Tuesday, September 21, 2021

My Two Cents: the AFI 100 List


I really enjoyed Grace's post One of my "Just for Fun" Goals.  She is working her way through the American Film Institute's 100 Years 100 Movies List.  She included this link to the AFI's checklist that you can click through to find out how many of these movies you've seen.

It turns out that I've seen 68 of the 100 movies, but as I got to thinking about it, I realized that there is a lot more to this list than what I've seen vs what I haven't seen.  It's how I feel about the movies.

The movies that I've seen fall into the following categories

  • I looooove this movie, I get all the feels just thinking about it
  • I agree that it's great but I don't have the "special feels" for it
  • I've seen it but it was just OK
  • I've seen it but it's been too long and I don't really remember it
  • I HATE THIS MOVIE!!!! (only three titles made this list but I really dislike them)

The movies that I haven't seen fall into the following categories

  • I haven't seen this but I want to
  • I haven't seen this but it doesn't leap out as something that I want to see
  • I haven't seen it and I never want to (for a variety of reasons)

Will I ever watch all 100 of these movies?  Looking at my "I haven't seen this but it doesn't leap out as something that I want to see" list, I just can't imagine sitting down to even one of these movies let alone all 17 of them - that's alotta movies and I need a better reason than "they're on the list".  But I will give you a counterargument, which is the movie Taxi Driver.  If you'd asked me about it last year, I would have told you that it was a movie that I never, never, ever wanted to see because I'd heard really bad things about it.  Specifically I'd heard that it was violent.  I ended up watching it because my husband wanted to see it and now it's on my "I loooooove this movie" list.  So maybe someday I will join the century club.

Here are the lists.  The number in front of the movie title is the ranking on the AFI 100 list. 

I haven't seen it and I want to

4. Raging Bull (1980)
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
67. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
75. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
92. Goodfellas (1990)
96. Do the Right Thing (1989)

I haven't seen it but it doesn't leap out as something that I want to see (a.k.a the "Westerns and War Movies" list)

12. The Searchers (1956)
30. Apocalypse Now (1979)
36. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
45. Shane (1953)
53. The Deer Hunter (1978)
54. M*A*S*H (1970)
56. Jaws (1975)
59. Nashville (1975)
68. Unforgiven (1992)
72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
77. All the President's Men (1976)
79. The Wild Bunch (1969)
81. Spartacus (1960)
84. Easy Rider (1969)
86. Platoon (1986)
95. The Last Picture Show (1971)

I haven't seen it and I never want to (plus why I never want to)

8. Schindler's List (1993) - I'm sure this is a great movie but I don't want the sads
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Yes, this is me turning my nose at a Big Classic.  I'm sour on the big MGM extravaganzas and the stories about what Judy Garland had to go through for this movie are pretty horrendous
50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) - Because I think it would be super boring
70. A Clockwork Orange (1971) - I've heard that it's violent
71. Saving Private Ryan (1998) - Same reason as Schindler's List
74. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Just not feelin' the cannibalism
76. Forrest Gump (1994) - Overhyped
91. Sophie's Choice (1982) - Same reason as Schindler's List
99. Toy Story (1995) - Same reason as Forrest Gump

Now let's flip over to what I've seen

I've seen it but it's been too long and I don't really remember it

19. On the Waterfront (1954)
20. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
23. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
24. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
27. High Noon (1952)
28. All About Eve (1950)
34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
35. Annie Hall (1977)
37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
39. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
40. The Sound of Music (1965)
42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
47. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
60. Duck Soup (1933)
61. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
62. American Graffiti (1973)
69. Tootsie (1982)
87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
88. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
100. Ben-Hur (1959)

I've seen it but it was just OK (the "meh" list)

2. The Godfather (1972) - hear me out on this one.  The reason that the Godfather movies are a meh for me is that I saw The Sopranos first.
6. Gone with the Wind (1939) - overhyped, overblown.  I just don't give a damn about Scarlett or Rhett.
32. The Godfather Part II (1974)
44. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
58. The Gold Rush (1925) - I adore Chaplin, but this movie gives me the snoozes
64. Network (1976)
83. Titanic (1997)
90. Swing Time (1936) - this is a tough call since I think that an Astaire/Rogers movie should be on the list, but apart from the dancing this movie was a snooze for me.  Swap this out for The Gay Divorcee (1934) or Top Hat (1935) and I'm in.
97. Blade Runner (1982)

I agree that it's great but I don't have the special feels

7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - this one is a split vote.  Part one is on the "I agree that it's great list" and part two is on the "meh" list.
16. Sunset Blvd (1950)
21. Chinatown (1974)
26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
43. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
46. It Happened One Night (1934)
57. Rocky (1976)
63. Cabaret (1972)
65. The African Queen (1951)
66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
85. A Night at the Opera (1935)
89. The Sixth Sense (1999)
93. The French Connection (1971)
94. Pulp Fiction (1994)

I looooove this movie and if you haven't seen it I really hope that you will watch it

3. Casablanca (1942)
5. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
9. Vertigo (1958) - Yes I love it but I would also rank it 4th of the 4 Hitchcock movies on this list.
11. City Lights (1931)
13. Star Wars (1977) - Saw it for the first time this summer!
14. Psycho (1960)
18. The General (1926)
22. Some Like It Hot (1959)
29. Double Indemnity (1944)
31. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
41. King Kong (1933)
48. Rear Window (1954)
49. Intolerance (1916)
52. Taxi Driver (1976)
55. North by Northwest (1959)
78. Modern Times (1936)
80. The Apartment (1960)
82. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) - I'm happy this is on the list, but it needs to be way higher than 82.

Oh boy...I really, really, really do not care for these movies...OK fine I hated them

1. Citizen Kane (1941) - the #1 movie on this list leaves me cold.  Yes it's innovative but so were a billion other movies of the time.  Orson Wells just isn't my guy (unless we're talking about The Third Man (1949), that's a top 10).
17. The Graduate (1967) - I didn't remember this movie very well and rewatched it after I saw Midnight Cowboy last year because I wanted to see more Dustin Hoffman.  Loved Anne Bancroft, hated everything/everyone else.
51. West Side Story (1961) - a few years ago we tried to watch it at a family party and ended up turning it off after an hour that seemed like an eternity and we will never get that hour of our lives back.  Soooooo long, sooooo boring.  So many other great musicals that could go on the list in its place.

Your Turn: how many of these movies have you seen?  Do you disagree with my "hated it" list?  Is there anything on my "loved it" list that you hate?  Is there a movie that you loved on my "never want to see it list"?  What should I watch first on my "I've never seen it but want to" list?


  1. Thank you for the link and thank you for your ratings, Birchie!

    I have bookmarked this post for future reference. I have only seen maybe 20 films on this list so there is still a lot of work ahead for me. I agree with you on "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan". "Bella Vita" is probably the same (although it's not on this list).

    Now I have to search out "The Sopranos" first. Better than "The Godfather" - wow!

    1. It's been a long time, but the Sopranos was wonderful.

  2. Oh gosh...I had no idea this list of movies existed (and I was a Communications-Broadcasting/Film major in college). Sorry, but we have to agree to disagree on Citizen Kane LOL Forrest Gump is one of those movies we watch (almost) every Christmas/Thanksgiving when we have all the family together, as well as School of Rock and Elf (which I don't think either made the cut). Great post!

    1. It is so much fun to just think about these movies. I think they should drop the bottom three titles and replace them with School of Rock and Elf (yours) and Die Hard (my fav holiday rewatch).