Check Out the Sight & Sound Top 10 Lists from Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright, Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, Woody Allen and More

by     Posted 1 year, 361 days ago

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Earlier this month, a new “official” best film of all time was announced with the unveiling of the results of Sight & Sound’s most recent poll.  Every ten years, the film magazine polls a number of critics, academics, and professionals and then tallies up the results for an ultimate list.  The magazine also has a poll of directors for a second Top 10 list, and now they’ve unveiled the individual directors’ lists in an effort to occupy all the free time you have today.

After the jump you can peruse personal Top 10 lists from the likes of Edgar Wright, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, Woody Allen, David O’Russell, Sam Mendes, Matthew Vaughn, Francis Ford Coppola, Marc Webb and more.  Hit the jump to take a look.

raging-bull-posterThis is obviously a small subsection of the filmmakers that took part in Sight & Sound’s poll, but the lists provide a fun look at the wide spectrum of films that have influenced those making movies today.  Here’s a sampling via BFI:

Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James, Killing Them Softly)

  • Apocalypse Now (1979) – Francis Ford Coppola
  • Badlands (1973) – Terrence Malick
  • Barry Lyndon (1975) – Stanley Kubrick
  • Blue Velvet (1986) – David Lynch
  • Marnie (1964) – Alfred Hitchcock
  • Mulholland Dr. (2003) – David Lynch
  • The Night of the Hunter (1955) – Charles Laughton
  • Raging Bull (1980) – Martin Scorsese
  • Sunset Blvd. (1950) – Billy Wilder
  • The Tenant (1976) – Roman Polanski

Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Snow Piercer)

  • A City of Sadness (1989) – Hsiao-bsein Hou
  • Cure (1998) – Kurosawa Kiyoshi
  • Fargo (1995) – Joel & Ethan Coen
  • The Housemaid (1960) – Kim Ki-young
  • Psycho (1960) – Alfred Hitchcock
  • Raging Bull (1980) – Martin Scorsese
  • Touch of Evil (1958) – Orson Welles
  • Vengeance is Mine (1979) – Imamura Shohei
  • The Wages of Fear (1953) – Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Zodiac (2007) – David Fincher

pulp-fiction-posterDavid O’Russell (The Fighter, I Heart Huckabees)

  • Blue Velvet (1986) – David Lynch
  • Chinatown (1974) – Roman Polanski
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) – Luis Bunel
  • The Godfather (1972) – Francis Ford Coppola
  • Goodfellas (1990) – Martin Scorsese
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) – Frank Capra
  • Pulp Fiction (1994) – Quentin Tarantino
  • Raging Bull (1980) – Martin Scorsese
  • Vertigo (1958) – Alfred Hitchcock
  • Young Frankenstein (1974) – Mel Brooks

Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981) – John Landis
  • Carrie (1976) – Brian de Palma
  • Dames (1934) – Busby Berkeley
  • Don’t Look Now (1973) – Nicolas Roeg
  • Duck Soup (1933) – Leo McCarey
  • Psycho (1960) – Alfred Hitchcock
  • Raising Arizona (1987) – Joel & Ethan Coen
  • Taxi Driver (1976) – Martin Scorsese
  • The Wild Bunch (1969) – Sam Peckinpah

singin-in-the-rain-posterFrancis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation)

  • The Apartment (1960) – Billy Wilder
  • Ashes and Diamonds (1958) – Andrzej Wajda
  • The Bad Sleep Well (1960) – Akira Kurosawa
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) – William Wyler
  • I Vitelloni (1953) – Federico Fellini
  • The King of Comedy (1983) – Martin Scorsese
  • Raging Bull (1980) – Martin Scorsese
  • Singin’ in the Rain (1951) – Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly
  • Sunrise (1927) – F.W. Murnau
  • Yojimbo (1961) – Akira Kurosawa

Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland)

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick
  • The 400 Blows (1959) – Francois Truffaut
  • La dolce vita (1960) – Federico Fellini
  • The General (1926) – Buster Keaton
  • The Lady from Shanghai (1947) – Orson Welles
  • Manhattan (1979) – Woody Allen
  • Modern Times (1936) – Charles Chaplin
  • Pather Panchali (1955) – Satyajit Ray
  • Persona (1966) – Ingmar Bergman
  • Yojimbo (1961) – Akira Kurosawa

frankenstein-posterGuillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy)

