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Sight & Sound 2012: ‘Vertigo’ Unseats ‘Citizen Kane’ As Greatest Movie Ever

Sight & Sound 2012: 'Vertigo' Unseats 'Citizen Kane' As Greatest Movie Ever


News on the march: Sight & Sound has released its once-per-decade international film critics’ poll to determine the best films ever, and for the first time in fifty years, “Citizen Kane” is not on top of the list. Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” will now spend the next ten years being known as “the greatest movie of all time.”

The magazine — published by the British Film Institute — polled 846 film critics and experts from around the globe to determine the ranking. As notes, “Vertigo” was a mere five votes behind “Citizen Kane” when the poll was conducted in 2002; here in 2012, the 1958 classic defeated “Kane” by 34 votes, a 39 vote swing.

Directed by Orson Welles, “Citizen Kane” has long been considered the greatest film ever produced. Welles, who also wrote and stars in the classic, plays a publishing tycoon who dies as a recluse — leaving behind only his mysterious last word: “Rosebud.” (Spoiler: It was his sled.)

“Vertigo” has certainly gained in esteem since its release in 1958. The thriller starred James Stewart as a police detective suffering from the title ailment (among other maladies and concerns) and Kim Novak as the icy blonde who he’s tasked with following. (Spoiler: Things aren’t what they seem.)

Beyond the sea change at the top of the Sight & Sound list, Sergei Eisenstein’s “Battleship Potemkin” was knocked out of the top ten. “Man with a Movie Camera” (directed by Dziga Vertov in 1929) took its slot.

Check out the full list below and head over to for more on the Sight & Sound poll.

The Critics’ Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time

  1.  “Vertigo” —————————— (Hitchcock, 1958)
  2.  “Citizen Kane” ———————— (Welles, 1941)
  3. “Tokyo Story”—————————(Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
  4.  “La Règle du jeu”- ———————(Jean Renoir, 1939)
  5. “Sunrise: a Song for 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” ———(Vertov, 1929)
  9.  “The Passion of Joan of Arc” ———(Dreyer, 1927)
  10.  “8 ½” ———————————–(Federico Fellini, 1963)




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