bradley_kent's profile

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Sunday, February 5th, 2023 3:20 PM

In Progress

Consternating Contradictions when it comes to IMDb's Acceptance or Rejection of Other Genres for Western titles

I have been working on Western titles, and there is a frustrating inconsistency when it comes to IMDb's acceptance or rejection of other genres for Western titles, particularly for the addition of Drama, or Comedy, to both.  This also extends to the submissions of other genres like: History (to take the place of the taboo "historical-drama" keyword), Romance, Action. Adventure, and even Music and Musical.

Some examples:

Drama is accepted as a genre for Rocky Mountain (1950), but NOT for The Big Land (1957).

Drama is accepted as a genre for Saskatchewan (1954), but NOT for Sitting Bull (1954).

Drama is accepted as a genre for Reprisal! (1956), but NOT for Pillars of the Sky (1956).

Drama is accepted as a genre for One Foot in Hell (1960), but NOT for War Arrow (1953).

etc., etc., etc.

Is the decision made at the fickle, lackadaisical, "scatter shot" discretion of disagreeing staffers?  It just makes no sense.  (And, yes, I have seen most of these titles during a boyhood spent in the American Midwest.)

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1 year ago

This also extends to the submissions of other genres like: History (to take the place of the taboo "historical-drama" keyword), 

Can you give examples of titles for which you tried to make this change?

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1 year ago

There are 161 title with the "no-no" keyword "historical-drama" (since it combines two genres), seven of which are for Western titles.'' Since the submission of a deletion of the "historical-drama" keyword is accepted, it is hard to trace other titles, although I believe one was The Last Frontier (1956).

Here are some other Western titles where the "Drama" genre was submitted, but NOT accepted:

7 Men from Now (1956)

The Tall T (1957)

Ride Lonesome (1959)

Decision at Sundown (1957)

Cattle Town (1950)

The Glory Guys (1965)

Bandolero! (1968)

Vengeance Valley (1950)

Billy Two Hats (1974)

The Comancheros (1961)

And there are many more.  It's the inconsistency that is unacceptable and annoying and incomprehensible.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ 

This also extends to the submissions of other genres like: History (to take the place of the taboo "historical-drama" keyword), 

Since the submission of a deletion of the "historical-drama" keyword is accepted, it is hard to trace other titles, although I believe one was The Last Frontier (1956).

The Last Frontier (1955) would not be an example where you made those changes, since it has had the History genre for a while, and it also looks like it has not ever had the "historical-drama" keyword.

At any rate, The Last Frontier is not eligible for the History genre, given that it focuses on fictional characters. I will submit a request to delete the History genre from this title. 

If you added the History genre to replace the "historical-drama" keyword to any other titles that focus on fictional characters, you should reverse those contributions, because titles that focus on fictional characters are not eligible for the History genre

For titles set in the past that are not eligible for the History genre, some good keywords are period-piece (826 titles), historical-setting (28 titles), historical-fiction (678 titles),  period-drama (1324 titles), and costume-drama (231 titles).

There is also the keyword costume-drama-history (120 titles), which I believe was once accepted as a valid subgenre keyword, but was later deleted from the accepted list after you complained about it.  In fact, it looks like both historical-drama (161 titles) and costume-drama-history  were at one point accepted as valid subgenre keywords, but both of them have been subsequently removed from that list.

The simple solution would be to mass merge all instances of the costume-drama-history keyword into costume-drama. I will add that mass merger to my private list for a future public proposal. 

(edited)

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You are waylaying another of my posts by moving this one into a discussion of the History genre.  My main concern here is that Drama is NOT being accepted as a valid genre for many Western titles.  There is just no consistency, and any supposed exceptions result in contradictions and defy explanation.  That is the issue I would like resolved.  (And, I didn't even get into the Action and Adventure genres, which would also seem to apply to many of the Western titles.)

