Monday, August 6, 2012


Recently, SIGHT AND SOUND magazine, published by the British Film Institute, released their updated list of the top ten motion pictures of all time. This list has made headlines by placing VERTIGO over CITIZEN KANE as the number one pick. KANE had long ranked at the top of the list and it's unseating by Hitchcock's masterpiece is a bit of a surprise. Here's a look at the list, along with my comments.

1. VERTIGO: No question about it, if not the absolute best film of all time, VERTIGO is Alfred Hitchcock's best film, a bonafide masterpiece which certainly belongs in the top ten of any list.

2. CITIZEN KANE: It's been over 70 years since this groundbreaking film was first released and to this day, there's still never been any other film quite like it. Revolutionary, visionary, influential, breathtaking, dazzling and unique are just some of the words to describe Orson Welles' magnificent debut. Top ten? You bet.

3. TOKYO STORY: Okay, I must confess, I haven't seen this film but I'm sure it's a good one if it made the list.

4. THE RULES OF THE GAME: Um, sorry, I haven't seen this film either but I know it has a reputation for greatness.

5. SUNRISE: And that's strike three for this movie watcher. Never seen it but I'd like to.

6. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY: Yes, seen it many times. A terrific film and well deserving of a place in the top ten. Brilliant film making by Stanley Kubrick.

7. THE SEARCHERS: I've seen this highly regarded John Ford western but (get a rope), I don't think it's his best film. That honor, in my opinion, belongs to THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, which I've seen many times.

8. MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA: Haven't seen it.


10. 8 1/2: Seen it. Didn't care for it.

Okay, so let's throw out the films I haven't seen, didn't like or prefer a different film by the same director. That leaves us with VERTIGO, CITIZEN KANE, 2001 and THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE. That's only four films for our hypothetical Frank's Top Ten list.

What to include to fill out the roster? Well, how about LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE GODFATHER, CASABLANCA and GONE WITH THE WIND? I've seen all of these films many, many times and they are all incredibly durable films that have well stood the test of time. Each of these films provide a rich and rewarding viewing experience every time I watch one of them.

So there's eight films. What about the last two picks? Keep in mind that I can give you two extremely valid and well considered choices today and another two picks tomorrow and another two the day after that and so on. So, for right now, let's go with METROPOLIS and SUNSET BLVD.

There you have it. My totally subjective list of top ten films that everyone should see. They're classics all and I guarantee they're all worth seeing again and again.

However, these aren't necessarily my personal all-time favorite films. That's a list and a subject of a blog post to come.

What about you? Do you agree with SIGHT AND SOUND's picks or do you want to tinker with the list as I did and come up with some other choices? Let's hear what you have to say.


  1. sounds like Bill Murray's movie reviews to me...

    'Rocky... didn't see it.'