Hey there. Time for my first thread here! In June 1999, the American Film Institute (AFI) presented a list of the :emoji_two::emoji_five: greatest screen legends of each gender. You have probably come across the list on Wikipedia or elsewhere if you are interested in classic cinema. If not, please click here. As you can see, the criterias for being eligible for selection are as follows: In total, there were 500 nominees, 250 per gender. You can read the full list in AFI's PDF file. Recently, I have been thinking about how my own list would look like. Not only in terms of which names I would include, but also what the internal rankings would be. The two lists are hierarchial in descending order, so the all-time greatest Hollywood star is ranked #1, the second-greatest at #2, etcetera. While I consider myself to be someone who has seen a significant amount of old movies, 500 names are still a lot to go through and it is possible that some of them were more famous in their heyday than I'm aware of. So rather than creating a definite list immediately, I'll probably make a few preliminary versions in the beginning as I do more research. Since the compendium starts with the male actors, I'll start from there as well. To begin with, the two most surprising entries are John Beluschi & Divine (Harris Milstead) :emoji_interrobang: I would never in a million years consider them to be of the classic cinema era, but I guess they fall into the following caveat in the criteria: ”...whose screen debut occurred after 1950 but whose death has marked a completed body of work.” A bit arbitrary, isn't it? Since the top 25 equals to 10% of the total amount of 250, a logical starting point for compiling a list would be to see if a) any of the other 90% snubbed by AFI are worthy of a spot and b) if any of AFI's chosen 10% are replaceable. If the answer to both questions are ”yes”, then my list will deviate from the official one, and vice versa for ”no”. The difficulty arises when there are too many good candidates and not enough spots. I suspect that any list compiled by anybody would be bound to leave others unsatisfied with the outcome. Since this is a vey long opening post already, AFI's list is hidden in the spoiler below. Spoiler 1. Humphrey Bogart 2. Cary Grant 3. James Stewart 4. Marlon Brando 5. Fred Astaire 6. Henry Fonda 7. Clark Gable 8. James Cagney 9. Spencer Tracy 10. Charlie Chaplin 11. Gary Cooper 12. Gregory Peck 13. John Wayne 14. Laurence Olivier 15. Gene Kelly 16. Orson Welles 17. Kirk Douglas 18. James Dean 19. Burt Lancaster 20. The Marx Brothers 21. Buster Keaton 22. Sidney Poitier 23. Robert Mitchum 24. Edward G. Robinson 25. William Holden Hmm, this list is really packed with great acting legends. Having to potentially remove any of them will be tough. Although I might change my mind later, I think that Burt Lancaster, Sidney Poitier, Robert Mitchum, Edward G. Robinson & William Holden (most at the bottom of the list) are replaceable. Remember, we are talking about the Mount Rushmore of movie stardom here, so being a star isn't enough. You have to be a megastar, and I don't really see someone such as Robinson having had a great enough impact in the motion picture industry. Who would I be willing to include instead? Drum roll please! Laurel & Hardy are so universally iconic that they're my first choice (they count as one entry, like the Marx Brothers). Another person I would add from the same era is Rudolph Valentino, whose fame has stood the test of time, not least because of his relatively early demise á la James Dean. Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby also crossed my mind, but were they equally great as movie star as they were singers? Does their fame derive from a combination of both? Unlike fellow nominee Louis Armstrong, both Sinatra and Crosby were critically acclaimed for their acting abilities, with Academy Awards to prove it. Another person that I feel had enough star quality is Errol Flynn, although he will have to battle it out with many other strong candidates. So to sum it up: In: Laurel & Hardy, Rudolph Valentino, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby & Errol Flynn. Out: Burt Lancaster, Sidney Poitier, Robert Mitchum, Edward G. Robinson & William Holden. What would your own lists look like? Or are you happy with AFI's list? Feel free to share your own opinions about this.