Catherine A. Surowiec

Historian; Editor, Pordenone Silent Film Festival catalogue

Voted for

L'Atalante1934Jean Vigo
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
Kind Hearts and Coronets1949Robert Hamer
Love Me Tonight1932Rouben Mamoulian
The Marriage Circle1923Ernst Lubitsch
Napoléon1927Abel Gance
Partie de campagne1936Jean Renoir
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans1927F.W. Murnau
Top Hat1935Mark Sandrich


Greatness is always relative; the lens of our lives reflects personal experience, taste, and perspective. The films on my list comprise old cinematic friends who have stood the test of time and have enriched my life for years. Once again, there were many candidates, with variants per category. The list could easily have been different, taking into account representatives of genre, decade, technical expertise, and creative talents behind and in front of the camera, as well as their place in film history. These films have been chosen for diverse reasons, but in each case, I could watch them over and over, with affection and amazement, and still see something new every time. The bottom line is something that strikes a chord within us, and survives countless viewings. Call it magic.