Damon Wise

Contributing editor, Empire


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

2001: A Space Odyssey


Stanley Kubrick

400 Blows, The


François Truffaut

Ivan the Terrible


Sergei M Eisenstein

Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The


Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger

Mulholland Dr


David Lynch

Once Upon a Time in the West


Sergio Leone

Queen Kelly


Erich von Stroheim

Rear Window


Alfred Hitchcock

Touch of Evil


Orson Welles

Treasure of Sierra Madre, The


John Huston


I found this to be an almost impossible task, but rather than shirk it, I decided to go with what I consider to be ten of the greatest films of all time. To me, great movies withstand time, and I believe that not only are all these movies still relevant and accessible to a modern audience, they are also all exemplary in their use of film grammar. Some admissions: 1) not being able to squeeze in Night Of The Hunter (1955) has perhaps caused me the most pain; 2) the poll’s rules made me drop Ivan The Terrible Part 2, with its extraordinary colour scenes; and 3) bypassing Citizen Kane for Touch Of Evil is arguably the one purely personal and idiosyncratic choice (though The Red Shoes is really my favourite film by Powell and Pressburger, Colonel Blimp is a film that only seems to get stronger with passing years – which is saying something). All of these films have size, scope and ambition, so, If nothing else, I believe a film student who’d only ever seen these ten would be duty-bound to make something interesting.

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