AFI Corner: Villains #30 Travis Bickle

travis bickle taxi driver

In this column, I go back to my roots with The American Film Institute’s Top 100 Lists, a good place to start for those interested in Classic Hollywood films. It’s in concurrence with #AFIMovieClub and the 10th anniversary of becoming a classic movie fan myself.  Thanks for reading.

The first time I ever saw Taxi Driver — owing partially to AFI’s list of heroes and villains and my own naivete at the time — I think I legitimately did think of Travis Bickle as a villain. At least he was a volatile human being I didn’t know what to do with. He unnerved me in a sense. Hence, villainy. It makes it a lot easier to categorize him in such a way because it makes it unnecessary to consider his character in more complicated terms.

However, over subsequent viewings and as I’ve grown as a person, my thoughts on Travis have evolved even a little bit. Sure, there still is the same knee-jerk reaction to his brand of vigilantism that goes to the extreme. And yet I look at him, his genuine desire to clean up the revolting streets, his sense of compulsion to protect Jodie Foster’s character — how do you come to terms with him?

These are not bad desires per se, but they get twisted over the course of the movie. By the time of his dream-like ascension, the angst of this cabbie and Vietnam vet has taken him off the proverbial deep-end.

The final scenes of Taxi Driver — even the ones leading up to the climax — and following thereafter, do not make me angry at Travis. On the contrary, I pity him and question what kind of world we live where someone can come to believe that they are a hero in their little world of self-delusion. And yet it doesn’t end simply there. Something more exists. For even the briefest of moments I think and question: Is there someone or something like Travis Bickle inside myself?

After all, if he started from a place of genuine altruism, what about me?  I can be, at times, petty and self-serving on my worst days (or even some of my better ones). You never set out to be a villain. Sometimes it just happens due to the proclivities of human nature and how we are wired.

So, on a good day is Travis a hero and on a bad day, a villain? I’m not sure if it’s as easy as that. But I would like to slightly push back against the villain title. I think what drew Paul Schrader, Martin Scorsese, and Robert De Niro toward the character was this inherent sense of the everyman ambiguity.

He could be any of us. The character is a barometer of the times and a culture coming to terms with the times. Even as De Niro leers into the mirror gruffly yelling, “You talking to me?” he’s not just calling out to his own reflection. We are all in his place. It’s yet to be known how we respond. That’s what makes it one of the most memorable characterizations of the 1970s. As much as I don’t want to admit it, Travis spells out the best and worst about us.

AFI Corner: Alternative Picks Vol. 1

hail-the-conquering-hero-4

The AFI Corner column is in concurrence with #AFIMovieClub and the 10th anniversary of becoming a classic movie fan myself.  Thanks for reading.

I hinted at several things in my Introduction to this column. Namely, the AFI lists are great but hardly comprehensive. There are numerous blind spots. It’s folly to think 100 titles (or even a couple hundred) can encompass every good movie.

However, they triggered so many rabbit holes for me — to different directors, actors even foreign cinema — and I’m glad for these asides. In no particular order, I want to point out some titles you won’t find on the AFI Lists. It’s not in an effort to be contrarian, mind you. On the contrary, I want to shine a light on more great movies!

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Leo McCarey is represented on 100 Laughs with The Awful Truth, but it is Make Way for Tomorrow that remains his other often unsung masterpiece. Among many other accolades, it served as the inspiration for Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story focusing on an elderly couple slowly forgotten by their grown children. It’s a surprising sensitive picture for the day and age. Beulah Bondi and Victor Moore couldn’t be better.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Hitchcock obviously gets a lot of visibility on the AFI lists and rightly so. However, if we want to toss out another film that he often considered his personal favorite (featuring one of my personal favorites: Teresa Wright), Shadow of a Doubt is a worthy thriller to include. Having spent time in Santa Rosa, California, I’m equally fascinated by its portrait of idyllic Americana in the face of a merry widow murderer (Joseph Cotten).

