Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb (#65)

#65: The African Queen (AFI) vs. L.A. Confidential (IMDb)
I have been dreading making this choice all week.  These are both great movies – truly, two movies I could watch over and over.  Have watched over and over. To have to choose between them pains me.

Didn't I mention I was in Queen?
In the end, I choose The African Queen. Not because I think less of L.A. Confidential but because I feel Queen contributes more to the overall conversation of films in general.  It was Humphrey Bogart’s only Oscar performance.  Watching him with Katharine Hepburn is just delightful.  The entire thing is delightful. My 8-year-old daughter was entranced with the film and watched it, in its entirety with me (with all her 8-year-old questions, such as: what are leeches? Why is she making him sleep in the rain? Is that the same alcohol daddy drinks? Ummm… )

Certainly L.A. Confidential is atmospheric and dense. All the actors – main and supporting alike – move together like a well-oiled machine to bring us a superb narrative. Neo-noir at its best.  Pitted against many of AFI’s contenders, L.A. Confidential definitely would’ve won.  But not against Queen. Sadly.

So the score stands at AFI – 20, IMDb - 17

AFI’s Top 100
IMDb’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)

The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)

The African Queen (1951)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Chinatown (1974)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Tootsie (1982)
Modern Times (1936)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Back to the Future (1985)
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Prestige (2006)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Raging Bull (1980)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
All the President’s Men  (1976)
Singing In the Rain (1952)
Modern Times (1936)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Apartment (1960)
Rashomon (1950)
Spartacus (1960)
All About Eve (1950)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Amadeus (1984)
Titanic (1997)
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Green Mile (1999)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Platoon (1986)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Sixth Sense (1999)
Braveheart (1995)
Swing Time (1936)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
The Apartment (1960)
Up (2009)
Goodfellas (1990)
The French Connection (1971)
Downfall (2004)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Metropolis (1927)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Gladiator (2000)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)

Next week, AFI’s Network vs. IMDb The Third Man.


  1. I'm a big Bogart fan and oddly... I'm not a fan of Queen. I don't hate it - but it is pretty far down my list of Best Bogey (Casablanca, Big Sleep, Falcon, Treasure, Mutiny, etc.).

    However, same with LA. I love noir and that one... I think my endless hatred of Kim Basinger blinds me. I love that she won Best Supporting Oscar for it though - as she pretty much vanished off the face of the earth after that. That's nice.

    So, you picked wisely. It would have been a hard choice for me, but for different reasons.

    BONUS - did you know that the Queen is docked on the road to Key West? Serious. We should stop by in Jan.

    1. Seriously? that will def need to happen. I had no idea.