The #1 Romantic Drama (#3 overall).

The #1 Romantic Drama (#3 overall).

Here it is: the final AFI list. It is also the sparsest, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I’ve been busy trying to get my Academy Award posts ready for later this month, because it takes forever to do the links for a list this long, and because I’ve been working at Borders a lot to make up for the fact that my job for AAS no longer exists. So, with no links or quotes or descriptions, I simply give you the 100 best dramas.

100. A Canterbury Tale (Michael Powell) – 1949

99. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles) – 1942

98. The Verdict (Sidney Lumet) – 1982

97. Syriana (Stephen Gaghan) – 2005

96. The Diary of Anne Frank (George Stevens) – 1959

95. Hamlet (Laurence Olivier) – 1948

Nicole and Tom at play

Nicole and Tom at play

94. Thirteen Days (Roger Donaldson) – 2000

93. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick) – 1999

92. United 93 (Paul Greengrass) – 2006

91. Midnight Express (Alan Parker) – 1978

90. Gentleman’s Agreement (Elia Kazan) – 1947

89. Detective Story (William Wyler) – 1951

88. Mona Lisa (Neil Jordan) – 1986

87. Reds (Warren Beatty) – 1981

86. Dangerous Liaisons (Stephen Frears) – 1988

85. A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood) – 1993

84. Quiz Show (Robert Redford) – 1994

83. Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson) – 1997

82. The Prestige (Christopher Nolan) – 2006

81. Serpico (Sidney Lumet) – 1973

80. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Forman) – 1975

79. A Letter to Three Wives (Joseph L. Mankiewicz) – 1949

My favorite actor and my grandmother's favorite actor in the film version of a novel assigned by my favorite teacher.

My favorite actor and my grandmother's favorite actor in the film version of a novel assigned by my favorite teacher.

78. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet) – 1957

77. Great Expectations (David Lean) – 1946

76. The Pawnbroker (Sidney Lumet) – 1965

75. Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen) – 1989

74. In the Name of the Father (Jim Sheridan) – 1993

73. The Bad and the Beautiful (Vincente Minnelli) – 1952

72. A Star is Born (William Wellmann) – 1937

71. Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray) – 1955

70. The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich) – 1971

69. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir) – 1975

68. Kiss of the Spider Woman (Hector Babenco) – 1985

67. The Hours (Stephen Daldry) – 2002

66. In the Bedroom (Todd Field) – 2001

65. A Man for all Seasons (Fred Zinneman) – 1966

64. The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder) – 1945

63. The Informer (John Ford) – 1935

62. Sunrise (F. W. Murnau) – 1927

61. Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander MacKendrick) – 1957

60. Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick) – 1960

59. The Petrified Forest (Archie Mayo) – 1936

58. Stairway to Heaven (Michael Powell) – 1946

57. Sophie’s Choice (Alan J. Pakula) – 1982

David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow.

David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow.

56. Henry V (Laurence Olivier) – 1944

55. Good Night and Good Luck (George Clooney) – 2005

54. A Room with a View (James Ivory) – 1986

53. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson) – 2007

52. Stand by Me (Rob Reiner) – 1986

51. Running on Empty (Sidney Lumet) – 1988

50. The End of the Affair (Neil Jordan) – 1999

49. The Pianist (Roman Polanski) – 2002

48. The Queen (Stephen Frears) – 2006

47. Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese) – 2002

46. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks) – 1958

45. Network (Sidney Lumet) – 1976

44. Terms of Endearment (James L. Brooks) – 1983

43. JFK (Oliver Stone) – 1991

42. The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan) – 1997

41. Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson) – 1999

40. In America (Jim Sheridan) – 2003

39. The Ice Storm (Ang Lee) – 1997

38. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron) – 2006

37. Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee) – 1995

36. Brief Encounter (David Lean) – 1945

35. From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinneman) – 1953

34. Greed (Erich von Stroheim) – 1925

33. Breaker Morant (Bruce Beresford) – 1979

32. Atonement (Joe Wright) – 2007

31. Doctor Zhivago (David Lean) – 1965

30. The Lion in Winter (Anthony Harvey) – 1968

29. The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford) – 1940

28. All the President’s Men (Alan J. Pakula) – 1976

27. Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh) – 1996

26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Frank Capra) – 1939

25. The Elephant Man (David Lynch) – 1980

I still can't believe Crash won Best Picture.

I still can't believe Crash won Best Picture.

24. American Beauty (Sam Mendes) – 1999

23. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee) – 2005

22. Munich (Steven Spielberg) – 2005

21. The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese) – 1993

20. The English Patient (Anthony Minghella) – 1996

19. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler) – 1946

18. To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan) – 1962

17. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz) – 1950

16. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Mike Nichols) – 1966

15. A Passage to India (David Lean) – 1984

14. Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles) – 1965

13. The Aviator (Martin Scorsese) – 2004

12. The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont) – 1994

11. Field of Dreams (Phil Alden Robinson) – 1989

10. It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra) – 1946

9. On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan) – 1954

8. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese) – 1980

7. Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston) – 1948

6. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg) – 1993

5. Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean) – 1962

the greatest film ever made

the greatest film ever made

4. A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan) – 1951

3. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz) – 1942

2. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles) – 1941

1. Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder) – 1950

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