The Third Annual Village Voice Readers' Film Poll -- The Best Films of 1966!
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March 2, 1967, Vol. XII, No. 20
By Andrew Sarris
The third annual Village Voice Readers' Poll was held this year in conjunction with Cahiers du Cinema in English and the reviewer's Films in Focus radio program on WBAI. There were more entries than ever, many more, and I wish to apologize in advance to the readers whose contributions I may never be able to acknowledge. The results speak for themselves, and I present them for what they are worth, and they are worth a great deal to this column, if only as a reminder of the magnitude of the movie beat.
Godard's 'Masculin, féminin'
Bray, Martha, bray!
11. Loves of a Blonde 12. Gertrud 13. The Shop on Main Street 14. Torn Curtain 15. Au Hasard Balthazar 16. Les Bonnes Femmes 17. Dear John 18. Seven Women 19. Pierrot Le Fou 20. The Shameless Old Lady
Godard's 'Bande à part'
21. King and Country 22. A Man For All Seasons 23. Georgy Girl 24. Cul de Sac 25. Lord Love a Duck 26. Modesty Blaise 27. The Endless Summer 28. Alfie 29. Flight of the Phoenix 30. La Guerre est finie 31. The Chase
David Warner in 'Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment'
32. Wild Angels 33. Shakespeare Wallah 34. Seconds 35. Alphaville 36. Simon of the Desert 37. Sandra 38. The Sleeping Car Murders 39. The Group 40. The Fortune Cookie 41. Harper 42. The Wrong Box 43. Three on a Couch
44. Born Free 45. Moment of Truth 46. Arabesque 47. Hold Me While I'm Naked 48. The Russians are Coming 49. Judex 50. Naked Prey 51. Repulsion 52. Eroica 53. Les Creatures 54. A Fine Madness
Varda's 'Le bonheur'
55. Night Games 56. Chafed Elbows 57. The Bible 58. A Thousand Clowns 59. Time of the Locust 60. The Girl Getters 61. Before the Revolution 61. The Red Desert 63. Falstaff 64. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Oskar Werner and Julie Christie in Truffaut's 'Fahrenheit 451'
65. Loving Couples 65. Male Companion 67. Inside Daisy Clover 68. The Professionals 69. Hamlet 70. King Rat 70. Lotna 72. Muriel 73. What's Up Tiger Lily? 74. Appaloosa 75. Let is Shine 76. Chusingura 76. Crazy Quilt 76. The Sand Pebbles 76. The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse 80. How to Steal a Million
Lelouch's 'Un homme et une femme'
81. Duel at Diablo 82. Othello 83. The Hunt 84. Money Trap 85. The Life of Juanita Castro 85. The Uncle 87. Mademoiselle 88. The Brig 88. Juliet of the Spirits 90. Ohayo
Pasolini's 'The Gospel According to St. Matthew"
91. Gary McColgan's Central Park Film 91. To Die in Madrid 91. Umbrellas of Cherbourg 94. Tokyo Olympiad 95. The Idol 95. The Tenth Victim 97. The Defector 97. The Glass-Bottom Boat 97. A Woman Is a Woman 100. Walk, Don't Run 101. After the Fox 102. The Hill 102. The War Lord 104. The Silencers 105. Caressed 106. The Ipcress File 107. Intimate Lighting 107. Kanchenjungha 107. The Round-Up 107. Sins of the Fleshapoids 111. Echoes of Silence 111. The Hawks and the Sparrows 113. Khartoum 114. The Blue Max 114. Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors 116. Unsere Afrikareise 117. What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? 118. Accatone 118. The Pad 118. The Quiller Memorandum 121. The Alphabet Murders 121. Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round 121. The Loved One 121. The Swinger 121. Time Lost and Time Remembered 126. Gambit 127. Adam's Rib 127. The Big Heat 127. I'm No Angel 127. The Oscar 131. A Tout Prendre
The following 112 titles each received only one favorable mention:
Adieu Phillipine Almost a Man Bambole Belle of the Nineties A Big Hand for a Little Lady Burmese Harp Cast a Giant Shadow The Cavern China The Cincinnati Kid Contest Girl The Cry Diary of a Chambermaid Diary of a Lost Girl Do Not Disturb Do You Keep a Lion at Home Don Quixote Doctor Zhivago Door to Door Maniac An Early Clue to a New Direction 8 1/2 Eva Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! The Flicker Funeral in Berlin Galaxie Galia The Gang's All Here Go West, Young Man Good Times, Wonderful Times Gosta Berling's Saga The Great Race A Hard Day's Night He Who Must Die Hotel Paradiso Hunger Impossible on Sunday Le Joli Mai Joseph Killion Jules and Jim Jumbo Kaleidoscope The Knack Lady L The Leather Boys Life at the Top Life Upside Down Lolita Machine Gun Kelly Madame X A Man Called Adam The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence The Manchurian Candidate A Married Woman Moment to Moment Mozambique The Music Box My Fair Lady My Hustler My Life to Live Napoleon Nevada Smith North by Northwest Nothing Happened This Morning Nothing But a Man One Million B.C. One-Eyed Jacks One Spy Too Many Only a King's Second Ordet Our Man Flint Out of Sight A Placed Called Glory Plague of the Zombies Planet of the Vampires Poil de Carotte Promise Her Anything Psychopath Queen of Blood Rapture Raven's End Relativity Rope of Flesh Rotten to the Core Scarface Scorpio Rising Sexus Ship of Fools Shoot Loud, Louder, etc. Singin' in the Rain Skaterdater Sound of Music The Spy Who Came in From The Cold A Study in Terror Texas Across the River That Man in Istanbul These Are the Damned The Third Lover This Property is Condemned Top Hat The Trouble with Angels The Trouble with Harry 12-12-42 Vinyl Viva Marta! Voyage to the End of the Universe Where Did Our Love Go Young Aphrodites Zapruder Film Zero in the Universe and finally "The Birth of the White Owl Girl" commercial and the films at Timothy Leary's Psychedelic Celebrations 2 and 3.
The Readers' Ten-Worst Lists were even more varied and far-reaching. Since this column values affirmation above negation, only the top (or bottom?) ten choices will be cited as indices of reader opprobrium.
1. Georgy Girl 2. The Russians are Coming 3. Morgan! 4. The Oscar 5. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 6. Is Paris Burning? 7. An American Dream 8. A Fine Madness 9. Torn Curtain 10. Lady L
By appearing on both the ten-best and ten-worst lists, "Morgan!" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" qualify as the most controversial pictures of the year. "Torn Curtain" and "Georgy Girl" are runners-up, but the other winners of the ten-worst poll found few defenders of 1966.
[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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