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The new AFI Top 100, coming June 20th on CBS

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Ok, the new AFI Top 100 list will be revealed on June 20th on CBS. Which films from the past decade do you think they'll add to the top 100 list? Which films will be removed from the list to make room for the new additions? Here are all of the nominated films that they're deciding on that didn't exist when the last list was put together:


American Beauty

As Good as it Gets

Austin Powers

The Aviator

A Beautiful Mind

Being John Malkovich

Boogie Nights

Brokeback Mountain



Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Fight Club

Finding Nemo


Good Night and Good Luck

Good Will Hunting

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Hotel Rwanda

The Hours

The Insider

L.A. Confidential

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Lost in Translation

The Matrix


Million Dollar Baby

Moulin Rouge!

Mystic River

Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl


Reqiuem for a Dream


Saving Private Ryan

Shakespeare in Love



The Sixth Sense

Spider-man 2

There's Something About Mary

Three Kings




And out of those, I hope the following make the final list:


American Beauty

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Fight Club

Lost in Translation




I'm not so sure which ones I'd remove from the current list though - here's the current list:


1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)


2. CASABLANCA (1942)








6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)


7. THE GRADUATE (1967)






10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)








14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)


15. STAR WARS (1977)


16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)




18. PSYCHO (1960)


19. CHINATOWN (1974)






22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)




24. RAGING BULL (1980)




26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)










31. ANNIE HALL (1977)




33. HIGH NOON (1952)
















41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)


42. REAR WINDOW (1954)


43. KING KONG (1933)








47. TAXI DRIVER (1976)


48. JAWS (1975)










53. AMADEUS (1984)






56. M*A*S*H (1970)


57. THE THIRD MAN (1949)


58. FANTASIA (1940)






61. VERTIGO (1958)


62. TOOTSIE (1982)


63. STAGECOACH (1939)






66. NETWORK (1976)






69. SHANE (1953)




71. FORREST GUMP (1994)


72. BEN-HUR (1959)




74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)




76. CITY LIGHTS (1931)




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)






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)




98. UNFORGIVEN (1992)





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Guest Shylock

Lost In Translation being a Top 100 of all time? Are you kidding me? I've seen the movie before and I honestly don't think it's all that great and certainly not good enough to get on the list.


LOTR is probably a given to be on the list. At least one of them, if not the whole bunch, I'd assume. I'm not counting on Memento being on the list, but I wouldn't be surprised if it just scratched into the bottom 100.

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Mystic River, American Beauty and Finding Nemo will get on there no matter what. Though I can see them putting something stupid on it, like There Is Something About Mary.

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Wouldn't the movies at the bottom of the list be the ones taken off? What is required to be on the list? Is it just on quality alone? Cultural importance? Because I can't really figure out why a couple movies are on the list other then being popular movies.


I'll cap it off at 12 new selections based off the typical love these movies get, not for what I think are quality.


American Beauty


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


L.A. Confidential

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Matrix

Mystic River

Saving Private Ryan



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On Wikipedia it says that films are judged by the following criteria:


1. Feature-length: Narrative format typically over 60 minutes in length.


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


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.


Yeah, I know, Wikipedia, but there ya go.


Because of the "Cultural Impact", I'd say that The Matrix is a given to make the list, as well as either Finding Nemo or Shrek.

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American Beauty

Austin Powers

Fight Club

L.A. Confidential

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Matrix


Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl


Requiem for a Dream

Saving Private Ryan

The Sixth Sense




The above all have a chance of inching in, IMHO.




The ones I think have the best shot are:


Saving Private Ryan (Much better movie than Deer Hunter, IMHO)

The Matrix (Major cultural influence and film-making influence)

Austin Powers (Major cultural influence)

Sixth Sense "

Titanic "

LOTR: Return Of The King




Movies from the previous AFI 100 most likely NOT to re-appear on this list:


Bringing Up Baby

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Dances With Wolves

Wuthering Heights

Two of the three Chaplin movies (Gold Rush, Modern Times, City Lights)

Best Years Of Our Lives





Ones that will remain on the list, but shouldn't:


Deer Hunter

Manchurian Candidate

All Quiet On The Western Front

Annie Hall

An American In Paris

All The President's Men

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My picks are...


Finding Nemo

Hotel Rwanda

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


Saving Private Ryan





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Well ESotSM damn well better make it. It would be a damn shame if BJM made it and not ESotSM.


And yeah, I could see Modern Times being removed from the list since there's two other Chaplin flicks on the list, and this one is pretty far down at the bottom at #81.

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IIRC, Eternal Sunshine was more roundly positively reviewed. Though it might just be that Kaufman was more widely known at that point.

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If you ask me, it's a better film in every way. Then again, it's my favorite film so I might be a bit biased.


If it was up to me Léon (The Professional) would be added to the AFI Top 100 as well.

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Now that I think about it I'd say that the only reason that Léon isn't already on the list is because of the French ties, even though it's in English.

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well, one could say the same for the Dollars trilogy, though that's more Italian than Leon is French

The qualifications for this are wonky at best.



There was a debate about this 9 years ago when the first list was released, as The Third Man was mostly foreign (money, writer, director, most of the actors).


If not for Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton starring in it, it would have been a British film instead.




That's not to say that The Third Man isn't deserving of being on the list, but it definitely skirts the qualifications of being an "American" film classic.

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Being that the newest movies on the list are 13 years old (Gump and Pulp Fiction) I doubt they're in any hurry to add anything remotely recient to the list.


Blah blah, anything made before 1980 is crap, blah blah Citizen Kane, blah blah


Personally I say Memento is better than 90% of that list

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Im agreeging with the dislike for Lost in Translation, i don't get the appeal.


Saying that, I don't see the appeal of the LOtR trilogy either. All 3 movies are boring as hell.


For me, its got to be Memento in there as well as ESotSM and Fight Club.


Hell, id like to see Rushmore make the list.

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Well I think Lost in Translation is great. Surely, there are worse movies on here to bitch about. Austin Powers? The Matrix? Harry Potter? All three of the Lord of the Rings? SPIDERMAN 2?!? These movies have no business being considered other than they made money.


And though they were nominated for oscars and sometimes won blah blah....


I think Crash, Gladiator, Sixth Sense, Three Kings, Ray, Requiem for A Dream, Shakespeare in Love, Million Dollar Baby, Brokeback...all range from bland to fucking terrible in my book.


I would go with:


Rushmore, LA Confidental, and yes Titanic. And if I could pick my own, "The Limey" is the best American Noir of the past several decades even if it's not about an American. Also "The Exorcist" should be added to that shit list before any new movies as there's no denying it's cultural impact as well it's importance to contemporary horror and cinema as a whole but it is a horror movie you can't disguise as a psychological or suspense so you know.

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Christ almighty Downhome, you make a list featuring Something About Mary, Harry Potter and Shakespeare In Love but neglect stuff like Syriana and The Royal Tennanbaums? Yikes.


BTW, Syriana meets and beats said criteria more then pretty much any movie listed there. Most slept-on movie of this decade so far.

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Christ almighty Downhome, you make a list featuring Something About Mary, Harry Potter and Shakespeare In Love but neglect stuff like Syriana and The Royal Tennanbaums? Yikes.


I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but that's the official list, not something that I put together just for the hell of it.


Since the entire top 100 is up for grabs, it's likely that the new top 100 list will look quite different this time around. It'll be interesting to see how things change ten years later. Here are a few more of the other films nominated this time around that didn't make the cut last time:


-A Christmas Story

-Groundhog Day



-The King of Comedy


And of those, Groundhog Day should be on the list in my opinion.

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1 A C E I N T H E H O L E

Paramount, 1951

PRINCIPAL CAST Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur

DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

PRODUCER Billy Wilder

SCREENWRITERS Walter Newman, Lesser Samuels, Billy Wilder

Douglas is a reporter in need of a story. A man trapped in a New Mexico cave is the

ticket. Wilder’s cynical and amoral journalist prolongs the event and seizes the

opportunity to resurrect his dying career. The sensational story becomes a media


2 A D A M ’ S R I B

MGM, 1949

PRINCIPAL CAST Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday

DIRECTOR George Cukor

PRODUCER Lawrence Weingarten

SCREENWRITERS Ruth Gordon, Garson Kanin

Tracy and Hepburn star as married lawyers representing opposing sides of a

controversial case about “the double standard.” The battle of the sexes blazes

hilariously during the trial, and a gun made of licorice is the answer to their

marital woes.

3 T H E A D V E N T U R E S O F R O B I N H O O D

Warner Bros., 1938

PRINCIPAL CAST Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone

DIRECTOR Michael Curtiz, William Keighley

PRODUCERS Hal B. Wallis, Henry Blanke

SCREENWRITERS Norman Reilly Raine, Seton I. Miller

This Technicolor swashbuckler stars Flynn as the rogue of Sherwood Forest: “It’s

injustice I hate, not the Normans.” Wolfgang Korngold’s stirring score, a spectacular

clash of swords between Flynn and Rathbone and a fairy-tale romance with de

Havilland ushered in a new era of historical-costume adventure films.


Twentieth Century-Fox, 1957

PRINCIPAL CAST Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning



SCREENWRITERS Delmer Daves, Leo McCarey

A shipboard romance changes the lives of Grant and Kerr, embroiled in other affairs.

They promise to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building, but fate

takes a hand and keeps the star-crossed lovers apart, until destiny steps in one more

time. “Oh, it’s nobody’s fault but my own! I was looking up... it was the nearest thing

to heaven! You were there...”

American Film Institute 9

5 T H E A F R I C A N Q U E E N

United Artists, 1951

PRINCIPAL CAST Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn

DIRECTOR John Huston

PRODUCER S.P. Eagle (Sam Spiegel)

SCREENWRITERS James Agee, John Huston

Hepburn’s a spinster who’s spent her life saving souls for God and Bogart’s a

Godless soul in need of saving. Stuck onboard The African Queen at the outbreak

of World War I, they ride the rapids, outsmart the Germans and find true love on

location in the middle of Africa.

6 A I R P L A N E !

Paramount, 1980

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves,

Leslie Nielsen

DIRECTORS Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker

PRODUCER Jon Davison

SCREENWRITERS Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker

Shell-shocked ex-pilot is on a mission to get his girlfriend back, but the plot takes a

back seat to the zany, wacky comedy spoof on films such as AIRPORT, FROM

HERE TO ETERNITY and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. The movie gave birth to

Neilson’s comedy career: “Surely you can’t be serious.” “I am serious, and don’t call

me Shirley!”

7 A L I E N

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1979

PRINCIPAL CAST Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

DIRECTOR Ridley Scott

PRODUCERS Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill


Unbeknownst to its crew, spaceship Nostromo has taken on an alien stowaway that

incubates in some humans and hunts the rest. A science fiction film that broke new

ground by adding horror and gore and, more importantly, Weaver, as the action heroine.

8 A L L A B O U T E V E

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950

PRINCIPAL CAST Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Gary Merrill

DIRECTOR Joseph L. Mankiewicz

PRODUCER Darryl F. Zanuck

SCREENWRITER Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Vanity almost gets the best of aging actress Davis when a ruthless young hopeful

worms her way into all aspects of her life. Mankiewicz’s biting script of ambition and

betrayal in the New York theatre gave Davis her best role in years and some of her

most memorable lines: “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night!”

10 American Film Institute

9 A L L Q U I E T O N T H E W E S T E R N F R O N T

Universal, 1930

PRINCIPAL CAST Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray

DIRECTOR Lewis Milestone

PRODUCER Carl Laemmle, Jr.

SCREENWRITERS George Abbott, Maxwell Anderson, Del Andrews

This antiwar drama based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel follows the lives of a

group of fresh-faced German boys who join the Army during World War I. In one of

the film’s most memorable moments, Ayres reaches for a butterfly, juxtaposing all the

violence swirling around him in the trenches.

1 0 A L L T H AT J A Z Z

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1979

PRINCIPAL CAST Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange


PRODUCER Robert Alan Aurthur

SCREENWRITERS Robert Alan Aurthur, Bob Fosse

This is Fosse’s semi-autobiographical, highly stylized musical of a pill-popping

director/choreographer torn between too many women and “Death,” beautifully

embodied by Lange. “It’s showtime, folks.”

1 1 A L L T H E K I N G ’ S M E N

Columbia, 1949

PRINCIPAL CAST Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge

DIRECTOR Robert Rossen


The life of Senator Huey Long inspired this political drama with compelling

performances by Crawford and McCambridge. This film is based on Robert Penn

Warren’s explosive novel about a once-honest politician corrupted by power. “Man is

conceived in sin and born in corruption.”

1 2 A L L T H E P R E S I D E N T ’ S M E N

Warner Bros., 1976

PRINCIPAL CAST Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jason Robards

DIRECTOR Alan J. Pakula

PRODUCER Walter Coblenz

SCREENWRITER William Goldman

Both a taut political thriller and detective story, Redford and Hoffman are Woodward

and Bernstein, the two novice Washington Post reporters who uncovered the

Watergate break-in and cover-up.

American Film Institute 11


Orion, 1984

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Hulce, F. Murray Abraham

DIRECTOR Milos Forman

PRODUCER Saul Zaentz


Abraham’s Antonio Salieri declares war against the heavens for speaking through the

genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, played by Hulce. Flashbacks illuminate the

mad, energetic brilliance of Mozart and Salieri’s struggle with his own mediocrity.

“There are simply too many notes, that’s all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.”

1 4 A M E R I C A N B E A U T Y

DreamWorks, 1999

PRINCIPAL CAST Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley,

Mena Suvari


PRODUCERS Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks


Step inside the red door, and you’ll find a family about to implode. Lester’s

depressed, his wife’s carrying on with another man and his daughter hates him.

Worst of all, he’s fantasizing about a high school cheerleader covered in red roses.

Mendes’ first feature is a biting black comedy on contemporary American life.

1 5 A M E R I C A N G R A F F I T I

Universal, 1973

PRINCIPAL CAST Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams

DIRECTOR George Lucas

PRODUCERS Francis Ford Coppola, Gary Kurtz

SCREENWRITERS Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, George Lucas

One night in the life of some high school grads becomes a turning point on the road

to adulthood. Lucas’ breakthrough film featured an ensemble cast of future stars and

a non-stop soundtrack of 1950s and ‘60s hits.

1 6 A N A M E R I C A N I N PA R I S

MGM, 1951

PRINCIPAL CAST Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant

DIRECTOR Vincente Minnelli

PRODUCER Arthur Freed


Kelly and Caron fall in love to the tunes of Gershwin—I Got Rhythm, Our Love Is

Here To Stay and S’Wonderful—in postwar Paris. The film’s legendary finale, the

17-minute ballet, was both daring and innovative in 1951.

12 American Film Institute

1 7 A N N I E H A L L

United Artists, 1977

PRINCIPAL CAST Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

DIRECTOR Woody Allen

PRODUCER Charles H. Joffe

SCREENWRITERS Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman

Alvy Singer has more hang-ups than most neurotic New Yorkers. When he meets his

polar opposite, the dingy Annie Hall (“La-di-da, la-di-da”), the die-hard city dweller

winds up in a foreign country called Los Angeles! This comedy also launched a

women’s fashion trend on Annie Hall’s “look.”

1 8 T H E A PART M E N T

United Artists, 1960

PRINCIPAL CAST Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray,

Jack Kruschen

DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

PRODUCER Billy Wilder

SCREENWRITERS I.A.L. Diamond, Billy Wilder

Wilder’s wry take on corporate America skewers the climb through the bedroom to

the boardroom. Lemmon is a career-climbing executive who offers his boss’ the use

of his apartment for an extra-marital fling. His foolproof plan falls apart when he falls

in love with his boss’s girlfriend. “That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise!”


United Artists, 1979

PRINCIPAL CAST Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall

DIRECTOR Francis Ford Coppola

PRODUCER Francis Ford Coppola

SCREENWRITERS Francis Ford Coppola, John Milius

Coppola and Milius based their script loosely on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Search and destroy; terminate with extreme prejudice—this is Sheen’s mission. But it

is the insanity of the Vietnam war (“I love the smell of napalm in the morning…”)

that really blows his mind. By the time he reaches renegade Green Beret Brando, his

crew is dead, and he has nearly become the man he was sent to kill.

2 0 A P O L L O 1 3

Universal, 1995

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris,

Kathleen Quinlan


PRODUCER Brian Grazer

SCREENWRITERS William Broyles, Jr., Al Reinert

“Houston, we have a problem.” Things go drastically wrong on the Apollo 13

mission, and astronauts Hanks, Paxton, and Bacon must rely on their wits to get

back to earth alive as America holds its collective breath.

American Film Institute 13

2 1 A S G O O D A S I T G E T S

TriStar, 1997

PRINCIPAL CAST Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear

DIRECTOR James L. Brooks

PRODUCERS James L. Brooks, Bridget Johnson, Kristi Zea


Nicholson is an obsessive/compulsive romance novelist whose relationships

with coffee shop waitress Hunt and gay neighbor Kinnear make him want to

be a better man.

2 2 AT L A N T I C C I T Y

Paramount, 1980

PRINCIPAL CAST Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon

DIRECTOR Louis Malle

PRODUCER Denis Heroux


Parallel stories in this potent character study of an aging gangster and a young

woman with dreams rooted in the image of the city’s past. Their worlds collide

when they find themselves chased by an unglamorous, modern-day mob.

2 3 A U S T I N P O W E R S : I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N O F M Y S T E RY

New Line, 1997

PRINCIPAL CAST Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Robert Wagner


PRODUCERS Suzanne Todd, Demi Moore, Jennifer Todd, Mike Myers


Myers never lets up in this James Bond parody as the cryogenically frozen 1960s

spy who is thawed out thirty years later in order to stop Dr. Evil’s plans for world

domination. “It’s freedom, baby, yeah!”

2 4 T H E AVI AT O R

Miramax, 2004

PRINCIPAL CAST Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale

DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese

PRODUCERS Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King,

Charles Evans, Jr.


Leonardo DiCaprio plays Howard Hughes in this biopic of the legendary engineer,

movie producer, pilot and corporate mogul. The film follows his life from the 1920s

to the 1940s with overlapping storylines at play, as Hughes rises and falls


14 American Film Institute

2 5 T H E AW F U L T R U T H

Columbia, 1937

PRINCIPAL CAST Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy


PRODUCER Everett Riskin


Grant and Dunne try to outwit and outmaneuver each other while waiting for their

divorce to become final. The combination of physical slapstick and sophisticated

comedy turn this clever movie into a minefield of marital mishaps. “You’ve come

back and caught me in the truth, and there’s nothing less logical than the truth.”


16 American Film Institute

2 6 B A B E

Universal, 1995


DIRECTOR Chris Noonan

PRODUCERS George Miller, Doug Mitchell, Bill Miller

SCREENWRITERS George Miller, Chris Noonan

This fantasy film tells the story of Babe, an orphaned pig raised by a sheep dog, who

becomes an expert herder and forms a special bond with eccentric Farmer Hoggett, as

they share “the faintest hint of a common destiny.”

2 7 B A C K T O T H E F U T U R E

Universal, 1985

PRINCIPAL CAST Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

DIRECTOR Robert Zemeckis

PRODUCERS Neil Canton, Bob Gale

SCREENWRITERS Bob Gale, Robert Zemeckis

Marty McFly and crazy scientist Doc Brown accidentally time-travel back to the

1950s. “Are you telling me you built a time machine? Out of a DeLorean?” After

bungling the moment when his parents first meet, Marty must get them interested in

each other to secure his own destiny and get back to the future.


Warner Bros., 1973

PRINCIPAL CAST Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek

DIRECTOR Terrence Malick

PRODUCER Terrence Malick

SCREENWRITER Terrence Malick

Malick’s directorial debut is based on the true story of Charles Starkweather and

teenager Caril Fugate who crossed America in the 1950s leaving a trail of bodies

behind them.

2 9 B A M B I

Disney, 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Hardie Albright, Sterling Holloway, Sam Edwards (voices)


PRODUCER Walt Disney


It’s hard to keep a dry eye in this visually beautiful, animated story of life in the

forest that moves from the idyllic to the horrific and back again for the sweet-natured

fawn, Bambi.

American Film Institute 17


MGM, 1953

PRINCIPAL CAST Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Jack Buchanan, Oscar Levant,

Nanette Fabray

DIRECTOR Vincente Minnelli

PRODUCER Arthur Freed

SCREENWRITERS Betty Comden, Adolph Green

Film actor Astaire is washed up in Hollywood and heads to New York to resurrect his

career, this time on Broadway. With enduring standards like That’s Entertainment and

Dancing In The Dark, Comden and Green take a light-hearted look at how an

ill-fated concept, an updated Oedipus, becomes a musical smash.

3 1 T H E B A N K D I C K

Universal, 1940

PRINCIPAL CAST W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel

DIRECTOR Edward F. Cline


SCREENWRITER Mahatma Kane Jeeves (W. C. Fields)

Fields plays Egbert Souse, a man who tries to live up to his name but is heralded

as a hero and awarded a job as a detective when he inadvertently topples over a

bank robber.

3 2 B E A U G E S T E

Paramount, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy

DIRECTOR William A. Wellman

PRODUCER William A. Wellman


When the priceless Blue Water sapphire goes missing, so do the Geste Brothers. A

tale of high adventure takes John, Digby, and Beau from the splendor of Victorian

England to the Foreign Legion of North Africa, all in the name of honor, loyalty, and


3 3 A B E A U T I F U L M I N D

Universal, 2001

PRINCIPAL CAST Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly


PRODUCERS Brian Grazer, Ron Howard


Sylvia Nasar’s prize-winning biography of math genius and Nobel winner John Nash

is the basis for this skillfully directed film. Howard lulls the audience into both the

mad world of Nash’s schizophrenia and the real world of his wife and family, who

love him unconditionally.

18 American Film Institute

3 4 B E A U T Y A N D T H E B E A S T

Disney, 1991

PRINCIPAL CAST Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach,

Angela Lansbury (voices)

DIRECTORS Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise


SCREENWRITER Linda Woolverton

This animated musical is based on the classic fairy tale of the girl who is trapped in

the castle of a hideous beast but eventually falls for his unusual charm. The film’s

musical highlights include the title song and the show-stopping Be Our Guest.

3 5 B E I N G J O H N M A L K O V I C H

USA Films, 1999

PRINCIPAL CAST John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener,

John Malkovich

DIRECTOR Spike Jonze

PRODUCERS Steve Golin, Vincent Landay, Sandy Stern, Michael Stipe

SCREENWRITER Charlie Kaufman

Kaufman’s clever, original comedy of a puppeteer who inadvertently discovers a

portal into the brain of actor John Malkovich. Can his discovery become a business?

“Meet you in Malkovich in one hour.”

3 6 B E N - H U R

MGM, 1926

PRINCIPAL CAST Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman, May McAvoy


PRODUCERS Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn

SCREENWRITERS Bess Meredyth, Carey Wilson, June Mathis

Judah Ben-Hur loses his home and family at the hands of childhood friend Messala, a

young Roman officer. The dramatic chariot race and colossal sea battle are part of the

most expensive silent film produced in Hollywood.

