Hitchcock knocks Welles off film poll

LONDON. August 3. KAZINFORM Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" has been named the greatest movie of all time, knocking long-time favorite Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" off the top of a once-in-a-decade survey of critics from around the world, CNN reported.

Hitchcock's thriller, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, came top of Sight & Sound magazine's poll of 846 film experts more than 50 years after the movie was first released -- to little critical acclaim -- in 1958.

Sight & Sound has compiled a list of the 100 greatest films  every 10 years; the results, announced with great fanfare, are awaited with bated breath by cinephiles across the globe. But over the decades the composition of the top 10 has remained relatively consistent, with "Citizen Kane " retaining pole position for half a century.

This time around, though, Orson Welles' 1941 masterwork slipped to the number two slot, ahead of Yasujiro Ozu's "Tokyo Story " (1953) at number three, Jean Renoir's "La Regle du Jeu " at number four.

Sight & Sound's editor Nick James said the surprise result in the critics' poll reflected changes in the culture of film criticism, away from "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" towards those with "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 soul mate," he said in a statement.

F.W. Murnau's "Sunrise " (1927) rounded out the top five. Murnau's first Hollywood movie was one of a record three silent films to make it into the top ten, alongside Dziga Vertov's "Man with a Movie Camera " (1929) and Carl Theodor Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc " (1928).


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