Thursday, June 21, 2007

AFI: The New Top 100 List

The Revised Greatest American Films List
I'm happy to see Blade Runner, Nashville, and Cabaret added. They all hold high rank in my own favorites listing. What say ye about this new lineup? (To be helpful I've added their previous AFI ranking to the right --big changes in bold)

1. "Citizen Kane" (1941) same
2. "The Godfather" (1972) 3
3. "Casablanca" (1942) 2
4. "Raging Bull" (1980) 24
5. "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) 10
6. "Gone With the Wind" (1939) 4
7. "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) 5
8. "Schindler's List" (1993) 9
9. "Vertigo" (1958) 61
10. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) 6

11. "City Lights" (1931) 76
12. "The Searchers" (1956) 96
13. "Star Wars" (1977) 15
14. "Psycho" (1960) 18
15. "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) 22
16. "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) 12
17. "The Graduate" (1967) 7
18. "The General" (1927) new
19. "On the Waterfront" (1954) 8
20. "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) 11

21. "Chinatown" (1974) 19
22. "Some Like It Hot" (1959) 14
23. "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) 21
24. "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) 25
25. "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962) 34
26. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) 29
27. "High Noon" (1952) 33
28. "All About Eve" (1950) 16
29. "Double Indemnity" (1944) 38
30. "Apocalypse Now" (1979) 28

31. "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) 23
32. "The Godfather, Part II" (1974) same
33. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) 20
34. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) 49
35. "Annie Hall" (1977) 31
36. "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957) 13
37. "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946) same
38. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) 30
39. "Dr. Strangelove" (1964) 26
40. "The Sound of Music" (1965) 55

41. "King Kong" (1933) 43
42. "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) 27
43. "Midnight Cowboy" (1969) 36
44. "The Philadelphia Story" (1940) 51
45. "Shane" (1953) 69
46. "It Happened One Night" (1934) 35
47. "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) 45
48. "Rear Window" (1954) 42
49. "Intolerance" (1916) new
50. "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001) new

51. "West Side Story" (1961) 41
52. "Taxi Driver" (1976) 47
53. "The Deer Hunter" (1978) 79
54. "M*A*S*H" (1970) 56
55. "North by Northwest" (1959) 40
56. "Jaws" (1975) 48
57. "Rocky" (1976) 78
58. "The Gold Rush" (1925) 74
59. "Nashville" (1975) new
60. "Duck Soup" (1933) 85

61. "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) new
62. "American Graffiti" (1973) 77
63. "Cabaret" (1972) new
64. "Network" (1976) 66
65. "The African Queen" (1951) 17
66. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) 60
67. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966) new
68. "Unforgiven" (1992) 98
69. "Tootsie" (1982) 62
70. "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) 46 (i still don't understand how this one qualifies as American)

71. "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) new
72. "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) new
73. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) 50
74. "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) 65
75. "In the Heat of the Night" (1967) new
76. "Forrest Gump" (1994) 71
77. "All the President's Men" (1976) new
78. "Modern Times" (1936) 81
79. "The Wild Bunch" (1969) 80
80. "The Apartment" (1960) 93

81. "Spartacus" (1960) new
82. "Sunrise" (1927) new
83. "Titanic" (1997) new
84. "Easy Rider" (1969) 88
85. "A Night at the Opera" (1935) new
86. "Platoon" (1986) 83
87. "12 Angry Men" (1957) new
88. "Bringing Up Baby" (1938) 97
89. "The Sixth Sense" (1999) new
90. "Swing Time" (1936) new

91. "Sophie's Choice" (1982) new
92. "Goodfellas" (1990) 94
93. "The French Connection" (1971) 70
94. "Pulp Fiction" (1994) 95
95. "The Last Picture Show" (1971) new
96. "Do the Right Thing" (1989) new
97. "Blade Runner" (1982) new
98. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942) 100
99. "Toy Story" (1995) new
100. "Ben-Hur" (1959) 72

<---they're tearing him apart: James Dean lost BOTH his spots on the top 100. And Monty Clift too. Argh. The films that fell out were...Doctor Zhivago #39, North by Northwest #40, Birth of a Nation #44, From Here To Eternity #52, Amadeus #53, All Quiet on the Western Front #54, The Third Man #57, Fantasia #58, Rebel Without a Cause #59, Stagecoach #63, Close Encounters of the Third Kind #64, The Manchurian Candidate #67, An American in Paris #68, Wuthering Heights #73, Dances With Wolves #75, Giant #82, Fargo #84, Mutiny on the Bounty #86, Frankenstein #87, Patton #89, The Jazz Singer #90, My Fair Lady #91, A Place in the Sun #92, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner #99

weirdest entry: Sophie's Choice... almost never listed in any "best of", apart from Meryl Streep's astonishing performance, is in the top 100 --They collectively name it the 6th best of the entire 80s decade. Whaaaa?

lesson learned: nothing below the top 30 is ever safe. It all depends on who they poll and which way the winds blow.


