Friday, January 19, 2007

What's new on the AFI 100 Years, 100 Movies (part 2) list?


When the American Film Institute announced that it was going to do a new 100 Years, 100 Movies list to update the old list, it was only natural to assume that they'd add films from the last ten years (the cutoff date on the last list was 1996 -- the cutoff date for this one is 2005). They added over 40 films made between 1997 and 2005, including everything from the three Lord of the Rings films to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

But the AFI didn't just stop there. They added a number of films by directors who missed the last list in an attempt to rectify some oversights. Buster Keaton's Sherlock, Jr. joins his The General from the original list, and John Cassavetes lands A Woman Under the Influence on the list. But in adding all of these new films, they didn't simply expand the list of 400 films eligible for the 1998 list to 500 or more. Instead, they replaced a bunch of films on the original list with new ones. Now, there are not a lot of films that have been replaced that will truly be missed (and the rumor is that the ones replaced were the ones with the lowest scores in the 1990s balloting), but there are a few curious choices of removal, to go along with a few curious omissions.

A UK poster on the Oscarwatch forums called "spicebrain" has compiled this helpful list of every film added and removed from the list. A note: Foreign films, short films and documentaries are not eligible. If you want to see the original ballot, it is here (warning: PDF). The new ballot is here.

First, the films that are new to the 2007 shortlist, broken up by decade:

  • "Broken Blossoms" (D.W. Griffith; 1919)
  • "Sherlock, Jr." (Buster Keaton; 1924)
  • "The Freshman" (Sam Taylor & Fred C. Newmeyer; 1925)
  • "Queen Christina" (Rouben Mamoulian; 1933)
  • "Jezebel" (William Wyler; 1938)
  • "The Great Dictator" (Charles Chaplin; 1940)
  • "Stormy Weather" (Andrew L. Stone; 1943)
  • "Mildred Pierce" (Michael Curtiz; 1945)
  • "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (Tay Garnett; 1946)
  • "Ace in the Hole" (Billy Wilder; 1951)
  • "The Thing From Another World" (Christian Nyby; 1951)
  • "Roman Holiday" (William Wyler; 1953)
  • "The King and I" (Walter Lang; 1956)
  • "A Face in the Crowd" (Elia Kazan; 1957)
  • "The Sweet Smell of Success" (Alexander Mackendrick; 1957)
  • "Porgy and Bess" (Otto Preminger; 1959)
  • "The Great Escape" (John Sturges; 1963)
  • "Harold and Maude" (Hal Ashby; 1971)
  • "Sleeper" (Woody Allen; 1973)
  • "A Woman Under the Influence" (John Cassavetes; 1974)
  • "Young Frankenstein" (Mel Brooks; 1974)
  • "Halloween" (John Carpenter; 1978)
  • "Airplane!" (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker & Jerry Zucker; 1980)
  • "The Shining" (Stanley Kubrick; 1980)
  • "A Christmas Story" (Bob Clark; 1983)
  • "The King of Comedy" (Martin Scorsese; 1983)
  • "This Is Spinal Tap" (Rob Reiner; 1984)
  • "The Breakfast Club" (John Hughes; 1985)
  • "Hoosiers" (David Anspaugh; 1986)
  • "Stand by Me" (Rob Reiner; 1986)
  • "Bull Durham" (Ron Shelton; 1988)
  • "When Harry Met Sally..." (Rob Reiner; 1989)
  • "Boyz n the Hood" (John Singleton; 1991)
  • "Groundhog Day" (Harold Ramis; 1993)
  • "The Usual Suspects" (Bryan Singer; 1995)
  • "As Good as It Gets" (James L. Brooks; 1997) (the first film released too late to be eligible for the old list)
  • "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" (Jay Roach; 1997)
  • "Boogie Nights" (Paul Thomas Anderson; 1997)
  • "Good Will Hunting" (Gus Van Sant; 1997)
  • "L.A. Confidential" (Curtis Hanson; 1997)
  • "Titanic" (James Cameron; 1997)
  • "Rushmore" (Wes Anderson; 1998)
  • "Saving Private Ryan" (Steven Spielberg; 1998)
  • "Shakespeare in Love" (John Madden; 1998)
  • "There's Something About Mary" (Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly; 1998)
  • "American Beauty" (Sam Mendes; 1999)
  • "Being John Malkovich" (Spike Jonze; 1999)
  • "Fight Club" (David Fincher; 1999)
  • "The Insider" (Michael Mann; 1999)
  • "The Matrix" (Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski; 1999)
  • "The Sixth Sense" (M. Night Shyamalan; 1999)
  • "Three Kings" (David O. Russell; 1999)
  • "Erin Brockovich" (Steven Soderbergh; 2000)
  • "Gladiator" (Ridley Scott; 2000)
  • "Requiem for a Dream" (Darren Aronofsky; 2000)
  • "Traffic" (Steven Soderbergh; 2000)
  • "A Beautiful Mind" (Ron Howard; 2001)
  • "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (Peter Jackson; 2001)
  • "Memento" (Christopher Nolan; 2001)
  • "Moulin Rouge!" (Baz Luhrmann; 2001)
  • "Shrek" (Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson; 2001)
  • "Chicago" (Rob Marshall; 2002)
  • "The Hours" (Stephen Daldry; 2002)
  • "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (Peter Jackson; 2002)
  • "Finding Nemo" (Andrew Stanton; 2003)
  • "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (Peter Jackson; 2003)
  • "Lost in Translation" (Sofia Coppola; 2003)
  • "Mystic River" (Clint Eastwood; 2003)
  • "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (Gore Verbinski; 2003)
  • "The Aviator" (Martin Scorsese; 2004)
  • "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (Michel Gondry; 2004)
  • "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (Alfonso CuarĂ³n; 2004)
  • "Hotel Rwanda" (Terry George; 2004)
  • "Million Dollar Baby" (Clint Eastwood; 2004)
  • "Ray" (Taylor Hackford; 2004)
  • "Sideways" (Alexander Payne; 2004)
  • "Spider-Man 2" (Sam Raimi; 2004)
  • "Brokeback Mountain" (Ang Lee; 2005)
  • "Crash" (Paul Haggis; 2005)
  • "Good Night, and Good Luck." (George Clooney; 2005)
There are a lot of puzzling inclusions in the more recent films, but the older films seem to be a genuine attempt to make up for shortcomings in the older list, including films by ignored directors (as mentioned above) and a lot of genre films that were overlooked in the 90s (Halloween and Airplane! for example). I'm surprised, for example, that The Sweet Smell of Success and The Postman Always Rings Twice weren't eligible on the old list. Of the older films (and I'll admit I haven't seen a few), only The King and I strikes me as an odd inclusion -- it's one of the lesser Rodgers & Hammerstein films.

Here are the films removed from the 1997 ballot to make room for the films above, again broken up by decade.