3 7 B E N - H U R

MGM, 1959

PRINCIPAL CAST Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Jack Hawkins

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCER Sam Zimbalist


This is a tale of two friends on the opposite side of politics and power, who come

face to face in the film’s explosive chariot race. Heston, the young Jewish Prince,

seeks revenge for himself and his family, only to find forgiveness and redemption

when he tries to help Jesus Christ, the man who once saved him.

American Film Institute 19

3 8 T H E B E S T Y E A R S O F O U R L I V E S

RKO, 1946

PRINCIPAL CAST Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Teresa Wright, Dana Andrews,

Harold Russell

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCER Samuel Goldwyn

SCREENWRITER Robert E. Sherwood

Released immediately after the World War II, Wyler’s story of three men returning

from war was the right film at the right time—mirroring the experiences of so many

soldiers adjusting to a new life. Russell, a young vet who lost his hands, plays a man

trying to figure out if he can pick up the pieces of his old life.

3 9 B I G

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1988

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins

DIRECTOR Penny Marshall

PRODUCERS James L. Brooks, Robert Greenhut

SCREENWRITERS Gary Ross, Anne Spielberg

A little boy’s wish comes true and he wakes up big! But there’s still a boy inside that

man’s body and he can’t quite navigate the world of grownups. Hanks and Loggia’s

piano dance to Heart and Soul is one of the highlights in Marshall’s poignant comedy

that proves the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.”

4 0 T H E B I G C H I L L

Columbia, 1983

PRINCIPAL CAST Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, William Hurt, Tom Berenger,

Jeff Goldblum

DIRECTOR Lawrence Kasdan

PRODUCER Michael Shamberg

SCREENWRITERS Barbara Benedek, Lawrence Kasdan

Baby-boomers regroup to mourn the suicide of their friend. The ensemble reminisce

and come to terms with their loss, all done to a soundtrack from their 1960s youth.


MGM, 1925

PRINCIPAL CAST John Gilbert, Renee Adoree


PRODUCER Irving Thalberg

SCREENWRITERS Lawrence Stallings, Harry Behn

Vidor’s cadenced staging of a military assault is one of the highlights of this antiwar

film featuring box office idol Gilbert as an eager American doughboy.

20 American Film Institute

4 2 T H E B I G S L E E P

Warner Bros., 1946

PRINCIPAL CAST Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall

DIRECTOR Howard Hawks

PRODUCER Howard Hawks

SCREENWRITERS William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, Jules Futhman

Bogart and Bacall make sparks fly while trying to outwit the blackmailers, seedy

cops, and odd characters who populate the treacherous world of Raymond Chandler’s

Los Angeles.

4 3 T H E B I R D S

Universal, 1963

PRINCIPAL CAST Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER Alfred Hitchcock


Hitchcock’s birds-eye view of the apocalypse has our feathered friends attacking the

residents of a small town in Northern California.

4 4 T H E B I RT H O F A N AT I O N

Epoch, 1915

PRINCIPAL CAST Lillian Gish, Henry B. Walthall

DIRECTOR D.W. Griffith

PRODUCER D.W. Griffith

SCREENWRITERS D.W. Griffith, Frank E. Woods

A groundbreaking technical achievement, this controversial milestone epic about the

Civil War and its aftermath still sparks debate today. President Woodrow Wilson said,

“It is like writing history with lightning.”

4 5 B L A C K B O A R D J U N G L E

MGM, 1955

PRINCIPAL CAST Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern, Sidney Poitier,

Vic Morrow

DIRECTOR Richard Brooks

PRODUCER Pandro S. Berman


A rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack gave a real urgency to this story of juvenile delinquents in

a troubled inner-city school. Ford is the earnest, idealistic teacher who tries his best to

inspire the students who are almost impossible to tame.

American Film Institute 21

4 6 B L A D E R U N N E R

Warner Bros., 1982

PRINCIPAL CAST Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young,

Edward James Olmos

DIRECTOR Ridley Scott

PRODUCER Michael Deely

SCREENWRITER Hampton Fancher

The dark, rainy opening shot of Los Angeles in 2019 sets the stage for Scott’s

futuristic thriller, where “replicants,” a powerful human-like species, have mutinied

in an attempt to prolong their lifespans. Ford is the cop Blade Runner cop called on

to hunt them down.

4 7 B L A Z I N G S A D D L E S

Warner Bros., 1974

PRINCIPAL CAST Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn


PRODUCER Michael Hertzberg

SCREENWRITERS Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, Alan Uger,

Andrew Bergman

Brooks’ politically incorrect parody of all things Western spares no one, starting with

the dastardly Hedley Lemarr who brings Bart, a black urban sheriff to town. Saloonsinger

Lili Von Shtupp’s I’m Tired (à la Dietrich) and the bean-eating campfire scene

remain favorites.

4 8 B L U E V E LV E T

DEG, 1986

PRINCIPAL CAST Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper,

Laura Dern

DIRECTOR David Lynch

PRODUCER Fred C. Caruso


Naive Jeffrey Beaumont finds a severed ear in an empty lot near his bucolic home

town. Fed up with do-nothing cops, Jeffrey and girlfriend Sandy’s investigation takes

them beyond the white picket fence into the dark evil underworld of Frank Booth and

his nightclub singer, Dorothy Vallens.

4 9 B O N N I E A N D C LY D E

Warner Bros., 1967

PRINCIPAL CAST Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons

DIRECTOR Arthur Penn

PRODUCER Warren Beatty

SCREENWRITERS Robert Benton, David Newman

“We rob banks!” Dunaway and Beatty star in this story of real-life 1930s bank

robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, a film that mixed romance, adventure,

glamour, comedy and violence in a way never seen before.

22 American Film Institute

5 0 B O O G I E N I G H T S

New Line, 1997

PRINCIPAL CAST Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore,

Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, Philip Seymour Hoffman,

William H. Macy

DIRECTOR Paul Thomas Anderson

PRODUCERS Paul Thomas Anderson, Lloyd Levin, John S. Lyons,

Joanne Sellar

SCREENWRITER Paul Thomas Anderson

This is Anderson’s breakthrough film about the ups and downs of characters in

search of love, acceptance, and stardom in the booming porn business of the 1970s

and 1980s. No one wants it more than Wahlberg’s Dirk Diggler, blessed with a

very special asset.

5 1 B O R N O N T H E F O U RT H O F J U LY

Universal, 1989

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe

DIRECTOR Oliver Stone

PRODUCERS Oliver Stone, A. Kitman Ho

SCREENWRITERS Oliver Stone, Ron Kovic

The true story of screenwriter Kovic, an all-American patriot who signs up for

Vietnam and comes home in a wheelchair. After long bouts of depression and

drowning himself in alcohol, the transformed vet becomes one of the country’s

leading antiwar activists.

5 2 B O Y Z N T H E H O O D

Columbia, 1991

PRINCIPAL CAST Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ice Cube,

Morris Chestnut, Angela Bassett

DIRECTOR John Singleton

PRODUCER Steve Nicolaides


The debut of writer/director Singleton rocked Hollywood with this tragic portrait

of three young men in South Central LA, and the effects of gang violence on their

hopes for the future. “Why is it that there is a gun shop on almost every corner in

this community?”

5 3 B R AV E H E A RT

Paramount, 1995

PRINCIPAL CAST Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Brian Cox


PRODUCERS Mel Gibson, Alan Ladd, Jr., Bruce Davey

SCREENWRITER Randall Wallace

Inspired by the legendary exploits of 13th century Scottish patriot William Wallace,

the film is noteworthy for its intense battle scenes and stirring plea for freedom.

American Film Institute 23

5 4 B R A Z I L

Universal, 1985

PRINCIPAL CAST Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond,

Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins

DIRECTOR Terry Gilliam

PRODUCER Arnon Milchan

SCREENWRITERS Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown

Gilliam’s darkly comic sci-fi epic nightmare of the future finds Pryce as a civil

servant who desperately tries to hold onto his dreams. Occasionally he allows his

fantasies to take flight over the decayed city of London to the strains of Brazil!

5 5 B R E A K FA S T AT T I F FA N Y ’ S

Paramount, 1961

PRINCIPAL CAST Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal

DIRECTOR Blake Edwards

PRODUCERS Martin Jurow, Richard Shepherd


Hepburn is Holly Golightly, a Manhattan party girl with a small-town past. New

neighbor Peppard is a struggling writer being kept by Neal. The two tenants free

each other from the ties of the past and fall in love. The film features the Henry

Mancini/Johnny Mercer song Moon River.

5 6 T H E B R E A K FA S T C L U B

Universal, 1985

PRINCIPAL CAST Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson,

Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Paul Gleason

DIRECTOR John Hughes

PRODUCERS John Hughes, Ned Tanen


Saturday detention is more like a therapy group for five high school teens who are

seen and see themselves in clearly defined roles. By the end of the day, Hughes’

dissection of adolescent issues reveals to the group that there’s “a brain, an athlete,

a basket case, a princess and a criminal” in all of them.

5 7 B R E A K I N G AWAY

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1979

PRINCIPAL CAST Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern,

Jackie Earle Haley

DIRECTOR Peter Yates

PRODUCER Peter Yates


The alienation four boys feel after graduating from high school ultimately leads to a

bicycle race that redeems them in the town they represent.

24 American Film Institute

5 8 T H E B R I D G E O N T H E R I V E R K WA I

Columbia, 1957

PRINCIPAL CAST William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness,

Sessue Hayakawa


PRODUCER Sam Spiegel

SCREENWRITERS Pierre Boulle (Carl Foreman, Michael Wilson)

Guinness is the rigid British officer who refuses to bow to torture in a Japanese

prison camp during World War II. Holden is an American who escapes from the

camp, then must return to sabotage the bridge being constructed to perfection by

POWs, now inspired by Guinness’ command! “Madness! Madness!”

5 9 B R I N G I N G U P B A B Y

RKO, 1938

PRINCIPAL CAST Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, May Robson,

Charles Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald

DIRECTOR Howard Hawks


SCREENWRITERS Dudley Nichols, Hagar Wilde

Hepburn’s heiress is mad for Grant’s uptight paleontologist. The plot and characters

define screwball comedy, not the least of which involves a pet leopard who can be

soothed by listening to I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby.”


Twentieth Century-Fox, 1987

PRINCIPAL CAST William Hurt, Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks

DIRECTOR James L. Brooks

PRODUCER James L. Brooks


Sparks fly in a network newsroom as dedicated producer Jane Craig tries to

figure out whom she wants: Pretty-boy, anchorman, killer-smile Tom? Or serious,

committed (and sweaty) reporter Aaron: “Okay, I’ll meet you at the place near the

thing where we went that time.”


Focus, 2005

PRINCIPAL CAST Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid,

Michelle Williams


PRODUCERS Diana Ossana, James Schamus

SCREENWRITERS Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana

“I wish I knew how to quit you.” This controversial and heartbreaking love story,

adapted from Annie Proulx’s New Yorker short story, is a love story about two

cowboys, spanning three decades.

American Film Institute 25

6 2 B R O K E N B L O S S O M S

United Artists, 1919

PRINCIPAL CAST Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp

DIRECTOR D.W. Griffith

PRODUCER D.W. Griffith


In London’s foggy slums, the plight of a Cockney girl is witnessed by a Chinese

shopkeeper who falls in love with her and wants to remove her from the physical

abuse she suffers at the hand of her prizefighter father.

6 3 B U L L D U R H A M

Orion, 1988

PRINCIPAL CAST Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins

DIRECTOR Ron Shelton

PRODUCERS Mark Burg, Thom Mount


Costner’s Crash Davis is almost over the hill, but he’s got to curb wild pitcher

“Nuke” LaLoosh’s wild ways. They both fall for baseball groupie Sarandon, who

sits both men down to explain her one-player-per-season rule—and that they are

the finalists. It will take more than philosophy to win her for the season.

6 4 B U T C H C A S S I D Y A N D T H E S U N D A N C E K I D

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1969

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross

DIRECTOR George Roy Hill

PRODUCERS Paul Monash, John Foreman

SCREENWRITER William Goldman

The chemistry of Newman and Redford redefined the buddy movie. Goldman’s script

follows Butch and Sundance as they rob banks from the Old West all the way to

Bolivia, making heroes out of anti-heroes. The movie’s key song Raindrops Keep

Fallin’ on My Head is a fun counterpart to the actual plight of our friends.


American Film Institute 27

6 5 C A B A R E T

Allied Artists, 1972

PRINCIPAL CAST Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey



SCREENWRITER Jay Presson Allen

“Willkommen” to 1930s Berlin and the Kit Kat Club, where mischievous emcee

Grey holds court and American entertainer Sally Bowles, played by Minnelli, lives

life in divine decadence as the Nazis rise in power.

6 6 C A B I N I N T H E S K Y

MGM, 1943

PRINCIPAL CAST Ethel Waters, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Lena Horne,

Louis Armstrong, Rex Ingram

DIRECTOR Vincente Minnelli

PRODUCER Arthur Freed


Minnelli’s first feature brought this Broadway musical to the screen, featuring an

all-black cast in a fable of the forces of good and evil fighting over the soul of a man.

Waters’ rendering of Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe is one of the high points.

6 7 C A M I L L E

MGM, 1937

PRINCIPAL CAST Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore

DIRECTOR George Cukor

PRODUCER David Lewis

SCREENWRITERS Zoe Akins, Frances Marion, James Hilton

In a signature role, Garbo plays a romantic and moody Parisian courtesan, intrigued

by Taylor in 19th century Paris: “His eyes have made love to me all evening.” Taylor

falls hard under Garbo’s spell, forgiving much along the way in their relationship.

6 8 C A R R I E

United Artists, 1976

PRINCIPAL CAST Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

DIRECTOR Brian De Palma

PRODUCER Paul Monash

SCREENWRITER Lawrence D. Cohen

Drawn from Stephen King’s first novel, Spacek plays a virginal misfit who unleashes

her powers of telekinesis at school, especially when her “in-crowd” counterparts feel

like tormenting her—during the high school prom, of course!

28 American Film Institute


Warner Bros., 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid

DIRECTOR Michael Curtiz

PRODUCER Hal B. Wallis

SCREENWRITERS Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch

Bogart is jaded idealist Rick Blaine, an American nightclub owner in French

Morocco who sacrifices the love of a lifetime to join the world’s fight against

the Nazis. “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

7 0 CAT B A L L O U

Columbia, 1965

PRINCIPAL CAST Lee Marvin, Jane Fonda

DIRECTOR Elliot Silverstein

PRODUCER Harold Hecht

SCREENWRITERS Walter Newman, Frank Pierson

Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye narrate the musical “ballad” of Ms. Ballou, with the

stories of malevolent Tim Strawn and dead-drunk Kid Shelleen, who must save Cat

from hanging!

7 1 CAT P E O P L E

RKO, 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway

DIRECTOR Jacques Tourneur



In New York a young bride believes she carries a curse; if a man touches her she

will turn into a panther and kill her prey—even the man she loves! The gripping

low-budget horror movie left a great deal off the screen and much to the imagination

of the audience.

7 2 C H A R I O T S O F F I R E

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1981

PRINCIPAL CAST Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Ian Holm

DIRECTOR Hugh Hudson

PRODUCER David Puttnam


Based on the true story of two English Olympic competitors in 1924. One is a

Scottish missionary who runs for God, the other, a Jew who runs for acknowledgment

and acceptance. Vangelis’s groud-breaking electronic soundtrack underscored the

runners’ passions.

American Film Institute 29

7 3 T H E C H E AT

Paramount, 1915

PRINCIPAL CAST Fannie Ward, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Dean

DIRECTOR Cecil B. DeMille

PRODUCER Jesse L. Lasky

SCREENWRITERS Jeanie McPherson, Hector Turnbull

Young wife Edith borrows money from a charity for Wall Street investments. She

loses it and borrows again, this time from Tori, her Japanese friend. Upon paying him

back, he refuses, claiming he owns her. Terrified, she kills him and her protective

husband stands trial. Overcome with guilt, Edith confesses all!


Miramax, 2002

PRINCIPAL CAST Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere

DIRECTOR Rob Marshall

PRODUCER Martin Richards


A razzle-dazzle song and dance extravaganza based on the Broadway musical. A

couple of murderesses get away with the crime and claw their way to celebrity in

1920s Chicgao…and all that jazz!


Paramount, 1974

PRINCIPAL CAST Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

DIRECTOR Roman Polanski

PRODUCER Robert Evans


An evocative score is the backdrop for 1930s Los Angeles. Nicholson is a private eye

investigating the murder of Dunaway’s husband. But that’s just the tip of Towne’s

unforgettable screenplay, where water rights, land deals and corruption clash with the

unbearable secrets between a father and daughter on a lonely street in Chinatown.

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

7 6 A C H R I S T M A S S T O RY

MGM, 1983

PRINCIPAL CAST Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin


PRODUCERS Bob Clark, Rene Dupont

SCREENWRITERS Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, Bob Clark

All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun. Clark’s

modern-day holiday classic is based on Jean Shepherd’s childhood recollections.

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”

30 American Film Institute

7 7 C I N D E R E L L A

Disney, 1950

PRINCIPAL CAST Ilene Woods, Verna Felton, William Phipps (voices)

DIRECTORS Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi

PRODUCER Walt Disney

SCREENWRITERS Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Ted Sears, Winston Hibler, Homer

Brightman, Harry Reeves, Ken Anderson, Joe Rinaldi

With the help of some mice, her fairy godmother’s magic and a chorus of Bibbidi,

Bobbidi, Boo, Cinderella goes to the ball and meets her Prince Charming in this

animated version of the Grimms’ fairy tale.

7 8 C I T I Z E N K A N E

RKO, 1941

PRINCIPAL CAST Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore,

Agnes Moorehead

DIRECTOR Orson Welles

PRODUCER Orson Welles

SCREENWRITERS Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles

Welles broke all the rules and invented some new ones with his searing story of a

newspaper publisher with an uncanny resemblance to William Randolph Hearst.

7 9 C I T Y L I G H T S

United Artists, 1931

PRINCIPAL CAST Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill

DIRECTOR Charles Chaplin

PRODUCER Charles Chaplin

SCREENWRITER Charles Chaplin

This silent masterpiece was released three years after the start of talkies. In this

Chaplin classic, the Little Tramp falls hopelessly in love with a blind flower seller,

risking everything to gain money for her much-needed operation.


Warner Bros., 1971

PRINCIPAL CAST Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri,

Warren Clarke

DIRECTOR Stanley Kubrick

PRODUCER Stanley Kubrick

SCREENWRITER Stanley Kubrick

Alex and his “droogs” terrorize the back alleys of London in this dark satire based on

Anthony Burgess’ stunning novel. After his capture and incarceration, an experimental

aversion therapy seems to have “cured” Alex for good, but not in the expected manner,

as it includes Beethoven’s “gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh!”

American Film Institute 31

8 1 C L O S E E N C O U N T E R S O F T H E T H I R D K I N D

Columbia, 1977

PRINCIPAL CAST Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Francois Truffaut, Melinda Dillon

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg

PRODUCERS Julia Phillips, Michael Phillips

SCREENWRITER Steven Spielberg

Dreyfuss is a power company technician who becomes obsessed with the possibility

of extra-terrestrial life after a brief encounter with them. He shuns career and family

in pursuit of something that he knows means something: “This is important.”

8 2 T H E C O L O R P U R P L E

Warner Bros., 1985

PRINCIPAL CAST Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg

PRODUCERS Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall,

Quincy Jones


Alice Walker’s prize-winning novel is brought to the big screen in this story of a

woman’s survival and dignity on a farm in the South during the early 20th century.

Goldberg and Winfrey made their screen debuts in the film.


United Artists, 1978

PRINCIPAL CAST Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern


PRODUCER Jerome Helman

SCREENWRITERS Nancy Dowd, Robert Jones, Waldo Salt

This drama is a healing film about the effects of the Vietnam War at home. While

Fonda’s soldier husband is on a tour of duty, she finds love with Voight, a bitter

paraplegic who has returned from the war.

8 4 T H E C O N V E R S AT I O N

Paramount, 1974

PRINCIPAL CAST Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest

DIRECTOR Francis Ford Coppola

PRODUCER Francis Ford Coppola

SCREENWRITER Francis Ford Coppola

Paranoia, fear and guilt play over and over in the mind of Hackman, a wire-tapper

who begins to question his profession when he learns that three people have died

after his expert bugging.

32 American Film Institute

8 5 C O O L H A N D L U K E

Warner Bros., 1967

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Newman, George Kennedy

DIRECTOR Stuart Rosenberg

PRODUCER Gordon Carroll

SCREENWRITERS Donn Pearce, Frank Pierson

Set in 1948, Newman is a member of a chain gang who will not bow to authority.

Strother Martin’s admonition, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate,”

became a slogan for a generation.

8 6 C R A S H

Lions’ Gate, 2005

PRINCIPAL CAST Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Ryan Phillippe,

Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle

DIRECTOR Paul Haggis

PRODUCERS Don Cheadle, Paul Haggis, Mark R. Harris, Robert Moresco,

Cathy Schulman, Bob Yari

SCREENWRITERS Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco

An ensemble film of racially and economically interconnected stories that all begins

at a crime scene. The movie flashes back two days earlier to the well-meaning lives

of a diverse group of Angelenos.


MGM, 1928

PRINCIPAL CAST Eleanor Boardman, James Murray


SCREENWRITERS King Vidor, Harry Behn, John V.A. Weaver

Vidor’s astonishing vision of an ordinary man born at the dawn of a new century,

who holds the promise and hope of an extraordinary life. Faced with tragedy, the

young man heads for New York City, anticipating something better, but he only

becomes a faceless part of the crowd.


34 American Film Institute

8 8 D A N C E S W I T H W O LV E S

Orion, 1990

PRINCIPAL CAST Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene

DIRECTOR Kevin Costner

PRODUCERS Kevin Costner, Jim Wilson


Costner directs and stars in this lasting vision of the old West, where a disillusioned

soldier leaves the Civil War and strikes out to the prairie on his own. After a difficult

start, he learns to live, love, and respect the land when the Sioux Indians welcome

him into their tribe.

8 9 T H E D AY T H E E A R T H S T O O D S T I L L

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1951

PRINCIPAL CAST Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal

DIRECTOR Robert Wise

PRODUCER Julian Blaustein


Science fiction meets social commentary when a space ship lands in the center of

Washington, DC. Klaatu warns Earthlings to end all things nuclear, but his arrival

causes a panic and he’s shot. Gort, his robot companion, vaporizes the guns. The film

broke new ground in visual effects and influenced a generation of filmmakers.


Paramount, 1978

PRINCIPAL CAST Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard

DIRECTOR Terrence Malick

PRODUCERS Bert Schneider, Harold Schneider

SCREENWRITER Terrence Malick

Gere and Adams are lovers who escape the big city and begin a new life as workers

in a Texas wheat field. When a love triangle with the farm owner Shepard is revealed,

apocalyptic events bring tragedy to their idyllic world. Nestor Alemendros’

cinematography is a towering achievement.

9 1 DAY S O F W I N E A N D R O S E S

Warner Bros., 1962

PRINCIPAL CAST Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick

DIRECTOR Blake Edwards

PRODUCER Martin Manulis


Lemmon drags wife Remick with him into the pit of alcoholism. Originally a

television drama, the film’s dark story is memorable for its unblinking look behind

the closed doors of an everyday couple.

