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AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars: America's Greatest Screen Legends (1999)

The spectacular CBS special! Shirley Temple Black hosts the festivities as 50 of today's top stars count down the 50 greatest screen legends of all time. Features Clint Eastwood, Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Kevin Spacey and many others.

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

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Storyline

The spectacular CBS special! Shirley Temple Black hosts the festivities as 50 of today's top stars count down the 50 greatest screen legends of all time. Features Clint Eastwood, Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Kevin Spacey and many others.

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Documentary

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Release Date:

15 June 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 59 years, Laurence Olivier (the #14 male star) has the longest screen career for any male legend. See more »


Soundtracks

Without You
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager
Performed by Liza Minnelli
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User Reviews

Great documentary
11 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

It's a great documentary overall. Highly recommended.

I have a couple of problems with the list though. I know I am going to get a lot of complaints for this one, but Audrey Hepburn is a little bit too lofty. I love her a lot, don't get me wrong. She may be an influential person outside of the theatre, however, her acting abilities are no where close to those directly above and below her. Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo had so much more depth. Aside from "Wait Until Dark", Audrey Hepburn movies showed nothing substantially different from what she is in real person. Gary Cooper, doing the same thing, got ranked 11th because he is on screen what he is in real life. Audrey Hepburn then, in all objectivity, be at the same rank.

Along the same logic, I disagree with the disparity in the placement of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. They essentially did the same thing: through their death, their 15-minutes of fame transformed into a perpetual legacy. While I respect that, I think it's strange that Dean got a 18th rank while Monroe got a 6th rank.

Lastly, this is strictly out of my own opinion, but I think with Audrey Hepburn out of the top 5, the remaining 4 should switch places. The two Swedish ladies ought to be #1 and #2 while Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis are placed as 3 and 4. My reasoning is that we pay money to see movie actors act. The two verbs in the latter part of that sentence are "see" and "act". All four of them had tremendous depths and breadth, so there isn't much of a difference in terms of acting ability. The other verb, however, makes a difference. We pay money to see aesthetics on screen. While Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis turns the script into magic, they're not as aesthetically pleasing as the two Swedes. (The documentary itself even goes on for a while to say how Bette Davis isn't the prettiest of all actresses.) We pay to see beauty, second only to acting ability. And I believe that should be the reason why Ingrid and Greta should be the top two actresses of all time. (Not to mention their INTERESTING private lives that was also a factor in deciding the rankings. I mean, how many actors can claim bragging rights to a Senator denouncing them for adultery on the Congressional floor? Or forcing studio executives to fire Lord Laurence Olivier just to get their ex-lover a role in a film?)

Along the same logic mentioned above, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart should be 1 and 2 while Bogart should be 3.

Overall, it is a great documentary, go buy it and watch it.


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