Favorite movies of all time

[poll id=”5″]

As the Oscars get shined up this week and the world gets ready to honor the best movies of the past year, the question can also be asked, “What are the favorite movies of all time?” In at number one is the classic Civil War epic, Gone With the Wind. Number two is Star Wars and rounding out the top three, somewhere a beautiful friendship is beginning in Casablanca.

These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,279 U.S. adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive® between January 15 and 22, 2008.

Another fantasy film comes in at number four, The Lord of the Rings. Two musicals are next – first the hills are alive as The Sound of Music is number five on the favorite movie list and then we’re off and following the yellow brick road on our way to see The Wizard of Oz. In at number seven is The Notebook and number eight is Forrest Gump. Tied for number 9 on the list of all time favorite movies are two that at first blush are very different, but are really about the same things – family, honor, and action. First, Inigo Montoya is attempting to avenge his father in The Princess Bride, then Michael Corleone is doing the same in The Godfather.

Favorites Among Different Groups
Different groups all have their favorite movies. First, and probably not surprising at all, there is a gender difference as men say Star Wars is their favorite movie followed by Gone With the Wind, Women, however, say Gone With the Wind is their favorite movie followed by The Sound of Music.

There is also a generational difference. Echo Boomers (those aged 18-31) and Generation X (those aged 32-43) each have the same favorite movie – Star Wars, but differ on the second favorite as the youngest age group goes for The Notebook while the Gen Xers cite Lord of the Rings. Baby Boomers (those aged 44-62) and Matures (those aged 63 and older) each cite Gone With the Wind as their favorites, but again differ on next favorite. Baby Boomers go for Casablanca and Matures for Sound of Music.

Race and ethnicity also show some differences. For whites, Gone With the Wind is their favorite movie while Blacks cite Casablanca and Hispanics say their favorite is The Notebook. In this election year, with so many other differences, one might expect Republicans and Democrats to part ways on favorite movies. But, that is not the case as both parties as well as Independents say Gone With the Wind is their favorite. Alas, bi-partisanship can only go so far as Republicans say Star Wars is their second favorite while Democrats cite Casablanca.


“What is your favorite movie of all time?”

Unprompted responses

Base: All adults 2008
Gone with the Wind 1
Star Wars 2
Casablanca 3
Lord of the Rings 4
The Sound of Music 5
Wizard of Oz 6
The Notebook 7
Forrest Gump 8
The Princess Bride =9
The Godfather =9

“=” prior to a number indicates a tie


Star Wars, Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind, Sound of Music

Gone With the Wind, Star Wars

African American
Casablanca, Wizard of Oz

The Notebook, Gone with the Wind

Echo Boomers (18-31)
Star Wars, The Notebook

Gen X (32-43)
Star Wars, Lord of the Rings

Baby Boomers (44-62)
Gone With the Wind, Casablanca

Matures (63+)
Gone With the Wind, Sound of Music

Gone With the Wind, Star Wars

Gone With the Wind, Casablanca

Gone With the Wind, Casablanca

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States January 15 and 22, 2008, among 2,279 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Explore More...