American Film Institute 35

9 2 D E A D P O E T S S O C I E T Y

Touchstone, 1989

PRINCIPAL CAST Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke


PRODUCERS Steven Haft, Tony Thomas, Paul Junger Witt


Williams is a passionate 1950s prep school teacher who inspires his students to

“seize the day.” His unorthodox methods of teaching are blamed when one young

man commits suicide.

9 3 T H E D E E R H U N T E R

Universal, 1978

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep

DIRECTOR Michael Cimino

PRODUCERS Michael Cimino, Michael Deeley, John Peverall, Barry Spikings

SCREENWRITERS Michael Cimino, Louis Garfinkle, Quinn K. Redeker,

Deric Washburn

The effects of the Vietnam war on a tightly knit community challenge the bonds

of friendship and love. A game of Russian Roulette, first played in a POW camp,

temporarily reunites De Niro with his estranged friend Walken in a back alley

of Saigon.

9 4 T H E D E F I A N T O N E S

United Artists, 1958

PRINCIPAL CAST Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Theodore Bikel, Cara Williams

DIRECTOR Stanley Kramer

PRODUCER Stanley Kramer

SCREENWRITERS Harold Jacob Smith, Nedrick Young

Kramer’s ground-breaking film centered on two embittered, escaped convicts, one

white, the other black, who are shackled together. Each learns that their survival

depends on trust and mutual respect.

9 5 D E L I V E R A N C E

Warner Bros., 1972

PRINCIPAL CAST Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds

DIRECTOR John Boorman

PRODUCER John Boorman


Four Atlanta businessmen discover hidden perils in the backwoods when they go

for a weekend canoe ride down a river that will soon be flooded by a dam. Dueling

Banjos sets an ironic tone for the sinister happenings during the remainder

of the film.

36 American Film Institute

9 6 D E S T RY R I D E S A G A I N

Universal, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart

DIRECTOR George Marshall

PRODUCERS Joe Pasternak, Islin Auster

SCREENWRITERS Felix Jackson, Gertrude Purcell, Henry Myers

In a western town, peace-loving sheriff Stewart combats lawlessness with homilies

along with some help from saloon singer Dietrich, who rallies the town’s womenfolk

to take up their rolling pins in his support. The film’s See What the Boys in the Back

Room Will Have became Dietrich’s signature songs.

9 7 T H E D I A RY O F A N N E F R A N K

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1959

PRINCIPAL CAST Millie Perkins, Shelley Winters, Ed Wynn

DIRECTOR George Stevens

PRODUCER George Stevens

SCREENWRITERS Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett

Based on the diary of a young girl, the film recounts the lives of a small group of

Dutch Jews who hide in an attic to avoid capture by the Nazis. Despite the inevitable

doom, the story is a touching and hopeful look at life through the eyes of an adolescent.

9 8 D I E H A R D

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1988

PRINCIPAL CAST Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

DIRECTOR John McTiernan

PRODUCERS Joel Silver, Lawrence Gordon

SCREENWRITERS Jeb Stuart, Steven E. de Souza

Willis, a New York City cop who is hoping to reconcile with his estranged wife,

is an unexpected guest at a Los Angeles high-rise office party when terrorists

take over. Rickman’s intellectual madman matches wits with Willis’ scrappy

cop in this stunt spectacular.

9 9 D I RT Y H A R RY

Warner Bros., 1971




SCREENWRITERS Dean Riesner, Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink

Eastwood is Harry Callahan, a policeman willing to go up against the code and invent

his own form of justice to capture a brutal killer. “You’ve got to ask yourself one

question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’Well, do ya, punk?”

American Film Institute 37

1 0 0 D O T H E R I G H T T H I N G

Universal, 1989

PRINCIPAL CAST Danny Aiello, Spike Lee, John Turturro


PRODUCERS Spike Lee, Monty Ross


It’s a sweltering summer day in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn,

and Sal’s Famous Pizzeria becomes a lightning rod for racial tensions. The muchdiscussed

close to the film presents different views on the conflict with quotes from

Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X.

1 0 1 D O C T O R Z H I VAGO

MGM, 1965

PRINCIPAL CAST Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Tom Courtenay, Rod Steiger


PRODUCER Carlo Ponti


Lean’s sweeping saga set against the Russian Revolution is the story of a young

doctor/poet torn between two women. But it is his love for Lara that propels the

film, memorable for its haunting music score and stunning cinematography. Lean

collaborated with cinematographer Freddie Young for the second time.


United Artists, 1936

PRINCIPAL CAST Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas, Mary Astor

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCER Samuel Goldwyn


Sinclair Lewis’ novel was the basis for this story of a retired automobile tycoon

whose much younger, social-climbing wife drags him on an extended European

vacation. While she cavorts with younger men, he eventually finds happiness

with a down-to-earth American expatriate.

1 0 3 DOG DAY A F T E R N O O N

Warner Bros., 1975

PRINCIPAL CAST Al Pacino, Chris Sarandon

DIRECTOR Sidney Lumet

PRODUCERS Martin Bregman, Martin Elfand


Based on a real incident in lower Manhattan, Pacino holds bank customers hostage

in what he thinks will be a simple heist to get money for his lover’s sex change

operation, but it turns into a major police and media incident. “Attica! Attica!”

38 American Film Institute

1 0 4 D O U B L E I N D E M N I T Y

Paramount, 1944

PRINCIPAL CAST Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson

DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

PRODUCER Joseph Sistrom

SCREENWRITERS Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler

Wilder’s searing adaptation of James M. Cain’s novel of duplicity and murder gave

“nice guy” MacMurray a shot at film noir. He is the insurance agent seduced by

Stanwyck into murdering her husband so that she can file an accident claim.

1 0 5 D R . S T R A N G E L O V E O R : H O W I L E A R N E D T O S T O P W O R RY I N G


Columbia, 1964

PRINCIPAL CAST Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

DIRECTOR Stanley Kubrick

PRODUCER Stanley Kubrick

SCREENWRITERS Peter George, Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern

Kubrick’s black comedy focuses on an American president, played by Sellers in

one of his three roles, who must contend with a Soviet nuclear attack on the United

States and his own maniacal staff, including Scott’s memorable General Turgidson.

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.”

1 0 6 D R I V I N G M I S S D A I S Y

Warner Bros., 1989

PRINCIPAL CAST Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd

DIRECTOR Bruce Beresford

PRODUCERS Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard D. Zanuck


Tandy is a stubborn old Southern woman, and Freeman is her resilient chauffeur.

The film chronicles their 25 years together as differences dissolve, friendship grows

and respect blossoms. Uhry adapted the film from his Pulitzer-Prize winning play.

1 0 7 D U C K S O U P

Paramount, 1933

PRINCIPAL CAST Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo Marx


PRODUCER Herman J. Mankiewicz

SCREENWRITERS Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby

The Brothers Marx defend Freedonia, with their own brand of anarchy and satire

in this antiwar comedy that’s a combination of Gilbert and Sullivan and vaudeville.

Groucho and Harpo had perfected their “mirror gag” on stage and brought it to

Depression-era audiences sorely in need of a laugh.


40 American Film Institute

1 0 8 E . T. T H E E X T R A - T E R R E S T R I A L

Universal, 1982

PRINCIPAL CAST Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg

PRODUCERS Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg

SCREENWRITER Melissa Mathison

Elliot is a young boy from a broken home who discovers an extra-terrestrial creature

that has been stranded on earth—light years from home. Together they form a universal

friendship, and Elliot helps E.T. “phone home.”

1 0 9 E A S Y R I D E R

Columbia, 1969

PRINCIPAL CAST Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson

DIRECTOR Dennis Hopper

PRODUCER Peter Fonda

SCREENWRITERS Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern

Fonda and Hopper, better known as Captain America and Wyatt, hit the road on

their choppers to find an America bitterly divided by the Vietnam war. On the way

they pick up Nicholson, who gets turned on and tuned in. The original independent

film was an anthem for the 1960s’ cultural dialogue on freedom, individualism

and patriotism.

1 1 0 T H E E M P I R E S T R I K E S B A C K

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1980

PRINCIPAL CAST Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

DIRECTOR Irving Kershner


SCREENWRITERS Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan

The further adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo in their battle

against the dark side of the force. Yoda, a Jedi master, makes his first appearance, and

Luke discovers the true identity of his father.

1 1 1 T H E E N G L I S H PAT I E N T

Miramax, 1996

PRINCIPAL CAST Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristen Scott Thomas

DIRECTOR Anthony Minghella

PRODUCER Saul Zaentz

SCREENWRITER Anthony Minghella

Fiennes is a horribly burned man who lays dying. Binoche is his nurse, a woman in

mourning for her lost love, who listens as he tells of his love affair with an English

aristocrat whose life he tried to save in war-torn North Africa.

American Film Institute 41

1 1 2 E R I N B R O C K O V I C H

Universal, 2000

PRINCIPAL CAST Julia Roberts, Albert Finney

DIRECTOR Steven Soderbergh

PRODUCERS Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher


Roberts sizzles as a sassy single mom who brings a California power company to its

knees, in this true story. “By the way, we had that water brought in specially for you

folks. Came from a well in Hinkley.”

1 1 3 E T E R N A L S U N S H I N E O F T H E S P O T L E S S M I N D

Focus, 2004

PRINCIPAL CAST Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo,

Tom Wilkinson, Kirsten Dunst

DIRECTOR Michel Gondry

PRODUCERS Anthony Bregman, Steve Golin

SCREENWRITER Charlie Kaufman

Kaufman’s script asks, “What if you could have your memories surgically removed?”

Carrey tries it with the memories he shares with ex-girlfriend Winslet, but he soon

has regrets and tries to save those cherished moments with her before they’re gone


1 1 4 T H E E X O R C I S T

Warner Bros., 1973

PRINCIPAL CAST Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Jason Miller

DIRECTOR William Friedkin

PRODUCER William Peter Blatty

SCREENWRITER William Peter Blatty

Blain is Regan, a young girl possessed by Satan. Her mother, Burstyn, summons the

help of a priest who tries to save the girl while confronting his own private demons.

A landmark film that spawned a new generation of horror movies.

1 1 5 A FA C E I N T H E C R O W D

Warner Bros., 1957

PRINCIPAL CAST Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau




This is Kazan’s scathing portrait of an Arkansas hobo who becomes a media sensation.

Drunk with success and influence, the compassionate young TV star is the poster boy

for the corruption of power. Griffith’s film debut.

42 American Film Institute

1 1 6 FANTA S I A

Disney, 1940

DIRECTORS Joe Grant, Dick Huemer

PRODUCER Walt Disney

Disney’s groundbreaking union of classical music and animated images is a visual

feast for young and old. Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is one of film

history’s most indelible icons.

1 1 7 FARGO

Gramercy, 1996

PRINCIPAL CAST Frances McDormand, William H. Macy



SCREENWRITERS Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

A frigid Minnesota landscape is the setting for a series of gruesome murders

intertwined with a botched kidnapping. McDormand is Marge, the pregnant

police officer who reconstructs the crime with a style all her own. “You betcha.”

1 1 8 FA S T T I M E S AT R I D G E M O N T H I G H

Universal, 1982

PRINCIPAL CAST Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold

DIRECTOR Amy Heckerling

PRODUCERS Art Linson, Irving Azoff


Penn leads an ensemble of newcomers in this sharp and painfully funny look at what’s

on the mind of teenagers in a southern California high school—peer pressure, sex and

the mall. “Hey, Bud, let’s party!”

1 1 9 FATA L AT T R A C T I O N

Paramount, 1987

PRINCIPAL CAST Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer

DIRECTOR Adrian Lyne

PRODUCERS Stanley R. Jaffe, Sherry Lansing


Douglas is a married man who has a brief but torrid affair with an obsessive woman,

played by Close. Her brutal revenge and ultimate demise had America discussing

adultery and assigning blame.

American Film Institute 43

1 2 0 F E R R I S B U E L L E R ’ S D AY O F F

Paramount, 1986

PRINCIPAL CAST Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara

DIRECTOR John Hughes

PRODUCERS John Hughes, Tom Jacobson


Enlisting his best friends, the ultimate high school slacker borrows a Ferrari and roars

into Chicago for a day of culture, sports and active parade participation. “Life moves

pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

1 2 1 F I E L D O F D R E A M S

Universal, 1989

PRINCIPAL CAST Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan

DIRECTOR Phil Alden Robinson

PRODUCERS Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon

SCREENWRITER Phil Alden Robinson

A disembodied voice keeps telling an Iowa farmer to build a baseball diamond in the

middle of his cornfield. He does—and miracles, faith, and family arrive in the form

of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and the 1919 White Sox. “If you build it, he will come.”

1 2 2 F I G H T C L U B

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1999

PRINCIPAL CAST Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter

DIRECTOR David Fincher

PRODUCERS Ross Grayson Bell, Cean Chaffin, Art Linson


Tired of just existing, a nameless worker hooks up with a charismatic anarchist to

form an underground organization that attracts men desperate to feel something real.

“First rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club.”

1 2 3 F I N D I N G N E M O

Disney/Pixar, 2003

PRINCIPAL CAST Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould,

Willem Dafoe (voices)

DIRECTOR Andrew Stanton

PRODUCER Graham Walters

SCREENWRITERS Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds

CGI animation goes underwater to find Nemo, the much loved fish and only child

of Marlin. Captured and living in a dentist’s salt-water tank, Nemo struggles to get

home while his dad sets out to find him.

44 American Film Institute

1 2 4 F I V E E A S Y P I E C E S

Columbia, 1970

PRINCIPAL CAST Jack Nicholson, Karen Black

DIRECTOR Bob Rafelson

PRODUCERS Bob Rafelson, Richard Wechsler

SCREENWRITERS Adrien Joyce, Bob Rafelson

Nicholson abandons a promising musical career for life as a blue-collar worker. He

comes to terms with this life choice when he visits his ailing father, and eventually

abandons everyone to hop a truck to Alaska. Nicholson’s alienation and rebellion hit

just the right note with the counter-culture of the 1960s especially when he orders

“plain toast.”

1 2 5 F O R C E O F E V I L

MGM, 1948

PRINCIPAL CAST John Garfield, Thomas Gomez

DIRECTOR Abraham Polonsky

PRODUCER Bob Roberts

SCREENWRITERS Abraham Polonsky, Ira Wolfert

In this forceful, expressionist film, Garfield is on the wrong side of the law as a

corrupt mob attorney. But this politically subversive film noir really hinges on two

brothers divided by the racketeering and the numbers game. “All that Cain did to

Abel was murder him.”

1 2 6 F O R R E S T G U M P

Paramount, 1994

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

DIRECTOR Robert Zemeckis

PRODUCERS Wendy Finerman, Steve Starkey, Steve Tisch


Forrest will tell his story to anyone who will listen. Mentally challenged, he seems

to be at the right place at the right time meeting everyone from JFK to Elvis to John

Lennon and doesn’t understand his good fortune. Breakthroughs in technology

allowed Zemekis to digitally alter history to fit the world of Forrest Gump.

1 2 7 4 2 N D S T R E E T

Warner Bros., 1933

PRINCIPAL CAST Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell

DIRECTOR Lloyd Bacon

PRODUCERS Hal B. Wallis, Darryl F. Zanuck

SCREENWRITERS Rian James, James Seymour

This quintessential backstage musical stars Keeler as the girl whose career begins

when she stands in for the leading lady (“You’re going out there a youngster, but

you’ve got to come back a star!”), and saves the show from closing. It was the first

film to feature choreographer Busby Berkeley’s dizzying overhead shots of dancers

in kaleidoscopic patterns.

American Film Institute 45

1 2 8 T H E F O U R H O R S E M E N O F T H E A P O C A LY P S E

Metro, 1921

PRINCIPAL CAST Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry



Made famous by Valentino’s sensual and seductive tango in an Argentine café, this

film is really the story of an adulterous love affair in World War I France. Valentino’s

vision of the Four Horsemen forces him to join the army and sacrifice his life on the


1 2 9 F R A N K E N S T E I N

Universal, 1931

PRINCIPAL CAST Boris Karloff, Colin Clive

DIRECTOR James Whale

PRODUCER Carl Laemmle, Jr.

SCREENWRITERS Garrett Fort, Francis Edward Faragoh

Dr. Frankenstein is obsessed with creating a man from parts of dead people. “It’s

alive. It’s alive.” But the creature’s grotesque looks and strange manner cause him

to be mistaken for a monster. Whale’s movie ushered in a new era of horror films,

and Karloff was stuck with the image of the monster for the rest of his career.

1 3 0 F R E A K S

MGM, 1932

PRINCIPAL CAST Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova

DIRECTOR Tod Browning

SCREENWRITERS Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon, Edgar Allan Woolf,

Al Boasberg

Browning’s cult horror film depicts life in a circus where a beautiful but duplicitous

high-wire artist marries a fabulously rich midget and plans to kill him. This highly

unusual film is populated with real life sideshow characters—a man with no arms

or legs, conjoined twins, and more.

1 3 1 T H E F R E N C H C O N N E C T I O N

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1971

PRINCIPAL CAST Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey

DIRECTOR William Friedkin

PRODUCER Philip D’Antoni


Hackman’s Popeye Doyle is based on a NYC cop who busted a heroin-smuggling

operation with a French connection. His character is in sharp contrast with that of his

nemesis, the elegant and dapper Alain Charnier. They play a game of cat and mouse

all over the Big Apple, culminating in one of the most gripping car chases on film.

46 American Film Institute

1 3 2 T H E F R E S H M A N

Pathé, 1925

PRINCIPAL CAST Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict

DIRECTOR Sam Taylor, Fred Newmeyer

PRODUCER Harold Lloyd

SCREENWRITERS Sam Taylor, John Grey, Ted Wilde, Tim Wheelan

Harold “Speedy” Lamb wants to be a “Big Man on Campus.” His attempts fall short,

until a hilarious, freewheeling football game proves that even the most inept of us can

become a hero.

1 3 3 F R O M H E R E T O E T E R N I T Y

Columbia, 1953

PRINCIPAL CAST Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr,

Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra

DIRECTOR Fred Zinnemann

PRODUCER Buddy Adler

SCREENWRITER Daniel Taradash

The image of waves crashing over the passionately embracing Kerr and Lancaster is

one of the most sensual ever filmed, in this story of Army life in Honolulu on the eve

of the Pearl Harbor attack. The US’ sudden involvement in World War II interrupts

the two love affairs in the film.

1 3 4 F U N N Y G I R L

Columbia, 1968

PRINCIPAL CAST Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif

DIRECTOR William Wyler



Streisand, in her film debut, is Fanny Brice, legendary vaudeville comedienne whose

career blossoms as her personal life falls apart. Adapted from the hit Broadway

musical, Streisand wowed audiences as she chased after Nicky Arnstein singing

Don’t Rain on My Parade and lamented his loss with Brice’s iconic My Man.

1 3 5 F U RY

MGM, 1936

PRINCIPAL CAST Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy


PRODUCER Joseph L. Mankiewicz

SCREENWRITERS Bartlett Cormack, Norman Krasna, Fritz Lang

A good, honorable man is arrested for kidnapping. Convinced of his guilt, a lynch

mob sets fire to the jail. He escapes and hides out, planning his revenge—on the mob

who “murdered” him.


48 American Film Institute

1 3 6 GANDHI

Columbia, 1982

PRINCIPAL CAST Ben Kingsley, John Mills, Martin Sheen, Edward Fox,

Candice Bergen

DIRECTOR Richard Attenborough

PRODUCER Richard Attenborough


Kingsley portrays Mahatma Gandhi—the man who taught the world about passive

resistance and brought the British Empire to its knees. Lavishly photographed down

to the last epic detail, Attenborough recreated Gandhi’s staggering funeral just as it

had been in 1948.

1 3 7 T H E G E N E R A L

United Artists, 1927

PRINCIPAL CAST Buster Keaton, Marion Mack

DIRECTORS Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton

SCREENWRITERS Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman

Keaton’s must retrieve his train from Union soldiers during the Civil War. What he

doesn’t know is that his girlfriend Annabelle is aboard. It’s a race against time, but

Keaton saves the day, ending in one of the silent era’s most iconic images, Keaton

seated on the moving wheels of The General.

1 3 8 G E N T L E M A N ’ S A G R E E M E N T

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1947

PRINCIPAL CAST Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, Celeste Holm


PRODUCER Darryl F. Zanuck


In this biting expose of anti-Semitism, magazine writer Peck poses as a Jew in order

to investigate inequalities in American society.

1 3 9 G E N T L E M E N P R E F E R B L O N D E S

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1953

PRINCIPAL CAST Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe

DIRECTOR Howard Hawks

PRODUCER Sol C. Siegel

SCREENWRITER Charles Lederer

Golddigger Monroe knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend as she and her

sardonic pal Russell look for husbands aboard a trans-Atlantic cruise.

American Film Institute 49

1 4 0 G H O S T B U S T E R S

Columbia, 1984

PRINCIPAL CAST Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

DIRECTOR Ivan Reitman

PRODUCER Ivan Reitman

SCREENWRITERS Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis

As paranormal happenings strike a Big Apple apartment, three screwball scientists

take on Satan, poltergeists, and every other apparition in the known and unknown

world. “He slimed me!”

1 4 1 G I A N T

Warner Bros., 1956

PRINCIPAL CAST Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean

DIRECTOR George Stevens

PRODUCERS George Stevens, Henry Ginsberg

SCREENWRITERS Fred Guiol, Ivan Moffat

This sprawling epic is based on the celebrated Edna Ferber novel about two

generations of an American ranching family, who clash over money, property

and racism in Texas. Dean was killed just prior to the last day of shooting.

1 4 2 G I G I

MGM, 1958

PRINCIPAL CAST Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan

DIRECTOR Vincente Minnelli

PRODUCER Arthur Freed


Minnelli’s stylish, elegant and lavish musical was based on Colette’s 19th century

novel. Caron is a young Parisian girl brought up to become a courtesan. When

wealthy bon vivant Jourdan falls in love with her, their plans change. Chevalier

singing Thank Heaven for Little Girls and I Remember It Well adds to the charm.

1 4 3 G I L D A

Columbia, 1946

PRINCIPAL CAST Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready

DIRECTOR Charles Vidor

PRODUCER Virginia Van Upp

SCREENWRITERS E.A. Ellington, Joe Eisenger, Marion Parsonnet

The ravishing Hayworth is unforgettable in this film-noir tale of international intrigue

in South America. Hayworth proves once again that sex sells as she hypnotizes Ford

with her performance of Put the Blame on Mame.

50 American Film Institute

1 4 4 G L A D I AT O R

DreamWorks, 2000

PRINCIPAL CAST Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

DIRECTOR Ridley Scott

PRODUCERS David H. Franzoni, Branko Lustig, Douglas Wick

SCREENWRITERS David H. Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson

General Maximus is selected to succeed Emperor Marcus Aurelius, but the Emperor’s

son Commodus has other plans. With his family murdered, enslaved Maximus soon

becomes a champion gladiator and gets to face his betrayer in the Colosseum of

ancient Rome.

1 4 5 GLORY

TriStar, 1989

PRINCIPAL CAST Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman

DIRECTOR Edward Zwick

PRODUCER Freddie Fields


The little-known true story of the US Army’s first all-black regiment is based on the

letters of Civil War officer Colonel Robert Shaw. Forced to deal with racism on all

fronts, Shaw and his rag-tag unit march into history as heroes.

