Six degrees of stupidity

We’ve watched 118 movies so far. It’s become somewhat of a hobby to point out that one of the actors has acted in something we’ve watched before. We thought: “maybe every movie is connected to every other movie” in some way. And if you squint your eyes just so, you will see that jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. I went to IMDB and got the cast list for the 118 movies.

Now look at the picture below or get the high-resolution PDF here. What can we see?

Firstly, that picture is called a network graph. Each dot is a person or a movie. If a person acts in a movie, you will see a line between the person and the movie, If he/she acts in two movies, you should see two lines. One from the actor to each of the movies. The nerds will pick up that I mixed people and movies by making them all dots. Also, I have removed the actors that only act in one movie. Otherwise its too noisy. You would have seen 5000 dots instead of 500.

So how are all the movies and actors connected?

  • Well, 90 of the 118 are linked in some way. 28 of the movies have stars that have not done any other work that we’ve watched.
  • Every actor can reach another actor in a few hops between movies. Its way more than 6. I would estimate it at 15 based on the visuals. I will compute the exact average shortest paths when we have more movies. Or if I think including producers and crew is worthwhile.
  • Neil Breen is the island on the left. He has been in three movies and those movies share no cast with the rest of the group.
  • Sharknados 1 to 4 are at the top. It’s a dense grouping because there are many actors that act in all of the series.
  • The middle of this type of graph usually means that those people or movies are the ‘hubs’ that join many of the outer subnetworks.


Now lets look at some statistics in the table below. Neil Breen gets a high rank because he is the king of his own castle. But from the big group, we’ve watched 8 Cameron Mitchel movies. And he’s kind of in the centre of the graph too. That means he’s probably worked with most of the rest of the group.

It’s no surprise that the popular (high page rank) people are the usual suspects. This makes sense about pagerank. If you act in a movie with a popular person, you become popular. Mitchell, Donahue, z’Dar. Akkaya is a strange one. If he didn’t star in Yor, he would be way down the list.