AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies

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AFI 100 Years... series
1998100 Movies
1999100 Stars
2000100 Laughs
2001100 Thrills
2002100 Passions
2003100 Heroes & Villains
2004100 Songs
2005100 Movie Quotes
200525 Scores
2006100 Cheers
200625 Musicals
2007100 Movies (Updated)
2008AFI's 10 Top 10
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AFI 100 Years... series
1998100 Movies
1999100 Stars
2000100 Laughs
2001100 Thrills
2002100 Passions
2003100 Heroes & Villains
2004100 Songs
2005100 Movie Quotes
200525 Scores
2006100 Cheers
200625 Musicals
2007100 Movies (Updated)
2008AFI's 10 Top 10

The first of the AFI 100 Years... series of cinematic milestones, AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies is a list of the 100 best American movies, as determined by the American Film Institute from a poll of more than 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry who chose from a list of 400 nominated movies. The 100-best list was unveiled in 1998.

Presentation broadcast[edit]

A 145-minute presentation of the 100 films aired on CBS. A 460-minute version aired as a 10-part series on TNT, hosted by Jodie Foster, Richard Gere, Sally Field and narrated by James Woods. An updated version of the list, billed as a 10th Anniversary edition, aired on CBS on June 20, 2007, and was hosted by Morgan Freeman. The AFI website notes that, "Due to licensing restrictions, the telecasts of the AFI 100 Years...100 Series are not available for distribution or purchase on DVD or VHS." [1]


Films were judged according to the following criteria.

  1. Feature length: Narrative format, at least 40 minutes long.
  2. American film: English language, with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States. (Certain films, notably The Bridge on the River Kwai, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lawrence of Arabia, were British-made but funded and distributed by American studios.)
  3. Critical recognition: Formal commendation in print.
  4. Major award winner: Recognition from competitive events including awards from organizations in the film community and major film festivals.
  5. Popularity over time: Including figures for box office adjusted for inflation, television broadcasts and syndication, and home video sales and rentals.
  6. Historical significance: A film's mark on the history of the moving image through technical innovation, visionary narrative devices or other groundbreaking achievements.
  7. Cultural impact: A film's mark on American society in matters of style and substance.