1 4 6 T H E G O D FAT H E R

Paramount, 1972

PRINCIPAL CAST Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

DIRECTOR Francis Ford Coppola

PRODUCER Albert S. Ruddy

SCREENWRITERS Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo

Brando is Don Vito Corleone, the sympathetic head of a New York crime family,

whose business it is to make offers people can’t refuse. His son Michael’s true nature

is revealed at the end, when a christening is intercut with a bloodbath that cements

his new position within the family.

1 4 7 T H E G O D FAT H E R PART I I

Paramount, 1974

PRINCIPAL CAST Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire

DIRECTOR Francis Ford Coppola

PRODUCER Francis Ford Coppola

SCREENWRITERS Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo

This sequel to THE GODFATHER shows us the world of the Corleones before and

after the events shown in the first film, with new godfather Michael struggling to

bring his family into the modern age. In the film’s extended flashback sequences, De

Niro is the young Vito as he gains power in the New York City mafia.

American Film Institute 51


Paramount, 1944

PRINCIPAL CAST Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald



SCREENWRITERS Frank Butler, Frank Cavett, Leo McCarey

Crosby’s progressive young Father O’Malley clashes with Fitzgerald’s old-fashioned

priest in this sentimental, often comic film that features the delightful song Swingin’

on a Star.

1 4 9 T H E G O L D R U S H

United Artists, 1925

PRINCIPAL CAST Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain

DIRECTOR Charles Chaplin

PRODUCER Charles Chaplin

SCREENWRITER Charles Chaplin

In one of his most famous films, lone Alaskan prospector Chaplin attempts to stave

off hunger by dining on his shoe, much to the consternation of cabin mate Swain,

who imagines that Charlie is a giant chicken.

1 5 0 G O L D F I N G E R

United Artists, 1964

PRINCIPAL CAST Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman

DIRECTOR Guy Hamilton

PRODUCERS Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli

SCREENWRITERS Richard Maibaum, Paul Dehn

The third film in the James Bond series finds Connery trying to stop Auric Goldfinger,

“the man with the Midas touch,” from contaminating the United States’ gold supply

in Fort Knox. In Bond’s way, however, are the villains Oddjob and Pussy Galore.

1 5 1 G O N E W I T H T H E W I N D

MGM, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland

DIRECTOR Victor Fleming

PRODUCER David O. Selznick


Selznick poured his heart and soul into the filming of Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller

about the Old South, the Civil War and Reconstruction. The burning of Atlanta

was a high-water mark for screen excitement, as well as Rhett Butler’s delivery of

Hollywood’s first four-letter word, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

52 American Film Institute

1 5 2 GOOD NIGHT, A N D G O O D L U C K .

Warner Bros., 2005

PRINCIPAL CAST David Strathairn, Robert Downey, Jr., George Clooney,

Frank Langella

DIRECTOR George Clooney

PRODUCER Grant Heslov

SCREENWRITERS George Clooney, Grant Heslov

Clooney directed this stylish black-and-white biopic of legendary Edward R. Murrow

and his CBS news team, during their struggle with red-baiting Senator Joseph

McCarthy during the communist scare of the 1950s. The film title comes from

Murrow’s signature last words on every broadcast.

1 5 3 G O O D W I L L H U N T I N G

Miramax, 1997

PRINCIPAL CAST Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Stellan Skarsgård,

Minnie Driver


PRODUCER Lawrence Bender

SCREENWRITERS Matt Damon, Ben Affleck

A math genius is afraid to turn his back on his best friend and the south Boston

neighborhood he loves. But he also has to work through his troubled childhood and

run-ins with the law. A psychiatrist with a difficult past must help Will get beyond

what was and onto what is.

1 5 4 G O O D B Y E , M R . C H I P S

MGM, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert Donat, Greer Garson


PRODUCER Victor Saville

SCREENWRITERS R.C. Sherriff, Claudine West, Eric Maschwitz

James Hilton’s story of a beloved classics teacher parallels life at an English public

school with changing social mores from the late 19th century through the mid-1930s.

1 5 5 G O O D F E L L A S

Warner Bros., 1990

PRINCIPAL CAST Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese

PRODUCER Irwin Winkler

SCREENWRITERS Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese

This gangster film for modern day is based on the true story of Henry Hill, played by

Liotta, who dreamed as a kid of becoming a member of the glamorous mob who ran

his New York City neighborhood. De Niro and Pesci are members of the family he

ascends to, until he breaks the code and eventually falls from grace.

American Film Institute 53

1 5 6 T H E G R A D U AT E

Embassy, 1967

PRINCIPAL CAST Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross

DIRECTOR Mike Nichols

PRODUCER Lawrence Turman

SCREENWRITERS Buck Henry, Calder Willingham

Benjamin Braddock is confused and alienated, stuck in a fishbowl like so many of his

peers. It only gets worse when he sinks into an affair with Mrs. Robinson and falls in

love with her daughter, Elaine. If only he had followed the advice of his father’s

friend, and gone into “Plastics.” Simon and Garfunkel’s songs spoke to a whole new

generation of filmgoers.

1 5 7 G R A N D H O T E L

MGM, 1932

PRINCIPAL CAST Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford

DIRECTOR Edmund Goulding



“People come. People go. Nothing ever happens.” But at the Grand Hotel in Berlin

the lives of the rich and famous intersect with the poor and the infamous. Everyone is

facing some sort of crisis in this classic narrative of multiple stories, but the film is

best remembered for Garbo’s unforgettable lament, “I vant to be alone.”

1 5 8 T H E G R A P E S O F W R AT H

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1940

PRINCIPAL CAST Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine


PRODUCER Nunnally Johnson

SCREENWRITER Nunnally Johnson

This moving Depression-era social drama based on John Steinbeck’s novel follows

the hopeful migration of workers from the Oklahoma dust bowl through their

subsequent disillusionment upon reaching California. Fonda’s haunting last words to

his mother, “Wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there,”

embody his family’s enduring spirit.

1 5 9 G R E A S E

Paramount, 1978

PRINCIPAL CAST John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

DIRECTOR Randal Kleiser

PRODUCERS Robert Stigwood, Allan Carr

SCREENWRITERS Bronte Woodward, Allan Carr

A love poem to the 1950s, this nostalgic musical follows the exploits of seniors

at Rydell High—particularly Newton-John’s Sandy, an innocent teenager who falls

in love with Travolta’s Danny, a greaser from the wrong side of the tracks. Based

on the Broadway musical, the film’s songs include Hopelessly Devoted to You and

Summer Nights.

54 American Film Institute

1 6 0 T H E G R E AT D I C TAT O R

United Artists, 1940

PRINCIPAL CAST Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie

DIRECTOR Charles Chaplin

PRODUCER Charles Chaplin

SCREENWRITER Charles Chaplin

Chaplin’s first talking picture was a political satire on Nazi Germany. Chaplin plays a

Jewish barber suffering from amnesia, who is mistaken for Adenoid Hynkel, also

played by Chaplin. The mesmerizing ballet-with-globe is one of American film’s

iconic images.

1 6 1 T H E G R E AT E S C A P E

United Artists, 1963

PRINCIPAL CAST Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough,

Donald Pleasence, Charles Bronson, James Coburn

DIRECTOR John Sturges

PRODUCER John Sturges

SCREENWRITERS James Clavell, W. R. Burnett

Allied POWs locked up in an “escape-proof” German prison camp do the unthinkable

and dig a tunnel to freedom. Now they must outwit the citizenry in order to avoid

capture. McQueen’s “Cooler King” and his motorcycle ride across the countryside

highlight this film.

1 6 2 G R E E D

MGM, 1925

PRINCIPAL CAST Gibson Gowland, ZaSu Pitts, Jean Hersholt

DIRECTOR Erich von Stroheim

SCREENWRITERS Erich von Stroheim, June Mathis

Though the film was released in a drastically cut form, von Stroheim’s stylized

portrait of San Francisco dentist McTeague’s obsession with his wife’s lottery

winnings is an intense, stark analysis of the destructive lure of money.


Columbia, 1993

PRINCIPAL CAST Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott

DIRECTOR Harold Ramis

PRODUCERS Trevor Albert, Harold Ramis

SCREENWRITERS Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis

A self-absorbed, grouchy Pittsburgh weatherman keeps waking up to the same day

over and over again. Until he turns over a new leaf and finds true love, he’s doomed

to spend his days reporting on Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow. “Well, what if there is

no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”

American Film Institute 55

1 6 4 G U E S S W H O ’ S C O M I N G T O D I N N E R

Columbia, 1967

PRINCIPAL CAST Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier,

Katharine Houghton

DIRECTOR Stanley Kramer

PRODUCER Stanley Kramer


Tracy and Hepburn, in their final film pairing, are forced to come to terms with their

progressive views, when their daughter wants to marry an African-American doctor.

Poitier and Houghton, Hepburn’s real life niece, broke some barriers in a movie that

sparked controversy and asked many difficult questions.

1 6 5 G U N C R A Z Y

United Artists, 1950

PRINCIPAL CAST Peggy Cummins, John Dall

DIRECTOR Joseph H. Lewis

PRODUCERS Frank King, Maurice King

SCREENWRITERS MacKinlay Kantor, Dalton Trumbo, Millard Kaufman

A money-loving beauty and a gun-obsessed man combine for a stylish portrayal

of a couple on the run. Their crime spree ends when the man is forced to shoot

his sweetheart.


RKO, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Victor McLaglen,

Sam Jaffe

DIRECTOR George Stevens

PRODUCERS Pandro S. Berman, George Stevens

SCREENWRITERS Fred Guiol, Joel Sayre, Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur

Based loosely on Rudyard Kipling’s poem, Stevens directed this rousing saga of three

mischievous, high-spirited British soldiers in 19th century India. But it is Gunga Din,

the loyal water-carrier who dreams of becoming a regimental bugler, who saves their

lives from the notorious Thuggees. “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.”



American Film Institute 57


Media Home Entertainment, 1978

PRINCIPAL CAST Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran

DIRECTOR John Carpenter


SCREENWRITERS John Carpenter, Debra Hill

Escaped mental patient Michael Myers must be stopped before he kills again—on

Halloween! The low-budget slasher movie invented a whole new style of horror

filmmaking and made Jamie Lee Curtis a household name.


Paramount, 1971

PRINCIPAL CAST Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles


PRODUCERS Colin Higgins, Charles B. Mulvehill


Higgins and Ashby crafted a quirky and offbeat romance between death-obsessed

Harold and life-obsessed Maude. Gordon’s 79-year-old Holocaust survivor gives

Cort’s 20-year-old rich kid a reason to live and love. Cat Stevens’ songs punctuate

the lovable love story that became a cult favorite. “Oh, Harold,that’s wonderful. Go

and love some more.”

1 6 9 HARRY P O T T E R A N D T H E P R I S O N E R O F A Z K A B A N

Warner Bros., 2004

PRINCIPAL CAST Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman

DIRECTOR Alfonso Cuarón

PRODUCERS Chris Columbus, David Heyman, Mark Radcliffe


After three years at Hogwarts, Harry has more serious problems than practicing

magic outside of school—a serial killer is on the loose and headed straight for Harry.

A past connection to the young wizard must be figured out before he’s done in!

1 7 0 T H E H E I R E S S

Paramount, 1949

PRINCIPAL CAST Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCERS Willaim Wyler, Lester Koenig, Robert Wyler

SCREENWRITERS Ruth Goetz, Augustus Goetz

Ignored by her tyrannical father, naïve de Havilland falls for a handsome, fortunehunting

scoundrel. His empty promises of marriage turn the loving girl into a bitter

woman. Aaron Copland’s music enhances the depiction of 19th century New York,

and matches the shades of de Havilland’s riveting performance.

58 American Film Institute


United Artists, 1952

PRINCIPAL CAST Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado

DIRECTOR Fred Zinnemann

PRODUCER Stanley Kramer


On his wedding day, Cooper is forced to face an old enemy alone as the people of his

town turn their backs on him. His Quaker bride Kelly ultimately comes to his aid as

the clock ticks toward noon and the inevitable shootout.

1 7 2 H I S G I R L F R I D AY

Columbia, 1940

PRINCIPAL CAST Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy

DIRECTOR Howard Hawks

PRODUCER Howard Hawks

SCREENWRITER Charles Lederer

Give up the newspaper business for love and marriage? Hildy Johnson would love to,

but her ex-husband, editor Walter Burns, can’t lose his ace reporter to a milquetoast.

Overlapping dialogue and the speediest conversations on film twist the plot of Hecht

and MacArthur’s The Front Page into a witty satire on love and life in the newsroom.

1 7 3 H O O S I E R S

Orion, 1986

PRINCIPAL CAST Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper

DIRECTOR David Anspaugh

PRODUCER Carter DeHaven, Angelo Pizzo


A group of underdogs in a small Indiana town become the miracle basketball team

the coach, the school, the parents desperately need. This is based on the true 1950s’

story, with a pulsing score by Jerry Goldsmith. “Let’s win this game for all the small

schools that never had a chance to get here.”

1 7 4 H O T E L R WA N D A

United Artists, 2005

PRINCIPAL CAST Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte

DIRECTOR Terry George

PRODUCERS Terry George, A. Kitman Ho

SCREENWRITERS Keir Pearson, Terry George

Hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina winds up saving over a thousand Tutsis from

certain death while the Hutu population ravages Rwanda. Based on the true-life story

of this ordinary man, the film brilliantly portrays a genocide largely ignored by the

rest of the world.

American Film Institute 59

1 7 5 T H E H O U R S

Paramount, 2002

PRINCIPAL CAST Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep

DIRECTOR Stephen Daldry

PRODUCERS Robert Fox, Scott Rudin


A triptych of interrelated stories that spans 75 years in the lives of three women, with

Virginia Woolf and her novel Mrs. Dalloway as the spine of the movie.


Twentieth Century-Fox, 1941

PRINCIPAL CAST Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Roddy McDowall,

Donald Crisp, Sara Allgood


PRODUCER Darryl F. Zanuck


This is Ford’s loving, episodic portrait of a Welsh mining family at the turn of the

20th century. The rich soundtrack of Welsh choral singers weaves together the

tapestry of Huw Morgan’s memories. “Men like my father cannot die. They are with

me still, real in memory as they were in flesh, loving and beloved forever. How green

was my valley then.”

1 7 7 T H E H U S T L E R

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1961

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, Piper Laurie

DIRECTOR Robert Rossen

PRODUCER Robert Rossen

SCREENWRITERS Sidney Carroll, Robert Rossen

Newman is a top-notch pool hustler who gets cocky and challenges Gleason’s

Minnesota Fats to the match of his life.

1 7 8 I A M A F U G I T I V E F R O M A C H A I N G A N G

Warner Bros., 1932

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell


PRODUCER Hal B. Wallis

SCREENWRITERS Howard J. Green, Brown Holmes

This scathing attack on the brutality of Southern chain gangs illustrates the social

awareness of films of the 1930s. It ends with Muni’s matter-of-fact explanation of the

way he lives on the run—“I steal.”

60 American Film Institute

1 7 9 I N T H E H E AT O F T H E N I G H T

United Artists, 1967

PRINCIPAL CAST Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Lee Grant

DIRECTOR Norman Jewison

PRODUCER Walter Mirisch

SCREENWRITER Stirling Silliphant

Poitier is Virgil Tibbs, the Philadelphia detective drawn into a Mississippi murder

case no one knows how to handle. Quincy Jones’ evocative jazz score punctuates the

heat and bigotry, but it is Poitier’s “They call me Mister Tibbs” and the slap heard

‘round the world that made audiences cheer.

1 8 0 T H E I N S I D E R

Buena Vista, 1999

PRINCIPAL CAST Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer,

Diane Venora

DIRECTOR Michael Mann

PRODUCERS Michael Mann, Pieter Jan Brugge

SCREENWRITERS Eric Roth, Michael Mann

This is based on the true story of a 60 MINUTES producer and a tobacco industry

whistle-blower, who come up against big business and the power of the media.

“I’m all out of heroes, man. Guys like you are in short supply.”

1 8 1 I N T O L E R A N C E

Triangle, 1916

PRINCIPAL CAST Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, Constance Talmadge,

Bessie Love

DIRECTOR D.W. Griffith

PRODUCER D.W. Griffith


Griffith’s monumental exploration of intolerance is told through four different but

parallel stories from ancient Babylon, to the time of Christ in Judea, to Paris in 1572,

to social reformers in contemporary America. A milestone in filmmaking, each story

was tinted in a different color.

1 8 2 I N VA S I O N O F T H E B O D Y S N AT C H E R S

Allied Artists, 1956

PRINCIPAL CAST Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan,

Carolyn Jones


PRODUCER Walter Wanger

SCREENWRITER Daniel Mainwaring

McCarthy is a small town doctor who discovers to his horror that everyone around

him is being replaced by emotionless doubles hatched from pods from outer space.

Even at the film’s climax, no one on the busy freeway heeds McCarthy’s frenetic

warning: “They’re here already. You’re next!”

American Film Institute 61

1 8 3 I T H A P P E N E D O N E N I G H T

Columbia, 1934

PRINCIPAL CAST Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert

DIRECTOR Frank Capra



This battle of the sexes love story between a runaway heiress who shows her legs to

hitch a ride and an unemployed newspaperman who separates their beds at night with

a blanket known as the “walls of Jericho,” was an unqualified success and still provides

inspiration for many comedies.

1 8 4 I T ’ S A M A D M A D M A D M A D W O R L D

United Artists, 1963

PRINCIPAL CAST Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters,

Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman, Jimmy Durante

DIRECTOR Stanley Kramer

PRODUCER Stanley Kramer

SCREENWRITERS Tania Rose, William Rose

The chase is on to find the big “W”—the spot where Durante has hidden $350,000

before literally kicking the bucket. Tracy plays the knowing cop who follows the

wacky fortune hunters—a who’s who of American comedy legends.

1 8 5 I T ’ S A W O N D E R F U L L I F E

RKO, 1946

PRINCIPAL CAST James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore,

Henry Travers

DIRECTOR Frank Capra

PRODUCER Frank Capra

SCREENWRITERS Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra

This holiday classic features a complex performance by Stewart as a suicidal man

redeemed by friendship and the recognition that each man’s life touches many others.

Remember—every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.



American Film Institute 63

1 8 6 J AWS

Universal, 1975

PRINCIPAL CAST Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg

PRODUCERS Richard D. Zanuck, David Brown

SCREENWRITERS Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb

A great white shark terrorizes the resort town of Amity. Spielberg shot some scenes

at water level, making the audience feel as though they were treading water. John

Williams’ pulsating score still haunts swimmers around the world.

1 8 7 T H E J A Z Z S I N G E R

Warner Bros., 1927

PRINCIPAL CAST Al Jolson, May McAvoy

DIRECTOR Alan Crosland


The story of a cantor’s son who rejects tradition and heritage for the stage was

supposed to be a movie with only synchronized music. But Jolson’s ad-lib,

“You ain’t heard nothin’ yet,” marked the beginning of the end for the silent era.

1 8 8 J E R RY M A G U I R E

TriStar, 1996

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Renée Zellweger

DIRECTOR Cameron Crowe

PRODUCERS James L. Brooks, Richard Sakai, Laurence Mark,

Cameron Crowe


Cruise is a super-slick, morally challenged sports agent who loses his job and leaves

with one client, Gooding, and a loyal employee, Zellweger. He falls in love with the

employee and her child, while helping the client achieve his full potential. “Show me

the money!”

1 8 9 J E Z E B E L

Warner Bros., 1938

PRINCIPAL CAST Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent, Fay Bainter,

Donald Crisp

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCER Henry Blanke

SCREENWRITERS Clements Ripley, Abem Finkel, John Huston, Robert Buckner

Davis is the spoiled and headstrong Southern belle who shocks 1850s New Orleans

with her audacious independence. She loses the most important man in her life over

a red dress, and finds redemption when he is stricken with Yellow Fever.

64 American Film Institute

1 9 0 J U R A S S I C PARK

Universal, 1993

PRINCIPAL CAST Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg

PRODUCERS Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen

SCREENWRITERS Michael Crichton, David Koepp

Dinosaurs are recreated from genetic material for a theme park on a remote island.

Chaos erupts during a test run when the dinosaurs break free and prey on the park

guests. Landmark visual effects brought dinosaurs back to life.

1 9 1 T H E K I D

First National, 1921

PRINCIPAL CAST Charles Chaplin, Jackie Coogan

DIRECTOR Charles Chaplin

PRODUCER Charles Chaplin

SCREENWRITER Charles Chaplin

Chaplin as “The Little Tramp” combines comedy with heart-tugging poignancy when

he adopts young Coogan, the first of the great child stars.

1 9 2 T H E K I L L I N G F I E L D S

Warner Bros., 1984

PRINCIPAL CAST Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor

DIRECTOR Roland Joffé

PRODUCER David Puttnam


Waterston is the real-life New York Times reporter who reluctantly leaves his

Vietnamese colleague, Ngor, behind in war-torn Cambodia. His seemingly futile

searches to find him pay off when they are reunited in the film’s emotional climax.

1 9 3 T H E K I N G A N D I

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1956

PRINCIPAL CAST Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson

DIRECTOR Walter Lang

PRODUCER Charles Brackett


The East and West collide in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical based on the true

story of a 19th century English school teacher who teaches the children of the very

stubborn, yet forward thinking, King of Siam. Getting to know each other is a hardearned

lesson, etc, etc, etc!

American Film Institute 65


RKO, 1933

PRINCIPAL CAST Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot

DIRECTORS Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

PRODUCERS Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

SCREENWRITERS James Ashmore Creelman, Ruth Rose

With a mixture of live action, animation, and special effects, this film follows the

plight of a giant ape whose love for the beautiful Wray leads to his death, as he

topples from the Empire State Building. But it wasn’t the airplanes that killed the

mighty Kong—“It was beauty killed the beast.”

1 9 5 T H E K I N G O F C O M E D Y

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1983

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Sandra Bernhard

DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese

PRODUCER Arnon Milchan

SCREENWRITER Paul D. Zimmerman

America’s infatuation with fame is satirized in Scorsese’s dark comedy. In a crazed

attempt to get a foothold in show business, deranged would-be comedian De Niro

kidnaps late-night talk show host Lewis and demands an appearance on his show.

Bernhard is De Niro’s wealthy Lewis-obsessed accomplice.

1 9 6 K R A M E R V S . K R A M E R

Columbia, 1979

PRINCIPAL CAST Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Steep, Justin Henry

DIRECTOR Robert Benton

PRODUCER Stanley R. Jaffe


Streep walks out on Hoffman, who is suddenly faced with raising their child alone.

After a rocky start, the father-son relationship grows until Streep returns to reclaim

her role as mother, provoking a custody battle.


American Film Institute 67

1 9 7 L . A . C O N F I D E N T I A L

Warner Bros., 1997

PRINCIPAL CAST Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell,

Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito

DIRECTOR Curtis Hanson

PRODUCERS Curtis Hanson, Arnon Milchan, Michael Nathanson

SCREENWRITERS Brian Helgeland, Curtis Hanson

Three cops with crosses to bear are caught in the crossfire of police and mob

corruption in 1950s Los Angeles. Based on James Ellroy’s multi-layered story,

Hanson creates a seedy film-noir collection of Hollywood wanna-be’s and has-been’s,

all of whom are just one step away from the truth.

