Khalid Mohamed

Film critic, film director, playwright, consulting editor to the Deccan Chronicle/Asian Age media group


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for


Federico Fellini

Battleship Potemkin


Sergei M Eisenstein

Citizen Kane


Orson Welles

Imitation of Life


Douglas Sirk

Pather Panchali


Satyajit Ray

Pierrot le Fou


Jean-Luc Godard



Akira Kurosawa

Some Like It Hot


Billy Wilder

Taxi Driver


Martin Scorsese



Alfred Hitchcock


It’s tough choosing favourites from a family of hundreds that inhabit the heart and mind. Some two decades ago, I opted for eclecticism for this poll, selecting strictly personal and sentimental favourites, which in retrospect strikes me as a classic case of self-indulgence. What is to be made of the 1960 epic, Mughal-e-Azam, a fable about a courtesan and her doom-laden love for an emperor’s son? It’s undoubtedly a great film but was still a strictly subjective choice. This time around I’ve attempted to see the larger international picture, albeit not without lapsing into an entirely emotional final pick, Imitation of Life. It is proudly melodramatic and has not aged with time (confession: still has me howling into a handkerchief while the modern The Help doesn’t). Enough said perhaps. My top ten opened up cinema to a teenager bred largely on escapist Bollywood entertainment. My ten, I am convinced, are a must for anyone who dares to attempt writing a literate film review. After all, they form the alphabet of cinema anywhere in the world. I long to have included a film by Tarkovsky (Sacrifice), Ozu (An Autumn Afternoon), Visconti (The Leopard), Angelopoulos (The Travelling Players), Fassbinder (Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant), Griffith (Broken Blossoms) and Chaplin (Limelight. But yes, these films are the bare essentials in the carrybag kit of any film traveller.

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