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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
Wonderful Life tops US film list
James Stewart
James Stewart played George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra's classic film It's a Wonderful Life has topped a list of the 100 most inspirational films compiled by the American Film Institute (AFI).

The 1946 movie starred James Stewart as George Bailey, a man on the brink of suicide who turns his life around after a visit from an angel.

To Kill A Mockingbird was second, followed by Schindler's List, Rocky and Mr Smith Goes to Washington.

ET the Extra Terrestrial and Saving Private Ryan also made the top 10.

Ballots were sent to 1,500 film-makers, actors, critics and other movie professionals in Hollywood, who had to choose from 300 nominated US films.


Stephen Spielberg had five films in the top 100 with The Color Purple (51) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (58) joining Schindler's List, ET and Saving Private Ryan.

Sidney Poitier and Gary Cooper each appeared in five films on the list.

The oldest entry was Charlie Chaplin's 1931 silent film City Lights at number 33. The newest were both from 2004 - Hotel Rwanda (90) and Ray (99).

The AFI releases a film list every year - past compilations have includes best comedies, movie quotes, songs and love stories.

AFI director Jean Picker Firstenberg said recent events had prompted the group to choose the inspiration theme.

"This was kind of an interesting moment in history, coming off September 11, being at war, having natural disasters of such tremendous impact," she said.

"What role do the movies play at times of real emotional turmoil?"

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