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Sight And Sound Top 250 By The Numbers: And The Auteur With The Most Films Is…

Sight And Sound Top 250 By The Numbers: And The Auteur With The Most Films Is...

Who’s the greatest auteur in cinema? Is it Alfred Hitchock, who stands tall with Vertigo” as #1 in the Sight And Sound’s 2012 Greatest Films Of All Time List, and has five films on the entire list (which is now 250 films long)? It is Orson Welles, who had “Citizen Kane” at the number #1 slot for five decades? Or is it Ozu Yasujirō, who was listed as the top auteur by all the directors polled in this list?

Or is it Robert Bresson? By the numbers, the French filmmaker has more movies than any other director in the entire Top 250. With only 13 films to his name, Bresson (check out our retrospective of his oeuvre earlier this year that you should definitely read) tops the Sight And Sound Top 250 list with seven films (three within the top 100 and one in the top 20). Tying for second place (if you want to even call it that), you've got the dynamic duo of Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger, Jean-Luc Godard, Luis Buñuel and Howard Hawks.

Powell/Pressburger, the British/Hungarian team known as The Archers, who were somewhat thwarted in the top 100 (only 2 films at the bottom of the list), came back with a vengeance overall. Jean-Luc Godard (2 films in the top 25) and the late, great Luis Buñuel, also have six films apiece on this list. Curiously enough, Howard Hawks also joined the elite six-films-on-the-list club, but the American craftsman had only one film in the more prestigious Top 100 films.

We’ve broken down the numbers on the Sight And Sound list below. Surely there’s more info to dissect and slice and dice, but this is, we feel, a good overview. Read on….

SEVEN Films On The List
Robert Bresson: (“Au Hasard Balthazar,” “Pickpocket,” “A Man Escaped," "Mouchette,” “L'Argent,” “Diary O A Country Priest,” “The Devil Probably)

SIX Films On The List
Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger ("A Matter Of Life And Death," "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp," "A Canterbury Tale," "The Red Shoes," "Black Narcissus," "I Know Where I'm Going!")
Luis Buñuel: ("Un Chien Andalou," "Los Olvidados," "Viridiana," "L'Age d'Or," "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," "The Exterminating Angel,")
Jean-Luc Godard (“Breathless,” “Le Mepris,” “Pierrot le Fou,” “Histoire Du Cinema,” “Two or “Three Things I Know About Her…”, “Vivre Sa Vie”)
Howard Hawks ("Rio Bravo, "Bringing Up Baby," "Only Angels Have Wings," "His Girl Friday," "The Big Sleep," "Red River")

FIVE Films On The List
Michealangelo Antonioni (“L'Avventura,” “Blow Up,” “The Passenger,” “L'Eclisse,” “Red Desert”)
Ingmar Bergman: (“Persona,” “Wild Strawberries,” “Fanny & Alexander,” “The Seventh Seal,” “Cries & Whispers”)
Stanley Kubrick: ("2001: A Space Odyssey," "Barry Lyndon," "Dr. Strangelove," "The Shining," "Clockwork Orange")
Alfred Hitchcock: (“Vertigo,” “Rear Window,” “North By Northwest,” “Notorious,” “Psycho”)
Carl Theodor Dreyer ("Passion of Joan of Arc," "Ordet," "Gertrud," "Vampyr," "Days Of Wrath")

