AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills
America's 100 Greatest Thrillers
100 YEARS...100 THRILLS


by American Film Institute (AFI)




The American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California,, in mid-June 2001 made a definitive selection of the 100 greatest American "heart-pounding" and "adrenaline-inducing" films of all time, as determined by more than 1,800 actors, directors, screenwriters, historians, studio executives, critics, and others from the American film community, from 400 nominated films.

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

AMERICA's 100
GREATEST THRILLERS


1. Psycho (1960)
Marion Crane (Leigh) takes a shower. Lila Crane (Miles) meets Mrs. Bates in the fruit cellar.

2. Jaws (1975)

A woman skinny-dips at night in the ocean and feels a sudden, sharp tug at her leg. After seeing the Great White Shark, Chief Martin Brody (Scheider) gasps to Quint (Shaw), "You're gonna need a bigger boat."

3. The Exorcist (1973)
A possessed Regan (Blair) spins her head around 360 degrees. Father Damien (Miller) exits Regan's room through the window.

4. North by Northwest (1959)
Roger Thornhill (Grant) is chased by a crop duster. Roger and Eve Kendall (Saint) cling to the face of Mount Rushmore.

5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Clarice Starling (Foster) meets Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) in prison for the first time, and he reveals his culinary peculiarities. Clarice stalks serial killer Buffalo Bill (Levine) in his dark lair.

6. Alien (1979)

Engineer G. W. Kane (Hurt) hatches an alien. The alien's teeth distend from its mouth in a shower of acidic saliva.

7. The Birds (1963)
Melanie (Hedren) runs inside a schoolhouse to warn the teacher (Pleshette) of an ominous flock of crows gathering in the playground. Seagulls swoop from high above to attack Bodega Bay citizens, causing a gas station to be engulfed in flames.

8. The French Connection (1971)
Popeye Doyle (Hackman) commandeers a civilian car and chases an elevated train through the city streets. Popeye, Buddy (Scheider) and a large police back-up corner the members of a drug cartel in a warehouse on Ward's Island.

9. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Minnie (Gordon) presents Rosemary with a dessert that makes her dizzy. Rosemary, armed with a butcher knife, finds her son in a black bassinet.

10. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Indiana Jones (Ford) escapes jungle booby traps, including a giant rolling boulder. Indiana Jones lowers himself into a snake-infested Egyptian tomb.

11. The Godfather (1972)
A movie mogul wakes to find the severed head of a horse in his bed. Michael Corleone (Pacino) rises to power as rival mob bosses are gunned down while he celebrates his son's baptism.

12. King Kong (1933)

Ann (Wray) is tied to a stake as a sacrifice to Kong. Kong clings to the Empire State Building while being attacked by airplanes.

13. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Police surround the Barrow gang's hideout, killing Buck (Hackman) and blinding Blanche (Parsons). Bonnie (Dunaway) and Clyde (Beatty) are killed in an ambush, their bodies riddled by hundreds of bullets.

14. Rear Window (1954)
Lisa (Kelly) is almost caught by Lars (Burr) when she searches his apartment. Lars breaks into Jeff's (Stewart) apartment and tries to kill him.

15. Deliverance (1972)

Drew (Cox) and a young local boy duel to the finish on a guitar and a banjo. Bobby (Beatty) is raped in the woods.

16. Chinatown (1974)
A thug (Polanski) strongly suggests that Jake Gittes (Nicholson) keep his nose out of his affairs. Evelyn Mulwray (Dunaway) reveals her true relationship with her father.

17. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Raymond (Harvey) reacts to the Queen of Diamonds. Under the spell of his mother (Lansbury), Raymond takes a rifle to a political rally at Madison Square Garden.

18. Vertigo (1958)

While chasing after a suspect across San Francisco rooftops, Scottie (Stewart) watches a fellow police officer (Fred Graham) fall to his death. Scottie overcomes his vertigo, racing up the steps of the church steeple after Madeleine (Novak).

19. The Great Escape (1963)
Hilts (McQueen) leads the Germans in a motorcycle chase before crashing into a barbed-wire fence. A tunnel to freedom caves in on claustrophobic Velinski (Bronson).

