TCM Survey Reveals How Modern Hollywood Compares to Film Legends

A new Turner Classic Movies (TCM) poll gauges how modern movies, stars and filmmakers stack up against Hollywood icons. The sometimes surprising results show that Johnny Depp fills Errol Flynn’s shoes, and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt capture some of the glamour of power couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. But, when it comes to sex symbols, no one is quite like Marilyn Monroe.

TCM’s survey – conducted during the week of Oct. 18 – is part of the build-up to the Monday, Nov. 1, premiere of the new, seven-part documentary series MOGULS & MOVIE STARS: A HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD. TCM’s MOGULS & MOVIE STARS survey included 1,000 adults, with 43% who identified themselves as “classic film enjoyers.” The findings include the following:

• 41% said Johnny Depp’s performance in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is today’s best example of the swashbuckling tradition that was the trademark of stars like Errol Flynn.

• Denzel Washington is one of today’s top box-office draws. An overwhelming 71% also chose Washington as the contemporary figure who carries on Sidney Poitier’s tradition as a pioneering black actor.

• Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were chosen by 36% as the most iconic Hollywood couple in the tradition of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

• When it came to choosing a contemporary counterpart to Marilyn Monroe, 33% chose none of the options.

• Steven Spielberg was the choice of 61% of respondents in terms of directors with the level of influence exercised by Alfred Hitchcock.

• “None of the above” was the #1 or #2 choice on six of the 10 survey questions, indicating that many fans see legendary stars and filmmakers as without compare.

The following is a complete list of TCM’s survey results:

The Marx Brothers were comedy pioneers in the 1930s and 1940s. Among the following, who do you think best represents their crazy style today?
(tie) Jim Carrey 33%
(tie) None of the above 33
Will Ferrell 18
Steve Carell 9
Sacha Baron Cohen 5
Seth Rogen 2

Errol Flynn was famed for his heroics in films like The Adventures of Robin Hood. Among the following, who do you believe best carries on the swashbuckling tradition today?
Johnny Depp in The Pirates of the Caribbean series 41%
Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro 24
Russell Crowe in Robin Hood 18
None of the above 12
Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride 6

Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni and James Cagney portrayed gangsters in the early 1930s. Among the following, who do you think is the best modern-era gangster?
Robert DeNiro in Goodfellas 47%
Al Pacino in Donnie Brasco 26
None of the above 10
Johnny Depp in Public Enemies 9
Jack Nicholson in The Departed 9

Alfred Hitchcock was a prolific film pioneer. Among the following, which of today’s filmmakers are as influential?
Steven Spielberg 61%
Clint Eastwood 34
Martin Scorsese 30
Ron Howard 27
Quentin Tarantino 25
Spike Lee 10
None of the above 8
Joel and Ethan Coen 7

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were Hollywood royalty. Among the following, which celebrity couple is just as iconic today?
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt 36%
None of the above 27
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones 16
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith 15
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes 4
Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony 2

Judy Garland became a star at age 16. Among the following, who do you think had the biggest breakout role among today’s young stars?
Drew Barrymore in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial 44%
None of the above 18
Dakota Fanning in I Am Sam 16
Natalie Portman in The Professional 8
Ellen Page in Juno 6
Kirsten Dunst in Interview with the Vampire 5
Anna Paquin in The Piano 3

Marilyn Monroe was an iconic star and sex symbol. Among the following, who would you consider to be today’s “Marilyn?”
None of the above 33%
Angelina Jolie 25
Scarlett Johansson 16
Halle Berry 14
Charlize Theron 10
Uma Thurman 3

Singin’ in the Rain is one of the most famous musicals of all time. Among the following, which modern day musical would you consider to be the greatest?
(tie) Chicago 27%
(tie)None of the above 27
Mamma Mia 17
Dreamgirls 12
Hairspray 10
Rent 8

Charlie Chaplin was an iconic comedic actor and renowned director. Among the following, which modern-day star do you think is best-known for this double duty?
Clint Eastwood 38%
Woody Allen 21
Ron Howard 17
None of the above 14
George Clooney 10

Sidney Poitier was a pioneering black actor. Among the following, who do you think carries on that tradition today?
Denzel Washington 71%
None of the above 9
Forrest Whitaker 7
Eddie Murphy 7
Jamie Foxx 6

Source: Turner Research; based on results from the Synovate e-Nation Omnibus Study; conducted 10/20-10/22/10; total sample represents 1,000 respondents among adults 18+; 43% of the total sample were “classic film enjoyers.”

 

Source: Turner Classic Movies

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