"Vertigo" Tops Best Movie Poll, Ousting "Citizen Kane"

But to quote its protagonist, "Kane" did pretty well under the circumstances

By Sam Schulz
|  Thursday, Aug 2, 2012  |  Updated 3:33 PM CDT
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Scarlett Johansson On The Making Of "Psycho"

Paramount Pictures

Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 psychological thriller "Vertigo" unseated Orson Welles' debut "Citizen Kane" as the best movie ever made on this year's "Sight & Sound" poll of film critics.

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For the first time in half a century, "Citizen Kane" has been displaced from its spot atop the Sight & Sound magazine poll of the best movies ever.

But to quote its titular character, it did pretty well under the circumstances.

Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller "Vertigo," with its lurid color and its theme of obsession, unseated Orson Welles' 1941 debut after it spent years slowly inching up the list.

The Sight & Sound poll of more than 800 film critics and other experts has been called by Roger Ebert "the only one most serious movie people take seriously."

"Kane," which Welles made at just 24 years old, came in at number two on it, 34 votes behind "Vertigo."

Yasujiro Ozu's 1953 family portrait "Tokyo Story" took third place, just ahead of Jean Renoir's 1939 glimpse into the French upper class, "The Rules of the Game."

Early German auteur F. W. Murnau's silent Hollywood epic "Sunrise" came in fifth, Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" in sixth and John Ford's revenge western "The Searchers," starring John Wayne in a rare anti-hero role as an obsessed bigot, in seventh.

Rounding out the top ten were two silent films, Russian experimental film "Man with a Movie Camera" and Carl Dreyer's stark "Passion of Joan of Arc," and Federico Fellini's surreal yet comic meditation on filmmaking, "8 1/2."

The only film on the list made by a woman was Chantal Akerman's hyper-realist film about a widowed mother's daily life, "Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles," which tied with three other films at 35th.

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