In 1998, the American Film Institute undertook to determine, by vote of 1,500 of America's movie professionals, filmmakers, historians, critics, agents, actors, executives, and the like, bona fide film people all, the 100 ... more »Greatest American Films of All Time. That is, by commemorating the last century, which encapsulates the entire history of American narrative film (not really a century, beginning in the teens, and extending through the end of 1997 for voting purposes---you do the math), the AFI attempted to establish a definitive list of the top 100 by a popular vote of the industry. The result was aired on CBS in June 1998, in this 145-minute TV special. Top-loaded as it is with sentimental favorites, the list serves best as a celebration of American film, with short clips of favorite moments from the films, annotated by filmmakers as august as Martin Scorsese and Sidney Lumet, among many, many others. Learn what makes Dustin Hoffman or Burt Reynolds weep, if you must. But as a list of the "greatest" American films of all time, the list is greatly lacking---no Buster Keaton, no Lubitsch, scant silents... these are a few of the objections a knowledgeable filmgoer might make. Better to use this program to whet one's appetite for more films, to re-view past favorites, and explore those of others, to argue with it for its omissions and slights. That's if one can get past the constant reminders of our hosts, Jodi Foster, Richard Gere, and Sally Field, that what we are seeing are THE GREATEST AMERICAN FILMS OF ALL TIME. --Jim Gay« less
AFI's 100 Years-Top100 American Movies, 2 Versions on DVD!!!
forrie | Nashua, NH United States | 05/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The American Film Institute (AFI) (Motto - Advancing & preserving the art of the moving image) & over 1500 Film Industry Professionals in 1998 determined the Top 100 American Movies in the Last 100 Years. From a Compiled list of 400 Movies the Panel chose the FINAL 100....Many are critical of this Top 100 List, while others praise it. I found after I understood the judging criteria the Final 100 American Movies were more justified. This was a subjective decision based on the following criteria: The Feature-Film must be over 60 minutes, Critical recognition (must be in print),Popularity over time, Historical Significance, Cultural Impact & Major Award Winner or Nominations.AFI's 100 Years 100 Movies is now available on DVD in 2 Full Screen Versions.The COMPLETE EDITION a 10 hour 10 Part Series presented on TNT in 10 - 1 hour segments Narrated by James Woods & divided by critical categories. 1.) Against the Grain - Hosted by Richard Gere - Basic American Heroism. 2.) Against the Law - Hosted by Gere - The subject is Crime. 3.) Family Portraits -Hosted by Sally Field - The Treasured Institution of Family. 4.) In Search of... - Hosted by Jodie Foster - Treasure of all sorts!! 5.) Love Crazy - Hosted by Field - Sweetly Sentimental. 6.) War & Peace - Hosted by Gere. 7.) The Wilder Shores of Love - Hosted by Field - Exotic times & places. 8.) The Antiheroes - Hosted by Foster - The Outcasts. 9.)Out of Control - Hosted by Gere - Monsters of all Kinds. 10.) Fantastic Flights - Hosted by Foster - Real & Surreal People & Places. This 2 (double side / Dual layer) DVD set is over 460 minutes in length and allows over 4 1/2 minutes per movie review. Many Stars, Director and Movie Professional Comments. This is the Master COMPLETE EDITION version with great detail & explanation for the viewer. For the serious videophile Collector !!!The 3 hour CBS TELEVISION SPECIAL was presented as a 100 movie count down show starting with movie #100 - Yankee Doodle Dandy and finalizing with the #1 movie, Citizen Kane. A very good show but very brief on each Movies review (less than 1 1/2 minutes). This DVD is also Full Screen and excellent quality. A must for the Home DVD Library !!! The AFI DVD series introduces us to the complex world of the American Film over the first 100 years. With this list whether we agree or not allows us to experience the expansive world of Cinema. Enjoy."
A 10-hour advertisement
Todd Welbes | Lima, Peru | 04/30/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, enough with the attacks on the list. I doubt you could make a list of "100 Movies That Most People Find Basically Tolerable" without stirring up controversy. If you're reading these reviews, you're probably less interested in AFI's decision than the quality of this DVD set.For the record, I looked at this collection for use in teaching a film class. Unfortunately, I found the series does not stand up well to that purpose. Essentially, each film gets about 6 minutes of screen time in which James Woods provides a voice-over synopsis of the plot.Yes, they give away the endings to many much-loved films. Even worse, though, plot summary is *all* this series offers. On average, each segment contains perhaps a quote or two from the director, a glimpse of a film critic with some out-of-context remark, and on to the next movie. Obviously AFI did not set out to create a comprehensive analyses of 100 films, but I cannot understand why anyone would want to buy what amounts to a 4-DVD set of Cliffs Notes.To my mind the whole thing seems pretty cynical. Not only is this clearly just an ad for AFI's film catalog, they are *charging* you [a fee]to view it."
