"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Million Dollar Movie

Via Kottke here is Sight and Sound’s list of the Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time.

You may start arguing…now.


1 The Hawk   ~  Aug 6, 2012 8:00 am

A Brit poll makes a Brit director's film #1. I smell a rat!

2 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 6, 2012 8:07 am

The most interesting thing with the S&S poll is to see how tastes change and certain films and director's esteem ebb and flow over the decades. It's been non-stop arguing on twitter and the film blogs since this decade's poll was released last week.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 6, 2012 8:25 am

I was surprised to see Vertigo over Kane. Never seen Vertigo place so high on similar lists.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Aug 6, 2012 8:28 am

[3] Me, too. The two are not related in any sense, and I can't see how they could go head-to-head with the same audience for it to be a fair assessment. I think there's a generational bias in play here.

5 The Hawk   ~  Aug 6, 2012 8:38 am

Mulholland Drive? That's not even Lynch's best film, necessarily. Taxi Driver as the one Scorcese movie ... It's weird. I daresay 2001 is too high, as is frigging Battleship Potemkin, and Breathless.

All the movies on the list I've actually seen are impressive and Vertigo is a great, sick movie but geez. Again, I don't know that it's even Hitchcock's best film.

6 RagingTartabull   ~  Aug 6, 2012 8:44 am

Listen, I love "The Searchers"...but how that is 7 and "The Godfather" is 21, I just don't understand.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 6, 2012 9:02 am

6) Lists are silly, let's face it. You can rationalize your picks with all sorts of smart arguments but in the end if you are making lists you are in the trivial business.

8 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 6, 2012 9:17 am

The real good that comes out of it is that it may introduce you to films you've never seen or even heard of, and nudge you in their direction. When I read the 1982 S&S list in Roger Ebert's movie yearbook in the late 80s, it definitely furthered my education in film. If the Sight & Sound poll leads you to check out Ozu's "Tokyo Story," it's done you a world of good.

What I found interesting was the paucity of classic Hollywood titles - no Lubitsch, for instance, and the poor showing of "new Hollywood," outside of those couple of Coppola and Scorsese titles. No Peckinpah, Altman, Penn, Cassavetes, et al.

Lists are fun to make and argue about. No one should take them too seriously, except as a jumping off point.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 6, 2012 10:04 am

8) You are so right, man. Thanks for saying as much.

10 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 6, 2012 10:37 am

I find it interesting how, say Chaplin & Keaton fared better in past polls, and how a film like Singin' in the Rain went from nowhere to the top 10, to now further down in the top 50. It's nice to see that the list doesn't ignore silents and stuff like that.

[5] I still think Lynch will never top BLUE VELVET, frankly, so we're agreed there. However, 2001 would be in my top 10 for personal favorites and "greatest ever." It's interesting that Vertigo has emerged as the go-to Hitch movie for this poll - usually what hurts certain directors is not having that one codified "best movie" (e.g. Kurosawa, Bergman, Godard - the love is spread around). I would think VERTIGO would get a lot of competition from PSYCHO, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, SHADOW OF A DOUBT, NOTORIOUS, et al. Hitch is one of those guys with a handful of masterpieces.

11 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Aug 6, 2012 11:06 pm

[8] Ozu's films changed my life when I saw them in college. Led me on the path to come over here.

[10] Not a Lynch fan at ALL..though liked Mulholland Drive.

12 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Aug 6, 2012 11:16 pm

Reading the list now. As AB said, ilsts are of course silly but extremely fun.

Ozu's "Tokyo Story" is indeed perfection. One of the highlights of my time here was snapping a pic at the lighthouse in Onomichi (photo in the S&S article)>

13 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 7, 2012 11:16 am

[12] TOKYO STORY is sneaky. About 40 minutes in, I was thinking "Eh, it's too slow, I'm not feeling it." By the time it ended, I was shattered and I couldn't stop thinking about it for days.

It's still the only Ozu film I've seen, which is lame. I will catch up with more in the fall I figure.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver