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The AFI Speaks

The American Film Institute aired its list tonight in a 3-hour special, and I was watching closely the whole time. Turns out, quite a bit can change in 10 years, and if you want to know exactly what did, read on (just know you’ll also get a dose of what I think about it all). For easy reference, here are my wish predictions list and Wikipedia’s handy side-by-side of both AFI lists. In fact, Wikipedia has (as usual) done most of my work for me . . . but I’ll go ahead and to a run-down anyway, just so I can think through some of this stuff myself as well.

I have seen 61 of the movies on the new list and 62 of the movies on the old list (and 87 of the movies on my own list). 56 of my picks made it onto the new list. 56 of my picks are on the new list, and 57 were on the old. My initial impression is that the old list was a more balanced and comprehensive assessment of the best and most significant works of American cinema, although both have their good points and bad points. I am flabbergasted by some of the choices made on the new list, even as I was pleased with some of the additions that were made. My own list, it turned out, placed too much significance on the last decade, as only four of the newer movies made the cut. I had 11 (I called all but one of the newer inclusions). The list now represents a range of 85 years, 3 years more than its predecessor. But enough of this: time for the breakdown. With the following raw data, I think I can now construct my own list . . . I’ll get on that sometime.

Immobile (3)

The Best Years of Our Lives (#37)
The Godfather Part II (#32)
Citizen Kane (#1)

Promoted (37, -15 major)

Yankee Doodle Dandy (+2 to #98)
Pulp Fiction (+1 to #94)
Goodfellas (+2 to #92)
Bringing Up Baby (+9 to #88, Good Call)
Easy Rider (+4 to #84, ?!)
-The Apartment (+13 to #80)
The Wild Bunch (+1 to #79)
Modern Times (+3 to #78)
-Unforgiven (+30 to #68, Good Call)
Network (+2 to #64)
-American Graffiti (+15 to #62, Good Call)
-Duck Soup (+25 to #60)
-The Gold Rush (+16 to #58)
-Rocky (+21 to #57, ?!)
-North by Northwest (+24 to #55, Good Call)
M*A*S*H (+2 to #54)
-The Deer Hunter (+36 to #53, Excessive)
-Shane (+24 to #45)
The Philadelphia Story (+7 to #44)
King Kong (+2 to #41)
-The Sound of Music (+15 to #40)
-Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (+15 to #34, Excessive)
Double Indemnity (+9 to #29, Good Call)
High Noon (+6 to #27)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (+3 to #26)
To Kill a Mockingbird (+9 to #25, Not Enough)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (+1 to #24)
2001: A Space Odyssey (+7 to #15)
Psycho (+4 to #14)
Star Wars (+2 to #13)
-The Searchers (+84 to #12, Excessive)
-City Lights (+65 to #11, Excessive)
-Vertigo (+52 to #9)
Schindler’s List (+1 to #8)
Singin’ in the Rain (+5 to #5, Good Call)
-Raging Bull (+20 to #4, ?!)
The Godfather (+1 to #2)

Demoted (37, -14 major)

-Ben-Hur (-28 to #100, Harsh)
-The French Connection (-23 to #93)
Platoon (-3 to #86)
Forrest Gump (-9 to #76, Good Call)
The Silence of the Lambs (-9 to #74)
-Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (-23 to #73)
-A Clockwork Orange (-24 to #70)
Tootsie (-7 to #69, Not Enough)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (-6 to #66, Harsh)
-The African Queen (-48 to #65, Harsh)
Jaws (-8 to #56)
Taxi Driver (-5 to #52)
-West Side Story (-10 to #51, Not Enough)
Rear Window (-6 to #48, Harsh)
A Streetcar Named Desire (-2 to #47, Harsh)
-It Happened One Night (-11 to #46)
Midnight Cowboy (-7 to #43)
-Bonnie and Clyde (-15 to #42)
-Dr. Strangelove (-13 to #39, Harsh)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (-8 to #38)
-The Bridge on the River Kwai (-13 to #36)
Annie Hall (-4 to #35, Not Enough)
-One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (-13 to #33)
The Maltese Falcon (-8 to #31)
Apocalypse Now (-2 to #30, Harsh)
-All About Eve (-12 to #28, Not Enough)
The Grapes of Wrath (-2 to #23)
Some Like It Hot (-8 to #22)
Chinatown (-2 to #21, Harsh)
It’s a Wonderful Life (-9 to #20)
-On the Waterfront (-11 to #19, Not Enough)
-The Graduate (-10 to #17, Harsh)
Sunset Blvd. (-4 to #16)
The Wizard of OZ (-4 to #10, Good Call)
Lawrence of Arabia (-2 to #7, Not Enough)
Gone With the Wind (-2 to #6)
Casablanca (-1 to #3)

Newcomers (23)

Toy Story (#99, Good Call)
Blade Runner (#97, Good Call)
Do the Right Thing (#96, ?!)
The Last Picture Show (#95, Good Call)
Sophie’s Choice (#91)
Swing Time (#90)
The Sixth Sense (#89, ?!)
12 Angry Men (#87, Good Call)
A Night at the Opera (#85)
Titanic (#83)
Sunrise (#82)
Spartacus (#81)
All the President’s Men (#77, Good Call)
In the Heat of the Night (#75, Good Call)
The Shawshank Redemption (#72, Good Call)
Saving Private Ryan (#71)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (#67, ?!)
Cabaret (#63, ?!)
Sullivan’s Travels (#61)
Nashville (#59, ?!)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (#50, Good Call)
Intolerance (#49, ?!)
The General (#18, Good Call)

Banished (23, -9 major)

Dr. Zhivago (formerly #39, Good Call)
-The Birth of a Nation (formerly #44, ?!)
-From Here to Eternity (formerly #52, ?!)
-Amadeus (formerly #53, ?!)
-All Quiet on the Western Front (formerly #54, ?!)
The Third Man (formerly #57)
Fantasia (formerly #58, Good Call)
-Rebel Without a Cause (formerly #59, ?!)
Stagecoach (formerly #63)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (formerly #64, Good Call)
-The Manchurian Candidate (formerly #67, ?!)
An American in Paris (formerly #68)
Wuthering Heights (formerly #73)
Dances With Wolves (formerly #75)
Giant (formerly #82, Good Call)
Fargo (formerly #84, Good Call)
Mutiny on the Bounty (formerly #86)
Frankenstein (formerly #87, Good Call)
Patton (formerly #89)
-The Jazz Singer (formerly #90, ?!)
-My Fair Lady (formerly #91, ?!)
A Place in the Sun (formerly #92, Good Call)
-Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (formerly #99, ?!)

Robbed from my list (33, -18 major)

-American Beauty (?!)
-Anatomy of a Murder (?!)
Back to the Future
The Big Sleep
Braveheart (Good Call)
Brokeback Mountain (Good Call)
-Chariots of Fire (?!)
Chicago
Cool Hand Luke
Crash (Good Call)
Dog Day Afternoon
Driving Miss Daisy
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (?!)
-A Face in the Crowd (?!)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
-Fiddler on the Roof (?!)
-The Great Escape (?!)
-His Girl Friday (?!)
-Hotel Rwanda (?!)
-Judgment at Nuremberg (?!)
-The Last Emperor (?!)
Laura
Little Caesar
Mary Poppins
-Moulin Rouge! (?!)
-Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? (?!)
Ordinary People
-Planet of the Apes (?!)
-The Princess Bride (?!)
-Rebecca (?!)
-Road to Perdition (?!)
-The Sting (?!)
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~ by Jared on June 21, 2007.

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