1 9 8 T H E L A D Y E V E

Paramount, 1941

PRINCIPAL CAST Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn

DIRECTOR Preston Sturges


SCREENWRITERS Preston Sturges, Monckton Hoffe

Fonda is a doltish bachelor and heir to the Pike’s Pale Ale fortune, who prefers

snakes to women. Stanwyck is a con woman who tries to fleece him on an ocean

voyage and winds up falling in love with him. When he discovers her ruse and dumps

her, she decides to fleece him again by assuming a British accent and posing as Lady

Eve Sidwich. “They say a moonlit deck is a woman’s business office.”

1 9 9 T H E L A S T E M P E R O R

Columbia, 1987

PRINCIPAL CAST John Lone, Peter O’Toole, Joan Chen

DIRECTOR Bernardo Bertolucci

PRODUCER Jeremy Thomas

SCREENWRITERS Bernardo Bertolucci, Mark Peploe

This historical epic tells the story of China’s changing political landscape in the 20th

century through the life of China’s final emperor, Pu Yi. Told in a non-linear style

that spans many decades, Pu Yi goes from an object of adoration to a faceless

gardener in communist China. Bertolucci was the first Western filmmaker provided

the privilege of filming inside the Forbidden City.

2 0 0 T H E L A S T P I C T U R E S H O W

Columbia, 1971

PRINCIPAL CAST Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson

DIRECTOR Peter Bogdanovich

PRODUCER Stephen J. Friedman

SCREENWRITERS Peter Bodganovich, Larry McMurtry

The closing of a movie theatre in a small Texas town during the 1950s marks the

changes that face a group of young people coming of age.

68 American Film Institute

2 0 1 L A S T TA N G O I N PA R I S

United Artists, 1973

PRINCIPAL CAST Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider

DIRECTOR Bernardo Bertolucci

PRODUCER Albert Grimaldi

SCREENWRITERS Franco Arcalli, Bernardo Bertolucci

Brando is an American in Paris, trying to push away the tragedy of his wife’s suicide

through a torrid affair with a woman he hardly knows, played by Schneider. Sexual

situations had never been so explicit in a mainstream feature film.

2 0 2 L A U R A

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1944

PRINCIPAL CAST Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, Dana Andrews, Vincent Price,

Judith Anderson

DIRECTOR Otto Preminger

PRODUCER Otto Preminger

SCREENWRITERS Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Betty Reinhardt

Tierney’s beauty, David Raksin’s haunting soundtrack and Webb’s caustic Waldo

Lydecker are the linchpins in this arresting film noir take on detective Andrews’

obsession with the portrait of a mysteriously murdered woman.

2 0 3 L AW R E N C E O F A R A B I A

Columbia, 1962

PRINCIPAL CAST Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif


PRODUCERS Sam Spiegel, David Lean


During World War I, young English officer T. E. Lawrence comes to believe he can

give Arabia back to the Arabs. The movie made O’Toole a star and introduced Sharif

to an international audience.

2 0 4 T H E L I F E O F E M I L E Z O L A

Warner Bros., 1937

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Muni, Joseph Schildkraut, Gale Sondergaard

DIRECTOR William Dieterle

PRODUCER Hal B. Wallis

SCREENWRITERS Norman Reilly Raine, Heinz Herald, Geza Herczeg

Muni’s calm but powerful performance as the 19th century French novelist is the

highlight of this biographical film with the climactic recitation of Zola’s famous

“J’accuse” letter attacking the anti-Semitism of the famous Dreyfus case.

American Film Institute 69

2 0 5 T H E L I O N K I N G

Disney, 1994

PRINCIPAL CAST Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons,

Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg (voices)

DIRECTORS Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff


SCREENWRITERS Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton

This animated musical opens on a grand scale with the song Circle of Life

announcing the birth of Simba, a baby lion. Made to believe he’s responsible

for his father’s death by his cruel uncle, Simba disappears in shame. After many

years the young man returns home to reclaim his throne. “Hakuna matata!”

2 0 6 L I T T L E C A E S A R

First National, 1930

PRINCIPAL CAST Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.


PRODUCER Hal B. Wallis

SCREENWRITERS Francis Edward Faragoh, Robert N. Lee

Often called the original modern crime film, gritty and realistic, it set the tone for an

entire genre. Robinson portrays Rico, an underworld foot soldier clawing his way to

the top of the heap but paying for it with his life: “Mother of mercy! Is this the end

of Rico?”

2 0 7 T H E L I T T L E F O X E S

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1941

PRINCIPAL CAST Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCER Samuel Goldwyn

SCREENWRITER Lillian Hellman

Based on Hellman’s play about a rapacious Southern family, Davis plays the viperous

woman who blackmails her way into an unscrupulous business deal with her shady

brothers, then kills her husband when he stands in her way.

2 0 8 T H E L O N G E S T D AY

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1962

PRINCIPAL CAST John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda

DIRECTORS Andrew Marton, Ken Annakin, Bernhard Wicki

PRODUCER Darryl F. Zanuck


Zanuck’s epic, star-studded account of the D-Day invasion is told from both the

Allies’ and Germans’ point of view. The documentary-style black-and-white

cinematography set the tone for an unrelenting look at the storming of Normandy.

70 American Film Institute

2 0 9 T H E L O R D O F T H E R I N G S : T H E F E L L O W S H I P O F T H E R I N G

New Line, 2001

PRINCIPAL CAST Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett,

Orlando Bloom

DIRECTOR Peter Jackson

PRODUCERS Peter Jackson, Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Sanders, Fran Walsh

SCREENWRITERS Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson

Jackson’s masterful fantasy epic based on Tolkien’s beloved novel, is the beginning

chapter of Frodo’s strange and mighty odyssey to the Cracks of Doom to destroy the

ring. “There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And

he does not share power.”

2 1 0 T H E L O R D O F T H E R I N G S : T H E T W O T O W E R S

New Line, 2002

PRINCIPAL CAST Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen,

Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis

DIRECTOR Peter Jackson

PRODUCERS Peter Jackson, Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Sanders, Fran Walsh

SCREENWRITERS Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson

Jackson and Tolkien’s grand saga continues, as Sauron’s power increases and

his allies stand toe to toe against Aragorn and the people of Rohan. With the

Fellowship dead, Frodo and Sam continue their arduous journey alone and

unprotected. “My precious.”

2 1 1 T H E L O R D O F T H E R I N G S : T H E R E T U R N O F T H E K I N G

New Line, 2003

PRINCIPAL CAST Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic Monaghan,

Billy Boyd, Liv Tyler, Andy Serkis

DIRECTOR Peter Jackson

PRODUCERS Peter Jackson, Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Sanders, Fran Walsh

SCREENWRITERS Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson

The final chapter in the visually stunning chronicle of Tolkien’s legendary tale. As

the War of the Ring rages, everyone’s goal is to distract the Eye of Sauron against

Middle-Earth. Frodo must get to Mount Doom and destroy The Ring before it

destroys him.

2 1 2 L O S T H O R I Z O N

Columbia, 1937

PRINCIPAL CAST Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt

DIRECTOR Frank Capra

PRODUCER Frank Capra


Colman is one of several survivors of a place crash in the Himalayas who is brought

to the mythical land of Shangri-La where aging and want are non-existent. “There are

moments in every man’s life, when he glimpses the eternal.”

American Film Institute 71

2 1 3 L O S T I N T R A N S L AT I O N

Focus, 2003

PRINCIPAL CAST Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray

DIRECTOR Sofia Coppola

PRODUCERS Sofia Coppola, Ross Katz


This is Coppola’s idiosyncratic and touching portrait of two lonely Americans in

Tokyo, who meet and spend their free time together, sharing thoughts on celebrity

and marriage and finding they need each other in the alien landscape. “Is that

everything? It seemed like he said quite a bit more than that.”

2 1 4 T H E L O S T W E E K E N D

Paramount, 1945

PRINCIPAL CAST Ray Milland, Jane Wyman

DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

PRODUCER Charles Brackett

SCREENWRITERS Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder

Harrowing depictions of an alcoholic’s struggles punctuate Wilder’s ground-breaking

study of addiction. When Milland hits his local bar the bartender reminds him,

“One’s too many an’ a hundred’s not enough.”

2 1 5 L O V E S T O RY

Paramount, 1970

PRINCIPAL CAST Ali MacGraw, Ryan O’Neal, John Marley, Ray Milland

DIRECTOR Arthur Hiller

PRODUCERS Howard G. Minsky, David Golden


MacGraw and O’Neal are a young couple who meet and fall in love at Harvard.

After marriage, their love is tested when MacGraw’s Jenny becomes fatally ill.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”


American Film Institute 73

2 1 6 M * A * S * H

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1970

PRINCIPAL CAST Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman

DIRECTOR Robert Altman

PRODUCER Ingo Preminger

SCREENWRITER Ring Lardner, Jr.

Altman’s episodic antiwar film about a mobile medical unit during the Korean War

gave American audiences a reason to laugh at the height of Vietnam. The overlapping

dialogue and irreverent story thumbed its nose at all things political and pushed the

boundaries of filmmaking.

2 1 7 T H E M A G N I F I C E N T A M B E R S O N S

RKO, 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter,

Agnes Moorehead

DIRECTOR Orson Welles

PRODUCER Orson Welles


Welles’ masterful use of sound and cinematography highlight this penetrating

adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s study of the disintegration of a turn-of-the-20th

century family under the thumb of its spoiled, petulant heir.


Warner Bros., 1941

PRINCIPAL CAST Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet,

Peter Lorre

DIRECTOR John Huston

PRODUCERS Hal B. Wallis, Henry Blanke


Bogart’s Sam Spade is the detective whose partner is murdered. The cops are after

him and he’s after the woman who hired his partner, which leads them to Greenstreet

and Lorre, who are all after a priceless statuette. Bogart suggested the take on

Shakespeare: “The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”

2 1 9 A M A N F O R A L L S E A S O N S

Columbia, 1966

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles

DIRECTOR Fred Zinnemann

PRODUCER Fred Zinnemann


Scofield is Sir Thomas More, who resists Shaw’s Henry VIII when he requests help

to break away from the Roman Catholic Church to form the Church of England.

74 American Film Institute

2 2 0 T H E M A N W H O W O U L D B E K I N G

Columbia, 1975

PRINCIPAL CAST Sean Connery, Michael Caine

DIRECTOR John Huston

PRODUCER John Foreman

SCREENWRITERS Gladys Hill, John Huston

Two ex-British soldiers journey from India to Kafiristan in search of gold and a

kingdom of their own. Huston’s rollicking adventure turns deadly when Daniel,

who’s mistaken for a God, takes himself too seriously. To the end, however, Peachy,

stands by his comrade in this tale based on Rudyard Kipling’s short story.

2 2 1 T H E M A N C H U R I A N C A N D I D AT E

United Artists, 1962

PRINCIPAL CAST Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury

DIRECTOR John Frankenheimer

PRODUCERS George Axelrod, John Frankenheimer


An ex-Korean War POW is brainwashed by communists to become a political

assassin. This paranoid cold-war thriller shocked audiences with its terrifying

look at a Soviet sleeper/mole who can be triggered into action by simply playing

a little solitaire.


United Artists, 1979

PRINCIPAL CAST Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway

DIRECTOR Woody Allen

PRODUCER Charles H. Joffe

SCREENWRITERS Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman

Allen’s black-and-white valentine to New York City finds him as a comedy writer

who aspires to credibility while maneuvering through the complexities of friendship

and love. George Gershwin’s music provides a foundation for this grand, romantic

image of Manhattan.

2 2 3 MART Y

United Artists, 1955

PRINCIPAL CAST Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair

DIRECTOR Delbert Mann

PRODUCER Harold Hecht

SCREENWRITER Paddy Chayefsky

Borgnine plays a lonely, good-hearted Italian-American butcher that nobody notices.

When he finally meets a pretty wallflower, he almost misses his chance at love. The

film has the distinction of being the first to be based on a television drama.

American Film Institute 75

2 2 4 MARY P O P P I N S

Disney, 1964

PRINCIPAL CAST Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke

DIRECTOR Robert Stevenson

PRODUCERS Walt Disney, Bill Walsh

SCREENWRITERS Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi

This supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical fantasy introduced Andrews to film

history as the magical nanny who at arrives at the home of Jane and Michael Banks

via umbrella and teaches them that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

2 2 5 T H E M AT R I X

Warner Bros., 1999

PRINCIPAL CAST Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

DIRECTORS Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski

PRODUCER Joel Silver

SCREENWRITERS Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski

“Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for

yourself.” Cyber-messiah Reeves and like-minded rebel warriors must defeat the

artificial intelligence that has created an alternate reality. The Wachowski Brothers

blew the lid off technology, pushing ancient martial arts and visual effects into the

21st century.

2 2 6 M c C A B E A N D M R S . M I L L E R

Warner Bros., 1971

PRINCIPAL CAST Warren Beatty, Julie Christie

DIRECTOR Robert Altman

PRODUCERS Mitchell Brower, David Foster

SCREENWRITERS Robert Altman, Brian McKay

Altman’s anti-Western disassembles many of the myths of the West created by

American film. Beatty, a gambling gunfighter, uses his winnings to open a brothel

with the help of Christie’s shrewd hooker.

2 2 7 M E A N S T R E E T S

Warner Bros., 1973

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel

DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese

PRODUCER Jonathan T. Taplin

SCREENWRITERS Martin Scorsese, Mardik Martin

Scorsese “arrived” with this low-budget picture about four friends in New York City’s

Little Italy. The elements America would come to know as a “Scorsese film” are all

here—a gangster world, Catholic guilt, pop music and Keitel and De Niro, in their

first collaboration.

76 American Film Institute

2 2 8 M E E T M E I N S T. L O U I S

MGM, 1944

PRINCIPAL CAST Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien

DIRECTOR Vincente Minnelli

PRODUCER Arthur Freed

SCREENWRITERS Irving Brecher, Fred F. Finklehoffe

Minnelli’s nostalgic musical picture-post card follows the lives of the Smith Family

in four seasonal vignettes as they wait for the 1904 World’s Fair. Garland’s enduring

renditions of The Trolley Song and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas are just

two of the film’s many memorable songs.


Newmarket, 2001

PRINCIPAL CAST Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

DIRECTOR Christopher Nolan

PRODUCERS Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd

SCREENWRITER Christopher Nolan

A groundbreaking screenplay unfolds in reverse order! The film’s episodic structure

frames the story of an amnesiac with short-term memory loss, trying to figure what

happened when his wife was murdered. “I can’t remember to forget you.”


United Artists, 1969

PRINCIPAL CAST Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight

DIRECTOR John Schlesinger

PRODUCER Jerome Hellman


Voight is Joe Buck, a country boy who arrives in New York City to make his fortune

as a hustler. As he struggles to maintain a living, he meets Hoffman’s Ratzo Rizzo,

and the two friends work together to find a better life. “I’m walkin’ here!”

2 3 1 M I L D R E D P I E R C E

Warner Bros., 1945

PRINCIPAL CAST Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth

DIRECTOR Michael Curtiz


SCREENWRITER Ranald MacDougall

Crawford is Mildred Pierce, a woman forced to become independent after her

cheating husband walks out. Curtiz’ film noir is a hard-boiled murder mystery in

which the heroine will do anything to save her duplicitous daughter.

American Film Institute 77

2 3 2 M I L L I O N D O L L A R B A B Y

Warner Bros., 2004

PRINCIPAL CAST Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman

DIRECTOR Clint Eastwood

PRODUCERS Clint Eastwood, Paul Haggis, Tom Rosenberg, Albert S. Ruddy


A trio of lonely and isolated people meet on uncommon ground when young working

class waitress Swank decides to become a boxer. “It’s the magic of risking everything

for a dream that nobody sees but you.” Eastwood’s taut and unusual love story

reveals how far friends will go for the people they love.

2 3 3 T H E M I R A C L E O F M O R G A N ’ S C R E E K

Paramount, 1944

PRINCIPAL CAST Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton

DIRECTOR Preston Sturges


SCREENWRITER Preston Sturges

The miraculous birth of sextuplets climaxes this satire about a woman who marries

during a night of revelry, but the next morning cannot remember her husband’s name.

2 3 4 M I R A C L E O N 3 4 T H S T R E E T

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1947

PRINCIPAL CAST Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn, John Payne, Natalie Wood

DIRECTOR George Seaton

PRODUCER William Perlberg

SCREENWRITERS George Seaton, Valentine Davies

Gwenn is Kris Kringle in this yuletide classic of a Macy’s Santa Claus who insists he

is the real McCoy. A young Natalie Wood is the skeptical little girl who learns to

believe in her dreams.

2 3 5 M O D E R N T I M E S

United Artists, 1936

PRINCIPAL CAST Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard

DIRECTOR Charles Chaplin

PRODUCER Charles Chaplin

SCREENWRITER Charles Chaplin

Chaplin speaks! And ends the silent era with this film about a little man working

on an assembly line, who is literally caught in the hub of an industrialized society,

and after several trips to the hospital and jail, ultimately finds happiness with a

kindred soul.

78 American Film Institute


MGM, 1987

PRINCIPAL CAST Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello

DIRECTOR Norman Jewison

PRODUCERS Norman Jewison, Patrick J. Palmer

SCREENWRITER John Patrick Shanley

In this love poem to the Italian-American family, Cher falls for her fiancé’s brother,

played by Cage. Then she must contend with her meddling family. That’s amore!

2 3 7 M O U L I N R O U G E !

Twentieth Century-Fox, 2001

PRINCIPAL CAST Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo,

Jim Broadbent

DIRECTOR Baz Luhrmann

PRODUCERS Fred Baron, Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann

SCREENWRITERS Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce

Set in late 19th century Paris, Luhrmann’s striking fantasy is a reinvention of the

Hollywood musical. Kidman is a consumptive nightclub singer, desired by the

world’s most wealthy suitors, but it is struggling writer McGregor whom she loves.

Some of the greatest American standards are sung by Kidman and McGregor.

2 3 8 M R . D E E D S G O E S T O T O W N

Columbia, 1936

PRINCIPAL CAST Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur

DIRECTOR Frank Capra

PRODUCER Frank Capra


Simple New Englander Cooper inherits a fortune and moves to New York. Ambitious

reporter Arthur makes him front-page news and the laughing stock of the city. His

sanity is questioned after he gives his millions away to those who need it, and the

reporter comes to her senses when she realizes Mr. Deeds is the real thing.


Columbia, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur

DIRECTOR Frank Capra

PRODUCER Frank Capra

SCREENWRITERS Sidney Buchman, Lewis R. Foster

Appointed to the US Senate because the power brokers believe they’ve got a hayseed

on their hands, Jefferson Smith surprises everyone with his honesty and gravitas.

Framed by the political machine that cleverly twists the truth, Smith almost waves a

white flag, but Clarissa Saunders gives him a fast lesson in civics. Filibuster!!!

American Film Institute 79

2 4 0 M R S . M I N I V E R

MGM, 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCER Sidney Franklin

SCREENWRITERS Arthur Wimperis, Goerge Froeschel, James Hilton,

Claudine West

Wyler’s story of a British middle-class family stoically meeting the travails brought

on by the German blitz of England was such a stunning propaganda success that

Winston Churchill declared it worth a fleet of battleships.

2 4 1 M U T I N Y O N T H E B O U N T Y

MGM, 1935

PRINCIPAL CAST Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone

DIRECTOR Frank Lloyd

PRODUCER Albert Lewin

SCREENWRITERS Talbot Jennings, Jules Furthman, Carey Wilson

Based on a historical incident, this film features Laughton as Captain William Bligh,

an excellent seaman whose lack of humanity and rigid adherence to regulations

forces Gable’s Fletcher Christian to lead a mutiny against him.

2 4 2 M Y D A R L I N G C L E M E N T I N E

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1946

PRINCIPAL CAST Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature


PRODUCER Samuel G. Engel

SCREENWRITERS Samuel G. Engel, Sam Hellman, Winston Miller

Fonda’s performance as a low-key Wyatt Earp brings the legendary lawman to life in

Ford’s unusual take on events leading to the gunfight at the OK Corral.

2 4 3 M Y FA I R L A D Y

Warner Bros., 1964

PRINCIPAL CAST Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White

DIRECTOR George Cukor

PRODUCER Jack L. Warner

SCREENWRITERS Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe

Professor Henry Higgins bets he can turn a flower girl into a lady just by teaching her

to speak properly. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, Lerner and Loewe’s

celebrated Broadway musical comes to the screen with Hepburn celebrating her

transformation with, “The rain in Spain, stays mainly in the plain!”

80 American Film Institute


Universal, 1936

PRINCIPAL CAST Willaim Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady

DIRECTOR Gregory La Cava

PRODUCER Charles R. Rogers

SCREENWRITERS Eric Hatch, Morrie Ryskind

Powell’s Godfrey appears to be one of the Depression’s “forgotten men,” until wacky

and wealthy heiress Lombard finds him and turns him into Park Avenue’s classiest

butler. But it’s Godfrey who gives the family a lesson in class and humility in this

screwball comedy with a social conscience.

2 4 5 M Y S T I C R I V E R

Warner Bros., 2003

PRINCIPAL CAST Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden

DIRECTOR Clint Eastwood

PRODUCERS Clint Eastwood, Judi Hoyt, Robert Lorenz

SCREENWRITER Brian Helgeland

Three childhood friends are reunited when the daughter of one is murdered. Betrayal

is at the heart of Eastwood’s dark brooding tragedy with a strong ensemble cast.


82 American Film Institute

2 4 6 N A S H V I L L E

Paramount, 1975

PRINCIPAL CAST Keith Carradine, Ned Beatty, Karen Black, Lily Tomlin

DIRECTOR Robert Altman

PRODUCER Robert Altman

SCREENWRITER Joan Tewkesbury

A grab bag of over twenty characters from politics and country-western music collide

as the United States celebrates the Bicentennial in the capital of country music.

Altman casts his director’s eye on the overlapping stories, from a populist candidate to

a music songbird on the verge of collapse, which ultimately end in a dramatic climax.

2 4 7 NAT I O N A L L A M P O O N ’ S A N I M A L H O U S E

Universal, 1978

PRINCIPAL CAST John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert, Tom Hulce,

John Vernon

DIRECTOR John Landis

PRODUCER Ivan Reitman, Matty Simmons

SCREENWRITERS Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenny, Chris Miller

The Delta House is scheming to keep itself from being kicked off campus. Anarchy

reigns as Belushi’s Bluto leads the charge, “Food fight,” without much hope…but

with many laughs. “Toga, toga!”


United Artists, 1976

PRINCIPAL CAST Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch

DIRECTOR Sidney Lumet

PRODUCER Howard Gottfried

SCREENWRITER Paddy Chayefsky

Low ratings make for angry shareholders and veteran news anchorman Howard Beale

takes the fall. But his rant, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,”

suddenly changes the picture and the lives of everyone at fourth-place UBS.

