Filmsite.org

Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs)


Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ page has been compiled to help site visitors with many of their frequently-asked questions.
Each week, these are the most common requests or questions -
and these are my most helpful answers to the same repetitive questions.

All external links throughout the site will open in a new browser window.
Filmsite.org does not necessarily endorse external sites.

Q. What is the status of Filmsite.org now?

A. As of September 2008, the site (Filmsite.org, or "Greatest Films") came under the umbrella of American Movie Classics (AMC) LLC, owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation. As of July 1, 2011, Cablevision spun off its Rainbow Networks unit, creating a new company called AMC Networks, Inc. The new AMC Networks entity owns and operates the cable channels AMC, WE tv, IFC, and SundanceTV.

Other than the enhanced header and footer, navigation, and other cosmetic changes, Filmsite's objectives and themes remain essentially the same that they have always been since mid-1996. It has grown immensely in size and scope. Tim Dirks continues to edit, author, and manage Filmsite.

Q. Who should I inquire about advertisements?

A. If you are interested in advertising on this site, please contact Director of Sales - Digital: Chris Cifarelli, AMC Networks, Email to:

Q. If I have a correction, comment, suggestion, or material to submit, how can I communicate with the site's author?

A. Many visitors have been extremely helpful in suggesting various corrections or clarifying various points. The site's author appreciates the time that visitors take to submit corrections. It is wonderful to have contact with so many other film buffs who are extremely well-versed in the details of specific films.

If you would like to submit a correction or feedback to the author, please send an email to Tim Dirks: Please include the page URL.

This Website contains some material submitted and created by third parties. By making a submission, users automatically grant to Filmsite a license to all uses of the submitted material, and individuals give up any rights or privileges they might possess as owner of the submitted material. Material submitted by visitors becomes the sole and exclusive property of Filmsite. Filmsite excludes all liability for any illegality arising from or error, omission or inaccuracy in such material.

Q. Have you ever published...?

A. Only small portions of the site have been reproduced or reprinted on a limited basis. However, please contact Filmsite with legitimate offers on publishing/printing some of the site's contents. Please contact the Author/Manager:

Q. Why was the site created? What is the take-away message of Film-Site?

A. The site first appeared in May of 1996, so it has been around since the early days of the Web, and it has grown tenfold or more since then. The original intent of this site was to provide a depth of informational content in a subject area that is often presented elsewhere with splashy, graphics-rich, content-devoid style. The site's author, Tim Dirks, has been an amateur film buff for many years, stretching back many decades, and his philosophical thrust was to create an educational, inspiring resource. The site's information has been written and extensively researched and cross-checked from primary and secondary sources, and its approach to film has often been endorsed by the late film critic Roger Ebert.

The take-away message is that anyone interested in films (past or present) can come to a deeper appreciation of how to watch motion pictures more intelligently, be more selective in viewing choices, and begin to understand the historical background and perspective of cinematic history and how it has influenced the film industry in general.

The site's originator/author Tim Dirks has often been called upon to provide original material from Filmsite.org for film studies courses, magazine, newspaper and web articles, radio shows, other film-related websites, and even for film featurettes found on DVDs.

Filmsite.org at 15 Years - Retrospective Article

15 Years of filmsite


The end of May 2011 marked the 15-year anniversary of the creation of filmsite.org by movie historian/reviewer Tim Dirks. A retrospective article looks back and details the bygone era when the site was first established and the World Wide Web was beginning to blossom. The tech environment was very different in the mid-1990s, and there were many challenges to be faced in building, hosting, and maintaining a personally-created website.

Its creator and author had been an amateur film buff for many decades when the decision was made to create an educational, inspiring resource that capitalized on his movie knowledge.

The major themes of today's filmsite are much the same as originally conceived, although vastly expanded and reaching wider audiences than ever before.

The "Internet Tonight" Show, a daily half-hour show, was a regular broadcast show on ZD-TV (later known as TechTV, now known as G4). In May of 1998, it featured Filmsite.org as its highlighted website of interest - Filmsite was selected as the segment's focus - featuring "the best of the Internet including the coolest places to be on the Web."

Tim Dirks was interviewed by correspondent-narrator/host Su-Chin Pak.

In mid-2013, Tim Dirks appeared in numerous Bio Channel biographies (see www.biography.com) of famous movie stars, including:

  • Ava Gardner
  • Natalie Wood
  • Grace Kelly
  • Vivien Leigh
  • Rita Hayworth

Other reviewers in the series included: Michael Musto (Entertainment Columnist), Matt Atchity (Editor in Chief, Rotten Tomatoes), Jerry London (Director/Producer) and Ben Mankiewicz (Host, Turner Classic Movies).

Q. What did the site look like many years ago?

See other entries for Filmsite.org at the Internet Archives.

Screenshots of Website's Homepage from 1996 and 1997
Early View of Filmsite

Q. How has the site changed over the years? What are your future plans for the site?

A. The site started out as an idea to capture some of the "Greatest Moments and Scenes" from classic films. As that evolved, it quickly became clear that each of the scenes needed to be placed in context, so that's when I came upon the idea to select 100 Greatest Films and review them in more depth. However, the importance of knowing some of the best moments/scenes in film history continues to be of interest - there's a large section in the site devoted to Greatest Scenes and subsets such as Best Tearjerkers, Best Kisses, Best Deaths, Scariest Scenes, etc.