  • "Richard III" (AndrĂ© Calmettes & James Keane; 1912)
  • "Within Our Gates" (Oscar Micheaux; 1920)
  • "The Broadway Melody" (Harry Beaumont; 1929)
  • "Morocco" (Josef von Sternberg; 1930)
  • "Cimarron" (Wesley Ruggles; 1931)
  • "Cavalcade" (Frank Lloyd; 1933)
  • "David Copperfield" (George Cukor; 1935)
  • "The Little Colonel" (David Butler; 1935)
  • "The Great Ziegfeld" (Robert Z. Leonard; 1936)
  • "A Star Is Born" (William A. Wellman; 1937)
  • "Boys Town" (Norman Taurog; 1938)
  • "Babes In Arms" (Busby Berkeley; 1939)
  • "Only Angels Have Wings" (Howard Hawks; 1939)
  • "The Mark of Zorro" (Rouben Mamoulian; 1940)
  • "Bataan" (Tay Garnett; 1943)
  • "Hail the Conquering Hero" (Preston Sturges; 1944)
  • "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" (Mervyn LeRoy; 1944)
  • "The Yearling" (Clarence Brown; 1946)
  • "Intruder in the Dust" (Clarence Brown; 1949)
  • "A Letter to Three Wives" (Joseph L. Mankiewicz; 1949)
  • "Sands of Iwo Jima" (Allan Dwan; 1949)
  • "The Gunfighter" (Henry King; 1950)
  • "The Greatest Show on Earth" (Cecil B. DeMille; 1952)
  • "The War of the Worlds" (Byron Haskin; 1953)
  • "The Caine Mutiny" (Edward Dmytryk; 1954)
  • "Carmen Jones" (Otto Preminger; 1954)
  • "Salt of the Earth" (Herbert J. Biberman; 1954)
  • "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (Richard Fleischer; 1954)
  • "East of Eden" (Elia Kazan; 1955)
  • "Lady and the Tramp" (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson & Hamilton Luske; 1955)
  • "Mister Roberts" (John Ford & Mervyn LeRoy; 1955)
  • "Oklahoma!" (Fred Zinnemann; 1955)
  • "The Seven Year Itch" (Billy Wilder; 1955)
  • "Around the World in Eighty Days" (Michael Anderson; 1956)
  • "Run Silent, Run Deep" (Robert Wise; 1958)
  • "Anatomy of a Murder" (Otto Preminger; 1959)
  • "Imitation of Life" (Douglas Sirk; 1959)
  • "On the Beach" (Stanley Kramer; 1959)
  • "Shadows" (John Cassavetes; 1959)
  • "Elmer Gantry" (Richard Brooks; 1960)
  • "El Cid" (Anthony Mann; 1961)
  • "Judgment at Nuremberg" (Stanley Kramer; 1961)
  • "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske & Wolfgang Reitherman; 1961)
  • "Cleopatra" (Joseph L. Mankiewicz; 1963)
  • "From Russia With Love" (Terence Young; 1963)
  • "Hud" (Martin Ritt; 1963)
  • "The Pink Panther" (Blake Edwards; 1963)
  • "Tom Jones" (Tony Richardson; 1963)
  • "The Americanization of Emily" (Arthur Hiller; 1964)
  • "Fantastic Voyage" (Richard Fleischer; 1966)
  • "Barefoot in the Park" (Gene Saks; 1967)
  • "In Cold Blood" (Richard Brooks; 1967)
  • "The Jungle Book" (Wolfgang Reitherman; 1967)
  • "Two for the Road" (Stanley Donen; 1967)
  • "Bullitt" (Peter Yates; 1968)
  • "Oliver!" (Carol Reed; 1968)
  • "Medium Cool" (Haskell Wexler; 1969)
  • "Little Big Man" (Arthur Penn; 1970)
  • "Fiddler on the Roof" (Norman Jewison; 1971)
  • "The Goodbye Girl" (Herbert Ross; 1977)
  • "Melvin and Howard" (Jonathan Demme; 1980)
  • "Missing" (Costa-Gavras; 1982)
  • "Local Hero" (Bill Forsyth; 1983)
  • "El Norte" (Gregory Nava; 1983)
  • "Return of the Jedi" (Richard Marquand; 1983)
  • "Beverly Hills Cop" (Martin Brest; 1984)
  • "Children of a Lesser God" (Randa Haines; 1986)
  • "Hannah and Her Sisters" (Woody Allen; 1986)
  • "Lethal Weapon" (Richard Donner; 1987)
  • "The Untouchables" (Brian De Palma; 1987)
  • "Dangerous Liaisons" (Stephen Frears; 1988)
  • "The Last Temptation of Christ" (Martin Scorsese; 1988)
  • "Batman" (Tim Burton; 1989)
  • "Pretty Woman" (Garry Marshall; 1990)
  • "Rambling Rose" (Martha Coolidge; 1991)
  • "The Player" (Robert Altman; 1992)
  • "The Fugitive" (Andrew Davis; 1993)
  • "The Joy Luck Club" (Wayne Wang; 1993)
  • "Casino" (Martin Scorsese; 1995)
  • "Leaving Las Vegas" (Mike Figgis; 1995)
There's a lot of quid pro quo going on here -- a R&H musical (Oklahoma!) traded for another (The King and I); one Cassavetes (Shadows) traded for a more nominatable one (A Woman Under the Influence). And, honestly, there's not a lot that's going to be missed. I think that even with the chaff in the list of films added, that list is a stronger bunch overall -- is anyone really going to miss The Joy Luck Club or Cleopatra?

