Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my general thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #69 on the list: Tootsie (1982).
Sydney Pollack won his Oscar in 1985 with Out of Africa, but it’s his previous film Tootsie that landed him on the AFI list. Like Some Like It Hot, the plot concerns a man (Dustin Hoffman) who poses as a woman, though the stakes are nowhere near as high—he’s not fleeing gangsters, he’s just an out-of-work actor who needs a steady gig. The film surprisingly holds up, offering a critical look of the entertainment industry and the era’s misogyny (sensing a pattern?). An actor himself, Pollack’s direction of actors is one of his biggest strengths and Hoffman delivers a characteristically strong performance, but the film is relatively light on laughs and memorable moments, making it one of the least essential films on the list, though still mildly entertaining.
Does It Belong on the List?
No chance. It’s shocking it was included at all, let alone so high.