Matthew Sweet

presenter, Sound of Cinema, BBC Radio 3

Voted for

Napoléon1927Abel Gance
Some Like It Hot1959Billy Wilder
Vertigo1958Alfred Hitchcock
The Holy Mountain1973Alejandro Jodorowsky
Na srebrnym globie1988Andrzej Zulawski
Went the Day Well?1942Alberto Cavalcanti
The Music Box1932James Parrott
Fear Eats the Soul1974Rainer Werner Fassbinder
The Third Man1949Carol Reed
À bout de souffle1960Jean-Luc Godard



1927 France

This film is nearly a century old. It is also a film from the future. I've seen it three times. For those three screenings, I know exactly where I was and who came with me. Will I see it a fourth time? Maybe not. I don't want to see it unless it's properly projected with a live orchestral accompaniment.

Some Like It Hot

1959 USA

This is the only film in which I would consent to live. It's a work of limitless generosity.


1958 USA

Vertigo lives up to its name. Every time I see it I am ill with it.

The Holy Mountain

1973 USA

A profane, visionary masterpiece.

Na srebrnym globie

1988 Poland

Unfinished. Unfinishable, maybe. Its gaps and brokennesses leave space for us to dream and speculate. They also make it a heroic artefact of cinema. Each time I see it, I feel I could be watching something that was really shot on an alien planet.

Went the Day Well?

1942 United Kingdom

A film to help you decide whether your country is worth fighting for.

The Music Box

1932 USA

It's a description of life. I may watch this on my deathbed, I think it would be consoling and truthful.

Fear Eats the Soul

1974 Federal Republic of Germany

A profound love story. Fassbinder shows us where beauty lies in an ugly and brutal world.

The Third Man

1949 United Kingdom

A film that explains the twentieth century.

À bout de souffle

1960 France

So stylish, it compels you to try and live up to it. It compelled me to go to Paris to find the spot where Jean-Paul Belmondo falls.

Further remarks

I think this will be a watershed year for the poll. When it began it was a mechanism for agreeing a canon, almost in the religious sense, because films were not so easy to see, and most of us simply had to accept the word of the panel. Now we can see almost anything we like - and the poll will reflect that plenitude. And new swathes of the past keep opening up to us. I think there are no lost continents anymore. It's a great time to love the movies.