AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies

The first of the AFI 100 Years... series of cinematic milestones, AFI's 100 Years... 100 American Movies is a list of the 100 best American movies, as determined by the American Film Institute from a poll of more than 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry who chose from a list of 400 nominated movies. The 100-best list American films was unveiled in 1998. AFI released an updated list in 2007.

AFI 100 Years... series
1998100 Movies
1999100 Stars
2000100 Laughs
2001100 Thrills
2002100 Passions
2003100 Heroes & Villains
2004100 Songs
2005100 Movie Quotes
200525 Scores
2006100 Cheers
200625 Musicals
2007100 Movies (Updated)
2008AFI's 10 Top 10


Films were judged according to the following criteria:

  1. Feature length: Narrative format, at least 60 minutes long.
  2. American film: English language, with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States. (Certain films, notably The Bridge on the River Kwai, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lawrence of Arabia, were British-made but funded and distributed by American studios. The Lord of the Rings was New Zealand-made with American funding.)
  3. Critical recognition: Formal commendation in print.
  4. Major award winner: Recognition from competitive events including awards from organizations in the film community and major film festivals.
  5. Popularity over time: Including figures for box office adjusted for inflation, television broadcasts and syndication, and home video sales and rentals.
  6. Historical significance: A film's mark on the history of the moving image through technical innovation, visionary narrative devices or other groundbreaking achievements.
  7. Cultural impact: A film's mark on American society in matters of style and substance.



Film Release year Director Production companies Rank
Citizen Kane 1941 Orson Welles RKO Radio Pictures 1
Casablanca 1942 Michael Curtiz Warner Bros. Pictures 2
The Godfather 1972 Francis Ford Coppola Paramount Pictures, Alfran Productions 3
Gone with the Wind 1939 Victor Fleming Selznick International Pictures 4
Lawrence of Arabia 1962 David Lean Horizon Pictures 5
The Wizard of Oz 1939 Victor Fleming Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 6
The Graduate 1967 Mike Nichols Lawrence Turman 7
On the Waterfront 1954 Elia Kazan Horizon-American Pictures 8
Schindler's List 1993 Steven Spielberg Amblin Entertainment 9
Singin' in the Rain 1952 Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 10
It's a Wonderful Life 1946 Frank Capra Liberty Pictures 11
Sunset Boulevard 1950 Billy Wilder Paramount Pictures 12
The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 David Lean Horizon-American Pictures 13
Some Like It Hot 1959 Billy Wilder Ashton Productions, The Mirisch Company 14
Star Wars 1977 George Lucas Lucasfilm 15
All About Eve 1950 Joseph L. Mankiewicz 20th Century-Fox 16
The African Queen 1951 John Huston Horizon Enterprises, Romulus Films 17
Psycho 1960 Alfred Hitchcock Shamley Productions 18
Chinatown 1974 Roman Polanski Long Road Productions 19
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975 Miloš Forman Fantasy Films 20
The Grapes of Wrath 1940 John Ford 20th Century-Fox 21
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 Stanley Kubrick Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 22
The Maltese Falcon 1941 John Huston Warner Bros. Pictures 23
Raging Bull 1980 Martin Scorsese Chartoff-Winkler Productions 24
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 Steven Spielberg Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment 25
Dr. Strangelove 1964 Stanley Kubrick Hawk Films, Polaris Productions 26
Bonnie and Clyde 1967 Arthur Penn Tatira-Hiller Productions 27
Apocalypse Now 1979 Francis Ford Coppola Omni Zoetrope 28
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939 Frank Capra Columbia Pictures 29
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948 John Huston Warner Bros. Pictures 30
Annie Hall 1977 Woody Allen United Artists 31
The Godfather Part II 1974 Francis Ford Coppola The Coppola Company 32
High Noon 1952 Fred Zinnemann Stanley Kramer Productions 33
To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 Robert Mulligan Pakula-Mulligan Productions, Brentwood Productions 34
It Happened One Night 1934 Frank Capra Columbia Pictures 35
Midnight Cowboy 1969 John Schlesinger Jerome Hellman Productions 36
The Best Years of Our Lives 1946 William Wyler Samuel Goldwyn Productions 37
Double Indemnity 1944 Billy Wilder Paramount Pictures 38
Doctor Zhivago 1965 David Lean Carlo Ponti Productions 39
North by Northwest 1959 Alfred Hitchcock Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 40
West Side Story 1961 Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins Beta Productions, The Mirisch Company, Seven Arts Productions, B & P Enterprises 41
Rear Window 1954 Alfred Hitchcock Paramount Pictures, Patron 42
King Kong 1933 Merian C. Cooper RKO Radio Pictures 43
The Birth of a Nation 1915 D. W. Griffith David W. Griffith Corp. 44
A Streetcar Named Desire 1951 Elia Kazan Warner Bros. Pictures, Charles K. Feldman Productions 45
A Clockwork Orange 1971 Stanley Kubrick Polaris Productions, Hawk Films 46
Taxi Driver 1976 Martin Scorsese B & P Enterprises, Italo-Judeo 47
Jaws 1975 Steven Spielberg Universal Pictures, Zanuck/Brown Company 48
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937 David Hand, et al. Walt Disney Productions 49
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969 George Roy Hill Campanile Productions 50
The Philadelphia Story 1940 George Cukor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 51
From Here to Eternity 1953 Fred Zinnemann Columbia Pictures 52
Amadeus 1984 Miloš Forman The Saul Zaentz Company 53
All Quiet on the Western Front 1930 Lewis Milestone Universal Pictures 54
The Sound of Music 1965 Robert Wise Argyle Enterprises, 20th Century-Fox 55
M*A*S*H 1970 Robert Altman Aspen Productions 56
The Third Man 1949 Carol Reed London Film Productions 57
Fantasia 1940 Walt Disney Walt Disney Productions 58
Rebel Without a Cause 1955 Nicholas Ray Warner Bros. Pictures 59
Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 Steven Spielberg Lucasfilm 60
Vertigo 1958 Alfred Hitchcock Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, Paramount Pictures 61
Tootsie 1982 Sydney Pollack Mirage Enterprises, Punch Productions, Columbia Pictures, Delphi Productions 62
Stagecoach 1939 John Ford Walter Wanger Productions 63
Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977 Steven Spielberg Columbia Pictures, EMI 64
The Silence of the Lambs 1991 Jonathan Demme Strong Heart Productions 65
Network 1976 Sidney Lumet Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists 66
The Manchurian Candidate 1962 John Frankenheimer M. C. Productions 67
An American in Paris 1951 Vincente Minnelli Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 68
Shane 1953 George Stevens Paramount Pictures 69
The French Connection 1971 William Friedkin D'Antoni Productions 70
Forrest Gump 1994 Robert Zemeckis The Tisch Company 71
Ben-Hur 1959 William Wyler Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 72
Wuthering Heights 1939 William Wyler Samuel Goldwyn Productions 73
The Gold Rush 1925 Charlie Chaplin Charles Chaplin Productions 74
Dances with Wolves 1990 Kevin Costner TIG Productions, Majestic Films International 75
City Lights 1931 Charlie Chaplin Charles Chaplin Productions 76
American Graffiti 1973 George Lucas Coppola Co., Lucasfilm 77
Rocky 1976 John G. Avildsen Chartoff-Winkler Productions 78
The Deer Hunter 1978 Michael Cimino EMI 79
The Wild Bunch 1969 Sam Peckinpah Phil Feldman Productions, Warner Bros.-Seven Arts 80
Modern Times 1936 Charlie Chaplin Charles Chaplin Film Corp. 81
Giant 1956 George Stevens Warner Bros. Pictures 82
Platoon 1986 Oliver Stone Hemdale Film Corporation 83
Fargo 1996 Coen brothers Working Title Films 84
Duck Soup 1933 Leo McCarey Paramount Productions 85
Mutiny on the Bounty 1935 Frank Lloyd Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 86
Frankenstein 1931 James Whale Universal Pictures 87
Easy Rider 1969 Dennis Hopper The Pando Company, Raybert Productions 88
Patton 1970 Franklin J. Schaffner 20th Century-Fox 89
The Jazz Singer 1927 Alan Crosland Warner Bros. Pictures, The Vitaphone Corp. 90
My Fair Lady 1964 George Cukor Warner Bros. Pictures 91
A Place in the Sun 1951 George Stevens Paramount Pictures 92
The Apartment 1960 Billy Wilder The Mirisch Company 93
Goodfellas 1990 Martin Scorsese Warner Bros. Pictures, Irwin Winkler Productions 94
Pulp Fiction 1994 Quentin Tarantino A Band Apart, Jersey Films 95
The Searchers 1956 John Ford C. V. Whitney Pictures 96
Bringing Up Baby 1938 Howard Hawks RKO Radio Pictures 97
Unforgiven 1992 Clint Eastwood The Malpaso Company 98
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 1967 Stanley Kramer Columbia Pictures 99
Yankee Doodle Dandy 1942 Michael Curtiz Warner Bros. Pictures 100