2 4 9 A N I G H T AT T H E O P E R A

MGM, 1935

PRINCIPAL CAST Groucho, Chico, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle


PRODUCER Irving Thalberg

SCREENWRITERS George S. Kaufman, James Kevin McGuinness, Morrie Ryskind

The Marx Brothers take on opera and give a drubbing to anyone who gets in their

way. Some of the team’s most famous comic moments are from this film: rearranging

the bedroom furniture, Chico and Groucho tearing up the contract, and the

overstuffed stateroom scene, where 15 people crowd inside!

American Film Institute 83

2 5 0 T H E N I G H T O F T H E H U N T E R

United Artists, 1955

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish

DIRECTOR Charles Laughton

PRODUCER Paul Gregory


This somber tale of good vs. evil is actor Laughton’s only directorial effort. Mitchum

is the embodiment of evil, but he is thwarted by Gish, a good woman trying to save

two children from his grasp. “They abide, and they endure.”

2 5 1 N I G H T O F T H E L I V I N G D E A D

Continental, 1968

PRINCIPAL CAST Judith O’Dea, Duane Jones, Karl Hardman, Russell Streiner

DIRECTOR George A. Romero

PRODUCERS Russell Streiner, Karl Hardman


Bloodthirsty zombies close in on people barricaded inside a farm house in this lowbudget

black-and-white horror film that put people on the edge of their seats. Can the

living survive the un-dead?


MGM, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas

DIRECTOR Ernst Lubitsch

PRODUCER Ernst Lubitsch

SCREENWRITERS Billy Widler, Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, Melchior Lengyel

Communism collides with capitalism in this “Lubitsch Touch” comedy when staunch

party member Garbo comes to Paris to discipline some wayward comrades and falls

in love with Douglas’ suave aristocrat.

2 5 3 NORT H B Y N O RT H W E S T

MGM, 1959

PRINCIPAL CAST Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER Alfred Hitchcock


Grant is the Hitchcockian everyman caught up in something he doesn’t understand

as he travels from New York to Mount Rushmore in this mire of spies, counterspies

and romance.

84 American Film Institute


RKO, 1946

PRINCIPAL CAST Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER Alfred Hitchcock


Political and sexual betrayal unite and divide Grant, Bergman and Rains in this tense

triangle of espionage and Nazis in post-World War II Rio de Janeiro. Hitchcock’s use

of the MacGuffin, the uranium hidden in the wine bottles, is what drives the plot, but

it is the impossible love affair between Grant and Bergman everyone remembers.

2 5 5 NOW, V O YAGER

Warner Bros., 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Bonita Granville

DIRECTOR Irving Rapper

PRODUCER Hal B. Wallis


Frumpy, dowdy, and horribly insecure, Charlotte Vale gets some help and transforms

herself into a self-assured beauty who learns how to stand up to her mother in the

quintessential “woman’s film.” Max Steiner’s lush score soars as Henreid lights two

cigarettes and Davis utters, “Oh Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.”


86 American Film Institute


Universal, 1981

PRINCIPAL CAST Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda

DIRECTOR Mark Rydell

PRODUCERS Terry Carr, Bruce Gilbert

SCREENWRITER Ernest Thompson

The Thayer family’s annual visit to their lakeside cottage in New England is fraught

with tension, confrontations, and some peace just as Norman celebrates his 80th

birthday. Fear of aging, and a daughter’s desperate need for approval gently collide

as the loons linger nearby. “You’re my knight in shining armor. Don’t you forget it.”

2 5 7 O N T H E WAT E R F R O N T

Columbia, 1954

PRINCIPAL CAST Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint


PRODUCER Sam Spiegel


Brando, a longshoreman who “coulda been a contender,” rebels against his brother

and corruption on the New York City docks in this powerful story that mirrors the

political climate of the early 1950s.

2 5 8 O N E F L E W O V E R T H E C U C K O O ’ S N E S T

United Artists, 1975

PRINCIPAL CAST Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher

DIRECTOR Milos Forman

PRODUCERS Saul Zaentz, Michael Douglas

SCREENWRITERS Bo Goldman, Lawrence Hauben

Nicholson is a troublemaker committed to a mental institution who sparks new life in

the downtrodden inmates, giving them purpose and self-worth. His war on the system

is fought at every step by Fletcher’s Nurse Ratched.

2 5 9 O R D I N A RY P E O P L E

Paramount, 1980

PRINCIPAL CAST Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton,

Judd Hirsch

DIRECTOR Robert Redford

PRODUCER Ronald L. Schwary


Redford’s directorial debut examines the disintegration of a family after the

accidental drowning of the eldest son in a terrible storm. Hutton, the son who

survives, struggles to overcome his guilt while attempting to gain the love and

respect of his icy mother, played to chilling perfection by Moore.

American Film Institute 87

2 6 0 O U T O F A F R I C A

Universal, 1985

PRINCIPAL CAST Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer

DIRECTOR Sydney Pollack

PRODUCER Sydney Pollack


“I had a farm in Africa.” This epic romance pairs Streep as Karen Blixen, a Danish

woman who arrives in Africa for a marriage of convenience, and Redford’s British

hunter, with whom she shares an unbounded sense of adventure. John Barry’s musical

score captures the scope of their love across the plains of Africa.

2 6 1 O U T O F T H E PA S T

RKO, 1947

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Jane Greer

DIRECTOR Jacques Tourneur

PRODUCERS Warren Duff, Robert Sparks


Mitchum is trying to escape the past that’s catching up with him. The cunning and

seductive Greer betrays him and Douglas, men on opposite sides of the law. In this

film noir tour de force, all three are caught in a deadly showdown.

2 6 2 T H E O U T L AW J O S E Y WA L E S

Warner Bros., 1976

PRINCIPAL CAST Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke

DIRECTOR Clint Eastwood

PRODUCER Robert Daley

SCREENWRITERS Philip Kaufman, Sonia Chernus

Eastwood directs and plays the title role in the story of a Southern man whose family

is killed by Union soldiers during the Civil War, then takes the law into his own

hands and becomes a marked man. Bounty hunters follow him across the great West,

though they are often no match for this loner’s quick draw.

2 6 3 T H E O X - B O W I N C I D E N T

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1943

PRINCIPAL CAST Henry Fonda, Dona Andrews, Anthony Quinn

DIRECTOR William A. Wellman

PRODUCER Lamar Trotti


Wellman’s stunningly stark social conscience film is presented in the guise of a

Western when a lynch mob righteously, then recklessly, pursues and hangs the

wrong men.


American Film Institute 89

2 6 4 PAT H S O F G L O RY

United Artists, 1957

PRINCIPAL CAST Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou

DIRECTOR Stanley Kubrick

PRODUCER James B. Harris

SCREENWRITERS Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham, Jim Thompson

Douglas is a French World War I officer with a mutiny on his hands because his men

refuse to engage in a suicidal battle. He defends three of his men when they are later

court-martialed for cowardice. Kubrick’s consummate antiwar film highlights the

differences between those who give orders and those who carry them out.

2 6 5 PATTON

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1970

PRINCIPAL CAST George C. Scott, Karl Malden

DIRECTOR Franklin J. Schaffner

PRODUCER Frank McCarthy

SCREENWRITERS Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North

The film’s opening scene—Scott as Patton speaking in front of a giant American

flag—sets the stage for an epic biography of the controversial World War II general.

“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his

country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

2 6 6 T H E P H A N T O M O F T H E O P E R A

Universal, 1925

PRINCIPAL CAST Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin

DIRECTOR Rupert Julian

SCREENWRITERS Raymond Schrock, Elliott J. Clawson

Chaney’s Phantom was more frightening in this early horror classic than later

romanticized versions of the Victor Hugo novel, about a disfigured man who haunts

the Paris Opera House.

2 6 7 P H I L A D E L P H I A

TriStar, 1993

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington

DIRECTOR Jonathan Demme

PRODUCERS Jonathan Demme, Edward Saxon


Hanks is fired after revealing he is HIV-positive, and Washington overcomes his

prejudice of homosexuals to defend him in a lawsuit against his former employer.

This film brought the subject of compassion and understanding for people with AIDS

to a wide audience.

90 American Film Institute

2 6 8 T H E P H I L A D E L P H I A S T O RY

MGM, 1940

PRINCIPAL CAST Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart

DIRECTOR George Cukor

PRODUCER Joseph L. Mankiewicz

SCREENWRITER Donald Ogden Stewart

Sophisticated and screwball all at once, Hepburn’s cool, icy heiress really belongs

with Grant, her ex. It takes tabloid newsman Stewart to bring out the fires buried

deep inside her. This is a comedy of manners and class distinction. “The prettiest

sight in this fine, pretty world is the privileged class enjoying its privileges.”

2 6 9 P I L L O W TA L K

Universal, 1959

PRINCIPAL CAST Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter

DIRECTOR Michael Gordon

PRODUCERS Ross Hunter, Martin Melcher

SCREENWRITERS Stanley Shapiro, Maurice Richlin, Russell Rouse,

Clarence Green

Prim interior decorator Day is chagrined to share a party line with womanizing

songwriter Hudson. The witty script makes hay out of Day’s “virginal” image and

Hudson’s masculine prowess. “Mr. Allen, this may come as a surprise to you, but

there are some men who don’t end every sentence with a proposition.”

2 7 0 P I N O C C H I O

Disney, 1940

PRINCIPAL CAST Dickie Jones, Cliff Edwards, Christian Rub, Evelyn Venable,

Walter Catlett (voices)

DIRECTOR Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske

PRODUCER Walt Disney

SCREENWRITERS Ted Sears, Webb Smith, Joseph Sabo, Otto Englander,

William Cottrell, Erdman Penner, Aurelius Battaglia

Puppeteer Geppetto’s fantasy of having a real-life son comes true with help

provided by Jiminy Cricket. The song When You Wish Upon a Star became a

signature Disney tune.

2 7 1 P I R AT E S O F T H E C A R I B B E A N : T H E C U R S E O F T H E B L A C K P E A R L

Disney, 2003

PRINCIPAL CAST Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

DIRECTOR Gore Verbinski

PRODUCER Jerry Bruckheimer

SCREENWRITERS Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio

Barbossa and his evil pack of pirates need Elizabeth Swann to reverse the ancient

curse that keeps them in a nether world, somewhere between the living and the dead.

It’s up to Will Turner and Captain Jack Sparrow to rescue her from the skeletons who

glide across the ocean floor.

American Film Institute 91

2 7 2 A P L A C E I N T H E S U N

Paramount, 1951

PRINCIPAL CAST Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters

DIRECTOR George Stevens

PRODUCER George Stevens

SCREENWRITERS Michael Wilson, Harry Brown

Theodore Dreiser’s celebrated novel, An American Tragedy, comes to the silver

screen in Stevens’ re-telling of the tragic story. When the brooding Clift meets

beautiful socialite Taylor, he has to do something about his pregnant girlfriend

Winters. Whether or not Winter’s drowning death is accidental, Clift must pay the

ultimate price.

2 7 3 P L A N E T O F T H E A P E S

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968

PRINCIPAL CAST Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Roddy McDowall

DIRECTOR Franklin J. Schaffner

PRODUCER Arthur P. Jacobs

SCREENWRITERS Michael Wilson, Rod Serling

Three astronauts crash after a long space flight, only to discover that apes rule their

planet. Just as Heston is about to be lobotomized, he yells, “Get your stinking paws

off me, you damn dirty ape!” The race is on in this science fiction thriller that takes

Heston to the Forbidden Zone, where he discovers the awful truth about mankind.

2 7 4 P L ATOON

Orion, 1986

PRINCIPAL CAST Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe

DIRECTOR Oliver Stone

PRODUCER Arnold Kopelson


Based on Stone’s own experiences as a grunt in Vietnam, Sheen is a young man from

a privileged background who suddenly finds himself stuck between two officers with

opposing ideas of right and wrong in a war filled with uncertainties. The conflict

within a conflict results in the massacre of a village.

2 7 5 T H E P O O R L I T T L E R I C H G I R L

Artcraft, 1917


DIRECTOR Maurice Tourneur


Pickford takes on the title role of the little girl everyone ignores, most of all her

socially consumed parents. It takes a tragedy involving one of the servants to make

them all see the error of their ways.

92 American Film Institute

2 7 6 P O R G Y A N D B E S S

Columbia, 1959

PRINCIPAL CAST Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr.,

Diahann Carroll, Brock Peters, Pearl Bailey

DIRECTOR Otto Preminger

PRODUCER Samuel Goldwyn

SCREENWRITERS DuBose Heyward, N. Richard Nash

This production of Gershwin’s legendary opera gained controversy as it made its way

to the screen. A shabby fishing village in South Carolina is the setting for this allsinging

love story. Crown, wanted for murder, has gone into hiding, leaving girlfriend

Bess behind. Her high-life background makes her an outcast in Catfish Row, but

crippled Porgy provides shelter and soon falls under her spell.

2 7 7 T H E P O S T M A N A LWAY S R I N G S T W I C E

MGM, 1946

PRINCIPAL CAST Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway

DIRECTOR Tay Garnett

PRODUCER Carey Wilson

SCREENWRITERS Harry Ruskin, Niven Busch

Turner and Garfield steam up the screen as the illicit lovers who “accidentally”

murder her husband. Based on James M. Cain’s potboiler, Turner’s scorching siren

is only out for herself, but their mutual obsession destroys them both in this classic

film noir.

2 7 8 T H E P R I D E O F T H E YA N K E E S

RKO, 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Walter Brennan


PRODUCER Samuel Goldwyn

SCREENWRITERS Herman J. Mankiewicz, Jo Swerling, Paul Gallico

The beloved New York Yankee’s career was cut too short when he was diagnosed

with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Cooper’s touching delivery of Gehrig’s farewell,

“Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” is one of the

film’s most poignant moments.

2 7 9 T H E P R O D U C E R S

Embassy, 1967

PRINCIPAL CAST Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars, Dick Shawn


PRODUCER Sidney Glazier


Mostel is a Broadway producer and Wilder is his meek accountant who scheme to

produce an enormous flop in an effort to bilk the “little old ladies” for money. When

the curtain goes up on Springtime for Hitler, their sure-fire flop becomes a sure-fire

hit, sending them to prison.

American Film Institute 93

2 8 0 PSYCHO

Paramount, 1960

PRINCIPAL CAST Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER Alfred Hitchcock


Leigh is on the lam with stolen money and makes the mistake of checking into

the Bates Motel, run by Perkins…and his mother. Hitchcock’s horror film is best

remembered for the shower scene and Bernard Herrmann’s chilling score.

2 8 1 T H E P U B L I C E N E M Y

Warner Bros., 1931

PRINCIPAL CAST James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Mae Clarke

DIRECTOR William A. Wellman

PRODUCER Darryl F. Zanuck

SCREENWRITERS John Bright, Kubec Glasmon, Harvey F. Thew

Cagney showed that an amoral, cocky criminal could be popular with audiences, even

when he shoved a grapefruit in the face of his long-suffering girlfriend, Clarke.

2 8 2 P U L P F I C T I O N

Miramax, 1994

PRINCIPAL CAST John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis

DIRECTOR Quentin Tarantino

PRODUCER Lawrence Bender

SCREENWRITERS Roger Avery, Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino’s tale of violence, corruption and redemption broke new ground with his

non-linear story of two hit men who live by a strict moral code. They intersect the

lives of a boxer, a crime boss, his drug-using wife, a couple of small-time crooks

and of course—the Gimp!



American Film Institute 95

2 8 3 Q U E E N C H R I S T I N A

MGM, 1933

PRINCIPAL CAST Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith, Lewis Stone

DIRECTOR Rouben Mamoulian

PRODUCER Walter Wanger

SCREENWRITERS H.M. Harwood, Salka Viertel

Based loosely on the life of Sweden’s noble queen, a woman with 20th century

sensibilities. Beloved by her people, Christina refuses to marry for political reasons

and gives up her throne. Garbo’s beauty and enigmatic mystery are captured in the

last lingering closeup.

2 8 4 T H E Q U I E T M A N

Republic, 1952

PRINCIPAL CAST John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Victor McLaglen


PRODUCER Merian C. Cooper


Ford’s nostalgic homage to Ireland is photographed in deep rich tones, reflecting the

romantic Gaelic countryside. Wayne, a boxer with a past he’d like to forget, returns to

Innishfree hoping to start over. But, he falls in love with a fiery O’Hara and mixes it

up with her stubborn brother in a boxing match that’s got the Methodists and

Catholics placing bets.

2 8 5 R A G I N G B U L L

United Artists, 1980

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci

DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese

PRODUCER Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler

SCREENWRITERS Mardik Martin, Paul Schrader

De Niro is Jake LaMotta, the middleweight boxing champ whose opponents in the

ring are no match for the demons he fights in his personal life. The film is often

noted for Thelma Schoonmaker’s achievement in editing.

2 8 6 R A I D E R S O F T H E L O S T A R K

Paramount, 1981

PRINCIPAL CAST Harrison Ford, Karen Allen

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg

PRODUCER Frank Marshall

SCREENWRITERS Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas, Phillip Kaufman

Lucas and Spielberg’s cliff hanging, action-adventure, propels archaeologist Indiana

Jones across five continents in a race against the Nazis to find the Ark of the Covenant.

96 American Film Institute

2 8 7 R A I N M A N

United Artists, 1988

PRINCIPAL CAST Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise

DIRECTOR Barry Levinson

PRODUCER Mark Johnson

SCREENWRITERS Ronald Bass, Barry Morrow

Hoffman is an autistic man who inherits his father’s estate, and Cruise is his hustling

brother who assumes custody hoping to cash in. When Raymond refuses to board an

airplane, they drive across country in their father’s classic convertible and discover

their mutual need for each other.

2 8 8 A R A I S I N I N T H E S U N

Columbia, 1961

PRINCIPAL CAST Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee

DIRECTOR Daniel Petrie

PRODUCERS David Sussking, Philip Rose

SCREENWRITER Lorraine Hansberry

An African-American family just getting by in a tiny Chicago apartment receives

a $10,000 life insurance check that could change their lives. Years of frustration

and family conflicts intrude on how to spend the money and make their dreams

come true.

2 8 9 RAY

Universal, 2004

PRINCIPAL CAST Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King, Clifton Powell,

Bokeem Woodbine

DIRECTOR Taylor Hackford

PRODUCERS Howard Baldwin, Karen Elise Baldwin, Stuart Benjamin,

Taylor Hackford


Ray Charles overcomes poverty, blindness, drug addiction, and racism to become one

of the pioneers of rock ’n’ roll and a musical legend.


Paramount, 1954

PRINCIPAL CAST James Stewart, Grace Kelly

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER Alfred Hitchcock

SCREENWRITER John Michael Hayes

When a broken leg forces photographer Stewart to become wheelchair-bound in his

New York City apartment, he amuses himself by spying on his neighbors and soon

becomes obsessed when he thinks he has witnessed a murder. Kelly, as his fashionmodel

girlfriend, helps with amateur detective work.

American Film Institute 97

2 9 1 R E B E C C A

United Artists, 1940

PRINCIPAL CAST Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER David O. Selznick

SCREENWRITERS Robert E. Sherwood, Joan Harrison, Philip MacDonald,

Michael Hogan

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” These words that open the dark and

brooding tale of a shy young woman married to a powerful and wealthy Englishman

set the tone for a mystery of lies, transgressions, and maybe even murder.

2 9 2 R E B E L W I T H O U T A C A U S E

Warner Bros., 1955

PRINCIPAL CAST James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo

DIRECTOR Nicholas Ray

PRODUCER David Weisbart

SCREENWRITERS Nicholas Ray, Irving Shulman, Stewart Stern

Dean’s defining role as a tortured high-school student also seemed to define a

generation of 1950s teenagers who felt isolated from their parents and sought solace

with friends and authority-defying drag racing.

2 9 3 R E D R I V E R

United Artists, 1948

PRINCIPAL CAST John Wayne, Montgomery Clift

DIRECTOR Howard Hawks

PRODUCER Howard Hawks

SCREENWRITERS Borden Chase, Charles Schnee

Both a sweeping and complex Western, the epic cattle drive tests the wills of Wayne

and his “adopted” son, Clift, in his first film.

2 9 4 R E D S

Paramount, 1981

PRINCIPAL CAST Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson,

Maureen Stapleton

DIRECTOR Warren Beatty

PRODUCER Warren Beatty

SCREENWRITERS Warren Beatty, Trevor Griffiths

Beatty directs, produces, co-writes, and stars in this sweeping epic of John Reed,

the American reporter who was on the cutting edge of journalism and politics in the

years leading up to the Russian Revolution. His devotion to his work and his love for

Louise Bryant is told through “witnesses,” real men and women whose lives

intersected the long-forgotten political writer.

98 American Film Institute

2 9 5 R E Q U I E M F O R A D R E A M

Artisan, 2000

PRINCIPAL CAST Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

DIRECTOR Darren Aronofsky

PRODUCERS Eric Watson, Palmer West

SCREENWRITERS Hubert Selby, Jr., Darren Aronofsky

Aronofsky’s alarming and graphic study bears witness to the downward spiral of four

parallel lives struggling to survive the pain and terror of drug addiction.

2 9 6 R E T U R N O F T H E S E C A U C U S 7

Salsipuedes, 1980

PRINCIPAL CAST Mark Arnott, Gordon Clapp, David Strathairn

DIRECTOR John Sayles

PRODUCERS William Aydelott, Jeffrey Nelson


Sayles’ low-budget classic tells the story of seven college buddies who reunite for a

weekend and reminisce about the time they were arrested in Secaucus, New Jersey,

on their way to a Vietnam war demonstration in Washington, DC. “What’s a little

reunion without a little drama?”

2 9 7 T H E R I G H T S T U F F

Warner Bros., 1983

PRINCIPAL CAST Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid

DIRECTOR Philip Kaufman

PRODUCER Irwin Winkler


Writer-director Kaufman celebrates the birth of America’s Mercury Space program by

focusing on the daring test pilots who were first recruited by NASA to become

America’s pioneers in space. Bill Conti’s powerful soundtrack heralds in the dawn of

the space age.

2 9 8 R I S K Y B U S I N E S S

Warner Bros., 1983

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay

DIRECTOR Paul Brickman

PRODUCERS Jon Avnet, Steve Tisch


Cruise slid into the American consciousness in his underwear as Joel, the high

school senior who turns his parents’ house into a bordello while they are away

for the weekend.

American Film Institute 99


Paramount, 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour

DIRECTOR David Butler


SCREENWRITERS Frank Butler, Don Hartman

The third in the popular Hope, Crosby and Lamour “road” pictures is kicked off by

Crosby selling Hope into slavery and both getting tangled up with the alluring

Princess Shalmar, played by Lamour. As usual, however, the plot is just a jumping off

point for some terrific gags.

3 0 0 ROCKY

United Artists, 1976

PRINCIPAL CAST Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Burgess Meredith,

Carl Weathers

DIRECTOR John G. Avildsen

PRODUCERS Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff

SCREENWRITER Sylvester Stallone

No one believes a loser like Rocky Balboa can go the distance. When world

heavyweight champ Apollo Creed wants to fight an “unknown,” Rocky gets his shot

in the ring and at love. “Yo, Adrian!”

3 0 1 T H E R O C K Y H O R R O R P I C T U R E S H O W

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1975

PRINCIPAL CAST Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick

DIRECTOR Jim Sharman

PRODUCER Michael White

SCREENWRITERS Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien

The gender-bender musical cult favorite is a tale of two innocents stranded in a

mysterious castle with the kinky mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Midnight

screenings in theatres from coast to coast included must-do audience participation.