Out of The Past (1947)

It’s hard to believe there wasn’t much love for Out of The Past on the AFI lists. After all, it’s prime Robert Mitchum (#23 on AFI Stars) an up-and-coming Kirk Douglas (#17), and an inscrutable Jane Greer. However, from my own explorations, its director Jacques Tourneur is one of the unsung masters of genre pictures in Hollywood ranging from Cat People to Joel McCrea westerns.

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Howard Hawks is another fairly well-represented figure across AFI’s filmography. This aviation-adventure picture is one of the missing treasures featuring a bountiful cast headed by Cary Grant (#2 Stars), Jean Arthur, and Rita Hayworth (#19). It exemplifies Hawks’s wonderful sense of atmosphere and rowdy, fun-loving camaraderie.

Hail The Conquering Hero (1944)

Likewise, Preston Sturges is no slouch when it comes to AFI, whether by merit of Sullivan’s Travels, The Lady Eve, or The Palm Beach Story. However, one of my personal favorites is Hail The Conquering Hero. I find it to be such a pointed war picture, taking hilarious aim at a genre that was quick to lean on schmaltz and propaganda, especially during an event as cataclysmic as WWII.

What are some other alternative movies to add to AFI’s lists?

AFI Corner 100 Songs: #4 Moon River

In this column, I go back to my roots with The American Film Institute’s Top 100 Lists, a good place to start for those interested in Classic Hollywood films. It’s in concurrence with #AFIMovieClub and the 10th anniversary of becoming a classic movie fan myself.  Thanks for reading.

Let me be clear about this. “Moon River” was love at first sight. The genesis is a bit unclear. Certainly, I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s first. That must be it. Although my Grandparents had Andy Williams on record. That could have been it. I’m not sure.

The bottom line is the mellifluous tune, with its wafting nostalgic melancholy and quietly evocative tune is beautiful in all its many forms. Mancini’s composition, tailored to Audrey’s own voice, is perfectly understated for her. The lyrics of Johnny Mercer are beyond compare. Simple yet perfectly measured.

I often jest that it’s the kind of song I would want to play at my wedding, but there’s some truth to that as it touches on something that I think is wonderful. For me, it’s the embodiment of love and longing indicative of both the past and future. Huckleberry friends we’ve left behind and those at the rainbow’s end we’ve still yet to meet.

What’s more, it a melody plucked out of time. Yes, it’s the track in the opening scenes of the movie. Yes, Audrey Hepburn sings it so tenderly. But it has a life of its own.

This is part of what makes it one of the most memorable tracks on The American Film Institute’s Top 100 songs. There might be better songs, but nothing can fill the same void in me like “Moon River.” It warms the cockles of my heart.

 

AFI Corner: 2010 My Film Odyssey

This is the Introduction to a new column called AFI Corner for film fans who want to get to know The American Film Institute’s 100 Films lists. It’s in concurrence with #AFIMovieClub and the 10th anniversary of becoming a classic movie fan myself.  Thanks for reading.

Always in the back of my mind, I had the idea of trying to write a book or compendium on how I got into movies. If you couldn’t guess already, the highly original title of said book was to be 2010: My Film Odyssey (or some derivative).

Well, it’s never gotten off the ground and probably for good reason. The world rejoices. Who would want to read a poorly edited monolith like that? After all, I’m hardly the Stanley Kubrick of the written word. However, in the same breath, 4 Star Films would have never existed without that year and these lists.

It was in 2010 where I began to take a genuine interest in classic cinema. It really was an odyssey born out of curiosity and my own ignorance about movies. I wasn’t exactly an avid moviegoer in those days.

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But a family vacation introduced me to TCM (my family never had cable), and I got to see a handful of respected classics. 12 Angry Men (#87), To Kill a Mockingbird (#25), and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (#40 Laughs) among them. Seeing Mt. Rushmore and Devil’s Monument in the flesh, meant I rushed to my local library when I got home, so I could see North by Northwest (#55) and Close Encounters of The Third Kind (#64 Original).

From there, the details are a bit murky. Somehow I came across the American Film Institute’s lists online, the two flagship editions being released in 1998 and 2007 respectively. I was too ignorant to know how much dialogue (and controversy) came with the unveiling of these lists.

