IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Tops AFI's List of
100 Most Inspiring Films of All Time
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, SCHINDLER'S LIST, ROCKY
and MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
Round Out The Top Five
LOS ANGELES, May 31, 2006 — AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers revealed the most inspiring films of all time in a three-hour special television event which aired June 14, 2006 on CBS with commentary from many of Hollywood's most celebrated actors and filmmakers, including Jessica Alba, Don Cheadle, Melissa Etheridge, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Kingsley, Sidney Poitier, Mickey Rooney and Steven Spielberg.
A jury of 1,500 film artists, critics and historians selected the classic IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, starring James Stewart, as the most inspiring movie of all time.
"Over the years, the movies have given us something to cheer about," stated Jean Picker Firstenberg, AFI's President Emerita. "The past few years have not been easy in America — from September 11th to the devastation of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers will celebrate the films that inspire us, encourage us to make a difference and send us from the theatre with a greater sense of possibility and hope for the future."
AFI distributed a ballot in November 2005 with 300 nominated inspiring movies to a jury of over 1,500 leaders from the creative community, including film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers), critics and historians.
The jury have been asked to choose up to 100 inspirational films from a comprehensive list, including entries such as APOLLO 13, BREAKING AWAY, CHARIOTS OF FIRE, THE COLOR PURPLE, DEAD MAN WALKING, DEAD POET'S SOCIETY, 8 MILE, ERIN BROCKOVICH, FIELD OF DREAMS, GANDHI, GOOD WILL HUNTING, GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, HOOSIERS, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, THE KARATE KID, NATIONAL VELVET, NORMA RAE, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, RAIN MAN, ROCKY, SCHINDLER'S LIST, SEABISCUIT, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
Due to the extensive number of movies that inspire in American film, jurors may also write in votes for up to five films that may not already appear on the ballot.
The jurors have been asked to consider the following criteria in making their selections:
- FEATURE-LENGTH FICTION FILM
Narrative format, typically over 60 minutes in length.
- AMERICAN FILM
English language film with significant creative and/or production elements from the United States.
Movies that inspire with characters of vision and conviction who face adversity and often make a personal sacrifice for the greater good. Whether these movies end happily or not, they are ultimately triumphant — both filling audiences with hope and empowering them with the spirit of human potential.
Films whose "cheers" continue to echo across a century of American cinema.
*AFI defines an American film as an English language motion picture with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States. AFI defines a feature-length film as a motion picture of narrative format that is typically over 60 minutes in length. Only feature-length American films released before January 1, 2005, will be considered.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE BALLOT
Tom Hanks and Henry Fonda are the most represented male actors on the ballot with eight inspiring movies each. Sidney Poitier, Gary Cooper and Denzel Washington each have seven movies on the ballot.
Jean Arthur is the most represented female actor on the ballot with four movies.
Frank Capra and Steven Spielberg each have six inspiring movies on the ballot, leading all directors. Capra's films are MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN ('36), YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU ('38), MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON ('39), MEET JOHN DOE ('41) IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ('46) and POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES ('61); while Spielberg directed CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND ('77), E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL ('82), THE COLOR PURPLE ('85), SCHINDLER'S LIST ('93), AMISTAD ('97) and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN ('98).
Over one third of the movies on the ballot are movies inspired by real life people and events.
1939 is the most represented year on the ballot, with 12 inspiring movies.
AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers is the ninth installment in AFI's centennial celebration of American cinema, meant to spark a national discussion of America's film history among movie lovers across the nation.
AFI's 100 YEARS...100 MOVIE CHEERS (2006)
List of the 300 nominated films
List of the 100 winning cheers films
Click here to go to the list downloads page