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Fri, Aug 18, 2017 1:31 AM

Live Poll: Cinematic Cities

According to the IMDb, these locations are among the leading places where feature movies are filmed throughout the world.
From this selection, which one is your favorite cinematic location?


http://www.imdb.com/list/ls020121240/

http://www.imdb.com/poll/38hTiORdqnY/

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5 y ago

Pencho15,

Interesting poll. I remember you working on this poll a few months ago.

I'm torn between:

New York City, New York, USA. Location of over 6,135 titles
and
Paris, France. Location of over 3,003 movies

It will be interesting which cities make the last 9 spots in your poll.

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Indeed, it was a old idea, but I just strated working on it last week. I hope its ready soon.

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5 y ago

There's got to be a ton in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Especially in India and China.

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I was believing that. But my research has not shown this. My guess is, that while there may be hundreds of films filmed in this places, they have not been correctly submitted to IMDb, and since that is the source of my information, I can't add them.


My way of selecting the cities is to check the menu of more common filming locations that appears when you submit information to a title.

That list goes from Buenos Aires with 46,447 titles to Istanbul with 2,114. Then I made an advanced search for each location in order to exclude tv or shorts, and limit the number of titles to feature films.

Every city in the most common list made the cut, with the exception of Melbourne, Australia, which got reduced from 9,250 to barely 42 after the advanced search.

In order to fill the rest of the spots, I'm researching the complete list of locations letter by letter, and double checking all entries with over 1,000 titles filmed on them.


I am actually surprised by the low number of films some cities got. But if that's the information the IMDb gives, I don't have other source of authority.  Beijing, for example, barely got over 200 titles, so its currently in the brick of elimination.

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Mumbai ("Mumbai, Maharashtra, India") seems to have over 1500 results, so it can probably be included.

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Yes, it seems to be on the safe side.

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Midnight Express was filmed entirely at Fort Saint Elmo in VallettaMalta, after permission to film in İstanbul was denied.

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Midnight Express Note 2:

Various aspects of Hayes' story were fictionalized or added to for the movie:

  • In the movie, Billy Hayes is in Turkey with his girlfriend when he is arrested, whereas in the original story he is alone.
  • Although Billy did spend seventeen days in the prison's psychiatric hospital in 1972, he never bit out anyone's tongue, which in the film led to him being committed to the section for the criminally insane.
  • In the book's ending, Hayes was moved to another prison on an island from which he eventually escaped, by stealing a dinghy and rowing 17 miles in a raging storm across the Sea of Marmara, and then traveling by foot as well as on a bus to Istanbul and then crossing the border into Greece. In the movie, this passage is replaced by a violent scene in which he unwittingly kills the head guard who is preparing to rape him. (In reality, Hamidou, the chief guard, was killed in 1973 by a recently paroled prisoner, who spotted him drinking tea at a café outside the prison and shot him eight times.) The attempted rape scene itself was fictionalized; Billy never claimed to have suffered any sexual violence at the hands of his Turkish wardens. He did engage in consensual sex while in prison, but the film depicts Hayes gently rejecting the advances of a fellow prisoner.

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Midnight Express, Note 3: An interview with Hayes appeared on YouTube, recorded during the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, in which he described his experiences and expressed his disappointment with the film adaptation. In an article for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Hayes was reported as saying that the film "depicts all Turks as monsters".

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Midnight Express, Note 4: Oliver Stone, who won an Academy Award for the film, made an apology for the portrayal of the Turkish people in the film. He eventually also apologized for tampering with the truth.

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Interview on Midnight Express film;

During the 1999 Cannes Film FestivalAlinur Velidedeoğlu, a Turkish advertiser, met Billy Hayes by chance and interviewed him on the film Midnight Express. Hayes expressed his disappointment with the film adaptation, especially its portrayal of all Turks as bad, and his regret that Turkey's image was negatively affected by the film. Hayes also displayed a deep affection for Turkey and İstanbul. Although the Interpol warrant for him had by then been set aside, he explained that while he wanted to return, he hesitated to do so out of concern that many Turks might blame him for the negative publicity the movie had generated.

The video was made available on YouTube. Hayes did finally return to Turkey on June 14, 2007, to attend the 2nd Istanbul Conference on Democracy & Global Security, organized by the Turkish National Police and the Turkish Institute for Police Studies, to amend the negative implications of his book. He held a press conference on June 15 and made an apology to the Turkish people.