  • (1963) – Federico Fellini
  • La Belle et la Bete (1946) – Jean Cocteau
  • Frankenstein (1931) – James Whale
  • Freaks (1932) – Tod Browning
  • Goodfellas (1990) – Martin Scorsese
  • Greed (1925) – Erich von Stroheim
  • Los Olvidados (1950) – Luis Bunel
  • Modern Times (1936) – Charles Chaplin
  • Nosferatu (1922) – F.W. Murnau
  • Shadow of a Doubt (1943) – Alfred Hitchcock

Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man)

  • (1963) – Federico Fellini
  • Annie Hall (1977) – Woody Allen
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) – David Lean
  • Children of Men (2006) – Alfonso Cuaron
  • City Lights (1931) – Charles Chaplin
  • Dead Poets Society (1989) – Peter Weir
  • The Graduate (1967) – Mike Nichols
  • Singin’ in the Rain (1951) – Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly
  • Three Colours: Red (1994) – Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) – Peter Weir

the-searchers-posterMartin Scorsese (Raging Bull, Goodfellas)

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick
  • (1963) – Federico Fellini
  • Ashes and Diamonds (1958) – Andrzej Wajda
  • Citizen Kane (1941) – Orson Welles
  • The Leopard (1963) – Luchino Visconti
  • Paisa (1946) – Roberto Rossellini
  • The Red Shoes (1948) – Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger
  • The River (1951) – Jean Renoir
  • Salvatore Giuliano (1962) – Francesco Rosi
  • The Searchers (1956) – John Ford
  • Ugetsu Monogatari (1953) – Mizoguchi Kenji
  • Vertigo (1958) – Alfred Hitchcock

Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class)

  • Back to the Future (1985) – Robert Zemeckis
  • Being There (1979) – Hal Ashby
  • The Deer Hunter (1977) – Michael Cimino
  • The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966) – Sergio Leone
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – David Lean
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – Steven Spielberg
  • Reservoir Dogs (1991) – Quentin Tarantino
  • Rocky III (1982) – Sylvester Stallone
  • Scarface (1983) – Brian De Palma
  • Star Wars (1977) – George Lucas

carrie-posterQuentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill)

  • Apocalypse Now (1976) – Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Bad News Bears (1976) – Michael Ritchie
  • Carrie (1976) – Brian De Palma
  • Dazed and Confused (1993) – Richard Linklater
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966) – Sergio Leone
  • The Great Escape (1963) – John Sturges
  • His Girl Friday (1939) – Howard Hawks
  • Jaws (1975) – Steven Spielberg
  • Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) – Roger Vadium
  • Rolling Thunder (1997) – John Flynn
  • Sorcerer (1977) – William Friedkin
  • Taxi Driver (1976) – Martin Scorsese

Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall)

  • The 400 Blows (1959) – Fracois Truffaut
  • Blue Velvet (1986) – David Lynch
  • Citizen Kane (1941) – Orson Welles
  • Fanny and Alexander (1984) – Ingmar Bergman
  • The Godfather: Part II (1974) – Francis Ford Coppola
  • Kes (1969) – Ken Loach
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – Roman Polanski
  • Taxi Driver (1976) – Martin Scorsese
  • There Will Be Blood (2007) – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Vertigo (1958) – Alfred Hitchcock

Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Manhattan)

  • The 400 Blows (1959) – Francois Truffaut
  • (1963) – Federico Fellini
  • Amarcord (1972) – Federico Fellini
  • The Bicycle Theives (1948) – Vittorio de Sica
  • Citizen Kane (1941) – Orson Welles
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) – Luis Bunel
  • La grand illusion (1937) – Jean Renoir
  • Paths of Glory (1957) – Stanley Kubrick
  • Rashomon (1950) – Akira Kurosawa
  • The Seventh Seal (1957) – Ingmar Bergman

Head over to BFI to check out the lists of the entire group of directors and experts that took part in the poll.  It’s well worth perusing, as some of the filmmakers (like Edgar Wright) took the time to explain their choices in comments underneath their lists.




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  • Kyle

    Is anybody else surprised that Tarantino’s list isn’t full of more obscure films than those?

    • Alan

      No, because we all presumably read his earlier list for Sight and Sound.

  • bruno

    Tarantino and Scorsese acting like assholes on doing a TOP 12!!

    • Henry Pym

      …or they just really enjoy movies.

  • bruno

    and Matthew Vaughn just saying fuck this list Rocky III is fucking AWESOME!

    • Auguman

      LOL Bruno’s comment! LOL HILARIOUS

  • Action Movie Fanatix

    So Sight & Sound only does this list every 10 years and they are asking directors of garbage movies like 500 Days of Summer, Superbad and Scott Pilgrim?! You ask these type of directors to put together a list like this and they just think back to what they were told were good movies back when they were in film school and regurgitate crap their professors told them.

