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:
1 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS 1937
1 THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
1 THE GODFATHER 1972
1 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968
1 THE SEARCHERS 1956
1 RAGING BULL 1980
1 VERTIGO 1958
1 CITY LIGHTS 1931
1 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962
1 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962
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
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.
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.
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.
AFI defines the “gangster film” as a genre that centers on organized crime or maverick criminals in a twentieth century setting.
AFI defines “science fiction” as a genre that marries a scientific or technological premise with imaginative speculation.
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.
AFI defines “sports” as a genre of films with protagonists who play athletics or other games of competition.
AFI defines “mystery” as a genre that revolves around the solution of a crime.
AFI defines “romantic comedy” as a genre in which the development of a romance leads to comic situations.
AFI defines “courtroom drama” as a genre of film in which a system of justice plays a critical role in the film’s narrative.
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.
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.
A film’s mark on the history of moving images through visionary narrative devices, technical innovation, or other ground breaking achievements.
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.