Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo replaces Citizen Kane as the ‘Greatest Film of All Time’

Following recent speculation that it could lose its place at the top of Sight & Sound’s world-renowned ‘Greatest Films of All Time’ list, the British Film Institute has confirmed today that the 50-year reign of Citizen Kane has come to an end, with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo knocking Orson Welles’ masterpiece down into second place in the 2012 poll, which has been decided by 846 of the most influential film critics, academics, distributors and writers from all corners of the globe.

Released in 1958, Vertigo was not an immediate hit with critics and initially debuted to mixed reviews (with Hitchcock subsequently pointing towards the aging James Stewart as the reason for its failure), but it has since went on to build a reputation as one of the Master of Supense’s finest efforts. It secured first place in the once-a-decade list by a margin of 34 votes, marking only the second occasion in the poll’s 60-year history that Citizen Kane has not secured top spot, and the first since the inaugural list in 1952.

Here’s the Critics’ Top Ten Greatest Films of All Time…

1. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
3. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
4. La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)
5. Sunrise: A Song for 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 Theodor Dreyer, 1927)
10. 8 ½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)

In a separate poll, 358 directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen and Mike Leigh voted Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story the Greatest Film of All Time, again knocking Citizen Kane off the top spot to share the second place with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, while Vertigo finished in joint seventh with Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.

Here’s the Directors’ Top Ten Greatest Films of All Time…

1. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
=2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
=2. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
4. 8 ½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
5. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
6. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
=7. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
=7. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
9. Mirror (Andrey Tarkovsky, 1974)
10. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)

For the complete top 100 in full, visit

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