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‘Casablanca’ plays it atop AFI’s ‘Passions’

Most recent pic on list is 1998's 'Shakespeare in Love'

See AFI chartCasablanca” romanced the No. 1 spot on the American Film Institute’s top 100 love stories list unveiled Tuesday during AFI’s TV spec “100 Years … 100 Passions.”

Three-hour seg, televised on CBS and hosted by Candice Bergen, marked the fifth installment in AFI’s “100 Years” series, which kicked off in 1998 with “100 Years … 100 Movies.”

Also landing in the top 10 were “Gone With the Wind,” “West Side Story,” “Roman Holiday,” “An Affair to Remember,” “The Way We Were,” “Doctor Zhivago,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Love Story” and “City Lights.”

Pics from the last 20 years making the list included “When Harry Met Sally,” “Ghost,” “Pretty Woman,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Titanic.”

While features released through January 2001 were eligible, the most recent film to land a spot was 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love.”

“It’s a wonderful and broad list of films, and I hope this fifth installment will prompt people to watch these classics, either for the first time or the 40th,” AFI director and CEO Jean Picker Firstenberg said.

Four hundred pics in all were nominated, with ballots sent to 1,800 members of the creative community — including directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers, critics, historians and film executives.

Show extended the org’s celebratory series on the centennial of American cinema. Past installments include “100 Years … 100 Stars,” “100 Years … 100 Laughs” and “100 Years … 100 Thrills.”

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