20. High Noon (1952)
Sheriff Will Kane (Cooper) walks down the street of Hadleyville as a gang of killers wait for a showdown gunfight. Kane's new wife (Kelly) shoots a man from behind.

21. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Alex (McDowell) and his droogs torture a man and woman while Alex performs Singin' in the Rain. The government tests an inhumane rehabilitation device, ridding Alex of his desires for "tolchocking," "the old in-out" and "Ludwig Van."

22. Taxi Driver (1976)
Travis Bickle (De Niro) prepares to become an assassin with a look into the mirror and the question, "You talkin' to me?" Bickle goes on a murdering rampage to save Iris (Foster) from her life as a prostitute.

23. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Lawrence (O'Toole) leads the charge on Aqaba. Lawrence detonates an explosion that derails a train in the desert and signals a charge on its valuables.

24. Double Indemnity (1944)
Walter (MacMurray) hides in the back seat of Dietrichson's (Tom Powers) car. Phyllis (Stanwyck) admits to Walter that she never loved him.

25. Titanic (1997)
Jack Dawson (DiCaprio) and Rose (Winslet) embrace on the Titanic as the ill-fated ship begins to sink. The Titanic, half-submerged, snaps in half--sending the stern of the boat crashing into the sea.

26. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Brigid (Astor) sends Sam (Bogart) on a wild goose chase through San Francisco. Joel Cairo (Lorre) offers Sam $5,000 to find a "black figure of a bird," then pulls a gun on him.

27. Star Wars (1977)
Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi (Guinness) faces his former pupil, Darth Vader (Prowse/Jones), in a light saber battle. Han Solo (Ford) swoops back in The Millennium Falcon to save the day.

28. Fatal Attraction (1987)

Beth Gallagher (Archer) is horrified to discover what's cooking on her stove. Dan Gallagher (Douglas) attempts to drown Alex Forrest (Close) in the bathtub.

29. The Shining (1980)

The meaning of "redrum" is revealed in the reflection of a mirror. Jack Torrance (Nicholson) shoves his head through a door he's splintered with an ax and yells, "Here's Johnny!"

30. The Deer Hunter (1978)
Michael (De Niro), Nick (Walken) and Steven (Savage) are forced by their Vietnamese captors to play a brutal game of Russian roulette. At the movie's end, a brain-washed, drug-addicted Nick holds a pistol to his head while Michael pleads with him to reconsider.

31. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) seeks the cause of a power outage in rural Indiana, but finds much more. The mother ship makes its entrance over Devil's Tower.

32. Strangers on a Train (1951)

At a society cocktail party, Bruno (Walker) jokingly demonstrates how simple it would be to murder someone, but ends up actually choking one of the guests (Norma Varden). When a merry-go-round operator has a heart attack and falls onto the controls.

33. The Fugitive (1993)
Convicted killer Richard Kimble (Ford) flees a prison bus seconds before its destruction by an approaching train. Kimble jumps from a giant dam to escape Deputy US Marshal Samuel Gerard (Jones).

34. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Willa (Winters) finds a watery grave. In a dark basement, Preacher (Mitchum) stalks the children.

35. Jurassic Park (1993)
The ground shakes as a tyrannosaurus rex makes its entrance. A pair of velociraptors hunt the children (Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards) in the kitchen.

36. Bullitt (1968)
Bullitt (McQueen) follows the killers in a dizzying car chase through the streets of San Francisco. Bullitt tracks down mob boss Ross (Pat Renella) at the San Francisco Airport.

37. Casablanca (1942)
Strasser (Conrad Veidt) and Victor (Henreid) rouse their supporters with opposing national anthems. At the airport, Strasser tries to stop Ilsa (Bergman) and Victor from leaving Casablanca.

38. Notorious (1946)

Alicia (Bergman) reports that Nazi Sebastian (Rains) has proposed to her. Devlin (Grant) and Alicia make a discovery in the wine cellar.

39. Die Hard (1988)
Detective John McClane (Willis) uses a fireman's hose for a safety line as he leaps from the exploding Nakatomi Building. International terrorist Hans Gruber (Rickman), dangles high above the Los Angeles streets from Holly McClane's (Bedelia) wrist.

40. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
At the dawn of mankind, a colony of peaceful apes awaken to find a black monolith at the entrance to their cave. HAL (Rain) closes the pod entry doors and terminates the life functions of three hibernating astronauts.

41. Dirty Harry (1971)

Harry Callahan (Eastwood), from behind the barrel of a .44 Magnum: "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?" The killer (Robinson) takes school bus passengers as hostages.

42. The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator (Schwarzenegger) leaves a police station with the words: "I'll be back." Sara (Hamilton) traps the Terminator in a hydraulic press.

43. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
A cyclone hits Kansas, knocking Dorothy (Garland) unconscious. The winged monkeys are unleashed by the Wicked Witch of the West (Hamilton).

44. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Elliot (Thomas) discovers something unusual in his backyard. Elliot and his friends elude the police in an effort to return E.T. to the spaceship that will take him home.

45. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
The Allies storm Omaha Beach in a cacophony of gunfire, explosions and carnage. Captain John H. Miller (Hanks) leads his unit in defense of a bridge in the French countryside.

46. Carrie (1976)

The victim of a cruel prank, newly-elected prom queen Carrie (Spacek) is doused in pig's blood. Carrie's revenge comes from beyond the grave.

47. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Miles (McCarthy), Becky (Wynter) and friends make a discovery in the greenhouse. Miles turns to the camera and screams, "They're already here. You're next!"

48. Dial M for Murder (1954)

When Margot (Kelly) is attacked from behind by her would-be strangler, she kills him with scissors. Tony (Milland) makes the mistake of using a lost key to enter the apartment.

49. Ben-Hur (1959)
Quintus Arrius (Hawkins) drives his galley slaves toward a sea victory. Ben-Hur (Heston) and Messala (Boyd) compete in a deadly chariot race.

50. Marathon Man (1976)
Dr. Szell (Olivier) attempts to extract information from Babe Levy (Hoffman) by asking, "Is it safe?" A horrified older woman on the streets of New York City recognizes Szell as a Nazi.

51. Raging Bull (1980)
Jake La Motta (De Niro) takes a beating from Sugar Ray Robinson (Johnny Barnes). In a jealous rage, Jake pummels his brother, Joey (Pesci).

52. Rocky (1976)

Rocky Balboa (Stallone) runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum to the song, Gonna Fly Now. Balboa enters the ring against Apollo Creed (Weathers) in search of the world heavyweight title.

53. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Lance (Eric Stoltz) tries to revive comatose Mia (Thurman) with a shot of adrenaline to the heart. The Gimp (Stephen Hibbert) makes his entrance.

54. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Butch (Newman) and Sundance (Redford) escape the posse by jumping off a cliff into a river far below. Butch and Sundance are captured in freeze frame--fighting to the end in a small town in Bolivia.

55. Wait Until Dark (1967)

In her New York apartment, blind Susie (Hepburn) brushes past a garment bag hanging in her closet, which contains the body of Lisa (Samantha Jones). To avoid being seen by killer Roat (Arkin), Susie smashes all nearby lights--except for one.

56. Frankenstein (1931)

Dr. Frankenstein (Clive) yells, "It's alive! It's alive!" Villagers storm the castle to kill the Monster (Karloff).

57. All the President's Men (1976)

Bernstein (Hoffman) and Woodward (Redford) discover that two Watergate burglars have the phone number of a White House aide. Deep Throat (Holbrook): "You tell me what you know, and I'll confirm. I'll keep you in the right direction if I can, but that's all. Just follow the money."

58. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Colonel Nicholson (Guinness) is released from "the oven." Nicholson is shot, collapsing on the detonation plunger.

59. Planet of the Apes (1968)
Astronauts led by Taylor (Heston) crash land on a mysterious planet. The planet's inhabitants learn that humans can speak when Taylor shouts, "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"

60. The Sixth Sense (1999)
Malcolm Crowe (Willis) is shot in his home by a former patient (Donnie Wahlberg). Cole Sear (Osment) feels a chill and knows he's not alone.

61. Cape Fear (1962)
Max Cady (Mitchum) menaces 12-year-old Nancy Bowden (Lori Martin) outside her school. Cady boards the houseboat on Cape Fear River.

