Jingan Young

Critic and academic

Voted for

Darling1965John Schlesinger
Cocktail1988Roger Donaldson
The Small World of Sammy Lee1962Ken Hughes
Splendor in the Grass1961Elia Kazan
Shadow of a Doubt1943Alfred Hitchcock
Howards End1992James Ivory
Anatomy of a Murder1959Otto Preminger
XIZAO1999Zhang Yang
West Side Story1961Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
La MEGLIO GIOVENTÙ2003Marco Tullio Giordana



1965 United Kingdom

Julie Christie is perfection in this true swinging sixties time capsule… throw in Laurence Harvey and Dirk Bogarde and you get a romp, a social portrait and a sardonic commentary on the rising world of media…


1988 USA

This film is my cringe choice and one I’ve watched a million times. It IS a cocktail - sure it’s not high brow but it’s got melodrama action sex drugs and a delicious 80s soundtrack. It’s just a cheesy and wondrous ride, but it also has heart and soul. One man’s ambitions came at a price … but he never sacrificed his identity. Cruise is good as always.

The Small World of Sammy Lee

1962 United Kingdom

In recent years this Soho-set thriller has gained acclaim and one of Anthony Newley's best performances as a Jewish strip club compère who must raise the gambling debt he owes to a gangster in a few hours or face death… a true Soho and British new wave film! I love it so much I wrote a book about it.

Splendor in the Grass

1961 USA

One of the best melodramas of all time - a sweeping romantic and social saga set during the Great Depression and one of Natalie Woods' best performances.

Shadow of a Doubt

1943 USA

It may be Hitchcock’s favourite but it’s warranted for its crisp execution and clean suspense in this small town thriller - Joseph Cotton is perfection as the sinister and lovable Uncle Charlie. There is nothing to fault about this film, and filmmakers today are clearly influenced by its aesthetic style.

Howards End

1992 Japan, United Kingdom

One of Merchant Ivory’s best and winner of best adapted screenplay it is British emigre filmmaking as its peak - sumptuous set pieces and performances from the best of Britain and a period drama done proper.

Anatomy of a Murder

1959 USA

A far too overlooked precursor to true crime we see so common today a murder case so convoluted and brilliant fun - as James Stewart gives a ridiculously incredibly underrated performance as a fishing drinking law man.


1999 People's Republic of China

A heartwarming tale and a film so poignant… indicative of the golden era of mainland Chinese filmmaking - you will be bawling your eyes out for weeks to come.

West Side Story

1961 USA

The best filmed musical of all time. The choreography remains exquisite, visceral… the testament of youth.


2003 Italy

Sweeping historical drama in two parts following two brothers through their lives and Italian history. It’s a tear-jerking and gorgeous film that resonates deeply in our time now.

Further remarks

It was such a great honour to be invited to fill in this poll for the first time, and such a difficult task. I hope these films are some reflection of the immense and incredibly diverse best films of all time there really are…