6. Top 100 American Speeches of the 20th Century
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: 137 leading scholars on public speaking, who compiled the list for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A & M University.
WHERE IT FAILS: While we’ll be the first to admit that FDR’s “Day of Infamy” speech was pretty slick, it’s unfair that so many speeches were excluded from this list simply because the Americans who delivered them did not exist.
This speech could have gotten Pacino elected mayor of New York if he wanted.
WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE: Top 100 Best Fictional Speeches of the 20th Century.
No matter what country you’re in, this speech instantly transforms any room into America.
5. AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Thrills
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: The American Film Institute in 2001.
WHERE IT FAILS: Despite its pretty nifty opening montage…
AFI’s 100 Years 100 Thrills
…Many of the films on this list aren’t even close to being scary.
What the hell is Casablanca doing on this list?
Now, it’s not that we don’t appreciate a little history behind these lists. However, we’re pretty sure The Empire Strikes Back traumatized more children than Body Heat ever did.
What affected you more: This sex scene, or Luke finding out that Darth Vader’s his father?
WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE: The 100 Most Fucked Up Kids Films of All Time
OUR #1: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for that psychedelic boat trip.
4. AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Quotes
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: The American Film Institute in 2005.
WHERE IT FAILS: While we appreciate any attempt to count down the best movie quotes of all time, some of these entries contained almost a full page of text. That’s not a quote; that’s a whole goddamn scene. Furthermore, since this aired on CBS, using any quote with a four-letter word was a no-no. This might explain why Pulp Fiction, one of the most quotable films of all time, did not make a single spot on this list.
Hell, even quoting the Bible wasn’t considered family-friendly enough.
WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE: 100 Best Uses of the F-word in Cinematic History.
The film’s use of this wallet would also work.
3. AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Passions
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: The American Film Institute in 2002.
WHERE IT FAILS: Too many films starring Meg Ryan and nothing higher than an R-rating, which excludes some of the most influential baby-making movies of all time: pornos.
WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE: 100 Most Artsy Pornos of All Time
OUR #1: Caligula.
…with Dame Helen Mirren, DBE.
2. 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of all Time
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Comedy Central in 2004.
WHERE IT FAILS: As entertaining as this list was, it unfortunately had zero suspense. Everyone knows that Richard Pryor was a god and that George Carlin was his own interpretation of Jesus.
See? Even he thought so.
Instead of stating the obvious, why not drill for fresh material in the vast ocean of comedic failure? After all, for every Chris Rock there must have been another 100 Carrot Tops.
WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE: The 100 Most Unfunny Stand-Up Routines.
OUR #1: Carlos Mencia, who should appear on the list once for every single act he ripped off—if space permits.
1. IMDb Top 250
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: IMDb.com.
WHERE IT FAILS: The democratic process rocks the vote in this list, but therein lays its biggest flaw: It doesn’t offer much commentary. We would love to hear why The Shawshank Redemption was ultimately a better film than both Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction, or why The Godfather: Part III is nowhere to be found on this list. How can IMDb be used to capture and narrow the vox populi beyong the top 250—or bottom 100—films of all time?
WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE: 100 Most Overrated Films of All Time.
OUR #1: A tie between Citizen Kane and Titanic.
Jacopo della Quercia is now on Twitter. Follow him!
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