Damon Wise

Contributing editor, Empire

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

2001: A Space Odyssey

1968

Stanley Kubrick

400 Blows, The

1959

François Truffaut

Ivan the Terrible

1945

Sergei M Eisenstein

Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The

1943

Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger

Mulholland Dr

2001

David Lynch

Once Upon a Time in the West

1968

Sergio Leone

Queen Kelly

1931

Erich von Stroheim

Rear Window

1954

Alfred Hitchcock

Touch of Evil

1958

Orson Welles

Treasure of Sierra Madre, The

1947

John Huston

Comments

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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