Special Report

The 30 Most Inspirational Movies of the Last 100 Years

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

30. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
> RT critics score: 93% (122 votes)
> RT audience score: 93% (75,221 votes)
> IMDb rating: 8.3/10 (279,577 votes)
> Directed by: David Lean
> Starring: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn

David Lean’s sprawling epic is about the charismatic British officer who helped rally the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. Lean, who had already distinguished himself with films like “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” captivated audiences with his mesmerizing desert scenes.

Source: Central Press / Getty Images

29. Mahatma Gandhi- 20th Century Prophet (1953)
> RT critics score: N/A
> RT audience score: N/A
> IMDb rating: N/A
> Directed by: Stanley Neal
> Starring: Quentin Reynolds, Mohandas K. Gandhi (archive footage)

The only documentary on this list, “Mahatma Gandhi- 20th Century Prophet” tells the story of Gandhi, an anti-colonial and anti-violence nationalist who became one of the most influential people of the 20th century. Most of the film is archive footage of Gandhi.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

28. Field of Dreams (1989)
> RT critics score: 87% (63 votes)
> RT audience score: 86% (193,036 votes)
> IMDb rating: 7.5/10 (114,412 votes)
> Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson
> Starring: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta

Kevin Costner returned to the national pastime in this sports fantasy about a struggling Iowa farmer who carves a baseball diamond out of his cornfield. Soon afterward, the 1919 Chicago White Sox, infamous for rigging the World Series, showed up at the field. The film is known for the quote “If you build it, he will come.”

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

27. High Noon (1952)
> RT critics score: 97% (58 votes)
> RT audience score: 89% (25,494 votes)
> IMDb rating: 8.0/10 (100,814 votes)
> Directed by: Fred Zinnemann
> Starring: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell

Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly lead the cast of Fred Zinnemann’s 1952 classic “High Noon.” Cooper plays Marshal Will Kane, the one man who will stand up to a vicious outlaw despite his new bride’s pleas to lay low. Some sources claim the film’s plot and characters reflected screenwriter Carl Foreman’s experiences with the House Committee on Un-American Activities and his eventual blacklisting in the Hollywood community. Before he died in 1997, Zinnemann disputed this assertion.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

26. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
> RT critics score: 99% (145 votes)
> RT audience score: 89% (876,535 votes)
> IMDb rating: 8.0/10 (379,669 votes)
> Directed by: Victor Fleming
> Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolge

From its music to its pioneering visuals, “The Wizard of Oz” — about a girl trying to come home and help her new friends in the Land of Oz — is among the most iconic movies ever. Victor Fleming directed the bulk of the film before he was reassigned to direct “Gone With the Wind,” which would ultimately win Best Picture at the Academy Awards over fellow nominee “The Wizard of Oz.” “Oz” did win two Oscars related to music, including Best Original Song for “Over the Rainbow.”

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