FOUR Films On The List
Andrei Tarkovsky (“Mirror,” “Andrei Rublev,” “Stalker,” “Solaris”)
Orson Welles (“Citizen Kane,” “Touch of Evil,” “The Magnificent Ambersons,” “Chimes at Midnight”)
Ozu Yasujirō ("Late Spring," "Tokyo Story," "I Was Born, But…," "An Autumn Afternoon")
Jean Renoir (“The Rules Of The Game,” “Grand Illusion,” “A Day in the Country,” “The River”)
Federico Fellini (“8 ½”, “La Dolce Vita,” “Amacord,” “La Strada”)
Francis Ford Coppola (‘Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather,” “The Godfather Part II,” “The Conversation”)
Charlie Chaplin ("City Lights," "Modern Times," "The Great Dictator," "The Gold Rush,")
Terrence Malick (“Badlands,” “Days Of Heaven,” “The Thin Red Line,” “The Tree Of Life”)
Roberto Rossellini ("Rome Open City," "Paisà," "Germany Year Zero," "Journey to Italy"
Kenji Mizoguchi ("Ugetsu," "Sansho The Baliff," "The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums," "The Life of Oharu")
F. W. Murnau ("Sunrise," "Nosferatu," "The Last Laugh," "Tabu")
John Ford ("The Searchers," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "The Grapes of Wrath," "My Darling Clementine")

It’s interesting to note: While easily the greatest known Japanese director, the Emperor, Akira Kurosawa only has three films on the list (“Seven Samurai,” “Rashomon,” “Ikiru”) while the much lesser known Kenji Mizoguchi and Ozu Yasujirō have four apiece.Decade That Has The Most Films: The 1960s

Number of Films From the 2000s onwards
Tropical Malady (2004), In The Mood For Love (2000), Mulholland Dr (2003), Hidden (2004), The Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), The Death of Mr Lazarescu (2005), There Will Be Blood (2007), WALL-E (2008), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), West of the Tracks (2002), Russian Ark (2002), Spirited Away (2001), Melancholia (2011), The Turin Horse (2011,), The Tree Of Life (2011)

Number of Films From the 1990s
Sátántangó (1994), Beau Travail (1998), Brighter Summer Day, A (1991), A One and a Two (1999), Pulp Fiction (1994), Three Colours: Blue (1993), Chungking Express (1994), Goodfellas (1990), Three Colours: Red (1994), The Double Life of Veronique (1991), The Piano (1992), The Thin Red Line (1998), Breaking the Waves (1996)

Number of Films From the 1980s
Shoah (1985), Raging Bull (1980), Blade Runner (1982), Blue Velvet (1986), Sans Soleil (1982), Fanny and Alexander (1984), A City of Sadness (1989), Do The Right Thing (1989), L'argent (1983), The Shining (1980), My Neighbour Totoro (1988), Come And See (1985), E.T. (1982), Once Upon a Time in America (1983), Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), Close-Up (1989), Paris, Texas (1984), Videodrome (1983), Love Streams (1984), The Thin Blue Line (1989)

Number of Films From the 1970s
Don't Look Now (1973), Apocalypse Now (1979), Mirror (1974), Godfather: Part I, The (1972), Stalker (1979), Taxi Driver (1976), Godfather: Part II, The (1974), Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), Barry Lyndon (1975), Maman et la putain, La (1973), Nashville (1975), Chinatown (1974), Spirit of the Beehive, The (1973), Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972), Touki Bouki (1973), Fear Eats the Soul (1974), Star Wars (1977), Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The (1972), Eraserhead (1976), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Solaris (1972), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), The Conformist (1970), The Travelling Players (1975), Performance (1970), The Passenger (1974), Amarcord (1972), Days of Heaven (1978), Out 1 (1971), Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974), Annie Hall (1977), The Conversation (1974), Badlands (1973), Kings of the Road (1976), Manhattan (1979), Tale of Tales, A (1979), Killer of Sheep (1977), Wanda (1970), Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975), Devil Probably, The (1977), Clockwork Orange, A (1971), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

Number of Films From the 1960s
Avventura, L' (1960), Persona (1966), mépris, Le (1963), Andrei Rublev (1966), Psycho (1960), dolce vita, La (1960), Pierrot le Fou (1965), Playtime (1967), Gertrud (1964), Battle of Algiers, The (1966), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), 8½ (1963), Breathless (1960), Au Hasard Balthazar (1966), La Jetée (1962), L'eclisse' (1962), The Leopard (1963), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Colour of Pomegranates, The (1968), Wild Bunch, The (1969), Wavelength (1967), Two or Three Things I Know About Her… (1967), Last Year At Marienbad (1961), Viridiana (1961), Mouchette (1966), Dr. Strangelove (1963), Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The (1962), Jules et Jim (1962), Apartment, The (1960), Blow Up (1966), Memories of Underdevelopment (1968), House is Black, The (1962), Autumn Afternoon, An (1962), Kes (1969) Vivre Sa Vie (1962), Marketa Lazarova (1967), Chimes At Midnight (1966), Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (1964), Faces (1968), A Touch Of Zen (1969), Red Desert (1964), Chelsea Girls (1966), Daisies (1966), Cleo From 5 To 7 (1962), Army Of Shadows (1969), Exterminating Angel (1962)