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5 y ago

Not sure about cities. But cinematically beautiful countries where filming is/would be an absolute joy in my opinion are:

1.Iceland
2. Bali
3. Japan
4. India
5. Greece
6. Portugal
7. South Africa
8. China
9. Russia

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Indeed, but the poll will be about cities. Unfortunately none of this countries seem to have a city representing them in the most common filming locations.

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Bali is an island though, not a country. 

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Indeed, but at 39 is far away from being a top location

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5 y ago

459 feature films, documentaries, and TV movies have been filmed in Pittsburgh (not including short films). If you're just counting feature films, it still has had 298 filmed there (not including many neighborhoods that aren't technically within the city limits but are considered to be Pittsburgh by locals and have Pittsburgh as their location according to the Post Office), which is more than Baltimore, which is on your list at #30. I'll look for a photo. Just in case I forget, you might want to look for a photo from Silence of the Lambs, The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Cinematographical is not a word. Perhaps you could use "cinematic?" 

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I'm pretty sure Baltimore won't make it to the final version. It is already on the 35th position, and I'm barely checking locations with H. It was there while more common places appeared.

With 298 Pittsburg seems unlikely to be on the final list. But in case it is enough I'll use one of the images you are suggesting.


About cinematographical. I found the term as a valid one in a Google search, it says is a variation of cinematographic, which apparently is also valid.

However, english is not my first language, so I'll change it if cinematic is a better, more accurate or more common term.

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Cinematic is much more common. I had never heard cinematographical and it wasn't on a dictionary's website that I used last week but, indeed, it is listed in the authoritative unexpurgated version of the Oxford. :)

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5 y ago

Most Popular Titles With Location Matching "St. Louis, Missouri, USA"
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=St.%20Louis,%20Missouri,%20USA
809 titles

Most Popular Feature Films With Location Matching "St. Louis, Missouri, USA"
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=St.%20Louis,%20Missouri,%20USA&title_type=feature
189 titles

I was surprised on how many films have been filmed St. Louis.

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They are a lot. But 189 title won't be enough to enter the poll.

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5 y ago

Toronto, Miami, or Washington DC.

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Dan. I currently have Washington DC on my list with 490 movies. I have found another problem to have the more accurate list is that popular cities appear as divided entries under sligthly different names.

While I'm researching I'm also trying to merge some of the entries in order to make the IMDb location list more accurate and help the databse in the future.

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5 y ago

FYC, P.S.Needs a backlink.

I also would be careful about how you word your proposition, as the IMDb totals are likely underestimates or in some cases overestimates. The IMDb list of movie locations is far from complete or accurate. Most movies use multiple locations and some cities movies that have named neighborhoods, sections, areas or have annexed other cities and towns maybe  listed under those, rather than their parent metropolitan city. Some actual cities maybe very small population wise and geographically, but have have large incorporated county areas and populations that surround them and by default use the city name, even though they are not in the city. The issues tend to be different for older cities than for newer cities and skews the results differently.

My vote Boston, Massachusetts, USA has 23 distinct neighborhoods, including some former municipalities each with their own movie listing that does not reference Boston. Los Angeles, New York and other cities will have the same issue.
Roxbury, Boston
 http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Roxbury,%20Massachusetts,%20USA&ref_=ttloc_loc_3
Dorchester, Boston
 http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Dorchester,%20Massachusetts,%20USA&ref_=ttloc_loc_3
South Boston
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=South%20Boston,%20Massachusetts,%20USA&ref_=ttloc_loc_3
Charlestown
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Charlestown,%20Massachusetts,%20USA&ref_=ttloc_loc_3

Boston's diverse neighborhoods serve as a political and cultural organizing mechanism. The City of Boston's Office of Neighborhood Services has designated 23 Neighborhoods in the city:

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FYC, P.S.Needs a backlink.


Yes it does. I'll add it when the final version is ready. That means having the final list of cities with better images. I did not add it now to prevent it going live by mistake.


I also would be careful about how you word your proposition, as the IMDb totals are likely underestimates or in some cases overestimates. The IMDb list of movie locations is far from complete or accurate

It is definitively far for complete or accurate. However it is the best source of information I have, it is already a lengthy investigation for a poll and anything more would be impossible for Me.

I've been trying to play it on the safe side by writing in the description that all information is according to IMDb.

