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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

August 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM

“Vertigo” tops best-movies-of-all-time list

One last item, for the weekend: Those who follow the British magazine Sight & Sound’s once-a-decade poll saw a surprise this week: Alfred HItchcock’s “Vertigo” took the top spot from Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” — for the first time since the poll’s beginnings half a century ago. 846 critics (not me), programmers, distributors and academics voted in the poll (about 1000 were invited to do so), and the result is a list heavy on drama (you have to go down to number 20, “Singin’ in the Rain,” to find an actual comedy), on international cinema (the directors of the top ten come from England, the U.S., Japan, France, Germany, Poland, Denmark and Italy), and on films made long ago. (The most recent film in the top 50, Wong Kar-Wei’s beautiful “In the Mood for Love,” was released in 2000; of the rest, a few are from the ’80s or 90s, but most are much earlier.) For those who enjoy the results of such things (I’m not a huge fan of such polls — how do you rank these very different films against each other? — but must confess I always read them, and that I adore “Vertigo“), here’s the top 10:
1. “Vertigo” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. “Citizen Kane” (Orson Welles, 1941)
3. “Tokyo Story” (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
4. “La Regle le Jeu (The Rules of the Game),” (Jean Renoir, 1939)
5. “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
6. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
7. “The Searchers” (John Ford, 1956)
8. “Man with a Movie Camera” (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
9. “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (Carl Dreyer, 1927)
10. “8 1/2” (Federico Fellini, 1963)
And here’s a little “Vertigo,” for a sunny Friday. See you next week.

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