Number of Films From the 1950s
Vertigo (1958), Tokyo Story (1953), The Searchers (1956), Seven Samurai (1954), Singin' in the Rain (1951), Rashomon (1950), Ordet (1955), 400 Blows, The (1959), Pather Panchali (1955), Journey to Italy (1954), Some Like It Hot (1959),, Ugetsu Monogatari (1953), North by Northwest (1959), Rear Window (1954), Touch of Evil (1958), Sansho Dayu (1954), Wild Strawberries (1957), Sunset Blvd. (1950), Night of the Hunter, The (1955), Pickpocket (1959), Rio Bravo (1958), Man Escaped, A (1956), Seventh Seal, The (1957), Imitation of Life (1959), Madame de… (1953), The River (1951), Ikiru (1952), Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Diary of a Country Priest (1951), In a Lonely Place (1950), Cries and Whispers (1957), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), The Music Room (1958), La strada (1954), The Life of Oharu (1952), Floating Clouds (1955), The World of Apu (1958), Los Olvidados (1950), All That Heaven Allows (1955)

Number of Films From the 1940s
The Great Dictator (1940), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Paisà (1946), The Big Sleep (1946), Germany Year Zero (1948), Red River (1947), Citizen Kane (1941), Late Spring (1949), Bicycle Thieves, The (1948), Third Man, The (1949), enfants du paradis, Les (1945), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Casablanca (1942), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), Ivan the Terrible (1945), The Lady Eve (1941), A Canterbury Tale, A (1944), The Red Shoes (1948), Spring in a Small Town (1948), Meet Me In St. Louis (1944), To Be or Not To Be (1942), Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948), Brief Encounter (1945), Black Narcissus (1947), Notorious (1946), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Listen to Britain (1942), Day of Wrath (1943), Rome Open City (1945), Out of the Past (1947), "I Know Where I'm Going!" (1945), My Darling Clementine (1946)

Number of Films From the 1930s
The Wizard of Oz (1939), Rules of The Game (1939), L'Atalante (1934), City Lights (1931), M (1931), Modern Times (1936), grande illusion, La (1937), Partie de campagne (1936), Bringing Up Baby (1938), L'Age d'Or (1930), Trouble in Paradise (1932), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Vampyr (1932), King Kong (1933), His Girl Friday (1939), Tabu (1931), Earth (1930), Story of the Late Chrysanthemums, The (1939), I Was Born, But… (1932), Duck Soup (1933), Gone with the Wind (1939), Testament of Dr Mabuse, The (1933)

Number of Films From the 1920s
Sunrise (1927), Man with a Movie Camera (1929), Passion of Joan of Arc (1927), Battleship Potemkin (1925), General, The (1926), Metropolis (1927), Sherlock Jr (1924), Greed (1925), chien andalou, Un (1928), Nosferatu (1922), Last Laugh, The (1924), Napoleon (1927), Gold Rush, The (1925)

Number of Films From 1900-1919
A Trip To The Moon (1902), Intolerance (1916), Cabinet of Dr Caligari, The (1919)

