Paul Ryan

Writer; singer; actor


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Atalante, L'


Jean Vigo

General, The


Buster Keaton

grande illusion, La


Jean Renoir

It's Always Fair Weather


Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly

Listen to Britain


Humphrey Jennings/Stewart McAllister

mépris, Le


Jean-Luc Godard

Night of the Hunter, The


Charles Laughton

Nothing Sacred


William A Wellman

Sporting Life, The


Lindsay Anderson

Sweet Smell of Success


Alexander Mackendrick


It is absurd at this stage of cinema’s history to come up with a mere ten titles, as so many other films stand behind (and a good number beside) my own choices. While I admire every director I have selected, my list reflects my appreciation of the collaborative nature of the medium and the work of actors as diverse as Gabin, Parlo, Piccoli Harris, Roberts, Mitchum and Gish, cinematographers such as James Wong Howe, Stanley Cortez and Boris Kaufman, the writing talents of Comden and Green, David Storey, James Agee and Clifford Odets, and the sheer magical presence of Carol Lombard, Tony Curtis, Buster Keaton and that choreographic genius Michael Kidd. No room for Cagney, Welles, Cary Grant, Astaire, Chaplin, Roeg and Reisz… we could all go on. We’re going to need a bigger list.

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