Check Out The Full Sight & Sound "Greatest Films Of All Time" List For 2012; Enjoy Some Of The Weirder Votes Cast

A couple weeks ago there was a lot of talk thanks to the release of the first wave of Sight & Sound's once-a-decade poll of the "greatest films of all time." The critics poll saw Vertigo unseat Citizen Kane as the "top film of all time," and much talk was generated about the list overall. (For the record, voting involved "over 1,000 critics, programmers, academics, distributors, writers and other cinephiles, and receiving 846 top-ten lists from correspondents in 73 countries, citing 2,045 different films.")

Now the full list of 250 "greatest films of all time is out." I'm not running this list to further provoke the discussion that cropped up when the dual top ten lineups went online not long ago. This time, we've also got a lot of data about what films were nominated by what people, and there are some fun and interesting choices here and there. Scrutinizing the lists submitted by individuals we start to get an idea of who tried to play with the system, and who nominated films as pure provocation.

(Actually "pure provocation" might be assumptive, but I think there are several nomination lineups that are both honest representations of individual tastes and things meant to provoke.)

Before we get to the list, let's see what some of the outliers were. Badass Digest points out the ballot submitted by Ant Timpson, one of the premier exploitation enthusiasts, and long-time festival programmer and promoter. He's the guy who put a porn film, Behind the Green Door, as his #1 choice. His list of choices and reasons for picking each one is a good read. If you track down all of the movies he's got down, you'll have a great, freaky-ass weekend.

And then there's Slovenian cultural critic Slavoj Zizek, who listed as his #1 movie... well, uh... Hitman. Yeah, the video game adaptation. Zizek explained:

This time, I opted for pure madness: the list contains only 'guilty pleasures', from two screen versions of Ayn Rand to a top Nazi melodrama, from David Lynch's greatest flop to height of musical kitsch, from a low-budget Hollywood action thriller to a Chinese big-budget historical spectacle, plus a half-forgotten Western and two marginal noirs. This is what I really enjoy – no compromises for high quality or good taste.

I love his explanation, at least, even though Hitman is mostly execrable. (I can't entirely resist Olga Kurylenko, I'll admit.)

And while The Playlist notes 30 films that should be on the poll, IndieWire runs down other kooky votes from various participants. My fave there might be Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, of MUBI and one incarnation of Roger Ebert's At the Movies, who cast a vote for Takashi Miike's whackadoo DTV film Dead or Alive 2: Birds. I'll agree with him at least that the movie is pretty fantastic, with some wild flights of fancy, a tricky narrative style blending violence and great tenderness, and a fluid depiction of reality that makes even the kookiest ideas (like a guy who pulls a cinderblock from behind his back in a total Bugs Bunny moment) almost believable.

Finally here's the top 100 films, as assembled from Sight & Sound's site by The Playlist. You'll notice that many numbers seem to be skipped. Essentially, tied films start to pile up at the point at which the voting was tied, and then the numbering resumes for the film(s) with the next number of votes. So, for example, three films tied for position #21, and those are effectively films #21-23, with the count resuming at #24.

Check out the full list of 250 films here.

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)

20. 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)


"Rear Window" (1954)

"North By Northwest" (1959)

"Raging Bull" (1980)


"M" (1931)

"Touch Of Evil" (1958)

"The Leopard" (1963)


"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)


"A Man Escaped" (1956)

"Blade Runner" (1982)

"Sans soleil" (1982)

"Blue Velvet" (1986)


"La Grande Illusion" (1937)

"Les Enfants du Paradis" (1945)

"The Third Man" (1949)

"L'eclisse" (1962)

"Nashville" (1975)


"Once Upon A Time In The West" (1968)

"Chinatown" (1974)

"Beau Travail" (1998)


"The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942)

"Lawrence Of Arabia" (1962)

"The Spirit Of The Beehive" (1973)


"Greed" (1925)

"Casablanca" (1942)

"The Colour Of Pomegranates" (1968)

"The Wild Bunch" (1969)

"Fanny And Alexander" (1984)

"A Brighter Summer Day" (1991)


"Partie De Campagne" (1936)

"A Matter Of Life And Death" (1946)

"Aguirre, Wrath Of God" (1972)


"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)