100 Greatest Songs in American Movies
100 YEARS...100 SONGS

The 400 Nominees

by American Film Institute (AFI)

The American Film Institute in Los Angeles conducted their seventh polling, 100 Years...100 Songs that highlighted "America's Greatest Music in the Movies."

See also this site's informative sections on Entertainment Weekly's 100 Best Film Soundtracks, Film Comment's 101 Film Score Milestones (1933-2001), and Greatest Musical Song/Dance Movie Moments and Scenes (illustrated).

Facts About the 400 Nominees for the Greatest American Movie Songs:

  • Bing Crosby topped the list of nominees as the most represented performer with 12 nominated songs; Fred Astaire was second with 11; others well-represented included Gene Kelly (8) and Frank Sinatra (7)

  • Judy Garland was the most represented female performer with nine songs

  • Barbra Streisand had eight nominated songs, as did Marni Nixon, though she never appeared on screen. Her voice was used in performances by Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe (partial).

  • Among composers, Richard Rodgers had the most nominated songs with 18; Irving Berlin was second with 11

  • The 1950s was the most represented decade with 67 nominees; the 1980s had 62 nominees

  • The Wizard of Oz (1939), Singin' in the Rain (1952), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Lion King (1994), and The Sound of Music (1965) were among the most-represented on the ballot, with three nominated songs apiece

  • The ballot of nominees stretched from Al Jolson (two songs from The Jazz Singer (1927), "My Mammy" and "Toot, Toot, Tootsie") to Eminem (8 Mile (2002) and "Lose Yourself") and "All That Jazz" and "Razzle Dazzle" from Chicago (2002)

  • There were four Elvis tunes on the ballot

  • There were non-musical films on the ballot, for example: The Shawshank Redemption (1994) with the Mozart opera "Duettino--Sull'Aria" from "The Marriage of Figaro," and Apocalypse Now (1979) with The Doors' "The End"

  • "White Christmas" (by Bing Crosby) was on the ballot for its contribution to Holiday Inn (1942) and not for its inclusion in White Christmas (1954); "Easter Parade" was also listed for Holiday Inn (1942) and not for Easter Parade (1948). Likewise, "Singin' in the Rain," which made its film debut in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929), was nominated for its rendition by Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain (1952)

  • Non-human nominees included Jiminy Cricket (as voiced by Cliff Edwards) for "When You Wish Upon a Star" in Pinocchio (1940), and Kermit the Frog (as voiced by Jim Henson) for "Rainbow Connection" in The Muppet Movie (1979)

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