Vertigo The Greatest Movie Ever Made?

Once every decade, Sight & Sound magazine conducts a poll for the British Film Institute asking critics, programmers, academics, distributors, writers and more to submit a Top 10 list of the “greatest” films of all time says THR.

846 professionals participated in this year’s poll which asked participants “to interpret ‘greatest’ in any way they chose to. That could mean whether or not the film was most important to film history, represented the aesthetic pinnacle of achievement or perhaps had a personal impact on their own view of cinema”.

Orson Welles’ 1941 classic “Citizen Kane” has held the top spot since 1962 but now, fifty years on, it has been bumped off to second place. Instead, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 effort “Vertigo” has overtaken it to be named the new “Greatest Film of All Time”. Out of the 846 votes cast, “Vertigo” beat ‘Kane’ by 34 votes this time around – ten years ago ‘Kane’ topped “Vertigo” by just five votes (though only 144 people participated in the previous poll).

In third place overall was Ozu Yasujiro’s 1953 film “Tokyo Story” which also scored the honor of being the top voted title in a separate poll of 358 film directors from all over the world including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen and Mike Leigh.

Here are both Top Ten lists, the complete ‘Top 50’ versions and voter breakdown can be found at BFI.Org:

The Critics’ Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time
1. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
3. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
4. La Regle du jeu (Renoir, 1939)
5. Sunrise: A Song for Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
7. The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
8. Man With a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1927)
10. 8 1/2 (Fellini, 1963)

The Directors’ Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time
1. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
3. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
4. 8 1/2 (Fellini, 1963)
5. Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1980)
6. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
7. The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
8. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
9. Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1974)
10. Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)