They didn’t qualify the word “rewatchable”, and neither did the respondents, so I don’t know whether they meant “I could watch this one again” or the more forceful “I could watch this one repeatedly”, but I will assume the latter. (There are many movies which I’ve viewed one more time, because the first viewing was many years ago, or because someone else wanted to watch it and I happened to be there.)
The top five listed: Star Wars (Ep. 4), The Wizard Of Oz, The Sound Of Music, The Lord Of The Rings (series), and Gone With The Wind. And it’s no surprise that the top five differed based on gender. For males, The Godfather and Pulp Fiction made it into the top five (replacing The Sound Of Music and Gone With The Wind). For females, the top five was the same as the overall top five, just in a different order.
Obviously, the list will be different for each individual person, because our tastes differ. Still, I was somewhat reassured that my own list would not be terribly different than the ones reported by FiveThirtyEight. (I often think I have little in common with other people, so findings like this help assuage that feeling.)
What makes a movie rewatchable? Film buffs would answer differently than casual movie watchers, and I’m probably somewhere in between. Sometimes, I can recognize that a film was well-made, superbly edited, makes a statement, advances the industry, etc., but still not want to watch it again. Other times, I can be greatly entertained or informed by a movie, yet not be able to watch it again because it was poorly made.
Of the films in the top 25, I’ve seen all of them at least once, except for the Harry Potter movies, and I’ve seen all the films in the two gender-differentiated lists (again, except for the Harry Potter movies, which only made it into the female list). But several of them, I have not seen twice, including:
- The Lord Of The Rings (series)
- Harry Potter (series)
- Dirty Dancing
- The Lion King
- Finding Nemo
- Pride & Prejudice
- You’ve Got Mail
Like some who commented on the Facebook post, I was surprised not to see any Indiana Jones movies listed, any sports movies (like “Field Of Dreams”, which I don’t particularly enjoy, but I assumed others would), any John Hughes films (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, etc.), Monte Python films, or even The Big Lebowski.
I suspect many of those didn’t make the cut because the survey only asked each person to name five movies. So each respondent only listed her or his top five, whereas Indiana Jones might have been number 6 or 8 for many people. I think some of those might have shown up in the final cut if more people had been able to list more choices.
I think the movie I’ve seen the most times is probably Star Wars (Episode 4: A New Hope). It would be on my short list of “desert island movies” (which is a silly list to have if you’re actually on a desert island). Close behind Star Wars are The Princess Bride and Monte Python’s The Holy Grail, both of which I’ve seen at least 20 times. In just three names, I’ve covered widely differing genres, and I have widely differing reasons for liking each of them. All of them, I assume I will watch again, and I’ll enjoy them when I do.
A full list of movies I’ve seen multiple times and will likely see again include:
- Star Wars (all, but especially Episode 4)
- The Princess Bride
- Monte Python’s The Holy Grail
- Lethal Weapon (whole series)
- Die Hard (all, but especially the first three)
- Terminator (all, but especially the first two)
- Hot Shots!
- What About Bob?
- Blades Of Glory
- Not Another Teen Movie
- Independence Day
- The Fifth Element
- Pulp Fiction
- Robin Hood: Men In Tights
- Talledega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby
- Tropic Thunder
- True Romance
- It’s A Wonderful Life
- Deep Impact
- The Matrix (all, but especially the first)
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith
- The Sound Of Music
- Rocky IV
- The Transporter
- Batman (all by Christopher Nolan)
- Saving Private Ryan
- V For Vendetta
- Blade Runner
- Chain Reaction
- Indiana Jones (the first three)
- San Andreas
(The above list is supposed to be in order of how many times I’ve watched them, but of course it’s an estimate for each movie.)