AFI's choices for most inspirational movies

Inspirational, uplifting, cheering – that kind of movie.

Anyone else watch this tonight? I was in tears at about every fifth clip. I think a big part of it is the music – it’s so emotional.

The list is here but before you look, take a guess at which movies made the top ten, and which was number one.

Which movies not made in the US do you think should be on such a list?

I caught the last third or so; I’m proud to say that I called the top three. (Granted, I called them when there were only ten left to go, and I wasn’t sure what order they’d be in [except I knew immediately what the first one would be], but still – I DO know my inspirational movies. :slight_smile:
I think “It’s a Wonderful Life” was a perfect choice for number one; the rest of the list I’m not so sure about. Partly it’s a problem of finding movies that are first and foremost inspirational – good ones are fairly rare. Most movies, if they have a half-way happy ending, are inspirational in some way or other (think how many movies there are that could be boiled down to a plotline about an individual fighting adversity and succeeding).

Having said that, “Schindler’s List” and “E.T.” (to pick on two movies in the top ten) do not strike me as being first and foremost inspirational movies. Moving down the list, we get even stranger choices: “The Wizard of Oz”? “Pinocchio”? “Star Wars”?? Great movies all, but they don’t belong on this list, IMHO.

Frankly, I think AFI is beginning to stretch a bit for “100 best” categories.

One other note: to my surprise, I hadn’t even heard of one of the top ten choices, “Breaking Away.” Looked pretty good in the clips though; anyone seen it?

What a bizarre list. Many of those films are just depressing (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and others make no sense at all (E.T., Forrest Gump) – my #1 choice for an inspirational film would be Spirited Away, but I guess they only chose American films.

Indeed, the only films on that list I would consider “inspirational, uplifting & cheerful” are Field of Dreams, Dead Poet’s Society, and Working Girl. But maybe that’s just my perspective – a lot of the other selections have a “light in the darkness” message, so maybe that’s what they meant.

Granted, I haven’t seen many of the films on that list – in fact, I’ve somehow made it 38 years without seeing “It’s A Wonderful Life”, and I hope to make it the rest of the way without ever seeing it. :smiley:

How is Schindler’s List inspiring? Yes, it was about a heroic man, but ultimately, it felt more about the futility of heroism in the face of this overwhelming horror–especially Schindler’s “I could’ve saved one more person” speech at the end. I was never uplifted, I was depressed–I still cry each time I watch it.

I agree 167% with To Kill a Mockingbird, though.

Oh, I forgot this part of the question. The only one that immediately comes to mind is “The Nights of Cabiria” – that one has a great, sad/inspirational ending.

Given the odd nature of the list, though, they would probably throw “Run Lola Run” and “Seven Samurai” on there too.

Saw it on its original release. A classic example of a “sleeper” — a little film that became an audience hit in the summer of 1979. It went on to win an Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay) for Steve Tesich, and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Peter Yates), Best Support Actress (Barbara Barrie), and Best Adaptation Score.

And it lead to a television series on ABC (1980-1981).

Last title card in the movie:

The French movie, Leon, was inspirational, as the cold-blooded killer regains his humanity. I’d also nominate Amelie. But really, anything with Audrey Tautou is inspirational. Oh, Audrey…

The Chinese movie, Hero, was meant to inspire people to accept authoritarian rule. So that probably doesn’t count.

Was anyone here inspired by Harold and Maude or Searching for Bobby Fischer?

And where’s Superman, darn it?

2001: A Space Odyssey seems like an… odd choice.

Yeah, though it’s hard for me to judge, since I’ve only seen this movie on LSD. :cool:

The weirdest choice has got to be All the President’s Men. Wha-huh???

The inspiring element is that two newspaper reporters can play a big part in exposing the corruption of the Nixon administration. Justice triumphs because of the hardworking little guy(s).

I would pick The Candidate over All the President’s Men (if Robert Redford needs to be on there somewhere).

As for movies from outside the US, I’d say Chariots of Fire … oh wait … huh?

How is The Candidate inspirational? The end of the movie finds the title character dazed and evacuated of his early idealism and political zeal. Stunned, he asks his manager, “What do we do now?”

I love “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I have watched it 20 times. It is one of my top 5 movies ever.
But, it struck me that this movie would make no sense to the consumerist, money orientated western world in the 21st century.
Who is the movie inspiring now? How is it inspiring them ?

Batman Begins.

Every time I see it, I want to go and save puppies from burning buildings.

I feel the same way about Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and they aren’t puppies.

:eek: What is that film about?

It’s about the love of a boy for his bicycle. What’s more inspirational than that?

I avoid those asinine, short-sighted AFI list shows like a puppy in a burning building. I assume such tearjerkingly inspirational movies as The Crowd (1928), Pollyanna (1920), Sparrows (1926), The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and The Iron Mask (1929) were not included?

I didn’t get that at all, nor “Saving Private Ryan.” Neither was meant to be inspirational.