Success and failure for the AFI.
weirdo_87 | Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA | 07/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1998, the American Film Institute (AFI) celebrated American cinema's first century with a list of 100 of the greatest movies ("English Language" films, according to the rules. More on that later). Since then, various people have both praised and criticized the AFI's selections. I, for one, do both. I praise them for alerting us to treasures of cinema, but criticize them for allowing works that should stand on their own be forced into competition with one another. Now, many people who watch "Citizen Kane" do so to critique and analyze it to see why it's so great, rather then watch it for the fun of it. But, unlike many people, I realize that this list was not meant to be the definitive opinion on our greatest movies, like how the Oscars aren't always right on what's the best of each year. Rather, this list serves as an introduction to cinema. But shouldn't an introduction include all the basics? For example, the silent era is practically forgotten with only four films (Three Charlie Chaplin and D.W Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation") being selected. Where is Buster Keaton's "The General", Griffith's "Intolerance" and King Vidor's "The Crowd" or "The Big Parade"? How about F.W Murnau's "Sunrise" or Erich Von Stroheim's "Greed"? If at least some of these had been voted for, I would be willing to ignore most other shortcomings. Many great directors and some of their greatest works were represented. Among these were Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, Martin Scorsese, Orson Welles, William Wyler, John Ford, Frank Capra and Francis Ford Coppola. However, some of these masters' best works aren't on the list. For example, where is Hitchcock's "Notorious", Welles' "Touch of Evil", Kubrick's "Paths of Glory", Wilder's "The Lost Weekend" and Ford's "The Quiet Man"? These seemed, to me, to be shoo ins. And there are many other directors who aren't even on the list. Besides the aforementioned Keaton and Vidor, where's Preston Sturges and Ernst Lubitsch? And though Howard Hawks' "Bringing Up Baby" did make the cut, I thought "Red River" or "The Big Sleep" would as well. Other people have also pointed out the inclusion of "British" films on the list such as "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "A Clockwork Orange". While these movies were made in outside the U.S and by British filmmakers, they were released by major U.S film studios and often starred American actors or received financing by American producers. The fact that the list also represents "English language films" meant these movies were more then eligible. The AFI also surprised with other choices, but these were welcome ones. I call this the 'Good Unexpected Category'. An example is "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (#100), a hugely entertaining musical with one of James Cagney's best roles (His favorite I believe). But I did not think enough voters had seen it or would have selected it in their top ten. Same with "The Manchurian Candidate" (#67) and "Mutiny on the Bounty" (#86). And I was convinced that none of the voters would have touched "Clockwork Orange" with a ten foot stick, much less give it enough votes to land at #46. So, I have admitted that the AFI was not completely full of controversy. For they made many great, already spoken for selections and still proved to be full of surprises. As I stated in the introduction, a list such as this and the others that the AFI made since (The greatest screen legends, comedies, thrillers and romances) have lead into nationwide debates and viewing or reviewing of the movies. I was among those who started looking towards the classics by checking this list out. I originally thought "Citizen Kane" would be a dumb, boring movie. So much for what I knew. With its brilliance, ground breaking film techniques (Which only seem dated because we have lived in its influence) and tremendous entertainment value, I now consider it one of my favorites and proudly own the DVD. Among the others I have seen that I liked include Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia, On the Waterfront, The Third Man, Chinatown, Double Indemnity, Singing in the Rain and 2001: A Space Odyssey. And, if the movie strikes us, we start to explore others that are part of its genre and/or were made by the same director or actors, like I have with Stanley Kubrick and Humphrey Bogart. I'm also a closet Musical and Film Noir fan as a result of "Singing in the Rain" and "The Maltese Falcon". If this program's purpose was to encourage that, rather than form a definite record of the greatest movies, then mission accomplished. Just one more thing: If there is a movie on this program you haven't seen yet, you should consider skipping that section for there are likely to be spoilers that might ruin your enjoyment."
Excellent compilation of the greatest films of the century
forrie | 11/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've watched this DVD many times and really enjoy it because I always see something new that I've missed or never noticed before. It's a compilation of the top 100 films from the last 100 years and it makes one appreciate the impact film has had on our society. Very entertaining!"
Not even good television
Mark Nave | Palm City, FL USA | 02/19/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Night of a Thousand Stars 2. Here'an idea. Go to AFI's Web site, AFI.com, check out the top 100 list and buy one you've never seen. Now that's worth celebrating."