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ 

You were the one who brought up your addition of the History genre to titles:

This also extends to the submissions of other genres like: History (to take the place of the taboo "historical-drama" keyword), 

I wanted to make sure which titles you are applying the History genre to, and also respond to your discussion of the "historical-drama" keyword (again, all of which was in direct response to points that you raised). 

(edited)

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@keyword_expert​ Instead of The Last Frontier, I should have said Sitting Bull.  Yet, again, my main concern is about the Drama, Comedy or Both genres being approved for specific Western titles.  History, and the unmentioned yet sometimes applicable Action and Adventure and Romance genes are not my main concerns, and not the purpose of this posting.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent

You should be careful about adding the History genre to Sitting Bull (1954). It very likely does not qualify for the History genre. Specifically, the keywords and reviews for that title indicate that it is a "revisionist Western" with "historical inaccuracies," and Wikipedia refers to this film as "a greatly fictionalised form." 

That could explain why any attempts to add the History genre to this film were rejected. 

Although you might not want the discussion on this thread to continue down the path you have started, everything that I have said here was in direct, necessary response to points that you raised. 

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@keyword_exper Then, reject History as a genre for Sitting Bull, but ADD Drama as a genre (which was the purpose of this post, anyway).

It already has "revisionist-western" as a keyword.  Perhaps one could add "fictional-history" as a keyword.

And yet, again, I implore you, THIS POST WAS NOT INTENDED TO FOCUS ON THE "HISTORY" GENRE, but on the Drama, Comedy, or Both genres for Western titles. It seems like you are deliberately diverting from  my original concern.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ 

THIS POST WAS NOT INTENDED TO FOCUS ON THE "HISTORY" GENRE

Then you shouldn't have brought up the History genre and the "historical-drama" keyword in this thread, and you should have raised those issues in a different post if you didn't want responses here. 

Perhaps one could add "fictional-history" as a keyword.

"historical-fiction" is the more common keyword.

fictional-history (31 titles)

historical-fiction (678 titles)

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1 year ago

Hi @bradley_kent -

Do you have submission references examples on when genre had to be accepted? I can take a look at them.


Thanks!

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@bradley_kent​ Thanks!

I do see none of this submissions have a supporting link for evidence, or even an explanation of you having watched it and how they qualify as such. I think this is a matter that we have talked about on several occasions, it's not that we would think you are making something up, but our editors need to be able to verify the information being added is correct, sometimes they can find the information by researching but sometimes it's not available or easy to find, in which case we rely on what our contributors provide.

Thanks for understanding!

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The "supporting link" is IMDb itself.  If needs be, LOOK at the reviews that IMDs, itself, lists.  To determine whether a Western title is a Drama, Comedy or Both, is quite simple, really.  IMDb's own listed -- and accepted -- subgenres are also an indicator

My Drama, Comedy or Both genres submissions are accepted sometimes, but not others.   You need t look no further than the eight titles listed in my original post.  

The problem is NOT supporting materials,BUT the staffers who make these inconsistent and illogical decisions.  One genre addition is accepted, the next is not, without any prevailing or perceptive logic.  The variance in the method (?) that is used to make these decisions needs to be clarified and adhered to by ALL staffers.  Now, it just seems like happenstance, on whim, depending on which staffer is making the decision to accept or reject. Now, it's just nonsensical.  A "throw of the dice."

And, yes, as I said earlier, I attest that I have see the vast majority of these titles, particularly while growing up as a boy in the rural American Midwest.  It aways seemed like "cowboy country" every week at the movies.

By the way, MOST of the older titles are also easily viewable on the internet.  Enter the title followed by "full movie," and you can easily see them.  (I've done this when I had some slight doubt.) I challenge any staffer to take just ONE of my submissions adding "Drama" or "Comedy" or both as a genre, and not agree.  These submissions are objective.  The subjectivity comes into the picture when a possibly naive and unknowing staffer makes an incorrect and uninformed (possibly expedient) decision. 

