Sight & Sound Unveil Full 'Greatest Films Of All Time' List; Robert Altman, Ridley Scott & More Crack Top 100

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by Oliver Lyttelton
August 16, 2012 10:31 AM
25 Comments
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Following the reveal at the beginning of the month of the top 50 on the Sight & Sound Greatest Films Of All Time, which caused plenty of debate on its own with "Veritgo" taking over the top spot from "Citizen Kane," the BFI have pulled up the curtain on the entire results of their once-a-decade poll of over 800 critics, academics and festival programmers all over the world.

The magazine haven't just revealed a full list of the top 250 films (although it's a bit of a bugger to click through), but they've put up every film that received a single vote, as well the top 10s of every single critic that voted on the list, from Armond White (whose list is pretty damn excellent, and contains no Adam Sandler...) to Slavoj Zizek (who made the unlikely pick of the 2007 Timothy Olyphant-starring video game adaptation "Hitman").

Check out the top 100 below, and see which filmmakers broke through alongside Robert Altman and Ridley Scott. Then click on over to Sight & Sound to see who picked "Atonement" and "Million Dollar Baby" and "Anchorman," and check out just how many votes "The Tree Of Life" got. It's a lot to explore, and be warned, it might cause problems if there's anything else you wanted to get done today...

1. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
3. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
4. La Règle 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 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
11. Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
12. L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
13. Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
14. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
15. Late Spring (Ozu Yasujiro, 1949)
16. Au hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
17. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa Akira, 1954)
17. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
19. Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974)
19. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951)
21. L’avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
21. Le Mépris (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)
21. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
24. Ordet (Carl Dreyer, 1955)
24. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000)
26. Rashomon (Kurosawa Akira, 1950)
26. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)
28. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)
29. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
29. Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985)
31. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
31. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
33. Bicycle Thieves (Vittoria De Sica, 1948)
34. The General (Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926)
35. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
35. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
35. Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
35. Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994)
39. The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
39. La dolce vita (Federico Fellini, 1960)
41. Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954)
42. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
42. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
42. Gertrud (Carl Dreyer, 1964)
42. Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
42. Play Time (Jacques Tati, 1967)
42. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)
48. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)
48. Histoire(s) du cinéma (Jean-Luc Godard, 1998)
50. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
50. Ugetsu monogatari (Mizoguchi Kenji, 1953)
50. La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)

53=
"Rear Window" (1954)
"North By Northwest" (1959)
"Raging Bull" (1980)
56=
"M" (1931)
"Touch Of Evil" (1958)
"The Leopard" (1963)
59=
"Sherlock Jr" (1924)
"Sansho dayu" (1954)
"La Maman et la Putain" (1973)
"Barry Lyndon" (1975)
63 =
"Modern Times" (1936)
"Sunset Blvd." (1950)
"The Night Of The Hunter" (1955)
"Wild Strawberries" (1957)
"Rio Bravo" (1958)
"Pickpocket" (1959)
69=
"A Man Escaped" (1956)
"Blade Runner" (1982)
"Sans soleil" (1982)
"Blue Velvet" (1986)
73=
"La Grande Illusion" (1937)
"Les Enfants du Paradis" (1945)
"The Third Man" (1949)
"L'eclisse" (1962)
"Nashville" (1975)
78=
"Once Upon A Time In The West" (1968)
"Chinatown" (1974)
"Beau Travail" (1998)
81=
"The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942)
"Lawrence Of Arabia" (1962)
"The Spirit Of The Beehive" (1973)
84=
"Greed" (1925)
"Casablanca" (1942)
"The Colour Of Pomegranates" (1968)
"The Wild Bunch" (1969)
"Fanny And Alexander" (1984)
"A Brighter Summer Day" (1991)
90=
"Partie De Campagne" (1936)
"A Matter Of Life And Death" (1946)
"Aguirre, Wrath Of God" (1972)
93=
"Intolerance" (1916)
"Un chien andalou" (1928)
"The Life & Death Of Colonel Blimp" (1943)
"Madame de..." (1953)
"The Seventh Seal" (1957)
"Imitation Of Life" (1959)
"Touki-Bouki" (1973)
"A One And A Two" (2000)

