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Literature / The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (and How They Got That Way)

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The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (and How They Got That Way) is a 1978 non-fiction book by Harry Medved and Randy Dreyfuss that lists, according to them, what are the fifty worst movies of all time.

And "of all time", it means "as of the writing of 1978", of course.

This book can kinda be seen as an early precursor of "bad movie riffing" that would later be made popular by the likes of the Golden Raspberry Award, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and many internet reviewers starting from the Turn of the Millennium.

The movies listed include:


  • Accentuate the Negative: The text certainly likes to nitpick and mock any flaw it can find in the movies. After all, what do you expect with the title?
  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel: Invoked with Mae West looking like a creepy, barely alive corpse in Myra Breckinridge.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Che Guevara and Fidel Castro from Che! are interpreted as a married couple of which the relationship is in danger of falling apart.
  • Dancing Bear: Invoked as the main defining trait of Terror of Tiny Town: The entire cast consists of little people.
  • Gratuitous French: A viewer of Ivan the Terrible is described as heckling at the screen: "Well, mon vieux, kick the bucket and then we can all go home!"
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: An old lady in Hurry Sundown is described as supposedly having a heart attack... but flailing around more like she is having a severe case of epilepsy.
  • If It Was Funny the First Time...: The Che! review jokes about Omar Sharif's performance being his best when he plays Che Guevara's dead body... thrice.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Elvis' character in Spinout describes a girl as "it has to be someone I pick" and the text calls him out on referring to her as "it".
  • Misplaced Accent: One criticism about Solomon And Sheba is how all the main characters speak in different anachronistic accents.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Invoked with Ro-Man from Robot Monster, how pathetic his design is and that the only scary thing about his appearance is his fatness.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Happens quite a few times, such as inserting quotes directly from the movie in a section called "Immortal Dialogue".