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Top Ten Mystery Movies Presented by AFI

Scene from Vertigo

#1 Vertigo

San Francisco police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson is forced to retire after he is involved in a rooftop chase and his acrophobia and accompanying vertigo leads to the death of a fellow officer.

Jack Nicholson in Chinatown

#2 Chinatown

In 1930s Los Angeles, "matrimonial work" specialist Gittes is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to tail her husband, Water Department engineer Hollis Mulwray.

Cary Grant in Rear Window

#3 Rear Window

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and anxious.

Scene from Laura

#4 Laura

While investigating the brutal murder of Laura Hunt, New York police lieutenant Mark McPherson calls on erudite columnist Waldo Lydecker, a close friend of the dead woman.

Scene from The Third Man

#5 The Third Man

In post-war Vienna, a city occupied by four Allied forces and sustained by a thriving black market, American writer Holly Martins arrives, penniless, at the invitation of his old friend Harry Lime, who had offered him a job.

Scene from The Maltese Falcon

#6 The Maltese Falcon

At the Spade and Archer detective agency in San Francisco, Samuel Spade is interviewed by the beautiful Miss Wonderly, who wishes to hire him to find her runaway sister.

Scene from North by Northwest

#7 North by Northwest

In New York City, advertising executive Roger Thornhill attends an informal business meeting at The Plaza hotel, where, intending to send his mother a wire, he summons a bellboy who has just paged George Kaplan.

Scene from Blue Velvet

#8 Blue Velvet

Jeffrey Beaumont is a square-jawed young man who returns to his picture-perfect small town when his father suffers a stroke.

Scene from Dial M for Murder

#9 Dial M for Murder

In her London apartment, wealthy Margot Wendice discusses with her American ex-lover, Mark Halliday, why she changed her mind about leaving her husband Tony.

Scene from The Usual Suspects

#10 The Usual Suspects

When a truck loaded with stripped gun parts is hijacked outside of Queens, five notorious thieves become overnight guests of the NYPD, but that's all they need to hatch a plan that brings them to Los Angeles for the ultimate take, $91 million in hard cash.

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AFI's 10 TOP 10

Counting down the 10 greatest films from 10 classic American film genres, including animation, fantasy, science fiction, gangster, western, sports, romantic comedy, courtroom drama, mystery and epic films.