Empire Strikes Back Voted Greatest Movie

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back has been voted the greatest movie of all time in a poll conducted by the British film publication Empire Magazine. More than 250,000 film fans voted in this latest poll, resulting in a list of the 301 greatest movies of all time. When the poll was last conducted six years ago in 2008 with 10,200 voters, The Godfather took the top honors. This year the Star Wars sequel displaced the Francis Ford Coppola adaptation for the top spot. Who else did Empire Strikes Back beat for the top slot? How has the list changed in the last six years? Find out after the jump.

Here is a look at the top 15 of both the 2014 Empire Readers Poll and the 2008 Empire Readers Poll:

2014 Reader Poll2008 Reader Poll
1Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back The Godfather
2The GodfatherRaiders of the Lost Ark
3The Dark KnightStar Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
4The Shawshank RedemptionThe Shawshank Redemption
5Pulp FictionJaws
6Star Wars: Episode IV — A New HopeGoodfellas
7The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The RingApocalypse Now
8JawsSinging In The Rain
9Raiders Of The Lost ArkPulp Fiction
10InceptionFight Club
11Blade RunnerRaging Bull
12The Lord Of The Rings : The Return Of The KingThe Apartment
14Fight ClubOnce Upon A Time In The West
15The Godfather Part IIThe Dark Knight

Empire Strikes Back wasn’t the only Star Wars film on the rise this year: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope popped from #22 to #6. Interestingly, Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi dropped from #91 to #120 in this years poll.

While The Godfather was knocked off the throne, The Godfather Part II was on the rise — going from #19 to #15.

Any readers poll is just that, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But I do think that readers polls, especially with large samples, can show the changing views of the masses over the years they are taken.

Singing In The Rain

The biggest losers on the poll seem to be older classic films:

  • The 1952 musical Singing In The Rain, which was at #8 slot in 2008 but fell all the way to #96 this year
  • Billy Wilder’s classic The Apartment went from #12 to #104.
  • Chinatown went from #13 to #118.
  • Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull also saw a big drop, going from #11 to #69.

Pulp Fiction

On the rise is more modern films:

  • Pulp Fiction jumped from #9 to #5.
  • The Dark Knight popped to #3 from #15
  • The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring is #12 this year, up from #24.


Other moves in the top 15 include:

  • Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark fell from the #2 slot to #9.
  • Jaws took a shorter drop, falling from #5 to #8.
  • Goodfellas dropped from #6 to #13.
  • Apocalypse Now fell from #7 to #20.
  • Fight Club dropped from #10 to #14.


Only three new movies released in the last six years since the last readers poll made the top 50:

  • Inception at #10
  • Avengers at #16
  • Gravity at #35

While I’m not sure I agree with the order (this could be said of the whole poll), those are three great choices from the last half a decade.

You can see Empire’s complete 301 greatest movies of all time readers poll on EmpireOnline.com.

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