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The Screening Room's Top 10 Life-Affirming Movie Moments

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  • Films full of life-affirming moments include "Casablanca," "Silent Running"
  • "It's a Wonderful Life" tops list from "The Screening Room"
  • List by no means complete; send us yours
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(CNN) -- They might make you punch the air or bring a tear to your eye: this month on the Screening Room, we've picked our top ten life-affirming moments from the movies.

Our number one: Jimmy Stewart discovers life is sweet in "It's A Wonderful Life"

From heartwarming classics to instant blockbusters, these are the on-screen scenes that never fail to fill you with joie de vivre.

Don't agree? Think we've missed one? Post your comments to the Screening Room blog and we'll publish the best.

Read other CNN viewers' favorite life-affirming movie moments, and tell us yours >>

1. It's A Wonderful Life
(Frank Capra, 1946)
"Remember, no man is a failure who has friends." Perennial Christmas favorite "It's A Wonderful Life" sees habitual do-gooder George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) pulled back from the brink of despair by wannabe angel Clarence. As Bailey embraces his life with joy, it's his friend's final sign-off that draws a sentimental tear from even the most stone-hearted viewer.

2. Spartacus
(Stanley Kubrick, 1960)
After the battle, Crassus (Laurence Olivier) promises to spare the rebel slaves' lives if they give up Spartacus (Kirk Douglas). In a stirring response, knowing that they are condemning themselves to death by crucifixion, they each rise with a cry of "I am Spartacus!" One moment's freedom has never tasted so sweet.

3. Casablanca
(Michael Curtiz, 1942)
A tense frisson of resentment ripples through Rick's Bar as the boorish Nazi officers strike up in patriotic song. But a command from Lazlo (Paul Henreid), a nod from Rick (Humphrey Bogart), and a rousing chorus of the Marseillaise sees the hated occupiers put firmly back in their place.

4. The Shawshank Redemption
(Frank Darabont, 1994)
In the harsh conditions of Shawshank Penitentiary, Andy (Tim Robbins) seizes an opportunity to lock himself in an office and broadcast a Mozart aria over the PA system. The heavenly voices shine light into the darkest depths of despair, bringing humanity to a place where there is none.

5. Saving Private Ryan
(Steven Spielberg, 1998)
"James -- earn this. Earn it." As the gunfire pauses, Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) implores Private Ryan (Matt Damon) -- and, by proxy, us -- not to waste a drop of life: the greatest of gifts is too precious to be frittered away.

6. Blade Runner
(Ridley Scott, 1982)
Roy the replicant's deep humanity comes to the fore as his last moments slip away. Rutger Hauer's lines on life's fleeting nature -- "lost in time like tears in the rain" -- are both provocative and poignant: has he become more human than the people who seek to hunt him down?

7. American Beauty
(Sam Mendes, 1999)
"It's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world." Kevin Spacey's closing speech inspires us to look at the world around us with fresh eyes, from the flaws in our loved ones to plastic bags caught in the wind.

8. Silent Running
(Douglas Trumbull, 1972)
"Take good care of the forest, Huey." Renegade botanist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) blasts the world's last remaining plant life into deep space, with only a robot to tend to it. A timely reminder of how one man's actions can preserve life and hope.

9. Dead Poets' Society
(Peter Weir, 1989)
Mr Keating (Robin Williams) inspires his young charges to seize the day and throw off the shackles of their privileged yet stuffy school. We challenge you not to feel a lump in your throat when Todd (played by a young Ethan Hawke) and his classmates stand on the desk in spirited tribute to their disgraced teacher.

10. Victory
(John Huston, 1981)
"Come on lads, we can win this one!" Ludicrous yet rousing, "Victory" pitted plucky British footballers, led by Michael Caine and fortified by Pele and Sly, against a dastardly German team in a high-profile game that's weighted against them. Their plot? To escape during half time. But who wants to flee midway when there's a match to be won? "Victoire! Victoire!" chant the crowd.

Don't agree? Think we've missed one? Sound off and read others' thoughts in the Screening Room blog. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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