Posted by: ckckred | August 1, 2012

Sound and Sight Magazine: Citizen Kane toppled by Vertigo

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece takes the 1st place from Orson Welles’ classic

Talk about surprises.  Today, Sound and Sight Magazine released their 10 Best Films of All Time, an event that happens once every ten years.  The magazine’s list is the most respected among the serious film critics and directors, and for the last 50 years, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane has dominated the number one slot.  But now Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo has took Kane‘s place for the number one slot.

Critics named Vertigo to be the greatest film of all time, followed by Kane.  After that came films like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2.

The directors’ list also displaced Kane, but not for Vertigo.  Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story ranked first, while Kane ranked third behind 2001.

Any big surprises?  Of course!  I wasn’t expecting Vertigo to top Citizen Kane, but I can’t really complain either.  Though I like Kane more, Vertigo‘s definitely one of the 10 best films of all time, and deserved the number one slot well too.

The other major surprise came from the omission of The Godfather, which wasn’t in the critic’s list overall and only ranked in the director’s list at number 7, behind another Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now.  This may have to do with the magazine’s new rule, which prevented voters from combining sequels into one entry.  Many critics and directors probably were split between the first two parts of the series, which probably prevented either film from coming on the list except for a number 7 slot.  I also guessed that Raging Bull would be on the list instead of Taxi Driver, but hey, as long as Scorsese’s on the list I’m happy.

The Critics’ Top 10
1. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
3. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
4. The Rules of the Game (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 (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1927)
10. 8 ½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)

The Directors’ Top 10
1. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
2 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
2 Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
4. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
5. Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)
6. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
7.  The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
7. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
9. Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1974)
10. Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)



  1. Citizen Kane has been TOPPED?! Impossible!! Only Hitchcock could do it. 😉

    • Vertigo’s my favorite Hitchcock movie, and probably my fourth favorite film of all time, but I’d say Citizen Kane’s better (though it’s nice to see Hitch get some appreciation). It might finally give some audiences a break, as Citizen Kane as often overwhelmed audiences because of its title Sound and Sight gave it. Thanks for commenting.

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