Lists by Aizyk
About this list:
This list was created in August 2011 to recognize exceptional original movies made with the typically smaller budgets of TV.
1. Movies made by the BBC and basic cable networks such as Lifetime are included, but I've attempted to exclude movies from premium-channel "pay extra" big-budget networks, such as HBO and Showtime. An exception to this is if the film was produced (entirely or partially) by a premium network, but originally aired on a non-premium network first or simultaneously.
2. Stage performances, theater, stand-up comedy acts, and reality TV series-based productions are excluded. Theatre-stylized productions are included, but not video recordings of actual theatrical/stage performances. Thus, movies like Ingmar Bergman's Trollflöjten, which was filmed in a theatrical style, are included on the list.
3. Each film on this list has (or had at the time it was added) a minimum rating of 7.5, with a minimum of around 100 votes. (A few movies with nearly 100 votes are included, if the film had a sufficiently high score and each additional vote to that point wouldn't lower it significantly, even if those new votes were all 1s.)
4. Two-part movies are included, but mini-series are not. The running time for list-eligible movies is thus limited to 240 minutes for a single production.
5. Movies without a running time of at least 70 minutes (minus commercials) are excluded. This means that several, but not all, children's and comedy specials which the IMDB refers to as "TV Movies" are excluded.
6. Titles included on this list should stand alone as movies. Because of this, sequels which would otherwise appear on the list are likely excluded if the movies which they're sequels of didn't make the list, for whatever reason (e.g. a viewer rating below 7.5). In this same vein, movies which introduce a TV series are included, but not vice-versa. This may preclude movies based on TV series which require knowledge of a series' characters/story arc/etc in order to be understood, or continuations of a season's story arc in "special episode" extra-long "movie" form.
7. This list goes back as far as 1950. Because this list was created to highlight original, contemporary works, screenplays based on plays or novels published prior to 1945 are excluded. Thus, many adapted versions of The 3 Musketeers, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Charles Dickens novels, Jane Austen novels, Thomas Hardy novels, Daniel Defoe novels, Shakespeare plays, etc etc are excluded. But there are exceptions to this: If a production based on a work which debuted prior to 1945 is re-imagined into an original work (e.g. classic works re-imagined as musicals, or adapted into a modern-day/future setting, or a different cultural setting, or a work intended for an adult audience is produced as an animated movie), then it's eligible for inclusion. Another exception to the pre-1945 rule is if the work is based on folk tales/folklore/unknown original authors. Thus, some versions of Cinderella are included.
8. Docudramas and mockumentaries are included, but very few documentaries; the reason being that made-for-TV movie-length "pure" documentaries aren't listed by the IMDB as "TV Movies" by "type" the way that other films here are, making such titles much more difficult to compile.
The aforementioned exclusions do not mean that the excluded movies are not to be regarded as wortwhile viewing. But they should have their own lists. E.g. "Best made-for-TV adaptations of literary classics".
It's sometimes unclear from the information available on the movie's page if the production is a play adapted for TV or just a recorded theater performance. Sometimes the run time of the film isn't listed. Sometimes I just overlook stuff. If anyone sees a title on the list which according to the aforementioned guidelines shouldn't be included, then please let me know by leaving a comment. Thanks!