Paramount, 1953

PRINCIPAL CAST Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCER William Wyler

SCREENWRITERS Ian McLellan Hunter (Dalton Trumbo), John Dighton

In this captivating modern-day fairy tale, Hepburn is a princess under lock and key

who runs away and falls in love with Peck, a journalist who happens to be in need of

a great story. Hepburn in her first American film became an overnight sensation.

100 American Film Institute

3 0 3 ROSEMARY ’ S B A B Y

Paramount, 1968

PRINCIPAL CAST Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon

DIRECTOR Roman Polanski

PRODUCER William Castle


Farrow is a young wife who becomes pregnant and slowly learns to her horror that

her husband is involved with a group of people who worship the forces of darkness.

Pray for Rosemary’s baby.

3 0 4 R U S H M O R E

Touchstone, 1998

PRINCIPAL CAST Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams,

Seymour Cassel

DIRECTOR Wes Anderson

PRODUCERS Barry Mendel, Paul Schiff

SCREENWRITERS Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson

Anderson established himself with this stylish film about a quirky prep school lad

and a steel tycoon who are in love with the same first grade teacher at Rushmore.

“She’s my Rushmore.” “I know. She was mine too.”


102 American Film Institute

3 0 5 S A F E T Y L A S T

Pathé, 1923

PRINCIPAL CAST Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis

DIRECTOR Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor


SCREENWRITERS Hal Roach, Sam Taylor, Tim Whelan

The simple story of a boy coming to the city to make good and impress his

girl becomes comical when showcased with Lloyd’s physical style, particularly

the famous scene in which he hangs above the city streets from the hands of a

giant clock.

3 0 6 S AT U R D AY N I G H T F E V E R

Paramount, 1977

PRINCIPAL CAST John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney

DIRECTOR John Badham

PRODUCER Robert Stigwood

SCREENWRITERS Norman Wexler, Nik Cohn

Brooklyn youth Travolta feels he has no meaning to his life, except when he’s

dancing at the disco. The Bee-Gees soundtrack and Travolta’s white suit and

stylized moves have become internationally recognized icons of the 1970s.

3 0 7 S AV I N G P R I VAT E RYA N

DreamWorks, 1998

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg

PRODUCERS Steven Spielberg, Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon, Gary Levinsohn


All of Private James Ryan’s brothers have been killed in the line of duty. A unit of

war-weary soldiers is forced to risk their lives to find the young man and bring him

home. The film was a realistic and uncompromising account of the war often

romanticized by Hollywood.

3 0 8 S C A R FA C E : T H E S H A M E O F A N AT I O N

United Artists, 1932

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, George Raft

DIRECTOR Howard Hawks

PRODUCER Howard Hawks

SCREENWRITERS Ben Hecht, W.R. Burnett, Fred Pasley, John Lee Mahin,

Seton I. Miller

Hawks’ sensational and searing crime drama is ripped from the headlines of the

1930s. Muni delivers a powerful depiction of a twisted, Al Capone-like figure with an

unnatural attraction to his sister in this brutal story of a gangster who rises to the top,

only to die beneath a neon sign proclaiming “The World’s At Your Feet.”

American Film Institute 103

3 0 9 T H E S C A R L E T E M P R E S S

Paramount, 1934

PRINCIPAL CAST Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe

DIRECTOR Josef von Sternberg

PRODUCER Josef von Sternberg

SCREENWRITERS Manuel Komroff, Eleanor McGeary

Visually sumptuous and ostentatious, Sternberg’s fictionalized version of Catherine

the Great’s life was one of the most daring films to reach the screen in the 1930s.

Illicit love affairs, nudity, and political subversion told the story of a shy young

German princess’ transformation to Empress of Russia.

3 1 0 S C H I N D L E R ’ S L I S T

Universal, 1993

PRINCIPAL CAST Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg

PRODUCERS Steven Spielberg, Branko Lustig, Gerald R. Molen

SCREENWRITER Steven Zaillian

The film is based on the true, complex, and often puzzling story of Oskar Schindler,

the Czech industrialist who saved hundreds of Jews from the gas chambers during the

Holocaust. “This list is an absolute good. The list is life.”

3 1 1 T H E S E A R C H E R S

Warner Bros., 1956

PRINCIPAL CAST John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Natalie Wood


PRODUCERS Merian C. Cooper, Patrick Ford


Ford’s landmark saga is a quest to find a child abducted by Comanches right after the

Civil War. Wayne, an Indian-hating ex-soldier, wages an internal battle while

devoting years to searching for his niece, abducted during an Indian raid.

3 1 2 S E N S E A N D S E N S I B I L I T Y

Columbia, 1995

PRINCIPAL CAST Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant


PRODUCER Lindsay Doran


Thompson adapted Jane Austen’s 18th century novel about the Dashwood sisters,

who approach love and life very differently. Elinor is all sense, Marianne all

sensibility. They struggle to make proper marriages after the family loses its fortune.

In the end, true love triumphs.

104 American Film Institute

3 1 3 S E R G E A N T Y O R K

Warner Bros., 1941

PRINCIPAL CAST Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Margaret Wycherly

DIRECTOR Howard Hawks

PRODUCERS Jesse L. Lasky, Hal B. Wallis

SCREENWRITERS Abem Finkel, Harry Chandlee, John Huston, Howard Koch

The biographical story follows the experiences of rural Tennessee farmer, Alvin York,

who went from pacifist to the hero of a “turkey shoot” on the battlefields of France.

Single-handedly he captured over one hundred German soldiers and became the most

decorated soldier of World War I.

3 1 4 S E X , L I E S , A N D V I D E O TA P E

Miramax, 1989

PRINCIPAL CAST James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher,

Laura San Giacomo

DIRECTOR Steven Soderbergh

PRODUCERS Robert F. Newmyer, John Hardy

SCREENWRITERS Steven Soderbergh, Robert W. Soderbergh

Videotaping women’s frank and intimate details about sex and fantasies fills up

Spader’s empty and impotent life. A visit with an old friend and his wife opens up a

Pandora’s Box of lies. Independent filmmaking got a real boost in the American

mainstream with the huge commercial success of Soderbergh’s cost-conscious feature.

3 1 5 S H A D O W O F A D O U B T

Universal, 1943

PRINCIPAL CAST Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, Macdonald Carey, Hume Cronyn

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchock

PRODUCER Jack H. Skirball

SCREENWRITERS Thornton Wilder, Alma Reville, Sally Benson, Gordon McDonell

Strauss’ Merry Widow Waltz takes on sinister connotations in this story of a man who

comes to stay with his sister’s family while he is on the run from a series of murders

of wealthy older women.

3 1 6 S H A K E S P E A R E I N L O V E

Miramax, 1998

PRINCIPAL CAST Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush

DIRECTOR John Madden

PRODUCERS David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein,

Edward Zwick, Marc Norman

SCREENWRITERS Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard

Of all people, William Shakespeare is cursed with writer’s block, and his muse, Lady

Viola, keeps vanishing into thin air. Viola is dying to be part of a company of players,

so she transforms herself to a he, and gets a part in Will’s half-hearted attempt at

greatness, Romeo and Ethel, The Sea Pirate’s Daughter. When he discovers he is a

she, this gender-bender comedy-drama ends as all great love stories must—with love

denied. “You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.”

American Film Institute 105

3 1 7 SHANE

Paramount, 1953

PRINCIPAL CAST Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon De Wilde,

Jack Palance

DIRECTOR George Stevens

PRODUCERS Ivan Moffat, George Stevens

SCREENWRITERS A.B. Guthrie, Jr., Jack Sher

Told through the eyes of a young boy, Shane is a former gunslinger who appears out

of nowhere and helps a group of settlers defend themselves against the cattlemen who

want their land.


Columbia, 1994

PRINCIPAL CAST Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman

DIRECTOR Frank Darabont

PRODUCER Niki Marvin


Banker Robbins is wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in a harsh

Maine prison, which drips with corruption. His intelligence helps him gain the

respect of his fellow inmates, including Freeman’s entrepreneurial “Red,” while

secretly devising a plan to escape.

3 1 9 S H E D O N E H I M W R O N G

Paramount, 1933

PRINCIPAL CAST Mae West, Cary Grant

DIRECTOR Lowell Sherman

PRODUCER William Le Baron

SCREENWRITERS Mae West, John Bright, Harvey F. Thew

Grant’s Salvation Army captain proves no match for the spicy humor and playful

sexiness of West’s Lady Lou when she asks him, “Why don’t you come up sometime

and see me?”

3 2 0 S H E R L O C K , J R .

Metro, 1924

PRINCIPAL CAST Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire

DIRECTOR Buster Keaton

PRODUCER Joseph M. Schenck

SCREENWRITERS Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez, Joseph Mitchell

This surreal fantasy finds Keaton as a projectionist who steps into the film he’s

screening, assumes the role of master sleuth, solves the crime and saves the girl…all

this before waking in the projection booth to find his real girlfriend waiting for him.

106 American Film Institute

3 2 1 T H E S H I N I N G

Warner Bros., 1980

PRINCIPAL CAST Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

DIRECTOR Stanley Kubrick

PRODUCERS Robert Fryer, Stanley Kubrick

SCREENWRITERS Diane Johnson, Stanley Kubrick

A family of three are the snowbound caretakers of an enormous resort in Kubrick’s

terrifyingly intense gothic horror thriller. Cabin-fever and telepathy collide, as

frustrated writer Nicholson goes completely insane. “Here’s Johnny!”

3 2 2 S H R E K

DreamWorks, 2001

PRINCIPAL CAST Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz,

John Lithgow (voices)

DIRECTOR Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

PRODUCERS Jeffrey Katzenberg, Aron Warner, John H. Williams

SCREENWRITERS Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, Roger S. H. Schulman

In this hilarious animated musical, Shrek is a green slimy ogre and the hero of his

own story, but there’s a princess, who doesn’t look like any conventional heroine in

the storybooks. They create a revisionist fairy tale, by righting the wrongs of

dastardly Lord Farquaad!

3 2 3 S I D E WAY S

Twentieth Century-Fox, 2004

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Viginia Madsen,

Sandra Oh

DIRECTOR Alexander Payne

PRODUCER Michael London

SCREENWRITERS Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Two middle-aged guys who don’t believe they’ve accomplished much head to Central

California’s wine country and discover a lot more about themselves and love than

they ever imagined. Like a fine wine, they continuously evolve, because they’re alive.

3 2 4 T H E S I L E N C E O F T H E L A M B S

Orion, 1991

PRINCIPAL CAST Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

DIRECTOR Jonathan Demme

PRODUCERS Edward Saxton, Kenneth Utt, Ronald M. Bozman


“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti,” hisses Hopkins’ Hannibal

Lecter, a brilliant serial killer engaged by Foster’s FBI agent in an effort to capture

another killer on the loose.

American Film Institute 107

3 2 5 S I N G I N ’ I N T H E R A I N

MGM, 1952

PRINCIPAL CAST Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Jean Hagen

DIRECTOR Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen

PRODUCER Arthur Freed

SCREENWRITERS Adolph Green, Betty Comden

This musical set in Hollywood during the conversion from silent to sound films has

Kelly singing, dancing and splashing in puddles. Reynolds and O’Connor lend

support in some of the most delightful song and dance numbers ever filmed.

3 2 6 T H E S I X T H S E N S E

Hollywood, 1999

PRINCIPAL CAST Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette

DIRECTOR M. Night Shyamalan

PRODUCERS Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Barry Mendel

SCREENWRITER M. Night Shyamalan

“I see dead people.” That’s what young Cole Sears claims. At first, psychologist

Malcolm Crowe thinks the boy is seeing things. Little by little he begins to understand.

3 2 7 S L E E P E R

United Artists, 1973

PRINCIPAL CAST Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

DIRECTOR Woody Allen

PRODUCER Jack Grossberg

SCREENWRITERS Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman

Allen takes a comical swipe at science fiction, when his geeky Miles Monroe wakes

up 200 years in the future. An homage to Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd, Allen’s characters

can’t quite figure out how to deal with technology and love. “Sex and death. Two things

that come once in a lifetime. But at least after death, you’re not nauseous.”

3 2 8 S L E E P L E S S I N S E AT T L E

TriStar, 1993

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Bill Pullman, Ross Malinger

DIRECTOR Nora Ephron

PRODUCER Gary Foster

SCREENWRITERS Nora Ephron, David S. Ward, Jeff Arch

Ryan unexpectedly falls for widower Hanks when she hears him on talk radio.

Hanks’ young son does everything he can to unite them at the top of the Empire

State Building in this unabashed valentine to AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER.

108 American Film Institute

3 2 9 S N O W W H I T E A N D T H E S E V E N D WA R F S

Disney, 1937

PRINCIPAL CAST Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Moroni Olsen,

Harry Stockwell, Billy Gilbert (voices)


PRODUCER Walt Disney

SCREENWRITERS Ted Sears, Richard Creedon, Otto Englander, Dick Richard,

Earl Hurd, Merrill De Maris, Dorothy Ann Blank, Webb Smith

Disney’s first full-length animated feature still resonates with audiences young and

old as the beautiful young princess is saved from the wicked queen by the dwarfs

who whistle while they work.

3 3 0 S O M E L I K E I T H O T

United Artists, 1959

PRINCIPAL CAST Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

PRODUCER Billy Wilder

SCREENWRITERS Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond

A couple of guys on the run from the mob dress in drag and join an all-girl band. But

when they meet Monroe’s Sugar ‘Kane’ Kowalczyk, (“Look how she moves! It’s like

Jell-O on springs!”), they’re a couple of goners. “Well, nobody’s perfect.”

3 3 1 S O N S O F T H E D E S E RT

MGM, 1933

PRINCIPAL CAST Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy

DIRECTOR William A. Seiter


SCREENWRITERS Frank Craven, Byron Morgan

Stan and Ollie want to attend the annual Sons of the Desert convention in Chicago,

so they lie to their wives and tell them they are going on a health cruise to Hawaii.

The wives worry when that ship sinks, but then they see a newsreel of their husbands’

hi-jinks in Chicago. “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”

3 3 2 S O P H I E ’ S C H O I C E

Universal, 1982

PRINCIPAL CAST Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol

DIRECTOR Alan J. Pakula

PRODUCERS Keith Barish, Alan J. Pakula


Streep is a Polish immigrant living in Brooklyn with her flamboyant lover, played by

Kline, and their Southern writer friend, Stingo. The more Sophie reflects on her

painful life, the more she is haunted by her years in a concentration camp and the

unthinkable decision she was forced to make.

American Film Institute 109

3 3 3 T H E S O U N D O F M U S I C

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1965

PRINCIPAL CAST Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Peggy Wood

DIRECTOR Robert Wise

PRODUCER Robert Wise


Andrews is Maria, a nun who becomes governess to the Von Trapp family in this

film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical. Maria falls

in love with the children and their handsome widowed father just as Austria is being

annexed by the Nazis. The film’s songs include the title song, Do-Re-Mi and Climb

Every Mountain.


Twentieth Century-Fox, 1972

PRINCIPAL CAST Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield

DIRECTOR Martin Ritt

PRODUCER Robert B. Radnitz


The setting is 1930s Louisiana, and Tyson is the matriarch of a sharecropper family

who must do without her husband when he is arrested for stealing food. The struggle

to survive and the dream of an education for their son are at the core of this film

about the power of family.


Universal, 1960

PRINCIPAL CAST Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov

DIRECTOR Stanley Kubrick

PRODUCER Edward Lewis


Kubrick’s historic epic stars Douglas in the title role of the slave who leads a

rebellion for freedom against the rulers of the Roman Empire. “I am Spartacus!”

3 3 6 S P I D E R - M A N 2

Columbia, 2004

PRINCIPAL CAST Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina


PRODUCERS Avi Arad, Laura Ziskin


Being a superhero is anything but easy! It’s a taking a toll on Peter Parker’s civilian

life. Time to hang up the suit until Doctor Octopus, the menacing villain with four

mechanical tentacles, makes the young hero accept his calling.

110 American Film Institute

3 3 7 S P L E N D O R I N T H E G R A S S

Warner Bros., 1961

PRINCIPAL CAST Warren Beatty, Natalie Wood




Wood and Beatty, in his screen debut, play sweethearts in 1920s rural Kansas. Sexual

repression, class distinctions, and parental expectations crash along with the stock

market. Wood suffers a mental breakdown as Beatty finds a simple future with

another woman.


United Artists, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Thomas Mitchell


PRODUCER Walter Wanger


Ford’s first film shot in his beloved Monument Valley, the film single-handedly

reinvented the Western genre. The movie also made a star out of Wayne, a

vengeance-seeking fugitive transformed when he boards the stagecoach.

3 3 9 S TA L A G 1 7

Paramount, 1953

PRINCIPAL CAST William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss

DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

PRODUCER Billy Wilder

SCREENWRITERS Billy Wilder, Edwin Blum

Life in a German POW camp provides the backdrop for Wilder’s dark, but often

hilarious take on World War II. Holden gives an outstanding performance as the

cynical outsider falsely accused of being a Nazi plant.

3 4 0 S TA N D B Y M E

Columbia, 1986

PRINCIPAL CAST Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell,

Kiefer Sutherland


PRODUCERS Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon, Andrew Scheinman

SCREENWRITERS Raynold Gideon, Bruce A. Evans

“Mickey is a mouse, Donald is a duck, Pluto is a dog. What’s Goofy...?” Four young

teens take off in search of a dead body, and discover much more about themselves in

a memory piece about coming of age and loss. The campfire scene is a touching

confessional between Wheaton and Phoenix that digs deep into an adolescent boy’s

insecurities and deepest fears.

American Film Institute 111

3 4 1 A S TA R I S B O R N

Warner Bros., 1954

PRINCIPAL CAST Judy Garland, James Mason

DIRECTOR George Cukor

PRODUCER Sidney Luft

SCREENWRITERS Moss Hart, William A. Wellman, Robert Carson

Garland’s comeback performance highlighted this remake of the 1937 film in which

a young film star’s rise to fame coincides with the decline of her once famous,

alcoholic husband.

3 4 2 S TAR WA R S

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1977

PRINCIPAL CAST Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

DIRECTOR George Lucas



A landmark science fiction fantasy about a young man, Luke Skywalker, who finds

his calling as a Jedi warrior and with the help of “droids” and an outlaw named Han

Solo embarks on a mission to rescue a princess and save the galaxy from the Dark

Side. “May the force be with you.”

3 4 3 T H E S T I N G

Universal, 1973

PRINCIPAL CAST Paul Newman, Robert Redford

DIRECTOR George Roy Hill

PRODUCERS Tony Bill, Julia Phillips, Michael Phillips


Newman and Redford reunited with director Hill and produced this comedic caper

about two con men out to put the “the sting” on a hood who had one of their friends

bumped off. Scott Joplin’s rags—adapted by Marvin Hamlisch—underscore the

action with a rollicking flair.


Twentieth Century-Fox, 1943

PRINCIPAL CAST Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Nicholas Brothers,

Fats Waller

DIRECTOR Andrew Stone

PRODUCER William LeBaron

SCREENWRITERS Frederick Jackson, Ted Koehler

This film is a who’s who of African-American singers and dancers led by Robinson

as a dancer just back from World War I and his memories of the theatre, and Horne,

the elusive woman in his life. Horne’s rendition of Stormy Weather became her

signature song.

112 American Film Institute

3 4 5 S T R A N G E R T H A N PA R A D I S E

Samuel Goldwyn, 1984

PRINCIPAL CAST John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson

DIRECTOR Jim Jarmusch

PRODUCER Sara Driver


A road trip from New York to Cleveland to Miami, where three strangers hang out

and actually find a little piece of heaven in the most unexpected locales. “Does

Cleveland look a little like, uh, Budapest?”

3 4 6 S T R A N G E R S O N A T R A I N

Warner Bros., 1951

PRINCIPAL CAST Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER Alfred Hitchcock

SCREENWRITERS Raymond Chandler, Czenzi Ormonde, Whitfield Cook

Two strangers on a train, each with a motive to commit murder, swap stories about

the possibilities, but the psychotic one goes over the edge. Some of Hitchcock’s most

iconic images still haunt movie audiences: a murder reflected in some eyeglasses and

an out-of-control carnival ride in the film’s harrowing finale.

3 4 7 A S T R E E T C A R N A M E D D E S I R E

Warner Bros., 1951

PRINCIPAL CAST Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden


PRODUCER Charles K. Feldman

SCREENWRITERS Tennessee Williams, Oscar Saul

Recreating the role that made him a star on Broadway, Brando is Stanley Kowalski,

the blue-collared brute married to the sister of a neurotic, fragile, aging Southern

belle named Blanche, who has always depended on the kindness of strangers.

3 4 8 S U L L I VA N ’ S T R AV E L S

Paramount, 1941

PRINCIPAL CAST Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake

DIRECTOR Preston Sturges

PRODUCERS B.G. DeSylva, Paul Jones

SCREENWRITER Preston Sturges

Hugely successful film director John L. Sullivan wants to make a picture that means

something, “A true canvas of human suffering.” What he learns on his journey, as he

becomes the architect of his own story is: “There’s a lot to be said for making people

laugh. Did you know that that’s all some people have? It isn’t much, but it’s better

than nothing in this cockeyed caravan.”

American Film Institute 113

3 4 9 S U N R I S E

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1927

PRINCIPAL CAST George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor



Murnau’s shattering film of redemption and forgiveness is told in a simple story of a

married farmer, lured to the big city by a “wicked woman.” A cavalcade of urban

images and horrific storms almost destroy the farmer when he thinks his wife is lost

at sea in this expressionistic masterpiece.

3 5 0 S U N S E T B LV D .

Paramount, 1950

PRINCIPAL CAST Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim

DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

PRODUCER Charles Brackett

SCREENWRITERS Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D. M. Marshman, Jr.

Struggling writer Holden hides out from car repossessors in the ancient mansion of

aging silent star Swanson (“I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”). He sees a

lucrative break for himself when she wants to make a return to the screen, but he is

unaware of the price he will have to pay.

3 5 1 T H E S W E E T S M E L L O F S U C C E S S

United Artists, 1957

PRINCIPAL CAST Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Barbara Nichols

DIRECTOR Alexander Mackendrick


SCREENWRITERS Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman

James Wong Howe’s masterful black-and-white cinematography casts a low light on

the cynical and seamy side of New York’s press agents and the deals they make with

the devil, just to get a bit in J.J. Hunsecker’s column. Lehman and Odets’ barbs still

pack a punch: “I’d hate to take a bite outta you. You’re a cookie full of arsenic.”

3 5 2 S W I N G T I M E

RKO, 1936

PRINCIPAL CAST Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

DIRECTOR George Stevens

PRODUCER Pandro S. Berman

SCREENWRITERS Howard Lindsay, Allan Scott, Erwin Gelsey

Prospective groom Astaire misses his wedding and must prove that he is marriage

material. He heads to NYC, where he dances his heart out with Rogers to the songs

of Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. Every song advances the plot and the courtship

of two hoofers looking for A Fine Romance.


