IMDb Classic Film Board
Doubling the Canon


The purpose of this game was to build a 2,000-strong canon of the greatest movies.  We at the IMDb's Classic Film Board began with the first 1,000 already chosen for us, using the They Shoot Pictures Don't They (TSPDT) list as our starting point.  Our task was to expand the TSPDT list by another 1,000 movies.

We created our complementary 1,000-movie list in 11 five-week rounds.

The object of each round was to choose approximately 100 movies to add to the list.  Each participant could nominate a maximum of 10 movies per round.  Shorts, TV-movies, and TV mini-series were eligible.  Every nominated movie went onto the roster as a nominee. No seconds necessary.

Once the nomination period was closed we had one week to rate the nominees.  The nominees with the highest ratings made it into our canon.  

The first ten rounds were used to go through all the years, starting with the "7" years, following with the "8" years, etc.  We finished these ten rounds with the "6" years in 2006, allowing us to consider movies in current release.

To qualify for the main list a film must have received at minimum 5 votes.  If there are 50-59 participants then the minimum is 6 votes - 60-69 participants is 7 votes, etc. 

The 11th round was for all nominated movies that received at least a 3.0 rating but had too few voters to qualify for ranking.  This gave those largely unseen movies a second chance.  We each were permitted to nominate five more movies for the 11th round.

In the end, when we combined our 1,000-movie list with the TSPDT list, we had a canon of 2,000 "greatest" movies.

In early 2008 nominations were opened again - for titles not on either the TSPDT list or the Doubling list, and for titles on the Doubling list that people felt should be revisited. The holdovers from 2007's 11th round were automatically included, as were any titles dropped from TSPDT's list during their last revision. 184 title were added to the list as a result, with the lower-ranked titles dropping off our previous list.

Additional rounds were held in early 2009 and 2010, resulting in slight changes to the final list.

(adapted from lee-109's manifesto)

Results as of March 2010
Results as of March 2009
Results as of March 2008

I Check Movies (2010 version)

IMDb MyMovies (2010 version)

Lists of Bests (2010 version)
Lists of Bests (2009 version)
Lists of Bests (2007 version)

Google Spreadsheets - TSPDT and DtC (2009 version)

Original Nominees
7 Years (top 104 plus 11th rounders)
8 Years (top 125 plus 11th rounders)
9 Years (top 174 plus 11th rounders)
0 Years (all nominees)
1 Years (all nominees)
2 Years (all nominees)
3 Years (all nominees)
4 Years (all nominees)
5 Years (all nominees)
6 Years (top 101 plus 11th rounders)

11th Round Voting
1888-1949 [Mar 17 2007]
1950-1974 [Mar 3 2007]
1975-1994 [Feb 10 2007]
1994-present [Mar 24 2007]
Holdovers for 2008 [Mar 24 2007]

Subsequent Voting
2008 Voting [Mar 29 2008]
Holdovers for 2009 [Mar 29 2008]


Rating System
6: I think this movie should have been in the top 500 of the original TSP list.
5: I think this movie should have placed in the bottom 500 of the original TSP list.
4: This movie deserves to place in the top half of a complementary list of 1,000 more movies.
3: This movie deserves to place in the bottom half of a complementary list of 1,000 more movies.
2: It's a good movie, but not special enough to deserve placement in the 2,000-movie canon.
1. It's an average movie, far from good enough to deserve placement on this list.
0. I dislike this movie.


Adjustment for Popularity
The Doubling exercise appears to have a built-in bias towards movies that have been seen by relatively few people -- movies that even most Classic Film buffs consider obscure. To slightly lessen this effect, there has been a small adjustment for popularity built into the exercise which increases the vote averages for movies that have been seen by many.

If a movie receives 10-19 votes, we drop the lowest vote. If a movie receives 20-29 votes, we drop the two lowest votes. If a movie receives 30-39 votes, we drop the three lowest votes. And so on...  


Other Classic Film Board Projects
100 Important Directors of Animated Shorts



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