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Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film? 

Which is the best mystery?
Blue Velvet 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
Chinatown 41%  41%  [ 7 ]
Laura 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Dial M for Murder 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
The Maltese Falcon 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
North by Northwest 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Rear Window 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
The Third Man 29%  29%  [ 5 ]
The Usual Suspects 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
Vertigo 12%  12%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 17

Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film? 
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Post Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
For those of you who aren't aware, the American Film Institute (AFI) made a series of Top 10 lists several years ago across various genres. Which one in the Mystery genre do you think is the best film?

Note: I've placed them out of order so as not to influence your decision. If you're curious how the AFI ranked them, look below:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
1 Vertigo 1958
2 Chinatown 1974
3 Rear Window 1954
4 Laura 1944
5 The Third Man 1949
6 The Maltese Falcon 1941
7 North by Northwest 1959
8 Blue Velvet 1986
9 Dial M for Murder 1954
10 The Usual Suspects 1995

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Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:46 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
Wow. Lots of good choices. I'm going with The Third Man, but you can't go wrong with a lot of these titles.


Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:11 pm
Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
I suck for having only seen The Usual Suspects from that list.


Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:47 pm
Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
How am I supposed to choose between Vertigo or Chinatown?


Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:37 am
Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
ShrunkenHead wrote:
I suck for having only seen The Usual Suspects from that list.

Well, in this thread you have a handy one-stop set of good recommendations to help you alleviate your suckage.


Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:49 am
Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
It's quite a Hitchcock-dominated list: 4 of the 10 are directed by him.

Difficult to pick just one film from the list. If I had to name which one I most like to rewatch, Rear Window would be the winner. For the greatest of them in terms of film-making notability and quality, Vertigo or Chinatown would be the picks.


Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:57 am
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
Like a bunch of people it seems I ended up torn between Vertigo and Chinatown and went with the latter. Chinatown has always been on my short list for the best movies ever made, and while Vertigo is also a great film, Polanski's work gets the nod.

But as Ken said, you can scarcely go wrong here.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:10 am
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
Another one goes for Chinatown. I can't think of any hilarious fake reasons so I'll just stop here.


Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
The Third Man. Tbh not even close. The Third Man is one of my top 4 films of any genre; it is simply brilliant from beginning to end.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:14 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
firefly wrote:
The Third Man. Tbh not even close. The Third Man is one of my top 4 films of any genre; it is simply brilliant from beginning to end.


...except for the fact that it only really comes alive when Orson Welles is onscreen.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:11 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
I went with Vertigo, even though there was a point in time where I called The Maltese Falcon my favorite film. There are at least 6 masterpieces on this list (I've only seen 8 and everything aside from Blue Velvet and The Usual Suspects achieve that status), so it makes for a really touch choice.


Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:06 am
Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
JamesKunz wrote:
...except for the fact that it only really comes alive when Orson Welles is onscreen.

This is kind of like complaining that Psycho is just a standard-issue Hitchcock thriller until the part when... well, you know.


Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
Ken wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
...except for the fact that it only really comes alive when Orson Welles is onscreen.

This is kind of like complaining that Psycho is just a standard-issue Hitchcock thriller until the part when... well, you know.


I take your point Ken, but there's a difference I think. Hitchcock lulls us in before pulling the rug out from under us. The Third Man, by contrast, is a good film with one great character. Or so I think. I still like the movie, mind you, I just think it's below Chinatown, Vertigo, etc.

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Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:49 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
firefly wrote:
The Third Man. Tbh not even close. The Third Man is one of my top 4 films of any genre; it is simply brilliant from beginning to end.


Third Man for me too. Although I think there are several "right" answers. Also: I died a little inside when I saw that the AFI placed Laura ahead of The Third Man. Really? Preminger's movie is a very good film but it just isn't in the same league as The Third Man.

Incidentally, the topic asks "Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?" whereas the poll question is "Which is the best mystery?". Now everyone clearly knew what James meant, but do you consider the two questions to be the same? I'm not sure that I do. Choosing what I thought was the best movie of those was relatively easy. If pressed to choose which was the "best mystery" I would have to give this some thought.


Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:02 pm
Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
ed_metal_head wrote:
firefly wrote:
The Third Man. Tbh not even close. The Third Man is one of my top 4 films of any genre; it is simply brilliant from beginning to end.


Third Man for me too. Although I think there are several "right" answers. Also: I died a little inside when I saw that the AFI placed Laura ahead of The Third Man. Really? Preminger's movie is a very good film but it just isn't in the same league as The Third Man.

Right? As it turns out, I've seen Laura. In fact, I've seen it theatrically. I DON'T REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Meanwhile, I've seen The Third Man once, on a day where I watched at least two other movies if not more, and I remember considerably more about it. Kunz has a bit of a point; it does electrify when Welles come on the screen. That man has presence, I tell you. But the rest of the movie is excellent, too. I gave it the equivalent of a 9/10.


Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:53 pm
Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
Pedro wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
Third Man for me too. Although I think there are several "right" answers. Also: I died a little inside when I saw that the AFI placed Laura ahead of The Third Man. Really? Preminger's movie is a very good film but it just isn't in the same league as The Third Man.

Right? As it turns out, I've seen Laura. In fact, I've seen it theatrically. I DON'T REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Meanwhile, I've seen The Third Man once, on a day where I watched at least two other movies if not more, and I remember considerably more about it. Kunz has a bit of a point; it does electrify when Welles come on the screen. That man has presence, I tell you. But the rest of the movie is excellent, too. I gave it the equivalent of a 9/10.


My memory is fuzzy for that one too. For some reason the thing I remember most is the way her portrait hung in the apartment.


Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:56 pm
Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
I'm one of those douchebags who avoids Polanski because of his personal indiscretions. I'll concede that his may be the best, but for me, a hearty vote for The Third Man.

Also....Usual Suspects, really? Personally I think it's junk, but I can see the goodness some see in it, but top 10 all time? Come on.


Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:37 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
Shade wrote:
I'm one of those douchebags who avoids Polanski because of his personal indiscretions. I'll concede that his may be the best, but for me, a hearty vote for The Third Man.

Also....Usual Suspects, really? Personally I think it's junk, but I can see the goodness some see in it, but top 10 all time? Come on.


Yeah I think the AFI wanted to make a sop to the average filmwatcher with a more modern film.

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Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:25 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
That tends to be the only concern with top 10 lists--titles that casual viewers will be familiar with--so AFI's not doing too badly here.


Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:42 pm
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Post Re: Which of AFI's Top 10 Mysteries is the best film?
I love The Usual Suspects and think it deserves to be on the list. But I can also understand why people wouldn't like it either. If you really think about it, the ending kind of negates everything that has come before it. But I thought it was clever as a hell. A great story well told. Loved every minute of it.

Though as far as modern mysteries, Memento, L.A. Confidential, Se7en and The Silence of the Lambs are all even better movies than Suspects. And I'm sure I'm forgetting several too.


Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:53 pm
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