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A Quick and Captivating Contest – Wrapup

On Monday I announced “A Quick and Captivating Contest.” This was a short and silly contest to see who could correctly guess the number of movies mentioned in John and Stasi Eldredge’s new book Captivating. Eldredge’s love for movies and his reliance on them as a teaching tool is well-documented and is a critique often used against his books. Those who are troubled by his references to movies will find more grounds for concern in this book.

Many readers decided to take a guess at the number of movies referenced. Without actually doing the math, I would estimate the average guess was about 14. Oh ye of too-great-faith.

Let’s get to the results.

For this contest I was looking for the total number of movies mentioned, not the total number of references to movies. There were many times where a single movie was mentioned multiple times, but in such cases I counted the movie only once. There were several times where a book was mentioned that was later made into a movie (Sense and Sensibility, for example). In a couple of cases I was uncertain as to whether the authors were referring to the book or movie. In other cases still I knew it was a reference to a movie only because I recognized a name (ie Cruella DeVille was mentioned, but without explicitly referencing 101 Dalmations). So while it is was sometimes difficult to discern the exact number of movies, I believe this list is accurate. One quick note before we proceed: it is possible that the reference to Sarah, Plain and Tall refers to the book, but there is a movie of this story and it was mentioned in a list of other movies, so I will assume they were referring to the film.

It is important to realize that the authors did not explicitly recommend (or condemn) any of these films. Usually they were simply referred to like this one: “Isn’t something stirred in you when Edward, finally, returns at the end of Sense and Sensibility to proclaim his love for Elinor?” Here is another example. “Think of one of the most romantic scenes you can remember, scenes that made you sigh. Jack with Rose on the bow of the Titanic, his arms around her waist, their first kiss. Wallace speaking in French to Murron, then in Italian: “Not as beautiful as you.” Aragorn, standing with Arwen in the moonlight on the bridge in Rivendell, declaring his love for her. Edward returning for Elinor in Sense and Sensibility, and professor Behr returning for Jo at the end of Little Women. Now, put yourself in the scene as the Beauty, and Jesus as the Lover.”

So with no further blathering on my part, here are the movies referenced in Captivating. One person asked me to include the ratings with the movies, so I have provided that.

Sleeping Beauty – G
Snow White – G
101 Dalmations – G
The Little Mermaid – G
Beauty and the Beast – G
The Sound of Music – G
Gone With The Wind – G
Sense and Sensibility – PG
Little Women – PG
Top Gun – PG
Steel Magnolias – PG
Sarah, Plain and Tall – PG
The Terminal – PG
Rocky – PG
A Cinderella Story – PG
Enchanted April – PG
High Noon – PG
Ever After – PG
Strictly Ballroom – PG
Titanic – PG-13
Pearl Harbor – PG-13
Maid in Manhattan – PG-13
As Good As It Gets – PG-13
The Horse Whisperer – PG-13
Fried Green Tomatoes – PG-13
My Big Fat Greek Wedding – PG
Fellowship of the Ring – PG-13
The Last of the Mohicans – PG-13
The Two Towers – PG-13
Return of the King – PG-13
A Walk in the Clouds – PG-13
Beaches – PG-13
Anna and the King PG-13
Braveheart – R
Gladiator – R
Saving Private Ryan – R
Pretty Woman – R
Jerry Maguire – R

The total is 38. I was surprised at this and had made my own guess at 18. I suppose the average rating was PG-13. Our winner, then, who presumably had Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on his mind, is Gerard. Gerard guessed 42 with the next closest guess being 30 (and every other guess being lower than that). I’ll be sending him something nice from my stack-o-books.


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