All I had was my curiosity and a desire to see more. When I started, I did my due diligence and checked off a whopping 12 out of 100 back in 2010! And if you’ll notice, almost half of the movies were ones I watched that very same summer for the first time.

So I built up some steam and started taking to the list. I took numerous more trips to the library. Had family members and acquaintances all check their progress on the well-worn paper copies I had so I could match their progress. It was evident I was still a movie novice. But I was learning.

Before I get ahead of myself, I should point out this blog came out of the handwritten notebooks of “reviews” I used to keep. After almost every movie I watched, I had a desire to try and write something down, not only as a record of what I had viewed but also to give it some meaning. I didn’t want it to be a mindless endeavor. I wanted to be invested.

Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Trailer2.jpg

Looking back, I laugh. The writing is stunted and formulaic. It’s more plot summary, and there are very few original ideas, but, again, I was learning — growing as a movie lover and a writer.

I’m not sure how this column will evolve, but I would love to share some of those reviews, many of them buried somewhere on this very blog, and then provide some commentary on them based on the movies and my own personal experiences with them.

Because while my life stage and location have changed quite a lot in the last decade, the movies have remained a constant. What I bring to them anew is what’s so enjoyable with every rewatch.

If I was a true raconteur I would have spun a better tale about my film odyssey. That’s part of the reason my magnum opus never materialized. Instead, I’ll leave you with this. I never actually completed any of the AFI lists outright. As of last year, I have seen 99 of 100 titles from AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)!

Yeah, in 10 years I went from 12 to 99 (The one title I haven’t seen is The Deer Hunter, I know, I know). It doesn’t sound that amazing. However, this fails to count all the countless digressions and sidetracks carrying me through all the nooks and crannies of cinema. And while I might get around to watching #100 someday, I’m actually fine not having finished.

For anyone reading this, with aspirations of going through this list or something similar, I think it’s a reminder that the journey is not just about completion. There’s something to be said for setting goals (even a dubious one like watching more movies) and then going out and enjoying the experience. I can say resolutely this hobby has given me a great deal of joy, and it continues to do so even as it increases in leaps and bounds.

I hope you join me in the AFI Corner to explore more of these lists. I also hope it’s a reminder that something like these compilations is innately flawed, but they are not an end; instead, they’re a beginning. At least that’s what they were for me, and they can be for all of us. A beginning of community, conversation, and connection. Please join me!

How many movies have you seen from AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)?

How did you get started watching classic movies? 

Review: Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo_1958_trailer_embrace“The Greatest Film of All Time.” It certainly seems like an arbitrary title, but if nothing else it gives film aficionados something to discuss. And that’s what Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is now being called for many reasons. Rather than join the debate, I wish to take a few moments to acknowledge what makes the film itself special.

On the surface, shall we say the first viewing, Vertigo is thoroughly enjoyable as a psychological thriller and mystery. The title sequence is haunting with an eye staring back at us from behind the credits and as an audience we are quickly thrown into the action, watching the opening chase scene unfold. In only a few moments one man is dead and the other John “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart) now has debilitating vertigo that takes him off the police force. We never learn why they were chasing a man on the rooftops. It doesn’t really matter. It’s a time later with his friend Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes) that we first see Scottie after the harrowing events. She obviously cares deeply for him, and he sees her simply as a good friend so we can undoubtedly expect her to be in the film more.

Then, rather mysteriously, an old school acquaintance named Elster (Tom Helmore) calls up Ferguson, hoping to get him to shadow his wife. It has nothing to do with infidelity, but fear, because the worried husband believes that something is wrong with his wife Madeleine. She disappears for hours at a time and is barely conscious half the time. He would describe her as possessed and Scottie is noticeably skeptical. But he relents and agrees to tail her sending himself spinning headlong into a mystery that will become his obsession.

