In one the most prestigious surveys that can be conducted - far more prestigious than a supermarket satisfaction one - Alfred Hitchcock 's 'Vertigo' has topped Orson Welles 'Citizen Kane' to be named as the best film of all-time, pushing the latter from the top spot for the first time in 50 years. Good effort. The poll is carried out once every decade by the British Film Institute, and this year saw some 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors sticking their oar into the debate.
In an interesting indication of how a perception of an art piece can change over time, Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' - his 45th feature length - only entered the top 10 of this poll in 1982, two years after his death and 24 years after the film's release, and has been steadily climbing ever since, moving from seventh to fourth in 1992 and up again to second ten years ago, where only five votes split it from 'Citizen Kane'.
This time round a whopping 34 votes split the two in favour of Hitchcock's masterpiece. What is fascinating though, as noted in the foreword Ian Christie wrote on the BFI site, is that, though coming second, 'Citizen Kane' actually pulled in three times as many votes as it did last time, suggesting that these two movies are considered far and away superior to the rest of film's illustrious canon. According to these egghead experts, at any rate.