THE A LIST: Adland's favourite Film

Francis Ford Coppola's gangster classic The Godfather takes the top slot in the list of adland's A Listers' best-loved movies.

In a world where ruthless quick-thinking, cunning planning, wise succession-grooming, good ideas and sharp suits are essential for success, it seems somewhat apt that the most-loved film of our advertising A Listers is Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather.

There might not be any horse's heads or guns rolling around the boardrooms of adland, but this stylish and star-studded 1972 epic depicting a family motivated by fear and greed has clearly captivated an audience well-used to witnessing high drama and intrigue. After all, it's played out on a large scale in a holding company near you.

Jack Nicholson's crazed institution patient has also struck a note with adland, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the second favourite film of its top players. Perhaps it's Nicholson's cheerful immorality as MacMurphy and the film's rebellious undertones that make it such a favourite. Or maybe it's Nurse Ratched's uniform. Either way, it's considered essential viewing by the industry's best.

Jockeying for position in joint third place are five contrasting films.

The first, It's a Wonderful Life, is a 1946 story of a man who tries to commit suicide but is prevented from doing so by an elderly angel who takes him back through his life to show him the good he's done. It prompted The New York Post to say that "in its own, icky, bittersweet way, it's terribly effective", which could be a line taken from a Campaign Private View column.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, complete with an Oscar-winning rendition of Burt Bacharach's Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, also muscles into third place - the tension in that final, beautifully crafted scene when the duo realise there's no escape must remind our A Listers of nail-biting pitches.

Withnail & I's appeal surely lies in the two protagonists' insistence on "the finest wines available to humanity" - the mainstay of all the best jobs in advertising - when drunkenly gatecrashing the Penrith Tearooms. Oh, and the hilarious script.

It's easy to see why Cinema Paradiso, featuring a director who looks back on his boyhood in small-town Italy and his love of the cinema, makes the top ten - it looks beautiful and tells a good story, just like any great 30-second ad.

The Graduate's toe-curling story of a spoilt and directionless Dustin Hoffman having an affair with an older wo-man whilst attempting to woo her daughter is another un-surprising favourite with our discerning audience, probably because it's funny, decadent and lushly filmed.

A film that took so long to make that it was dubbed Apocalypse Later, Apocalypse Now, starring Marlon Brando in full madman mode as Colonel Kurtz, takes joint eighth prize - anyone who's ever spent days on a shoot going nowhere will appreciate this one.

Coppola and Al Pacino are back with Godfather II, which The New Yorker hailed as "an epic vision of the corruption of America". Perhaps the fact that it and the original Godfather were bundled together for a ten-hour TV special - that's quite a few ad breaks - makes it such a favourite with the industry. The futuristic Blade Runner, starring the Guinness ad hero Rutger Hauer and directed by Soho's own Ridley Scott, also takes a top ten slot.

Other popular films are: the Vietnam vet drama The Deer Hunter; the thriller Twelve Angry Men; Marilyn Monroe's Some Like It Hot; the romantic thriller The Third Man; Kevin Spacey starring in the twisting The Usual Suspects and the Disney classic The Jungle Book. Special mention must go to TBWA\London's chairman, Trevor Beattie - his favourite film, and this bears no relation to his unruly locks, is Edward Scissorhands.


1 The Godfather 19

2 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 14

3= It's a Wonderful Life 9

3= Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 9

3= Withnail & I 9

3= Cinema Paradiso 9

3= The Graduate 9

8= The Godfather Part 2 8

8= Apocalypse Now 8

8= Blade Runner 8

Also-rans: The Deer Hunter (6), Twelve Angry Men (6), Some Like It Hot

(6), The Third Man (5), The Usual Suspects (4),The Jungle Book (4).