Vertigo_1958_trailer_NovakHe gets to know Madeleine by following her, all throughout the streets of San Francisco, and much like Rear Window, this part of the film becomes a repetition of scenes followed by the reactions of Stewart. Hitchcock’s background in silents is seemingly at work here as he lets the images and score of Bernard Hermann take center stage along with Stewart’s expressions. We end up all over, from a flower stand to a cemetery, an art museum, and an old hotel. Madeleine goes from place to place like a solemn specter and we watch in expectation. Something must happen.

In an instant, she leaps into the water near the Golden Gate to commit suicide and that’s when Scottie swoops in to rescue her. He can’t lose her now because by this point he’s entranced by the icy blond who he only knows from a distance. And so their relationship progresses if you can call it that. They wander together and Madeleine shares her nightmares with Scottie.

The two of them head to San Juan Bautista and that’s when the nightmares become a reality for both of them. It’s devastating to Scottie, and the second phase of the film begins. He’s inconsolable and madly in love with this girl he cannot have. She’s hardly real. But then wandering the streets listlessly he spies Judy Barton, who coincidentally looks strikingly like Madeleine.

So he does the only thing that he can think of, meet her and try to turn into the girl he so desires. His obsessions are the only things that drive him, that and the haunting memories. Finally, he figures out the mystery, but the swirling cycle continues as he goes back to San Juan Bautista. A cruel twist of deja vu rears it’s ugly head once more.

Vertigo_1958_trailer_Kim_Novak_at_Golden_Gate_Bridge_Fort_PointHitchcock always was one for visual showmanship and it reveals itself whether it’s the parallel symbolism that Scottie notes in the painting of Carlotta Valdes or the out-of-body dream sequence that he suffers through. There’s also the dizzying zoom creating the so-called Vertigo Effect whenever Stewart looks down from a great height. These are obvious visual flourishes, but it’s almost more interesting to watch our main characters walk the streets of San Francisco, especially since there are so many real landmarks to work with (ie. Golden Gate, Mission San Juan Bautista, Muir Woods National Monument, and the Coit Tower among others). There’s something mesmerizing and trance-like about all these scenes that’s difficult to discount. It pulls us in as an audience. We want to see more. Bernard Hermann’s score is, of course, noteworthy and at its core, there is a constant disconcerting quality. It is strangely majestic and beautiful, but it pounds away menacingly. And it spirals in and out with the same sounds, the same crescendos. You think you would get sick of it, but strangely enough, you don’t. It enraptures us.

Vertigo_1958_trailer_embrace_2Then there are the players. Kim Novak has the dual role as Madeleine and Judy. She carries out both with the needed precision. Elster’s wife is elegantly beautiful, aloof and ethereal in a way that makes her the obvious fantasy of Stewart’s character. When she casts a sidelong glance or stares up at Stewart there is a faraway quality in her eyes. The clothes. The hair. How she talks. Even how she carries herself. She is spellbinding, otherworldly, and almost unattainable in all ways. Then there’s Judy, the epitome of a Midwestern girl. Pretty but not elegant. Smart but not cultured. But she falls for Ferguson as he falls for an impossible ideal.

Vertigo_1958_trailer_Stewart_on_a_laddderJames Stewart is an important piece in this film because it’s his character’s obsession that drives the plot. His instabilities, his desires, his anguish, his vertigo. It has been said that Stewart himself is a stand-in for Hitchcock and the own inner workings of the director’s being. His obsession and lusts. That may be true but something else that could be inferred is that Stewart is really a stand-in for all of us. After all, there was no greater every man than him, but there also is a universal quality to the baggage weighing on his being. Stewart’s every man is certainly being subverted, or could it be he is becoming a more accurate depiction of everyone? It’s a scary thought but what is buried inside of us? What are our own fantasies, obsessions, and lusts that lurk under the surface? Let me put it a different way.

For Stewart, he has three prominent women in his life. There’s the fantasy in Madeleine, the perfect ideal, who will ultimately ruin his life because intimacy with her is impossible. There’s Judy who has a passionate love for him, but it seems complicated in so many ways. She’s trying to measure up to his standards. The ideals and fantasies he has created poison what they could have. Then, there’s Midge who is practical, funny, and also completely devoted to Scottie. If his head were on straight he would go right to her because he would undoubtedly find the most satisfaction in that relationship, but his obsessions have undermined that.

