AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills

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AFI 100 Years... series
1998 100 Movies
1999 100 Stars
2000 100 Laughs
2001 100 Thrills
2002 100 Passions
2003 100 Heroes & Villains
2004 100 Songs
2005 100 Movie Quotes
2005 25 Scores
2006 100 Cheers
2006 25 Musicals
2007 100 Movies (Updated)
2008 AFI's 10 Top 10

Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Thrills is a list of the top 100 most exciting, action-packed, suspenseful or frightening movies in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 12, 2001, during a CBS special hosted by Harrison Ford.

Nine Alfred Hitchcock films made the list, making him the most represented director.

List of films[edit]

# Film Director Year
1. Psycho Alfred Hitchcock 1960
2. Jaws Steven Spielberg 1975
3. The Exorcist William Friedkin 1973
4. North by Northwest Alfred Hitchcock 1959
5. The Silence of the Lambs Jonathan Demme 1991
6. Alien Ridley Scott 1979
7. The Birds Alfred Hitchcock 1963
8. The French Connection William Friedkin 1971
9. Rosemary's Baby Roman Polanski 1968
10. Raiders of the Lost Ark Steven Spielberg 1981
11. The Godfather Francis Ford Coppola 1972
12. King Kong Merian C. Cooper 1933
13. Bonnie and Clyde Arthur Penn 1967
14. Rear Window Alfred Hitchcock 1954
15. Deliverance John Boorman 1972
16. Chinatown Roman Polanski 1974
17. The Manchurian Candidate John Frankenheimer 1962
18. Vertigo Alfred Hitchcock 1958
19. The Great Escape John Sturges 1963
20. High Noon Fred Zinnemann 1952
21. A Clockwork Orange Stanley Kubrick 1971
22. Taxi Driver Martin Scorsese 1976
23. Lawrence of Arabia David Lean 1962
24. Double Indemnity Billy Wilder 1944
25. Titanic James Cameron 1997
26. The Maltese Falcon John Huston 1941
27. Star Wars George Lucas 1977
28. Fatal Attraction Adrian Lyne 1987
29. The Shining Stanley Kubrick 1980
30. The Deer Hunter Michael Cimino 1978
31. Close Encounters of the Third Kind Steven Spielberg 1977
32. Strangers on a Train Alfred Hitchcock 1951
33. The Fugitive Andrew Davis 1993
34. The Night of the Hunter Charles Laughton 1955
35. Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg 1993
36. Bullitt Peter Yates 1968
37. Casablanca Michael Curtiz 1942
38. Notorious Alfred Hitchcock 1946
39. Die Hard John McTiernan 1988
40. 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick 1968
41. Dirty Harry Don Siegel 1971
42. The Terminator James Cameron 1984
43. The Wizard of Oz Victor Fleming 1939
44. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Steven Spielberg 1982
45. Saving Private Ryan Steven Spielberg 1998
46. Carrie Brian De Palma 1976
47. Invasion of the Body Snatchers Don Siegel 1956
48. Dial M for Murder Alfred Hitchcock 1954
49. Ben-Hur William Wyler 1959
50. Marathon Man John Schlesinger 1976
51. Raging Bull Martin Scorsese 1980
52. Rocky John G. Avildsen 1976
53. Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino 1994
54. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid George Roy Hill 1969
55. Wait Until Dark Terence Young 1967
56. Frankenstein James Whale 1931
57. All the President's Men Alan J. Pakula 1976
58. The Bridge on the River Kwai David Lean 1957
59. Planet of the Apes Franklin J. Schaffner 1968
60. The Sixth Sense M. Night Shyamalan 1999
61. Cape Fear J. Lee Thompson 1962
62. Spartacus Stanley Kubrick 1960
63. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Robert Aldrich 1962
64. Touch of Evil Orson Welles 1958
65. The Dirty Dozen Robert Aldrich 1967
66. The Matrix The Wachowskis 1999
67. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre John Huston 1948
68. Halloween John Carpenter 1978
69. The Wild Bunch Sam Peckinpah 1969
70. Dog Day Afternoon Sidney Lumet 1975
71. Goldfinger Guy Hamilton 1964
72. Platoon Oliver Stone 1986
73. Laura Otto Preminger 1944
74. Blade Runner Ridley Scott 1982
75. The Third Man Carol Reed 1949
76. Thelma & Louise Ridley Scott 1991
77. Terminator 2: Judgment Day James Cameron 1991
78. Gaslight George Cukor 1944
79. The Magnificent Seven John Sturges 1960
80. Rebecca Alfred Hitchcock 1940
81. The Omen Richard Donner 1976
82. The Day the Earth Stood Still Robert Wise 1951
83. The Phantom of the Opera Rupert Julian 1925
84. Poltergeist Tobe Hooper 1982
85. Dracula Tod Browning 1931
86. The Picture of Dorian Gray Albert Lewin 1945
87. The Thing from Another World Christian Nyby 1951
88. 12 Angry Men Sidney Lumet 1957
89. The Guns of Navarone J. Lee Thompson 1961
90. The Poseidon Adventure Ronald Neame 1972
91. Braveheart Mel Gibson 1995
92. Body Heat Lawrence Kasdan 1981
93. Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero 1968
94. The China Syndrome James Bridges 1979
95. Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick 1987
96. Blue Velvet David Lynch 1986
97. Safety Last! Fred C. Newmeyer
Sam Taylor
1923
98. Blood Simple Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
1984
99. Speed Jan de Bont 1994
100. The Adventures of Robin Hood Michael Curtiz 1938

Criteria[edit]

  • Feature-Length Fiction Film: The film must be in narrative format, typically more than 60 minutes long.
  • American Film: The film must be in the English language with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States.
  • Thrills: Regardless of genre, the total adrenaline-inducing impact of a film’s artistry and craft must create an experience that engages our bodies as well as our minds.
  • Legacy: Films whose "thrills" have enlivened and enriched America’s film heritage while continuing to inspire contemporary artists and audiences.

External links[edit]