News

AFI Crowns Top 10 Films in 10 Classic Genres
Source: American Film Institute
June 17, 2008


The American Film Institute crowned the top 10 films in 10 classic genres. Do you agree with the honorees? Here's the full press release:

The American Film Institute (AFI) tonight revealed the 10 greatest movies in 10 classic American film genres in AFI's 10 TOP 10, a three-hour special television event on the CBS Television Network. A jury of 1,500 film artists, critics and historians named the following films as the very best in the following genres: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Science Fiction), CITY LIGHTS (Romantic Comedy), THE GODFATHER (Gangster), LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (Epic), RAGING BULL (Sports), THE SEARCHERS (Western), SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (Animation), TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Courtroom Drama), VERTIGO (Mystery) and THE WIZARD OF OZ (Fantasy).

AFI's 10 TOP 10 enlisted hosts for each genre including: Jessica Alba for Romantic Comedy; Sean Astin for Fantasy; Gabriel Byrne for Mystery; Kirk Douglas for Epic; Clint Eastwood for Westerns; Cuba Gooding, Jr. for Sports; Jennifer Love Hewitt for Animation; Quentin Tarantino for Gangster; Sigourney Weaver for Sci-Fi; and James Woods for Courtroom Drama.

"This year's celebration of the art form is ten times the fun for movie lovers," said AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale. "And another chapter in our mandate to drive audiences to discover and rediscover the classics of American film."

AFI's 10 TOP 10 honorees are:

ANIMATION

1 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS 1937
2 PINOCCHIO 1940
3 BAMBI 1942
4 THE LION KING 1994
5 FANTASIA 1940
6 TOY STORY 1995
7 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 1991
8 SHREK 2001
9 CINDERELLA 1950
10 FINDING NEMO 2003

FANTASY

1 THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
2 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING 2001
3 IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946
4 KING KONG 1933
5 MIRACLE ON 34th STREET 1947
6 FIELD OF DREAMS 1989
7 HARVEY 1950
8 GROUNDHOG DAY 1993
9 THE THIEF OF BAGDAD 1924
10 BIG 1988

GANGSTER

1 THE GODFATHER 1972
2 GOODFELLAS 1990
3 THE GODFATHER PART II 1974
4 WHITE HEAT 1949
5 BONNIE AND CLYDE 1967
6 SCARFACE: THE SHAME OF A NATION 1932
7 PULP FICTION 1994
8 THE PUBLIC ENEMY 1931
9 LITTLE CAESAR 1930
10 SCARFACE 1983

SCIENCE FICTION

1 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968
2 STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE 1977
3 E.T. - THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL 1982
4 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE 1971
5 THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL 1951
6 BLADE RUNNER 1982
7 ALIEN 1979
8 TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY 1991
9 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS 1956
10 BACK TO THE FUTURE 1985

WESTERN

1 THE SEARCHERS 1956
2 HIGH NOON 1952
3 SHANE 1953
4 UNFORGIVEN 1992
5 RED RIVER 1948
6 THE WILD BUNCH 1969
7 BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID 1969
8 McCABE & MRS. MILLER 1971
9 STAGECOACH 1939
10 CAT BALLOU 1965

SPORTS

1 RAGING BULL 1980
2 ROCKY 1976
3 THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES 1942
4 HOOSIERS 1986
5 BULL DURHAM 1988
6 THE HUSTLER 1961
7 CADDYSHACK 1980
8 BREAKING AWAY 1979
9 NATIONAL VELVET 1944
10 JERRY MAGUIRE 1996

MYSTERY

1 VERTIGO 1958
2 CHINATOWN 1974
3 REAR WINDOW 1954
4 LAURA 1944
5 THE THIRD MAN 1949
6 THE MALTESE FALCON 1941
7 NORTH BY NORTHWEST 1959
8 BLUE VELVET 1986
9 DIAL M FOR MURDER 1954
10 THE USUAL SUSPECTS 1995

ROMANTIC COMEDY

1 CITY LIGHTS 1931
2 ANNIE HALL 1977
3 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT 1934
4 ROMAN HOLIDAY 1953
5 THE PHILADELPHIA STORY 1940
6 WHEN HARRY MET SALLY ... 1989
7 ADAM'S RIB 1949
8 MOONSTRUCK 1987
9 HAROLD AND MAUDE 1971
10 SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE 1993

COURTROOM DRAMA

1 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962
2 12 ANGRY MEN 1957
3 KRAMER VS. KRAMER 1979
4 THE VERDICT 1982
5 A FEW GOOD MEN 1992
6 WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION 1957
7 ANATOMY OF A MURDER 1959
8 IN COLD BLOOD 1967
9 A CRY IN THE DARK 1988
10 JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG 1961

EPIC

1 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962
2 BEN-HUR 1959
3 SCHINDLER'S LIST 1993
4 GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
5 SPARTACUS 1960
6 TITANIC 1997
7 ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1930
8 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 1998
9 REDS 1981
10 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 1956

Interesting facts about the list include:

-- The earliest entry on the list is THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (Fantasy) from 1924; with the most recent being FINDING NEMO (Animated) from 2003.