    You can tell that Tarantino picked movies that he actually likes. Agree with him or not but those are not the picks that most critic-types would pick.

    • t

      u don’t know what you’re talking about

    • Jared

      Dude, all three of those movies are great. All three of those directors – particularly Wright – deserve to be on this article.

    • Bob

      Just saying Edgar Wright is amazing. And Superbad was a great comedy movie of our time, influenced so many movies after it and still is.

    • Thomas K.

      Dude, Did you pick up Battleship today?!?!?!
      How did THAT not make any of these lists?
      AM I RIGHT?

  • Brandon

    Why did Tarantino and Scorsese get to choose 12 films while everyone else chose 10?

    • dannyboy3030

      very perceptive

    • Thomas K.

      Simply because they are Tarantino and Scorsese.
      No other reasons needed.

      But for real though, Sight & Sound probably asked them to do 12. I could easily see that happening.

  • Yoren

    Glad to see The Seventh Seal make it onto one of the lists, Bergman is one of the greatest!

  • Brandon Heat 07

    Bong Joon-ho’s list is beautiful… Minus Zodiac. LOL at Matthew Vaughn.

    • Thomas K.

      Watch Zodiac again.
      Then get back to us.

      Also, So if I put “Homeward Bound 2:Lost in San Fransisco” on my list will you also laugh at me? Because you shouldn’t. That was the GREATEST MOVIE EVER.

      • Dennis Bebus

        Zodiac was painfully boring.

  • Nooxh

    It must sick to be these guys. It seems like most of them haven’t seen a good movie since the early 70s. What have they been watching for the past 40 years? And how are they possibly motivated to stay involved with movies given that apparently nothing decent has been in the past 3 generations except for Goodfellas (a great movie)? It seems like everyone looks up the top 10 lists from 10 years ago and picks an amalgamation of old lists to appear cinematically literate. Except Rocky III. That’s awesome. I might have gone with Rocky IV though. Which movie do you quote more often? ‘I must break you’ alone has been said more often then any quote from any movie on any list, except maybe for ‘are you talkin’ to me?’. Funny exercise.

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  • Nooxh

    Apparently none of these guys have seen a good movie for 40 years. These lists are a little pretentious. When was the last time they popped in 400 Blows on a rainy day? Have no good movies besides Goodfellas come out since the 70s? The Shawshank Redemption? Nothing? They must be bored with movies by now. At least Rocky III made the cut, although I’d go with IV. more quotable lines. ‘I must break you’. ‘if he dies he dies’. How many times have those been muttered over cold pizza and an online football game? Classic.

    • potterboy

      just because they didn’t put a movie from the last 40 years, doesn’t mean they didn’t like the ones that came in the last 40 years. it’s THEIR top 10 dude. TOP!!!! meaning their favorite. they have to pick their favorites. and their favorites are these films that changed their lives. and who says something like The Godfather or 8 1/2 can’t be much more enjoyable than popcorn flicks. entertainment is subjective. the pleasure of those movies are not because it’s “cool” to be put to the list, the pleasure of those movies are the timeless quality to it, and the entertainment value of them. i mean, 8 1/2, every director atleast LIKES that film, alot loves it.

      and i’m sure, on one of those nights, they pick their favorites to see watch. some watch them before making a film to relive their passion as a kid.

      • Thomas K.

        We’re all part of a young generation.
        Shit if i did my top 10 right now I can guarentee you I won’t have more then MAYBE 1, TOPS, from over 40 years ago.
        It’s their FAVORITE films of all time. When I’m 60, I’ll probably still consider Social Network in my favorite films. Same with Toy Story. Who knows what I’m liking.
        These are movies that have had impacts on these men’s lives and even after years and years, still stay one of their favorites.
        They were movies that MADE them WANT to be FILMMAKERS.
        When you’re dedicating the majority of your time to making your own films, it is hard to find a film that re-inspires you into why you love making movies, at least like the ones from your childhood did.
        Don’t hate them for it.
        It’s just what happens.

      • MattB

        Meh, I hated the Social Network, and the movie was targeted for my age demographic. Give me the films of Powell & Pressburger or Fassbinder over some Fincher any day.

    • Rev

      I don’t know. Other than “Once Upon A Time In America” being tragically missing from any list, I found just about all of my top ten films within the lists. They’re called “classics” for a reason.

