The Second Annual Village Voice Film Poll (Bonus: The First Poll, Too!)
Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
February 10, 1966, Vol. XI, No. 17
By Andrew Sarris
The Second Annual Village Voice Readers' 10-best poll, held this year in conjunction with my Films in Focus program on WBAI, received entries from all across the United States and Canada, more entries, in fact, than last year. I am deeply gratified by the continuing diversity and independent spirit reflected in the selections, and I frankly enjoy this annual dialogue with my readers (and now my listeners). The one saddening note is that some of last year's contributors to the poll are now writing from army posts around the country, and I wish them all a safe and speedy return to civilian life.
In the course of events, this column must mourn also the death of Buster Keaton. I suppose I will always remember Buster most vividly for that moment in "The General" when he threatens to throttle his Southern Belle sweetheart after she does something inanely impractical. His hands reach out and stop short in one comically fluid gesture, and the plot action resumes in the midst of the audience's surprise and delight at one of the most beautiful boy-girl gestures in the history of the cinema.
I should make one preliminary observation on the vexing question of negative entries in the poll. In fact, many 10-worst lists were submitted. I have not tabulated these anti-lists simply because such an innovation in the poll should be announced in advance so as to be fair to everyone. Next year, however, I may add a 10-worst poll as an optional accessory to the 10-best poll. Then we really should have some fun. For the time being, here are the 10-best results:
Monica Vitti in 'Il deserto rosso' (The Red Desert)
Macha Méril in Godard's 'Une femme mariée' (The Married Woman)
12. Alphaville 13. The Ipcress File 14. Before the Revolution 15. Contempt 16. La Terra Trema 17. The Hill 18. Diary of a Chambermaid 19. Le Petit Soldat 20. Trial of Joan of Arc 21. Juliet of the Spirits 22. Bunny Lake is Missing 23. Nobody Waved Goodbye 24. Life Upside Down 25. The Cincinnati Kid 26. The Train
Ray Brooks (and bird) in 'The Knack...And How To Get It'
27. Red Line 7000 28. Red Beard 29. To Die in Madrid 30. Cat Ballou 31. The Fascist 31. Nothing But a Man 33. Umbrellas of Cherbourg 34. King Rat 35. The Leather Boys 36. In Harm's Way 37. Muriel 38. The Art of Vision 39. La Tia Tula
Peter Sellers in 'What's New Pussycat?'
40. Moment of Truth 41. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold 42. Thomas the Impostor 43. Marriage Italian Style 44. Variety Lights 45. Shop on High Street 46. Mickey One 47. Salt of the Earth 48. The Brig 49. The Fiances
Nina Pens Rode in 'Gertrud'
49. World Without Sun 51. Bus Riley's Back in Town 52. Wild Seed 53. Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte 54. Family Diary 55. Soft Skin 56. Sandra 57. Beach Blanket Bingo 58. A High Wind in Jamaica 58. Major Dundee 58. Onibaba 58. Scorpio Rising 62. Eva 63. Camille Without Camellias 64. The Koumiko Mystery
Rod Steiger in 'The Pawnbroker'
64. Young Cassidy 66. The Great Race 66. Kiss Me Stupid 68. All These Women 68. Shakespeare Wallah 70. Doctor Zhivago 70. Ordet 72. The Family Jewels 72. The Railroad Man 72. Il Successo 72. Tomb of Ligeia 72. Viva Maria 77. Between Two Worlds 77. Once a Thief 77. Symphony for a Massacre
Terence Stamp in 'The Collector'
80. Kwaidan 80. Les Vampyres 82. The Loved One 83. Across the River 83. Cheyenne Autumn 83. Oh Dem Watermelons 86. Thunderball 87. Mirage 88. The Bedford Incident 89. John Goldfarb, Please Come Home 89. Von Ryan's Express 91. Casanova 70
91. Charulata 91. Tokyo Olympiad 94. The Tenth Victim 95. The Wedding March 96. Bay of Angels 97. Chronicle of a Summer 97. Goldfinger 97. Ship of Fools 100. Lord Jim 101. Baby, the Rain Must Fall 101. A Hard Day's Night 101. Naked Kiss 104. A Boy Ten Feet Tall
The following films received only one mention:
Accatone Ace in the Hole The Americanization of Emily Anticipation of the Night Applause The Bad Sleep Well Banana Peel Beauty No. 2 Beckett film with Keaton The Birds Black Rainbow Blow Job Bluebeard's Eighth Wife Le Bonheur Brainstorm The Bus Camp The Catered Affair Chant d'Amour Charade China Die! Die! My Darling Dishonored Docks of New York Dog Star Man Double-Barrelled Detective Story East of Eden The Easy Life Evocation The Exterminating Angel Fail Safe 15 Song Traits Des Fusils et une Fille Goldstein Hallelujah the Hills Heaven and Earth Magic High and Low How to Murder Your Wife Italian Straw Hat Ivan the Terrible Joyless Street The Killers Krimhilde's Revenge Kustom Kar Kommandos The L-Shaped Room The Last Clean Shirt Life at the Top Love Has Many Faces Male Hunt Mass Metropolis Mr. and Mrs. Smith Morituri La Muette (Chabrol) from "Six in Paris" My Life to Live The Nanny Normal Love Now About These Women Nunca Pasa Nada Of Human Bondage The Organizer The Overcoat Paisan The Passion According to St. Matthew Peeping Tom Phantom of the Opera Poor Little Rich Girl The Pumpkin Eater Prelude: Dog Star Man Quixote Rashomon The Reward Rouch episode from "Six in Paris" The Rounders The Sandpiper Sands of the Kalahari Saragossa Manuscript Seduced and Abandoned Seven Chances Seven Women Siegfried Song No. 16 The Sons of Katie Elder Spione The Swindle Tarzan and Jane Regained Sort Of Tokyo Story The Trial Le Trou La Viaccia Vice and Virtue Vinyl Vivia White Voices The Winner Woman Is a Woman Woman in the Dunes Zero de Conduite Zorba the Greek and all the films of Josef von Sternberg
[Yikes! Somehow, during our Clip Jobs project, we missed the Voice's first film poll, which appeared in the January 21, 1965 issue. We've included it on the next page. -- T.O.]
Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove
1. Dr. Strangelove 2. A Hard Day's Night 3. The Servant 4. Contempt 5. A Woman Is a Woman 6. The Organizer 7. The Silence 8. Seduced and Abandoned 9. The Soft Skin 10. That Man from Rio 11. Cheyenne Autumn 12. Mafioso 13. Woman in the Dunes 14. The Fire Within 15. Umbrellas of Cherbourg 16. Girl with the Green Eyes
A Hard Day's Night
17. The Fiances 18. Becket 19. Marnie 20. Band of Outsiders 21. The Easy Life 22. Nothing But the Best 23. The Luck of Ginger Coffey 24. Shot in the Dark 25. From Russia with Love 26. Seance on a Wet Afternoon 27. Topkapi 28. Man's Favorite Sport 29. To Love 30. The Life of Oharu 31. Bay of Angels
Dirk Bogarde in 'The Servant'
32. My Fair Lady 33. Il Bidone 34. The Night Watch 35. The Cool World 36. Harakiri 37. The World of Henry Orient 38. Lilith 39. The Crime of Monsieur Lange 40. The Pink Panther 41. To Be Alive 42. Masque of the Red Death 43. The Americanization of Emily 44. Les Abysses 44. My Life to Live 46. Seven Days in May 46. Zorba the Greek 48. The Best Man 49. Salvatore Giuliano 49. Viva Las Vegas 51. Night of the Iguana 52. The Killers 53. Divorce Italian Style
Godard's 'Le mépris' (Contempt)
53. One Potato, Two Potato 53. Scorpio Rising 56. The Naked Kiss 57. The Pumpkin Eater 58. Before the Revolution 58. Disorderly Orderly 58. Fail Safe 61. World Without Sun 62. Youngblood Hawke 63. The Taira Clan 64. Goldfinger 64. Goodbye Charlie 64. The Unsinkable Molly Brown 67. Mary Poppins 68. Marriage Italian Style 69. La Bonne Soupe 69. Cartouche
Each of the following films appeared on only one list:
Adorable Julie America, America Anatomy of a Marriage Babo 73 Bandits of Orgosolo Between Heaven and Hell Billy Liar The Brig Un Chant d'Amour Chapayev Chateau en Suede Children of Paradise Chronicles of a Summer Chumlum Circus World Cleopatra The Comedy of Terrors Dementia 13 Diary of a Chambermaid The Doll 8 1/2 Family Diary The Grand Olympics The Guest He Rides Tall Hercules in the Haunted World Hidden Fortress High and Low The Insect Woman Kitten with a Whip The Last Clean Shirt The Last Man on Earth Let's Talk About Women Lola Love with a Proper Stranger Mahanager Midnight Moderato Cantabile Monsieur Verdoux The Moonspinners Normal Love Open the Door and See All the People Pajama Party The Parson's Wife Party Girls and the Candidate The Patsy People on Sunday Plunk Point of Order Il Posto The Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man Rio Conehos The Secret Invasion Shell Shock La Strada Stray Dog Sunday in New York Sweet and Sour Los Tarantos Thin Red Line 13 Most Beautiful Boys To Be or Not to Bed Tom Jones The Troublemaker Voyage to the End of the Universe Weekend Window Water Baby Moving The Women Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne A Distant Trumpet Ensign Pulver Nine Days of One Year The Visit and the complete works of Andy Warhol but nary a vote for Andy Warhol's choice for top film, "The Carpetbaggers."
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]
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