What makes a great movie?

Aug 14, 2007
What makes a great movie?

A film that wins critical acclaim is likely to be an R-rated drama, adapted from a prize-winning play or book and based on a true story, with the original author or director involved in writing the screenplay.

It is unlikely to be a sequel or remake, a comedy or musical, a summer release, a big-budget project, have a PG-13 rating, open on numerous screens or do a big box office on the first weekend. It probably has an excellent score, but it may not have an award-winning song.

But box-office hits may have entirely different profiles.

Dean Simonton, a professor of psychology at UC Davis, has subjected thousands of feature-length, English-language, narrative films to a battery of statistical tests – including Pearson product-moment coefficients and hierarchical regression analyses – to get at the formula for cinematic creative triumph and box-office success.

He will summarize his research at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association on Friday, Aug. 17.

Simonton, an expert on human creativity, is the author of "Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity." He is at work on a new book, "Great Flicks: Scientific Studies of Cinematic Creativity and Aesthetics."

"Exceptional creativity is frequently viewed as a highly individualistic phenomenon," Simonton said. "But there is at least one type of artistic expression that is extremely prominent, often highly profitable and inherently collective in nature: the feature film. Motion pictures provide a valuable research site for investigating group artistic creativity under real-world conditions."

Source: UC Davis

Explore further: Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mars rover Curiosity's other mission: PR

Dec 04, 2012

NASA's Curiosity rover was designed to search Mars for places capable of supporting life. But the $2.5 billion mission has another, unofficial objective: To serve as a goodwill ambassador for the Jet Propulsion ...

Apple tablet could stir up video game business

Jan 27, 2010

(AP) -- When Apple introduced the iPhone, it shook up the cell phone business but it also changed the way people play video games. About a quarter of the 100,000 applications that you can download to the ...

Sony Unveils New Solid State Camcorders

Jan 07, 2010

Sony Electronics is expanding its line of solid state camcorders with two new models designed to broaden the shooting capabilities for professionals and consumers. The company is introducing its first professional ...

Recommended for you

Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

Apr 18, 2014

A new article published online in The Gerontologist reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-e ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.