afi top 100

Last week I posted the IMDB Top 250, and I listed the ones I'd seen in bold. I had only seen 91 out of 250 at the time of that post, but since then I've added three more. Subsequently, we all pretty much came to the conclusion that lists like this are meaningless... especially the IMDB list, which is chosen by popular votes from ordinary yokels. (If you have any illusions that the masses are capable of choosing the best movies, just look at the weekly top grosses so far in 2008).

In spite of all that, I thought I'd waste a bit more time, and post the AFI 100. This list was published in 2007, and was chosen, of course, by the American Film Institute. The main glaring flaw of this list, in my opinion, is that it fully ignores foreign language films (which include many of my favorites). So, whatever. If my count is correct, I've seen 39 of these.


  1. Citizen Kane (1941)
  2. The Godfather (1972)
  3. Casablanca (1942)
  4. Raging Bull (1980)
  5. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  6. Gone With the Wind (1939)
  7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  8. Schindler's List (1993)
  9. Vertigo (1958)
  10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  11. City Lights (1931)
  12. The Searchers (1956)
  13. Star Wars (1977)
  14. Psycho (1960)
  15. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  16. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
  17. The Graduate (1967)
  18. The General (1927)
  19. On the Waterfront (1954)
  20. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  21. Chinatown (1974)
  22. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  23. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  24. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  27. High Noon (1952)
  28. All About Eve (1950)
  29. Double Indemnity (1944)
  30. Apocalypse Now (1979)
  31. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  32. The Godfather Part II (1974)
  33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  35. Annie Hall (1977)
  36. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  39. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  40. The Sound of Music (1965)
  41. King Kong (1933)
  42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  43. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  44. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  45. Shane (1953)
  46. It Happened One Night (1934)
  47. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  48. Rear Window (1954)
  49. Intolerance (1916)
  50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  51. West Side Story (1961)
  52. Taxi Driver (1976)
  53. The Deer Hunter (1978)
  54. M*A*S*H (1970)
  55. North by Northwest (1959)
  56. Jaws (1975)
  57. Rocky (1976)
  58. The Gold Rush (1925)
  59. Nashville (1975)
  60. Duck Soup (1933)
  61. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  62. American Graffiti (1973)
  63. Cabaret (1972)
  64. Network (1976)
  65. The African Queen (1951)
  66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  67. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  68. Unforgiven (1992)
  69. Tootsie (1982)
  70. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  71. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  74. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  75. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  76. Forrest Gump (1994)
  77. All the President's Men (1976)
  78. Modern Times (1936)
  79. The Wild Bunch (1969)
  80. The Apartment (1960)
  81. Spartacus (1960)
  82. Sunrise (1927)
  83. Titanic (1997)
  84. Easy Rider (1969)
  85. A Night at the Opera (1935)
  86. Platoon (1986)
  87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
  88. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  89. The Sixth Sense (1999)
  90. Swing Time (1936)
  91. Sophie's Choice (1982)
  92. Goodfellas (1990)
  93. The French Connection (1971)
  94. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  95. The Last Picture Show (1971)
  96. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  97. Blade Runner (1982)
  98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
  99. Toy Story (1995)
  100. Ben-Hur (1959)

Well, that's it. I think it might also be fun to do a list of all the Academy Awards for Best Picture (it's always fun to count along during the Oscar montage), and maybe the top-grossing films of all time. But eventually I'll do the perfect list... which, of course, will be my own Top 100. Because my list will be flawless, naturally.

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12 Response to "afi top 100"

  1. Anonymous Says:
    April 1, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Well, it's the Top 100 American Films, so...

  2. Nayana Anthony says:
    April 1, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    Exactly.

  3. Linda says:
    April 1, 2008 at 9:44 PM

    I'm getting a kick out of these lists! Great reference for rentals. I've seen 72 of these. Chuckled when I saw Spartacus on there. Saw it with my pals at the local navy base when I was around 12, paid a dime to get in. (yeah,I'm old) We sat in the front row and I was in awe! Keep those list coming....

  4. Nayana Anthony says:
    April 2, 2008 at 9:38 AM

    Thanks, Linda! I spent entirely too much time yesterday compiling my own personal list. It was harder than I thought... and I know I'm going to get some flak for some of my choices. But, whatever. It's my list. :-)

  5. fadedsilverscreen says:
    April 2, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Agreed...the AFI list seems a lot less arbitrary than the IMDB top 250 list. Although, overall, I think I've seen more of the films on the IMDB list (84 out of 250) than the AFI list (34 out of 100.)

  6. Chris Phoenix says:
    April 2, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    I count 55 that I've seen. I think I had a higher count on the first list AFI released in the 90's. It really pisses me off that My Fair Lady wasn't deemed worthy of the top 100 the second time around.

  7. Pat says:
    April 2, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Landmark Theatres did a poll a few years ago to come up with the top 100 Foreign Films of all time. I posted about it today, if you're interested....

  8. Nayana Anthony says:
    April 3, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Pat... I am interested! Be right there.

  9. Chick Young says:
    April 3, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Hi Nayana, thank you for your lovely comment on my page. I loved your BIRDS post just above. You might really enjoy Slavoj Zizek's writings on The Birds, or I think you might even find a clip from his Pervert's Guide to the Cinema where he talks about it. In fact, I'll check now. Yup - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sFqfbrsZbw
    Some fun stuff on The Birds in there. Remember, Zizek is a new Lacanian, so his stuff is almost always framed through a psychoanalytic lens.

    As for the AFI, I count 98 that I've seen (never saw Swing Time or Toy Story) and I certainly have some issues with it. But, I'm glad we have it as a sort of checklist.

    Cheers to you and your great blog! Looking forward to reading more.

  10. WaywardJam says:
    April 3, 2008 at 3:28 PM

    I'm right there with you! Seen 40 of the 100, though quite a few different ones.

    Folks always ask me for my list of favorites. I don't know where I'd begin... Good luck with your list!

  11. Nayana Anthony says:
    April 7, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Chick... welcome! And thanks for your sweet comments.

    Wayward... after this last weekend my count is now 41. I've seen All About Eve and Goodfellas since I wrote this post.

  12. WaywardJam says:
    April 8, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    way to go, keep up that pace and you'll be queen of the afi100 in a few months!

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