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What’s your favorite “Gangster” movie of all time? What’s the best romantic comedy ever made? What movie best brought sports to life on the Silver Screen? What was the best Courtroom Drama?
These and other questions will be addressed–and answered in the eyes of the American Film Institute, during tonight’s three hour prime time special on CBS. I’ll be watching my Lakers, but will TiVO this show and comment on the genres and the outcomes in the coming days. I hope you’ll tune in. (We previewed two of the categories last week, best fantasy and best film by genre.
I think one of the most interesting components of the evening will be to see how older classics do against more current offerings, ones which have probably been more inspiring to our current generation. For example, was “Pride of the Yankees” (1942) a better sports movie than “Hoosiers” (1987)? Was “The War of the Worlds” (1942) better than “The Matrix” as a sci-fi flick? Which was the stronger epic: “Ben Hur” (1959) or “Braveheart” (1995)? Is “The Departed” (2006) too new to win as the Best Gangster movie compared to “The Godfather” (1972), “The Untouchables” (1987) or “On The Waterfront” (1954)?
The only thing that disappoints me about the whole thing is that there’s not an “Inspirational” film category. Movies have such an ability to move past the screen and provoke us to live better lives after leaving the theater. That said, it should still be a good show and leave plenty of room for dialogue and debate afterwards. And, perhaps, the show will introduce us all to some possible classics that were made before we were born but that still endure today.

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