afi catalog – American Film Institute

AFI Catalog Spotlight: SHAFT

Celebrating its 50th anniversary release this month, SHAFT (1971) tells the story of the eponymous John Shaft, performed by Richard Roundtree in his first major film role. The film – based on a novel by white journalist and screenwriter Ernest Tidyman – introduces Shaft as a suave, two-fisted Black private eye who was hired to…

AFI Catalog Spotlight: William Haines

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, the AFI Catalog spotlights William Haines, the first openly gay American film actor, whose 47-year partnership with Jimmie Shields was once described by their friend, Joan Crawford, as the happiest marriage in Hollywood. Haines began life in Staunton, Virginia, where he was the third child of seven. Running away…

AFI Catalog Spotlight: June Mathis and THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE

One hundred years ago this month, THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE was running in theaters across the country to become the highest grossing movie of the year and one of the first silent films to make $1 million, topping Charlie Chaplin’s classic THE KID (1921). Adapted for the screen by June Mathis, head of…

AFI Catalog Spotlight: “Women They Talk About”

Women were forerunners of the film industry. In honor of Women’s History Month, the AFI Catalog Spotlight is focused on Women They Talk About, an NEH-funded AFI initiative documenting the widely unrecorded contributions of female filmmakers in the silent film era and uncovering the true story of women’s pioneering role in the creation of American…

DID YOU KNOW? This popular holiday film released 74 years ago this month was co-written by the prolific Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frances Goodrich.

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946), which ranked #1 on AFI’s 100 YEARS… 100 CHEERS list of the most inspiring films of all time, and #20 on AFI’s 100 YEARS… 100 MOVIES list of the greatest films of all time, was co-written by Frances Goodrich, who would have celebrated her 130th birthday this month. Goodrich was…

DID YOU KNOW? The AFI Catalog’s Newest Initiative Is Named After A Lost Film From 1928

In celebration of the centennial anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, the AFI Catalog has been rapidly expanding its stores of information regarding the foundational influence of female filmmaking in the silent era—and making it accessible for free at AFI.com. Behind the camera and in front, women were prolific contributors to the establishment of narrative cinema, but their names have…

DID YOU KNOW? This 1952 Film Noir Was One Of The First Hollywood Productions To Depict Mexican Americans In A Positive Light

The Film Was Censored By The Production Code Of America, Which Objected To Scenes In Which Police Were Criticized For Racial Profiling THE RING (1952), a boxing film starring Rita Moreno and Gerald Mohr, marked an early departure from the racial stereotyping that prevailed in early American filmmaking. Hollywood had perniciously typecast Mexican Americans as…

DID YOU KNOW? This Film Was Released 100 Years Ago This August – The Same Month Women’s Suffrage Was Finally Ratified Into Law

HER HONOR THE MAYOR (1920) tells the story of young lady who is elected mayor over her misogynist opponent, the town’s District Attorney. The movie was based on a successful 1918 play by Arline Van Ness Hines, who imagined a world in which women could vote well before this right was secured by Congress with the…

HOLLYWOOD Reimagines a More Inclusive Industry

With the recent release of Ryan Murphy’s fantastical new miniseries HOLLYWOOD, audiences have been treated to a revisionist look at what the film industry would have been like if it had it become more equitable in the ’40s. The show revolves around the fictional production of MEG, a twist on the tragic tale of 24-year-old…

AFI Remembers AFI Catalog Editor Patricia King Hanson

Today, AFI pays tribute to Patricia King Hanson (January 9, 1947-May 8, 2019), Executive Editor of the AFI Catalog who devoted over a quarter century to leading its prestigious, rigorous history-telling. Roughly 90% of silent films are considered lost, according to the Library of Congress. Lost, but not forgotten. America’s cultural legacy has endured to…

Did You Know? This Film – Released 44 Years Ago This Month – Stars Tatum O’Neal in her First Role After Winning an Oscar®

Tatum O’Neal had previously been prevented by her father, actor Ryan O’Neal, from accepting any lead roles until the age of 16. But after she became the youngest person to win an Oscar® at age 10 for her debut performance in PAPER MOON (1973), she was hired to star in THE BAD NEWS BEARS for a…

Did You Know? This Julie Andrews Film is the 6th Highest-Grossing Movie Ever

THE SOUND OF MUSIC, which premiered 55 years ago this month, remains the 6th highest-grossing movie ever with adjustment for inflation. Released in 1965, the film remained in theaters for over a year and surpassed GONE WITH THE WIND as the highest grossing film at the time. THE SOUND OF MUSIC was adapted from the…
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