AFI's 100 YEARS...100 THRILLS

AFI'S 100 MOST THRILLING AMERICAN FILMS

AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills is a list of the 100 most thrilling American films of all time.

Regardless of genre, the total adrenaline-inducing impact of the artistry and craft of these films create an experience that engages our bodies as well as our minds. The "thrills" of these films have enlivened and enriched America's film heritage while continuing to inspire contemporary artists and audiences.

The AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills CBS television special, hosted by Harrison Ford, originally aired on June 12, 2001.

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MOVIE

YEAR

1

PSYCHO

1960

2

JAWS

1975

3

THE EXORCIST

1973

4

NORTH BY NORTHWEST

1959

5

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

1991

6

ALIEN

1979

7

THE BIRDS

1963

8

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

1971

9

ROSEMARY'S BABY

1968

10

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

1981

11

THE GODFATHER

1972

12

KING KONG

1933

13

BONNIE AND CLYDE

1967

14

REAR WINDOW

1954

15

DELIVERANCE

1972

16

CHINATOWN

1974

17

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE

1962

18

VERTIGO

1958

19

THE GREAT ESCAPE

1963

20

HIGH NOON

1952

21

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

1971

22

TAXI DRIVER

1976

23

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

1962

24

DOUBLE INDEMNITY

1944

25

TITANIC

1997

26

THE MALTESE FALCON

1941

27

STAR WARS

1977

28

FATAL ATTRACTION

1987

29

THE SHINING

1980

30

THE DEER HUNTER

1978

31

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

1977

32

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

1951

33

THE FUGITIVE

1993

34

THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

1955

35

JURASSIC PARK

1993

36

BULLITT

1968

37

CASABLANCA

1942

38

NOTORIOUS

1946

39

DIE HARD

1988

40

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

1968

41

DIRTY HARRY

1971

42

THE TERMINATOR

1984

43

THE WIZARD OF OZ

1939

44

E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL

1982

45

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

1998

46

CARRIE

1976

47

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS

1956

48

DIAL M FOR MURDER

1954

49

BEN-HUR

1959

50

MARATHON MAN

1976

51

RAGING BULL

1980

52

ROCKY

1976

53

PULP FICTION

1994

54

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID

1969

55

WAIT UNTIL DARK

1967

56

FRANKENSTEIN

1931

57

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

1976

58

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI

1957

59

PLANET OF THE APES

1968

60

THE SIXTH SENSE

1999

61

CAPE FEAR

1962

62

SPARTACUS

1960

63

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

1962

64

TOUCH OF EVIL

1958

65

THE DIRTY DOZEN

1967

66

THE MATRIX

1999

67

THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE

1948

68

HALLOWEEN

1978

69

THE WILD BUNCH

1969

70

DOG DAY AFTERNOON

1975

71

GOLDFINGER

1964

72

PLATOON

1986

73

LAURA

1944

74

BLADE RUNNER

1982

75

THE THIRD MAN

1949

76

THELMA & LOUISE

1991

77

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY

1991

78

GASLIGHT

1944

79

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

1960

80

REBECCA

1940

81

THE OMEN

1976

82

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL

1951

83

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

1925

84

POLTERGEIST

1982

85

DRACULA

1931

86

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

1945

87

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD

1951

88

12 ANGRY MEN

1957

89

THE GUNS OF NAVARONE

1961

90

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE

1972

91

BRAVEHEART

1995

92

BODY HEAT

1981

93

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

1968

94

THE CHINA SYNDROME

1979

95

FULL METAL JACKET

1987

96

BLUE VELVET

1986

97

SAFETY LAST

1923

98

BLOOD SIMPLE

1984

99

SPEED

1994

100

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD

1938


Interesting facts about AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills include:

  • The 100 films span from Harold Lloyd's SAFETY LAST, released in 1923, to 1999's THE MATRIX and THE SIXTH SENSE.
  • Harrison Ford and Claude Rains are the most celebrated actors, each starring in 4 films in the top 100. Ford's films are BLADE RUNNER, THE FUGITIVE, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and STAR WARS. Rains stars in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, NOTORIOUS and CASABLANCA
  • Nine Alfred Hitchcock films made the list, including the film ranked #1, PSYCHO, making him the most represented director. Hitchcock's frequent cameos technically make him the most represented actor on the list with eight appearances, including every film except DIAL M FOR MURDER, in which he appears in a photograph on the wall.
  • Steven Spielberg directed 6 films on the list, 2 of which placed in the top 10, and he wrote and produced POLTERGEIST. Stanley Kubrick directed 5 of America's most heart-pounding movies.
  • With 22 films, the 1970s claim the most heart-pounding movies in the AFI countdown. The 1960s boast 21 movies on the list, while the 1980s and 1940s each have 14.
  • Jim Cameron's TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY is the only movie sequel on the AFI list.
  • Thrills that cross generations include John Huston and his father, actor Walter Huston, appear together in THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Director Alfred Hitchcock and his daughter, actress Pat Hitchcock worked together in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN and PSYCHO. Actresses Janet Leigh (PSYCHO, TOUCH OF EVIL, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE) and her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis (HALLOWEEN), appear in separate films on the AFI list.
  • Thrills encompass many genres, including courtroom dramas (12 ANGRY MEN), disasters (TITANIC), epics (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA), horror (PSYCHO), musicals (THE WIZARD OF OZ), noir (DOUBLE INDEMNITY), sci-fi (ALIEN), sports (ROCKY), suspense (NORTH BY NORTHWEST), war (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) and westerns (HIGH NOON).

The special is the fourth installment of AFI's centennial celebration of American film, following the three critically acclaimed Network specials AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars and AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs, which sparked discussions of America's film history among millions across the nation. In late 2000, AFI distributed a ballot with 400 nominated films to a jury of 1,800 leaders of the film community. The jurors were asked to consider the following criteria while making their selections:

  • Feature-Length Fiction Film: The film must be in narrative format, typically more than 60 minutes in length.
  • American Film: The film must be in the English language with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States.
  • Thrills: Regardless of genre, the total adrenaline-inducing impact of a film's artistry and craft must create an experience that engages our bodies as well as our minds.
  • Legacy: Films whose "thrills" have enlivened and enriched America's film heritage while continuing to inspire contemporary artists and audiences.

AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills is being supported by returning sponsors General Motors, Blockbuster, United States Postal Service, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Warner Home Video, Warner Bros. Pictures, Walt Disney, Universal, Dreamworks, Paramount and Miramax. Colgate-Palmolive, Combe Chemical, Canandaigua Wines, Gillette, AOL, Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox Home Video are new sponsors of the program. AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (1998), AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars (1999) and AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs (2000) were each watched by more than 11 million people and won their respective time periods. Multi-Emmy Award winner Gary Smith ("The Tony Awards") is the executive producer and director of AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills for Smith-Hemion Productions. Former AFI Board Chairman Frederick S. Pierce is the executive producer for AFI. Dann Netter ("50 Years of Television"), Fred A. Rappoport ("The Kennedy Center's 25th Anniversary Celebration," "The Country Music Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary") and Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO ("AFI Life Achievement Award," "A Tribute to Barbra Streisand"), are the producers, with Gazzale also serving as writer.

 


AFI's 100 YEARS...100 THRILLS (2001)
List of the 400 nominated movies PDF (64k)
List of the 100 winning movies
Click here to go to the list downloads page

AFI Membership
AFI honoring the year best in television and film