A Time Out poll of 150 film movie industry experts has declared Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now the best British film ever.
The heavyweight panel of judges which came to this conclusion included "directors Sam Mendes, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Wes Anderson; actors David Morrissey, Sally Hawkins and Thandie Newton; newspaper and magazine critics; and the heads of the UK's major cultural organisations".
Second up on the roll of honour was The Third Man, which pipped Terence Davies' 1988 Distant Voices, Still Lives into third spot. Here's the top 10 list:
- Don’t Look Now (1973)
- The Third Man (1949)
- Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
- Kes (1969)
- The Red Shoes (1948)
- A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
- Performance (1970)
- Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
- If ... (1968)
- Trainspotting (1996)
Time Out's David Jenkins describes Don’t Look Now as "a movie whose every glorious frame is bursting with meaning, emotion and mystery, and which stands as the crowning achievement of one of Britain’s true iconoclasts and masters of cinema".
Nicolas Roeg expressed his pleasant surprise at the honour, telling Jenkins: "Well, it’s all very exciting indeed."
Roeg's other works celebrated in the top 100 are Performance, Walkabout (61st spot) and Bad Timing (70).
It's Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, though, who emerge as directorial giants. The pair boast six films in the top 100, while Powell gets an additional nod for Peeping Tom, a solo effort.
As well as top 10 classics The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death, the pair feature with The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (14), Black Narcissus (16), A Canterbury Tale (17) and I Know Where I'm Going (26).
Among this hack's faves which made the cut are Theatre of Blood (96), Zulu (93), The Long Good Friday (60), Witchfinder General (41), Get Carter (32), The Wicker Man (28), Monty Python's Life of Brian (20) and Withnail and I (15).
Surprisingly, audience favourite The Italian Job was not considered worthy of inclusion in the top 100.
Back in 1999, the movie secured 36th spot in the British Film Institute's own best Brit films analysis, and a comparison between Time Out's offering and the BFI's is interesting.
Time Out admits that its list is "a snapshot of taste at one moment in time". Here's how the BFI's top 10 reflected taste over 10 years ago:
- The Third Man
- Brief Encounter
- Lawrence of Arabia
- The 39 Steps
- Great Expectations
- Kind Hearts and Coronets
- Don't Look Now
- The Red Shoes