News & Politics

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.

1. Blow-Up
2. Masculine Feminine

3. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
4. Band of Outsiders
5. Morgan!
6. The Chelsea Girls
7. Le Bonheur
8. Fahrenheit 451
9. A Man and a Woman
10. The Gospel According to St. Matthew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Belle of the Nineties
A Big Hand for a Little Lady
Burmese Harp
Cast a Giant Shadow
The Cavern
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
Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!
The Flicker
Funeral in Berlin
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
Impossible on Sunday
Le Joli Mai
Joseph Killion
Jules and Jim
The Knack
Lady L
The Leather Boys
Life at the Top
Life Upside Down
Machine Gun Kelly
Madame X
A Man Called Adam
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
The Manchurian Candidate
A Married Woman
Moment to Moment
The Music Box
My Fair Lady
My Hustler
My Life to Live
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
Our Man Flint
Out of Sight
A Placed Called Glory
Plague of the Zombies
Planet of the Vampires
Poil de Carotte
Promise Her Anything
Queen of Blood
Raven’s End
Rope of Flesh
Rotten to the Core
Scorpio Rising
Ship of Fools
Shoot Loud, Louder, etc.
Singin’ in the Rain
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
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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