Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Showdown: AFI vs IMDb (#36-33)

It’s the Sunday Movie Showdown, The American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 100 vs. the Internet Movie Databases’ (IMDb) Top 100.  We’re making our way down into the top 1/3 – trying to get this wrapped up by Summer’s end.

This week, four showdowns again:

#36 The Bridge on the River Kwai vs. Citizen Kane
#35 Annie Hall vs. Leon: The Professional
#34 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves vs. Forrest Gump
#33 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest vs. Dr. Strangelove

Just for the heck of it, let’s go in order.  #36: Bridge vs. Citizen Kane. Don’t waste my time. Bridge is a great movie and I liked it well enough in #79 to give it a win against The Wild Bunch. But against Citizen Kane?  No.  So this is a win for IMDb. But I have to be honest, the fact that Kane is so far down on the IMDb list makes me highly suspect of the entire top third.

#35. Annie Hall vs. Leon: The Professional.  This one wasn’t hard for me either. I have very fond memories  of The Professional, although some people don’t care for it. I loved the precocious Natalie Portman as a 12-year-old would-be hit man.  Then proceeded to wish she would take out Woody Allen and Diane Keaton’s characters in Anne Hall. I know Annie Hall is widely considered to be Woody Allen’s best work. All that means for me is that I’m never going to be a fan of Woody Allen.

#34: Snow White vs. Forrest Gump. This one gave me trouble. I enjoy Forrest Gump for the same reason I dislike it – the sentimentality. It makes me makes me laugh (“Yes sir, Drill Sergeant!”), it makes me cry (I wish I could throw those rocks at the house with you, Jenny!) and roll my eyes (no towel looks like that smiley face after wiping off mud!).

And for as much as I love the scene where Forrest and Jenny find each other again in the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool, I remember very clearly screaming out in rage – to whatever Hollywood gods there be –  when Forrest Gump won best picture over both Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption in 1994.   

The truth is: I like it. I watch Forrest every couple of years because it’s easy to watch and makes me feel good.

Snow White on the other hand? Yawn. I don’t like animated movies as a general rule. I didn’t like her singing voice. I honestly like the Snow White ride at Disney World better than the movie itself.  The story is kind of, you know... childish. 

But, I can appreciate Snow White for what it is: the world’s first full length animated movie, the first one in Technicolor, one of the top 10 highest grossing films of all time (adjusting for inflation).  Before Snow White, there was no such thing as an animated feature; Snow White changed cinema forever.

So even though I personally enjoy Forrest Gump more, I will give my vote to Snow White because of its cinematic significance.

Nurse Ratched
#33: Crazy vs. Crazy. Just pick one. Okay, I’ll go with Crazy. In this case I mean One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’ve stated before how I just don’t get Dr. Strangelove.  Well, Cuckoo runs a close second in that department. But I could at least appreciate the acting in Cuckoo. Jack Nicholson was superb, but  it was Louise Fletcher’s Nurse Ratched that really haunted me. She goes down in list of top movie villains of all time. Both Nicholson and and Fletcher's Oscars were well-deserved.   

So, two to AFI this week and two to IMDb, making the overall score AFI – 40, IMDb – 30.

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


#11 City Lights (1931) LoTR: Return of the King (2003)
#19 On the Waterfront (1954) LoTR: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
#31 The Maltese Falcon (1941) LoTR: The Two Towers(2002)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Annie Hall (1977)
Leon: The Professional (1994)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Citizen Kane (1941)
#37 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Apocalypse Now (1979)
#38 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) North By Northwest (1959)
#39 Dr. Strangelove (1964) American Beauty (1999)
#40 The Sound of Music (1965) American History X (1998)
#41 King Kong (1933) Taxi Driver (1976)
#42 Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
#43 Midnight Cowboy (1969) Saving Private Ryan (1998)
#44 The Philadelphia Story (1940) Vertigo (1958)
#45 Shane (1953) Amelie (2001)
#46 It Happened One Night (1934) Alien (1979)
#47 A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Wall E (2008)
#48 Rear Window (1954) Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
#49 Intolerance (1916) The Shining (1980)
#50 LoTR: Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Spirited Away (2001)
#51 West Side Story (1961) Paths of Glory (1957)
#52 Taxi Driver (1976) A Clockwork Orange (1971)
#53 The Deer Hunter (1978) Double Indemnity (1944)
#54 M*A*S*H* (1970) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
#55 North by Northwest (1959) The Pianist (2002)
#56 Jaws (1975) The Lives of Others (2006)
#57 Rocky (1976) The Departed (2006)
The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)
#59 Nashville (1975) City Lights (1931)
Duck Soup (1933)
Aliens (1986)
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)
American Graffiti (1973)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Cabaret (1972)
Das Boot (1981)
Network (1976)
The Third Man (1949)
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, a little out of order, since I'm out of town and won't have time to watch many movies (so I'll be mostly comparing couples that have already made it onto the list once) : #30 - Apocalypse Now vs. Memento; #25 - To Kill a Mockingbird vs. The Usual Suspects; #22 - Some Like It Hot vs. Raiders of the Lost Ark; #21 - Chinatown vs. Once Upon a Time in the West.


  1. Color me shocked, SHOCKED, that you didn't pick Annie Hall. I think you made the right choice, I just realllllly thought you'd go AH. SHOCKED!

    I'm glad you went with Snow White too. First, I hate with seething rage Forest. That aside, your rational for SW is why it deserves to win. Flipside, I'm not a big Citizen Kane fan, but you can use the same rational as to why it deserved to win here (even though I like Bridge far more).

    1. Really, you haven't mellowed towards Forrest as you've nearly reached 40? C'mon, it's not that bad.

      I hated Annie Hall possibly with the same passion you hate FG. Just watching the two of them interact made me want to jab an icepick in my eye.

      Speaking of Diane Keaton, I watch Godfather last night. I had forgotten how good that movie really is. I think it had become a parody of itself in my mind.