What Is the AFI's List of Top 100 Movies?


Quick Answer

In 1998, the American Film Institute, or AFI, created a list of the 100 most influential and best-made films from the first 100 years of cinema. The list was updated one in 2008 as part of the 10th anniversary of the initial list's creation.

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Full Answer

AFI's "100 Years...100 Movies" list began as a project to create a comprehensive overview of the vast achievements of American film making. The institution first conducted exhaustive internal research and documentation to compile a pool of over 400 films that best represented the power and expertise of America's film history. After compiling this body, AFI collaborated with more than 1,500 individuals involved in the film industry, including directors, screen writers, producers, actors and critics.

AFI reached a consensus on the top 100 by aggregating and analyzing the feedback and choices from all participants. The final list was presented as 145-minute special broadcast on CBS television on June 16, 1998. The special was later adapted into a 460-minute 10-part series for the TNT network, hosted by actors Sally Field, Richard Gere and Jodie Foster, with narration by actor James Woods. The 10th anniversary special aired on CBS on June 20, 2007 and was hosted by actor Morgan Freeman.

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