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Subject: "Vertigo" Greatest Movie Ever? [FILM BUFF] rss

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Joe Gola
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The British Film Institute's Sight and Sound magazine released their top 50 films of all time, as voted on by "846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors." For the first time in fifty years, Citizen Kane was not at the number one spot; that honor is now held by Hitchcock's Vertigo.

Here's the list:

1. Vertigo — Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
2. Citizen Kane — Orson Welles, 1941
3. Tokyo Story — Ozu Yasujiro, 1953
4. La Règle du jeu — Jean Renoir, 1939
5. Sunrise: A Song of 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 Dreyer, 1927
10. — Federico Fellini, 1960
11. Battleship Potemkin — Sergei Eisenstein, 1925
12. L’Atalante — Jean Vigo, 1934
13. Breathless — Jean-Luc Godard, 1960
14. Apocalypse Now — Francis Ford Coppola, 1979
15. Late Spring — Ozu Yasujiro, 1949
16. Au hasard Balthazar — Robert Bresson, 1966
17. (tie) Persona — Ingmar Bergman, 1966
17. (tie) Seven Samurai — Kurosawa Akira, 1954
19. Mirror — Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974
20. Singin’ in the Rain — Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951
21. (tie) L’avventura — Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960
21. (tie) Le Mépris — Jean-Luc Godard, 1963
21. (tie) The Godfather — Francis Ford Coppola, 1972
24. (tie) In the Mood for Love — Wong Kar-Wai, 2000
24. (tie) Ordet — Carl Dreyer, 1955
26. (tie) Andrei Rublev — Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966
26. (tie) Rashomon — Kurosawa Akira, 1950
28. Mulholland Dr. — David Lynch, 2001
29. (tie) Shoah — Claude Lanzmann, 1985
29. (tie) Stalker — Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979
31. (tie) Taxi Driver — Martin Scorsese, 1976
31. (tie) The Godfather Part II — Francis Ford Coppola, 1974
33. Bicycle Thieves — Vittoria De Sica, 1948
34. The General — Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926
35. (tie) Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles — Chantal Akerman, 1975
35. (tie) Metropolis — Fritz Lang, 1927
35. (tie) Psycho — Alfred Hitchcock, 1960
35. (tie) Sátántangó — Béla Tarr, 1994
39. (tie) La dolce vita — Federico Fellini, 1960
39. (tie) The 400 Blows — François Truffaut, 1959
41. Journey to Italy — Roberto Rossellini, 1954
42. (tie) Close-Up — Abbas Kiarostami, 1990
42. (tie) Gertrud — Carl Dreyer, 1964
42. (tie) Pather Panchali — Satyajit Ray, 1955
42. (tie) Pierrot le fou — Jean-Luc Godard, 1965
42. (tie) Play Time — Jacques Tati, 1967
42. (tie) Some Like It Hot — Billy Wilder, 1959
48. (tie) Histoire(s) du cinéma — Jean-Luc Godard, 1998
48. (tie) The Battle of Algiers — Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966
50. (tie) City Lights — Charlie Chaplin, 1931
50. (tie) La Jetée — Chris Marker, 1962
50. (tie) Ugetsu monogatari — Mizoguchi Kenji, 1953

What are your thoughts? How many have you seen? Favorites? Least favorites?
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No Casablanca? This list is crap.
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Any list with Vertigo or Citizen Kane at the top is crap. First != Best, IMO. Certainly, I give them props for being the first to do truly great things with film, but people have stood on their shoulders and gone to even greater heights since then.

Edit: I think it would be great if we could get "adjusted for technological advancements" lists clearly distinguished and set apart from "objectively the best of all time" lists. I think both types of lists could be fun.
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Gola wrote:

What are your thoughts? How many have you seen? Favorites? Least favorites?

My thoughts are kind of irrelevant because...Sadly, I've only seen 2 of those movies! My favorite of the 2 is Singin' in the Rain. My least favorite of the 2 is The Godfather.
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Seen: 37/50
Own (VHS or DVD): 16/50

Favorites:
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey
9. The Passion of Joan of Arc
10. 8½
11. Battleship Potemkin
17. Seven Samurai
34. The General
35. Metropolis
35. Psycho
39. La Dolce Vita

Least Favorites:
7. The Searchers
21. L'Avventura
29. Stalker
42. Some Like It Hot

Highest-rated movie I haven't seen: Tokyo Story. I hadn't even heard of this one, to be honest.