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25 Comments

  • Jack Grapes | May 31, 2013 10:47 PMReply

    The purpose of a list is to remind you of a film you may have missed or known about but not yet seen. Of course we could argue the selections. Where was Michael Powell's RED SHOES and I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING and BLACK NARCISSUS. And you know what? What about THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. I've seen that movie a dozen times or more, and each time I discover something amazing, the way a shot is framed, how Wyler places the most important scene in the background, like when Dana Andrews is in the phone booth way in the background and the foreground they're all gathered around Hogey Carmichael playing the piano. And you can't take your eyes off of Dana Andrews, and that phone call, which you can't even hear. Casablanca at #84??!?!?!?! But the point is, look over half a dozen to a dozen such lists, and go out and see the films you haven't seen yet and decide for yourself. That's the point really. Will I devalue a film just because it wasn't rated higher by someone else? Absurd, of course not. Was Ikura on the list? Ivan the Terrible? I think I missed La Strada. Did I miss that, or was it not on the list. How could that be? So that's on my list. If you haven't seen it, go see it. Time was, I used to have to scour the TV guide to see what movie was playing at 2am, so I could see it, or wait anxiously for it to come to a local revival theatre. Now, they're all for the most part readily available. What about DAVE. I'd be an idiot to put it on a top 500 list. But why do I watch it whenever it's on tv, more importantly, why can't I STOP watching it. Same for RANDOM HARVEST. You haven't seen it?!?! Well, get off your Big Boy Recliner and see it! And then catch THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE. And STROMBOLI. And BALLAD OF A SOLDIER (Russian film). What about TOOTSIE? Try to stop watching it once you start. Was PATHS OF GLORY on the list, I think so? Not sure. But what about SMOKE. You haven't seen SMOKE with Harvey Keitel? try getting past the film maven at the Pearly Gates not having seen SMOKE! And LAURA? Okay, I know I know. But really, isn't there a list for "guity pleasures"? What about companion remakes as a set of bookends, like TO BE OR NOT TO BE, the one with Jack Benny and Carole Lombarde and Robert Stack, and the one with Mel Brooks, etc. Was A PLACE IN THE SUN on the list? Can't remember. Or the OX-BOW INCIDENT? Who cares about that list. Don't be a slave to it. Go see the OX-BOW INCIDENT and report back to me. You'll see. Just to be ornery, somebody's got to put ABBOT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN on the list. I mean, what the fedora! BRIEF ENCOUNTER? Try to imagine you're living in England in the 50s, get a cup of tea and watch it. Pretend a little. A movie is not just a movie, it's a place in time, and you can take part in it and live somewhere you've never lived before. Let the movie do it for you. DODSWORTH, just for the scene when she tells him she's staying in Europe, to see how Walter Huston plays it. Masterful. And are you gonna gets nobby and not stand up and defend the real great B movie of all time, DETOUR. If you haven't seen it, see it. Forget if it's #876 on somebody's list. DEAD OF NIGHT. See the movie from which Rod Serling stole (yes, I said stole) three plots for his Twilight Zone series. Or maybe even four. You haven't seen DEAD OF NIGHT. Treat yourself buddy-boy to a fun experience, just make sure you wear the right clothes and pop some corn in the kitchen first. Hello GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, the original. What about WHO SHOT you know who? GROUNDHOG DAY, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, REBECCA, RED RIVER, STRICTLY BALLROOM, STALAG 17, THE BIG CLOCK, THE LAVENDER HILL MOB, THE OLD DARK HOUSE, THIS GUN FOR HIRE, WHISKEY GALORE, -- this is not a best list, just movies that if you haven't seen, you'll be a better person for seeing them. When all the snobby intellectuals at the party start touting best films, you can speak up and pipe them down with RUNAWAY TRAIN, OUT OF THE PAST, DUCK SOUP, ATLANTIC CITY, GOODFELLAS, BLOOD SIMPLE, and GIANT. Okay, I'm tired. Gotta go check out LOCAL HERO, playing now on television. The red telephone booth. It abides.

  • Tmi | August 17, 2012 4:09 AMReply

    Anyone have a clue whether the singular director votes can be soon seen?

  • dave | August 17, 2012 2:07 PM

    Aug. 22

  • S | August 17, 2012 1:00 AMReply

    I think you've copied this list from the magazine. The websites full list of the top 250 includes Fassbinders "Fear Eats the Soul" at equal 93rd. Dont know why the discrepancy but noticed it this morning when going over the results.
    Dont know why the discrepancy but thought it worth noting.

  • Ryan | August 17, 2012 12:41 AMReply

    I feel like Zizek is trolling moviegoers with his list. He practically admits it.

  • cirkusfolk | August 16, 2012 10:29 PMReply

    Whatever u guys. Ok forget Raiders, I just used that as a completely random example, but what about Schindlers List? U gonna hate on that one too u fucking antisemites? In fact there isn't a single Speilberg film on the list and he's considered by many to be the best director of all time.

  • ben | August 17, 2012 2:14 PM

    Cirkusfolk, I don't think anyone cares what your favorite movies are. I personally was responding to: "I've only seen 1/5 of the movies on this list, but the whole thing is hogwash!" and "I don't watch those movies as often as I do these movies, so how could they be better movie?" Which is one of the more hilarious things I've ever read. ... And yeah, disliking Schindler's List = anti-semitism? I bet you're so anti-semitic you've never even seen Shoah!

  • Fred | August 17, 2012 1:40 PM

    Wow, allegations of bigotry...u must be a different cirkusfolk than the one who replied "Yeah, that's cause black movies suck. Well I guess the original Friday was decent" in the May 11 thread entitled "Watch: Will Ferrell Punches A Baby In The Trailer For 'The Campaign' With Zach Galifianakis"...

  • wes | August 17, 2012 2:32 AM

    What about Schindler's list? The lack of Speilberg films is a result of the taste that was polled. I, for one, do not especially like Speilberg's films as they are overly sentimental (I do like Duel and Jaws though). I have never been deeply moved by a Speilberg film in the profound way, say, a Marty Scorsese, Terrence Malick, or Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger picture can. None of his films have staying power for me. I do not feel the need to return to them, nor do I think about them often. I can say that some of his films are entertaining in the moment, but to call them the greatest films of all-time...I don't think so. I think a great film should be more than sentimentality and entertaining. But that's my opinion. Perhaps some will agree. You will obviously disagree. This list reflects a particular taste in film. You have another taste. There is no reason for you or anyone to get upset and become a taste-Nazi. Really, it's not very classy. For some schooling on different tastes in the film world, why don't you check out this site: http://www.phi-phenomenon.org/taste/

  • Lucy | August 16, 2012 6:38 PMReply

    I'm going to save this list because I haven't seen a majority of them! I have to say even though I enjoyed Vertigo my favorite Hitchcock films are definitely Notorious and Rear Window! :-)

  • cirkusfolk | August 16, 2012 4:38 PMReply

    If u say u watch any of these films more often then you watch The Big Lebowski or Raiders of the Lost Ark then youre fucking liar or someone I wouldn't want to hang around because I'd rather quote those films 8 1/2 (as if anyone could tell me a quote from that). So if all these films are then better than the two I mentioned, how come I don't watch them more?

  • Wes | August 16, 2012 6:47 PM

    My collection of DVDs looks very similar to such lists. I re-watch them all every year. QED.

  • E'le | August 16, 2012 6:24 PM

    Raiders of the Lost Ark is boring and The Big Lebowski is overrated.

  • ben | August 16, 2012 6:01 PM

    You're in luck! I don't want to hang out with you either! (To answer your last question, it's because you have shitty taste.)

  • Tom | August 16, 2012 5:00 PM

    It's uncalled for to call someone a fucking liar because they claim to watch these kinds of movies more than something like Big Lebowski or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Those are both great movies to be sure, but some people have different taste than you, Cirkusfolk. And there are legitimate arguments to be made that films like 8 1/2 and Citizen Kane should be on lists like this. If you feel that Big Lebowski is one of the Top 10 greatest artistic achievements in film then please make a case for it. I'm not being sarcastic; I would legitimately love to hear your argument.

  • Neil | August 16, 2012 1:46 PMReply

    The Best Picture category in the Oscars is a bit of a joke, average films are consistently nominated and occasionally win due to "buzz" or cheesy sentimentality. Also a foreign film cannot be nominated. Would your list contain only American or British films? World cinema has been integral in shaping today's visionary directors and I think these Sight and Sound lists try to convey that.

    The lists, however, are almost self consciously "high-brow" and snobbish, created by the votes of those that consider themselves cineasts and would probably look down their collective nose at the Criterion Collection. So while your assertion that the Oscars' Best Film category should be a barometer for a list like this is absurd, I'll admit that the Sight and Sound voters have over indulged the pre 1950s and certain directors they view as "masters".

    NB: There is a point to be made that bestowing an award such as "Best Film" in the year the film is released is too early. Perhaps this is one reason why the winners are so often simply beneficiary's of hype and that judging the continuing merits of a film 10 years later is a better method of evaluation.

  • Tom | August 16, 2012 4:55 PM

    While I certainly don't agree with everything on this list, it'd be absurd to call this list overly snobbish. The films on this list are made by filmmaking masters. How would your Top 100 look?

  • Tom | August 16, 2012 4:55 PM

    While I certainly don't agree with everything on this list, it'd be absurd to call this list overly snobbish. The films on this list are made by filmmaking masters. How would your Top 100 look?

  • jaso | August 16, 2012 2:57 PM

    In defense of the S&S voters, "snobbish" is an easy way to dismiss hundreds of lists containing movies you haven't seen and know nothing about. In my experience, critics/cinephiles of the more highbrow variety are -- for the most part -- friendly, not snobbish, and they certainly wouldn't "look down their collective nose at the Criterion Collection."

  • Neil | August 16, 2012 2:20 PM

    Yeah, my post was supposed to be a reply to CIRCUSFOLK also.

  • John | August 16, 2012 1:30 PMReply

    Yes, we should all just rely on AFI lists because only Americans can make great films...

  • John | August 16, 2012 1:32 PM

    That should read "Yes, we should all just rely on the Oscars because only Americans can make great films..." and is a response to CIRKUSFOLK.

  • TimmaeXVX | August 16, 2012 1:30 PMReply

    For all those bored with seeing the same films on every list I encourage you to check out Mark Kermode's. The man put Ken Russel's The Devils on there for fuck's sake. My favorite list out of about 40 I've seen so far.

  • cirkusfolk | August 16, 2012 1:08 PMReply

    Personally I think this list is a bunch of hogwash. Granted I've only seen about 20 films on it, but there's way too much Hitchcock love and Casablanca at 85?? I wonder how many of these films are Best Picture winners. Aren't those supposed to be the best films? Guess not.

  • ben | August 16, 2012 1:16 PM

    "Granted I've only seen about 20 films on it." Then stop talking. "I wonder how many of these films are Best Picture winners. Aren't those supposed to be the best films?" No, winning an Oscar generally doesn't mean anything when it comes to lists like this (maybe the AFI lists, where things like Forrest Gump show up).

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