The Film Daily

The Film Daily

September 3, 1922 cover of The Film Daily with child actress Baby Peggy
Categories Film
First issue 1913 (daily in 1915)
Final issue 1970
Country United States
Language English

The Film Daily was a daily publication that existed from 1915 to 1970 in the United States. For 55 years, Film Daily was the main source of news on the film and television industries. It covered the latest trade news, film reviews, financial updates, information on court cases and union difficulties, and equipment breakthroughs.

Publication history

The publication was originated by Wid Gunning in 1913 (though not as a daily), and the publication retained "Wid" in the title until 1922.[1]

The publications were broken into five parts:

No index of Film Daily currently exists, though Primary Source Microfilm did republish the entire periodical on microfilm in 1990, in a 125 reel set.

The Media History Digital Library has scans of the archive of Film Daily from 1918–48 available online as of 2015.

Annual Critics' Poll

Film Daily was best known for its annual year-end critics' poll, in which hundreds of professional movie critics from around the country submitted their votes for the best films of the year, which the magazine then tallied and published as a top ten list. It was not uncommon for a film to win for a year that actually came after the year it first premiered, since the rollover date for each year's eligibility cycle was typically November 1 and the film was required to be in general release.[2] Gone with the Wind, for example, premiered in 1939 but didn't become eligible until 1941 when it switched from a roadshow format to a general release.[3] No winner was named in 1950 because for that year only, separate categories were polled for Drama of the Year and Musical of the Year (won by Sunset Boulevard and Annie Get Your Gun, respectively).[4]

Critics' Poll Results

Year Winning film Runner-up Cite(s)
1922Orphans of the StormGrandma's Boy[5]
1923The Covered WagonMerry-Go-Round[5]
1924The Thief of BagdadThe Sea Hawk[5]
1925The Gold RushThe Unholy Three[5]
1927Beau GesteThe Big Parade[5]
1928The PatriotSorrell and Son[5]
1929DisraeliThe Broadway Melody[5]
1930All Quiet on the Western FrontAbraham Lincoln[6]
1931CimarronStreet Scene[7]
1932Grand HotelThe Champ[8]
1933Cavalcade42nd Street[9]
1934The Barretts of Wimpole StreetThe House of Rothschild[10]
1935David CopperfieldThe Lives of a Bengal Lancer[11]
1936Mutiny on the BountyMr. Deeds Goes to Town[12]
1937The Life of Emile ZolaThe Good Earth[13]
1938Snow White and the Seven DwarfsYou Can't Take It with You[14]
1939Goodbye, Mr. ChipsMr. Smith Goes to Washington[15]
1940RebeccaThe Grapes of Wrath[16]
1941Gone with the WindSergeant York[3]
1942Mrs. MiniverHow Green Was My Valley[17]
1943Random HarvestFor Whom the Bell Tolls[18]
1944Going My WayThe Song of Bernadette[19]
1945WilsonA Tree Grows in Brooklyn[20]
1946The Lost WeekendThe Green Years[21]
1947The Best Years of Our LivesThe Jolson Story[22]
1948Gentleman's AgreementJohnny Belinda[23]
1949The Snake PitThe Red Shoes[24]
1950category not polled-[5]
1951A Place in the SunA Streetcar Named Desire[25]
1952High NoonThe Quiet Man[26]
1953From Here to EternityShane[27]
1954The Caine MutinyOn the Waterfront[27]
1955Mister RobertsMarty[27]
1956The King and IGiant[27]
1957Around the World in 80 DaysSayonara[28]
1958The Bridge on the River KwaiCat on a Hot Tin Roof[27]
1959Anatomy of a MurderThe Diary of Anne Frank[27]
1960The ApartmentElmer Gantry[27]
1961The Guns of NavaroneThe Hustler[27]
1962The Manchurian CandidateThe Music Man[27]
1963Tom JonesHud[29]
1964My Fair LadyBecket[30]
1965The Sound of MusicShip of Fools[31]
1966Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming[32]
1967In the Heat of the NightBonnie and Clyde[33]
1968The Lion in WinterRosemary's Baby[34][35]
1969Midnight CowboyButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid[36]