Number of Criterion Collection Titles in The List
Tokyo Story, Rules of The Game, The Passion of Joan Of Arc, 8 1/2, L'Atlante, Breathless, Late Spring, Au Hasard Balthazar, Seven Samurai, L'Avventura, Le Mepris, Rashomon, Ordet, In The Mood For Love, Andrei Rublev, The Bicycle Thieves, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, The 400 Blows, Pierrot le Fou, Close-Up, Playtime, Gertrud, The Battle of Algiers, Ugetsu, La Jetee, M, Sansho The Baliff, Wild Strawberries, Modern Times, The Night of the Hunter, Pickpocket, Sans Soleil, The Third Man, L'Eclisse, Les Enfants Du Paradis, The Grand Illusion, The Spirit Of The Beehive, Fanny And Alexander, The Seventh Seal, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Fear Eats the Soul, Madame de, Two or Three Things I Know About Her, Ivan The Terrible, Last Year At Marienbad, The Lady Eve, Viridiana, A Canterbury Tale, Mouchette, The Red Shoes, Trouble In Paradise, Amacord, Days Of Heaven, Do The Right Thing, The River, Jules And Jim, Ikiru, Three Colors: Blue, Hiroshima Mon Amour, The Great Dictator, Diary of a Country Priest, Chungking Express, A Woman Under The Influence, Black Narcissus, Vampyr, Cries and Whispers, Notorious, Sweet Smell Of Success, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Paris Texas, Rome Open City, Faces, The Music Room, Day Of Wrath, The Thin Red Line, Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, I Know Where I'm Going!, Red Desert, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Videodrome, Cleo from 5 to 7, La Strada, Paisa, Germany Year Zero, Army of Shadows, Salo, The Exterminating Angel, Two-Lane Blacktop, An Autumn Afternoon, Testament of Dr Mabuse, Double Life of Veronique, Kes, Three Colors: Red, Brief Encounter, All That Heaven Allows, Solaris, Yi Yi, Vivre Sa Vie

Number Of Documentaries On The List
Man With A Movie Camera, Shoah, Histoire du cinema, Listen To Britain, West Of The Tracks, The House is Black, The Thin Blue Line,

Number Of Animated Films On The List
Spirited Away, A Tale Of Tales, Wall-E, My Neighbor Totoro,

Number Of Canadian Films On The List (made by Canadian filmmakers)
Videodrome (1983), Wavelength (1967)

Number Of American Directors On The List (American-born only)
(Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, John Ford, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Donen, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Buster Keaton, Howard Hawks, Robert Altman, Terrence Malick, Preston Sturges, Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Woody Allen, John Cassavetes, Victor Fleming, Nicholas Ray, George Lucas, Alexander Mackendrick, Steven Spielberg, Tobe Hooper, Andy Warhol/Paul Morrissey, Paul Thomas Anderson, Andrew Stanton, Leo McCarey, Monte Hellman, Errol Morris, (Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, while known as Americans were born outside the U.S.)

5 Youngest Directors on The S&S List:
42-year-old Apitchatpong Weerasethakul ("Tropical Malady, 2004, "Uncle Boonmee", 2010)
42-year-old Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood,” 2007)
45-year-old Cristi Puiu ("The Death of Mr Lazarescu," 2005)
45-year-old Wang Bing (“West of the Tracks,” 2002)
46-year-old Andrew Stanton ("Wall-E," 2008)

5 Oldest Living Directors On The List
90-year-old Alain Resnais
88-year-old Stanley Donen
86-year-old Claude Lanzmann
84-year-old Jacques Rivette
84-year-old Nicolas Roeg
81-year-old Jean-Luc Godard

5 Newest Film On The List
Bela Tarr’s “The Turin Horse” (2011)
Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” (2011)
Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life (2011)
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” (2010)
Andrew Stanton "Wall-E" (2008)

5 Oldest Films On The List
Georges Melies’ “A Trip To The Moon” (1902)
D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” (1916)
Robert Wiene's “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari” (1919)
F. W. Murnau's "Nosferatu" (1922)
Buster Keaton's "Sherlock Jr" (1924)

Number of Errors on the S&S List that we found
“E.T.“ Listed as a 2002 film (it’s 1982)
“Out 1” listed as a 1990 film (it’s 1971)
“Los Olvidados” listed as a 1995 film (it’s 1950)
“Star Wars” listed as 1997 (It’s 1977, although 1997 was admittedly the year of the Special Edition re-release)

Hilarious Mistake
“Old Boy” by Kelly Reichardt, though it's sadly since been corrected…

Other stats you've come across? Let us know and we'll add. And yes, this was a manual labor of love so if our math is somehow innacurate, apologies in advance and please let us know.

