AFI 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies

This is the American Film Institute's list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies of the first 100 years of film. For the top 100 films, I have indicated their final ranking in parenthesis. Because it is interesting to see how different time periods stack up, the list is by year of release of the film (alphabetic within each year).  The first film to make it was the 1923 Harold Lloyd Safety Last (97) and the latest film to make it was 1999 The Matrix. Where possible I provide hot links to my reviews. This allows you to judge your taste against mine and the reviewers. The absence of a rating does not indicate I have not seen the film, merely that I have not reviewed it. Also, my ratings are for the film overall, not just in the context of "Heart-Pounding".

The alphabetically listed top 400 are at

http://www.afionline.org/100lists/100thrills400.html

while the top 100 by rank can be found at

http://www.afionline.org/100lists/100thrills400.html

  

1915 CHEAT, THE

1916 INTOLERANCE

1920 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) (**1/2, horror)

1920 Mark of Zorro, The (1920) (****, action, swashbuckler, silent, classic)

1920 WAY DOWN EAST

1921 SHEIK, THE

1922 ROBIN HOOD

1923 COVERED WAGON, THE

1923 (97) SAFETY LAST

1924 THIEF OF BAGDAD, THE

1925 BIG PARADE, THE 

1925 EAGLE, THE

1925 Lost World, The (1925) (***1/2, classic, sci fi, fantasy)

1925 (83) Phantom of the Opera, The (1925) (****, horror, classic)

1925 TUMBLEWEEDS

1926 (49) BEN-HUR

1926 BLACK PIRATE, THE

1926 Don Juan (1926) (***1/2, classic, action, romance)

1927 Cat and the Canary, The (1927) (***, horror, humor, classic, silent) (11-26-01)

1927 General, The (1927) (****, comedy)

1927 WINGS

1928 SPEEDY

1928 STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.

1928 WIND, THE

1929 IRON MASK, THE

1930 ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

1930 LITTLE CAESAR

1931 (85) Dracula (1931) (***, classic horror)

1931 (56) Frankenstein (1931) (****, horror, classic) (7-26-99)

1931 Public Enemy, The (1931) (**1/2, crime, classic)

1932 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932) (****, horror) )

1932 FREAKS

1932 I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) (****, crime, docudrama, classic) (1-11-99)

1932 Most Dangerous Game, The (1932) (***, classic, action, thriller)

1932 Mummy, The (1932) (***1/2, horror, classic) (3-12-01)

1932 SCARFACE

1932 TARZAN THE APE MAN

1933 Invisible Man, The (1933) (***1/2, sci fi)

1933 ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, THE

1933 (12) KING KONG

1934 COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, THE

1934 Lost Patrol, The (1934) (**1/2, war)

1935 Bride of Frankenstein (1935) (***, classic, horror) (12-20-99)

1935 CAPTAIN BLOOD

1935 LAST DAYS OF POMPEII, THE

1935 LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER, THE

1936 CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, THE

1936 Fury (1936) (***1/2, drama) (3-19-01)

1936 SAN FRANCISCO

1937 Hurricane, The (1937) (***, romance, adventure)

1937 PRISONER OF ZENDA, THE

1938 (100) Adventures of Robin Hood The (1938) (***1/2, adventure)

1938 TEST PILOT

1939 BEAU GESTE

1939 GUNGA DIN

1939 HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, THE

1939 HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, THE

1939 MAN IN THE IRON MASK, THE

1939 THREE MUSKETEERS, THE

1939 UNION PACIFIC

1939 (43) Wizard of Oz, The (1939) (****, fantasy, musical, classic)  (4-5-99)

1940 Foreign Correspondent (1940) (***, war-intrigue)

1940 Mark of Zorro, The (1940) (***1/2, action, classic)

1940 PINOCCHIO

1940 (80) REBECCA

1940 Sea Hawk, The (1940) (****, action, war, romance, classic)

1940 THIEF OF BAGDAD, THE

1941 (26) Maltese Falcon, The (1941) (****, detective, mystery, noir)

