AFI Top 100

I like movies. I can’t say I am a rabid fan as I only find my way to a movie theater several times a year, but I do scour what I can record on my DVR and often I will have 10 or more movies recorded that I am waiting to watch.

Back when VCRs were king, I was a regular at the video store and library looking for something I hadn’t seen yet. When I purchased my first DVR (an early version of TiVO), I decided that I wanted to watch some classic films I hadn’t seen. The first was Casablanca. I can’t say why I hadn’t seen it before, but I found it somewhere on cable and watched. It was as good as I expected.

In 1998, AFI (the American Film Institute) released their list of the top 100 movies of all time. I made it my mission to see them all. I had seen many of them and if I could recall the plot well enough to describe it to someone else, I could skip it.

AFI updated the list in 2007, but here is the original with a few thoughts on each.

# MOVIE Thoughts
1 CITIZEN KANE Hated it. Yes, I could appreciate the artistry, but it was boring as hell.
2 CASABLANCA Great story. I wish I had seen it earlier.
3 THE GODFATHER I think this might be #2 on my list.
4 GONE WITH THE WIND Long and drawn out.
5 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA Not bad, but not top 5.
6 THE WIZARD OF OZ Great for all ages and deserving of the top 10.
7 THE GRADUATE Plastics! Hard to believe that Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft were only a few years apart in age.
8 ON THE WATERFRONT Pretty good. Top 20 maybe.
9 SCHINDLER’S LIST A powerful film that you cannot look away from.
10 SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN A little lighthearted fun but not the second best musical of all time.
11 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Good story, excellent acting.
12 SUNSET BLVD. Kinda creepy. Once you know the story, it is much less interesting to watch.
13 THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI I had whistled the song for years before seeing the movie.
14 SOME LIKE IT HOT Jack Lemmon makes this movie.
15 STAR WARS My undisputed #1.
16 ALL ABOUT EVE I was surprised that I liked it.
17 THE AFRICAN QUEEN Bogart and Hepburn. I saw this first as a kid and watched it again as part of this effort. Good movie.
18 PSYCHO The most classic horror flick there is.
19 CHINATOWN A gritty movie about water of all things.
20 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST I might have to make this top 5. The book was good and the movie nailed it well.
21 THE GRAPES OF WRATH The book was much better, but the movie wasn’t bad.
22 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY Beautiful to look at, but the first hour could really be skipped.
23 THE MALTESE FALCON I wasn’t enthralled by the mystery here.
24 RAGING BULL De Niro in another one of his powerful roles.
25 E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL I was the perfect age when this came out and fell for the movie instantly.
26 DR. STRANGELOVE One of the more odd movies here. I liked it.
27 BONNIE AND CLYDE Another one I liked better than I thought I would.
28 APOCALYPSE NOW I first saw this when I was avoiding reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. I like it more every time I see it.
29 MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON A feel good movie if there ever was one.
30 THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE A good yarn. Yes, you need the badges!
31 ANNIE HALL I never clicked with Woody Allen’s humor. I’d leave it off the list.
32 THE GODFATHER PART II A good follow-up but nowhere near the first.
33 HIGH NOON The drama and stress created through the artistry of the filmmaking is astounding.
34 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD The book was awesome and the movie pretty good too. Top 20.
35 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT Couldn’t get into it.
36 MIDNIGHT COWBOY This was the last of the list for me. Why? At the time it was never shown on cable and Netflix DID NOT HAVE IT IN ITS CATALOG! I wrote Netflix twice to get it added and once it was, selected it.
37 THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES Kind of a snoozer.
38 DOUBLE INDEMNITY Great concept well done.
39 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO I did not believe the characters in this one.
40 NORTH BY NORTHWEST Not bad, but not the best for the director or lead actor.
41 WEST SIDE STORY Would have to be my #1 musical.
42 REAR WINDOW I love the idea of the movie. It is well done too.
43 KING KONG The original lacks much but the stop motion is fun.
44 THE BIRTH OF A NATION Tough to watch. So blatantly racist, I had to force myself to finish.
45 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE Such powerful performances. This should be top 25.
46 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE The most disturbing, but I could not look away.
47 TAXI DRIVER The de-evolution of the character is fascinating to watch.
48 JAWS The horror film of my youth.
49 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS The best rated animated film. I’d put a few higher.
