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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 09:07 GMT
Apocalypse Now voted best movie
Apocalypse Now
A new version of the movie in 2001 was extended to 202 minutes
Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, has been voted the greatest movie of the past 25 years by leading movie critics and film-makers in the UK.

In a survey of 50 film experts conducted by Sight and Sound Magazine, Coppola's anti-Vietnam classic beat films such as Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull, at number two.

Ingar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander came third while the highest ranking British film was Terence Davies' Distant Voices, Still Lives.

British director Ridley Scott's Blade Runner was at number seven.

Click here to tell us if you agree with their choice of films

Films dating from January 1978 were eligible for the vote, which excluded many favourite movies, including Star Wars.

Nick James, editor of Sight and Sound, said: "As film history now spans over 100 years it's almost impossible to compile a list of top films.

Top 10 films
1. Apocalypse Now (Francie Ford Coppola, 1979)
2. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
3. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
4. GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
5. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
6. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
7. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
8.Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)
9. Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
10. Once Upon A Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1983)
10. Yi yi (A One and a Two) (Edward Yang, 1999)

"In this new poll we wanted to free people up from choosing the established classics like Citizen Kane and let them concentrate on recent cinema."

Apocalypse Now, starring Martin Sheen, is loosely based on Joseph Conrad's book Heart of Darkness and has become a cult classic. It was recently re-released with previously unseen footage.

The film features many harrowing and famed scenes, such as Sheen's drunken rampage in which he trashes a room.

Elsewhere in the film, Robert Duvall declares: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning", before his gunships attack a village while Ride of the Valkyries booms out from speakers.

The film also became notorious for the toll it took on its actors, particularly Sheen who had a heart attack.

Mr James commented: "Apocalypse Now deserves its position for being a richly complex, madcap experiment in war film-making that comes off because it never falls from the tightrope it walks between extravagance and profundity."


Most of the Sight and Sound list is made up of stylised rather than mass appeal movies.

Even Raging Bull could not be described as populist, with its grim and brutal portrayal of the life of legendary boxer Jake La Motta, played by Robert De Niro.

Mr James said: "Raging Bull is a film of equal ambition and scope to Apocalypse Now, but being a Scorsese movie is a much more rigorously controlled work.

British film director Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott's Blade Runner was one of the movies from British talent

"The texture of the black-and-white cinematography is probably as important as Robert De Niro's performance as boxer Jake La Motta."

The list also includes two Asian movies, Chungking Express from director Wong Kar-Wai at number eight.

Yi yi (A One and a Two) from Edward Yang tied for 10th place with Once Upon a Time in America from Sergio Leone.

The voting experts included broadcaster Barry Norman and critics from Time Out, Empire and Total Film.

A Sight and Sound poll to find the best film of all time in August this year was dominated by films from the first half of the century with Citizen Kane topping the list.

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