I wish they had made room for The Player or Imitation of Life or even The Fugitive (a popcorn favorite of mine), but I also don't see how any of the three above would have made the new list (maybe Imitation of Life, given the love bestowed upon Douglas Sirk in the wake of Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven). Every Best Picture winner ever was on the old list (with one exception), and all of the Best Picture winners since 1996 have been added, but seven old ones were cut -- The Broadway Melody, Cimarron, Cavalcade, The Great Ziegfeld, The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in 80 Days and Oliver! These are probably among the worst Best Picture winners ever, so neither of them is a huge loss either. Laurence Olivier's Hamlet was not on the old list or on this one, but that probably stems from eligibility problems -- it was produced entirely with British money, unlike, say, Lawrence of Arabia, which had some American money involved in it.


What's missing from the list of additions? Not a lot. I would have included The Incredibles, for instance, but Finding Nemo is a good substitute for showing the dominance of Pixar in the animation field in the last 10 years (Toy Story was eligible the last time around but didn't make the list). It's also sort of curious that none of the films from Steven Spielberg's remarkable run since 2001 (A.I., Minority Report, Catch Me if You Can, The Terminal, War of the Worlds and Munich) have been included, but critical opinion (and commercial opinion) on those is still fairly mixed. Honestly, one can quibble, but the AFI seems to me to have made a good shot at varying things up on this new list, and they should be applauded for that.

Then again, how likely is it that any of the new films will make the list? While the AFI list is unique in that it polls regular folk in addition to film critics and film professionals, it's not as though Citizen Kane's stature is going to suddenly crumble simply because George W. Bush has been added to the voting pool (I assume). The old list was very baby boomer friendly (The Graduate made the top ten for no discernable reason) and nostalgic for the films of the 60s and 70s above all else. But, honestly, I don't see the new list reflecting the huge rise in the numbers of film critics made possible by the easy availability of DVD and the popularity of criticism blogs.

So that means, sadly, the number of additions will probably be kept to 10 or so. Certainly a Lord of the Rings will make it in, and I would wager that a Pixar entry will as well. Saving Private Ryan will boost Spielberg's total (he had five on the last list, and I don't see any of those five -- Close Encounters, E.T., Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Schindler's List -- dropping off). The Shawshank Redemption should make a good showing, and hopefully, Keaton, Preston Sturges, Ernst Lubitsch, Terrence Malick and others finally land a film on the list.

I tend to not get too worked up about the AFI lists, as some do. They're populist lists, and as with any populist list, broad-based entertainment is going to place heavily. The last list, at least, sparked a lot of discussion about Citizen Kane (my mother didn't even know what it was!), and it's the random cineaste favorites that crack the top 100 that make the special worth watching. The AFI, of course, could poll 100 of the most respected critics and come up with a list of 100 masterpieces of American film, but the special would never end up on television and no one would pay attention. At least with the more populist AFI lists, people are getting exposed to 100 very good-to-great movies (aside from Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?). It's not a perfect system, but it's not awful either.

Addendum: spicebrain has also come up with this list of the directors with the most entries on the list. All have three or more entries.

