Top movies for schools revealed

By Sean Coughlan
BBC News education correspondent

image caption2001: A Space Odyssey was the third most-watched film in secondary schools

Bugsy Malone, a 1970s gangster film with child actors, has been named as the film shown most often in the UK's secondary schools in 2011.

FilmClub, a media education charity which provides films to be screened in schools, has published its list of most-selected titles.

Among primary schools, the top pick was the 1950s cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland.

The charity says its films reach 220,000 school pupils each week.

Teenage gangsters

In this season of festive list-making, the Bafta-supported charity has produced its own top 100 lists of the films that are most likely to have been shown to classes of secondary and primary school pupils.

Bugsy Malone, a Prohibition-era musical performed by children and directed by Alan Parker, was the number one choice for secondary schools.

The type of films which might as well end with the word "discuss", feature prominently. Kes, 12 Angry Men, Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm are all in the top 20.

But also included in the list are European thought-provokers such as the Bicycle Thieves, Fellini's 8 1/2 and A Bout de Souffle. And two Powell and Pressburger 1940s classics make the cut, with A Canterbury Tale and A Matter of Life and Death.

The hardiest of perennials from the Christmas schedules, It's A Wonderful Life, makes it into the top 10.

Among primary schools, Alice in Wonderland takes first place, with Bugsy Malone appearing in second place for this younger age group.

There is a strong showing for the Disney classics, with the 1960s version of 101 Dalmatians, Bambi, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins all appearing in the top 20.

Perhaps more surprising is the success of some very old black-and-white movies, such as Laurel and Hardy Way Out West and Duck Soup from the Marx Brothers.

These pre-war films were enjoyed by the great-grandparents of the current primary classes who watched these titles this year.

The oldest film in the primary school picks for 2011 was The Kid, featuring Charlie Chaplin's tramp character, which was first in cinemas 90 years ago.

The FilmClub charity says that it provides films from its catalogue of classics for 7,000 movie-watching clubs across the UK.

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