The site has already branched out far beyond choosing 100 Greatest Films and reviewing them in depth. There is a complete Film History by Decades section, the most comprehensive Academy Awards (Oscars) history on the Web, an illustrated Film Terms Glossary, a comprehensive survey of Film Genres, a Milestones of Cinematic Film section, a history of Greatest Visual and Special Effects, an extensive section on Greatest Film Quotes, and other various articles, such as The Most Controversial Films of All Time, History of Sex in Cinema, Greatest Plot Twists, Spoilers and Film Endings, Best Film Editing Sequences, Greatest War Films, and Greatest Box-Office Flops and Disasters.

Q. How do you go about selecting your 100 Landmark films? What's the criteria? How often do you feel the need to update? And what is the importance to you of documenting our classic films? What is their historical significance?

A. The lengthy criteria for selection of the 100 Landmark films is fully described on two pages (1) (2) of the site. The criteria include multiple elements, such as acting, script, directing, technological/historical importance, awards recognition, popular long-lasting appeal - and much more. Since the site has been in existence for over a decade, we have completed the 90s decade and now are well into the new millennium - so there could be the need to update slightly, although it takes more than a few years for a film to reach 'classic' or 'landmark' status.

So many of our current films 'borrow' from older films. For instance, Billy Wilder's ahead-of-its-time Ace in the Hole (1951) was the 50s version of the 70s Network (1976) and of the 80s Broadcast News (1987). To find the precursors of all of today's films, look back in time.

Q. Why do you choose to focus on classic films as opposed to contemporary ones?

A. At least in some sections of the site, there's an intentional slant toward classic films, for the simple reason that in the vast number of film-related sites on the Web, there are only a few that have any content about classic films. My site was originally designed to help change the perception that classic films were old, irrelevant, black/white pictures of a bygone era. Most sites today have reviews of the new releases in theatres or on DVD, and if there's any mention of classic films, it's because of those releases. Other than that, there's very little about older films. However, I have also thoroughly reviewed some of the more contemporary films, such as GoodFellas, The Shawshank Redemption, and Fargo, to provide some balance. There's quite a lot of mention of more recent films on the site, but not as full reviews.

Q. Could you please help me with my research paper or project on the ....?

A. Although it would be wonderful to find a web site where there were instant answers to everyone's questions, this site's author cannot accommodate these kinds of requests. This website was not designed to provide individual help for students in their schoolwork, although it does offer a wealth of useful information on many film-related topics.

Q. What are the terms of use of this site, and its privacy policies?

A. You may find detailed descriptions of the site's terms of use agreement on the Terms of Use page, and the site's privacy policy on the Privacy page.

Q. Are the reviews on this site found elsewhere on the Web? Are you associated with any film organizations?

Greatest Films Reviews at RottenTomatoes.comA. Filmsite's author, Tim Dirks, was formerly a member of the Online Film Critics Society for many years, a well-respected online film organization.

Filmsite's reviews are catalogued on Rotten Tomatoes. If you click on the banner below, you will be forwarded (within a new browser window) to Dirks' Greatest Films' section of the RottenTomatoes.com site.

Filmsite's Reviews Collection
Click Here

Q. Can you tell me the name of the movie..., or can you tell me the star..., or do you know.....?

A. The site provides a very useful Film Search page to answer these kinds of questions, and to suggest some of the best film database locations available on the Web. Type in a keyword that will specifically focus on your question, and you may find what you are looking for at the external site. Individual requests for answers are normally not accommodated.

Q. Where can I purchase, or how can I acquire for viewing the film ------ ....?

A. No guarantees are implied that you'll find what you're looking for. Some of the best films, film posters, or other memorabilia are just not available for the consumer market. For more difficult-to-find videos, film books, or other movie memorabilia, contact or phone one of the following, although some of them may have closed shop or cut back:

  • Classicflix.com, tauts itself as having the best selection of classic films available for rental or purchase. It specializes in serving the classic film fan with old, rare, vintage, and out of print movies. Located at ClassicFlix.com. Customer Service: (800) 592-6149 or (916) 209-8520.
  • Eddie Brandt's Saturday Matinee, 5006 Vineland, North Hollywood, CA 91606, at (818) 506-4242 or (818)-506-7722, specializing in rare videos, stills, and posters.
  • Facets Video at 1-800-331-6197, a division of Facets Multi-Media, one of the nation's largest distributors of foreign, classic, cult, art, and hard-to-find videos.
  • Kino Lorber, at 1-800-562-3330, specializing in "The Best in World Cinema." With a modest catalog of classic and contemporary world cinema titles. Also distributes classic and world cinema films in their original 35mm format, as well as 16mm and public performance video or DVD.
  • Larry Edmund's Bookshop, 6644 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028, at (323) 463-3273, sells original movie photographs, lobby cards, movie posters, and motion picture books.
  • Book Castle's Movie World, 212 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA 91502, at (818)-845-1563, a treasure trove of movie memorabilia, movie posters, stills, books about movies, theatre, dance, TV and radio, etc.
Q. Where can I purchase a film poster of...., or I have a poster or item of movie memorabilia and would like to know its value...?

A. The site's author is not in the business of selling posters or other memorabilia (although the site is affiliated with businesses that specialize in this material), and has no idea about where to purchase them, or their availability and worth. Please use the search engines in the Posters section of the site.

Q. Why don't you write up ....?

A. Although many sections of the site are constantly being updated or revised, it would be impossible to write-up or review every 'greatest film' ever released.

Q. If I want to quote a section of content from the site, ....?

A. Here's a suggested way to properly cite a Filmsite webpage in a bibliography:

Dirks, Tim. "Filmsite.org: [Specific Page Title here]." Greatest Films (or Filmsite), [specific page URL here, owned by AMC Networks, LLC]. [Date of the document or last revision (if available).] [Date you visited or accessed site in parentheses (here)].