50 BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID A good movie with even better actors.
51 THE PHILADELPHIA STORY I don’t think it holds up well.
52 FROM HERE TO ETERNITY This one either.
53 AMADEUS Who would have thought you could make Mozart both funny and gripping. The acting makes this as much as the script.
54 ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT A journey generally worth taking.
55 THE SOUND OF MUSIC A good, solid musical.
56 M*A*S*H Irreverent to the max.
57 THE THIRD MAN The mystery here is why it was on the list.
58 FANTASIA I was never a fan. Drop it.
59 REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE Such earnest teen angst. Well done.
60 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Love this movie! As said in the Big Bang Theory show, it is the love child of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
61 VERTIGO A good way to show the battle of an inner demon.
62 TOOTSIE I’ve heard it said that this is the best acting in a movie….ever! It was fun.
63 STAGECOACH Grand, sweeping images of the old west make it worth watching.
64 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND I liked it. I can see how Richard Dryfus just can’t get this thing out of his head!
65 THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS One of the scariest on the list. Top 30.
66 NETWORK Not bad. One great scene. An OK movie.
67 THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE Good concept but a little mechanical.
68 AN AMERICAN IN PARIS A light romantic film. Not bad.
69 SHANE Another western that is pretty good.
70 THE FRENCH CONNECTION A good thriller to pass the night.
71 FORREST GUMP Forrest should run right into the top 25. Great movie.
72 BEN-HUR A huge film that knows it. Worth watching.
73 WUTHERING HEIGHTS Painful. Don’t make me watch it again.
74 THE GOLD RUSH The silent films were tough for me as I like to multi-task when watching and you can’t with a silent film. I am not a fan.
75 DANCES WITH WOLVES A modern sweeping film that is a little preachy but well done.
76 CITY LIGHTS See #74
77 AMERICAN GRAFFITI The music is #1. The movie is good. Watch it and see some very young stars to be.
78 ROCKY One of the most inspirational ones on the list. Needs to be top 40.
79 THE DEER HUNTER More scary than it should be. Well acted.
80 THE WILD BUNCH Not bad, but not to 100.
81 MODERN TIMES Ugh. Another silent film.
82 GIANT Oil and egos. If James Dean hadn’t died when filming, it might not make the list.
83 PLATOON Powerful. A good take on the psychology in war.
84 FARGO Quirky and great.
85 DUCK SOUP The Marx brothers had great timing but it does not hold up.
86 MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY Not bad. Not great, but not bad.
88 EASY RIDER I expected much more than I got here.
89 PATTON George C Scott makes the character his own and HUGE at the same time.
90 THE JAZZ SINGER I didn’t click with the movie.
91 MY FAIR LADY Audrey Hepburn is perfect. Just perfect.
93 THE APARTMENT Another one that I didn’t click with.
94 GOODFELLAS A great ensemble cast that carries the movie well.
95 PULP FICTION Others love this movie much more than I do.
96 THE SEARCHERS John Wayne at his best.
97 BRINGING UP BABY A light comedy that is OK.
98 UNFORGIVEN Another modern western that is well done.
100 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY I’ve must have watched this film 20 times. Love it.

Black Bean Hummus

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This is a unique take on hummus using back beans. It works!

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You can find the tahini in the “ethnic” aisle.

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Blend it up, chill and serve.

Black Bean Hummus


2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic, quartered
1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
15 oz can Black beans with1/3 cup liquid reserved
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cayenne 
¼ tsp smoked paprika


Add ingredients, including black bean liquid, to FourSide jar in order listed. Secure lid and select “Sauce.”

Nutritional Info: Servings 7.0
Sodium 350 mg
Serving Size
Carbohydrates 12 g
Calories 100
Fiber 3 g
Fat 7 g
Sugar 1 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Protein 5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: appetizer, kosher, Low Carb, Recipes, snack, vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at

2 Comments on “AFI Top 100”

  1. July 21, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    It’s pretty cool that you reposted this list of old and put your opinions on each…I’ve seen quite a few of these and agreed with pretty much all of your assessments…therefore, the ones you don’t recommend will never make it to my screen…Thanks! 🙂
    …and yummy hummus….


  2. July 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    Love your list and comments. #25, ET – my favourite movie of all time. I will use your list as a guideline, thanks.


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