Alfred Hitchcock fans rejoice: “Vertigo,” which is widely considered the filmmaker’s masterpiece, has come out on top of Sight & Sound magazine’s list of the top 50 greatest films of all time.
Hitchcock’s 1958 dark psychological thriller, which focuses on an acrophobic San Francisco detective’s descent into obsession as he trails an old friend’s wife, ousted another critical favorite, Orson Welles’ 1941 landmark “Citizen Kane,” which for the first time in 50 years did not take the list’s top spot.
The Sight and Sound poll compiles the votes of 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors. The magazine is a monthly film title published by the British Film Institute.
American film critic Roger Ebert notably called the poll “the most respected of the countless polls of great movies” and “the only one most serious movie people take seriously.”
As noted by British film scholar Ian Christie as the magazine announced their new number one film, “Vertigo” has been climbing up the list for the past 30 years. The film, which opened to mixed critical reaction, has gradually won favor among members of the critical community.
Hitchcock’s 45th feature moved up from seventh place to fourth in 1992, and 10 years later it was firmly planted in second place.
The full list of the 2012 Sight and Sound poll is as follows:
2. “Citizen Kane”
3. “Tokyo Story”
4. “La Regle du jeu” (“The Rules of the Game”)
5. “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans”
6. “2001: A Space Odyssey”
7. “The Searchers”
8. “Man with a Movie Camera”
9. “The Passion of Joan of Arc”
10. “8 1/2″