  • [10] WILLIAM WYLER -- "Dodsworth" (36); "Jezebel" (38); "Wuthering Heights" (39); "The Little Foxes" (41); "Mrs. Miniver" (42); "The Best Years of Our Lives" (46); "The Heiress" (49); "Roman Holiday" (53); "Ben-Hur" (59); "Funny Girl" (68)
  • [9] ALFRED HITCHCOCK -- "Rebecca" (40); "Shadow of a Doubt" (43); "Notorious" (46); "Strangers on a Train" (51); "Rear Window" (54); "Vertigo" (58); "North by Northwest" (59); "Psycho" (60); "The Birds" (63)
  • [8] HOWARD HAWKS -- "Scarface" (32); "Bringing Up Baby" (38); "His Girl Friday" (40); "Sergeant York" (41); "To Have and Have Not" (44); "The Big Sleep" (46); "Red River" (48); "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (53)
  • [8] STEVEN SPIELBERG -- "Jaws" (75); "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (77); "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (81); "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (82); "The Color Purple" (85); "Jurassic Park" (93); "Schindler's List" (93); "Saving Private Ryan" (98)
  • [7] JOHN FORD -- "Stagecoach" (39); "Young Mr. Lincoln" (39); "The Grapes of Wrath" (40); "How Green Was My Valley" (41); "My Darling Clementine" (46); "The Quiet Man" (52); "The Searchers" (56)
  • [7] GEORGE STEVENS -- "Swing Time" (36); "Gunga Din" (39); "Woman of the Year" (42); "A Place in the Sun" (51); "Shane" (53); "Giant" (56); "The Diary of Anne Frank" (59)
  • [7] BILLY WILDER -- "Double Indemnity" (44); "The Lost Weekend" (45); "Sunset Blvd." (50); "Ace in the Hole" (51); "Stalag 17" (53); "Some Like it Hot" (59); "The Apartment" (60)
  • [6] FRANK CAPRA -- "It Happened One Night" (34); "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (36); "Lost Horizon" (37); "You Can't Take It With You" (38); "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (39); "It's a Wonderful Life" (46)
  • [6] STANLEY KUBRICK -- "Paths of Glory" (57); "Spartacus" (60); "Dr. Strangelove..." (64); "2001: A Space Odyssey" (68); "A Clockwork Orange" (71); "The Shining" (80)
  • [6] MARTIN SCORSESE -- "Mean Streets" (73); "Taxi Driver" (76); "Raging Bull" (80); "The King of Comedy" (83); "Goodfellas" (90); "The Aviator" (04)
  • [5] CHARLES CHAPLIN -- "The Kid" (21); "The Gold Rush" (25); "City Lights" (31); "Modern Times" (36); "The Great Dictator" (40)
  • [5] GEORGE CUKOR -- "Camille" (37); "The Philadelphia Story" (40); "Adam's Rib" (49); "A Star Is Born" (54); "My Fair Lady" (64)
  • [5] ELIA KAZAN -- "Gentleman's Agreement" (47); "A Streetcar Named Desire" (51); "On the Waterfront" (54); "A Face in the Crowd" (57); "Splendor in the Grass" (61)
  • [5] VINCENTE MINNELLI -- "Cabin in the Sky" (43); "Meet Me in St. Louis" (44); "An American in Paris" (51); "The Band Wagon" (53); "Gigi" (58)
  • [4] FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA -- "The Godfather" (72); "The Conversation" (74); "The Godfather: Part II" (74); "Apocalypse Now" (79)
  • [4] MICHAEL CURTIZ -- "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (38); "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (42); "Casablanca" (42); "Mildred Pierce" (45)
  • [4] CLINT EASTWOOD -- "The Outlaw Josey Wales" (76); "Unforgiven" (92); "Mystic River" (03); "Million Dollar Baby" (04)
  • [4] JOHN HUSTON -- "The Maltese Falcon" (41); "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (48); "The African Queen" (51); "The Man Who Would Be King" (75)
  • [4] LEO McCAREY -- "Duck Soup" (33); "The Awful Truth" (37); "Going My Way" (44); "An Affair to Remember" (57)
