Saturday, December 8, 2012

America's Most Inspiring Movies




At this time of year, it might be nice to see an inspiring movie.  The American Film Institute in 2006 came out with the top 100 most inspiring movies.  (100 Years...100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies.)  Some people like romances, some like dramas.  Turns out, I like inspirational films.  Of these 100, I have seen 98 of them.  I need to see the other two so I can say that I have seen them all! (Braveheart and Places In the Heart, the only two I have not seen.)

How many of them have you seen?  And it won't take you long to read through this list.  I can't believe the Chariots of Fire is at #100!  I would have it in the top 10 at least!  Now, if you have not seen hardly any of this movies, then do yourself a favor and seek them out and watch them.  You will thank me, I promise. 

And this is not Scarlet O'Hara from Gone With The Wind in the photo, it is just me on top of Arabia Mountain!  Duh, duh, duh, duh... that's the music in case you don't remember! (And you know of course, that Vivian Leigh was from England and playing a girl from Georgia, right?)


1It's a Wonderful Life1946
2To Kill a Mockingbird1962
3Schindler's List1993
5Mr. Smith Goes to Washington1939
6E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial1982
7The Grapes of Wrath1940
8Breaking Away1979
9Miracle on 34th Street1947
10Saving Private Ryan1998
11The Best Years of Our Lives1946
12Apollo 131995
14The Bridge on the River Kwai1957
15The Miracle Worker1962
16Norma Rae1979
17One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest1975
18The Diary of Anne Frank1959
19The Right Stuff1983
21In the Heat of the Night1967
22The Pride of the Yankees1942
23The Shawshank Redemption1994
24National Velvet1944
25Sullivan's Travels1941
26The Wizard of Oz1939
27High Noon1952
28Field of Dreams1989
30Lawrence of Arabia1962
33City Lights1931
34All the President's Men1976
35Guess Who's Coming to Dinner1967
36On the Waterfront1954
37Forrest Gump1994
39Star Wars1977
40Mrs. Miniver1942
41The Sound of Music1965
4212 Angry Men1957
43Gone with the Wind1939
45On Golden Pond1981
46Lilies of the Field1963
472001: A Space Odyssey1968
48The African Queen1951
49Meet John Doe1941
51The Color Purple1985
52Dead Poets Society1989
55The Defiant Ones1958
57Sergeant York1941
58Close Encounters of the Third Kind1977
59Dances with Wolves1990
60The Killing Fields1984
63Rain Man1988
64The Black Stallion1979
65A Raisin in the Sun1961
67The Day the Earth Stood Still1951
68An Officer and a Gentleman1982
69The Spirit of St. Louis1957
70Coal Miner's Daughter1980
71Cool Hand Luke1967
72Dark Victory1939
73Erin Brockovich2000
74Gunga Din1939
75The Verdict1982
76Birdman of Alcatraz1962
77Driving Miss Daisy1989
78Thelma & Louise1991
79The Ten Commandments1956
81Boys Town1938
82Fiddler on the Roof1971
83Mr. Deeds Goes to Town1936
85What's Love Got to Do with It1993
86Stand and Deliver1988
87Working Girl1988
88Yankee Doodle Dandy1942
89Harold and Maude1971
90Hotel Rwanda2004
91The Paper Chase1973
93A Beautiful Mind2001
94Captains Courageous1937
95Places in the Heart1984
96Searching for Bobby Fischer1993
97Madame Curie1943
98The Karate Kid1984
100Chariots of Fire1981


  1. This list really showcases how many wonderful movies there are out there :) Something for everyone! If I had to pick one to watch right now, it'd have to be Close Encounters.

    1. I wonder at a few of these on this list. Thelma and Louise? Interesting movie but I don't find it inspirational! I need to make my own list! Hope you are enjoying a nice weekend, dear Jane!

  2. I've seen about 95% of the list. As I was going down the list I kept saying: "Oh, that's a good one!...Oh that's my favorite..No, that's my favorite!"..all the way down the list! I have a super soft spot for Shawshank because it was filmed in my neighborhood..many of the "extras" are people I know. I do have to say that "Places in the Heart" was not really one of my favs because I found it a bit confusing for some reason...but I love almost all the others!

    1. Oh, that's so funny, I did EXACTLY the same thing! The Shawshank Redemption was filmed in your neighborhood? YOU LUCKY GAL!! I LOVE LOVE THAT MOVIE! In fact, I was going to write about it on this post but felt it deserved a post of its own so please look out for it!
      And like you, some of these I might have seen but they are not my favorites. Worth seeing, but not one that I would want to see again. (Working Girl? Serpico?)

  3. I've seen about 7 of them, which only goes to show how often I go to the movies.

    1. The majority of these I have seen on TV. I truly love movies, GOOD ones, that is! I cannot imagine which seven you have seen. Do tell!

