Is Vertigo the greatest film of all time?

Rosebud, Schmosebud. In a respected once-a-decade ranking of history's best films, Hitchcock's classic knocks Citizen Kane from the top spot it held for 50 years

Hitchcock's 1958 psychological thriller, Vertigo
(Image credit: AP Photo/Paramount Pictures)

Vertigo has just ascended a great height. British film magazine Sight & Sound, which surveyed nearly 1,000 prestigious critics, academics, and film-industry insiders to create its once-a-decade list of history's 50 best movies, just named Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo No. 1 — knocking Orson Welles' Citizen Kane out of the top spot it's held since 1962. Despite getting dismissive reviews upon its 1958 release, "Hitchcock's spiraling dream-narrative of obsessive love," in which Jimmy Stewart plays a retired detective with a fear of heights and a thing for gloomy blondes, has crept up the list over the years. But is Vertigo really a better movie than Citizen Kane?

Yes. Vertigo resonates with the millennial mindset: What's not to love about "the Master of Suspense's otherworldly Mobius-strip reverie on love, loss, and obsession," asks Christian Blauvelt at Entertainment Weekly. "Dreamlike and densely coded, with just the right mixture of romanticism and alienation for a 21st century audience, Hitchcock's film is the perfect choice for the Internet Age."

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