There was an alternate ending of the film which showed Scottie with Midge once more, listening on the radio about Elster’s capture. The ending that was kept is more powerful, not because Elster got away scotch free, but because we don’t see Midge again. She all but disappears by the end of the film and with her goes all that could have been decent and good about reality for Scottie. He gets so caught up in fantasy and that tears his life apart. He’s literally spiraling in a web of never-ending hellish obsession.  Who knows what becomes of him? We can only guess.

5/5 Stars

AFI Musicals

# FILM YEAR STUDIO
1 SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN 1952 MGM
2 WEST SIDE STORY 1961 United Artists
3 WIZARD OF OZ, THE 1939 MGM
4 SOUND OF MUSIC, THE 1965 Twentieth Century-Fox
5 CABARET 1972 Allied Artists
6 MARY POPPINS 1964 Disney
7 STAR IS BORN, A 1954 Warner Bros.
8 MY FAIR LADY 1964 Warner Bros.
9 AMERICAN IN PARIS, AN 1951 MGM
10 MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS 1944 MGM
11 KING AND I, THE 1956 Twentieth Century-Fox
12 CHICAGO 2002 Miramax
13 42ND STREET 1933 Warner Bros.
14 ALL THAT JAZZ 1979 Twentieth Century-Fox
15 TOP HAT 1935 RKO
16 FUNNY GIRL 1968 Columbia
17 BAND WAGON, THE 1953 MGM
18 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942 Warner Bros.
19 ON THE TOWN 1949 MGM
20 GREASE 1978 Paramount
21 SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS 1954 MGM
22 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 1991 Disney
23 GUYS AND DOLLS 1955 MGM
24 SHOW BOAT 1936 Universal
25 MOULIN ROUGE! 2001 Twentieth Century Fox

AFI Scores

# FILM YEAR STUDIO COMPOSER
1 STAR WARS 1977 Twentieth Century Fox John Williams
2 GONE WITH THE WIND 1939 Selznick/MGM Max Steiner
3 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962 Columbia Maurice Jarre
4 PSYCHO 1960 Paramount Bernard Herrmann
5 THE GODFATHER 1972 Paramount Nino Rota
6 JAWS 1975 Universal John Williams
7 LAURA 1944 Twentieth Century Fox David Raksin
8 THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN 1960 United Artists Elmer Bernstein
9 CHINATOWN 1974 Paramount Jerry Goldsmith
10 HIGH NOON 1952 United Artists Dimitri Tiomkin
11 THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD 1938 Warner Bros. Erich Wolfgang Korngold
12 VERTIGO 1958 Paramount Bernard Herrmann
13 KING KONG 1933 RKO Max Steiner
14 E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982 Universal John Williams
15 OUT OF AFRICA 1985 Universal John Barry
16 SUNSET BLVD. 1950 Paramount Franz Waxman
17 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962 Universal Elmer Bernstein
18 PLANET OF THE APES 1968 Twentieth Century Fox Jerry Goldsmith
19 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951 Warner Bros. Alex North
20 THE PINK PANTHER 1964 United Artists Henry Mancini
21 BEN-HUR 1959 MGM Miklos Rozsa
22 ON THE WATERFRONT 1954 Columbia Leonard Bernstein
23 THE MISSION 1986 Warner Bros. Ennio Morricone
24 ON GOLDEN POND 1981 Universal Dave Grusin
25 HOW THE WEST WAS WON 1962 MGM, Cinerama Releasing Alfred Newman