P.S. I am in New York City, and The Oklahoman (1957) just started in TCM.  In the first scene, Joel McCrea's wife dies after childbirth in a covered wagon!  Now, if THAT doesn't qualify as Drama, I don't know what does.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ If you feel there is a review that would help our editors verify you can link it in the submission, keep in mind we receive thousands of submissions a day, and we can't read the reviews for every title a submission is made for.

Thanks for understanding.

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The acceptance of the submissions of the Drama genre to Western titles continues to be frustratingly inconsistent.

Is there, for example,  any explanation, whatsoever, for the rejection of the Drama genre for the Budd Boetticher-Randolph Scott, or Anthony Mann-James Stewart oeuvre Western Dramas?  I can only surmise that the IMDb staffer who is rejecting these Drama genre submissions knows ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Western films.

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This problem is hardly "solved"!  Whoever marked it as "solved" is gravely mistaken.  

Here's another example of the illogical, inconsistent acceptance/rejection of the Drama genre for Western titles on two back-to-back contributions:  One Drama genre addition (for The Young Land) is NOT  accepted while the very next one (for Three Young Texans) IS accepted!  Is there any possible explanation?

230212-045716-280000
Track Contribution
2023-02-12 04:57:16 Three Young Texans (1954)
Keywords -  4 items added, 36 items corrected
Genres -  1 item added
230212-044553-262000
Track Contribution
2023-02-12 04:45:53 The Young Land (1959)
Keywords -  16 items added, 4 items corrected
Genres -  1 item added

Whoever is making such decisions to not accept Drama as a valid genre when it is factually applicable is being totally nonsensical.

(edited)

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William Boyd made 66 Hopalong Cassisy westerns.  IMDb accepts Drama as a genre for 64 of these titles, but not for 2:  Twilight on the Trail (1941) and Hoppy’s Holiday (1947).

Why the rejections?

Wild Bill Elliott made 75 Westerns between the late 1930s and the early 1950s. IMDb accepts Drama as a genre for 71 of these titles, but not for 4:  Bodertown Gun Fighters (1943), California Gold Rush (1946), Wyoming (1947), and The Gallant Legion (1948).

Why the rejections?

There is just no sense nor consistency in the processing of these genre contributions.  Who is in charge, anyway, and why?

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ 

William Boyd made 66 Hopalong Cassisy westerns.  IMDb accepts Drama as a genre for 64 of these titles, but not for 2:  Twilight on the Trail (1941) and Hoppy’s Holiday (1947).

I haven't seen these titles so I can't say anything about their genres, but the fact that 64 of these westerns are Drama's is no proof that the other two are. Only the title itself counts to see if said title fits a certain definition. It's the same as saying Alfred Hitchcock (generally/usually) didn't make comedies and because of that removing the genre Comedy from The Trouble With Harry: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048750/reference/  or Mr. & Mrs. Smith: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033922/reference/

(edited)

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1 year ago

Look at the Boetticher/Scott adult Westerns, for example:  Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott made seven very important, psychologically complex westerns:  Buchanan Rides Alone (1958), Comanche Station (1960), Decision at Sundown (1957), Ride Lonesome (1959), 7 Men from Now (1956), The Tall T (1957) and Westbound (1958).  Despite several attempts to add the Drama  genre to these titles, IMDb has only accepted two (Buchanan Rides Alone and Comanche Station), while rejecting five (Decision at Sundown, Ride Lonesome, 7 Men from Now, The Tall T, the latter called "the best and bleakest of the Boetticher/Scott westerns" by Time Out, and Westbound).  Despite several attempts to add the Drama genre to these five titles, IMDb has stubbornly and incorrectly resisted. Please, add the Drama genre to these five titles.  

Same goes for the Anthony Mann/James Stewart Westerns, as well as many others,

This problem is indicative of a bigger problem as IMDb ignorantly resists adding other genres to Western titles, in particular, as well as other genres to other titles that meet IMDb's own genre requirements.  Westerns, in particular, also often need Action, Adventure, Romance, Music and even Musical as accurate genres.  And, it seems imperative that every Western title have Drama, Comedy or both to accurately reflect the reality. 

