Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Hitchcock's Vertigo critics' choice

More than 800 film critics and experts took part in the poll which named Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo as greatest film of all time

Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Vertigo has been named the greatest film of all time in a prestigious poll - knocking Orson Welles' Citizen Kane off the top spot for the first time in 50 years.

More than 800 film critics and experts took part in the latest BFI Sight And Sound Poll which has been carried out every 10 years since 1952.

The 846 cinema devotees picked Hitchcock's 1958 thriller, which starred James Stewart and Kim Novak, ahead of Citizen Kane which has held top spot in every poll since 1962.

Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story was third ahead of Jean Renoir's La Regle Du Jeu.

Other films in the top 10 include Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and John Ford's classic 1956 western The Searchers which stars John Wayne as a civil war veteran hunting for his niece after she is snatched in a raid.

Sight And Sound editor Nick James said: "This result reflects changes in the culture of film criticism.

"The new cinephilia seems to be not so much about films that strive to be great art, such as Citizen Kane, and that use cinema's entire arsenal of effects to make a grand statement, but more about works that have personal meaning to the critic.

"Vertigo is the ultimate critics' film because it is a dreamlike film about people who are not sure who they are but who are busy reconstructing themselves and each other to fit a kind of cinema ideal of the ideal soulmate."

A separate poll of 358 film directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Francis Ford Coppola voted Tokyo Story the greatest film of all time ahead of Citizen Kane.

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