62. Spartacus (1960)
Fellow slaves Spartacus (Douglas) and Draba (Woody Strode) engage in a deadly battle to the amusement of their Roman owners. A chorus of "I'm Spartacus!" protects the identity of the slaves' leader.

63. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Jane (Davis) serves wheelchair-bound Blanche (Crawford) her lunch. Blanche makes her way down the stairs to call her doctor.

64. Touch of Evil (1958)
Newlyweds Mike (Heston) and Susan (Leigh) cross the Mexican border and witness a sudden explosion. Left alone in an isolated motel, Susan is terrorized and drugged by a motorcycle gang.

65. The Dirty Dozen (1967)
Bible-spouting Archer Maggott (Savalas) goes berserk and betrays his colleagues. Gasoline-soaked grenades are thrown down ventilator shafts, blowing the chateau to bits.

66. The Matrix (1999)
Neo (Reeves) learns judo from Morpheus (Fishburne). Neo dodges a bullet.

67. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Mexican bandit leader Gold Hat (Alfonso Bedoya) responds to Dobbs (Bogart): "Badges? I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" A dust storm blows the gold back into the Sierra Madre mountains.

68. Halloween (1978)
Through his eyes, we watch Michael Myers (Will Sandin) stalk his sister with a carving knife. Laurie Strode (Curtis) hides from the killer in the corner of a closet.

69. The Wild Bunch (1969)
When Pike (Holden) and his gang are ambushed by Deke Thornton's (Ryan) bounty hunters, temperance marchers are caught in the crossfire. During a celebration, the Wild Bunch demands that Mapache (Emilio Fernandez) release Angel (Jaime Sanchez).

70. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
As Sonny (Pacino) and Sal (Cazale) take hostages in the First Savings Bank of Brooklyn, a large crowd gathers and encourages Sonny with the cheer "Attica!" Sonny and Sal attempt an escape to the airport.

71. Goldfinger (1964)
Bond (Connery) flees Goldfinger's (Fröbe) headquarters with the help of a specially equipped Aston Martin. Amid the gold of Fort Knox, Bond attempts to fight off Oddjob (Harold Sakata) while handcuffed to an atomic bomb.

72. Platoon (1986)
Chris (Sheen) freezes at the sight of the enemy but survives his first firefight. Chris sees from his departing helicopter that Sergeant Elias (Dafoe) is still alive.

73. Laura (1944)
Mark (Andrews) falls asleep under the portrait of Laura and is stirred by an intruder. Waldo (Webb) sneaks through a service entrance with a hidden shotgun.

74. Blade Runner (1982)
Replicant Pris (Hannah) makes an acrobatic entrance in an attempt to kill Rick Deckard (Ford). Deckard's showdown with Roy Batty (Hauer) ends on the ledge of a skyscraper high above city streets.

75. The Third Man (1949)
The face of Harry Lime (Welles) is illuminated in a street doorway when an irate neighbor turns on a light. Lime is chased by police through the Vienna sewers.

76. Thelma & Louise (1991)
Louise (Sarandon) confronts Thelma's (Davis) attacker in the parking lot. Hal (Keitel) runs after Thelma and Louise as they drive toward the cliffs of the Grand Canyon.

77. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
T-1000 (Robert Patrick) leaps onto a helicopter, "pours" into the cockpit and tells the pilot to jump out. The Terminator to a frozen T-1000: "Hasta la vista, baby."

78. Gaslight (1944)
Paula (Bergman) sees the gaslights dimming. Anton (Boyer) searches for the jewels.

79. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Calvera (Wallach) and his men raid a small Mexican village. The Magificent Seven train the townspeople to defend themselves, setting the stage for a final showdown with Calvera.

80. Rebecca (1940)
Maxim de Winter (Olivier) confesses the truth about Rebecca's untimely end. Fire consumes Manderley, as Mrs. Danvers (Anderson) refuses to relinquish the estate to the new Mrs. de Winter (Fontaine).

81. The Omen (1976)
Damien's nanny (Holly Palance) hangs herself at the child's birthday party. Photographer Jennings (Warner) finds a flaw in a photo of himself that foretells his fate.

82. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
A flying saucer lands in Washington, DC, with a warning to mankind. Klaatu (Rennie) escapes from the hospital.

83. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
A chandelier falls on the audience during an opera performance. The disfigured face of Erik the Phantom (Chaney) is revealed.

84. Poltergeist (1982)
Carol Anne (O'Rourke) announces, "They're here." A paranormal expert experiences strange happenings in the kitchen, and then a moment of self-mutilation in a bathroom mirror.

85. Dracula (1931)
Count Dracula (Lugosi) descends on the drugged body of Renfield (Dwight Frye) to drink his blood. Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) drives a stake through Dracula's heart.

86. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
Gray (Hatfield) sees the first blemish on his portrait. The grisly portrait returns to its original state.

87. The Thing from Another World (1951)
After being attacked by sled dogs, The Thing (Arness) disappears into a blizzard. The warning is issued: "Watch the skies!"

88. 12 Angry Men (1957)
The jury's first vote is 11 to 1 in favor of conviction. As the other ten jurors look on, Juror # 3 (Cobb) and Juror #8 (Fonda) reenact the murder.

89. The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Captain Keith Mallory (Peck) and Corporal Miller (Niven) race to plant explosives in the gun bunker before a German drill penetrates the gate. The fortress elevator descends toward the hidden detonator.

90. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
A tidal wave capsizes the Poseidon, a luxury ocean liner, sending revelers at a New Year's Eve celebration crashing into the ceiling of the ballroom. Belle Rosen (Winters) proves herself the world-class swimmer of her youth by swimming underwater.

91. Braveheart (1995)
William Wallace (Gibson) takes his revenge on the local constabulary. Wallace addresses the Scottish troops: "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!"

92. Body Heat (1981)
Things heat up as Matty Walker (Turner) invites Ned Racine (Hurt) to see her wind chimes. A pistol falls from the hand of Edmund Walker (Crenna) as Ned attacks him from behind.

93. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
While visiting their father's grave, Barbara (O'Dea) and Johnny (Streiner) are attacked by a strange, disheveled man. Trapped in the farmhouse, the survivors stave off the dead with shotguns and homemade firebombs.

94. The China Syndrome (1979)
A crisis at a nuclear power plant is caught on tape by cameraman Richard Adams (Douglas) and reporter Kimberly Wells (Fonda). Just as a crumbling Jack Godell (Lemmon) is about to reveal the truth, security rushes in.

95. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Private Pyle (D'Onofrio) confronts Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Ermey) in the barracks lavatory. A platoon encounters a sniper in the ruins of a Vietnamese town.

96. Blue Velvet (1986)
Trapped in lounge singer Dorothy Vallens' (Rossellini) closet, Jeffrey (MacLachlan) watches a perverse encounter between Dorothy and Frank (Hopper). Frank and his buddies take Jeffrey for a joy ride.

97. Safety Last (1923)
Boy (Lloyd) masquerades as his boss to impress his girlfriend. Boy hangs from a giant clock, high above city streets.

98. Blood Simple (1984)
Husband Marty (Dan Hedaya) is buried alive in a Texas field. Private detective Loren Visser (Walsh) is stabbed in the hand by frightened Abby (McDormand).

99. Speed (1994)
Officer Jack Traven (Reeves) and Annie Porter (Bullock) jump a booby-trapped bus over the missing part of a Los Angeles freeway. Howard Payne (Hopper) loses his head in the Los Angeles subway system.

100. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Robin Hood (Flynn) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Rathbone) duel in the castle. King Richard (Ian Hunter) unmasks himself at the coronation of Prince John.

Facts (and Commentary) about the 100 Greatest Thrillers chosen:
  • Stanley Kubrick had five films on the list, including A Clockwork Orange (# 21), The Shining (# 29), 2001: A Space Odyssey (# 40), Spartacus (# 62) and Full Metal Jacket (# 95).

  • By decade, two films came from the '20s, five from the '30s, 10 from the '40s, 15 from the '50s, 21 from the '60s, 22 from the '70s, 14 from the '80s and 12 from the '90s.

  • Harrison Ford tied with Claude Rains as the actor with the most movies in the top 100, at four apiece. Ford appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark (# 10), Star Wars (# 27), The Fugitive (# 33) and Blade Runner (# 74), while Rains appeared in Lawrence of Arabia (# 23), Casablanca (# 37), Notorious (# 38) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (# 100).