IMDb has been extremely inconsistent regarding this problem.  The acceptance of a submission of Drama as a genre for one Western will be followed by the rejection of Drama as a genre for the very next submission.  And, since Westerns often get remade, it is curious that one dramatic version of the SAME story may get the Drama genre while the next dramatic version of the SAME story does not. 

It just seems "hit and miss," without clarity on IMDb's part.

Please, address this problem.  It is very frustrating to see IMDb exhibit its seeming ignorance regarding the addition of accurate genres.  (IMDb is much more receptive to deleting incorrect genres, by the way.)

Genre purity and exclusivity is a rarity, so most titles may well need more than one genre

Note: This comment was created from a merged conversation originally titled The addition/rejection of other genres for Western films (in particular) continues to be a huge problem:

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I've just submitted the addition of Drama to The Gunfighter and The Westerner, so we'll see how that goes.

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The Gunfighter (1950) does not have Drama as a genre (although it is probably one of the most dramatic Westerns ever made), but The Westerner (1940) does.  This is just another example of IMDb's typical inconsisnency when it comes to this problem.

I have also just been noticing that, now, someone is deleting the Drama genre from some Westerns that previously HAD Drama as a genre!  Goodness, me!

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@bradley_kent​ Well, they've both gone through now (as well as The Big Country), so here's hoping you have better success with yours.

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Dating back to the ancient civilizations of antiquity (and elucidated by the ancient Greeks), narrative literature and storytelling have two "super genres": Comedy and Tragedy.  (Hence, the iconic hellenic masks of Comedy and Tragedy.) They are the two "super genres" that, through time, have evolved into Comedy and Drama.  Comedy and Drama, therefore,  precede all other genres. 

Show biz awards like the Emmys, the Golden Globes, and many others, categorize titles as Comedy or Drama.

A major Western like the Gunsmoke (1955-1975) series, for example, was nominated for and won Emmys in the "Drama" or "Dramatic Series" category.  Westerns are either a Comedy, or a Drama, or both. This is the plain, simple, obvious fact.

If IMDb is an archive of factual information, it is obliged to report the facts. It should  not pervert the facts with personal, subjective, artificially created agendas.  All Westerns are comedies, or dramas, or both.  Something "is what it is," and that fact should not be denied.

Sublime arrogance and blind ignorance are not excuses for ignoring or misrepresenting the truth. 

Please, IMDb, come to your senses.

 

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@bradley_kent​ 

What IMDb has said is that you should provide explanations or sources in your submissions.

That some edits are accepted while similar edits are declined is not unusual. Even if some items were randomly selected and rejected because further evidence is required, that would qualify as a spot check. You are of course free to keep submitting without evidence, but then you will just have to resubmit with a better explanation if the first attempt is declined.

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Varying with who is submitting corrections, sometimes evidence can be provided and corrections will be declined regardless. I don't believe the IMDb data editors can always thoroughly check out every submission within seven days' time. Sometimes they have to evaluate how much they trust the contributor and simply make a decision based off of that.

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@bradley_kent​ I agree that Westerns should almost always have another genre, as having only the single genre generally indicates the setting but not the tone. But I don't agree that all westerns must be listed as either a Comedy or a Drama; some exceptions that come to mind are Cowboys & Aliens and Ravenous.

I'll add that the Comedy genre is widely abused, as contributors often add it when simple comic relief is present; I've submitted Comedy deletions today for Little Big Man and Coogan's Bluff. (Edit: Comedy deletions rejected. Sigh...)

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The ongoing inconsistencies are absolutely astounding:

Regarding John Ford's famous cavalry trilogy, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) has both Western and Drama as genres, but Drama is NOT an accepted genre for Fort Apache (1948) nor Rio Grade (1950).