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Dale Lloyd

I noticed this error on the list: Cries and Whispers (1957). Should be 1972.


How many female filmmakers made it to the top 100?: Only two. Chantal Akerman (36 with Jeanne Dielman) and Claire Denis (78 with Beau Travail). And out of the 250 films?: Six more, Maya Deren (though she shares credit Alexander Hammid, 102 with Meshes of the Afternoon), Vera Chytilová (202 with Daisies), Agnès Varda (202 with Cleo from 5 to 7), Barbara Loden (202 with Wanda), Jane Campion (235 with The Piano), Forough Farrokhzad (235 with The House is Black). Total number of women in the entire list: 8.

Michael Koller

So how come Joseph Von Sternberg with NINE films in the list isn't listed at all????

Edward Copeland

Unless they've fixed it since, on the day they announced the critics' list, they had Singin' in the Rain as a 1951 release. Pretty unforgivable since it's not like its 60th anniversary this year hasn't received any press.

Bill Blackwell

5 Oldest Living Directors:
Second should be eighty-eight year old Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain).
Dancing, Elaine May, and the will to outlive Debbie Reynolds keep him vital.
If you're going to list Man with a Movie Camera and Histoire du cinema as "documentaries," shouldn't Sans Soleil join them?


I see no Snow White, the first animated feature ever made, and no Toy Story, the first computer animated feature made. Animation is represented only by a few films. Never gets enough respect. It seems that a lot of these films are chosen only to recognize movements and figures in film rather than the films themselves. I know it is a type of populist vote, but I think some other filmmakers and medium of films could be better represented.

Leo Farah

Manuel de Oliveira is the oldest director on the list, with his 1978 film Amor de Perdição.

Steve Crook

Michael Powell got 7 titles in the Top 250 because Peeping Tom is in there as well.



I believe Jean-Luc Godard has the most films mentioned by voters overall, at 27. John Ford is second with 22. I think Hitchcock is third with 19. (Though I'm remembering this from counting late last night, so you probably ought to check my numbers.)

Brian Z

Wasn't the ET re-release with the changed footage 2002?


I need to see more Luis Buñuel (I've seen 3) and Roberto Rosselini (I've seen 1).


I only see six films listed for Bresson and the Archers… Did I miss something?


Wow, i just noticed what a GREAT movie they've missed – "AMADEUS" – is not included, that makes the list kind of weak ' : – (

Forrest Cardamenis

The search is broken, but if you look up the director of any of those other films I mentioned, after you click and get to the page where it says how many votes there are, there should be a mini-scroller on the right side where you can see all the films that tie for #235. There's probably 20 or 30 more that could be displayed in the top 250 but aren't because of lack of room.


I think all of Malick's films are featured on the list, including one mention for The New World. Maybe he's the only filmmaker in history of cinema whose total oeuvre is selected by at least one participant. But then again, he only has five films, though it will eventually change soon!

The more films he makes, we are all the richer for it. More power to him.

Forrest Cardamenis

Hawks does have a film (Rio Bravo) in the top 100, at #63. There are also a number of titles that also tied at #235 but aren't displayed on the top 250 that should get their due (and factor into the count for films from each decade), receiving as many votes as some that did appear. Among them are Weerasethakul's "Willfully Yours," The Big Lebowski, The White Ribbon, two Kiarostami's (Where Is My Friend's House and The Wind Will Carry Us), Hou's "The Puppetmaster," Belle De Jour, Flowers of Shanghai, All About My Mother, Throne of Blood (which ties Kurosawa with his compatriots), a pair of Cassavetes films, and more.


Geez. It's just a list, why hold it up on such a holy grail to dissect endlessly? Can't believe you waste this much time with it, so many useless features.

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