-- Alfred Hitchcock is the most represented director with 4 films; Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick follow with 3 entries each.

-- James Stewart is the most represented actor with 6 entries; Tom Hanks is next with 4; Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, James Earl Jones, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and John Wayne all have 3 films each.

-- Diane Keaton is the most represented actress with 4 films on the list; Grace Kelly and Talia Shire each have 3 entries.

To compile the final list, AFI distributed a ballot with 500 nominated movies (50 per genre) to a jury of over 1,500 leaders from the creative community, including film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers), critics and historians.

AFI asks jurors to consider the following criteria in their selection process:

FEATURE-LENGTH FICTION FILMS
Narrative format, typically over 60 minutes in length.

AMERICAN FILM

English-language film with significant creative and/or production elements from the United States. Additionally, only films released before January 1, 2008 will be considered.

GENRE:

ANIMATED

AFI defines "animated" as a genre in which the film's images are primarily created by computer or hand and the characters are voiced by actors.

FANTASY

AFI defines "fantasy" as a genre where live-action characters inhabit imagined settings and/or experience situations that transcend the rules of the natural world.

GANGSTER

AFI defines the "gangster film" as a genre that centers on organized crime or maverick criminals in a twentieth century setting.

SCIENCE FICTION

AFI defines "science fiction" as a genre that marries a scientific or technological premise with imaginative speculation.

WESTERN

AFI defines "western" as a genre of films set in the American West that embodies the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier.

SPORTS

AFI defines "sports" as a genre of films with protagonists who play athletics or other games of competition.

MYSTERY

AFI defines "mystery" as a genre that revolves around the solution of a crime.

ROMANTIC COMEDY

AFI defines "romantic comedy" as a genre in which the development of a romance leads to comic situations.

COURTROOM DRAMA

AFI defines "courtroom drama" as a genre of film in which a system of justice plays a critical role in the film's narrative.

EPIC

AFI defines "epic" as a genre of large-scale films set in a cinematic interpretation of the past. Their scope defies and demands-either in the mode in which they are presented or their range across time.

CRITICAL RECOGNITION
Formal commendation in print, television and digital media.

MAJOR AWARD WINNER

Recognition from competitive events including awards from peer groups, critics, guilds and major film festivals.

POPULARITY OVER TIME

Including success at the box office, television and cable airing, and DVD/VHS sales and rentals.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

A film's mark on the history of moving images through visionary narrative devices, technical innovation, or other ground breaking achievements.

CULTURAL IMPACT
A film's mark on American society in matters of style and substance.

AFI allows one write-in vote per genre.

At the conclusion of AFI's 10 TOP 10 special at 11:00 p.m. EDT, AFI will premiere a companion web site at http://www.AFI.com that will feature over 400 video clips about all 100 movies within the 10 genres. The site will also feature movie trailers and interview clips, AFI Catalog entries, movie stills and posters. Users can also download all of AFI's popular movie lists, and can comment about their favorite movies on the site. The site will also feature a new edition of 'AFI's 10 TOP 10 Movie Quiz' that tests players' knowledge of the movies from the 10 genres.

The primetime special was executive produced and directed by Gary Smith; executive produced for AFI by former AFI Board Chair Emeritus Frederick S. Pierce; and produced by Dann Netter. SFM Entertainment LLC is the distributor of the program. Sponsors of the series have included Pepsi, Best Buy, Breyers, ConAgra, Procter & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch, Colgate-Palmolive, Sony and all major motion picture companies.


| 124 comments | Add a comment

Comments

Posted by: DT on June 18, 2008 at 01:08:25

Where the hell is Raiders of the Lost Ark, or The Incredibles, or Return of the King???? That is bull****.


Posted by: philip on June 18, 2008 at 01:08:33

this list sucks!!! for sports, where is Varsity Blues!!!


Posted by: moses valenzuela on June 18, 2008 at 01:10:42

Varsity Blues you gotta be kidding.

But agree with Raiders and Return of the King


Posted by: Mike on June 18, 2008 at 01:13:03

This list is just awful. They have some things right, but I just couldn't take it seriously anymore when I didn't see "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly," under best westerns. LLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEE!


