Skip to comments.'Sight and Sound' announce their new list of the greatest films ever made
Posted on 08/01/2012 11:29:18 AM PDT by Borges
So, its finally here.
Every decade, the team of critics and filmmakers selected by Sight And Sound come up with their new list of the ten greatest films of all time, and today that list has been announced. Rumors leading up to the announcement had pegged Hitchcocks Vertigo as the newly minted greatest film of all time over the long-standing champion Citizen Kane, and shockingly, that has come true.
Kane falls to number two, followed by Ozus masterpiece Tokyo Story, and followed by Renoirs The Rules Of The Game and Murnaus silent stunner Sunrise rounding out the top five of the critics list. Directors? Well, they went a different route, giving Tokyo Story the top spot, with both Kubricks 2001 A Space Odyssey (number six on the critics list) and Kane tying for the second slot.
Now, Im not exactly sure what this all means with regards to the beloved nature of Kane as time spans (it has not only become a slightly less regarded film in general, but most people this writer has chatted to find films like The Magnificent Ambersons to be superior within Welles canon) but you cant find a better film to steal the top spot from the masterful debut of Orson Welles than Hitchcocks best film.
The Critics Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time
Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
La Règle du jeu (Renoir, 1939)
Sunrise: a Song for Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1927)
8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
The Directors Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time
Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
=2 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
=2 Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1980)
Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
=7 The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
=7 Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1974)
Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)
At least there is still no pandering (Star Wars...)
TOKYO STORY is indeed great, but I don’t know that it’s THE greatest. I don’t even know if there can be such a thing. But the movie that made the first and greatest impression on me in my little life was the original KING KONG.
I saw The Seekers on a list several years ago and, being a fan of old westerns (I loved Shane) I got it from Netflicks and watched it. I was very disappointed.
I would have been even if it was not on the list. I guess I just don’t get it.
The Quiet Man
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The King’s Speech (a drama worth theatre money)
in no particular order, but Quiet Man is probably the best.
Greatest cult movies;
The Boondock Saints
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
anything with a blind samurai in black and white
The Road Warrior
Battle beyond the Stars
Once upon a time in the West
Caddyshack is so awesome it doesn’t even fit.
I go to be entertained.
I watch to be entertained.
I find it real interesting that the critic’s list include no films made after 1970 and the directors list include no films made after 1980.
That alone says volumes about the film industry.
Do you mean THE SEARCHERS starring John Wayne? Because THE SEEKERS is a cheap horror video made in 2003, so no wonder you were disappointed.
Oops. No, I meant the John Wayne movie. And I like John Wayne movies.
My two favorites are Shane and Silverado. The latter is just way too much fun, with things like Sheriff John Cleese saying “What’s all this, then?”
I would have to rank the greatest movies of all time as:
1. Gone With the Wind
(in a photo finish)
There is a difference between greatest “movies” and the greatest “films”.
If you want to see a surprise great film, watch the original Godzilla. Not the one with Raymond Burr (that one was made with pieces of the original cut with new scenes making a totally different story).
The original Godzilla was made not long after WWII ended and was an analogy for coming to grips with having an atomic bomb dropped on Japan. They talk about whether it is justified to commit a great evil that will cause great suffering (in this case, create and set off an underwater bomb that will destroy all life in the ocean for a wide area) in order to destroy a greater evil (Godzilla).
The scientist that creates the underwater bomb bluntly compares it to the American nuclear bomb, so there’s no doubt about the analogy.
And, the surprise conclusion (considering it was a Japanese film) is: it is justified.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is the best western.
Another John Wayne movie.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
All Movies on MST 3000
Jazz on a Summer’s Day
I don’t get Taxi Driver or even 2001 on these lists. And I’m not even a big fan of Mean Streets or Citizen Kane but at least recognize the impact on other movie making.
Can’t believe Jabberwocky didn’t make it.
Can’t believe Jabberwocky didn’t make it.
My fave western - Seven Samurai.
2001 Space Odyssey is a snore-fest with a cool soundtrack.
“Manos: The Hands Of Fate”
Best film ever.
That is 10.
2001 had a huge influence on filmmaking. TD had a hallucinatory feel that was new to American film.
Communist and NAZI propaganda films from the USSR and Germany influenced filmmakers as well. Doesn’t make them among the greatest films ever.
No dialog for the first or last 45 minutes if I recall.
I’m very disappointed that my “Rockin’ the Wall” did not make the top ten. (www.rockinthewallstudios.com)
However, it will premiere on PBS on Nov. 9!
Vertigo is such an incredibly spectacular film! Definitely the best film by the best director of all time.
I never even heard of most of the others. Maybe I’ll have to broaden my horizons and check some of them out.
I’ve seen the Joan of Arc movie and I guess it has lost something over the years. Other silent movies have held up much better, such as Seven Chances by Buster Keaton.
The best movie ever made is “The Lives of Others”, I actually had a form of out of body experience watching it.
