British film magazine Sight & Sound has revealed the results of its latest ‘The Greatest Films of All Time’ poll, which comprises 100 titles. Dreyer features with no less than three films, with La passion de Jeanne d’Arc impressively securing 9th place.
‘Best films in the world’ lists abound, but few of them command more respect than that of Sight & Sound, which is revised every 10 years. American film critic Roger Ebert has described the poll as ”far the most respected of the countless polls of great movies – the only one most serious movie people take seriously”.
Three Dreyer films featured
The 100 titles are picked by critics and other film scholars, who each submit a list of 10 masterpieces. In total, 846 films received votes. Dreyer’s films ended up in 9th place with 65 votes (Jeanne d’Arc), 24th place with 42 votes (Ordet) and in shared 42nd place with 31 votes (Gertrud), respectively. Besides Dreyer, several other directors are featured in the poll with three films or more, for instance Hitchcock, Godard, Coppola, Welles, Tarkovsky, Bergman, Renoir and Bresson.
The top 10
The great surprise in the poll this time around is that Citizen Kane has been dethroned from the top spot. But perhaps even more astounding is the fact that no less than three silent films have found their way in to the top 10 of the best films in the world:
1. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
3. Tokyo Monogatari (Ozu, 1953)
4. La règle du jeu (Renoir, 1939)
5. Sunrise (Murnau, 1927)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
7. The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
8. Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Vertov, 1929)
9. La passion de Jeanne d’Arc (Dreyer, 1929)
10. 8½ (Fellini, 1963)
Fourth time lucky for Jeanne d’Arc
The Sight & Sound poll was compiled for the first time in 1952, and the procedure has been repeated every 10 years ever since. Jeanne d’Arc started out in shared 7th place the first time around, vanished from the top 10 in 1962, returned to 7th in 1972 only to vanish once again in 1982, then reached shared 6th place in 1992. The film slipped out of the top 10 again in 2002, but is now back in 9th. The only film that has featured in the top 10 every single time is Renoir’s La régle du jeu.
See the complete results of the poll, read critics’ justifications and a closer analysis of the list, but perhaps even more interesting: Get to know the ‘other list’ of the greatest films of all time, chosen by film directors, all available online from August 22 at Sight & Sound.