FilmRelease year1998 rank2007 rankChange
Citizen Kane194111Steady.svg 0
Casablanca194223Decrease.svg 1
The Godfather197232Increase.svg 1
Gone with the Wind193946Decrease.svg 2
Lawrence of Arabia196257Decrease.svg 2
The Wizard of Oz1939610Decrease.svg 4
The Graduate1967717Decrease.svg 10
On the Waterfront1954819Decrease.svg 11
Schindler's List199398Increase.svg 1
Singin' in the Rain1952105Increase.svg 5
It's a Wonderful Life19461120Decrease.svg 9
Sunset Boulevard19501216Decrease.svg 4
The Bridge on the River Kwai19571336Decrease.svg 23
Some Like It Hot19591422Decrease.svg 8
Star Wars19771513Increase.svg 2
All About Eve19501628Decrease.svg 12
The African Queen19511765Decrease.svg 48
Psycho19601814Increase.svg 4
The General192618
Chinatown19741921Decrease.svg 2
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest19752033Decrease.svg 13
The Grapes of Wrath19402123Decrease.svg 2
2001: A Space Odyssey19682215Increase.svg 7
The Maltese Falcon19412331Decrease.svg 8
Raging Bull1980244Increase.svg 20
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial19822524Increase.svg 1
Dr. Strangelove19642639Decrease.svg 13
Bonnie and Clyde19672742Decrease.svg 15
Apocalypse Now19792830Decrease.svg 2
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington19392926Increase.svg 3
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre19483038Decrease.svg 8
Annie Hall19773135Decrease.svg 4
The Godfather Part II19743232Steady.svg 0
High Noon19523327Increase.svg 6
To Kill a Mockingbird19623425Increase.svg 9
It Happened One Night19343546Decrease.svg 11
Midnight Cowboy19693643Decrease.svg 7
The Best Years of Our Lives19463737Steady.svg 0
Double Indemnity19443829Increase.svg 9
Doctor Zhivago196539
North by Northwest19594055Decrease.svg 15
West Side Story19614151Decrease.svg 10
Rear Window19544248Decrease.svg 6
King Kong19334341Increase.svg 2
The Birth of a Nation191544
A Streetcar Named Desire19514547Decrease.svg 2
A Clockwork Orange19714670Decrease.svg 24
Taxi Driver19764752Decrease.svg 5
Jaws19754856Decrease.svg 8
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs19374934Increase.svg 15
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid19695073Decrease.svg 23
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring200150
The Philadelphia Story19405144Increase.svg 7
From Here to Eternity195352
All Quiet on the Western Front193054
The Sound of Music19655540Increase.svg 15
MASH19705654Increase.svg 2
The Third Man194957
Rebel Without a Cause195559
Raiders of the Lost Ark19816066Decrease.svg 6
Vertigo1958619Increase.svg 52
Sullivan's Travels194161
Tootsie19826269Decrease.svg 7
Close Encounters of the Third Kind197764
The Silence of the Lambs19916574Decrease.svg 9
Network19766664Increase.svg 2
The Manchurian Candidate196267
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?196667
An American in Paris195168
Shane19536945Increase.svg 24
The French Connection19717093Decrease.svg 23
Forrest Gump19947176Decrease.svg 5
Saving Private Ryan199871
Ben-Hur195972100Decrease.svg 28
The Shawshank Redemption199472
Wuthering Heights193973
The Gold Rush19257458Increase.svg 16
Dances with Wolves199075
In the Heat of the Night196775
City Lights19317611Increase.svg 65
American Graffiti19737762Increase.svg 15
All the President's Men197677
Rocky19767857Increase.svg 21
The Deer Hunter19787953Increase.svg 26
The Wild Bunch19698079Increase.svg 1
Modern Times19368178Increase.svg 3
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans192782
Platoon19868386Decrease.svg 3
Duck Soup19338560Increase.svg 25
A Night at the Opera193585
Mutiny on the Bounty193586
12 Angry Men195787
Easy Rider19698884Increase.svg 4
The Sixth Sense199989
The Jazz Singer192790
Swing Time193690
My Fair Lady196491
Sophie's Choice198291
A Place in the Sun195192
The Apartment19609380Increase.svg 13
Goodfellas19909492Increase.svg 2
Pulp Fiction19949594Increase.svg 1
The Last Picture Show197195
The Searchers19569612Increase.svg 84
Do the Right Thing198996
Bringing Up Baby19389788Increase.svg 9
Blade Runner198297
Unforgiven19929868Increase.svg 30
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner196799
Toy Story199599
Yankee Doodle Dandy194210098Increase.svg 2

2007 update notes[edit]

Twenty-three films from the original top 100 films list were removed in 2007:

Four films released between 1996–2006 were added:

Nineteen films made before 1996 were also added:


As with awards, the list of those who vote and the final vote tally are not released to the public, nor the criteria for how the 400 nominated films have been selected.

On June 26, 1998, the Chicago Reader published an article by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum which offers a detailed response to the movies in the AFI list, as well as criticism of the AFI's appropriation of British films, such as Lawrence of Arabia and The Third Man. Rosenbaum also produced an alternate list of 100 American movies that he felt had been overlooked by the AFI.[2] Rosenbaum chose to present this alternative list alphabetically since to rank them according to merit would be "tantamount to ranking oranges over apples or declaring cherries superior to grapes."

The AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list includes five titles from Rosenbaum's list, and the accompanying promotional poster lists the titles in alphabetical order.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 100 years, AFI website
  2. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan (June 26, 1998). "List-o-Mania: Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love American Movies". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 

External links[edit]