Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My AFI Ranking

No, this isn't my latest favourite song ranking, covering the music of AFI.

The American Film Institute released its initial list of the "100 greatest mostly-American movies ever made" back in 1998, and then they released a revamped version in 2007.  There has been some speculation that another update is coming as soon as this year, so just to duck under the wire here, I thought it'd be fun to rank the 2007 entries.  I was partially inspired by the Amy Nicholson/Paul Scheer "Unspooled" podcast, wherein the duo discusses each of the 100 entries after, in some cases, watching them for the first time.  (As a longtime HDTGM listener, it's interesting hearing Scheer talk about actual good movies for a change of pace.)

So first up, I'll be honest...I haven't seen all 100 movies.  Not even close, as it turns out.  The fact I haven't seen over a third of the list may make one doubt my competence and/or credibility as a film critic altogether, some might argue.  To this I say, get your own blog!

The ones I haven't seen, a.k.a. the shame list: 12 Angry Men, The African Queen, The Apartment, Apocalypse Now, Ben-Hur, The Best Years Of Our Lives, The Bridge On The River Kwai, Bringing Up Baby, Cabaret, Easy Rider, The Gold Rush, Gone With The Wind, In The Heat Of The Night, Intolerance, It Happened One Night, The Last Picture Show, Lawrence Of Arabia, Midnight Cowboy, Modern Times, Nashville, Network, A Night At The Opera, On The Waterfront, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Philadelphia Story, The Searchers, Schindler’s List, Shane, Sophie’s Choice, The Sound Of Music, Sullivan’s Travels, Swing Time, The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, West Side Story, The Wild Bunch, Yankee Doodle Dandy

And now, onto the sweet sixty-three.  I should note, by the way, that my personal top 100 based on the AFI jury's criteria (feature film length, at least mostly American-made or American-financed, critical recognition, major awards won, popularity over time, historical significant, cultural impact) would naturally be quite a bit different, though perhaps not as different as you might think.  Consider that just one part of that criteria, the "critical recognition," is specifically related to how good the movie actually is.  I might think a film like, say, 2001 just off the top of my head, is frightfully ponderous, yet I certainly have to include it on a top-100 due to sheer importance in cinematic history.  One has to at least somewhat set their personal feelings aside for a list like this...but let's be real, Vertigo isn't the best movie ever, people.  It may not even be top ten Hitchcock.  Orson Welles scoffs at Vertigo.

My ranking!

63. The Deer Hunter
62. A Clockwork Orange
61. Vertigo
60. It’s A Wonderful Life
59. King Kong
58. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
57. The Grapes Of Wrath
56. 2001: A Space Odyssey
55. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
54. Spartacus
53. The Godfather Part 2
52. North By Northwest
51. The Graduate
50. MASH
49. The Sixth Sense
48. Raging Bull
47. All About Eve
46. The Maltese Falcon
45. The General
44. Forrest Gump
43. Platoon
42. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
41. The French Connection
40. Saving Private Ryan
39. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
38. City Lights
37. Some Like It Hot
36. All The President’s Men
35. Double Indemnity
34. Rocky
33. Psycho
32. Tootsie
31. Titanic
30. Annie Hall
29. A Streetcar Named Desire
28. High Noon
27. Sunset Boulevard
26. The Silence Of The Lambs
25. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
24. Unforgiven
23. Sunrise
22. Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
21. The Wizard Of Oz
20. The Shawshank Redemption
19. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
18. Toy Story
17. To Kill A Mockingbird
16. Blade Runner
15. Duck Soup
14. Taxi Driver
13. Do The Right Thing
12. Jaws
11. Rear Window
10. The Godfather
9. Star Wars
8. American Graffiti
7. Chinatown
6. Dr. Strangelove
5. Goodfellas
4. Bonnie & Clyde
3. Pulp Fiction
2. Casablanca
1. Citizen Kane 

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