AFI's choices for most inspirational movies

Hijack, but that movie makes me want to shoot myself in the face.

I never got that much inspiration from Casablanca, either, but I think a bunch of the movies were included to get to 100. I mean, how many people would have watched a show titled “The 86 Most Inspiring Movies”?

How I called the top 5 (prediction made when they were in the 70’s):

1: To Kill A Mockingbird
2: The Shawshank Redemption
3: It’s A Wonderful Life
4: Rocky
5: Schindler’s List

I was pretty accurate, but Mockingbird certainly should have been in the top spot, and it’s utter crap that Shawshank was somewhere in the 20’s.

Well it was a call for America (Rick) to shake off its neutrality and join in the fight… I guess…

There was was that powerful scene where the refugees break into La Marseillaise drowning out the German officers.

Pretty inspiring stuff… but over all it really was just a love story.

Star Wars? I guess when you leave the theatre you want to fight the Evil Empire and learn about the For… naw that’s even further a stretch.

Wizard of Oz?!?! Man the AFI has a really chubby for this flick don’t they? I mean I like it but it’s been on every list so far.

No, they weren’t included.

Letterman joked about the AFI lists – something about “AFI presents 16 hours of your life you’d like to have back”.

I love watching movie clips, as long as they’re not interspersed with vapid personalities making inane comments. This one wasn’t too bad.

As for foreign films, I’d add Cinema Paradiso, Umberto D, Grand Illusion, Ma Vie En Rose, and a whole bunch of Miyazaki films.

The Letterman joke about all the wasted time was for AFI’s salute to the films of Stephen Segal.

I can see how it’d make you want to shoot Pollyanna in the face . . . Remember, I’m talking the Mary Pickford version, not Shirley Temple or Hayley Mills!

I think The Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio are included because they feature perhaps the two most obviously inspirational songs (about the power of hope) ever written for motion pictures: “Over the Rainbow” & “When You Wish Upon a Star”.

Glad to see Preston Sturges in the Top 25, but the most obvious “Huh?” near the top of the list is The Bridge on the River Kwai. A bull-headed martinet, an exercise in regimental futility, and the death and destruction of most of the principles (including the title “character”) at the end. The final words of the film are “Madness! Madness!” And that’s inspirational…how?

“Life is Beautiful” and “Chocolat.”

And were any animated films on the list?

There were some silent films on the original ballot of 300: The Thief of Bagdad, Ben-Hur, The Freshman, Wings, The General, King of Kings, The Kid, Robin Hood. Pickford does show up with Sparrows and Pollyanna. So that’s 10. To get 100 from 300, you’d think, statistically, you could hope for 2 or 3.

But naturally, the jury (weighted, I suspect, much more towards the “creative community” than actual historians) couldn’t manage to find a single one (though plenty of room for Working Girl!).

Pinocchio. But not Mulan or The Lion King.

Captain Lance, right! I blocked out the Steven Seagall part.

Several times. It looks like it going to be dated at first, but it still plays well. Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern are in it.

The main bike race in the movie still goes on to this day. They even televise it.

And, of course Star Wars is inspirational. . .young boy achieves a destiny greater than his upbringing would suggest.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t avoid clapping every time during the awards ceremoney at the end. Totally inspirational.

Isn’t that what makes it inspirational. . .a man fighting against a society that tells him he should do one thing, and instead he finds joy in the simple things.

Do you think that it would have been more inspirational to a modern audience if he had just taken the job with Potter?

A lot of these movies are inspirational in the “man versus The Machine” sense. . .that’s why you have a Cuckoo’s Nest and a Serpico on there.

I was pretty surprised to see it at #8. Always struck me as kind of a “first effort by a director” movie. It was okay… but better than The Shawshank Redemption, Lawrence of Arabia, Thelma and Louise, 12 Angry Men? Can’t see it.

Also don’t know how Apollo 13 rates that far ahead of The Right Stuff or what Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner falls out at #35.

I was pretty surprised to see it at #8. Always struck me as kind of a “first effort by a director” movie. It was okay… but better than The Shawshank Redemption, Lawrence of Arabia, Thelma and Louise, 12 Angry Men? Can’t see it.

Also don’t know how Apollo 13 rates that far ahead of The Right Stuff or what Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner falls out at #35.

Oh, I haven’t seen that one, just the Hayley Mills version. I guess in actuality it would be more of a murder-suicide thing.

If Rocky made the list then no one better ever make fun of Indian movies again.

You know that Rocky won Oscars for best picture and best director, don’t you? Rocky, Mickey, Paulie and Adrian were all nominated for leading & supporting roles as well.

Don’t judge it by the sequels - the original is a great film. And I don’t say that just because I was 10 year old living in Philadelphia when it was released.

For me the WTF movie on the list is Harold and Maude. Harold and Maude? Is there another definition of inspirational that I am not privy to?

So? It’s not inspirational just because some big people who give out shiny gold awards think it is!

Woooow…Chariots of Fire was the absolute first movie I thought of but there it is at #100…? The first time I saw this I literally went home and ran around the block!!! It made running look like so much fun!!

I agree that many of these movies are oddly un-inspirational and downright depressing. I don’t remember being inspired when I saw Philadelphia…I was awed by Tom Hank’s performance and devastated by Neil Young’s brilliant song “Philadelphia”. But I wasn’t inspired or uplifted.

I just watched Bridge Over the River Kwai last week and all I could think about was the futility of war…how exactly is war inspirational or uplifting? Ditto for Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List…totally depressed for days after seeing these movies and I’ve never watched them a 2nd time and never will.

OK, you get my drift. These AFI lists are silly, but at least they get us to talk about our favorite or hated movies…it’s fun to talk about movies!!!