'Kane' still tops but many changes underneath on American Film Institute's '100'

Friday, June 22, 2007

Citizen Kane, a 1941 drama film about a power-hungry newspaper magnate, remains the No. 1 movie on the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies list, but for the list's 10th anniversary, there have been many changes.

The new list, unveiled in a three-hour broadcast on CBS television in the United States on Wednesday night, contains 23 movies that weren't on the original 1998 list. Of the films that remained on the list, 36 improved their rankings, while 38 fell from their previous ranking.

The No. 2 film, The Godfather, moved up from No. 3 on the 1998 listing, trading places with Casablanca.

Doctor Zhivago, the former No. 39, was the highest-ranking film to be removed from the list. Of the newcomers, the highest debut was Buster Keaton's 1927 silent, The General at No. 18.

Newcomers include Titanic from 1997, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring from 2001 (the sole 2000s film) and Do the Right Thing from 1989.

The Searchers, a 1956 John Ford western starring John Wayne, made the biggest leap on the AFI list, rising from 84th to 12th place.

Of the films already on the list, the most dramatic leap was by John Ford's 1956 western, The Searchers, which rose 84 places from No. 96 to No. 12. Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 thriller Vertigo jumped from 61st to ninth place. Martin Scorsese's 1980 boxing biography, Raging Bull, rocketed from 24th to fourth place.

The computer-animated Toy Story joined the list at No. 99, while the 1940 Walt Disney musical cartoon, Fantasia, formerly at No. 58, left the list.

Steven Spielberg's 1977 sci-fi drama, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, also left the list, but was replaced by Saving Private Ryan from 1998 at No. 71.

Other films leaving the list included Rebel Without a Cause, My Fair Lady, From Here to Eternity and Patton.

The most dramatic drop was The African Queen, which fell 48 places from No. 17 to No. 65. At the bottom of the list is Ben-Hur, which fell from No. 72.

AFI said it plans revise its list every 10 years in an effort to gauge changing cultural perspectives. The 100 are chosen from a selection of 400 films in a poll of 1,500 Hollywood filmmakers, actors, writers and critics.