That august body of distinguished cultural overseers, the American Film Institute, in a millennial summing-up mood, has recently graced us with their top 100 American films and top 100 American comedies. The Van Gogh-Goghs are now pleased to present, in conjunction with the AFI, the AFI's Top 100 American Movies... of the Week! A grand summation of all of the finest one hundred network made-for-tv movies. A testament to the greatness of American culture.
In the interest of the freewheeling spirit of Internet democracy, we had you, the great netizen public, vote in a write-in poll for your favorite movies of the week. We thought it would be fun to see how your choices compared to the critics! Here are the results:
The Top Ten, as chosen by the AFI panel of experts:
1. Brian's Song
2. The Day After
3. The Burning Bed
4. THREE WAY TIE!
5. Playing With Fire
- Amy Fisher: My Story
- The Amy Fisher Story
- Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story
6. Special Bulletin
7. Black Market Baby
8. Rescue from Gilligan's Island
9. The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island
10.The Abduction of Karri Swenson
The Top Ten, as chosen by the VGG Write-In Internet Poll:
We feel we should point out that none of the above are made-for-tv movies.
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So much for democracy. Here is the complete list, with some of our Van Gogh-Goghian thoughts on the top ten, and what qualities they possessed that elevated them above all the others.
- Brian's Song (1971)
The very first Movie-Of-The-Week, and one of the best. The all-time schlockiest Movie-Of-The-Week, the uber, the archetypal MOTW that introduced such now staples of the genre as: the Dying Hero, the Sports Hero, and the Same-Sex Best Friend...and it even had the foresight to combine them all. Brilliant.
- The Day After (1983) This made the top ten for its sheer balls in taking on such a huge topic as nuclear war and trying to cram it in to the peculiar mindset of a movie of the week. Gave the genre the ultimate Big Issue MOTW. Plus, it had Steve Guttenberg.
- The Burning Bed (1984) This groundbreaker added to the genre such new archetypes as the Abused Wife, the Abusive Husband, and the Tangled Web of Justice. It also helped us all realize murder was okay if he hit her. Extra points for giving new life to Farrah Fawcett's career.
- THREE WAY TIE!
Pick any one...they all tell the same mythical, tragicomic story. Exciting new combo of MOTW elements: Underage Tail, Unappealing Leading Man, and a new spin on the Virtuous Put-Upon Wife.
- Playing With Fire (1985) Gary Coleman as an arsonist. Need we say more?
- Special Bulletin (1983) Fifty years after "War of the Worlds" they make a fake news story about terrorists who nuke Charleston, South Carolina and idiots everywhere believe it, despite constant disclaimers and commercial breaks in the middle of breaking news. That wouldn't become a reality until the Gulf War. Anyhoo, you fool that many people, you deserve some kind of award.
- Black Market Baby (1977) You might think this was chosen for its stellar made-for-tv cast of Desi Arnaz Jr., Bill Bixby, and Annie Potts. You'd be wrong. No, this made the list because it also brought together stars Tom Bosley AND David Doyle! You see? Tom Bosley and the guy who played "Bosley" on "Charlie's Angels!" My God! Casting genius!
- Rescue from Gilligan's Island (1978) Normally the AFI rules prohibit any MOTW based on a tv show, but they made a singular, special exception just for this one, because dammit, they finally get off the island! And this time, Gilligan's screw up (accidentally setting the boat on fire) is what gets them all rescued! Oh the delicious, delicious irony!!
- The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981) Okay, the AFI made one other singular special exception for this MOTW based on a tv show. Why? Harlem Globetrotters versus robot basketball team. It's as simple as that. A perfect encapsulation of late 70's/early 80's culture: Harlem Globetrotters versus robot basketball team. Damn.
- The Abduction of Karri Swenson (1987)
Olympic athlete (Tracy Pollen [Mrs. Michael J. Fox]) is abducted by M. Emmet
Walsh and rescued by Joe Don Baker. We heard they didn't bother to hire a
screenwriter and simply improvised the whole thing. Lifetime still shows it about once a week. And with that kind of longevity, it's no surprise it made the top ten.
