3 Aug 2012

Vertigo topples Citizen Kane as critics' best

4:48 am on 3 August 2012

In an international poll of film critics the world over, the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Vertigo has for the first time replaced Orson Welles's Citizen Kane as the best film ever made.

The poll, by the British Film Institute magazine Sight & Sound, has been taken every 10 years since 1952 and Citizen Kane has reigned supreme for the past 50 years.

Now the 1958 Hitchcock film starring James Stewart and Kim Novak has taken over.

The magazine's editor, Nick James, says its central idea - that a policeman is meant to have vertigo at the precise moment a crime is committed - is fanciful, but the film has such rich psychological layers that over time it has grown and grown in critical estimation.