Most obscure movie that I totally knew about years ago so there: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. I'm a Murnau fan from way back.

General mutterings:
Vertigo has never been my favorite Hitchcock, I've never quite understood all the love this one gets from critics.
• I must confess, I don't understand the whole Tartovsky thing.
• Only one Kubrick?
• No Powell & Pressburger? That's even worse.
• I need to see more Dreyer. I almost bought a box set from the Barnes & Noble Criterion sale, but I went with the Leningrad Cowboys one instead. Dammit. Still; I do enjoy a good tractor.
• I should probably see Rules of the Game again.
The Passion of Joan of Arc kicks ass, but you have to see the Criterion version, because the other versions suck. Likewise, you need to see the Kino on Video version of Battleship Potemkin to really appreciate it; the Soviet versions that used to circulate were chopped up and even slowed down in places so that the movie would match the soundtrack they added.
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I hated 2001. I watched it expecting this awesome movie and got a bad classical music video.
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It reads more like an "artsy-fartsy" list of directors that we're supposed to say are "classic" - not really the "best" movies. If we're talking movies so good that we're willing to watch them again and again, then I've gotta list "To Kill a Mockingbird" (and yes, I still stand when Atticus leaves the courtroom) and "The Goonies" (the greatest kid [in all of us] movie of all time!).
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whac3 wrote:
I hated 2001. I watched it expecting this awesome movie and got a bad classical music video.


The first and last semi-realistic space movie.
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The two rules:

If it ain't got a sword fight in it, it ain't a great film.

If they ain't been in a Star Trek film/show they ain't a star.
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ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I hated 2001. I watched it expecting this awesome movie and got a bad classical music video.


The first and last semi-realistic space movie.

In some ways, yes, and in others no-- although realism in SF is virtually unknown in films.
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whac3 wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I hated 2001. I watched it expecting this awesome movie and got a bad classical music video.


The first and last semi-realistic space movie.

In some ways, yes, and in others no-- although realism in SF is virtually unknown in films.

I always thought it was a Stoner film, at least when it came out that's who kept going to it again & again. It was actually kinda tough not to get high just due to all the folks smoking in the theater.
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Billythehut wrote:
whac3 wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I hated 2001. I watched it expecting this awesome movie and got a bad classical music video.


The first and last semi-realistic space movie.

In some ways, yes, and in others no-- although realism in SF is virtually unknown in films.

I always thought it was a Stoner film, at least when it came out that's who kept going to it again & again. It was actually kinda tough not to get high just due to all the folks smoking in the theater.

I'm a huge fan of Arthur C. Clarke's written work, especially his early years, but that film put me off it for ages.
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Gola wrote:
1. Vertigo — Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
2. Citizen Kane — Orson Welles, 1941
3. Tokyo Story — Ozu Yasujiro, 1953
4. La Règle du jeu — Jean Renoir, 1939
5. Sunrise: A Song of 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 Dreyer, 1927
10. — Federico Fellini, 1960
11. Battleship Potemkin — Sergei Eisenstein, 1925
12. L’Atalante — Jean Vigo, 1934
13. Breathless — Jean-Luc Godard, 1960
14. Apocalypse Now — Francis Ford Coppola, 1979
15. Late Spring — Ozu Yasujiro, 1949
16. Au hasard Balthazar — Robert Bresson, 1966
17. (tie) Persona — Ingmar Bergman, 1966
17. (tie) Seven Samurai — Kurosawa Akira, 1954
19. Mirror — Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974
20. Singin’ in the Rain — Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951
21. (tie) L’avventura — Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960
21. (tie) Le Mépris — Jean-Luc Godard, 1963
21. (tie) The Godfather — Francis Ford Coppola, 1972
24. (tie) In the Mood for Love — Wong Kar-Wai, 2000
24. (tie) Ordet — Carl Dreyer, 1955
26. (tie) Andrei Rublev — Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966
26. (tie) Rashomon — Kurosawa Akira, 1950
28. Mulholland Dr. — David Lynch, 2001
29. (tie) Shoah — Claude Lanzmann, 1985
29. (tie) Stalker — Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979
31. (tie) Taxi Driver — Martin Scorsese, 1976
31. (tie) The Godfather Part II — Francis Ford Coppola, 1974
33. Bicycle Thieves — Vittoria De Sica, 1948
34. The General — Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926
35. (tie) Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles — Chantal Akerman, 1975
35. (tie) Metropolis — Fritz Lang, 1927
35. (tie) Psycho — Alfred Hitchcock, 1960
35. (tie) Sátántangó — Béla Tarr, 1994
39. (tie) La dolce vita — Federico Fellini, 1960
39. (tie) The 400 Blows — François Truffaut, 1959
41. Journey to Italy — Roberto Rossellini, 1954
42. (tie) Close-Up — Abbas Kiarostami, 1990
42. (tie) Gertrud — Carl Dreyer, 1964
42. (tie) Pather Panchali — Satyajit Ray, 1955
42. (tie) Pierrot le fou — Jean-Luc Godard, 1965
42. (tie) Play Time — Jacques Tati, 1967
42. (tie) Some Like It Hot — Billy Wilder, 1959
48. (tie) Histoire(s) du cinéma — Jean-Luc Godard, 1998
48. (tie) The Battle of Algiers — Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966
50. (tie) City Lights — Charlie Chaplin, 1931
50. (tie) La Jetée — Chris Marker, 1962
50. (tie) Ugetsu monogatari — Mizoguchi Kenji, 1953