Some I would consider:
Brest Fortress (Russian war movie, IMHO the best war movie I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something)
One, Two, Three (Greatest single comedic performance in a movie, by James Cagney)
the greatest films I like best:
Doc Hollywood (with Michael Fox, great scenery, characters delightful)
Princess Mononoke,Kiki’s Delivery Service
Hal’s Moving Castle (or anything by Hayao Miyazaki)
Ben Hur (Miklos Rozsas’s score makes this)
Lawrence of Arabia( epic sweep, great music)
Doctor Zhivago (Both versions are worth watching)
Tombstone (Val Kilmer: “I got two guns, one for each of you”)
Ride With the Devil (Ang Lee directed this believe it or not)
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Jim Carey in the ‘straight man’ role for once)
Fight Club (Brad Pitt is a great actor)
Burn After Reading (Brad Pitt is a great comedic actor)
Brother Were Art Though (the music alone is enough)
Last of the Mohicans (came out the same time as Unforgiven, epic scope and grand cinematography, but more cohesive)
A Little Princess ( Alfonso Cuarón Orozco director, 1995, something about the texture of this movie)
The Village (& anything else by M. Night Shyamalan, a very spooky story)
A John Wayne western in the critic’s top ten.
Those of us who are old enough remember when Wayne was always panned and mocked as an actor, but now that he is dead and not speaking out on politics, the truth is coming out.
They should have said Greatest Pop Films.
Otherwise, they need to define “greatness” by direction, cinematography, acting, screenplay, and music. Or all of the above.
Let’s run down the list.
Vertigo...a good movie that developed a cachet of forbidden fruit along with 3 other Hitchcock movies because it was unavailable to be seen for decades. That period is now over and it is readily viewable today.
Citizen Kane...another good movie but I like Touch of Evil by Welles better.
Tokyo Story...Have not seen it but have read about it. Its about aged parents from the country visiting their children in the city
La Regle du jeu. Maybe I was not the most receptive but I could barely keep awake watching it.
Sunrise Worth watching. Probably deserves a place maybe not in the top 10 but somewhere near it.
2001 Stunning visually but incomprehensible for someone viewing it cold without knowing the background or source story. That is a major flaw.
The Searchers. Another good movie but again Ford and Wayne have done better.
Man with a Movie camera.... also haven’t seen it or know anything about it.
Passion of Joan of Arc...another silent way up there in the pantheon....worth watching....top 10? Hard to say. Amazing performance by the lady who plays Joan.
8 1/2 Good Fellini movie that equates life as a carnival or movie set. Not my favourite Fellini....that would be Nights of Cabiria.
Actually, Soviet films like ‘Battleship Potempkin’ and ‘The Man with a Movie Camera’ are among the greatest films ever regardless of the ideology at play.
Ford’s films, The Searchers in particular, have frequently been cited as among the best ever going back to the 1960s.
Ford sure knew Wayne’s talent, I’m glad that Wayne’s Ford directed western made the critics top ten.
If you have not seen Sunrise, one of the great silent films, which is on the list, you should. As to Keaton, The General made this list in years past. I'm not as into 7 Chances as much as you (but I do really like it; I like all Keaton's silent features). I think I'd go with Sherlock, Jr. or The Navigator as Keaton's best films.
I'm glad to see Vertigo get some respect, but I'd not rate it # 1 film or even #1 Hitchcock; but it is a masterpiece. I think 2001 is vastly over-rated. I'd have put Barry Lyndon ahead of it as far as Kubrick films are concerned.
I agree with Liberty Valance. I’ve watced that movie a number of times, and it just gets better with every viewing.
I thought it was an incredibly good looking movie, though the content is sick.
OK, I will throw my pick into the mix. It is the 1987 Finnish film Talvisota http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp0O78bNXfI about the 1939-1940 Winter War against the USSR when it invaded tiny Finland (total population three million) expecting a walkover. But the Soviets met with absolute disaster from the Finns sacrifice, bravery, and ferocious fighting ability against the largest standing army in the world at the time. Long covered up by the Soviets, Nikita Khrushchev in his memoirs stated the 100 day war had cost the Soviets one million men. This is doubted by some, but the lowest estimate for their losses is 250,000 before a armistice was agreed upon.
The Winter War was quickly overclouded by World War 2, but it still stands as one of the most memorable David versus Goliath military contests in history.
When the Nazis invaded the USSR in 1941, the Russians launched air raids against Finland and started the Continuation War. The Finns reacted by driving the Soviet forces out of former conquered Finnish lands before stopping at their original 1939 borders. Both sides entrenched and things relatively quite until June 9th, 1944, when the now victorious Soviets were driving the Nazis back toward Germany. The Soviets decided the time was ripe for exacting vengeance against Finland and launched a massive attack against the Finns. With huge Russian losses they drove the Finns back into Finland, until the miracle Battle of Ihantala, where the Finns, inflicting huge causalities stopped the Soviets cold.
The Finns had very few artillery pieces but they had worked out a great method where as each artillary battery could be supported by all other batteries for bringing fire power to bear at any given point. The famed fire correction method of Finnish Artillery, which enabled easy fire correction and quick changes of targets. At the critical Ihantala sector of the battle, the Finnish defenders managed to concentrate their fire to the extent of smashing the advancing Soviet spearhead. The clever fire control system enabled as many as 21 batteries, totaling some 250 guns, to fire at the same target simultaneously in the battle; the fire controller did not need to be aware of the location of individual batteries to guide their fire, which made quick fire concentration and target switching possible. This concentration was considered a world record at the time. Except for three tanks captured by the Finns, one Soviet tank brigade was simply annihilated.