  1. "The Film Daily (January – March 1935) Description". Media History Digital Library. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  2. "53 Feature Find Places on Poll Honor Roll". Film Daily. January 14, 1941. p. 4.
  3. 1 2 Aitchison, Marion (January 14, 1942). "Times Reviewers Again Pick Eight Out of Ten Winners". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. p. 13.
  4. "Holden and Swanson Get Film Daily Nod". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Spokane, Washington. November 6, 1950. p. 16.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Gottesman, Ronald; Geduld, Harry M. (1972). Guidebook to Film: An Eleven-in-one Reference. Holt McDougal. pp. 190, 192. ISBN 9780030852923.
  6. "The Ten Best Pictures of 1930". The Film Daily. January 22, 1931. p. 1.
  7. ""Cimarron" Heads Ten Best Films". Film Daily. January 18, 1932. p. 1.
  8. ""Grand Hotel" Leads Ten Best List". Film Daily. January 11, 1933. p. 1.
  9. ""Cavalcade" Heads Ten Best Films". Film Daily. January 10, 1934. p. 1.
  10. ""Barretts" Leads Ten Best Pictures". Film Daily. January 3, 1935. p. 1.
  11. ""Copperfield" Heads 1935 'Ten Best'". Film Daily. January 9, 1936. p. 1.
  12. ""Mutiny on the Bounty" Heads '36 "Ten Best"". Film Daily. January 7, 1937. p. 1.
  13. "Critics Vote "Emile Zola" Year's Best". Film Daily. January 6, 1938. p. 1.
  14. "Critics Vote 'Snow White' 1938's Best". Film Daily. January 12, 1939. p. 1.
  15. "Critics Vote "Mr. Chips" As '39's Best". Film Daily. January 12, 1940. p. 1.
  16. ""Rebecca" Wins Critics' Poll". Film Daily. January 14, 1941. p. 1.
  17. "Times Picks Six of Ten Best Films". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. January 13, 1943. p. 13.
  18. "'Random Harvest' Voted Best Film". San Jose Evening News. San Jose, California. January 18, 1944. p. 16.
  19. ""Way" First in 10 Best Poll". Film Daily. January 15, 1945. p. 1.
  20. ""Wilson" Tops "10 Best" Poll". Film Daily. January 14, 1946. p. 1.
  21. Bahn, Chester (January 8, 1947). ""Lost Weekend" Voted Best Film Feature From Hollywood in 1946". The Florence Times. Florence, Alabama. p. 8.
  22. ""Best Years" Tops 1947 Poll". Film Daily. January 12, 1948. p. 1.
  23. "Film Daily Lists Ten Best Movies". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. December 20, 1948. p. 24.
  24. "'Snake Pit' Wins Top Place in National Movie Poll". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh. January 23, 1950. p. 10.
  25. "'A Place in Sun' Wins Film Poll". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. March 6, 1952. p. 2.
  26. "Western Voted Top 1952 Film". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Spokane Washington. March 9, 1953. p. 11.
  27. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The 1963 Film Daily Year Book of Motion Pictures. New York: Wid's Films and Film Folk, Inc. 1963. pp. 119–125.
  28. "Todd Movie Voted Best Of Year". Daytona Beach Morning Herald. Daytona Beach, Florida. March 17, 1958. p. 1.
  29. "Tom Jones Film Picked as Best". The Day. New London, Connecticut. April 10, 1964. p. 1.
  30. Reid, John Howard (2010). British Movie Entertainments on Vhs and DVD: A Classic Movie Fan's Guide. Lulu. p. 204. ISBN 9780557582754.
  31. "'Sound of Music' Named Best". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Daytona Beach, Florida. April 11, 1966. p. 2.
  32. "Bits of Show Business". Milwaukee Journal. Milwaukee. February 5, 1967. p. Part 2, p. 6.
  33. Cohen, Harold V. (March 8, 1968). "Over 300 Critics Pick 'Heat of the Night,' Too". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 15.
  34. "'Lion in Winter' Selected As Best Film by Reviewers". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque, New Mexico. March 20, 1969. p. 33.
  35. Reid, John Howard (2006). Cinemascope 3: Hollywood Takes the Plunge. Lulu. p. 273. ISBN 9781411671881.
  36. "'Cowboy,' Hoffman, Voight, Liza Win". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. March 3, 1970. p. 10A.
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