1941 MAN HUNT

1941 SERGEANT YORK

1941 SUSPICION

1941 WOLF MAN, THE

1942 (37) Casablanca (1942) (****, drama, romance)

1942 Cat People (1942) (***, horror)

1942 Saboteur (1942) (**1/2, suspense)

1943 AIR FORCE

1943 BATAAN

1943 DESTINATION TOKYO

1943 Edge of Darkness (1943) (***1/2, war, drama)

1943 SHADOW OF A DOUBT

1944 (24) Double Indemnity (1944) (***1/2, noir, drama)

1944 (78) Gaslight (1944) (***, thriller)

1944 (73) LAURA

1944 LODGER, THE

1944 Murder, My Sweet (1944) (****, crime, noir)

1944 NATIONAL VELVET

1944 SUSPECT, THE

1944 Uninvited, The (1944) (***1/2, horror, classic)

1944 WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, THE

1945 AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

1945 Body Snatcher, The (1945) (***, horror)

1945 Detour (1945) (***, classic, noir, crime)

1945 HOUSE ON 92ND STREET

1945 (86) PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, THE

1945 Spellbound (1945) (**1/2, suspense)

1946 Big Sleep, The (1946) (***1/2, mystery, noir)

1946 KILLERS, THE

1946 (38) Notorious (1946) (***, spy, thriller, drama, classic) (12-21-98)

1946 POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, THE

1946 Spiral Staircase, The (1946) (***1/2, thriller, classic)

1947 BOOMERANG!

1947 Brute Force (1947) (****, crime, film noir, classic) (1-29-01)

1947 Kiss of Death (1947) (***, drama, crime)

1947 Out of the Past (1947) (***, crime, drama)

1947 T-MEN

1948 Big Clock, The (1948) (*** Suspense)

1948 Call Northside 777 (1948) (**1/2, docudrama, crime, film noir)

1948 Lady From Shanghai, The (1948) (**1/2, thriller, crime)

1948 Rope (1948) (***1/2, suspense) (9-6-99)

1948 Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) (***, noir, thriller)

1948 (67) TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, THE

1949 BATTLEGROUND

1949 CHAMPION

1949 MIGHTY JOE YOUNG

1949 RECKLESS MOMENT, THE

1949 SANDS OF IWO JIMA

1949 THEY LIVE BY NIGHT

1949  (75) Third Man, The (1949) (****, drama)

1949 TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH

1949 White Heat (1949) (***1/2, classic, crime, film noir, drama)

1950 Asphalt Jungle, The (1950) (***, crime)

1950 D.O.A.

1950 Gun Crazy aka Deadly Is The Female (1949) (***1/2, crime, drama)

1950 KIM

1950 King Solomon's Mines (1950) (****, adventure)

1950 NO WAY OUT

1950 Panic in the Streets (1950) (***1/2, drama, crime)

1951 African Queen, The (1951) (***1/2, romantic drama)

1951 (82) Day the Earth Stood Still, The (1951) (***1/2, 50s sci fi)

1951 FOURTEEN HOURS

1951 RED BADGE OF COURAGE, THE

1951 STEEL HELMET, THE

1951 (32) Strangers on a Train (1951) (***1/2, thriller)

1951 (87) Thing (from Another World), The (1951) (**1/2, 50's Sci-fi, horror)

1952 DON'T BOTHER TO KNOCK

1952 (20) High Noon (1952) (****, Drama, Western)

1952 IVANHOE

1952 SCARAMOUCHE

1953 BIG HEAT, THE

1953 HITCH-HIKER, THE

1953 House of Wax (1953) (**1/2, horror) (3-6-00)

1953 PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET

1953 War of the Worlds (1953) (****, 50's Science Fiction)

1954 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) (****, sci fi, action, fantasy)

1954 Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) (***, horror) (1-22-01)

1954 (48) Dial M for Murder (1954) (**1/2, thriller)

1954 HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, THE

1954 (14) Rear Window (1954) (****, crime, thriller)