The leading soviet spearhead led into the concentrated position at Tali-Ihantala, were wiped out by Finnish artillery and a counter attack. The Soviets finding themselves now bogged down in Estonia by Operation Bagration against the Nazis and badly needing their forces in Finland, began to withdraw troops and went over from offensive, to defensive operations. On September 4th, a cease fire and armistice went into effect with the same borders of 1941 from where the Finns had first went on the offensive.
In the WW2 era democratic Finland, was the only country invaded by the USSR which was not totally conquered and retained their freedom from Soviet domination.
The ten day 1944 action in Finland is when some of the largest battles of the Continuation War were fought.
What do you mean by ‘sick’? It’s about a sick man. Loosely inspired by Dostoevsky’s ‘Notes from Underground’ via the diaries of Arthur Bremer up to his attempt to kill George Wallace.
Surprised no freepers mentioned my 2 favorite faith films:
At Christmas - ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
- still waiting for the 60’s re-make I saw it 1st as a teenager entitled
‘It Happened One Christmas’ [w/ lead male/female role reversal]
for the kids I have to give a nod to ‘A Christmas Story’ too
At Easter - ‘The Ten Commandments’ truly epic with Charleton Heston
I'm curious, which Hitchcock film do you think is better than Vertigo? The one I've probably watched the most is The Lady Vanishes. The chemistry between the main characters is tremendous. I'll have to check out Sunrise.
I love Hitchcock's films. Many of them could be "the best Hitchcock". Vertigo is certainly one of his greatest I love the on location filming in San Francisco, back before it became Sodom); but is not for everyone. The Lady Vanishes is really enjoyable, as is the earlier 39 Steps. My favorites of his "great" films include Strangers on a Train, Notorious, Rear Window, North by Northwest and Psycho. To Catch a Thief is a lot of fun, but not truly great. I guess I'd put Rear Window at the top. But all the ones I listed are great. I don't care for The Birds. Never saw much of a point to it.
As far as this new "10 best" list goes, I still have Citizen Kane at the top of my list. It is more than just a bunch of innovations. I still find it exhilarating and entertaining time and again.
Later this year, there is going to be some major Blu-ray releases of Hitchcock's films. Dial 'M' For Murder is going to be released in its original 3D(!) version. Strangers on a Train is coming out on Blu as well; and there is a big boxed set coming out with 12 or 13 films in it (from the early fifties to the end of his career-the 'great' ones).
Speaking of silent films on Blu-ray: the recently released Wings is beautifully done with a new music score. Sunrise may be hard to find. when I bought it on DVD, I had to buy several other Fox titles before they'd allow me to order Sunrise. PM me if you cannot find it at a decent price. I don't have Netflix any more, so I do not know if they offer it.
I found it at Archive.org, so I'll watch it as soon as I have the opportunity. I've never heard of Wings, but I'll check that one out as well.
Wings is a WWI epic directed by William Wellman. Wellman had been a pilot in the Lafayette Escadrille during the war, and used his experience to make the definitive film about WWI air combat. It's about two guys (Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen) in love with the same girl (Jobyna Ralston, who starred in some of Harold Lloyd's best comedies). The girl loves Arlen, but Rogers thinks she loves him. Rogers is oblivious to the fact that his friend and fellow car enthusiast Clara Bow (the 'It' girl) is in love with him.
The two enlist to fight as pilots and though rivals, they become fast friends. The air scenes are exhilarating because they were shot from the air. Wellman had cameras mounted in front of or behind the actors' heads while an unseen pilot actually flies the plane. So, you feel you are seeing actual air combat with no silly back projection. The climax of the film left my wife in tears. The new Blu-ray is spectacular. If you see it, see that version, either on Blu or DVD. Previous releases only had an organ score.
While on the subject of silent WWI films, also try King Vidor's The Big Parade, starring matinee idol John Gilbert. it has never been released on DVD or Blu-ray, but it shows up on TCM. It's another movie with a tearjerker (though sweet) ending.
With a rousing review like that, I’ll definitely have to check out Wings.
I just finished watching Sunrise. You were right. That was a great film! Each scene was like a painting. I really liked the "Luncheon of the Boating Party" in the beginning. Obviously the director was paying homage to the Renoir painting.
The director used the multiple exposures of the same film to really excellent levels in the film. There was a traveling matte shot that I'm not sure how he did without a green screen. It was really phenomenal.
If I can offer a criticism...I love my wife. I would do anything for her. I would die to save her, but I'm not sure that I could forgive her after she tried to kill me. That's not something that you can just gloss over in your relationship.
As soon as the wife was woozy from drinking, I knew what was going to happen. I knew that he would give her the bulrushes to save her.
The ending was satisfying. It was sort of a 'rebirth from the water'.
Next I'll watch Wings like you recommended.