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Mon, Dec 18, 2017 06:45 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-06-18 communities
This n' That
Making a list
Tony Fyffe
It started a few years ago with the American Film Institutes' 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, and now it seems everybody is compiling a list of the best and worst of something.

The most recent entries are the AFI's 100 Years . . . 100 Heroes & Villains; Country Music Television's 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music; and VH1's 100 Greatest Songs from the Past 25 Years.

Jeez. The trend started by the AFI at the end of the 20th century has gotten out of hand. Just when I think they've run out of things to rank, someone proves me wrong.

In the latest round of compilations, Atticus Finch, the lawyer played by Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird, was voted the greatest film good guy of all time, while Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lector was chosen as film's all-time bad guy. Not bad choices, but I would have voted for Louise Fletcher's Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as the most evil film character (she ranked fifth on the AFI list). There wasn't a person who saw the movie who wasn't rooting for Jack Nicholson's character, R.P. McMurphy, as he darn near choked the life out of her toward the end of the flick.

Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" was voted the best country song of all time by CMT participants. While it's definitely a great song, I think the No. 2-ranked "He Stopped Loving Her Today," made famous by George Jones, should have topped the list. Many, many years ago, I became a George Jones fan because of that song, and some of my friends said I could do a heck of a takeoff on Jones singing it.

Johnson County native Loretta Lynn had two songs that made the list — her signature "Coal Miner's Daughter," which, of course, tells of her Butcher Hollow roots, at 13 and "Don't Come A'Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)," ranked 47th.

The rock group Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was voted VH1's best song of the past 25 years.

Not everyone, of course, agrees with the top choices of these three organizations; quality, much like beauty, is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder. And not everyone cares who they or anybody else consider the best in their respective category. The only thing these lists do is open up a debate that won't change anybody's mind.

Which brings me to this question: What do you consider the greatest list of all time?

You have about a million to choose from.

* * *

One of the top villains on the AFI list was the shark from Jaws, which incidentally, celebrates its 28th anniversary this Friday, June 20.

It's hard to believe that it's been 28 years since the classic movie was released. That means that I was just a mere 12 years old when the film was shown at my hometown theatre, the Sipp Cinema in Paintsville. Of course, the movie didn't make it to Paintsville until several months after its release, specifically around the Apple Festival in the fall of 1975. Because of its box office success, the film played a couple of weeks at the Sipp, and every showing was standing room only. I saw it several times during its stay in Paintsville, buying the poster from the Sipp after its run.

Jaws is one of my all-time favorite flicks, and if you ever visit my office you'll see a Jaws lunch box and thermos, wall clock, coffee mug, drinking cups and a poster.

One good thing about movies is that they never get old; they're always preserved for everybody to enjoy.

Too bad we have to get old, though.

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