Also in every entry I write that a city is a location of over whatever number I get, as I take it for a fact that it more movies that have not been accurately submited where also filmed there.

However, I'm open to suggestion about better ways to word the poll or make the information as accurate as possible.


My vote Boston, Massachusetts, USA has 23 distinct neighborhoods, including some former municipalities each with their own movie listing that does not reference Boston. Los Angeles, New York and other cities will have the same issue.

That is a big issue, but it is one I'm not able to overcome. I have been checking each location in the IMDb in alphabetical order, and I have noticed that many if not all cities have their location information divided in at least two entries. Sometimes due to ortographical mistakes, sometimes due to a missing comma, sometimes due to differen entries giving different information or spelling something different.

In the case of foreign cities, they are often divided in entries both in english or in their original language, and historical cities that have changed name or borders or countries in tiem are also divided by those criteria. And that's just considering places with the same name.

If besides that I consider metropolitan areas or different buroughs, I would have to accurately know the list of every place that might be considered part of a larger city, following the criteria of different countries, and making countless addition for each and every location at IMDb. It is simply impossible.

I've been trying to merge some locatons that are obviously the same (for example Bucharest, Romania and Bucarest, Romania), and I have updated the IMDb in order for them to merge them in their lists. But besides that, the poll will have to go without much detail about each metropolitan area.

In any case, the information about the main location or entry, allows us to assume the addition of neighbour towns would keep the list with the same cities. Or I think it does.

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I agree, my comment wasn't a criticism, but more of an observation. I can't think of a better resource or a way to make it anywhere near perfect. I was just highlighting what I perceive to be an issue in creating a poll on the topic, I would accept the limitations for what they are; as even spend a fair amount time will likely yield a similar ranking and still be have imperfect totals. Although, I think about 500 films is good cut-off, as there are likely some other cities not listed that fit the bill out there. I would use some ambiguous disclaimer like "by one accounting", calling the numbers "low estimates" or omitting the number totals altogether and just list the top twenty-five or thirty-five cities or so.

The Los Angeles, Burbank, and Santa Clarita totals are driven by "L.A. area based studio filming and backlot production. The separate Los Angeles county cities of Culver City and Universal City probably deserve their own listing too. "Of the Big Six Studios, Paramount is the only one still based in Hollywood proper (part of city of Los Angeles); furthermore, Paramount and Fox are the only ones still located within the Los Angeles city limits, while Disney and Warner Bros. are located in Burbank, Columbia in Culver City, and Universal in the unincorporated area of Universal City."

Plus, other world film productions center are worth checking out. They would include Mumbai, India (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bollywood) and the Nigerian film studios that are based in Lagos, Kano and Enugu, forming a major portion of the local economy of these cities. Nigerian cinema is Africa's largest movie industry in terms of both value and the number of movies produced per year. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nollywood). Any city with a major studio or known production center probably has the numbers to make the cut, like Calgary and Vancouver in British Columbia. Some areas (Georgia, Louisiana, etc.) give heavy incentives to lure film productions to film in their states and have climbed onto this list.

Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Maharashtra, India 1,591 titles
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Mumbai&title_type=feature

Columbia Pictures in Culver City, California, USA 1,567 titles
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Culver%20City,%20California&title_type=feature

Universal Pictures in the unincorporated area of Universal City. California, USA1,380 titles
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Universal%20City,%20California&title_type=feature

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 1,260 titles
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Vancouver&title_type=feature

New Orleans, Louisiana 654 titles
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=New%20Orleans&title_type=feature

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Sure. I never took it as critics, but as suggestions, I just wanted to give a complete answer. Sorry if it seemed otherwise.

I have already added New Orleans, Vancouver and Mumbai to the list and they all seem to have a high enough number of movies to remain once the final version is ready.

Nigerian cities do not have enough entries at IMDb. I suppose that is due to the lack of information about that cinema.

As for the suggestion of eliminating the number of movies. Seems like a good idea that will also avoid the poll from getting dated as soon as new information is added. I'll keep the numbers while I remain working for reference. But will remove them before publishing it.

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No, it didn't seem that way. I wasn't sure, so I spelled it out. I appreciate the clarity rather than my guessing. Sounds like the plan on the city additions. I also came to same conclusion on Nollywood,that it likely has enough movie production, but no proof or definitive listing to back it up.

FYC, I would swap out the images on the NYC and New Orleans options.