1954 SUDDENLY

1954 Them!(1954) (***1/2-horror, 50s sci fi)

1955 BLACKBOARD JUNGLE

1955 IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA

1955 (34) Night of the Hunter (1955) (****, drama, suspense)

1955 REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE

1955 TO HELL AND BACK

1956 ATTACK!

1956 BAD SEED, THE

1956 (47) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) (***1/2, 50s sci fi, horror)

1956 Killing, The (1956) (***1/2, noir, crime, drama) (12-21-97)

1956 Kiss Me Deadly (1955) (****, crime)

1956 Moby Dick (1956) (**1/2, drama, adventure)

1956 TEN COMMANDMENTS, THE

1956 Wrong Man, The (1956) (**1/2, suspense, docudrama)

1957 (88) 12 Angry Men (1957) (***1/2, drama)

1957 (58) Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) (****, drama)

1957 GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL

1957 INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, THE

1957 WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION

1958 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD

1958 BLOB, THE

1958 DEFIANT ONES, THE

1958 FLY, THE

1958 House on Haunted Hill, The (1958) (***, 50s horror) (2-12-01)

1958 RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP

1958 (64) Touch of Evil, A (1958) (****, drama, crime, noir)

1958 (18)  Vertigo (1958) (****, psychological thriller)

1959 ANATOMY OF A MURDER

1959 BEN-HUR

1959 (4) North by Northwest (1959) (****, suspense)

1959 RIDE LONESOME

1959 TINGLER, THE

1960 (79) MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE

1960 (1) Psycho (1960) (****, classic, horror)

1960 (62) Spartacus (1960) (****, drama, historical costumer) (5-1-00)

1961 (89) Guns of Navarone, The (1961) (***1/2, action, war) (8-14-00)

1961 HUSTLER, THE

1961 PIT AND THE PENDULUM, THE

1962 (61) Cape Fear (1962) (***1/2, suspense, noir)

1962 CARNIVAL OF SOULS

1962 (23) LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

1962 Longest Day, The (1962) (****, docudrama, war, action) (9-25-00)

1962 (17) Manchurian Candidate, The (1962) (****, spy, thriller)

1962 (63) WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

1963 Birds, The (1963) (****, horror)

1963 CHARADE

1963 (19) GREAT ESCAPE, THE

1963 SHOCK CORRIDOR

1963 FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE 

1964 Fail-Safe (1964) (****, drama, war) (7-24-00)

1964 (71) GOLDFINGER

1964 Seven Days in May (1964) (***1/2, thriller, drama)

1964 TOPKAPI

1965 HUSHÉ HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE

1965 TRAIN, THE

1966 SECONDS

1967 (13) BONNIE AND CLYDE

1967 COOL HAND LUKE

1967 (65) DIRTY DOZEN, THE

1967 Point Blank (1967) (***, crime)

1967 (55) Wait Until Dark (1967) (*** suspense)

1968 (40) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (****, sci fi)

1968 (36) Bullitt (1968) (***1/2, crime, action)  (1-8-01)

1968 (93) Night of the Living Dead (1968) (****, horror)

1968 (59) PLANET OF THE APES

1968 (9) Rosemary's Baby (1968) (****, classic,  horror

1968 TARGETS

1968 Thomas Crown Affair, The (1968) (**1/2, crime) (8-9-99)

1969 (54) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (***1/2, western)

1969 ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE

1969 TRUE GRIT

1969 (69) Wild Bunch, The (1969) (***1/2, western)

1970 HONEYMOON KILLERS, THE

1971 Andromeda Strain, The (1971) (**1/2, Sci-Fi)

1971 (21) Clockwork Orange, A (1971) (****, drama, satire, sci fi)

1971 (41) DIRTY HARRY

1971 (8)  FRENCH CONNECTION, THE

1971 KLUTE

1971 Omega Man, The (1971) (**, sci-fi, horror)

1971 Play Misty for Me (1971) (***, thriller)

1971 SHAFT

1971 Straw Dogs (1971) (*** drama)

1972 (15) Deliverance (1972) (***1/2, drama)