    • Larry

      Only Scorcese and Allen exclusively put down films from 40 years and over, everyone else had a pretty fair mix. And, honestly, my top ten wouldn’t have very many new ones either – I love them, to be sure, but I watch films like Casablanca, The Apartment, Bride of Frankenstein, Charade more than anything from the last 10 years.

    • Dennis Bebus

      You are 100 percent correct. Can’t stand these jackasses dumb ass top ten list full of movies you’d never watch twice. Where’s Avengers on their lists? How about Moneyball? I can name 10 movies I’ve seen this month I’d rather watch than most of their movies. They are smarter than the rest of us so they know better. There are movies that haven’t even come out yet that are better than these pieces of trash. Not sure why I’m getting so worked up over it.

      His Girl Friday – 1939… Really? Anyone who would go out of their way to see this needs to get a life.

      • Polarboy

        God you’re an idiot, your comment is so unbelievably ignorant that it almost seems like an attempt at satire. His Girl Friday is a classic, it still holds up as one of the most sharply written comedies of all time.

      • MattB

        God, you’re an obnoxious douche. “Anyone who would go out of their way to see this needs to get a life”? Says the person with a lack of good taste that eats up garbage like the Avengers? What else do you enjoy, Transformers and The Hangover? I would slit my wrists in a minute if I had to endure a film festival of whatever crap you would program.

  • Hello

    Wait! No Dark knight?
    hahahahahaa

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  • Jake

    Rocky III, yes! Vaughn is the man!

  • Bob

    Loving Matthew Vaughn’s list. So many of my favorites on it.

  • Thomas K.

    Best 5 Lists…
    1. Vaughn
    2. Tarantino
    3. Wright
    4. O’Russel
    5. Joon-Ho (ONLY for the simple fact that he was the ONLY one to give Fincher his due, and with Zodiac, even more props. Most underrated film in the past decade. It was Perfect.)

  • Dennis Bebus

    Can’t stand these people’s top ten films that no one will ever watch. Seriously, those who watch movies from the 30s-60s and call them the greatest ever are a bunch of pretentious bastards. Wheres: Avengers, Iron Man, LOTR, and so on.
    Oh, wait, you went to film school…

    • jorge

      Yeah you clearly didn’t read Vaughn list, his, part of Quentin’s and even Mendes are not that complicated, and are actually good easy to understand movies. And they are great movies too, if only Avengers was half of any of them…Now don’t get me wrong if I did a list I would put Fellowship there, it is the perfect adaptation, but then again I need to earn that privilege like those guys who made some of the films that you do describe as awesome. Without the movies in their list there will be none of the stuff that we enjoy today or it would be like transformers and iron man 3.

  • Polarboy

    God you\’re an idiot, your comment is so unbelievably ignorant that it almost seems like an attempt at satire. His Girl Friday is a classic, it still holds up as one of the most sharply written comedies of all time.

  • Xavier

    What about Gladiator, Braveheart, Batman Returns, Titanic and Once upon a time in America? Didn’t they deserve to be on some of these lists?

  • danman

    A lot of you have no idea what you’re talking about. The film medium did not begin in 1972 with The Godfather. They made movies for 70 years before that, and guess what, classic movies are far richer and more interesting and more beautiful than the mindless eye candy they make today. Just because Greg Mottola put Fellini and Bergman on his list makes his pretentious? Maybe some of you should grow up, get some taste, and see a real movie for once. While I believe many of these directors picked their favorite movies (Tarantino… Bad News Bears, really?), they were asked to select their choices for the GREATEST MOVIES EVER MADE. That means there is a level of objectivity involved. My favorite movies would include Scream, Forrest Gump, and Jurassic Park, cause I loved them growing up, but they are hardly the best ever made. There is a distinction. I respect QT for putting his favorites, but he pretty much ignored an entire era of filmmaking that paved the way for the one he loves so much. That’s why the critics’ version at Sight and Sound is the better and more respected list. Critics are students of film, taking into account its early history, cultural movements, evolution of technique, and most important auteurs. Of the course the two aren’t mutually exclusive — case and point, Scorsese — but directors tend to just go with their hearts.

    • John

      The fact that Tarantino didn’t list any blaxploitation film when in fact he wouldn’t have a career without that genre having influenced him is kind of shameful.

  • Aashu

    Agree with most of the justificationary comments above,but I wish someone would have put an Alexandro Gonzalej Inarittu film in his list.I mean lol,but even Back to the Future too is there.Would love to see Inarittu,Nolan, Malick,Kiduk,Lynch’s lists.

  • John

    I love how Spielberg only came up twice!

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