Saturday, May 31, 2008

Countdown to AFI's 10 Top 10: Mystery

"Where there is mystery,
it is generally suspected there must also be evil."
-- Lord Byron

Mystery is on the menu for the next course in our countdown to the American Film Institute's 10 Top 10, which means our top chef will be the master of the genre, Alfred Hitchcock. Nine of Hitch's greatest suspense thrillers are nominated, and all but Spellbound and Suspicion have appeared on previous AFI lists (mostly in 100 Thrills, naturally): Dial M for Murder, The Man Who Knew Too Much, North by Northwest, Rear Window, Rebecca, To Catch a Thief and Vertigo, which could very well top this list considering its top ten placement in the last 100 Movies ranking.

Giving Hitchcock some strong competition is Chinatown, which tops the fifty nominees (see the comments section below for the full list) with five previous AFI listings. Joining Vertigo right behind it with four mentions each are In the Heat of the Night and The Maltese Falcon, the most likely to usurp the top spot from Hitch. Also fairing well on prior lists is The Third Man, with three listings (along with Rear Window and North by Northwest). Rounding out the list of previous AFI honorees are two-timer Blue Velvet, plus The Big Sleep, The Fugitive, Gaslight, Laura, The Postman Always Rings Twice, A Shot in the Dark, The Thin Man (the oldest film among the nominees) and The Usual Suspects, which may fare better here then in the gangster category, where it is also nominated.

Among the movies vying for a first time on the AFI short list is the questionable "mystery" The Big Lebowski, plus two AFI Award winners, Memento and Mulhulland Drive. Other contenders include And Then There Were None, Charade, The Conversation, Gosford Park, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Kiss Me Deadly, L.A. Confidential, Murder on the Orient Express, Sleuth and, the newest of the nominees, The Bourne Identity.

The mystery of which ten films will be chosen as the best of the genre will be solved June 17, when CBS airs the three hour television event, AFI's 10 Top 10.

1 comment:

  1. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE 1945
    THE BIG EASY 1987
    THE BIG HEAT 1953
    THE BIG LEBOWSKI 1998
    THE BIG SLEEP 1946
    BLOW OUT 1981
    BLUE VELVET 1986
    THE BOURNE IDENTITY 2002
    CHARADE 1963
    CHINATOWN 1974
    THE CONVERSATION 1974
    D.O.A. 1950
    DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS 1995
    DIAL M FOR MURDER 1954
    THE FUGITIVE 1993
    THE GAME 1997
    GASLIGHT 1944
    GOSFORD PARK 2001
    THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES 1939
    HOUSE OF GAMES 1987
    IN A LONELY PLACE 1950
    IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT 1967
    KISS ME DEADLY 1955
    KLUTE 1971
    L.A. CONFIDENTIAL 1997
    THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI 1948
    THE LAST OF SHEILA 1973
    LAURA 1944
    THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER 1963
    THE MALTESE FALCON 1941
    THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH 1956
    MEMENTO 2001
    MULHOLLAND DRIVE 2001
    MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS 1974
    THE NAKED CITY 1948
    NORTH BY NORTHWEST 1959
    THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE 1946
    REAR WINDOW 1954
    REBECCA 1940
    SEA OF LOVE 1989
    SEVEN 1995
    A SHOT IN THE DARK 1964
    SLEUTH 1972
    SPELLBOUND 1945
    SUSPICION 1941
    THE THIN MAN 1934
    THE THIRD MAN 1949
    TO CATCH A THIEF 1955
    THE USUAL SUSPECTS 1995
    VERTIGO 1958

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