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

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire August 1, 2012 at 1:52PM

The directors picked "Tokyo Story" as their new #1.
9
"Vertigo."
"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."

This article is related to: Sight & Sound Film Poll


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