- The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)
- The Rape of Lucretia (1987)
- The Rape of Richard Beck (1985)
- My Breast (1994)
- The Invasion of Carol Enders (1973)
- River of Rage: The Taking of Maggie Keene (1993)
- Cry in the Wild: The Taking of Peggy Ann (1991)
- The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story (1988)
- Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story (1992)
- The Night They Took Miss Beautiful (1977)
- Betrayal (1974)
- Betrayal (1978)
- Betrayal of Silence (1988)
- Betrayal of Trust (1994)
- Act of Betrayal (1988)
- Act of Betrayal (1971)
- Beyond Betrayal (1994)
- Deadly Betrayal: The Bruce Curtis Story (1991)
- Badge of Betrayal (1996)
- Friend's Betrayal, A (1996)
- Intimate Betrayal (1999)
- Intimate Betrayal (1996)
- Love and Betrayal (1995)
- Love and Betrayal (1989)
- Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story (1995)
- Ultimate Betrayal (1994)
- Ultimate Betrayal (1998)
- Janek: The Silent Betrayal (1994)
- Betrayed: A Story of 3 Women (1995)
- Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979)
- Sidney Sheldon's A Stranger in the Mirror (1993)
- Sidney Sheldon's The Sands of Time (1992)
- Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels (1983)
- Sidney Sheldon's Windmills of the Gods (1988)
- Please Don't Hit Me, Mom (1981)
- Are You My Mother? (1987)
- Don't Touch My Daughter (1991)
- I Was a Mail Order Bride(1982)
- I'd Lie for You and That's the Truth (1996)
- She Says She's Innocent (1991)
- Because He's My Friend (1978)
- Do I Have to Kill My Child? (1976)
- Guess Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1973)
- I Know My First Name Is Steven (1989)
- I Never Sang for My Father (1988)
- I Want to Keep My Baby (1976)
- My Stepson, My Lover (1997)
- The Violation of Sarah McDavid (1981)
- The Second Civil War, The (1997)
- Two Mothers for Zachary(1996)
- Judith Krantz's 'Dazzle' (1995)
- Judith Krantz's 'Till We Meet Again' (1989)
- Judith Krantz's 'Torch Song' (1993)
- Passport to Murder (1993)
- Rehearsal for Murder (1982)
- Slight Case of Murder, A (1999)
- One Shoe Makes It Murder (1982)
- Downpayment on Murder (1987)
- The Murder That Wouldn't Die (1980)
- Murder in Space (1985)
- The Night that Panicked America (1975)
- The Day They Came to Arrest the Book (1986)
- Duel (1971)
- Adam (1983)
- Sin of Innocence (1986)
- Friendly Fire (1999)
- Poison Ivy (1985)
- High School U.S.A. (1983)
- Danielle Steel's 'Changes' (1991)
- Danielle Steel's 'Daddy' (1991)
- Danielle Steel's 'Family Album' (1994)
- Danielle Steel's 'Fine Things' (1990)
- Danielle Steel's 'Full Circle' (1996)
- Danielle Steel's 'Heartbeat' (1993)
- Danielle Steel's 'Jewels' (1992)
- Danielle Steel's 'Kaleidoscope' (1990)
- Danielle Steel's 'Message from Nam' (1993)
- Danielle Steel's 'Mixed Blessings' (1995)
- Danielle Steel's 'No Greater Love' (1996)
- Danielle Steel's 'Once in a Lifetime' (1994)
- Danielle Steel's 'Palomino' (1991)
- Danielle Steel's 'A Perfect Stranger' (1994)
- Danielle Steel's 'Remembrance' (1996)
- Danielle Steel's 'The Ring' (1996)
- Danielle Steel's 'Secrets' (1992)
- Danielle Steel's 'Vanished' (1995)
- Danielle Steel's 'Zoya' (1995)
- Danielle Steel's 'Star' (1993)
- The Kid with the 200 I.Q. (1983)
- The Kid with the Broken Halo (1982)
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