2007 changesEdit

Twenty-three films were replaced in the 2007 10th anniversary list. Doctor Zhivago, previously ranked #39, was the highest-ranked film to be dropped from the updated list, while The General (at #18) was the highest-ranked new entry.

Broadcast historyEdit

Presentation broadcast on CBSEdit

A 145-minute presentation of the 100 films aired on CBS on June 16, 1998.

Presentation broadcast on TNTEdit

A 460-minute version aired as a 10-part series on TNT, narrated by James Woods and hosted by American talents as follows:

Presentation broadcast on TNT UKEdit

Another version of the same 460-minute program was produced by Monique De Villiers and John Heyman from A World Production company to British television and market featuring different interviews and each segment being hosted by British talents in the following order:


As with awards, the list of those who vote and the final vote tally are not released to the public, nor the criteria for how the 400 nominated films have been selected.

On June 26, 1998, the Chicago Reader published an article by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum which offers a detailed response to the movies in the AFI list, as well as criticism of the AFI's appropriation of British films, such as Lawrence of Arabia (albeit with aforementioned American funding) and The Third Man. Rosenbaum also produced an alternative list of 100 American movies that he felt had been overlooked by the AFI.[2] Rosenbaum chose to present this alternative list alphabetically since to rank them according to merit would be "tantamount to ranking oranges over apples or declaring cherries superior to grapes."

The AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list includes five titles from Rosenbaum's list (including Do the Right Thing),[3] and the accompanying promotional poster lists the titles in alphabetical order.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "100 Greatest American Movies by AFI - Film Series".
  2. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan (June 26, 1998). "List-o-Mania: Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love American Movies". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  3. ^ "What Are the AFI Top 100 Movies of All Time?". No Film School. July 13, 2020.

External linksEdit