946 were the best years in film history. I guess the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s benfited from sheer volume of films, and the 90s are hurt by critical significance of certain films not being fully appreciated yet.