  • [4] RIDLEY SCOTT -- "Alien" (79); "Blade Runner" (82); "Thelma & Louise" (91); "Gladiator" (00)
  • [4] WILLIAM A. WELLMAN -- "Wings" (27); "The Public Enemy" (31); "Beau Geste" (39); "The Ox-Bow Incident" (43)
  • [3] WOODY ALLEN -- "Sleeper" (73); "Annie Hall" (77); "Manhattan" (79)
  • [3] ROBERT ALTMAN -- "M*A*S*H" (70); "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" (71); "Nashville" (75)
  • [3] JAMES L. BROOKS -- "Terms of Endearment" (83); "Broadcast News" (87); "As Good as It Gets" (97)
  • [3] MEL BROOKS -- "The Producers" (68); "Blazing Saddles" (74); "Young Frankenstein" (74)
  • [3] D.W. GRIFFITH -- "The Birth of a Nation" (15); "Intolerance" (16); "Broken Blossoms" (19)
  • [3] PETER JACKSON -- "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (01); "...The Two Towers" (02); "...The Return of the King" (03)
  • [3] STANLEY KRAMER -- "The Defiant Ones" (58); "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" (63); "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (67)
  • [3] DAVID LEAN -- "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (57); "Lawrence of Arabia" (62); "Doctor Zhivago" (65)
  • [3] ERNST LUBITSCH -- "Trouble in Paradise" (32); "Ninotchka" (39); "To Be or Not to Be" (42)
  • [3] SIDNEY LUMET -- "12 Angry Men" (57); "Dog Day Afternoon" (75); "Network" (76)
  • [3] SYDNEY POLLACK -- "The Way We Were" (73); "Tootsie" (82); "Out of Africa" (85)
  • [3] ROB REINER -- "This Is Spinal Tap" (84); "Stand by Me" (86); "When Harry Met Sally..." (89)
  • [3] STEVEN SODERBERGH -- "Sex, Lies and Videotape" (89); "Erin Brockovich" (00); "Traffic" (00)
  • [3] PRESTON STURGES -- "The Lady Eve" (41); "Sullivan's Travels" (41); "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" (44)
  • [3] ORSON WELLES -- "Citizen Kane" (41); "The Magnificent Ambersons" (42); "Touch of Evil" (58)
  • [3] ROBERT WISE -- "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (51); "West Side Story" (61); "The Sound of Music" (65)
  • [3] SAM WOOD -- "A Night at the Opera" (35); "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (39); "The Pride of the Yankees" (42)
  • [3] FRED ZINNEMANN -- "High Noon" (52); "From Here to Eternity" (53); "A Man for All Seasons" (66)
Weird that Wyler, a thoroughly competent director but not an amazing one, tops the list, but he did work in a lot of genres and had a lot of famous films.

Also, only three Altman? I get that The Player was dumped, but I'm surprised to not see Short Cuts -- which has grown in stature in the last few years -- or any of his remarkable other 70s films.

3 comments:

Reel Fanatic said...

I agree with you that for the most part it is quid pro quo, but how in the world could you drop "Hannah and Her Sisters" from contention? Along with "Manhattan" and "Annie Hall" it forms Woody's top trinity, and they're all equally great

Brett said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brett said...

sad to see Leaving Las Vegas go, as well. Hoping to god As Good As It Gets doesn't make it. I do like the film, but it's network tv drama at best. I really, really hope Good Will Hunting doesn't make the list, as it's nothing more than an indie Dead Poets Society, and I can't believe people think otherwise.

Erin Brockovich, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Moulin Rouge, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, The Aviator...these are among the semi-short list of best american films ever made? Yikes...