Last August, Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo rose to the No. 1 spot on the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound survey of the so-called 50 Greatest Films Of All Time. Kim Novak, the star of that film, will be the Cannes Film Festival‘s guest of honor next month. Her presence will mark the restoration of Vertigo which will be screened as part of the Cannes Classics section. Novak will also be on hand for the closing ceremony on May 26 where she’ll hand out one of the prizes. The actress first attended the festival in 1959 for Delbert Mann’s Middle Of The Night, her only film ever in Competition. Hitchcock had three movies in Competition: 1956′s The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1953′s I Confess and 1946′s Notorious. In recent years, restorations of both The Ring and Psycho have played in Cannes Classics. The festival starts on May 15.
Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ The Greatest Movie Of All Time? And The Director Could Have New Oscar And Emmy Contenders
Alfred Hitchcock has been dead for 32 years. The last film he made, Family Plot, was released in 1976 yet his popularity among movie fans and cineastes alike has never seemed to wane. To put it bluntly, Hitch has never been hotter. This week proof of that was offered by the ascension of his 1958 classic Vertigo to the No. 1 spot on the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound survey of the so-called 50 Greatest Films Of All Time as selected this year by 846 critics, film scholars and historians, the largest sampling ever in the once a decade list that has been compiled every 10 years since 1962. Ever since the inception of the esteemed poll the British international film journal has named Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane as the Number 1 greatest film of all time — until 2012 when suddenly Hitchcock vaulted to the top after a slow, steady ascent since first appearing on the list of the Top 10 films in 1982. It is certainly interesting that this particular Hitchcock film starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, not even a huge hit in 1958 and recipient of only two minor Oscar nominations, for Color Art Direction and Sound, has become the master’s masterpiece in the eyes of the world’s top film writers and scholars. The only other Hitchcock film on the list is Psycho at number 35, although I personally count numerous others including North By Northwest, Rear Window, Notorious, even The Birds as equally deserving. I’m not at all sure Vertigo, great as it is, is the greatest of all time. Really? David Lean who directed such immortal greats as Lawrence Of Arabia and The Bridge On The River Kwai doesn’t have a single film in the top 50 and you could argue all day about other omissions and inclusions (there’s no DAVID Lean but there is DAVID Lynch at No. 28 with Mulholland Drive. Hmmm).