AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies (2001)

TV Special  -  Documentary
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A look at the 100 most thrilling films in over 100 years of American cinema.

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Title: AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies (2001– )

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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A roundabout of Hollywood's top people talk about their favorite thrilling films such as Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and Sandra Bullock. Films ranging from classics like "The Maltese Falcon" to blockbusters like "The Sixth Sense". Written by <MonkeyKingMA@aol.com>

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12 June 2001 (USA)  »

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Harrison Ford and Claude Rains are the most represented actors on the list each starring in four films. See more »

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Features Gaslight (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

100 movies. Zero insights. 100 thrills? Zero value.
1 November 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A shortlist of 400 American films was drawn up and those in the `business' were allowed to vote on which they thought were the most exciting and thrilling. The top 100 were taken and screened on this programme. Harrison Ford presents.

I'm not a big fan of movie lists or movie list programmes. I'll give them a good try if they are one offs or publicly voted from an open list, but many, like this one, are professionals voting from a set list. Here we are restricted to 400 movies and all of them American. The opening clips show that this 400 included Twister and Shanghai Noon! I mean come on – how can you expect anything different from the same old names and faces. But to be honest the list is still OK – I imagine that even if they had left it open then most of the top 100 would have been more of less the same.

My problem with this programme was the total lack of value in the almost 3 hour running time. If all I wanted was the list then I could have got it off the internet or a newspaper. No, a programme about the list should have added something of value to most if not all of the films on the list. Sadly for the majority of the films there is only a clip and then a celebrity saying `oh yeah I liked it' etc. My favourite was the way they used Jean Claude Van Damme as a contributor – he says nothing of any value whatsoever!

I expected them to try and interview the director or star of the film in question for a little insight to the film or a funny tale. In some cases this happens but for a lot of them the contributors have nothing to do with the film (Carl Weathers, Lucy Liu, Van Damme) who have nothing to say. Lucy Liu is used a lot but says nothing that a man in the street couldn't have said. I know that each film is only given 2 or 3 minutes but when a lot of them are a clip and an unrelated celeb saying that they liked it and it was a great movie etc.

The flip side of this is that lots of those interviewed called the film `the greatest yada yada ever'. Charlton Heston is the worst one of this. In his three pieces for his three films he calls them the greatest ever – does he really believe that everything he does is great and worthy of being on the list! A Touch of Evil is `the greatest thriller ever made', Planet of the Apes is `the greatest sci-fi movie ever made' and Ben-Hur has `the greatest action scenes in history'. I found that for the vast majority of the films that nothing of any value or interest was said, so I was left with clips of films that I had already seen.

The most interesting bit of watching the show was seeing how messed up American TV is. For any clip with swearing is bleeped out throughout the whole show. However any violence is shown in all it's glory, including the climax of the Wild Bunch for God's sake! Why are they so scared of bad language but will happily show people getting killed or bleeding? The other thing of note is how incredibly wooden Harrison Ford has become since the days of Han Solo and Indiana Jones.

Overall this was a waste of three hours for me. I should have just read the list in 3 minutes instead. I had hoped that the three minutes given to each film were wasted. For the vast majority nothing of any value was said and it could easily have been a clips show without any comments. Total waste of time.


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