News — RIP World’s Biggest Film Buff

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Alex Miller, Film, News
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


[Posted by: Alex Miller]

Think you’ve seen a lot of movies? Well Gwilym Hughes had seen more. How can I be so sure? The Guinness Book of World Records says so. In 2008, he officially became the world’s most frequent movie-watcher having seen over 28,075 of them. He then continued to average about 14 movies a week after that, documenting every one. What makes his passing yesterday even more tragic is that he put his love of film to good use. While he was alive he worked with over 10 charities putting his film collections on display for fundraisers. He left his collection to the National Library of Wales (where he lived). In addition, he ran a successful campaign to get the film Hedd Wyn nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Foreign Film, after becoming a fan of its cinematography. He will be missed. Click the jump to see his Top-5 Favorite Films and his thoughts on each.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

“I’m a huge David Lean fan and that scene where Omar Sharif appears on screen for the first time, growing from a dot to a close-up is one of the most stunning scenes ever filmed.”

The Third Man (1949)

“Everyone quotes Citizen Kane as the ultimate Orson Welles film but I’ve never really seen the appeal. Carol Reed’s spy classic is much better.”

Zulu (1964)

“I kept a detailed scrapbook on Stanley Baker and his wife signed it for me, which was a great honour. Zulu was his finest hour.”

The DamBusters (1955)

“Classic example of a British war picture and one of the most memorable theme tunes ever.”

The Searchers (1956)

“I love the films of John Ford and this is arguably his best, John Wayne’s, too.”

[Sources: BBCNews / DailyPost / WalesOnSunday]

  1. Dan Hooker says:

    Quite amazing. He has seen so many films and yet comes up with such an amazingly narrow list?

    4 out of the 5 are British films? The 5th is a Hollywood western?

    Sorry, seeing thousands of films just to say “Couldn’t see what the appeal about Citizen Kane was” suggests that he may have seen hundreds of thousands of films but he saw a lot of bad ones and many of the good ones he saw he didn’t really understand or appreciate.

    I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, and I never knew the guy personally, but holding him up as a minor celebrity just illustrates why many ‘records’ are pointless and exist for their own sake, rather than being anything meaningful.

  2. Lauren says:

    I’m not going to disagree that his choices were limited seeing the number of movies he’s viewed over the years… however I don’t think its fair to fault his own personal favorites. As a movie goer it is after all simply his personal opinion. :)

  3. Martin says:

    In regards to Mr. Hughes’ quote on “Citizen Kane”: that he ‘never saw the appeal,’ I am in partial agreement. I do like the movie and Welles is a personal favorite, but it succeeds on a more technical level. When I watch it I tend to find myself sometimes appreciating its technicality (landmark cinematography and lighting) rather than enjoying the story. “The Third Man” builds and breaks tension perfectly. It is essential noir viewing. Perhaps, I just find it more entertaining. “The Third Man” is a happy marriage between technical prowess and a great narrative, perhaps a stronger narrative than “Citizen Kane.”

  4. […] blog from explains that Hughes documented every movie he watched, keeping notebooks with his thoughts. […]

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