AFI Cheers

# MOVIE YEAR
1 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946
2 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962
3 SCHINDLER’S LIST 1993
4 ROCKY 1976
5 MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON 1939
6 E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982
7 THE GRAPES OF WRATH 1940
8 BREAKING AWAY 1979
9 MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET 1947
10 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 1998
11 THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 1946
12 APOLLO 13 1995
13 HOOSIERS 1986
14 THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI 1957
15 THE MIRACLE WORKER 1962
16 NORMA RAE 1979
17 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST 1975
18 THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK 1959
19 THE RIGHT STUFF 1983
20 PHILADELPHIA 1993
21 IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT 1967
22 THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES 1942
23 THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION 1994
24 NATIONAL VELVET 1944
25 SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS 1941
26 THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
27 HIGH NOON 1952
28 FIELD OF DREAMS 1989
29 GANDHI 1982
30 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962
31 GLORY 1989
32 CASABLANCA 1942
33 CITY LIGHTS 1931
34 ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN 1976
35 GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER 1967
36 ON THE WATERFRONT 1954
37 FORREST GUMP 1994
38 PINOCCHIO 1940
39 STAR WARS 1977
40 MRS. MINIVER 1942
41 THE SOUND OF MUSIC 1965
42 12 ANGRY MEN 1957
43 GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
44 SPARTACUS 1960
45 ON GOLDEN POND 1981
46 LILIES OF THE FIELD 1963
47 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968
48 THE AFRICAN QUEEN 1951
49 MEET JOHN DOE 1941
50 SEABISCUIT 2003
51 THE COLOR PURPLE 1985
52 DEAD POET’S SOCIETY 1989
53 SHANE 1953
54 RUDY 1993
55 THE DEFIANT ONES 1958
56 BEN-HUR 1959
57 SERGEANT YORK 1941
58 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND 1977
59 DANCES WITH WOLVES 1990
60 THE KILLING FIELDS 1984
61 SOUNDER 1972
62 BRAVEHEART 1995
63 RAIN MAN 1988
64 THE BLACK STALLION 1979
65 A RAISIN IN THE SUN 1961
66 SILKWOOD 1983
67 THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL 1951
68 AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN 1982
69 THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS 1957
70 COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER 1980
71 COOL HAND LUKE 1967
72 DARK VICTORY 1939
73 ERIN BROCKOVICH 2000
74 GUNGA DIN 1939
75 THE VERDICT 1982
76 BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ 1962
77 DRIVING MISS DAISY 1989
78 THELMA & LOUISE 1991
79 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 1956
80 BABE 1995
81 BOYS TOWN 1938
82 FIDDLER ON THE ROOF 1971
83 MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN 1936
84 SERPICO 1973
85 WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT 1993
86 STAND AND DELIVER 1988
87 WORKING GIRL 1988
88 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942
89 HAROLD AND MAUDE 1972
90 HOTEL RWANDA 2004
91 THE PAPER CHASE 1973
92 FAME 1980
93 A BEAUTIFUL MIND 2001
94 CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS 1937
95 PLACES IN THE HEART 1984
96 SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER 1993
97 MADAME CURIE 1943
98 THE KARATE KID 1984
99 RAY 2004
100 CHARIOTS OF FIRE 1981