Anonymous said...

Why do the ranking fluctuate so much year from year? Surely it counters the validity of a list in which a film is a 'classic' one year, and not the other.

Anonymous said...

"The Manchurian Candidate" and especially "Amadeus" falling out is frunking ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I hate these sort of lists actually - why is a film a classic one year and then out the list the next? Why does it have to be a numerical order - this is more classic than that? "Classic" is classic, right?

Lord of the Rings? Titanic? Puh-leez.


Anonymous said...

Well the AFI themselves have always said that it's more about promoting discussion than in trying to create any kind of definitive list.

adam k. said...

Amadeus is indeed a sad loss. I'm happy LOTR and Titanic are there, though.

But why are Forrest Gump and Rocky there? And above Pulp Fiction and Network? What? Cineastes always complain about how these films beat superior ones at the oscars, but the AFI are totally complicit. Whatever.

Adam said...

From Here to Eternity and A Place in the Sun are clearly inferior to all those Spielberg films... Clearly...

Anonymous said...

All in all, I'd say this was a step up from the first list.

I was sure they were going to screw Buster Keaton again and then The General popped up in the top twenty and I cheered out loud. Good for them.

Also glad to see Do the Right Thing muscle out Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and to see Vertigo move up so dramatically. Preston Sturges inclusion was also a welcome improvement.

I too was baffled by Sophie's Choice inclusion on the list. Most of the major lapses in taste were predictable (Titanic, The Sound of Music) but Sophie's inclusion was inexplicable.

If I had one major gripe it will be The Third Man falling off. True, it's British. But if they declared it eligible it should be on the list, and in a pretty damn high spot, too.

J.D. said...

The Third Man was on the first list, don't forget.

Paxton Hernandez said...

What the hell is doing Saving Private Ryan and the mediocre Sullivan's Travels, there?

Geez, I'd rather go with 100 Slant Magazine Essential films. Much better taste.

And interesting question, Nathe, How is A Clockwork Orange an American film?! WTF?

Edward Copeland said...

Overall, I think this list is a better one than the first one. I disagree with rankings of course, but I'm glad to see some films disappear such as Doctor Zhivago, Birth of a Nation, Fantasia, Rebel Without a Cause, Dances With Wolves, Fargo, Patton, The Jazz Singer and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Of course, I'm thrilled to see The General, Sunrise and Nashville, among others join the list. I am annoyed though that The Third Man, Manchurian Candidate and Amadeus disappeared. I was pleased to see the big rise for The Searchers, but the big jump for The Deer Hunter is inexplicable to me.

J.J. said...

The Third Man off and LOTR on = I am throwing up.

Although I'm happy to see Network move up two ticks.

Agustin said...

The Sixth Sense more of a classic than Fargo?!??! WTF?!?

Alanna said...

Ugh, Titanic. An overbloated crapfest if you ask me. That the movie couldn't get a decent performace out of Kate freakin' Winslet is the true disaster.

Deborah said...

Hmm..Star Wars is too high. I think Some Like It Hot is charming but not as brilliant as the rest of the world appears to believe. Happy to see Singin' in the Rain's ascendance. All the President's Men is a welcome addition, but A Night at the Opera has huge stretches that suck (despite its brilliance otherwise).

How can The African Queen have sunk so low??

Movies that don't belong:
Mr. Smith... I love it but top 100? Look at it sitting there between High Noon and TKAM and tell me it shares their greatness.
Sound of Music -- a better case can be made for better musicals.

None of these are as good as Stagecoach or The Third Man or Fantasia or Close Encounters of the Third Kind or The Manchurian Candidate or An American in Paris.

Anonymous said...

Being the American Film Institute, they ask their voters to consider all facets of motion pictures (the criteria for the list and all other things are at their website). One of those categories is "Cultural Impact" or "Cultural Importance" or something like that.

