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The Top 100 American Films of All Time

American Film Institute

In 1998, the American Film Institute conducted a poll of industry people and published this list, which received a lot of attention, as well as backlash from movie lovers.

  1. Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)
  2. Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz)
  3. The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)
  4. Gone with the Wind (1939, Victor Fleming)
  5. Lawrence of Arabia (1962, David Lean)
  6. The Wizard of Oz (1939, Victor Fleming)
  7. The Graduate (1967, Mike Nichols)
  8. On the Waterfront (1954, Elia Kazan)
  9. Schindler's List (1993, Steven Spielberg)
  10. Singin' in the Rain (1952, Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly)
  11. It's a Wonderful Life (1946, Frank Capra)
  12. Sunset Boulevard (1950, Billy Wilder)
  13. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, David Lean)
  14. Some Like It Hot (1959, Billy Wilder)
  15. Star Wars (1977, George Lucas)
  16. All About Eve (1950, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
  17. The African Queen (1952, John Huston)
  18. Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock)
  19. Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski)
  20. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975, Milos Forman)
  21. The Grapes of Wrath (1940, John Ford)
  22. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
  23. The Maltese Falcon (1941, John Huston)
  24. Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese)
  25. E.T. (1982, Steven Spielberg)
  26. Dr. Strangelove (1964, Stanley Kubrick)
  27. Bonnie and Clyde (1967, Arthur Penn)
  28. Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola)
  29. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939, Frank Capra)
  30. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, John Huston)
  31. Annie Hall (1977, Woody Allen)
  32. The Godfather Part II (1974, Francis Ford Coppola)
  33. High Noon (1952, Fred Zinnemann)
  34. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, Robert Mulligan)
  35. It Happened One Night (1934, Frank Capra)
  36. Midnight Cowboy (1969, John Schlesinger)
  37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946, William Wyler)
  38. Double Indemnity (1944, Billy Wilder)
  39. Doctor Zhivago (1965, David Lean)
  40. North By Northwest (1959, Alfred Hitchcock)
  41. West Side Story (1961, Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins)
  42. Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)
  43. King Kong (1933, Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack)
  44. The Birth of a Nation (1915, D.W. Griffith)
  45. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951, Elia Kazan)
  46. A Clockwork Orange (1971, Stanley Kubrick)
  47. Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese)
  48. Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg)
  49. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937, Ben Sharpsteen)
  50. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, George Roy Hill)
  51. The Philadelphia Story (1940, George Cukor)
  52. From Here to Eternity (1953, Fred Zinnemann)
  53. Amadeus (1984, Milos Forman)
  54. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930, Lewis Milestone)
  55. The Sound of Music (1965, Robert Wise)
  56. M*A*S*H (1970, Robert Altman)
  57. The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed)
  58. Fantasia (1940, Ben Sharpsteen)
  59. Rebel without a Cause (1955, Nicholas Ray)
  60. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg)
  61. Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)
  62. Tootsie (1982, Sydney Pollack)
  63. Stagecoach (1939, John Ford)
  64. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, Steven Spielberg)
  65. The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Jonathan Demme)
  66. Network (1976, Sidney Lumet)
  67. The Manchurian Candidate (1962, John Frankenheimer)
  68. An American in Paris (1951, Vincente Minnelli)
  69. Shane (1953, George Stevens)
  70. The French Connection (1971, William Friedkin)
  71. Forrest Gump (1994, Robert Zemekis)
  72. Ben-Hur (1959, William Wyler)
  73. Wuthering Heights (1939, William Wyler)
  74. The Gold Rush (1925, Charles Chaplin)
  75. Dances With Wolves (1990, Kevin Costner)
  76. City Lights (1931, Charles Chaplin)
  77. American Graffiti (1973, George Lucas)
  78. Rocky (1976, John G. Avildsen)
  79. The Deer Hunter (1978, Michael Cimino)
  80. The Wild Bunch (1969, Sam Peckinpah)
  81. Modern Times (1936, Charles Chaplin)
  82. Giant (1956, George Stevens)
  83. Platoon (1986, Oliver Stone)
  84. Fargo (1996, Joel Coen)
  85. Duck Soup (1933, Leo McCarey)
  86. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, Frank Lloyd)
  87. Frankenstein (1931, James Whale)
  88. Easy Rider (1969, Dennis Hopper)
  89. Patton (1970, Franklin J. Schaffner)
  90. The Jazz Singer (1927, Alan Crosland)
  91. My Fair Lady (1964, George Cukor)
  92. A Place in the Sun (1951, George Stevens)
  93. The Apartment (1960, Billy Wilder)
  94. GoodFellas (1990, Martin Scorsese)
  95. Pulp Fiction (1994, Quentin Tarantino)
  96. The Searchers (1956, John Ford)
  97. Bringing Up Baby (1938, Howard Hawks)
  98. Unforgiven (1992, Clint Eastwood)
  99. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967, Stanley Kramer)
  100. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942, Michael Curtiz)

Note: In 2007, the AFI conducted another poll and published an updated list. Additions included The General, Intolerance, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Nashville, Sullivan's Travels, Cabaret, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Saving Private Ryan, The Shawshank Redemption, etc.

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