Thursday, June 15, 2006

Most Inspiring Films

I watched bits and snatches of the American Film Institute's program on 100 years of inspiring movies last night. Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" was deemed the most inspirational film of all.

I'm in complete agreement with that choice of chart-topper. I've watched that movie with my family every Christmas Eve night for more years than I can count. And it gets me, every time. When George Bailey is praying over his drink at the bar, I'm always a sloppy mess. It's a moment of absolutely transcendent movie magic.

The remainder of my own Top Ten Inspiring Films List varies widely from the rankings of AFI's picks. Confining myself strictly to the AFI 100 list--which, for the most part, is quite good--here are my personal favorites, with AFI's corresponding number in parentheses:
  1. It's a Wonderful Life (1)
  2. Apollo 13 (12)
  3. Braveheart (62)
  4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (5)
  5. Pride of the Yankees (22)
  6. Casablanca (32)
  7. Glory (31)
  8. Ben-Hur (56)
  9. *Shawshank Redemption (23)
  10. High Noon (27)
*This is the only listed movie I don't own, either on videotape or DVD. If Tim Robbins would learn to temper his hateful political spouting, "Shawshank" would have a home in my movie case along with my other favorites. Until then, I won't buy it. Memo to Tim and his ilk: based upon my liberty to pick and choose which entertainment to support, it appears the U.S. is a free country, after all.