Angie Errigo

Film critic, broadcaster

Voted for

Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
Seven Samurai1954Akira Kurosawa
Vertigo1958Alfred Hitchcock
The Searchers1956John Ford
Bicycle Thieves1948Vittorio De Sica
The Godfather1972Francis Ford Coppola
There Will Be Blood2007Paul Thomas Anderson
La Règle du jeu1939Jean Renoir
City Lights1931Charles Chaplin
The Battle of Algiers1966Gillo Pontecorvo


Citizen Kane

1941 USA

Welles, writer Mankiewicz and cinematographer Toland broke the "rules", re-inventing and re-invigorating cinema. Still stunning, still fascinating.

Seven Samurai

1954 Japan

Torn between multiple masterpieces in Kurosawa's mighty body of work I had to choose the most influential, most often imitated epic for its seamless interweaving of astonishing action and simple, beautiful humanity.


1958 USA

Hitchcock is my favourite director and this is not my favourite for personal pleasure (that would be Shadow of a Doubt or Notorious), but it remains masterful, breathtaking in its relentless, ominous inventiveness and disturbing dreamlike tone sustained to the bitter end.

The Searchers

1956 USA

I cannot imagine American cinema without John Ford who, among other things, created and defined the western. This is the supreme masterpiece of genre, forever compelling and moving, superb in every department, including John Wayne's greatest performance and arguably the most memorable final shot in all cinema.

Bicycle Thieves

1948 Italy

Italian neorealism's finest hour (and a half) remains the proof one does not need mega-bucks and genius actors when genuine, heart-piercing empathy with "ordinary" people driven by necessity, realised with no-frills simplicity, will more than do, magnificently.

The Godfather

1972 USA

The unforgettable epic of family, albeit one written in blood.

There Will Be Blood

2007 USA

Chilling, riveting parable of how America was made, with a pole-axing performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.

La Règle du jeu

1939 France

Deceptively light-handed charm throughout the upstairs, downstairs antics in a country house doesn't obscure Renoir's contempt for the underlying darkness and his prescience of what was to imminently befall such people. Still delightful, perfectly on target and still imitated in film and TV by people who possibly don't even know they are doing it.

City Lights

1931 USA

Chaplin's defiantly silent 1931 triumph is a quite perfect balancing act between heartrending melodrama, eloquent pathos and zany hilarity, capped with its exquisitely moving ending.

The Battle of Algiers

1966 Italy, Algeria

Seminal, electrifying, nail-biting political thriller which has lost none of its passionate power, grounded in Pontecorvo's personal experience as a Resistant and a documentary maker. Not least of its claims to greatness is the emotive score by Pontecorvo and Ennio Morricone.

Further remarks

This was terribly difficult and it's so frustrating to leave out personal favourites and obviously great filmmakers. Ultimately I had to decide that what engages me most personally is not necessarily "the greatest" and when in doubt I tried to opt for choices that broke ground or have had an enduring impact on what came after. I know I have given short shrift to 21st-century films. Mea culpa.