Nathalie Morris

Senior curator, Special Collections, BFI National Archive

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

"I Know Where I'm Going!"

1945

Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger

All About Eve

1950

Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Army of Shadows

1969

Jean-Pierre Melville

Kind Hearts and Coronets

1949

Robert Hamer

Listen to Britain

1942

Humphrey Jennings/Stewart McAllister

Marie Antoinette

2005

Sofia Coppola

Pandora's Box

1928

G W Pabst

Snow

1963

Geoffrey Jones

Sunrise

1927

F. W. Murnau

Vertigo

1958

Alfred Hitchcock

Comments

I’d like a Technicolor Powell and Pressburger film too but I should only choose one, so it has to be the haunting and romantic I Know Where I’m Going!. Snow is a small but perfectly formed piece of filmmaking, an exhilarating marriage of sound and image (and with trains and extreme weather conditions – what more could anyone want?). Marie Antoinette is much maligned but I think it’s beautifully made and its style perfectly suits its subject. Pandora’s Box = Louise Brooks, enough said (well, actually Pabst is a pretty brilliant director too). Kind Hearts and Coronets is my favourite Ealing film, like All About Eve, its sly wit makes me laugh. Sunrise is technically stunning and is silent filmmaking at its best. Listen to Britain is touching and poignant yet typically British in its understatement, while from its opening scene, L’Armee des ombres is both completely gripping and utterly bleak. It also has the most horrible murder scene ever. As with Powell and Pressburger, it’s hard to choose just one Hitchcock film, especially as selecting a Hollywood film means ignoring his incredible British output (or vice versa). If not Vertigo, I would probably have gone for The Lady Vanishes.

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