Polls and surveys
About our polls
The conducting of polls and the forming of canons has long been meat and drink to Sight & Sound. Throughout the world, wherever the magazine is known, it is often best known for the prestigious critics’ Greatest Films of All Time poll that the magazine conducts every ten years. This first took place in 1952, when Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves took the honours; since then, famously, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane won every iteration until 2012, when it was toppled by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. From 1992 onwards we added an equally successful concurrent ten-year poll for film directors’ choices of the Top Ten Films, where again 2012 saw Kane give way, in this case to Ozu Yasujirô’s Tokyo Story.
More recently, over the last decade or so, we have taken survey polls of a more relaxed kind on a range of subjects and have asked each year a more restricted list than our major poll’s for their Film of the Year. Canon-forming of this kind is for us not a dusty matter of building statues to the dead but a living form of constant re-assessment that shows us how tastes in film evolve and change almost on a screening-by-screening basis.
– Nick James, editor
- For polls and surveys prior to 2012, including the Sight & Sound Greatest Films poll 2002, see the archive of Sight & Sound polls and surveys.