AFI's 100 Most Inspirational Movies

"Breaking Away," starring (l to r) Jackie Earle Hailey, Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern, came in at Number 8.

The American Film Institute announces its latest list

"AFI's 100 Years . . . 100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies" will count down America's 100 most inspiring films, as chosen by experts of the motion picture community, in a three-hour television event on the CBS Television Network in June 2006.

"Over the years, the movies have given us something to cheer about," stated Jean Picker Firstenberg, AFI's Director and CEO. "The past few years have not been easy in America--from September 11th to the devastation of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers will celebrate the films that inspire us, encourage us to make a difference and send us from the theatre with a greater sense of possibility and hope for the future."

-- from an American Film Institute Press Release

Here are links to Roger Ebert's reviews of films on the AFI 100 list of Most Inspiring Movies:

1. "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)

2. "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962)

3. "Schindler's List" (1993)

4. "Rocky" (1976)

5. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939)

6. "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982)

7. "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940)

8. "Breaking Away" (1979)

9. "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947)

10. "Saving Private Ryan" (1998)

11. "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946)

12. "Apollo 13" (1995)

13. "Hoosiers" (1986)

14. "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957)

15. "The Miracle Worker" (1962)

16. "Norma Rae" (1979)

17. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975)

18. "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959)

19. "The Right Stuff" (1983)

20. "Philadelphia" (1993)

21. "In the Heat of the Night" (1967)

22. "The Pride of the Yankees" (1942)

23. "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994)

24. "National Velvet" (1944)

25. "Sullivan's Travels" (1941)

26. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

27. "High Noon" (1952)

28. "Field of Dreams" (1989)

29. "Gandhi" (1982)

30. "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962)

31. "Glory" (1989)

32. "Casablanca" (1942)

33. "City Lights" (1931)

34. "All the President's Men" (1976)

35. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967)

36. "On the Waterfront" (1954)

37. "Forrest Gump" (1994)

38. "Pinocchio" (1940)

39. "Star Wars" (1977)

40. "Mrs. Miniver" (1942)

41. "The Sound of Music" (1965)

42. "12 Angry Men" (1957)

43. "Gone With the Wind" (1939)

44. "Spartacus" (1960)

45. "On Golden Pond" (1981)

46. "Lilies of the Field" (1963)

47. "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968)

48. "The African Queen" (1951)

49. "Meet John Doe" (1941)

50. "Seabiscuit" (2003)

51. "The Color Purple" (1985)

52. "Dead Poets Society" (1989)

53. "Shane" (1953)

54. "Rudy" (1993)

55. "The Defiant Ones" (1958)

56. "Ben-Hur" (1959)

57. "Sergeant York" (1941)

58. "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977)

59. "Dances with Wolves" (1990)

60. "The Killing Fields" (1984)

61. "Sounder" (1972)

62. "Braveheart" (1995)

63. "Rain Man" (1988)

64. "The Black Stallion" (1979)

65. "A Raisin in the Sun" (1961)

66. "Silkwood" (1983)

67. "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951)

68. "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982)

69. "The Spirit of St. Louis" (1957)

70. "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980)

71. "Cool Hand Luke" (1967)

72. "Dark Victory" (1939)

73. "Erin Brockovich" (2000)

74. "Gunga Din" (1939)

75. "The Verdict" (1982)

76. "Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962)

77. "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989)

78. "Thelma and Louise" (1991)

79. "The Ten Commandments" (1956)

80. "Babe" (1995)

81. "Boys Town" (1938)

82. "Fiddler on the Roof" (1971)

83. "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936)

84. "Serpico" (1973)

85. "What's Love Got to Do with It" (1993)

86. "Stand and Deliver" (1988)

87. "Working Girl" (1988)

88. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942)

89. "Harold and Maude" (1972)

90. "Hotel Rwanda" (2004)

91. "The Paper Chase" (1973)

92. "Fame" (1980)

93. "A Beautiful Mind" (2001)

94. "Captains Courageous" (1937)

95. "Places in the Heart" (1984)

96. "Searching for Bobby Fischer" (1993)

97. "Madame Curie" (1943)

98. "The Karate Kid" (1984)

99. "Ray" (2004)

100. "Chariots of Fire" (1981)

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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