Robert Aldrich's Ulzana's Raid (1972) has both Western and Drama, but its precursor, Apache (1954), does NOT have Drama as an accepted genre.  IMDb also DOES NOT accept Drama as a genre for Aldrich's other Burt Lancaster Western, Vera Cruz (1954).

W.R. Burnett's Frame 'Saint' Johnson novel has been filmed four time, 1932, 1937, 1940 and 1953, but ONLY the 1937 version has both Drama and Western as genres.

Jesse James (1939) has both Drama and Western as genres, but Drama is NOT an accepted genre for its sequel, The Return of Frank James (1940).

C'mon, IMDb, come to your senses.

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Go figure!  Three consecutive submissions on Tab Hunter Westerns:  Drama IS NOT accepted as a genre for Gunman's Walk, Drama IS accepted as a genre for Gun Belt, and, then, Drama is NOT accepted as a genre for The Burning Hills.  What?

230220-030332-028000
Track Contribution
2023-02-20 03:03:32 The Burning Hills (1956)
Keywords -  5 items added, 51 items corrected
Genres -  1 item added
230220-025244-409000
Track Contribution
2023-02-20 02:52:44 Gun Belt (1953)
Keywords -  5 items added, 26 items corrected, 1 item deleted
Genres -  1 item added
230220-024409-476000
Track Contribution
2023-02-20 02:44:09 Gunman's Walk (1958)
Keywords -  6 items added, 53 items corrected, 3 items deleted
Genres -  1 item added

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1 year ago

The on-going inconsistencies in genre acceptance, particularly for Western films, continue to be absolutely astounding.

Charles Starrett made 65 b-westerns as The Durango Kid.  64 have both Western and Drama as genres, BUT NOT The Durango Kid (1940), the first time he played the character, because IMDb will not accept Drama as a genre for this title.

IMDb apparently will not accept that John Wayne, perhaps the biggest Western star, appeared in b-westerns for Monogram and Republic in the 1930s (before his “star-making” breakthrough in 1939’s Stagecoach), since it WILL NOT ACCEPT both Western and Drama as genres for these films.  Even some of Wayne’s later westerns, like Fort Apache (1948), Rio Grande (1950), The Sons of Katie Eder (1965), The Undefeated (1969) and Rio Lobo (1970) are denied the Drama genre, even though other Wayne titles get both genres.

Elvis Presley (a star perhaps EVEN bigger than John Wayne, believe it or not) gets both Western and Drama genres for Love Me Tender (1956), but not for Flaming Star (1960) nor Charro! (1969).

What, in heaven’s name, is going on?  Does ANYONE on the IMDb staff know ANYTHING about Westerns, b-westerns or classical-westerns?  Are IMDb staffers who are working as Genre List Managers just being fickle and haphazard?

Why is this thread being ignored?

(edited)

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1 year ago

Again, I ask, WHY is IMDb ignoring this issue?

In my Update History, I now have at least 200 Westerns for which IMDb has rejected the addition of the Drama genre. The acceptance of Drama as a genre for Westerns continues to be frustratingly, nonsensically inconsistent.  Why?  Why? Why?

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1 year ago

Hi @bradley_kent -

My apologies for the delayed response.  From my understanding, the issue at hand is that you have observed  inconsistencies between the approvals and rejections regarding adding the "Drama" Genre to Western titles on the site. 

As my colleague suggested, it would be useful if either supporting evidence is provided and/or an explanation is given in the submission to help provide context for our editors and help them better identify that the Drama genre applies.  I understand the frustration, but unfortunately, not every editor has expertise in Western films and it can be challenging to verify information on some of these older titles. 

So with that being said, although it can take an extra few minutes, I encourage you to try this method when submitting genres to Western titles.  If after providing evidence or a reasonable explanation within your submissions and you are still experiencing the declined submissions, let us know here including some of the recent submission reference numbers and I can investigate those further.

