Paul Ryan

Writer; singer; actor

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Atalante, L'

1934

Jean Vigo

General, The

1926

Buster Keaton

grande illusion, La

1937

Jean Renoir

It's Always Fair Weather

1955

Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly

Listen to Britain

1942

Humphrey Jennings/Stewart McAllister

mépris, Le

1963

Jean-Luc Godard

Night of the Hunter, The

1955

Charles Laughton

Nothing Sacred

1937

William A Wellman

Sporting Life, The

1963

Lindsay Anderson

Sweet Smell of Success

1957

Alexander Mackendrick

Comments

It is absurd at this stage of cinema’s history to come up with a mere ten titles, as so many other films stand behind (and a good number beside) my own choices. While I admire every director I have selected, my list reflects my appreciation of the collaborative nature of the medium and the work of actors as diverse as Gabin, Parlo, Piccoli Harris, Roberts, Mitchum and Gish, cinematographers such as James Wong Howe, Stanley Cortez and Boris Kaufman, the writing talents of Comden and Green, David Storey, James Agee and Clifford Odets, and the sheer magical presence of Carol Lombard, Tony Curtis, Buster Keaton and that choreographic genius Michael Kidd. No room for Cagney, Welles, Cary Grant, Astaire, Chaplin, Roeg and Reisz… we could all go on. We’re going to need a bigger list.

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