My Gleanings

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cahiers du Cinema 12 best films of all-time from 1958

In 1957, in preparation for an event at the Brussels World Fair of 1958 called the "Confrontation of the Best Films in the World", the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique sent out to 150 critics world-wide an invitation to submit their list of the 30 most important films in the history from the beginning of film till 1955. Cahiers du Cinema published a study of those lists and they also conducted an in-house survey of 17 regular Cahiers critics in their December 1958 issue. Their list of the 12 best films up until 1958 is as follows:

Sunrise (F W Murnau)
The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir)
Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini)
Ivan the Terrible (Sergei Eisenstein)
The Birth of a Nation (D W Griffith)
Mr Arkadin (Orson Welles)
Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
L’Atalante (Jean Vigo)
The Wedding March (Erich Von Stroheim)
Under Capricorn (Alfred Hitchcock)
Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin)

They went on to explain:
We have adopted a method of balloting considerably different from that of Brussels. Before our choices were directed towards the work, a first ballot designated in order of importance 12 auteurs. We eliminated in the first vote:

13) Max Ophuls
14) Fritz Lang
15) Howard Hawks and Buster Keaton
17) Ingmar Bergman
18) Nicholas Ray
19) Norman McLaren and Robert Flaherty
21) Luis Bunuel and René Clair
23) Luchino Visconti and Alexander Dovchenko

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