#2 New York City, NY King Kong image is probably digitally created, but I would use another film though as New Zealand doubled for New York in the actual filming. So, it probably isn't the best example of on-location filming.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0360717/locations?ref_=tt_ql_dt_6

Most Voted Pure New York City, NY Movies:The Godfather or The Godfather: Part II or Léon: The Professional or The Wolf of Wall Street or just about any older Woody Allen movie or Spiderman movie or any movie with Statue of Liberty, NYC Skyline, or Times Square http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1872181/mediaviewer/rm2461517824
 or http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1872181/mediaviewer/rm3843498752

NYC SKYLINE


# 27 New Orleans, LA Django Unchained image is likely of an area outside Telluride, CO or maybe Jacksons Hole, WY not New Orleans http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1853728/locations?ref_=tt_ql_dt_6

Most Voted Pure New Orleans, LA Movies: Deja Vu or any movie featuring Mardi Gras scenes or Mississippi river scenes. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0453467/mediaviewer/rm2249597696 See this Mardi Gras poll list for other options: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls033358603/?start=1&view=detail&sort=num_votes:desc&defaults=1&lists=ls033358603

MISSISSIPPI RIVER/CRESCENT BRIDGE

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0453467/locations?ref_=tt_ql_dt_6

FRENCH QUARTER

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1670345/locations?ref_=tt_ql_dt_6

I uploaded these images if you like them.

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Two more 500 plus Cinematographical Cities from World Cinema centers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_industry

Danka 601 titles aka Dhallywood
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Dhaka&ref_=ttloc_loc_3
Cinema of Bangladesh

Cairo 535 titles
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Cairo&ref_=ttloc_loc_3
Cinema of Egypt: Of the more than 4,000 short and feature-length films made in Arab countries since 1908, more than three-quarters were Egyptian.

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You haven't limited those searches to features.

Also, searching for a name like "Cairo" alone produces slightly different results than "Cairo, Egypt". There are a few matches for "Cairo, New York, USA". Pencho needs to use consistent search patterns to be able to compare the numbers.

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Indeed, both are below the required numbers if you limit them to features. Unfortunately Africa will be the only continent with no representation on the poll

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Yes, I should have limited to features or features/docs/TV movies/shorts. But, by adding Cairo, Eygpt you will get a more specific result, but it works both ways to increase and decrease the results. Some movies list only Cairo as the location and do not specify the country. I listed it as such because it is going to pick up more right matches and then wrong matches and therefore be more accurate. If the goal is to be more accurate, then accounting for that should yield a better result. Cairo, Eygpt according to Wikipedia is one is one of the world centers of cinema and has 3000 short and feature length films to its credit. The IMDb database, as far a movie locations goes, is deeply flawed due to its incompleteness (some regional bias) and inconsistency in format submissions. Some common sense needs to be applied to correct the systematic flaws. Plus, I am only suggesting candidates that should be investigated further by Pencho using whatever inclusion parameters he has set.

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"Some movies list only Cairo as the location"

I don't think so. I checked.

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5 y ago

Good poll but the pictures are very "neutral", I mean... how about picking monuments as starting points, I mean, you can't do wrong if you select the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben (instead of the Ferris Wheel), the Empire State Building, Brandeburg Door and the Coliseum and look for movies that featured them. Same goes with the less iconic cities, there's always a landmark, a highly identified place where a famous movie took place, if there wasn't such a picture, it would contradict the purpose of the poll.

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Yes, all pictures are neutral right now. I haven't took the time to find acutually good images as I am still refining the final list of locations. Once that is done, hopefully in the next couple of days. I'll try to find images with iconic views of each place, or at least an iconic scene occuring in each city.

If you have suggestions in the meantime, they would be a great help.

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I would agree. I think most cities have an iconic image associated with it. Likewise, the may have a movie that it almost a travel brochure for the the city. When I think San Francisco, I think of the Golden Gate Bridge and the movie Vertigo (as seen from the Presido fort). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/mediaviewer/rm3932035584

When I think Los Angeles, I think of its Art Deco City Hall and the movie L. A. Confidential. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119488/mediaviewer/rm679097088.

I can sympathize, even if you can make the right connections, it is very unlikely the right screenshot is already in the IMDb image gallery. Therefore, making an already labor intensive poll suggestion, even more so. I hope these two images help.