AFI Top 10s

ANIMATION
1 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
2 PINOCCHIO (1940)
3 BAMBI (1942)
4 LION KING, THE (1994)
5 FANTASIA (1942)
6 TOY STORY (1995)
7 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991)
8 SHREK (2001)
9 CINDERELLA (1950)
10 FINDING NEMO (2003)
FANTASY
1 WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939)
2 LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)
3 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1947)
4 KING KONG (1933)
5 MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (1947)
6 FIELD OF DREAMS (1989)
7 HARVEY (1950)
8 GROUNDHOG DAY (1993)
9 THIEF OF BAGDAD, THE (1924)
10 BIG (1988)
GANGSTER
1 GODFATHER, THE (1972)
2 GOODFELLAS (1990)
3 GODFATHER PART II, THE (1974)
4 WHITE HEAT (1949)
5 BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
6 SCARFACE: THE SHAME OF A NATION (1932)
7 PULP FICTION (1994)
8 PUBLIC ENEMY, THE (1931)
9 LITTLE CAESAR (1931)
10 SCARFACE (1983)
SCIENCE FICTION
1 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
2 STAR WARS: EPISODE IV- A NEW HOPE (1977)
3 E.T. – THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (1982)
4 CLOCKWORK ORANGE, A (1971)
5 DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE (1951)
6 BLADE RUNNER (1982)
7 ALIEN (1979)
8 TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)
9 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956)
10 BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
WESTERN
1 SEARCHERS, THE (1956)
2 HIGH NOON (1952)
3 SHANE (1953)
4 UNFORGIVEN (1992)
5 RED RIVER (1948)
6 WILD BUNCH, THE (1969)
7 BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
8 MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971)
9 STAGECOACH (1939)
10 CAT BALLOU (1965)
SPORTS
1 RAGING BULL (1980)
2 ROCKY (1977)
3 PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, THE (1943)
4 HOOSIERS (1986)
5 BULL DURHAM (1988)
6 HUSTLER, THE (1961)
7 CADDYSHACK (1980)
8 BREAKING AWAY (1979)
9 NATIONAL VELVET (1945)
10 JERRY MAGUIRE (1996)
MYSTERY
1 VERTIGO (1958)
2 CHINATOWN (1974)
3 REAR WINDOW (1954)
4 LAURA (1944)
5 THIRD MAN, THE (1950)
6 MALTESE FALCON, THE (1941)
7 NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
8 BLUE VELVET (1986)
9 DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954)
10 USUAL SUSPECTS, THE (1995)
ROMANTIC COMEDY
1 CITY LIGHTS (1931)
2 ANNIE HALL (1977)
3 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
4 ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953)
5 PHILADELPHIA STORY, THE (1941)
6 WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… (1989)
7 ADAM’S RIB (1949)
8 MOONSTRUCK (1987)
9 HAROLD AND MAUDE (1971)
10 SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993)
COURTROOM DRAMA
1 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1963)
2 12 ANGRY MEN (1957)
3 KRAMER VS. KRAMER (1979)
4 VERDICT, THE (1982)
5 FEW GOOD MEN, A (1992)
6 WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1958)
7 ANATOMY OF A MURDER (1959)
8 IN COLD BLOOD (1967)
9 CRY IN THE DARK, A (1988)
10 JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG (1961)
EPIC
1 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
2 BEN-HUR (1959)
3 SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)
4 GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
5 SPARTACUS (1960)
6 TITANIC (1997)
7 ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
8 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998)
9 REDS (1981)
10 TEN COMMANDMENTS, THE (1956)

