Friday, May 11, 2012

American and British Film Institute (AFI and BFI) Lists

Both the American and British Film institutes have published lists of the best movies their respective countries have to offer.  I have compiled those various lists into tracking spreadsheets.  Please note that the AFI included a few foreign movies with an American co-production and the BFI included films that were “culturally British”.

The AFI first produced a list of the 100 Best Films in 1998.  It proved popular so they followed with several more lists.  I have included all of the ones that are specific to individual movies.  These are Laughs (2000), Thrills (2001), Passions (2002), Film Scores (2005), Musicals (2006), Cheers (2006), an updated list of the Top 100 Movies (2007), and Top 10 lists for 10 different genres (2008).  I did not include the AFI lists of Actors, Actresses, Heroes, Villains, Songs, and Quotes since those were not one for one related to a movie.

Each of these lists has their own tab, which you will see at the bottom of the sheet.  Clicking on any of these tabs will bring up that list.  In addition, I have a Combined tab that brings all of these films into one alphabetical list with columns showing every list the movie appeared in and at what position.  This resulted in a total of 412 unique movies across all of these lists.

By placing a “1” in the “Seen?” column to indicate you have seen the film you will get a running total and percentage at the bottom of the sheet.

The BFI has not been as prolific, but they issued their own Top 100 Culturally British movies in 1999.  The tracking sheet for this includes Ranked and Alphabetical tabs.  Each sheet has the same “Seen?” tracking column and total.

The BFI also issued a list of the Top 50 Films to See by the Age of 14.  These are not specific to just British films.  They only indicated which movies were in the Top 10 and just listed the other 40 alphabetically.

If you see any mistakes, typos, etc., or have suggestions on how to improve these tracking sheets, please let me know in the comments.


  1. If I recall correctly, you focused on these lists for some time. You're a good deal ahead of me on the AFI combined list. Still, I'm currently at 94/100 on the AFI top 100 from 1998, 86/100 on Thrills, 21/25 on Scores, 20/25 on Musicals, 94/100 on the 2007 list, 79/100 on the Top Tens, and am desperately behind on the others. Looking forward to checking the BFI list next.

    1. That's still quite a few movies - especially the musicals. :-)

      When the first list came out, video rental places actually had checklists they handed out and some built special displays of the films they had that were on the list. I think I had seen 60-70 of the films on the list because I had been working from the IMDB Top 250. I kept the checklist (still have it, as a matter of fact) and worked my way through the remaining films.

      A big complaint about the original list was where were all the older comedies? The AFI's response was their Top 100 comedies list the next year. I cut this out of a paper and also saved it. When I finished the first list, I started on this one. It took me longer to complete (one of the films wasn't available), but I finally finished it a year or two ago.

      Since then, though, I haven't really gone at any of the subsequent lists directly (other than some of the Cheers). When the 2007 updated list was produced there were three films I hadn't seen and I still haven't seen them. (I even own one of them - Intolerance, but haven't watched it.) I will get to them someday.