Dave Tompkins :: DVD Library :: AFI Series :: 100 Movies (1998)


(text-only version)

1.  Citizen Kane (1941)

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

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2.  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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3.  The Godfather (1972)

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

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4.  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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5.  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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6.  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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7.  The Graduate (1967)

Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her teenage daughter, Elaine.

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8.  On the Waterfront (1954)

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

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9.  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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10.  Singin' in the Rain (1952)

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

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11.  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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12.  Sunset Boulevard (1950)

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

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13.  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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14.  Some Like It Hot (1959)

When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.

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15.  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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16.  All About Eve (1950)

An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

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17.  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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18.  Psycho (1960)

A young woman steals $40,000 from her employer's client, and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor too long under the domination of his mother.

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19.  Chinatown (1974)

A private detective investigating an adultery case stumbles on to a scheme of murder that has something to do with water.

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20.  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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21.  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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22.  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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23.  The Maltese Falcon (1941)

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

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24.  Raging Bull (1980)

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring, destroys his life outside it.

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25.  E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

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

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26.  Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

An insane general starts a process to nuclear holocaust that a war room of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

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27.  Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

A somewhat romantized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang.

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28.  Apocalypse Now (1979)

During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a God among a local tribe.

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29.  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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30.  The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Fred C. Dobbs and Bob Curtin, both down on their luck in Tampico, Mexico in 1925, meet up with a grizzled...

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31.  Annie Hall (1977)

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.

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32.  The Godfather: Part II (1974)

The early life & career of Vito Corleone in 1920's New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-Revolution 1958 Cuba.

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33.  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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34.  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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35.  It Happened One Night (1934)

A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who's actually a reporter looking for a story. But then he falls for her...

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36.  Midnight Cowboy (1969)

A naive male prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City.

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37.  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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38.  Double Indemnity (1944)

An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.

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39.  Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Life of a Russian doctor/poet who, although married, falls for a political activist's wife and experiences hardships during the Bolshevik Revolution.

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40.  North by Northwest (1959)

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

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41.  West Side Story (1961)

Musical about two youngsters from rival NYC gangs who fall in love.

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42.  Rear Window (1954)

A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

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43.  King Kong (1933)

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star.

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44.  The Birth of a Nation (1915)

The Civil War divides friends and destroys families, but that's nothing compared to the anarchy in the black-ruled South after the war.

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45.  A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

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46.  A Clockwork Orange (1971)

In future Britain, charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge is jailed and later volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem... but not all goes to plan.

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47.  Taxi Driver (1976)

A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as nighttime taxi driver in a city whose perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge to violently lash out, attempting to save a teenage prostitute in the process.

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48.  Jaws (1975)

When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

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49.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Snow White, pursued by a jealous queen, hides with the Dwarfs; the queen feeds her a poison apple, but Prince Charming awakens her with a kiss.

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50.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

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51.  The Philadelphia Story (1940)

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

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52.  From Here to Eternity (1953)

In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.

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53.  Amadeus (1984)

The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback mode by Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

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54.  All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

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55.  The Sound of Music (1965)

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

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56.  M*A*S*H (1970)

The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and hijinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

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57.  The Third Man (1949)

Arriving in Vienna, Holly Martins learns that his friend Harry Lime, who has invited him, recently died in a car accident.

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58.  Fantasia (1940)

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

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59.  Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

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60.  Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

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61.  Vertigo (1958)

A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

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62.  Tootsie (1982)

An unemployed actor with a reputation for being difficult disguises himself as a woman to get a role in a soap opera.

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63.  Stagecoach (1939)

A simple stagecoach trip is complicated by the fact that Geronimo is on the warpath in the area. The...

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64.  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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65.  The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

A young FBI cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims.

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66.  Network (1976)

A TV network cynically exploits a deranged ex-TV anchor's ravings and revelations about the media for their own profit.

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67.  The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin. But another former prisoner may know how to save him.

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68.  An American in Paris (1951)

Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is ''discovered'' by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art...

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69.  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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70.  The French Connection (1971)

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

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71.  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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72.  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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73.Wuthering Heights (1939)
74.  The Gold Rush (1925)

The Tramp goes the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

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75.  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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76.  City Lights (1931)

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

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77.  American Graffiti (1973)

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

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78.  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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79.  The Deer Hunter (1978)

An in-depth examination of the way that the Vietnam war affects the lives of people in a small industrial town in the USA.

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80.  The Wild Bunch (1969)

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the ''traditional'' American West is disappearing around them.

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81.  Modern Times (1936)

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

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82.  Giant (1956)

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

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83.  Platoon (1986)

A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

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84.  Fargo (1996)

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of pregnant Marge Gunderson.

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85.  Duck Soup (1933)

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

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86.  Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.

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87.  Frankenstein (1931)

Horror classic in which an obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

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88.  Easy Rider (1969)

Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

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89.  Patton (1970)

The World War II phase of the controversial American general's career is depicted.

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90.  The Jazz Singer (1927)

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy his father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.

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91.  My Fair Lady (1964)

A misogynistic and snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

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92.  A Place in the Sun (1951)

Young up-and-comer George Eastman is thrust into the blue collar life of a rich uncle's family business...

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93.  The Apartment (1960)

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

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94.  Goodfellas (1990)

Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy.

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95.  Pulp Fiction (1994)

The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

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96.  The Searchers (1956)

As a Civil War veteran spends years searching for a young niece captured by Indians, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable.

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97.  Bringing Up Baby (1938)

David Huxley is waiting to get a bone he needs for his museum collection. Through a series of strange circumstances...

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98.  Unforgiven (1992)

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

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99.  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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100.  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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Count: 99 / 100