Poll: BFI top 50 filns of all time (2012)
How many of these films have you seen?
0
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11-20
21-30
31-40
41-49
50
      90 answers
Poll created by col_w
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Gola wrote:

Vertigo has never been my favorite Hitchcock, I've never quite understood all the love this one gets from critics.


Rear Window > Vertigo
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I've seen 13 of the films, oddly enough have never seen Casablanca, although I've DVR'd it and then removed it a bunch of times.
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Seen: 14/50


Favorites:
7. The Searchers — John Ford, 1956
1. Vertigo — Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
14. Apocalypse Now — Francis Ford Coppola, 1979
17. Seven Samurai — Kurosawa Akira, 1954
26. (tie) Rashomon — Kurosawa Akira, 1950
35. (tie) Metropolis — Fritz Lang, 1927
35. (tie) Psycho — Alfred Hitchcock, 1960


Least Favorite:
2. Citizen Kane — Orson Welles, 1941
28. Mulholland Dr. — David Lynch, 2001
31. (tie) Taxi Driver — Martin Scorsese, 1976


Highest Ranked Movie I have Never Heard Of:
3. Tokyo Story — Ozu Yasujiro, 1953

Although about 1/3 of the list falls in this category




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I started watching Taxi Driver and turned it off. Too much pointless violence and vulgarity.
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As a comparison, here's the current IMDB top 50:

Rank Rating Title Year Votes
1. 9.2 The Shawshank Redemption 1994 796,168
2. 9.2 The Godfather 1972 588,546
3. 9.0 The Godfather: Part II 1974 373,938
4. 8.9 Pulp Fiction 1994 625,145
5. 8.9 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 1966 246,621
6. 8.9 12 Angry Men 1957 196,275
7. 8.9 Schindler's List 1993 416,755
8. 8.8 The Dark Knight 2008 753,618
9. 8.8 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2003 563,670
10. 8.8 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back 1980 404,141
11. 8.8 Fight Club 1999 607,151
12. 8.8 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975 337,259
13. 8.8 The Dark Knight Rises 2012 207,617
14. 8.7 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001 586,530
15. 8.7 Inception 2010 591,300
16. 8.7 Goodfellas 1990 354,183
17. 8.7 Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope 1977 453,888
18. 8.7 Seven Samurai 1954 132,677
19. 8.7 The Matrix 1999 582,810
20. 8.7 City of God 2002 263,632
21. 8.7 Forrest Gump 1994 511,713
22. 8.7 Once Upon a Time in the West 1968 113,001
23. 8.7 Casablanca 1942 226,681
24. 8.6 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002 505,250
25. 8.6 The Silence of the Lambs 1991 387,597
26. 8.6 Se7en 1995 461,142
27. 8.6 Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 348,266
28. 8.6 The Usual Suspects 1995 381,283
29. 8.6 Rear Window 1954 169,161
30. 8.6 Psycho 1960 208,604
31. 8.6 It's a Wonderful Life 1946 144,159
32. 8.6 Leon 1994 336,741
33. 8.6 Sunset Boulevard 1950 77,119
34. 8.6 Memento 2000 424,875
35. 8.5 Apocalypse Now 1979 244,567
36. 8.5 American History X 1998 366,358
37. 8.5 Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 368,617
38. 8.5 Dr. Strangelove 1964 206,297
39. 8.5 Saving Private Ryan 1998 414,019
40. 8.5 North by Northwest 1959 125,713
41. 8.5 Alien 1979 274,541
42. 8.5 City Lights 1931 46,770
43. 8.5 Citizen Kane 1941 180,817
44. 8.5 Spirited Away 2001 175,153
45. 8.5 The Shining 1980 281,875
46. 8.5 American Beauty 1999 431,418
47. 8.5 Taxi Driver 1976 246,559
48. 8.5 Toy Story 3 2010 226,987
49. 8.5 Vertigo 1958 127,380
50. 8.5 Modern Times 1936 58,381


