Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo has replaced Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane at the top of a poll that sets out to name one film “the greatest of all time”.
The British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound magazine polls a selected panel once a decade and Citizen Kane has been its top pick for the last 50 years. This time 846 distributors, critics and academics championed Vertigo, about a retired cop with a fear of heights.
Starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, Vertigo beat Citizen Kane by 34 votes. In the last poll held 10 years ago, Hitchcock’s 1958 thriller came five votes behind Welles’s 1941 classic. Its triumph coincides with the launch of the BFI’s Genius of Hitchcock season, a major retrospective celebrating the acclaimed “master of suspense”.