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SIGHT & SOUND POLL

It is the most respected of guides: a census of cinema’s best, as voted for by the most respected names in the business. Here's a selection.

For this poll, Scorsese, Coppola and Woody Allen joined Miranda July, Roy Andersson, Mia Hansen-Løve and 350 others to nominate the Greatest Films of All Time.

This selection all feature in the Top 250.

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SIGHT & SOUND POLL
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View Aguirre - Wrath of God
Aguirre - Wrath of God

Aguirre - Wrath of God 1972 PG

This early masterpiece from Werner Herzog stars Klaus Kinski as a power-crazed explorer in sixteenth-century South America who leads a band of conquistadors through the Amazon in search of El Dorado.

93 mins Federal Republic of Germany Director. Werner Herzog

View Battleship Potemkin
Battleship Potemkin
HD

Battleship Potemkin 1925 PG

A fixture in the critical canon almost since its premiere, Eisenstein’s film about a 1905 naval mutiny was revolutionary in both form and content.

68 mins USSR Director. Sergei M. Eisenstein

View Red Desert
Red Desert

Red Desert 1964 12

Antonioni's mid-career masterpiece stars Monica Vitti as an emotionally anguished young woman embarking on a tentative affair with a businessman (Richard Harris).

117 mins Italy Director. Michelangelo Antonioni

View Journey to Italy
Journey to Italy
HD

Journey to Italy 1954 PG

Roberto Rossellini's acerbic but finally very moving masterpiece about marital crisis boasts great performances from Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders

106 mins Italy

View Ordet.
Ordet.

Ordet. 1955 12

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s beautifully photographed tale explores the religious intolerance and familial tensions within a Danish farming family.

126 mins Denmark Director. Carl Th. Dreyer

View Rashomon
Rashomon

Rashomon 1950 12

Credited with bringing Japanese cinema to worldwide audiences, Akira Kurosawa’s breakthrough tells the story of a murder in the woods from four differing perspectives.

88 mins Japan Director. Akira Kurosawa

View A Woman Under the Influence
A Woman Under the Influence

A Woman Under the Influence 1974 15

John Cassavetes's powerful drama stars Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk as a blue-collar couple struggling to cope with the wife's slide into mental illness.

156 mins USA Director. John Cassavetes

View The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
HD

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp 1943 U

Powell and Pressburger’s masterpiece follows the rise and fall of a career soldier, from dashing and brave young officer in the Boer War to a pompous and old-fashioned Colonel by the time of World War Two.

163 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

View Faces
Faces

Faces 1968 15

Richard and his wife Maria seek solace from their disintegrating marriage in the arms of other lovers in John Cassavetes's powerful 1968 feature.

130 mins USA Director. John Cassavetes

View Rome, Open City
Rome, Open City

Rome, Open City 1945 12

Roberto Rossellini’s landmark of Italian neorealism often cited as one of the greatest films ever made.

103 mins Italy Director. Roberto Rossellini

View Partie de Campagne
Partie de Campagne

Partie de Campagne 1936 PG

On a country picnic, a young girl leaves her family for a while and succumbs to an all-too-brief romance in Jean Renoir's sensuous tribute to the countryside.

40 mins France Director. Jean Renoir

View L'Age D'Or
L'Age D'Or

L'Age D'Or 1930 15

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali unite for this masterpiece of cinematic surrealism remains as brilliantly witty and shocking as ever, more than 80 years on.

63 mins France Director. Luis Buñuel

View The Red Shoes
The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes 1948 U

Moira Shearer’s ballerina is torn between love and her career in Powell and Pressburger’s hugely influential melodrama.

133 mins United Kingdom Director. Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

View Spring in a Small Town
Spring in a Small Town
HD

Spring in a Small Town 1948 U

Fei Mu’s newly restored 1948 masterpiece, a piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire, was once voted the greatest Chinese film ever made.

People's Republic of China Director. Fei Mu

View A Canterbury Tale
A Canterbury Tale
HD

A Canterbury Tale 1944 U

Powell and Pressburger's most personal film combines a Chaucer-inspired pilgrimage with a war-time celebration of English landscape and values to create a gem of British cinema.

124 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

View Seven Samurai
Seven Samurai
HD

Seven Samurai 1954 PG

Farmers hire a band of samurai to defend them against marauding bandits in Kurosawa’s influential epic, a touchstone for action movies ever since.

200 mins Japan Director. Akira Kurosawa

View Gertrud
Gertrud

Gertrud 1964 PG

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s final masterpiece centres on a woman who rejects the compromise of her marriage and retreats into a serene isolation.

120 mins Denmark Director. Carl Th. Dreyer

View Celine and Julie Go Boating
Celine and Julie Go Boating

Celine and Julie Go Boating 1974 12

Jacques Rivette's rarely seen yet most commercially successful film is an exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and la vie Parisienne.

193 mins France Director. Jacques Rivette

View Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus 1947 U

Tensions grow when a group of nuns open a convent in the Himalayas in Powell and Pressburger's remarkable melodrama, starring Deborah Kerr.

100 mins United Kingdom Director. Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

View Un Chien Andalou
Un Chien Andalou

Un Chien Andalou 1928 15

A scabrous study of desire, the subconscious and anti-clericalism - Buñuel and Dalí’s provocative first film is a classic of Surrealist cinema.

17 mins France Director. Luis Buñuel

View Ikiru
Ikiru

Ikiru 1952 PG

Takashi Shimura is superb as a bureaucrat diagnosed with cancer in Akira Kurosawa’s lyrical and moving film about how we find meaning in our lives.

137 mins Japan Director. Akira Kurosawa

View La Règle du jeu
La Règle du jeu
HD

La Règle du jeu 1939 PG

Renoir's depiction of an intransigent society teetering towards disaster was derided upon release and only later acclaimed as one of cinema’s most vital films.

84 mins France

View Paisà
Paisà

Paisà 1946 PG

Roberto Rossellini’s ambitious and enormously moving follow-up to his breakthrough Rome, Open City.

125 mins Italy Director. Roberto Rossellini

View Germany, Year Zero
Germany, Year Zero

Germany, Year Zero 1948 PG

The concluding part of Roberto Rossellini’s celebrated War Trilogy, set amid the war-torn ruins of Berlin.

73 mins Italy Director. Roberto Rossellini

View A Matter of Life and Death
A Matter of Life and Death

A Matter of Life and Death 1946 U

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s timeless romantic fantasy, with David Niven as an airman trapped between life and death.

104 mins United Kingdom Director. Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

View Floating Clouds
Floating Clouds

Floating Clouds 1955 12

Mikio Naruse’s masterpiece about a wandering woman trying to find her identity amid the devastation of post-war Japan.

118 mins Japan Director. Mikio Naruse

View Brief Encounter
Brief Encounter
HD

Brief Encounter 1945 PG

Noël Coward’s tale of a love affair, thrillingly played out with tight British reserve.

86 mins United Kingdom Director. David Lean

View Distant Voices Still Lives
Distant Voices Still Lives

Distant Voices Still Lives 1988 15

Terence Davies' debut feature is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s and a visionary exploration of memory.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. Terence Davies

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