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Those are indeed great suggestions. I already had the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate for Paris and San Francisco, but they look much better in the images you propose so they have been changed.

The only one I'm leaving out is Rome, since that Colisseum is computer generated, so I preffer an image of the real one.

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5 y ago

 Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Location of over 1,552 movies 

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5 y ago

Nice idea!
It's to bad that good images are hard to find.
Great that Amsterdam is on the list (I live nearby). I didn't expect that.
Maybe you can use this image: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2917388/m...
Or an images from Hitman's Bodyguard, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959563/m... ,but this one is behind the scenes. But I think you can use them as well.

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I loved to see Amsterdam, as well as other cities like Bucharest, Helsinki or Copenhaguen on the list as they gave variety. Unfortunately as I keep researching I have been forced to take them out in favour of places with more movies filmed on them.

At this moment Lisbon is the 35th place on the list with 495 movies. But I still have to check letters Q-Z, so I suppose there will be a couple of changes in the final list.

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5 y ago

List of cities is final now. I'm starting to look for proper images.

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5 y ago

This might be good for Prague:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102181/m...

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Thanks

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5 y ago

A better photo for option #12 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

>> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1010048/mediaviewer/rm2850720512

Also, you have forgotten the discussion link.

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He has not "forgotten", he said he would add it when the list is finished.

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Ohh...I didn't read past comments and when I opened the list it was already finished with 35 options. So I thought...

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I'll use Slumdog Millionaire for Mumbai, but a different image as I preffer to show a view of the city when possible.

I'm looking for better images for 5 more cities: New York, Los Angeles, Rome, Toronto and Buenos Aires and maybe New Orlenas and then it should be ready.

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Possible Image Upgrades for Sydney:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2006853/mediaviewer/rm4290709504
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397203/mediaviewer/rm2405500416

While one is technically classified asTV movie and might be a stretch for the topic. I guess it depends whether if you value the strength of the image recognition over keeping all the images from feature movies most associated with the city.

Plus another city to checkout for consideration Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 431 titles http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Rio%20de%20Janeiro&&title_type=feature
Movies: City of God, Rio, Hulk  Iconic Images/Events Carnival, Christ the Redeemer Statue
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1436562/mediaviewer/rm638761728
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317248/mediaviewer/rm3997041664

Buenos Aries
Movies:The Secret in Their Eyes, Wild Tales, Evita
Iconic Images Presidential Palace, Skyline, Puente de la Mujer,
Obelisco de Buenos Aires
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116250/mediaviewer/rm922458368
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3011894/mediaviewer/rm2889148160

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Pencho,

India has the 3rd longest railway network in the world after USA and China. I thought it would be better to describe a city in India using the corresponding railway station.

That dance scene was shot in Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chhatrapati_Shivaji_Terminus_railway_station) in Mumbai. A popular railway station in India.

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5 y ago

FYC
I like how you modified your introductory statement and question. I think you can tweak your question a bit more to avoid the whole issue of it being a definitive or comprehensive listing. By using qualifiers like "among" and "select" to account for any cities that are leading cities that have been excluded, as well as, as any omissions due to an oversight, lack of data to support to their inclusion or debatable options. If the total includes only feature films or features, documentaries, TV movies, Direct-to-Video and short films, maybe it needs to be clearer? It would seem that skew the results somewhat as certain segments seem to be regionally based (ie Docs, Adult). Just an idea, reformatting the answer options, like below could keep the totals current for poll takers. While placing the ranking ownership on a snapshot of IMDb data as of a certain date. The three line option put a number on poll option, while the two line option makes the number readily available, but obscures it under a hyperlink. The advantage being it is no longer time-sensitive and your poll is always current. As well as it distances your poll from the number validity issue.

Poll Title:
Favorite World Cinematographical Cities (or another catchier version)

Poll Suggestion:
According to the IMDb, these cities are among the leading locales in the world, in terms of film production. IMDb database includes feature movies have been filmed, at least in part, on a studio soundstage, on a studio backlot or on-location. The cited totals include only feature theatrical films, but exclude documentaries, TV movies, direct-to-video and short films.

Which of these select centers of world cinema is your favorite cinematographical location?

Alternate Answer Options Format #1:
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
IMDb Totals: 844 Feature Movies (As of 25 August 2017)
Current Total: Feature Movie Total (As of Today)

Alternate Answer Options Format #2:
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Current Total: Feature Movie Total (As of Today)