Critics Name 'Vertigo' the Greatest Film of All Time in 2012 Sight & Sound Film Poll

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by Matt Singer
August 1, 2012 1:52 PM
7 Comments
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"Vertigo."
The wait is over. 

Sight & Sound Magazine announced the winners of their decennial film poll to determine the greatest movies earlier today on Twitter. All told, 846 critics and 358 directors weighed in with their personal top tens, giving us these master lists. Here are the critics' favorites:

1. "Vertigo"
2. "Citizen Kane"
3. "Tokyo Story"
4. "The Rules of the Game"
5. "Sunrise"
6. "2001: A Space Odyssey"
7. "The Searchers"
8. "Man With a Movie Camera"
9. "The Passion of Joan of Arc"
10. "8 1/2"

And from the directors:

1. "Tokyo Story"
2. "2001: A Space Odyssey"
2. "Citizen Kane"
4. "8 1/2"
5. "Taxi Driver"
6. "Apocalypse Now"
7. "The Godfather"
7. "Vertigo"
9. "The Mirror"
10. "Bicycle Thieves"

For point of reference, here's how the Sight & Sound poll looked in its last iteration, from 2002, First, again, the critics' picks:

1. "Citizen Kane"
2. "Vertigo"
3. "The Rules of the Game"
4. "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II"
5. "Tokyo Story"
6. "2001: A Space Odyssey"
7. "Battleship Potemkin"
7. "Sunrise"
9. "8 1/2"
10. "Singin' in the Rain"

And the directors' picks:

1. "Citizen Kane"
2. "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II"
3. "8 1/2"
4. "Lawrence of Arabia"
5. "Dr. Strangelove"
6. "Bicycle Thieves"
6. "Raging Bull"
6. "Vertigo"
9. "Rashomon"
9. "The Rules of the Game"
9. "Seven Samurai"

At very first glance, there are some very unexpected results. This is the first time since 1952 that "Citizen Kane" has not topped the critics' poll (this is just the third directors' poll; it topped both previous iterations). There are three new films -- or three new old films, I guess: "The Searchers," "Man With the Movie Camera," and "The Passion of Joan of Arc." And that means three films are out: "Battleship Potemkin," "Singin' in the Rain," and, most surprisingly "The Godfather."

We'll have plenty more about Sight & Sound's poll in the days and week ahead. In the meantime, how do you think this year's poll holds up against 2002's list?

Read more of Sight & Sound's "The 50 Greatest Films of All Time."

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7 Comments

  • Hermes Birkin | August 17, 2012 9:33 PMReply

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  • Reza Alipour Motallem | August 13, 2012 1:32 AMReply

    Your Comme



    " Vertigo " one of the superb film for all the time.
    Reza Alipour Motallem
    Tehran-Iran

  • Gareth Jones | August 2, 2012 11:34 AMReply

    Ooops! Clumsy fingers and poor proof-reading missed the 'r'. Sorry!

  • Gareth Jones | August 2, 2012 11:32 AMReply

    'Vetigo' the best film ever? They must be mad! The following may be minor gems but every one is more entertaining, more credible and more meaningful than 'Vertigo': 'The Third Man', 'The Apartment', 'Shane', 'Double Indemnity'. I could go on . . .

  • Donald Sepanek | August 1, 2012 3:41 PMReply

    If you can get past the premise that anyone would believe there were two women that looked like Kim Novak living in the same city.

  • MDL | August 1, 2012 8:51 PM

    Who says he believed it? At a certain point you sort of know he knows she is the same woman.

  • Micah | August 1, 2012 5:52 PM

    But then the film was always more about emotion than logic anyways.

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