AFI Quotes

# FILM YEAR STUDIO
1 Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
2 I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse. THE GODFATHER 1972
3 You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. ON THE WATERFRONT 1954
4 Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore. THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
5 Here’s looking at you, kid. CASABLANCA 1942
6 Go ahead, make my day. SUDDEN IMPACT 1983
7 All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up. SUNSET BLVD. 1950
8 May the Force be with you. STAR WARS 1977
9 Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night. ALL ABOUT EVE 1950
10 You talking to me? TAXI DRIVER 1976
11 What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. COOL HAND LUKE 1967
12 I love the smell of napalm in the morning. APOCALYPSE NOW 1979
13 Love means never having to say you’re sorry. LOVE STORY 1970
14 The stuff that dreams are made of. THE MALTESE FALCON 1941
15 E.T. phone home. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982
16 They call me Mister Tibbs! IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT 1967
17 Rosebud. CITIZEN KANE 1941
18 Made it, Ma! Top of the world! WHITE HEAT 1949
19 I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! NETWORK 1976
20 Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. CASABLANCA 1942
21 A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 1991
22 Bond. James Bond. DR. NO 1962
23 There’s no place like home. THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
24 I am big! It’s the pictures that got small. SUNSET BLVD. 1950
25 Show me the money! JERRY MAGUIRE 1996
26 Why don’t you come up sometime and see me? SHE DONE HIM WRONG 1933
27 I’m walking here! I’m walking here! MIDNIGHT COWBOY 1969
28 Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’ CASABLANCA 1942
29 You can’t handle the truth! A FEW GOOD MEN 1992
30 I want to be alone. GRAND HOTEL 1932
31 After all, tomorrow is another day! GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
32 Round up the usual suspects. CASABLANCA 1942
33 I’ll have what she’s having. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY 1989
34 You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow. TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT 1944
35 You’re gonna need a bigger boat. JAWS 1975
36 Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinking badges! THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE 1948
37 I’ll be back. THE TERMINATOR 1984
38 Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES 1942
39 If you build it, he will come. FIELD OF DREAMS 1989
40 My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. FORREST GUMP 1994
41 We rob banks. BONNIE AND CLYDE 1967
42 Plastics. THE GRADUATE 1967
43 We’ll always have Paris. CASABLANCA 1942
44 I see dead people. THE SIXTH SENSE 1999
45 Stella! Hey, Stella! A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951
46 Oh, Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars. NOW, VOYAGER 1942
47 Shane. Shane. Come back! SHANE 1953
48 Well, nobody’s perfect. SOME LIKE IT HOT 1959
49 It’s alive! It’s alive! FRANKENSTEIN 1931
50 Houston, we have a problem. APOLLO 13 1995
51 You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk? DIRTY HARRY 1971
52 You had me at “hello.” JERRY MAGUIRE 1996
53 One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know. ANIMAL CRACKERS 1930
54 There’s no crying in baseball! A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN 1992
55 La-dee-da, la-dee-da. ANNIE HALL 1977
56 A boy’s best friend is his mother. PSYCHO 1960
57 Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. WALL STREET 1987
58 Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. THE GODFATHER II 1974
59 As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again. GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
60 Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into! SONS OF THE DESERT 1933
61 Say “hello” to my little friend! SCARFACE 1983
62 What a dump. BEYOND THE FOREST 1949
63 Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you? THE GRADUATE 1967
64 Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room! DR. STRANGELOVE 1964
65 Elementary, my dear Watson. THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES 1939
66 Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape. PLANET OF THE APES 1968
67 Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. CASABLANCA 1942
68 Here’s Johnny! THE SHINING 1980
69 They’re here! POLTERGEIST 1982
70 Is it safe? MARATHON MAN 1976
71 Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain’t heard nothin’ yet! THE JAZZ SINGER 1927
72 No wire hangers, ever! MOMMIE DEAREST 1981
73 Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico? LITTLE CAESAR 1930
74 Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown. CHINATOWN 1974
75 I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951
76 Hasta la vista, baby. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY 1991
77 Soylent Green is people! SOYLENT GREEN 1973
78 Open the pod bay doors, HAL. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968
79 Striker: Surely you can’t be serious.
Rumack: I am serious…and don’t call me Shirley.
AIRPLANE! 1980
80 Yo, Adrian! ROCKY 1976
81 Hello, gorgeous. FUNNY GIRL 1968
82 Toga! Toga! LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE 1978
83 Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make. DRACULA 1931
84 Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast. KING KONG 1933
85 My precious. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: TWO TOWERS 2002
86 Attica! Attica! DOG DAY AFTERNOON 1975
87 Sawyer, you’re going out a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star! 42ND STREET 1933
88 Listen to me, mister. You’re my knight in shining armor. Don’t you forget it. You’re going to get back on that horse, and I’m going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we’re gonna go, go, go! ON GOLDEN POND 1981
89 Tell ’em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper. KNUTE ROCKNE ALL AMERICAN 1940
90 A martini. Shaken, not stirred. GOLDFINGER 1964
91 Who’s on first. THE NAUGHTY NINETIES 1945
92 Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac…It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! CADDYSHACK 1980
93 Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death! AUNTIE MAME 1958
94 I feel the need – the need for speed! TOP GUN 1986
95 Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary. DEAD POETS SOCIETY 1989
96 Snap out of it! MOONSTRUCK 1987
97 My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942
98 Nobody puts Baby in a corner. DIRTY DANCING 1987
99 I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too! WIZARD OF OZ, THE 1939
100 I’m the king of the world! TITANIC 1997