A guide to black films, reviews and resources.

Top 100 American Movies


By
Laurence Washington

 

     The American Film Institute has released a list of its top 100 films. There were more than a few treasures uncovered like Dr. Strangelove, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and North By Northwest. And some dogs which shouldn't have made the list were uncovered too, Fantasia, The Wild Bunch and The Silence of The Lambs. These films were chosen by members of the film industry, critics and prominent fans from a list of 400 movies nominated. Keeping in mind that black dollars make up 3/4 of movie tickets sales in the United States, it's curious that no black directed films made the final cut. Spike Lee's landmark film Do The Right Thing was nominated, but didn't make the top 100. Lee's historical Malcom X wasn't even considered.
     Racist films like the Jazz Singer and Birth of A Nation made the top 100, and guess what? I wouldn't have taken them off the list. Despite their filmmaker's two-dimensional thinking, both films are momuments to Hollywood's black stereotypes before they "supposely" knew better. Birth of a Nation also proved that film could evoke and stir human emotions by causing riots in the streets over 80 years ago. We need that film around as a educational tool about the evils of the Klu Klux Klan and Hollywood's blind racism which is still there today, it's just more subtle. And why not? When Hollywood have actors like Ice Cube making the Player's Club which keeps negative stereotypes about blacks going.
     If I had a sword and the authority to use it, I would knight the people who nominated Schindler's List, To Kill A Mockingbird and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, after I take a swipe at those who forgot about Gordon Park's The Learning Tree, Imitation of Life, Malcom X, Do The Right Thing, Shaft and Cry Freedom.
     Well, here they are. These are the 100 American feature films selected by the American Film Institute. Pictures made from 1912 to 1996 were eligible:

1. CITIZEN KANE 1941

2. CASABLANCA 1942

3. THE GODFATHER 1972

4. GONE WITH THE WIND 1939

5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962

6. THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939

7. THE GRADUATE 1967

8. ON THE WATERFRONT 1954

9. SCHINDLER'S LIST 1993

10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN 1952

11. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946

12. SUNSET BOULEVARD 1950

13. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI 1957

14. SOME LIKE IT HOT 1959

15. STAR WARS 1977

16. ALL ABOUT EVE 1950

17. THE AFRICAN QUEEN 1951

18. PSYCHO 1960

19. CHINATOWN 1974

20. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST 1975

21. THE GRAPES OF WRATH 1940

22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968

23. THE MALTESE FALCON 1941

24. RAGING BULL 1980

25. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982

26. DR. STRANGELOVE 1964

27. BONNIE AND CLYDE 1967

28. APOCALYPSE NOW 1979

29. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON 1939

30. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE 1948

31. ANNIE HALL 1977

32. THE GODFATHER PART II 1974

33. HIGH NOON 1952

34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962

35. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT 1934

36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY 1969

37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 1946

38. DOUBLE INDEMNITY 1944

39. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO 1965

40. NORTH BY NORTHWEST 1959

41. WEST SIDE STORY 1961

42. REAR WINDOW 1954

43. KING KONG 1933

44. THE BIRTH OF A NATION 1915

45. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951

46. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE 1971

47. TAXI DRIVER 1976

48. JAWS 1975

49. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS 1937

50. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID 1969

51. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY 1940

52. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY 1953

53. AMADEUS 1984

54. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1930

55. THE SOUND OF MUSIC 1965

56. M+A+S+H 1970

57. THE THIRD MAN 1949

58. FANTASIA 1940

59. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE 1955

60. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK 1981

61. VERTIGO 1958

62. TOOTSIE 1982

63. STAGECOACH 1939

64. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND 1977

65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 1991

66. NETWORK 1976

67. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE 1962

68. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS 1951

69. SHANE 1953

70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION 1971

71. FORREST GUMP 1994

72. BEN-HUR 1959

73. WUTHERING HEIGHTS 1939

74. THE GOLD RUSH 1925

75. DANCES WITH WOLVES 1990

76. CITY LIGHTS 1931

77. AMERICAN GRAFFITI 1973

78. ROCKY 1976

79. THE DEER HUNTER 1978

80. THE WILD BUNCH 1969

81. MODERN TIMES 1936

82. GIANT 1956

83. PLATOON 1986

84. FARGO 1996

85. DUCK SOUP 1933

86. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY 1935

87. FRANKENSTEIN 1931

88. EASY RIDER 1969

89. PATTON 1970

90. THE JAZZ SINGER 1927

91. MY FAIR LADY 1964

92. A PLACE IN THE SUN 1951

93. THE APARTMENT 1960

94. GOODFELLAS 1990

95. PULP FICTION 1994

96. THE SEARCHERS 1956

97. BRINGING UP BABY 1938

98. UNFORGIVEN 1992

99. GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER 1967

100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942

<BACK