'Titanic' is not only the most successful movie of all time ($600 million + in the US alone, 11 Oscars, more than $1 billion worldwide), but it will continue to be the 'greatest' for most likely several more decades. Would the list have omitted 'Titanic,' it would have been an irrelevant and worthless list.

I wish the backlash against this movie would just go away already. It is what it is.

That said, it's easy to see how the other 3 movies from the shortlist of 45 that were eligible from the last 10 years made it (FotR, SPR, and 6th Sense). Would've loved something newer to have really spiced up the list and sparked conversation (like Eternal Sunshine, Moulin Rouge, Brokeback)...

Anonymous said...

speaking of lists!...

Nathaniel...WHEN is your list of the 100 movies that come to mind when you think of movies going to start up again??

i'm waiting patiently for #1...

...through #95...

not to rush you though! LOVE LOVE LOVE all the daily content!


honestly. i keep trying to go there and i just get sidetracked.

the truth is i don't have enough time. so i am now refusing any new projects until I finish

1. fundraising review requests
2. paid work on account of duh!
3. moulin rouge recap part 3

those just have to get done. but i'm glad you're enjoying the blog as is

4. personal canon. which means i'll try to start it up in August once 1 through 3 are completed in July. that's my current story that i'm telling myself

Anonymous said...

Vicious cycle -- I'm constantly frustrated by these lists, but I can't stay away from them. My problem with the AFI is that they do use "cultural significance/impact" as a criteria - but how can a movie that was released in 1997 truly have a significant cultural impact in ten years? BIG difference between a blip on the pop culture radar and a lasting commentary on the state of American society. So I can't really see LOTR / Titanic / Saving Private Ryan truly being classics.

I do love that "Nashville" / "12 Angry Men" / "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" / "Do the Right Thing" got mentioned.

But "The Sound of Music" instead of "My Fair Lady"? No "From Here to Eternity"? No "Fantasia"? No "Patton"? *sigh*

adam k. said...

Wait, Sixth Sense is there??? I didn't even see that. That's BS. How is that movie one of the 3 greatest of the past ten years?

Why are Eternal Sunshine, Brokeback, Moulin Rouge!, Far From Heavem, Mulholland Dr. etc. not there? Brokeback really should be, if "cultural impact" is a consideration. Plus, good way to make up for the... OK, I can't even go there.

gabrieloak said...

Why should anyone care what the AFI says? This list is meaningless.

Anonymous said...

I'm not at all pleased to see this...
"From here to Eternity" gone? And "A place in the sun", too? Looks as if Monty Clift got screwed as well...

Kurtis O said...

I found this list to be quite interesting. I loove how far Raging Bull moved up and I loooove that LOTR: FOTR was chosen over LOTR: ROTK. I agree that the Titanic backlash needs to stop. No one can deny the influence of that film, and it IS a good movie...PS: Kate Winslet has NEVER given a bad performance. I found Toy Story to be an odd addition. I understand it was the first big CG animated feature, but top 100 of all...sorry, no way.

Deborah said...

Toy Story added, Fantasia removed. People are confused and short-sighted about the whole "cultural importance" thing.

Anonymous said...

In response to what Adam said: It'll take a few years for films like Brokeback to have any sort of chance at all. Eternal Sunshine, Mulholland Dr., and Far from Heaven (the latter two weren't even on the ballot of 400) will likely never be on there.

Anonymous said...

This list is better than their first one, so I don't really buy into all of the moaning and groaning about it. They brought in a nice representation of silent films, black & whites, underrated gems, and some newer films to the fold ("Do the Right Thing"!). I'm really bummed that "Amadeus" was dropped from the list, am elated that "American Beauty" was thrown out, am really interested in seeing "The General" and "Intolerance", and love that "Raging Bull" made the top five. I thought they'd try to do an upset and rank "Godfather" over "Citizen Kane" though, but see that they didn't. It's hard to drop that one, and they probably won't for a long time.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I love that The Third Man was kicked out and Sound of Music only moved up into the Top 40. Also Shawshank Redemption is better than Modern Times and Titanic is better than Last Picture Show.

Whither credibility?

Damian Arlyn said...

I have to agree whth those that who say that this list (while ultimately meaningless) is still an improvement over the last one. I was saddened to see Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Close Encounters, Fargo and Amadeus disappear but I am pleased that Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan and Blade Runner were included.

