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And the top 100 movies of all time are ...

Web posted on: Tuesday, June 16, 1998 5:10:58 PM

From Correspondent Paul Vercammen

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- So what's your favorite movie? Your top five? Can you name your favorite 10 movies of all time? Sure you can, and so can everyone else -- although chances are, their movies will not be the same as your movies.

Now imagine trying to create a definitive list of the top 100 American films of all time. That's the daunting task the American Film Institute undertook this past year, mailing out ballots of 400 top films of its choosing to 1,500 members of the film community.

The result is a list that might surprise, and might disappoint. It will be revealed Tuesday night on the CBS program "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movies," which celebrates the 100th anniversary of American film.

From 'Richard' to 'Jerry'

The nominees range from 1912's "Richard III" to 1996's "Jerry Maguire."

"I think what this program will inspire is an absolute desire to see these movies again," the AFI's Jean Firstenberg said.

It will also inspire debate. Can anyone agree on the best films of all time?

'Screaming and arguing'

"People said it took them all day," Firstenberg said. "People said, 'My entire family and I sat around the kitchen table screaming and arguing and shouting at each other. Everybody wanted to vote and I only had one vote.' People took this very seriously."

And for every actor you ask, you get a different response.

"You can go through the 'Citizen Kanes' and 'The Grapes of Wrath,' 'Raging Bull,'" actor Martin Landau said. "There are so many films that I've walked out of the theater remembering, they're so vivid."

"To me, 'High Noon' is kind of the perfect movie because it deals with the real grit of human behavior," actor Billy Bob Thornton said: "Let's separate the men from the boys."

"AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movies," which airs at 8 p.m. ET, will be hosted by Jodie Foster and Richard Gere. TNT will play it again, following up the CBS special with 10 one-hour programs devoted to selected big screen classics.

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