All-Time Greatest: The Snubbed Club
Thanks, EW, for that most comprehensive All-Time Greatest list. My Kindle will be a little fatter, my iPod a little fuller, my Netflix list a little longer, and my wallet a little lighter.
Granada Hills, Calif.
Congratulations! You’ve finally produced an issue about which every single reader will have some reason to complain! An amazing accomplishment, truly.
Any list of the top 100 albums that does not include the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is not valid. There has been nothing like it before or since. Your No. 1, Revolver, is great, but not nearly as influential — probably half of the albums you cite wouldn’t exist if not for Sgt. Pepper.
Linda Gale Hopkins
I can’t with good conscience accept a top 10 horror- movie list without John Carpenter’s groundbreaking, beautifully shot, and supremely suspenseful Halloween. How many slasher movies strive to achieve the greatness of both Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock?
As a Russian-lit fan, I was happy to see several masterpieces among your top 100 novels, but you missed one: Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. That it won him the Nobel Prize — and that he had to decline it under pressure from Soviet authorities — tells you everything you need to know. Perhaps it could have replaced Atlas Shrugged, a promising story full of shrill caricatures mesmerized by their own self-righteousness.
How could EW leave The Dick Van Dyke Show off its top 100 TV-shows list? It helped the sitcom grow up and introduced the world to two TV icons, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Their TV marriage was sexy, witty, and realistic, and the show’s brand of comedy never feels dated. I am disappointed enough to wail, ”Oh, Rob…”
Absent from the play category of your fantastic All-Time Greatest issue: Yasmina Reza’s Art, the 1998 Tony award winner for Best Play.
I was shocked to see that Carole King’s Tapestry did not make the cut. This is an amazing album that has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. It took Record, Album, and Song of the Year Grammys in 1972, and until Adele’s 21, it held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female solo artist. Your list is missing one of the greatest albums of all time!
I couldn’t find my all-time favorite novel anywhere on your list. I remember reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five when I was in my early teens and being completely blown away. I still go back to Tralfamadore from time to time.
Bowling Green, Ohio
The fact that The Exorcist wasn’t one of the 100 best movies (or even the top 10 horror films) is making my head spin!
I can only imagine how hard it was to go through the vast vaults of TV programs through the ages, but ignoring the award-winning Northern Exposure was a big mistake. It was a superbly written, thoroughly entertaining hour of TV, filled with fleshed-out characters like the kinetic Fleischman and the wonderfully eccentric Ed.
Allison J. Bauman
Guys & Dolls is a great musical. But to place it at No. 1 over seminal shows like Show Boat and My Fair Lady (which were not even in your top 10) is unexplainable.
Readers shook their fists at us for excluding all sorts of films, but 1994’s The Shawshank Redemption had the mightiest outpouring of support. Here’s a sample missive, and our response.
Dear EW: Where was The Shawshank Redemption? Today, it holds the top spot on the IMDb list, above classics like The Godfather and Star Wars. It is one of the most inspirational movies of all time and arguably the greatest success story of VHS/DVD word of mouth. It would be wrong to pick on your less worthy choices, but certainly Shawshank deserved a spot. —Michael McKoy, North Brunswick, N.J.
Critic Owen Gleiberman responds: In making up the list, we determined that The Shawshank Redemption is the definition of a movie that really ”plays,” but in a tidy, emotionally programmatic way that doesn’t ultimately earn it a place as one of the 100 All-Time Greatest. We recognize that in the nearly 20 years since its release, the film has amassed a group of fans that is large and devoted, and we salute their passionate movie love. In this case, however, we just don’t share it.