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AFI Top 100 Films of All Time

Thursday, June 21---------The American Film Institute has revealed the Top 100 Films of the Past 100 Years during a special telecast on the CBS Network last evening. Drawing on a group of cinemaphiles and film experts, the AFI has compiled its list with one major criteria.....what American films have stood the test of time and remain enduring icons of cinema excellence? Of course, by restricting the list to American (and almost exclusively Hollywood) titles, the list is a little suspect, but it is a revealing and entertaining exercise in cinema nostalgia all the same. The telecast was hosted by Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, and included special appearances by Halle Berry, Harrison Ford, Spike Lee, Shirley MacLaine, Eva Mendes, Martin Scorsese, Martin Sheen and more. 

With votes cast by 1,500 filmmakers, critics and historians, the AFI compiled a new list of greatest movies as a mirror to the rankings it unveiled in 1997. Although tastes have changed in many areas in the past ten years, apparently the regard held for a film that was originally released in 1941 remains unchanged. Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE returns again as the Number One film. However, several highly regarded films have either moved up or down the roster. For example, Martin Scorsese's RAGING BULL and Alfred Hitchcock's VERTIGO made it into the Top Ten (from previous rankings of 24 and 61, respectively). Two films listed in the 1997 Top Ten list, THE GRADUATE and ON THE WATERFRONT, fell out of the winner's circle and now were shored at numbers 17 and 19, respectively. Films that improved their standings from 10 years ago included the John Ford western classic THE SEARCHERS (up to number 12 from number 96). Charles Chaplin’s CITY LIGHTS and Clint Eastwood’s UNFORGIVEN.

Films that were included in the Top 100 that were not even listed in the previous poll included: Buster Keaton’s silent classic THE GENERAL (17), the late great Robert Altman’s American pastiche NASHVILLE (59), master comic director Preston Sturges’ SULLIVAN TRAVELS (61), the film adaptation of the Broadway showstopper CABARET (63) and the lacerating Burton-Taylor knockout WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF (67). Only four films made in the past decade made the list. They included: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (50), SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (71), TITANIC (81) and THE SIXTH SENSE (83). What, no BORAT



The AFI Top Ten (American) Films of All Time are:


For an interactive tour of the entire list of 100 films, log on to:

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor 


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