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Publisher/Senior Reviewer
Colin Jacobson
David Williams

American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Movies (1915-1996)

This is the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies, selected by AFI's blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community.

Each movie has been considered based on the following criteria:

Feature-Length Fiction Film: Narrative format typically over 60 minutes in length.

American Film: English language film with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States.

Critical Recognition: Formal commendation in print.

Major Award Winner: Recognition from competitive events including awards from organizations in the film community and major film festivals.

Popularity Over Time: Including figures for box office adjusted for inflation, television broadcasts and syndication, and home video sales and rentals.

Historical Significance: A film's mark on the history of the moving image through technical innovation, visionary narrative devices or other groundbreaking achievements.

Cultural Impact: A film's mark on American society in matters of style and substance.

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

Recommendations @ Amazon.com

AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movies: DVD Edition: "To commemorate the first century of American moviemaking, the American Film Institute has embarked on a celebration of America's greatest movies--"AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies." This ten part retrospective explores many aspects of the human condition from the depths of depravity, horror and the dregs of underworld crime to the heights of heroism and passionate romance, covering the many genres, styles and types of films that make up the first 100 years of the glorious American film, as chosen by Hollywood's top directors, writers, stars and executives. Hosted by Jodie Foster, Richard Gere and Sally Field, narrated by James Woods."

AFI's 100 Years, 100 Stars: DVD Edition: "America's greatest screen legends! The American Film Institute continues its celebration of the first century of American moviemaking with "AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars." In this prime-time special, originally broadcast June 15, 1999 on CBS, 50 of today's biggest stars celebrate and count down the 50 greatest American screen legends, as determined by leaders from across the American film community. Hosted by Shirley Temple Black, featuring James Caan, Clint Eastwood, Goldie Hawn, Martin Landau, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, James Woods any many, many more, with a special performance by Liza Minnelli."

How Movies Work: "How Movies Work offers the filmgoer an engaging and informative guide to the appreciation and evaluation of films. It provides a comprehensive consideration of movies from idea to script, casting, financing, shooting and distribution. Bruce Kawin addresses the book not just to students of film but to any filmgoer curious to know more about the process of the conception and creation of our favorite entertainment and art form."

A Short History of the Movies: "The seventh edition of A Short History of the Movies continues the tradition that has made it one of the most popular books ever in film history. This volume offers students a panoramic overview of the worldwide development of film, from the early Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin shorts, through the studio heyday of the 1930s and 1940s and the Hollywood Renaissance of the 1960s and 1970s, to the pictures and their technology appearing in the multiplexes of today. This new edition, which has been revised and rewritten to reflect current scholarship and recent industry developments, and new films and filmmakers, represents an accurate, scrupulous updating of a classic."