Thursday, June 21, 2007

 

100 reasons for another TV list special

The American Film Institute, in its neverending quest to waste three hours a year on its movie lists, has gone back to the drawing board this time and decided to revise the first one of the "100 greatest American films," allowing more recent efforts to compete. (For my Top 100, click here.) These exercises have grown quite silly over the years (My personal favorite: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? somehow making the list of the great romances). I have to admit: the new list is a vast improvement over the first version. So here is the "new" list as well as the original list. Some additions are welcome, some omissions are shameful and some newcomers are a joke. Other deletions are welcome (Sorry Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Fargo, but you didn't belong.) The rise and fall of some titles are interesting, more for the drops than the sudden rises (though I have to ask how In the new list, The Deer Hunter jumped so many spots when it only grows weaker over time). My happiest news: The General's rise from not on the list all the way to No. 18. The Searchers' huge leap is also welcome and impressive. The numbers in parentheses and italics indicate where repeat films landed on the original list. I've also included links to our reviews, if we had one.

THE NEW 100

1. Citizen Kane (1941) (1)
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)
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)(32)
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)(37)
38. 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)
50. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
51. West Side Story (1961)(41)
52. Taxi Driver (1976) (47)
53. The Deer Hunter (1978)(79)
54. MASH (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)
60. Duck Soup (1933) (85)
61. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
62. American Graffiti (1973)(77)
63. Cabaret (1972)
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)
68. Unforgiven (1992)(98)
69. Tootsie (1982) (62)
70. A Clockwork Orange (1971) (46)
71. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
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)
76. Forrest Gump (1994)(71)
77. All the President's Men (1976)
78. Modern Times (1936) (81)
79. The Wild Bunch (1969) (80)
80. The Apartment (1960)(93)
81. Spartacus (1960)
82. Sunrise (1927)
83. Titanic (1997)
84. Easy Rider (1969) (88)
85. A Night at the Opera (1935)
86. Platoon (1986) (83)
87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
88. Bringing Up Baby (1938) (97)
89. The Sixth Sense (1999)
90. Swing Time (1936)
91. Sophie's Choice (1982)
92. Goodfellas (1990) (94)
93. The French Connection (1971) (70)
94. Pulp Fiction (1994) (95)
95. The Last Picture Show (1971)
96. Do the Right Thing (1989) (2nd review)
97. Blade Runner (1982)
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) (100)
99. Toy Story (1995)
100. Ben-Hur (1959) (72)

THE ORIGINAL 100

1. Citizen Kane(1941)
2. Casablanca (1942)
3. The Godfather (1972)
4. Gone With the Wind(1939)
5. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
6. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
7. The Graduate (1967)
8. On the Waterfront (1954)
9. Schindler's List (1993)
10. Singin' In the Rain (1952)
11. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
12. Sunset Boulevard(1950)
13. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
14. Some Like It Hot (1959)
15. Star Wars (1977)
16. All About Eve (1950)
17. The African Queen (1951)
18. Psycho (1960)
19. Chinatown (1974)
20. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
21. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
22. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
23. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
24. Raging Bull (1980)
25. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
26. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
27. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
28. Apocalypse Now (1979)
29. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
30. Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
31. Annie Hall(1977)
32. The Godfather Part II (1974)
33. High Noon (1952)
34. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
35. It Happened One Night (1934)
36. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
38. Double Indemnity (1944)
39. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
40. North By Northwest (1959)
41. West Side Story (1961)
42. Rear Window(1954)
43. King Kong (1933)
44. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
45. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
46. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
47. Taxi Driver (1976)
48. Jaws (1975)
49. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
50. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
51. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
52. From Here To Eternity (1953)
53. Amadeus (1984)
54. All Quiet On the Western Front (1930)
55. The Sound of Music (1965)
56. MASH (1970)
57. The Third Man (1949)
58. Fantasia (1940)
59. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
60. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
61. Vertigo (1958)
62. Tootsie (1982)
63. Stagecoach (1939)
64. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
65. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
66. Network (1976)
67. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
68. An American In Paris (1951)
69. Shane (1953)
70. The French Connection (1971)
71. Forrest Gump (1994)
72. Ben-Hur (1959)
73. Wuthering Heights (1939)
74. The Gold Rush (1925)
75. Dances With Wolves (1990)
76. City Lights (1931)
77. American Graffiti (1973)
78. Rocky (1976)
79. The Deer Hunter (1978)
80. The Wild Bunch(1969)
81. Modern Times (1936)
82. Giant (1956)
83. Platoon (1986)
84. Fargo (1996)
85. Duck Soup (1933)
86. Mutiny On the Bounty (1935)
87. Frankenstein (1931)
88. Easy Rider (1969)
89. Patton (1970)
90. The Jazz Singer (1927)
91. My Fair Lady (1964)
92. A Place In the Sun (1951)
93. The Apartment (1960)
94. GoodFellas (1990)
95. Pulp Fiction (1994)
96. The Searchers (1956)
97. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
98. Unforgiven (1992)
99. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
100. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Labels:


Comments:
Thanks for posting the original. I look forward to your analysis of some of the interesting/some odd movements up, down, on, off the list.
 
Holy Hell -- Am I reading this correctly that "The Third Man" dropped off the list entirely? Okay, I'm done with these stupid AFI lists forever, I can barely make it through this one with a straight face.
 
Oh, good. Schindler's List moved up one notch (from #9 to #8). At this rate it'll break the top 5 in another thirty years.
 
I know there was some "controversy" last time that it shouldn't have counted as an "American" film, so I wonder if that's why The Third Man disappeared.
 
Good point, but I just checked the ballot and it's still on there. Amazing.
 
Ed, did you really just say that Fargo doesn't belong on this list? And you have no problem with Forrest Gump? Rocky? American Graffiti? To be sure, this list marks some major improvements, but, well Ed, Roger Ebert thinks your opinion is "unthinkable."
 
While those three wouldn't be on my list either, I think each is better than Fargo. I know I'm one of the few dissenters on this one, but I think Fargo is one of the most overrated films of all time. I loved the first four movies by the Coens, but I've been disappointed by every one since, though I do admit the new one looks intriguing and promises that perhaps they are trying something different.
 
By the way, assuming I find enough time to do it this weekend, I hope to post my own Top 100 films Monday. There will be some key differences: I'm not going to be xenophobic and only include American films. Also, just because it's always been a rule of mine, a film has to be at least 10 years old to be considered, so you won't see anything released after 1997.
 
I agree that their criteria for what is "American" is sketchy at best, but these were AFI's calls, not mine. That's why when I do my list it won't matter what the country of origin of spoken language is.
 
I'm stunned that The Third Man isn't on there.

I wasn't aware than the best film noir picture of all time could go out of vogue.
 
"A Clockwork Orange was from the UK. As was Dr. Strangelove, and 2001: A Space Odyssey skirts the line here (almost entirely done in the UK, but by a US company)."

Don't forget the American director, Stanley Kubrick, far more significant to the fact that either were "American" films versus the studios that turned them out.

Yeah, this "new" list is a pointless exercise, and one of value might have been to create a list of AFI selects the 100 Greatest Classic Films of the World.

But now at least we can argue about The Godfather being number 2 instead of #3. Woo-hoo!
 
As disappointed as I may be at some of the inclusions and exclusions (I agree The Third Man should be there, but not overly surprised that it isn't) as well as the missed opportunity of truly conveying some passion about these and other films (the interview segments were mostly quite disappointing - and some recycled), I can't find myself getting too worked up over issues with the list or the AFI. What about the good things in the list?

I love the discussions and friendly debate as to what films should or shouldn't be there, because it drives out the interest in these films. How many people who watched on TV had an immediate feeling of wanting to rewatch several of these films after seeing the clips? And if this special somehow convinced a couple of people to watch "Sunrise" who had never heard of it, then that alone would make me happy...

I'd love to see them stretch the boundaries a bit and discuss smaller films influenced by these bigger ones (or smaller ones that influenced the big), delve into genre films, acknowledge International cinema that was influential to American film, etc. And we shouldn't fail to point out omissions or make recommendations on improvements, but I just don't understand the complete dismissal of the lists as "pointless" or "crap". I think the AFI does indeed need to broaden its horizons and do more for encouraging interest in film, but both of these Top 100 lists (as well as the 100 Laughs and 100 Thrillers - not so much the others) have generated a lot of discussion at work with colleagues - some of them film fans and some just casual. And isn't that a good thing?
 
They lowered Platoon to add Titanic to the list? Ugh.

Of course, they probably have The Real List, and have a program to shuffle it around some, so every year they can present The New List, and grab a bunch of eyeballs for their commercials, and pretend that the AFI is still relevant. Quite the cunning plan.

-k
 
ave seen better public access review shows. At least those are real and heartfelt. Poor Gene must be rolling in his grave.
 
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