BFI Top 100 British films

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In 1999, the British Film Institute surveyed 1,000 people from the world of British film and television to produce the BFI 100 list of the greatest British films of the 20th century. Voters were asked to choose up to 100 films that were 'culturally British'.[1]

List breakdown[edit]

  • The 1960s led the pack with 26 films of merit for the decade. Four films made the list from each of the years 1949, 1963, and 1971. The earliest film selected was The 39 Steps (1935). Only two other 1930s films made the list, and after 1935, the only years not represented are 1936–1937, 1940–1941, 1950, 1956, 1958, 1972 and 1974–78.
  • David Lean, with seven films, is the most represented director in the list, followed by Michael Powell (five films, of which four were collaborations with Emeric Pressburger). Powell and Pressburger ("The Archers") and John Schlesinger had four films each, while Alexander Mackendrick and Tony Richardson each had three. Seven of the films were produced by Ealing Studios during the years 1949–55.
  • The most represented actor is Alec Guinness with nine films of merit, although three appearances were in supporting roles. Michael Caine is the most represented living actor, starring in seven films.
  • Julie Christie is the most represented actress, with six films on the list.
  • All of the directors in the list are male.

Full list[edit]

Rank Title Year Director
1 The Third Man 1949 Carol Reed
2 Brief Encounter 1945 David Lean
3 Lawrence of Arabia 1962 David Lean
4 The 39 Steps 1935 Alfred Hitchcock
5 Great Expectations 1946 David Lean
6 Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949 Robert Hamer
7 Kes 1969 Ken Loach
8 Don't Look Now 1973 Nicolas Roeg
9 The Red Shoes 1948 Powell and Pressburger
10 Trainspotting 1996 Danny Boyle
11 The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 David Lean
12 if.... 1968 Lindsay Anderson
13 The Ladykillers 1955 Alexander Mackendrick
14 Saturday Night and Sunday Morning 1960 Karel Reisz
15 Brighton Rock 1947 John Boulting
16 Get Carter 1971 Mike Hodges
17 The Lavender Hill Mob 1951 Charles Crichton
18 Henry V 1944 Laurence Olivier
19 Chariots of Fire 1981 Hugh Hudson
20 A Matter of Life and Death 1946 Powell and Pressburger
21 The Long Good Friday 1980 John Mackenzie
22 The Servant 1963 Joseph Losey
23 Four Weddings and a Funeral 1994 Mike Newell
24 Whisky Galore! 1949 Alexander Mackendrick
25 The Full Monty 1997 Peter Cattaneo
26 The Crying Game 1992 Neil Jordan
27 Doctor Zhivago 1965 David Lean
28 Monty Python's Life of Brian 1979 Terry Jones
29 Withnail and I 1987 Bruce Robinson
30 Gregory's Girl 1980 Bill Forsyth
31 Zulu 1964 Cy Endfield
32 Room at the Top 1959 Jack Clayton
33 Alfie 1966 Lewis Gilbert
34 Gandhi 1982 Richard Attenborough
35 The Lady Vanishes 1938 Alfred Hitchcock
36 The Italian Job 1969 Peter Collinson
37 Local Hero 1983 Bill Forsyth
38 The Commitments 1991 Alan Parker
39 A Fish Called Wanda 1988 Charles Crichton
40 Secrets & Lies 1996 Mike Leigh
41 Dr. No 1962 Terence Young
42 The Madness of King George 1994 Nicholas Hytner
43 A Man for All Seasons 1966 Fred Zinnemann
44 Black Narcissus 1947 Powell and Pressburger
45 The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp 1943 Powell and Pressburger
46 Oliver Twist 1948 David Lean
47 I'm All Right Jack 1959 John Boulting
48 Performance 1970 Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell
49 Shakespeare in Love 1998 John Madden
50 My Beautiful Laundrette 1985 Stephen Frears
51 Tom Jones 1963 Tony Richardson
52 This Sporting Life 1963 Lindsay Anderson
53 My Left Foot 1989 Jim Sheridan
54 Brazil 1985 Terry Gilliam
55 The English Patient 1996 Anthony Minghella
56 A Taste of Honey 1961 Tony Richardson
57 The Go-Between 1970 Joseph Losey
58 The Man in the White Suit 1951 Alexander Mackendrick
59 The Ipcress File 1965 Sidney J. Furie
60 Blow Up 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni
61 The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner 1962 Tony Richardson
62 Sense and Sensibility 1995 Ang Lee
63 Passport to Pimlico 1949 Henry Cornelius
64 The Remains of the Day 1993 James Ivory
65 Sunday, Bloody Sunday 1971 John Schlesinger
66 The Railway Children 1970 Lionel Jeffries
67 Mona Lisa 1986 Neil Jordan
68 The Dam Busters 1955 Michael Anderson
69 Hamlet 1948 Laurence Olivier
70 Goldfinger 1964 Guy Hamilton
71 Elizabeth 1998 Shekhar Kapur
72 Goodbye, Mr Chips 1939 Sam Wood
73 A Room with a View 1985 James Ivory
74 The Day of the Jackal 1973 Fred Zinnemann
75 The Cruel Sea 1953 Charles Frend
76 Billy Liar 1963 John Schlesinger
77 Oliver! 1968 Carol Reed
78 Peeping Tom 1960 Michael Powell
79 Far from the Madding Crowd 1967 John Schlesinger
80 The Draughtsman's Contract 1982 Peter Greenaway
81 A Clockwork Orange 1971 Stanley Kubrick
82 Distant Voices, Still Lives 1988 Terence Davies
83 Darling 1965 John Schlesinger
84 Educating Rita 1983 Lewis Gilbert
85 Brassed Off 1996 Mark Herman
86 Genevieve 1953 Henry Cornelius
87 Women in Love 1969 Ken Russell
88 A Hard Day's Night 1964 Richard Lester
89 Fires Were Started 1943 Humphrey Jennings
90 Hope and Glory 1987 John Boorman
91 My Name Is Joe 1998 Ken Loach
92 In Which We Serve 1942 Noël Coward and David Lean
93 Caravaggio 1986 Derek Jarman
94 The Belles of St Trinian's 1954 Frank Launder
95 Life Is Sweet 1990 Mike Leigh
96 The Wicker Man 1973 Robin Hardy
97 Nil By Mouth 1997 Gary Oldman
98 Small Faces 1995 Gillies Mackinnon
99 Carry On... Up the Khyber 1968 Gerald Thomas
100 The Killing Fields 1984 Roland Joffé

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC. 23 September 1999. Entertainment: Best 100 British films - full list. Accessed 30 January 2014.