AFI List Progress

This article was originally posted February 22nd and Mar 6th 2008 on my Facebook “Notes”. It is reprinted here because I am moving some of those posts over to the blog site.

As many of you know, one of the things on my “Bucket List” (yes, long before the movie came out), is to see every single movie on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movies list. So how am I doing? I’ve only got 14 movies to go! That’s right – I have seen 86 of the best movies ever made.

What are my thoughts so far?


#4 Gone With The Wind. (1939)
Seriously. These are dysfunctional people. Grow up! (Beautiful cinematography though.)

#8 On The Waterfront. (1954)
I’m sure Brando’s method acting was a smash hit in 1954. Just please…make it stop now.

#21 The Grapes of Wrath. (1940)
We get it. The depression sucked. It has important life lessons…blah blah blah.

#25 E.T. (1982)
How did this after-school television special make it into the top 100?

#36 Midnight Cowboy. (1969)
OK, in 1969 this might have been cool….no really, it’s terrible and would suck even if you were on acid.

#37 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Help…I’ve fallen asleep…and can’t wake up!

#39 Dr Zhivago (1965)
If I hear that song one more time I’m going to stab myself in the ears.

#47 Taxi Driver (1976)
Ummm…OK…it’s the “anti-hero” thing. I guess.


#12 Sunset Boulevard (1950)
It’s smart, sharp, dark, and daring.

#16 All About Eve (1950)
A bunch of chics having backstage drama? I thought it would suck…boy, was I wrong.

#26 Dr. Strangelove (1964)
It was cool before cool was cool.

#38 Double Indemnity (1944)
Wow…the My Three Sons dude can really act!

#40 North By Northwest (1959)
So how far CAN you drive the mistaken identity thing?

#59 Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
I can’t tell you exactly why, but I really loved it.

#67 The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
If you’ve only seen the remake – please erase your memory and then see this version instead.

#82 Giant (1956)
Wow…a wonderful epic film. Makes startling racism commentary for its time.

#89 Patton (1970)
I really tried to hate this film. But I just couldn’t.

#93 The Apartment (1960)
A very pleasant surprise for me.

#96 The Searchers (1956)
Long, drawnout western – are you kidding me? NO! It’s awesome! John Wayne at his finest.

#99 Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967)
If you’ve never seen a Syndey Poitier film all the way through, then YOU suck.

Recent Screenings:
Saw “Sophie’s Choice (1982)”, “The Wild Bunch (1969)” and “A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)” this week.

Sophie’s Choice (1982)
I really enjoyed this one – even though I thought I wouldn’t. I thought it was a chick flick and never really gave it the time of day. But it was an extremely well acted drama with two of my favorite actors in it (What? There’s other people in it besides Meryl? Of course!). The lawyer dude from Alley McBeal is actually the main character, and it’s the feature film debut of Kevin Kline (whom I love). The ending will leave you thinking about it for weeks.

The Wild Bunch (1969)
I think the Director intentionally did a big “screw you” to the audience, a la “I’m going to make you care about some characters, and then intentionally make them die needlessly and extremely violently right in front of you.” I guess the film could be taken as a metaphor for the death of the western genre given that it came out in 1969, but it seems to me to have more in common with the anti-hero films of the early 70’s. In many ways, this film could be seen as the predecessor to Quentin Tarrantino type films.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
I’m glad I saw the supposed “director’s cut” which has the additional 3 minutes of footage in it, because even with them I nearly missed the inference of sexual assault (I mean it WAS 1951). Reading some things on the net after I watched the movie also helped, as it filled in the holes for me (because I’ve never seen the play.) In particular it helped me understand why Stella makes her choice at the end. It is a very interesting character study – and I did come to appreciate the awesome acting in the film. I even liked Brando in it – which is something considering how much I hated On The Waterfront.

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3 Comments on “AFI List Progress”

  1. What!?! That list is a sham, I mean, NONE of the Die Hards made the list?!? I can’t possibly trust in any movie list that doesn’t include Mr. Willis’ finest performance.

  2. jermtech Says:

    LOL Retz…you crack me up, man. When is Bruce Willis getting his Lifetime Acheivement Award from the Academy? He’ll need one…because he’ll never get an actual Oscar that’s for sure.

  3. Nice…real nice….I wonder how God would view those comments.

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