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100 Years at the Movies (1994)

Commemorates the centennial of American movies with a montage of clips and music scores from the most important movies of the century.




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Credited cast:
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The first commercially available movie in the United States aired on Broadway in New York City on April 14, 1894. The footage shown there was viewed through a narrow slot in a former shoe store. This short film celebrates the first 100 years of American movies from that time. With certain themes often tying them together, clips from landmark American movies are shown in somewhat chronological order, the clips played over an orchestral score, which is often itself based on landmark movie scores. Seventeen movies are specially mentioned, these seventeen perhaps not the best or most influential movies, but rather ones that provide insight to movies from that era. Written by Huggo

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Documentary | Short





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100 лет кино  »

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Did You Know?


Chuck Workman also directed the similar short Precious Images (1986). See more »

Crazy Credits

Turner Entertainment gratefully acknowledges the distributors, production organizations, labor organizations, and the many individuals whose talent and gracious assistance made this 100th Anniversary celebration possible. See more »


Features Rocky (1976) See more »


City Lights
Composed by Charles Chaplin
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User Reviews

Pure Nostalgia
21 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

Its shorts like these that make me proud to be a movie fan. This is a well presented account of the first 100 years of American film, shown with small clips. It pops up often on TCM.

I find it interesting that it sites certain movies with their title and date, to sort of show that they are landmarks. Some of their picks probably didn't deserve this citing, while others did. The Birth of a Nation, Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Easy Rider, The Godfather, and Raging Bull were perfectly deserving of being highlighted as landmarks, Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, and Schindler's List perhaps deserved citations, but The Jazz Singer, 42nd Street, San Fransisco, and Red River certainly didn't deserve it. I can't say anything about Greed, because I haven't seen it, though I'd like to. But films like The Gold Rush, King Kong, Citizen Kane, and The Third Man did deserve to be highlighted, as they all signaled an increase in cinematic merit.

The creators of the short made a great choice by repeatedly using Bernard Hermann's score from Citizen Kane through certain moments to create a dreamlike and heavenly nostalgia among the viewers.

It doesn't matter that several of the movies are chronologically out of place. They often seem to be separated into genres. One moment has classic gangster flicks like Little Caesar, The Public Enemy and Scarface, the next will have musicals, like Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, and the Gene Kelly vehicles.

It is remarkable how the short can bring out nearly every emotion from the film experienced viewers. We are reminded of thrilling moments, like the car chase in The French Connection, a battle scene from The Adventures of Robin Hood, and the crop duster from North By Northwest. We are reminded of the dramatic moments, like Brando's taxi speech in On the Waterfront, the conclusion of Casablanca, and the battle scenes from The Birth of a Nation. And we are shown clips from the comedic (the oceanliner sequence in A Night at the Opera), to the tense (Gary Cooper waiting for the outlaws in the abandoned town in High Noon), to the unsettling (the horrifying shot of possessed Regan's spinning head in The Exorcist). It all combines to create a dizzying sense of nostalgia and it serves as a reminder of how great it is to be a true movie addict. Of course it has obvious omissions, but they can be forgiven.

By the way, Some Like it Hot and Citizen Kane DO make appearances in this presentation. Just very small ones.



(cinematic bliss)

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