My greatest pleasure about this list, though, is that while still remaining in the top 10, Schindler's List (the greatest film I've ever seen or probably ever will see) moved up a notch from #9 to #8. At this rate it'll break the top 5 in another thirty years and take its rightful place alongside Citizen Kane, The Godfather and Casablanca.


damian ---you certainly are devoted to Spielberg arnt'cha?

maybe you haven't heard...

kidding. all filmlovers welcome here!

deborah --yeah, they are confused about that. which is a little weird. you'd think with DVDs people would get better versed in film history but it seems to be the same problem it's always been --people not really acknowledging what happened before they were paying attention

goran you funny

Anonymous said...

don't you think it strange that so few recent films should be in this list? the golden age of the american cinema seems to be gone for those who made the list


I think it's healthy that the list looks back more than at "now" BUT i just wish they had better taste overall.

i know this is sacrilege to millions but i don't get the shawshank thing at all. I mean I didn't dislike it but the enormity of the love it gets is a curious thing to me.

as for the list changing. this happens with more aesthetics focused film lists too. critical and popular opinion is always a shifting thing.

Glenn Dunks said...

I love lists like these even though I know they're ridiculous. Every single person is going to disagree with something so I don't see a point in complaining.

However: Lawrence of Arabia and A Clockwork Orange are British. I thought that was a generally accepted fact.

Also, thank god Fantasia is off there. That movie is terrible. Really. Have you seen it lately?

Lastly, I love Brokeback Mountain (my #1 of 2005) but, seriously, can we give it a rest. Maybe it's because I wouldn't place it as one of the top 10 films of the last decade, but the movie was only out in 2005! Can we wait a bit. Please. It's stuff like demanding that everybody think it's the best movie ever made that makes people turn their noses up at it (which is why it lost the Oscar thank you very much).

...on the flipside, being told that I am meant to think Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made hasn't hurt it as it continously makes #1 on all these lists. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

i've never shared this untouchable number one...because it seems to be a sacrilage to disagree..even i'd say it wouldn't be in my best 100...wells's got a real masterpiece, The magnificent ambersons...and the the schindler's list is one of the most overrated films, sort of pure irritating manipulation...spielberg grew up since AI, and he has made his better films...and well, i don't think as well The graduate, the sound of music,one flew over the cuckoo's nest,rocky,american graffiti, saving private ryan, tootsie, raiders of the lost ark,a clorwock orange, 2001, butch cassidy, easy rider, platoon, pulp fiction, easy rider o sophie's choice are even good films..and there're another overrated, as Huston's films, or the bridge over the kwai river, west side story, ben hur, titanic, forrest gump, in the heat of the night, all predisent's men, cabaret, dr strangelove, double indemnity, high noon, Et, star wars, casablanca or gone with the wind and some more, very far, in my opinion, from being among the best 100... I'd remember films as How green was my valley, letter from unkown, jenny, the ryan's daughter, the birds, the hustler, lord jim, Magnolia, out of the past, Notorious, the big heat, the shop around a corner, among others...


a little hard to follow that without paragraph breaks but yes... alot of the canonized stuff stays that way because what happens is that's the ones people know they're SUPPOSED to see so they stay seen (at least more than other old films) and keep making future lists.

i also think i prefer Ambersons to Kane... though I should watch the latter again before really deciding.

as for a bunch of them not even being "good" i am not really with you there. There's a few i don't like but not many that I think are BAD films. Just overappreciated. by, well, a lot ;)

Middento said...

WHOA. This was very helpful. I was fine with the list until you pointed out that Jimmy got knocked off in both cases! WOW. Unbelievable.

I need tenure so that AFI can call me so that I can rectify this travesty. :)

Anonymous said...

yes, you're right, there's still a number of films 'supposed to see' if they were part of musseum and no one can touch them...and what's out of the musseum it doesn't exist.
For example, robert wise has better films, even excellents, as The haunting and Odds against tomorrow
Or Michael Curtiz has The sea wolf or The sea hawk...
Or Billy Wilder The apartment or kiss me, stupid...ot...
yes, there are many great films a few people speaks about, maybe even not remembered or not seen
and i tried to put pharagraphs breaks ;)

Mad Percolator said...

So, half a week in, and nobody's calling bullshit that ALL ABOUT EVE got dropped 12 places for this update?!
Putting the highest-ranking Bette movie at 28?!

Anonymous said...

if we speak about manckiewicz's movies... i'd choose The sleuth or even The honey pot... and i'd say that the first one would be among my favourites '100'...
and speaking about sidney lumet... what about the verdict or Q&A more than network?...