Shakespeare once asked asked, “What’s in a name?” For William Wadsworth Hodkinson and Adolph Zukor, I’d say quite a bit. In the early 1900s, they called their burgeoning film production and distribution company Paramount Pictures.

Last week on Boston Public Radio, we spoke with Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. I consulted his trusty dictionary for the exact definition of that word "paramount." It means “superior to all others.”

This year, Paramount Pictures celebrates their 100th anniversary and this month the Harvard Film Archive is celebrating the famed studio by screening selected films from its considerable canon.

So in the end, is Paramount's oeuvre superior to all others? 

David Pendleton, programmer, Harvard Film Archive
Garen Daley, film critic

Here are excerpts from just a few of the films screening at the Harvard Film Archive:

"In Harm's Way" (1965)

"Popeye" (1980)

"She Done Him Wrong" (1933)