100 Most Inspiring American Movies
100 YEARS...100 CHEERS


by American Film Institute (AFI)




The American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles, California conducted its ninth polling, 100 Years...100 Cheers. It was to be a definitive selection of the 100 most 'inspiring' American films of all time, as determined by more than 1,500 film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers), critics and historians. AFI’s 100 Years…100 Cheers revealed America’s 100 greatest inspirational films, as chosen by leaders of the entertainment community, in a three-hour television event, that aired on the CBS Television Network in June 2006.

A ballot was distributed with 300 nominated films to a jury of 1,500 leaders from the creative community, including film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers) critics and historians. The jurors were asked to consider the following criteria in their selections:

Judging Criteria for the 100 Most Inspiring Movies:

  • Feature Length Fiction Film - The film must be in narrative format, typically over 60 minutes in length.
  • American Film - The film must be in the English language with significant creative and/or production elements from the United States. Additionally, only feature-length American films released before January 1, 2005 will be considered.
  • Cheers - Films are those that inspire with characters of vision and conviction who face adversity and often make a personal sacrifice for the greater good. Whether these movies end happily or not, they are ultimately triumphant – both filling audiences with hope and empowering them with the spirit of human potential.
  • Legacy - Jurors were asked to also consider "films whose 'cheers' continue to echo across a century of American cinema."


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