Sight & Sound "Greatest Films of All Time" Top 250 (2012 edition)by Col Needham | created - 17 Aug 2012 | updated - 27 Feb 2013 | Public
This is the 2012 edition of Sight & Sound "Greatest Films of All Time" Top 250 as published by the BFI here.
Also see the introduction on the BFI site for background on how the list was compiled and many interesting reports and extra details.
- Instant Watch Options
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- On TV
- Release Year
1. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.
Votes: 325,243 | Gross: $3.20M
2. Citizen Kane (1941)
PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery
Following the death of publishing tycoon, Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.
Votes: 367,574 | Gross: $1.59M
5. Sunrise (1927)
Passed | 94 min | Drama, Romance
An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.
Votes: 549,741 | Gross: $56.95M
9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.
Votes: 41,406 | Gross: $0.02M
11. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Votes: 48,579 | Gross: $0.05M
12. L'Atalante (1934)
Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.
13. Breathless (1960)
Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Votes: 65,361 | Gross: $0.34M
14. Apocalypse Now (1979)
R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, War
A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.
Votes: 555,858 | Gross: $83.47M
15. Late Spring (1949)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.
16. Balthazar (1966)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama
The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette.
Votes: 15,539 | Gross: $0.04M
18. Persona (1966)
Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller
A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personae are melding together.
19. The Mirror (1975)
G | 107 min | Biography, Drama
A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation.
21. L'Avventura (1960)
Not Rated | 144 min | Drama, Mystery
A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.
22. The Godfather (1972)
R | 175 min | Crime, Drama
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
Votes: 1,459,596 | Gross: $134.97M
23. Contempt (1963)
Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Romance
Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.
Votes: 25,159 | Gross: $0.04M
24. Rashomon (1950)
Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.
Votes: 137,312 | Gross: $0.10M
25. Ordet (1955)
Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Fantasy
Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with each other, and the rest of the town.
26. In the Mood for Love (2000)
PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance
Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.
Votes: 107,494 | Gross: $2.73M
28. Mulholland Drive (2001)
R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
Votes: 293,701 | Gross: $7.22M
30. Shoah (1985)
Not Rated | 566 min | Documentary, History, War
Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.
Votes: 7,665 | Gross: $0.02M
31. Taxi Driver (1976)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Votes: 645,873 | Gross: $28.26M
32. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
R | 202 min | Crime, Drama
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.
Votes: 1,015,144 | Gross: $57.30M
34. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Votes: 545,943 | Gross: $32.00M
35. The General (1926)
Passed | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.
36. Satantango (1994)
450 min | Drama
Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.
37. Metropolis (1927)
Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Votes: 146,278 | Gross: $1.24M
Not Rated | 202 min | Drama
A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
Votes: 5,899 | Gross: $0.02M
40. The 400 Blows (1959)
Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama
A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.
41. Pather Panchali (1955)
Not Rated | 125 min | Drama
Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.
Votes: 19,596 | Gross: $0.54M
42. Journey to Italy (1954)
Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Romance
An unhappily married couple attempts to find direction and insight while vacationing in Naples.
43. Pierrot le Fou (1965)
Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.
44. Close-Up (1990)
Not Rated | 98 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Votes: 12,830 | Gross: $0.00M
45. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Music, Romance
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
Votes: 223,595 | Gross: $25.00M
46. Playtime (1967)
Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy
Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
47. Gertrud (1964)
Not Rated | 116 min | Drama, Romance
In the elegant world of artists and musicians, Gertrud ends her marriage to Gustav and takes a lover, the composer Erland Jansson.