The most moving American films of all time
'AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers' is a list that is part of the 'AFI 100 Years... series', compiled annually by the American Film Institute since 1998.
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting and preserving the best films of all time.
Here, according to the AFI, are the ten most moving American films of all time, films that create emotion and bring a few tears to your eyes. Even after having already seen them and seen them again.
This list was compiled by the American Film Institute.
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers' is a list that is part of the 'AFI 100 Years... series', compiled annually by the American Film Institute since 1998. The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting and preserving the best films of all time. Here, according to the AFI, are the 10 most moving American films of all time.
10. Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg (1998).
With this film set during the Second World War, specifically on D-Day, Spielberg won his second Oscar for Best Director. Inspired by the true story of the Niland brothers, 'Saving Private Ryan' is particularly known for its first 24 minutes, which depict the soldiers' landing in Normandy in a crude but realistic manner.
9. Miracle on 34th Street, directed by George Seaton (1947)
The plot of the film takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day in New York and is one of the most popular feature films of the Christmas season. This film won three Oscars: 'Best Supporting Actor' for Edmund Gwenn, 'Best Subject' and 'Best Screenplay'.
8. Breaking Away, directed by Peter Yates (1979)
In this film four young friends, who have just graduated from high school, know that they cannot enrol at university because of their social background and spend their days in a quarry filled with water that serves as their swimming pool. The film managed to win an Oscar in the category 'Best Original Screenplay'.
7. The Grapes of Wrath, directed by John Ford (1940)
Based on a novel by John Steinbeck, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this film is set in the period of the Great Depression and recounts the long and dramatic journey to California of the Joad family, in search of new life opportunities after losing their farm. Thanks to this work, the image of the great actor Harry Fonda as a hero with undisputed moral principles was consolidated. Jon Ford won the Oscar for Best Director for this film.
6. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg (1982).
Steven Spielberg is in the charts again, this time with a moving science fiction film that has fascinated so many generations. The idea for the work originated from an imaginary friend that the director himself had created in his mind to entertain himself after his parents' painful divorce. The film won four Oscars: 'Best Score', 'Best Special Effects', 'Best Sound' and 'Best Sound Editing'.
5. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, directed by Frank Capra (1939)
Adapted from the unpublished short story 'The Gentleman from Montana', written by Lewis R. Foster and inspired by the figure of US Senator Burton K. Wheeler, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was critically and publicly acclaimed and received 11 Oscar nominations, winning the statuette for 'Best Original Story'.
4. Rocky, directed by John G. Avildsen (1976)
The first film in the historical saga, 'Rocky' made the hitherto almost unknown Stallone one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood. Made in just 28 days with a budget of $1.1 million, the film grossed $225 million at the box office and managed to win three Oscars: 'Best Picture', 'Best Director' and 'Best Editing'.
3. Schindler's List, directed by Steven Spielberg (1993)
Third film in this ranking for Steven Spielberg, who knows how to move audiences. Dedicated to the theme of the Shoah, 'Schindler's List' tells the true story of Oskar Schindler, who saved so many Jews otherwise doomed to certain death. Considered a masterpiece, this feature film won seven Oscars, including 'Best Director'.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, directed by Robert Mulligan (1962).
Winner of three Oscars, this film is based on the novel of the same name by Harper Lee and marks the big screen debut of actors Mary Badham and Phillip Alford. The work won three Oscars: 'Best Actor in a Leading Role', 'Best Adapted Screenplay' and 'Best Production Design'.
1. It's a Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra (1946)
In first place we find another film by Frank Capra, "It's a Wonderful Life", centred on George Bailey, a man born and raised in a small rural town who, after having renounced his dreams and aspirations all his life in order to help his fellow man, is overcome by despair and is on the verge of committing suicide on Christmas Eve. This play is one of the best loved by the American public and beyond, but despite this it failed to win even an Oscar.