Posted by: Shane on June 18, 2008 at 01:13:26

I was fairly happy with the list, was very surprised with some, but wondered about others. Braveheart? The good the bad, and the ugly?


Posted by: slinger on June 18, 2008 at 01:17:31

Shrek? WTF! Iron Giant deserved to be on there. Or another dozen animated films.


Posted by: joshs on June 18, 2008 at 01:17:42

WHAT!!!!!!!!! No Showgirls, no Howard the Duck? It's rigged.


Posted by: Roger on June 18, 2008 at 01:20:44

Happy to see Wizard of Oz at #1 and not getting over-shadowed by all the cgi glits and glam h-wood spews out on us today. Always THE classic family film, always has been and always will be.


Posted by: Ethan on June 18, 2008 at 01:21:29

return of the king is honored with fellowship of the ring. seriously, i dont think they are even saying that the first one is better than the third (cause the third is better), but just honoring the whole series with one. As for Raiders, TGTBATU, and especially the incredibles, i have no idea. Seriously, for annimation, totally sucks. Bambi and Cinderella are total crap to the Incredibles. And definately to Finding Nemo too. That should be higher.


Posted by: james on June 18, 2008 at 01:24:35

Where is The Matrix?


Posted by: buffybuddy17 on June 18, 2008 at 01:28:11

where the hell is the horror category?


Posted by: Jonathan on June 18, 2008 at 01:29:15

No Matrix in Sci-fi? Fail.


Posted by: Aaron on June 18, 2008 at 01:32:27

Where's the Adventure category because I seem to not see Raiders of the Lost Ark or James Bond on the list anywhere? How can they put something so precise as Courtroom Drama as opposed to Drama and leave off Adventure altogether. These lists suck!


Posted by: Steve on June 18, 2008 at 01:37:29

You guys do realize that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is an Italian film, right? This is the AMERICAN Film Institute.


Posted by: russelcrowe on June 18, 2008 at 01:39:24

I agree with most, but no Gladiator?


Posted by: Arya on June 18, 2008 at 01:39:59

this list is pretty decent i agree with alot of the picks


Posted by: mikev on June 18, 2008 at 01:40:52

this list blows..hard peepee


Posted by: j on June 18, 2008 at 02:00:08

Wheres The Good, The Bad, and the Ungly in Westerns! Come on how can you leave that off the list... Also Memento should be on the Mystery list. Also Alice and Wonderland should be on the animation list.


Posted by: Alexander_Q on June 18, 2008 at 02:00:14

I second the call for Howard the Duck


Posted by: Andrew on June 18, 2008 at 02:10:44

This has already been stated, but it bares repeating, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is not eligible for this list because it's not an American film.


Posted by: Nightwing on June 18, 2008 at 02:12:14

list isn't that bad but come on no Braveheart, Spider-Man 2, The Matrix but then again how do you pick only ten movies for each category some tough choices had to be made and i'm sure we can think of dozens of movies we'd like to see on these lists


Posted by: Darriann on June 18, 2008 at 02:17:00

Where the hell is Star Wars.I don't care which one they would have picked,but I feel as though that series needs to be represented here.Hell without Star Wars,quite a few of the movies on those lists wouldn't even exist.


Posted by: jared on June 18, 2008 at 02:17:10

where the hell is 'Star Trek - First Contact' or 'Star Trek - Generations' or 'Star Trek - Insurrection', 'Alien 3', 'Aliens', 'Alien Resurrection', 'Alien VS Predator' (2004), 'Star Wars : Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back' or 'Star Wars : Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith' or 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark', 'Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom', 'Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade', 'Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull', 'Pirates Of The Caribbean - The Curse Of The Black Pearl', 'Pirates Of The Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest', 'Pirates Of The Caribbean - At World's End'?!!!!!!!


Posted by: looselytranslated on June 18, 2008 at 02:17:33

where is "Saving Private Ryan" or "Shawshank"? I also agree with matrix, braveheart and the incredibles. Surely theres a space for fight club too ;). Yeah, this list mostly sucks. Was probably put together by some old timers who are against any modern F/X or storylines. Just because a movie has superb F/X, actors and plot, doesnt mean it cant be good.


Posted by: Barry on June 18, 2008 at 02:21:47

SUPERMAN should be in FANTASY - EVERY comic book movie that's followed owes a debt of gratitude to that movie for showing how a comic book character translates to film correctly. It's a benchmark - special effects, drama, romance, comedy, a three act film, and a movie first and blockbuster second. Theres a love story but it isn't too sappy. It isn't even a summer movie since it was released in December 1978.

Quite frankly, Close Encounters should have been on that list too - because in 1977 and 78 3 movies changed big budget movies forever: Star Wars, Close Encounters, and Superman.


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