Poll: IMDB top 50 films of all time
How many of these films have you seen?
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1-10
11-20
21-30
31-40
41-49
50
      82 answers
Poll created by col_w
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In terms of the debate as to whether "first" equals "best," I can see both sides. I like film history, so I can get really excited about stuff like Citizen Kane, but on the other hand I wouldn't call that particular one a favorite. Personally I try not to talk about stuff in terms of "best," though sometimes my enthusiasm gets the better of me.

Regarding "artsy-fartsy"—yeah, some of this stuff is totally artsy-fartsy. Persona, L'Avventura, Contempt, Muholland Drive, the Tartovsky...I could understand people really hating those movies. You have to take into consideration that this list was put together mostly by critics and academics who watch movies for a living and so the ones that tend to stand out are the farther-out-there ones.

Anyway, I just find it interesting to see what's in vogue among the cineastes.
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Seen: 33/50
Own (VHS or DVD): 8/50

Favorites:
Vertigo — Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
2001: A Space Odyssey — Stanley Kubrick, 1968
Apocalypse Now — Francis Ford Coppola, 1979
Seven Samurai — Kurosawa Akira, 1954
The General — Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926
Psycho — Alfred Hitchcock, 1960
Play Time — Jacques Tati, 1967
Some Like It Hot — Billy Wilder, 1959

Least Favorites Dislike:
Tokyo Story — Ozu Yasujiro, 1953
The Searchers — John Ford, 1956
Le Mépris — Jean-Luc Godard, 1963
The Godfather — Francis Ford Coppola, 1972
Andrei Rublev — Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966
Taxi Driver — Martin Scorsese, 1976

Highest-rated movie I haven't seen: Sunrise. I always felt that I should see it, but the subject matter never seemed interesting.

I worked at indie video stores so I only didn't know of:
Au hasard Balthazar, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles, Sátántangó, Close-Up, Ugetsu monogatari

General mutterings:
• Vertigo is pretty good, but I wouldn't put it in my top 1,000. I'd say for the most part that a the bulk of these are pretty good.
• Creating a best of list is absurd, but of this one, the only film that would likely be on my top 100 list would Playtime, maybe Apocalypse Now.
• Lots of these directors have other films that I like much better and would likely make my top 100.
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I always have wanted to see Apocalypse Now, especially since I loved the novel Heart of Darkness on which it is said to be based.
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Seen 20 of the BFI list and 47 of IMBD
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47 of the IMDB sans Toy Story 3, The Dark Knight Rises, and City Lights (which got me twice!).
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Blott wrote:
Gola wrote:

What are your thoughts? How many have you seen? Favorites? Least favorites?

My thoughts are kind of irrelevant because...Sadly, I've only seen 2 of those movies! My favorite of the 2 is Singin' in the Rain. My least favorite of the 2 is The Godfather.

2? One is The Godfather and you haven't seen the other ones? Now admittedly it made your least favourite

But still go out and see some of them, or watch them at home. I have seen two of them this year. I did a quick count and got 15 I recognised by the title. Oh and I got to 39 on the IMDB list, fell a bit short on the recent (since Daughter the Elder) films.
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[NolanFanboy=ON]

Any list where "The Dark Knight Rises" isn't NUMBER ONE is crap!!!!!!

[NolanFanboy=OFF]

I was surprised that Kieslowski's Blue White Red trilogy wasn't rated higher in either list.

Darilian
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