Alfred Hitchcock Dethrones Orson Welles
08.02.12 by Mandy
Sure, Citizen Kane is a great classic movie that changed the way stories were told on the big screen, but how often does the average movie fan want to pop it in just to watch for fun on a run-of-the-mill evening? Director Orson Welles' masterpiece has sat atop the British Film Institute's movie critic's poll for five decades, but a new champ has just been voted to the top of charts. This year, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo was named the greatest film of all time by BFI's Sight & Sound magazine.
The change in the number one spot is largely seen as the result of the magazine opening up the voting to a much larger group of people. While magazine editors only had 145 critics participate in their 2002 poll, they had 846 movie experts participate this year. Also, they included academics, distributors and curators in the mix, and not just movie critics.
Hitchcock was long maligned by movie critics and snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. When his movie adaptation of the Daphne Du Maurier novel Rebecca won the Oscar for Best Picture, Hitchcock was passed over for Best Director category. He was widely regarded as a director who made Hollywood thriller rather than someone who made serious, important cinematic features. Hitchcock did not enter the BFI top ten until 1982, two years after his death.
Though Vertigo is one of Hitchcock's more "arty" movies — we'd probably go with North by Northwest or Rear Window to while away a rainy Sunday afternoon — it is a suspenseful, watchable flick. Another Hitchcock classic, Psycho, also made the list this year, coming in at number 34. Several other popular English-language movies that are fun to watch and don't feel like a homework assignment found their way on the top 50 as well. They include, among others, Apocalypse Now at 14 on the list, Singin' in the Rain at 20, The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II at 21 and 31 respectively, and Some Like It Hot at 42.
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