American Film Institute 115

3 5 3 TA X I D R I V E R

Columbia, 1976

PRINCIPAL CAST Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster

DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese

PRODUCERS Julia Phillips, Michael Phillips


De Niro is Travis Bickle, a New York City cab driver whose rage builds in a lonely,

dark world, until his attempt to befriend and free Foster’s 12-year-old prostitute from

her pimp culminates in a violent shootout. “You talkin’ to me?”

3 5 4 T H E T E N C O M M A N D M E N T S

Paramount, 1956

PRINCIPAL CAST Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter

DIRECTOR Cecil B. DeMille

PRODUCER Cecil B. DeMille

SCREENWRITERS Aeneas MacKenzie, Jesse Lasky, Jr., Jack Gariss,

Fredric M. Frank

DeMille remade his own silent film epic into a sweeping blockbuster that tells

the story of Moses’ transformation as a prince of Egypt to the savior of the

Hebrews locked in bondage. The parting of the Red Sea is still one of film

history’s iconic images.

3 5 5 T E R M I N AT O R 2 : J U D G M E N T D AY

TriStar, 1991

PRINCIPAL CAST Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Patrick, Linda Hamilton,

Edward Furlong

DIRECTOR James Cameron

PRODUCER James Cameron

SCREENWRITERS James Cameron, William Wisher, Jr.

Dazzling visual effects pushed the boundaries of filmmaking and gave incredible life

to the T-1000, a Terminator sent from the future to destroy a young man who will one

day save humanity. Schwarzenegger, playing an older T-800 model, is “back” to

defend him. “Hasta la vista, baby.”

3 5 6 T E R M S O F E N D E A R M E N T

Paramount, 1983

PRINCIPAL CAST Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson

DIRECTOR James L. Brooks

PRODUCER James L. Brooks


Over a period of thirty years, MacLaine and Winger’s challenging mother-daughter

relationship is sorely tested by MacLaine’s smothering advice regarding marriage,

children and every possible life choice. Ultimately, they find their closest bond when

Winger contracts a terminal illness.

116 American Film Institute

3 5 7 T H E L M A & L O U I S E

MGM, 1991

PRINCIPAL CAST Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon

DIRECTOR Ridley Scott

PRODUCERS Ridley Scott, Mimi Polk


What should be a weekend away from it all, turns into a tragic female-buddy road

movie that broke all the conventional rules. Davis and Sarandon become fugitives

from justice after great injustices have been hurled on them.

3 5 8 T H E R E ’ S S O M E T H I N G A B O U T M A RY

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1999

PRINCIPAL CAST Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon

DIRECTOR Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

PRODUCERS Frank Beddor, Michael Steinberg, Charles B. Wessler,

Bradley Thomas

SCREENWRITERS Ed Decter, John J. Strauss, Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

Ted is still pining for Mary, the girl he almost took to the prom if not for an

unfortunate accident with a zipper. But he’ll have to contend with con-artists, lap

dogs and even Brett Favre if he wants to get the girl. “Is that... is that hair gel?”

3 5 9 T H E T H I E F O F B A G D A D

United Artists, 1924

PRINCIPAL CAST Douglas Fairbanks, Anna May Wong, Noble Johnson

DIRECTOR Raoul Walsh

PRODUCER Douglas Fairbanks

SCREENWRITERS Elton Thomas (Douglas Fairbanks), Achmed Abdullah,

Lotta Woods

Ultimate swashbuckler Fairbanks is a thief who falls in love with the caliph’s

daughter and takes off on a magical carpet ride to find the treasure of the

seven moons.

3 6 0 T H E T H I N M A N

MGM, 1934

PRINCIPAL CAST William Powell, Myrna Loy


PRODUCER Hunt Stromberg

SCREENWRITERS Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett

The first film to feature stylish detective Nick Charles, wife Nora and beloved terrier

Asta launched the popular “Thin Man” series and ushered in a new era of

sophisticated comedies. Contrary to popular belief the thin man is one of the film’s

many characters, not Nicky, as Nora affectionately called him.

American Film Institute 117

3 6 1 T H E T H I N G F R O M A N O T H E R W O R L D

RKO, 1951

PRINCIPAL CAST Kenneth Tobey, James Arness, Margaret Sheridan,

Douglas Spencer

DIRECTOR Christian Nyby

PRODUCER Howard Hawks

SCREENWRITER Charles Lederer

In Hawks’ sole venture into the sci-fi horror world, a group of scientists, isolated up

at the Arctic Circle, uncover a buried flying saucer in the snow, as well as a giant

alien. Once he accidentally thaws out, the blood-sucking creature goes on a rampage.

“Watch the skies, everywhere! Keep looking, keep watching the skies!”

3 6 2 T H E T H I R D M A N

Selznick, 1949

PRINCIPAL CAST Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli


PRODUCERS Alexander Korda, Carol Reed, David O. Selznick


The rotting streets of postwar Vienna are a metaphor for the paranoia in this bleak

film noir of a supposed dead man and the old friend who wants to get to the bottom of

the mystery. Mercury Theatre collaborators Welles and Cotten play a chilling game of

cat and mouse.

3 6 3 T H I S I S S P I N A L TAP

Embassy, 1984

PRINCIPAL CAST Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer


PRODUCER Karen Murphy

SCREENWRITERS Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner

Reiner’s directorial debut ushered in a new kind of comedy, the mockumentary!

Improvisation, parody and conventional filmmaking collide with a behind-the-scenes

look at a second-rate heavy metal band trying to make a comeback. “These go to eleven.”

3 6 4 T H R E E K I N G S

Warner Bros., 1999

PRINCIPAL CAST George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube

DIRECTOR David O. Russell

PRODUCERS Paul Junger Witt, Edward McDonnell, Charles Roven


In the immediate aftermath of the Gulf War, three adventurous soldiers discover an

Iraqi map that could lead them to a cache of gold. But somewhere along the way, the

three kings come up against a crisis of conscience when a rag-tag group of civilians,

abandoned by US forces, face certain death from the Iraqi army.

118 American Film Institute

3 6 5 T I TA N I C

Paramount, 1997

PRINCIPAL CAST Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Billy Zane

DIRECTOR James Cameron

PRODUCERS James Cameron, Jon Landau


Cameron’s fictionalized account of the “ship of dreams” was both a grand love story

and a monumental visual effects undertaking. “I’m king of the world!”

3 6 6 T O B E O R N O T T O B E

United Artists, 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack

DIRECTOR Ernst Lubitsch

PRODUCER Ernst Lubitsch

SCREENWRITERS Edwin Justus Mayer, Melchior Lengyel

Benny plays the role of a hammy actor who is the head of a Polish acting troupe that

hoodwinks the Nazis in this black comedy. This was Lombard’s last film.

3 6 7 T O H AV E A N D H AV E N O T

Warner Bros., 1944

PRINCIPAL CAST Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan

DIRECTOR Howard Hawks

PRODUCER Howard Hawks

SCREENWRITERS Jules Furthman, William Faulkner

In their first film together, Bacall instructs Bogart on how to whistle in this Ernest

Hemingway-based story of intrigue on the island of Martinique during World War II.

3 6 8 T O K I L L A M O C K I N G B I R D

Universal, 1962

PRINCIPAL CAST Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Brock Peters

DIRECTOR Robert Mulligan

PRODUCER Alan J. Parker


Foote adapted Harper Lee’s award-winning novel into one of Peck’s most memorable

movies. Seen through the eyes of his young daughter, Atticus Finch defends an

innocent black man accused of rape in a racially divided Alabama town during

the Depression.

American Film Institute 119

3 6 9 T O O T S I E

Columbia, 1982

PRINCIPAL CAST Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr

DIRECTOR Sydney Pollack

PRODUCERS Sydney Pollack, Dick Richards

SCREENWRITERS Larry Gelbart, Don McGuire, Murray Schisgal

Hoffman stars in this comedy about a temperamental out-of-work actor who puts

on a dress and lands the role of a lifetime in a TV soap opera. Love interest Lange

and her lonely father make situations even more complicated in this gender-bending

love story.

3 7 0 T O P H AT

RKO, 1935

PRINCIPAL CAST Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

DIRECTOR Mark Sandrich

PRODUCER Pandro S. Berman

SCREENWRITERS Dwight Taylor, Allan Scott

This was the first original screenplay specifically written for Rogers and Astaire,

who “meet cute” in a London hotel and dance along the canals of Venice. The film

contains some of Irving Berlin’s most memorable hits, Cheek to Cheek and Isn’t This

a Lovely Day to Be Caught in the Rain?

3 7 1 T O U C H O F E V I L

Universal, 1958

PRINCIPAL CAST Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles

DIRECTOR Orson Welles

PRODUCER Albert Zugsmith


Heston is a Mexican narcotics agent and Welles is the corrupt American police

official who are at odds when a murder takes place in a border town. More than a

“touch” of evil is uncovered in this tightly directed and brilliantly scripted film.

3 7 2 T O Y S T O RY

Disney, 1995

PRINCIPAL CAST Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Annie Potts (voices)

DIRECTOR John Lasseter

PRODUCERS Ralph J. Guggenhein, Bonnie Arnold

SCREENWRITERS Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow

Groundbreaking computer animation creates the world of Woody, a toy cowboy who

suddenly finds himself as the second-favorite toy. Replaced by the newer and very

high tech, but doltish, Buzz Lightyear, Woody gets accused of killing Buzz by tossing

him out the window. It’s a race to get him back. “To infinity and beyond!”

3 7 3 T R A F F I C

USA Films, 2000

PRINCIPAL CAST Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones,

Don Cheadle, Miguel Ferrer, Topher Grace

DIRECTOR Steven Soderbergh

PRODUCERS Laura Bickford, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick


In this unusual three-layered story with a large ensemble cast, Soderbergh turns his

cameras on the North American drug trade. From the growers to the sellers to the

users to law enforcement, each link in the chain is put under the microscope. Gaghan

adapted the movie from the award-winning British miniseries, TRAFFIK.

3 7 4 T H E T R E A S U R E O F T H E S I E R R A M A D R E

Warner Bros., 1948

PRINCIPAL CAST Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt

DIRECTOR John Huston

PRODUCER Henry Blanke


Huston’s classic tale of greed is both an adventure and Western. Three mismatched

prospectors rummage the hills of Tampico, Mexico, for that elusive pot of gold. Once

they strike it rich, suspicion takes over and destroys their lives. The writer/director

gave his father one of his best parts on film.

3 7 5 T R O U B L E I N PA R A D I S E

Paramount, 1932

PRINCIPAL CAST Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall

DIRECTOR Ernst Lubitsch

PRODUCER Ernst Lubitsch

SCREENWRITERS Samson Raphaelson, Grover Jones

This sophisticated comedy exemplifies the famous “Lubitsch Touch” as two jewel

thieves’ relationship is threatened when one is tempted by a beautiful wealthy woman.

3 7 6 1 2 A N G RY M E N

United Artists, 1957

PRINCIPAL CAST Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley

DIRECTOR Sidney Lumet

PRODUCERS Henry Fonda, Reginald Rose


In a jury room, Fonda methodically faces class and racial prejudices, and convinces

eleven other jurors to change their verdict from guilty to not guilty, thus enabling an

innocent young man to go free.

American Film Institute 121

3 7 7 T W E LV E O ’ C L O C K H I G H

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1949

PRINCIPAL CAST Gregory Peck, Dean Jagger


PRODUCER Darryl F. Zanuck

SCREENWRITERS Sy Bartlett, Beirne Lay, Jr.

This was one of a new breed of post-World War II films displaying a different

perspective. Peck is the tough, stoic Savage, commander of a US air base in Britain,

who must keep his pilots inspired by enforcing strict military discipline.

3 7 8 2 0 0 1 : A S PA C E O D Y S S E Y

MGM, 1968

PRINCIPAL CAST Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood

DIRECTOR Stanley Kubrick

PRODUCER Stanley Kubrick

SCREENWRITERS Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke

Kubrick’s science fiction epic puts mankind in context between ape and space

voyager. The film created a stir for its special effects, the computer HAL, and the

debate about the meaning of the film’s final sequence.



American Film Institute 123


Warner Bros., 1992

PRINCIPAL CAST Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman

DIRECTOR Clint Eastwood

PRODUCER Clint Eastwood

SCREENWRITER David Webb Peoples

Eastwood directs and stars as a formerly notorious gunslinger forced to return to his

murderous ways after his wife dies and his family needs money. The film was noted

for challenging the morality of Western stereotypes created by American film.

3 8 0 T H E U S U A L S U S P E C T S

PolyGram, 1995

PRINCIPAL CAST Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri,

Kevin Pollak, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Spacey

DIRECTOR Bryan Singer

PRODUCERS Michael McDonnell, Bryan Singer

SCREENWRITER Christopher McQuarrie

A non-linear, complicated, neo-noir is told through flashback by Verbal Kint, the

only survivor of a waterfront explosion that produced 27 bodies and a mystery

surrounding millions of dollars of cocaine. But who was the mastermind, and what

truths and half-truths are Verbal shelling out to the cops? “You think you can catch

Keyser Soze?”

3 8 1 V E RT I G O

Paramount, 1958

PRINCIPAL CAST James Stewart, Kim Novak

DIRECTOR Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER Alfred Hitchcock

SCREENWRITERS Alec Coppel, Samuel A. Taylor

Stewart’s fear of heights, Novak’s woman of mystery, Bernard Herrmann’s haunting

score, and the city of San Francisco provide Hitchcock with a great love story and

sexual obsession on a grand psychological level.


American Film Institute 125

3 8 2 T H E WAY W E W E R E

Columbia, 1973

PRINCIPAL CAST Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman

DIRECTOR Sydney Pollack


SCREENWRITER Arthur Laurents

Streisand portrays a passionately political activist, at odds with Redford’s WASPish

writer, in a love story that spans many decades. But their cross-class marriage is not

strong enough to withstand the McCarthy inquests that are heading their way.

3 8 3 W E S T S I D E S T O RY

United Artists, 1961

PRINCIPAL CAST Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris

DIRECTORS Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise

PRODUCER Robert Wise


The Romeo and Juliet tale gets resurfaced on the streets of New York with music by

Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, based on their breakthrough

Broadway hit. The Sharks and the Jets mix it up for some of the most memorable

dance sequences in film history.

3 8 4 WHAT E V E R H A P P E N E D T O B A B Y J A N E ?

Warner Bros., 1962

PRINCIPAL CAST Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono

DIRECTOR Robert Aldrich

PRODUCER Robert Aldrich


Crawford plays wheelchair-bound former star Blanche Hudson, who is now at the

mercy of her demented sister, aging vaudevillean Baby Jane, played by Davis. While

Jane is focused on a comeback that will never happen, Blanche wonders where her

next meal is going to come from.


Columbia, 1989

PRINCIPAL CAST Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby


PRODUCERS Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman


Ephron and Reiner ask the eternal question, “Can two friends sleep together and still

love each other in the morning?” Over a dozen years, Harry and Sally come to grips

with the answer in this episodic journey of love and romance seen through the eyes

of couples of all ages.

126 American Film Institute

3 8 6 W H I T E H E AT

Warner Bros., 1949

PRINCIPAL CAST James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O’Brien,

Margaret Wycherly

DIRECTOR Raoul Walsh

PRODUCER Louis F. Edelman

SCREENWRITERS Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts

Cagney made an unparalleled comeback as vicious gangleader Cody Jarrett. The

Freudian melodrama is highlighted by Cagney’s crazed reaction to his mother’s death

and his own fiery demise: “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”

3 8 7 W H O ’ S A F R A I D O F V I R G I N I A W O O L F ?

Warner Bros., 1966

PRINCIPAL CAST Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

DIRECTOR Mike Nichols

PRODUCER Ernest Lehman


Edward Albee’s grueling play about marriage and deception features Taylor and

Burton as battling spouses Martha and George who spend one Saturday night pouring

out bitterness and recriminations when they invite a younger couple over for a drink.

3 8 8 T H E W I L D B U N C H

Warner Bros., 1969

PRINCIPAL CAST William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan,

Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates

DIRECTOR Sam Peckinpah

PRODUCER Phil Feldman

SCREENWRITERS Walon Green, Sam Peckinpah, Roy N. Sickner

Aging outlaws and relentless bounty hunters converge at the US-Mexico border in

1913. Slow-motion action violence became Peckinpah’s calling card after the success

of this Western masterpiece.

3 8 9 W I N C H E S T E R ‘ 7 3

Warner Bros., 1950

PRINCIPAL CAST James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea

DIRECTOR Anthony Mann

PRODUCER Aaron Rosenberg

SCREENWRITERS Robert L. Richards, Borden Chase, Stuart N. Lake

A precision rifle and a quest for vengeance spark this episodic story of one man’s

obsessive search for a stolen weapon. The film was the first of several Mann-directed

Westerns featuring a darker Stewart persona.

American Film Institute 127

3 9 0 T H E W I N D

MGM, 1928

PRINCIPAL CAST Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson

DIRECTOR Victor Sjöström


The Texas prairie wind is really the antagonist in this haunting story of a gentle

woman suffering from loneliness and cabin fever who kills a rapist, but is almost

driven mad as the relentless wind uncovers his body.

3 9 1 WINGS

Paramount, 1927

PRINCIPAL CAST Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen,

Gary Cooper

DIRECTOR William A. Wellman

PRODUCER Lucien Hubbard

SCREENWRITERS Louis D. Lighton, Hope Loring

In one of the first popular aviation pictures, this story of two men in love with the

same woman is overwhelmed by the spectacular aerial combat sequences.

3 9 2 W I T N E S S

Paramount, 1985

PRINCIPAL CAST Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas


PRODUCER Edward S. Feldman

SCREENWRITERS William Kelley, Earl W. Wallace

Ford is John Book, a Philadelphia cop goes into hiding to protect himself and a

young Amish boy who witnesses a murder tied to police corruption. These worlds

collide when Ford falls in love with the boy’s widowed mother. The Amish barnraising

segment highlights Weir’s look at a tiny community isolated within the

larger world.

3 9 3 T H E W I Z A R D O F O Z

MGM, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr,

Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan

DIRECTOR Victor Fleming


SCREENWRITERS Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf

Garland’s Dorothy Gale is transported from her black-and-white Kansas home to the

colorful land of Oz via tornado. From here she journeys down the Yellow Brick Road

and is helped by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion on their way to see

the Wizard. The Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg score is highlighted by Somewhere Over

the Rainbow.

128 American Film Institute

3 9 4 W O M A N O F T H E Y E A R

MGM, 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn

DIRECTOR George Stevens

PRODUCER Joseph L. Mankiewicz

SCREENWRITERS Ring Lardner, Jr., Michael Kanin

This initial pairing of Hepburn and Tracy resulted in an electric battle-of-the-sexes

comedy about a brilliant political columnist who meets her match in a world-wise


3 9 5 A W O M A N U N D E R T H E I N F L U E N C E

Faces, 1974

PRINCIPAL CAST Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands

DIRECTOR John Cassavetes


SCREENWRITER John Cassavetes

Cassavetes pointed his cameras on the actors and let them take off in this unyielding

and improvisational film that follows the slow disintegration of a family. Rowlands is

harrowing as the wife and mother struggling with mental illness.

3 9 6 W U T H E R I N G H E I G H T S

United Artists, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, Donald Crisp, David Niven

DIRECTOR William Wyler

PRODUCER Samuel Goldwyn

SCREENWRITERS Charles MacArthur, Ben Hecht

Olivier stars as the brooding master of Wuthering Heights, who roams the English

moors in search of his lost love, Cathy, played by Oberon. Gregg Toland’s moody

cinematography infuses the Emily Brontë-based film with a haunting atmosphere.


130 American Film Institute

3 9 7 YA N K E E D O O D L E D A N D Y

Warner Bros., 1942

PRINCIPAL CAST James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston

DIRECTOR Michael Curtiz

PRODUCER Hal B. Wallis

SCREENWRITERS Robert Buckner, Edmund Joseph

Cagney sings and dances his way through the patriotic songs George M. Cohan

composed in the early years of American vaudeville and musical theatre. Songs like

Over There, It’s A Grand Old Flag and Yankee Doodle Dandy inspired generations

when the world was at war.

3 9 8 Y O U C A N ’ T TA K E I T W I T H Y O U

Columbia, 1938

PRINCIPAL CAST Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart

DIRECTOR Frank Capra

PRODUCER Frank Capra


Arthur’s eccentric and free-spirited family is about to lose their home to a stuffy

Wall Street financier, who just happens to be the father of the man she loves. When

these two families collide, in this typically Capraesque comedy, everyone learns that

happiness is the greatest wealth.

3 9 9 Y O U N G F R A N K E N S T E I N

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1974

PRINCIPAL CAST Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman,

Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars


PRODUCER Michael Gruskoff

SCREENWRITERS Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks

A 20th century heir to the Frankenstein diaries makes his way to Transylvania, where

he tries to continue the mad experimentation. Gerald Hirshfeld’s sharp black-and-white

cinematography made the most of the original 1931 FRANKENSTEIN sets (“Stay

close to the candles…”) and gave a special kick to Wilder and Boyle’s Puttin’ on

the Ritz!

4 0 0 Y O U N G M R . L I N C O L N

Twentieth Century-Fox, 1939

PRINCIPAL CAST Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver


PRODUCER Darryl F. Zanuck


Ford and Fonda collaborated on the 16th US President’s path from a cabin in

Kentucky to his law practice in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln reveres the law, but his

heart belongs to two women, one who dies tragically, the other who stands beside

him as he enters politics.

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Anyone who wants to see the full ballot of 400 movies can look here:





The password is "AFIpress".




I think that the list itself will certainly cause some debate, as there are some nominated pictures here that are SEVERELY overrated.


Example - Some nominees include The Big Chill (1983), Broadcast News (1987), Jerry Maguire (1996), Born On The Fourth Of July (1989), Thelma And Louise (1991), Days Of Heaven (1978), Manhattan (1979), and The Man Who Would Be King (1975)




IMHO, Days Of Heaven (1987) only appears on the list because the critics have a huge hard-on for Terrence Malick. Very visual movie with good cinematography, but not what I'd consider one of the top 400 American movies. (I won't debate Malick's "Badlands" appearing, though.)


Broadcast News (1987) is a movie that's barely remembered today and it only came out 20 years ago. Hell, I think it was barely remembered 5 years after it came out.


Manhattan (1979) was the start of Woody Allen's period of completely unwatchable "critically acclaimed" movies. Christ, put Bananas or Love And Death on there instead. (Sleeper is listed, though, which I feel is a good call.)

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American Beauty, Lost in Translation, Empire Strikes Back, either the first or third LOTR, Titanic and Brokeback I could see making the list.


Oh yea, Saving Private Ryan too.

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is that the list they can choose from?


here's some films from the last decade I would consider:


As Good As It Gets

Wag the Dog

American History X

The Big Lebowski

Fight Club

Almost Famous


American Beauty

LOTR The Fellowship

The Matrix

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Sin City

Hustle & Flow

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American Beauty, Lost in Translation, Empire Strikes Back, either the first or third LOTR, Titanic and Brokeback I could see making the list.

While I'm a notorious hater on Brokeback, I feel justified in saying that it shouldn't make the list because it's too soon after its release to judge it on its merits.



Much like its Best Picture nomination, IMHO, I feel it's making it onto the nominee list here solely because it's controversial and pisses off all the right people, not because it's a particularly good film.

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