1972 GETAWAY, THE

1972 (11) GODFATHER, THE

1972 LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT

1972 (90) Poseidon Adventure, The (1972) (***, drama, action, disaster) (10-2-00)

1972 SLEUTH

1973 COFFY

1973 Enter the Dragon (1973) (****, Kung fu adventure)

1973 (3) Exorcist, The (1973) (****, horror)

1973 LAST OF SHIELA, THE

1973 MEAN STREETS

1973 SERPICO

1973 SOYLENT GREEN

1973 WESTWORLD

1974 AIRPORT 1975

1974 (16) CHINATOWN

1974 DEATH WISH

1974 EARTHQUAKE

1974 Parallax View, The (1974) (***, thriller)

1974 TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE, THE

1974 TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE

1974 TOWERING INFERNO, THE

1975 Death Race 2000 (1975) (**1/2, sci fi humor)

1975 (70) Dog Day Afternoon (1975) (***1/2, drama)

1975 (2) Jaws (1975) (****, horror)

1975 ROLLERBALL

1975 STEPFORD WIVES, THE

1975 Three Days of the Condor (1975) (***, spy, drama, thriller)

1976 (57) All the President's Men (1976) (****, docudrama)

1976 ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13

1976 (46) CARRIE

1976 (50) MARATHON MAN

1976 (81) OMEN, THE

1976  (52) ROCKY

1976 (22) TAXI DRIVER

1977 Black Sunday (***) (1977, suspense)

1977 (31) CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

1977 HILLS HAVE EYES, THE

1977 SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT

1977 SPY WHO LOVED ME, THE

1977 (27) Star Wars (1977) (****+, space opera, fantasy, Sci-Fi)

1978 BOYS FROM BRAZIL, THE

1978 CAPRICORN ONE

1978 (30) DEER HUNTER, THE

1978 FURY, THE

1978 (68) Halloween (1978) (***1/2, horror)

1978 MIDNIGHT EXPRESS

1979 (6) Alien (1979) (**1/2 Sci-fi horror)

1979 BLACK STALLION, THE

1979 (94) China Syndrome, The (1979) (***1/2, drama)

1979 Escape From Alcatraz (1979) (***, drama)

1979 ONION FIELD, THE

1979 WHEN A STRANGER CALLS

1980 BIG RED ONE, THE

1980 DRESSED TO KILL

1980 Empire Strikes Back, The (1980) (****, sci fi, space opera)

1980 FRIDAY THE 13th

1980 (51) Raging Bull (1980) (****+, docudrama)

1980 (29) Shining, The (1980) (**1/2, horror) (8-30-99)

1980 SUPERMAN II

1981 (92) Body Heat (1981) (****, suspense, noir)

1981 ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

1981 (10)  Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (****+ Adventure)

1982 48 HRS.

1982 (74) Blade Runner (1982) (****+, Sci Fi)

1982 (44) E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL

1982 FIRST BLOOD

1982 (84) POLTERGEIST

1982 STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

1983 EVIL DEAD, THE

1983 RETURN OF THE JEDI

1983 Right Stuff, The (1983) (****, docudrama)

1983 SILKWOOD

1983 UNDER FIRE

1983 WARGAMES

1984 (98) Blood Simple. (1984) (****, crime)

