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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 October, 2004, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Get Carter tops British film poll
Get Carter (1971)
Get Carter was poorly received by critics on its release in 1971
Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller Get Carter, starring Michael Caine, has been hailed as the greatest British movie of all time in a poll of 25 film critics.

The Total Film magazine poll features an eclectic top 10 marrying modern and traditional classics such as The Third Man, Life of Brian and Trainspotting.

A Matter of Life and Death, starring David Niven, came second in the poll.

However, surprising absences include Oscar winners The English Patient, Chariots of Fire and Gandhi.

Cult classic

Danny Boyle's 1996 cult classic Trainspotting, in third place, was the most recently made film in the top 10, in a list which favoured films made in the 1950s and 1960s.

1. Get Carter
2. A Matter of Life and Death
3. Trainspotting
4. The Third Man
5. Life of Brian
6. The Wicker Man
7. Kind Hearts and Coronets
8. Lawrence of Arabia
9. From Russia With Love
10. Naked

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) featured in 26th place, but there was no mention of recent comedy hits The Full Monty or Bridget Jones's Diary.

"Many of the movies in this list are older films, probably because there were a lot more British films being made in the 1950s and 1960s than there are now." said Total Film editor Matt Mueller.

"Get Carter was critically slated when it first came out. It was pretty shocking at the time for its scenes of violence, and Caine played a pretty ruthless character."

Trainspotting was the most recent film to feature in the top 10

In the film, which underwent a poorly received Hollywood remake in 2000, Caine plays a ruthless gangster seeking revenge for the death of his brother.

"Caine's character is now seen as one of the greatest anti-heroes of all time," said Mr Mueller. "It has stood the test of time and marks the pinnacle of his career."

Aside from Get Carter, Caine, 71, stars in three further films in the top 50, namely Zulu, The Italian Job and Alfie - recently remade with Jude Law in the title role and due for release in the UK later this month.

"Although the industry is not as strong as it used to be, the poll shows that Britain is still making amazing movies," said Mr Mueller.

The full list will feature in this month's Total Film magazine.

High times for Get Carter fans
07 Aug 02  |  England
Caine: Going strong at 70
11 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
'Nasty' title for Caine's Carter
13 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
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04 Jun 03  |  Entertainment


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