  4. I went through the first twenty and realized that I only missed one of those movies. What a neat list- xo Diana

    1. Of course, my positive friend Diana would know inspirational movies! xx

  5. I have seen 19 or 20 of these, I think. I've never been much of a movie person, therefore this is hardly surprising; and my own list of "Best Movies" would be slightly different (for instance, I would never include "Rocky", but "Back To The Futures" would definitely be high up!).

    1. Rocky might be very dated now but at the time, for some reason, it was a very powerful movie, very uplifting at a time that this country really needed it.
      And I totally agree! I love all the "Back To The Future" movies! So cleverly written and perfectly cast.
      My son, the Film Major, loves them too!

  6. Wow, you've seen so many of them! I can't say the same. I've seen 38 of them for sure, and there are a few others that I'm not sure about. It's possible I've seen them but can't quite remember. It's funny because I just finished watching Lawrence of Arabia this weekend. I don't know what took me so long to see this movie, but I finally got to it.

    1. I know, Martha, I was really surprised that I had seen almost all of them! Of course, a lot of the really older ones, folks might not have seen, but I spent a lot of teenage years babysitting and late at night, I would watch every black and white film that was shown.
      I really love movies. There are some good ones that have been made lately that could be added to this list.
      SOUL SURFER is a one that comes to mind, about the young girl who lost an arm to a shark and continued surfing. That is a very inspirational movie. And I am still waiting for the movie to come out about Louis Zamperini...please look out for it, Martha!

  7. I've seen 77 of them, so still have lots of movie viewing to catch up to you. But I HAVE seen Braveheart and Places in the Heart and they are both great movies -- see them so you can have a perfect score!

    1. I will! There are quite a few that I would add to this list and some that I think should be taken off! They may be good movies but I wouldn't call them inspiring.
      They should have called me and asked ME to make a list! HA!

  8. Well, i've seen or read the book behind most of them. It gives me some to consider soon!

    1. Oh, and there are so many that are not on this list but should be!
      Have you ever seen "Up" or "Wall-E"? Or any of the "Toy Stories" movies? They might be considered for children but they are excellent and I think, inspiring.

  9. Only 21. I think they could add "The King's Speech" in place of a few of them.

    1. I know! I was surprised at some of these. I loved that movie, "The King's Speech". And while we are on English movies, how about "Amazing Grace" or "The Young Victoria"? These might have been after 2006, but I bet they would not think of them as inspiring but I think they are!
      And believe it or not, even through it is about male stripping, "The Fully Monty" is an inspiring movie. Years ago, there was a full page write-up in the Atlanta newspaper about that movie, in the Religion section!

  10. I've seen 24 of them. Oddly I tried to get Close Encounters of the Third Kind out this evening but the video rental shop didn't stock it.

    1. E.T. must have taken it home with him! :-)
      To be honest, I was a little embarrassed to admit how many of these I have seen!

  11. I have seen 47...some of my favorites, Dead Poets Society, Chariots of Fire, Sound of Music,It's a Wonderful Life, and Field of Dreams. In fact, 2 years ago we took a cross county trip and saw the actual Field of Dreams. it was so cool, right in the midst of corn fields, low key, non-commercial. We got to go right on the field, the house is there. Very very cool! You are making me think I may have to post a pic. Also, I loved Out of Africa...didn't make the list.

    1. OH! I love all of these that you have mentioned! I did a post on Chariots of Fire and Eric Liddell! Oh, and I must tell you how much I LOVE Field of Dreams!
      YES! Please do a post about seeing the actual Field of Dreams, I will look forward to it very much!
      I loved OUT OF AFRICA too, did you read the book that it is based upon?
      So many that I would take off the list and others I would put in place upon it. What about Yankee Doodle Dandy? The one with James Cagney dancing up the wall with all the great songs by George M. Cohan? I did a post about that one too! :-)

    2. Yes, I love yankee Doodle Dandy!! I love the old Hollywood glamour and singing and dancing. I did read Out of Africa...and a few others by Isak Dinisen. The music in Out of Africa is is the scenery and the clothing. Robert Redford's not so bad either!

    3. Oh, and I just remembered a movie that Robert Redford directed called "Quiz Show", that movie is really good and really makes you think about those who first started the TV networks.
      Of course, Robert Redford from Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid and The Way We Were...don't even get me started!!

  12. I have copied this list and will peruse them later. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Let me know how many you have seen. Please say you have seen all of them, then I won't feel so alone! :-)

  13. Kay, I came over from your mention on Breathing English Air - drawn by the name. I'm a mix of English (mother) and Southern (father) myself, so I just had to visit you! Though sometimes it seems I *only* watch British films and television shows, I actually saw many of my favorite American movies on your list.

    1. Hello Jean!
      "Delighted" to see you here!
      Like you, I watch a LOT of British films and TV show. And if you have seen many of these movies, then it means you only like the BEST American films. Good for you! Please visit me again! :-)