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1 year ago

Falling back on the statement, "it would be useful if either supporting evidence is provided and/or an explanation is given in the submission,” is just an "easy way out" that does not really address the problem.  Even trying to attribute it to a lack of knowledge or ignorance of Westerns also does npt provide a sensical conclusion.

The problem is that editors seem to be accepting or rejecting in an illogical, nonsensical, haphazard, arbitrary, “hit or miss" manner -- a laissez-faire attitude where decisions are based on absolutely nothing but whimsey and happenstance and the subjectivity or unprofessionalism of the editors.

As I have said before, just go to IMDb's OWN internal and external reviews is you need substantiation for genres and subgenres.

I use my Update History to follow my submissions.  When they are accepted, I delete them.  What remains are the non-processed submissions.  Among these are over 200 submissions where the addition of the Drama genre to a Western was not accepted.  I am assuming that you have access to my Update History. You could simply help by just correctly reprocessing these misprocessed submissions.

Some of these incorrect, miprocessed submissions already had explanations, usually culled from IMDb’s own internal and external reviews as well as an Internet search.  I will wade through them to find some examples.   (By the way, the staff is PAID to do their work, while the work of contributors is voluntary -- a “gift,” if you will, that is being given to IMDb, free of charge.). And, I already stated the reasons for many “Drama” genre submissions with other posts in this long-neglected thread.

The genre/subgenre-keyword problems, by the way, are NOT just limited to Westerns.  For years, IMDb’s misprocessing of Horror/Animation films has been a disgrace.  Films on Internet and other lists of the BEST Animated Horror films  often include titles for which IMDb will NOT accept the Horror genre.  This kind of stubborness is embarrassing.

As I have said many times, IMDb should be a depository of objective facts that have been observed and are being reported from reality/. It should NOT be an amalgam of subjective "alternate facts” created from the imaginings and personal meanderings of the staff. 

(edited)

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1 year ago

An example:

230228-061025-584000
Track Contribution
2023-02-28 06:10:25 The Tin Star (1957)
Genres -  1 item added

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1 year ago

A couple more examples:

230224-175036-116000
Track Contribution
2023-02-24 17:50:36 Rio Grande (1950)
Genres -  1 item added
230224-174955-217000
Track Contribution
2023-02-24 17:49:55 Fort Apache (1948)
Genres -  1 item added

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1 year ago

And another:

230218-033429-070000
Track Contribution
2023-02-18 03:34:29 Apache (1954)
Genres -  1 item added

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1 year ago

Five resubmissions with explanations that took me one hour (at this rate, it would probably take me plus-40 hours to do all over-200 rejected genre submissions):

230315-200807-655000
Track Contribution
2023-03-15 20:08:07 Charro! (1969)
Genres -  1 item added
230315-195847-382000
Track Contribution
2023-03-15 19:58:47 Bend of the River (1952)
Genres -  1 item added
230315-194834-331000
Track Contribution
2023-03-15 19:48:34 How the West Was Won (1962)
Genres -  3 items added
230315-192129-287000
Track Contribution
2023-03-15 19:21:29 The Tall T (1957)
Genres -  1 item added
230315-191208-006000
Track Contribution
2023-03-15 19:12:08 The Undefeated (1969)
Genres -  1 item added

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1 year ago

Here’s an example where a genre other than Drama needs to be added, but it was also not processed:

230301-161210-756000
Track Contribution
2023-03-01 16:12:10 That Championship Season (1982)
Genres -  1 item adde

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1 year ago

This continues to be a major problem that is not being properly addressed by the staff.  From their actions and inactions, one can only conclude that decisions are made “willy-nilly,” without any “rhyme nor reason.”  Drama is NOT being added as a genre to western titles, NOR is the keyword ”b-western" being accepted for appropriate titles.  Resubmissions are only accepted “here and there,” even when support is supplied as to why the Drama genre needs to be added.

Curiiously, many TV Western series correctly  have Drama as a genre, including the “biggies” like “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” “Wagon Train,” etc., but NOT the following:

(edited)