1984 GHOSTBUSTERS

1984 INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM

1984 KARATE KID, THE

1984 NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, A

1984 Romancing the Stone (1984) (***1/2, romantic adventure)

1984 SOLDER'S STORY, A

1984 (42) TERMINATOR, THE

1985 Back to the Future (1985) (***1/2, humor, sci fi)

1985 CODE OF SILENCE

1985 JAGGED EDGE

1985 Runaway Train (1985) (***1/2, action, drama)

1985 TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.

1985 Witness (1985) (****, drama)

1986 Aliens (1987) (**** Sci-fi horror)

1986 (96) BLUE VELVET

1986 F/X (1986) (***1/2 thriller)

1986 FLY, THE

1986 HOOSIERS

1986 Manhunter (1986) (****, crime, psycho thriller)

1986  (72) PLATOON

1986 TOP GUN

1987 BLOOD SPORT

1987 (28) FATAL ATTRACTION

1987 (95) FULL METAL JACKET

1987 House of Games (1987) (****, drama)

1987 LETHAL WEAPON

1987 Near Dark (1987) (***, horror?)

1987 Predator (1987) (*** Sci-Fi Horror) ATOR

1987 ROBOCOP

1987 STEPFATHER, THE

1987 Untouchables, The (1987) (***1/2, action drama)

1988 (39) Die Hard (1988) (****, action thriller)

1989 Batman (1989) (**1/2 Comic book Adventure)

1989 DO THE RIGHT THING

1989 GLORY

1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (***1/2, adventure)

1989 LICENSE TO KILL

1989 Sea of Love (1989) (***, drama)

1990 HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, THE

1990 JACOB'S LADDER

1990 Misery (1990) (***, horror)

1991 BACKDRAFT

1991 JFK

1991 New Jack City (1991) (**1/2, crime, action)

1991 (5) Silence of the Lambs, The (1991) (****, psychological thriller)

1991 (77) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (***1/2 Sci Fi thriller)

1991 (76) Thelma and Louise (1991) (***1/2, drama)

1992 Basic Instincts (1992) (***, drama)

1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) (**1/2, horror)

1992 CANDYMAN

1992 El Mariachi (1992) (***, drama, crime)

1992 Last of the Mohicans, The (1992) (**1/2, action)

1992 One False Move (1992) (***1/2, noir, crime, drama)

1992 Patriots Game (1992) (*** thriller)

1992 Reservoir Dogs (1992) (***, crime, drama) (1-15-01)

1992 UNDER SIEGE

1992 Unforgiven (9-27-92) (1992) (****, western, Drama)

1993 Cliffhanger (1993) (***, adventure)

1993 (33) Fugitive, The (1993) (****, action suspense)

1993 In the Line of Fire (1993) (***1/2, suspense)

1993 (35) JURASSIC PARK

1993 Red Rock West (1993) (**1/2, crime drama)

1993 TRUE ROMANCE

1994 Last Seduction, The (1993) (***, crime, drama)

1994 NATURAL BORN KILLERS

1994 (53) Pulp Fiction (1994) (****, black humored crime drama)

1994 (99) Speed (1994) (***, adventure)

1995 Apollo 13 (1995) (***1/2, docudrama)

1995 (91) BRAVEHEART 

1995 Copycat (1995) (***, crime, drama, horror)

1995 HEAT

1995 Seven (1995) (**1/2, crime, drama, horror)

1995 TOMORROW NEVER DIES

1995 Usual Suspects, The (1995) (****, crime, thriller, suspense, dra

1996 Independence Day (1996) (***, sci fi, action)

1996 Mission Impossible (1996) (***, action)

1996 Scream (1997) (***, horror, humor)

1996 Twister (1996) (**1/2, action)  

1996 Fargo (1996) (****, docudrama, crime, film noir)  

1997 Air Force One  (1997) (action, ****)

1997 Contact (1997) (***1/2, sci fi)

1997 Face/Off (1997) (***--my wife rated it lower, action, thriller)

1997 Game, The (1997) (****, suspense, thriller)

1997 L.A. Confidential (1997) (****, crime, drama, noir)

1997 (25) TITANIC

1998 Out Of Sight (1998) (***1/2, crime, romance, humor)

1998 Pi (1998) (3.14*, thriller, drama) (12-14-98)

1998 (45) Saving Private Ryan (1998) (****, war, drama) (3-15-99)

1999 BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, THE

1999 (66) Matrix, The (1999) (***1/2, sci fi)  (4-19-99)

1999 (60) Sixth Sense, The (1999) (****, horror, psychological

1999 Sleepy Hollow (1999) (***, fantasy, horror) (12-20-99)

1999 Talented Mr. Ripley, The (1999) (***1/2, crime, drama) (2-14-00)