  • The 400 nominated films included those not normally associated with the thriller genre, such as comedies, action/adventure films, fantasy films, westerns, sports films, war films, and horror films (e.g., Ghostbusters (1984), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Hoosiers (1986), Full Metal Jacket (1987), and The Karate Kid (1984)).

  • Some of the nominated and winning films could be considered less thrillers than gripping dramas, such as The Godfather (# 11), Lawrence of Arabia (# 23), Casablanca (# 37), and 12 Angry Men (# 88). Ben-Hur (# 49) has two suspenseful scenes - the sea galley battle and the famed chariot race, but most of the film cannot be considered thrilling. Westerns such as High Noon (# 20), The Wild Bunch (# 69), and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (# 54) seem slightly out of place on the list, as do the classic horror films. War films (The Great Escape (# 19)), and boxing films (Rocky (# 52) and Raging Bull (# 51)) may also have thrilling elements, but they are essentially dramas.

  • Where are the "adrenaline-inducing" components throughout Laura (# 73) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (# 86)?

  • Political thrillers, such as The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Parallax View (1974), Fail-Safe (1964), Seven Days in May (1964), Crimson Tide (1995), The Hunt for Red October (1990), and In the Line of Fire (1993), are conspicuously absent, as are the big-budget espionage thrillers of the 60s: The Train (1965), Von Ryan's Express (1965), Operation Crossbow (1965), and Where Eagles Dare (1969).

  • There's little representation for erotic thrillers, such as Angel Heart (1987), Basic Instinct (1992), Body Double (1984), Bound (1996), Don't Look Now (1973), Jagged Edge (1985), Klute (1971), No Way Out (1987), The Big Easy (1987), Sea of Love (1989), The Grifters (1990), The Last Seduction (1994), Wild Things (1998), etc.

  • Definitive thrillers missing from the final list of 100 are: Ernest B. Schoedsack's The Most Dangerous Game (1932), Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Buster Keaton's The General (1927), George Stevens' Gunga Din (1939), John Huston's The African Queen (1951) and The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Fritz Lang's Fury (1936), Man Hunt (1941), and The Woman in the Window (1944), Robert Siodmak's The Spiral Staircase (1945), Anatole Litvak's Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), Raoul Walsh's White Heat (1949), Ted Tetzlaff's The Window (1949), Richard Fleischer's The Narrow Margin (1952), Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Ida Lupino's The Hitch-hiker (1953), Lewis Allen's Suddenly (1954), William Wyler's The Desperate Hours (1955), John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), Robert Aldrich's The Flight of the Phoenix (1966) and Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977), Coppola's The Conversation (1974), and Don Siegel's Charley Varrick (1973) and Escape From Alcatraz (1979).

  • Other notable "thriller" omissions: D.O.A. (1950), Call Northside 777 (1948), Night Moves (1975), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1985), Charade (1963), Play Misty for Me (1971), Se7en (1995), The Usual Suspects (1995), Natural Born Killers (1994), Dressed to Kill (1980), Blow Out (1981), Witness (1985), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Heat (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), Hackers (1995), Red Rock West (1993), Black Sunday (1977), The Firm (1993), The Cell (2000), and Aliens (1986) (better for 'heart-pounding' effects than the original film). And Michael Mann's Manhunter (1986) is perhaps more gripping than The Silence of the Lambs (# 5).

  • Since the definitive action films Die Hard (# 39) and Speed (# 99) are included in the final list, why not others, such as Lethal Weapon (1987), Con Air (1997), The Rock (1996), Face/Off (1997), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), True Lies (1994), Airport (1970), The Towering Inferno (1974), Earthquake (1974), Air Force One (1997), Point of No Return (1993), and more.

  • Non U.S.-made, feature-length fiction films that would have been perfect for this list include: M (1931), The Wages of Fear (1952), Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938) and The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935), Point Blank (1967), Panic in the Streets (1950), Repulsion (1965), Peeping Tom (1960), Blow-up (1966), Mad Max 2 - aka The Road Warrior (1981), Rififi (1954), The Long Good Friday (1980), John Woo's The Killer (1989), and Run Lola, Run (1998).


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