Over the past couple of years, the indefatigable Iain Stott over at The On-Line Review has conducted several polls of film critics and film buffs (yours truly included). First he created a list of the 50 Greatest Films, which frankly, turned out pretty much the same as all the other polls of the 50 greatest films. So Iain started all over again, and sent out a new poll called Beyond the Canon. In this one, he gave us a list of films that were ineligible, films like Citizen Kane, Vertigo and The Rules of the Game that were already very well represented in the "canon." We could send in a ballot with anything we wanted, provided it did not appear on the ineligible list. That list turned out pretty well, but it still received some gripes from purists. So now Iain has gone still further and come up with a new poll, The Obscure, the Forgotten and the Unloved.
The rules for this one were a bit more complicated. Iain took the films from the "canon" and considered only the ones that received less than 1000 votes on IMDB. We were also allowed a certain number of write-ins, provided that they, too, were also obscure, forgotten and unloved. This time the list is wonderfully eclectic, with very little critical consensus on anything. The film that came in at #1 is one of my personal favorites, Budd Boetticher's Ride Lonesome (1959), a low-budget, widescreen Western, starring Randolph Scott and the awesome Karen Steele (pictured). At #2 is Leo McCarey's great masterpiece Make Way for Tomorrow (1937), which many of the voters -- including myself -- only just saw this year on the new Criterion DVD.