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As I mentioned earlier, the newly established Directors' poll of greatest films varied significantly from that of the international Critics' consortium. Let's take a look: The Sight & Sound Top Ten Poll: 1992

Directors’ poll

  • 1. Citizen Kane (Welles)

  • 2. 8 ½ (Fellini)

  • 2. Raging Bull (Scorsese)

  • 4. La strada (Fellini)

  • 5. L’Atalante (Vigo)

  • 6. The Godfather (Coppola)

  • 6. Modern Times (Chaplin)

  • 6. Vertigo (Hitchcock)

  • 9. The Godfather Part II (Coppola)

  • 10. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer)

  • 10. Rashomon (Kurosawa)

  • 10. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)

This was a most unusual compilation. Fellini's 8 1/2 and La Strada both made the list of the Top Five Films of all time! To be fair, 8 1/2 had twice landed on the Critics' list, but to be joined by La Strada in such lofty company was stunning. Equally shocking was the appearance of both Godfather films, and to compound the impact, the Directors' panel voted for The Godfather more frequently than they did its sequel, countering the critical consensus that Godfather II was a far superior artistic creation. Legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa joined Francis Coppola and Federico Fellini with multiple entries (Rashomon and Seven Samurai), the latter a prior Critics' selection. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was the strong support for a recent film, 1980's Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese. Raging Bull had won many polls as the best film of that decade, but few thought it one of the top three films of all time. Below is the famed title sequence, the film's trailer, and Robert DeNiro's Oscar speech in 1981:

One of the fascinating elements of this list is that includes at least one film from the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s! The Directors had no trouble paying tribute to pop culture titans (The Godfather) as well as esoteric and little seen classics (The Passion of Joan of Arc), financial disappointments (Vertigo, Raging Bull) and blockbusters (The Godfather, Godfather II), both silent and sound films, and films from many countries. Quite a list.

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