America's 100 Greatest Movies
100 YEARS...100 MOVIES



by American Film Institute (AFI)




The American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California, in mid-June 1998 commemorated the extraordinary first 100 years of American movies by making a "definitive selection of the 100 greatest American movies of all time, as determined by more than 1,500 leaders from the American film community."

The 400 Nominated Films were feature-length fictional movies produced between 1912 and 1996 "with the goal of amassing a capsule of the first 100 years of American cinema, across decades and across genres."

See the Judging Criteria for the selection process of the Top 100 films.

Read this site's Commentary on AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies (1998)

Note:
The films that are marked with a yellow star are the films that "The Greatest Films" site has selected as the 100 Greatest Films

AFI's 100 Greatest American Films - 1998 List
See also AFI's 100 Greatest American Films - 10th Anniversary Edition (2007)
1.
Citizen Kane (1941)
51.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
2.
Casablanca (1942)
52.
From Here to Eternity (1953)
3.
The Godfather (1972)
53.
Amadeus (1984)
4.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
54.
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
5.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
55.
The Sound of Music (1965)
6.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
56.
M*A*S*H (1970)
7.
The Graduate (1967)
57.
The Third Man (1949)
8.
On the Waterfront (1954)
58.
Fantasia (1940)
9.
Schindler's List (1993)
59.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
10.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
60.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
11.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
61.
Vertigo (1958)
12.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
62.
Tootsie (1982)
13.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
63.
Stagecoach (1939)
14.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
64.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
15.
Star Wars (1977)
65.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
16.
All About Eve (1950)
66.
Network (1976)
17.
The African Queen (1951)
67.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
18.
Psycho (1960)
68.
An American in Paris (1951)
19.
Chinatown (1974)
69.
Shane (1953)
20.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
70.
The French Connection (1971)
21.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
71.
Forrest Gump (1994)
22.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
72.
Ben-Hur (1959)
23.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
73.
Wuthering Heights (1939)
24.
Raging Bull (1980)
74.
The Gold Rush (1925)
25.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
75.
Dances With Wolves (1990)
26.
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
76.
City Lights (1931)
27.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
77.
American Graffiti (1973)
28.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
78.
Rocky (1976)
29.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
79.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
30.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
80.
The Wild Bunch (1969)
31.
Annie Hall (1977)
81.
Modern Times (1936)
32.
The Godfather Part II (1974)
82.
Giant (1956)
33.
High Noon (1952)
83.
Platoon (1986)
34.
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
84.
Fargo (1996)
35.
It Happened One Night (1934)
85.
Duck Soup (1933)
36.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
86.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
37.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
87.
Frankenstein (1931)
38.
Double Indemnity (1944)
88.
Easy Rider (1969)
39.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
89.
Patton (1970)
40.
North By Northwest (1959)
90.
The Jazz Singer (1927)
41.
West Side Story (1961)
91.
My Fair Lady (1964)
42.
Rear Window (1954)
92.
A Place in the Sun (1951)
43.
King Kong (1933)
93.
The Apartment (1960)
44.
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
94.
GoodFellas (1990)
45.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
95.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
46.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
96.
The Searchers (1956)
47.
Taxi Driver (1976)
97.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
48.
Jaws (1975)
98.
Unforgiven (1992)
49.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
99.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
50.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
100.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Facts About the 100 Greatest American Films Choices in 1998:

Orson Welles' masterpiece Citizen Kane (1941) was chosen the # 1 film of all time.

The films spanned from 1915 (D. W. Griffith's silent film The Birth of a Nation at # 44) to 1996 (The Coen Brothers' Fargo at # 84).

Charlie Chaplin was the most celebrated actor and director on the list, with three films:

Directors of the Films: In total, 13 directors accounted for 43% of the top 100 films of all time. Steven Spielberg directed five of the 100 greatest American movies:

Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder each directed four films on the list.

Ten other directors each directed three:

Victor Fleming was the only director with two top ten films ( Gone With The Wind (1939) (# 4) and The Wizard of Oz (1939) (# 6), although he shared directing duties with three other uncredited talents for Gone With the Wind (1939). Michael Curtiz and Elia Kazan were both recognized with only two films:

Woody Allen had only one film in the list: Annie Hall (1977) (# 31) as did Howard Hawks: Bringing Up Baby (1938) (# 97). Marlon Brando was the only actor to star in two of the top 10 films:

James Stewart and Robert De Niro were the most represented actors in a starring role, each with five films in the top 100.

Many actors appeared in four films in the list of 100 greatest American films. James Dean was represented by two of his three films.

Fred Astaire didn't appear anywhere in the films listed.

Robert Duvall appeared in six films, including his minor role in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).

And character actor Ward Bond appeared in the most films, seven:

Katharine Hepburn was the most represented leading actress, with four films:

Natalie Wood, Diane Keaton and Faye Dunaway had three films each:

The great stars of the silver screen, Barbara Stanwyck and Bette Davis, had only one film each respectively, Double Indemnity (1944) (# 38) and All About Eve (1950) (# 16). There were no films showcasing Ginger Rogers or Greta Garbo.

A majority of the 100 great films could be classifed as dramas. The following genre types were also included (although each classification was sometimes debatable):

The top ten included movies from every decade, from the 1930s to the 1990s, with the exception of the 1980s. The first film on the 100 list from the 1980s was Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) (at # 24).

Each decade's summary: (nominees and winners) - see more in the section on AFI's 400 Nominated Films

  • Silent era (1912-1929): 22 nominated films, only 3 films in the top 100
  • 1930s (1930-1939): 56 nominated films, with 15 films in the top 100
  • 1940s (1940-1949): 61 nominated films, with 12 films in the top 100
  • 1950s (1950-1959): 61 nominated films, with 20 films in the top 100
  • 1960s (1960-1969): 58 nominated films, with 18 films in the top 100
  • 1970s (1970-1979): 54 nominated films, with 18 films in the top 100
  • 1980s (1980-1989): 58 nominated films, with 6 films in the top 100
  • 1990s (1990-1996): 30 nominated films, with 8 films in the top 100

The 1950s was the most represented decade on the list, with 20 films. And 70 of the films on the list were from 1950 and after. 14 films were made after 1980. More than half of the films (56) were made between 1950 and 1979, thereby ignoring cinema's early years and some of the modern era.

The year 1939, which remains the most celebrated year in the history of film, had five films in the top 100:

Both 1951 and 1969 had four films each.

The Godfather, Part II (1974) (# 32) was the only sequel represented on the list, although it could be argued that The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (# 65) was a sequel to Manhunter (1986).

Thirty-three of the films (one-third) were Academy Awards' Best Picture Winners, including (in top 100 winning order per decade):

Seventy-five of the films (three-fourths) were Academy Awards' Best Picture Nominees. (Forty-two of the seventy-five nominated films lost the Best Picture race.) Three films in the top 100 list were made before the Academy Awards were instituted:

Twenty-two of the other top 100 films were not nominated for the Best Picture Oscar (6 in the 1930s, 2 in the 1940s, 8 in the 1950s, 5 in the 1960s).

In the decade of the 1970s, the only top 100 film that was not a nominee or a winner of the Best Picture award was # 64 Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

All of the top 100 films in the 80s and 90s decades were either nominees or winners of the Best Picture award.

Six of the top 10 films on the AFI list won a Best Picture Oscar:

The highest ranking film that won no Oscars was # 10, Singin' In The Rain (1952).



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