Dave Tompkins :: DVD Library :: AFI Series :: 100 Cheers


(text-only version)

1.  It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would had been like if he never existed.

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2.  To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

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3.  Schindler's List (1993)

Oskar Schindler uses Jews to start a factory in Poland during the war. He witnesses the horrors endured by the Jews, and starts to save them.

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4.  Rocky (1976)

A small time boxer gets a once in a lifetime chance to fight the heavyweight champ in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

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5.  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

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6.  E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

A group of Earth children help a stranded alien botanist return home.

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7.  The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

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8.  Breaking Away (1979)

A small-town teen obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.

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9.  Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

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10.  Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of US soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

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11.  The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Three WWII veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

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12.  Apollo 13 (1995)

True story of the moon-bound mission that developed severe trouble and the men that rescued it with skill and dedication.

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13.  Hoosiers (1986)

A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship.

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14.  The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

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15.  The Miracle Worker (1962)

The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

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16.  Norma Rae (1979)

A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.

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17.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

Upon arrival at a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients together to take on the oppressive Nurse Ratched, a woman more a dictator than a nurse.

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18.  The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Harrowing story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and their friends is forced into hiding in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

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19.  The Right Stuff (1983)

The original US Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.

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20.  Philadelphia (1993)

When a man with AIDS is fired by a conservative law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

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21.  In the Heat of the Night (1967)

An African American detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racist southern town.

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22.  The Pride Of The Yankees (1942)

The story of the life and career of the famed baseball player, Lou Gehrig.

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23.  The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

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24.  National Velvet (1944)

A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes.

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25.  Sullivan's Travels (1941)

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about Life...which gives him a rude awakening.

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26.  The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.

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27.  High Noon (1952)

A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him.

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28.  Field of Dreams (1989)

An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago Black Sox come.

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29.  Gandhi (1982)

Biography of Mahatma Gandhi , the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British through his philosophy of non-violent protest.

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30.  Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Epic rumination on a flamboyant and controversial British military figure and his conflicted loyalties during wartime service.

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31.  Glory (1989)

Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates.

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32.  Casablanca (1942)

Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

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33.  City Lights (1931)

The Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with.

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34.  All the President's Men (1976)

Reporters Woodward and Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Nixon's resignation.

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35.  Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Matt and Christina Drayton are a couple whose attitudes are challenged when their daughter brings home a fiancÚ who is black.

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36.  On the Waterfront (1954)

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

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37.  Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny, eludes him.

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38.  Pinocchio (1940)

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

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39.  Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

Luke Skywalker leaves his home planet, teams up with other rebels, and tries to save Princess Leia from the evil clutches of Darth Vader.

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40.  Mrs. Miniver (1942)

The Minivers, an English ''middle-class'' family experience life in the first months of World War II. While dodging bombs...

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41.  The Sound of Music (1965)

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to a Naval officer widower.

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42.  12 Angry Men (1957)

A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

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43.  Gone with the Wind (1939)

American classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

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44.  Spartacus (1960)

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman empire.

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45.  On Golden Pond (1981)

The loons are back again on Golden Pond and so are Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and Ethel who have had a summer cottage there since early in their marriage...

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46.  Lilies of the Field (1963)

An unemployed construction worker (Homer Smith) heading out west stops at a remote farm in the desert to get water when his car overheats...

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47.  2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Mankind finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, artifact buried on the moon and, with the intelligent computer HAL, sets off on a quest.

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48.  The African Queen (1951)

In Africa during WW1, a gin-swilling riverboat owner/captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

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49.  Meet John Doe (1941)

A man needing money agrees to impersonate a nonexistent person who said he'd be committing suicide as a protest, and a political movement begins.

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50.  Seabiscuit (2003)

True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.

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51.  The Color Purple (1985)

The life and trials of a young African American Woman.

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52.  Dead Poets Society (1989)

English professor John Keating inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day.

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53.  Shane (1953)

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

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54.  Rudy (1993)

Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame.

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55.The Defiant Ones (1958)
56.  Ben-Hur (1959)

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

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57.  Sergeant York (1941)

True story of a hillbilly sharpshooter drafted in WW1 despite his claim to be a pacifist, who ends up becoming a war hero.

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58.  Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

A line worker, after a encounter with UFO's, feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

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59.  Dances With Wolves (1990)

Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

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60.  The Killing Fields (1984)

A photographer is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody ''Year Zero'' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million ''undesirable'' civilians.

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61.  Sounder (1972)

The son of a family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.

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62.  Braveheart (1995)

William Wallace, a commoner, unites the 13th Century Scots in their battle to overthrow English rule.

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63.  Rain Man (1988)

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

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64.  The Black Stallion (1979)

While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion that is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on...

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65.  A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

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66.  Silkwood (1983)

The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.

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67.  The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

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68.  An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

A young man must complete his work at a Navy Flight school to become an aviator, with the help of a tough gunnery sergeant and his new girlfriend.

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69.  The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)

Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

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70.  Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

Biography of Loretta Lynn, a country and western singer that came from poverty to fame.

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71.  Cool Hand Luke (1967)

A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.

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72.  Dark Victory (1939)

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, and must decide whether she'll meet her final days with dignity.

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73.  Erin Brockovich (2000)

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

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74.  Gunga Din (1939)

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

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75.  The Verdict (1982)

A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

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76.  Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.

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77.  Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.

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78.  Thelma & Louise (1991)

An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird.

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79.  The Ten Commandments (1956)

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

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80.  Babe (1995)

Babe, a pig raised by sheepdogs, learns to herd sheep with a little help from Farmer Hoggett.

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81.  Boys Town (1938)

Against all odds Father Flanagan starts ''Boys' Town'' after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there...

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82.  Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

In pre-revolutionary Russia, a poor Jewish peasant must contend with marrying off his three daughters while antisemitic sentiment threatens his home.

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83.  Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.

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84.  Serpico (1973)

The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

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85.  What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

A film about the singer Tina Turner and how she rose to stardom with her abusive husband Ike Turner and how she gained the courage to break free.

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86.  Stand and Deliver (1988)

A dedicated teacher inspires his dropout prone students to learn calculus to build up their self-esteem and do so well that they are accused of cheating.

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87.  Working Girl (1988)

When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss's job.

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88.  Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

A film of the life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan.

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89.  Harold and Maude (1971)

Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.

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90.  Hotel Rwanda (2004)

The true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

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91.  The Paper Chase (1973)

A first-year law student struggles with balancing his coursework and his relationship with the daughter of a stern professor.

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92.  Fame (1980)

A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.

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93.  A Beautiful Mind (2001)

After a brilliant but asocial mathematician accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn to the nightmarish.

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94.  Captains Courageous (1937)

Harvey Cheyne is a spoiled brat used to having his own way. When a prank goes wrong onboard an ocean liner Harvey ends up overboard and nearly drowns...

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95.  Places in the Heart (1984)

In 1930's Southern US, a widow and her family try to run their cotton farm with the help of a disparate group of friends.

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96.  Searching for Bobby Fisher (1993)

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

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97.Madame Curie (1943)
98.  The Karate Kid (1984)

A handyman/martial arts master agrees to teach a bullied boy karate and shows him that there is more to the martial art than fighting.

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99.  Ray (2004)

The life and career of the legendary popular music pianist, Ray Charles.

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100.  Chariots of Fire (1981)

The story of two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian who compete in the 1924 Olympics.

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Count: 98 / 100