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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 November, 2004, 23:06 GMT
Gone with the Wind tops film list
Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind
The historical epic film won nine Academy Awards
Gone With the Wind, the epic 1939 film starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, has been seen by more cinema-goers than any other film in UK movie history.

Experts at the British Film Institute (BFI) studied cinema ticket sales since the advent of the talking picture.

The US civil war epic, based on Margaret Mitchell's novel, topped Channel 4's The Ultimate Film poll with audience figures of more than 35m.

The most recent film in the top 10 was 1997's Titanic, with 18.9m admissions.

The poll marks the first time researchers have compiled a list of the biggest UK cinematic hits, based on audience figures.

'Nation's favourites'

"These are the nation's favourites - selected not by vote, or by critics, but by the number of actual visits [to the cinema] by everyone living in this country over the past 100 years," said BFI director Amanda Nevill.

"The result is a remarkable record of the nation's film tastes."

Figures for films released before the 1970s were collated from figures in trade magazines and anecdotal evidence, as official records were not always filed.

Gone With the Wind (1939)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Star Wars (1977)
Spring in Park Lane (1948)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
The Jungle Book (1967)
Titanic (1997)
The Wicked Lady (1945)
The Seventh Veil (1946)

Second place in the poll was Robert Wise's Oscar-winning favourite The Sound of Music (1965) - with audience figures of 30m - ahead of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at number three, and Star Wars at number four.

A handful of musicals made the top 20, including South Pacific and high school romance Grease, at number 12.

The only other animated film in the top 20 is The Jungle Book at number seven.

The first instalment of Harry Potter - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - released in 2001, lies just outside the top 10 at number 11 with audience figures of 17.5m.

Blockbusters Jaws (1976), Jurassic Park (1993) and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) all make the top 20 at 14, 15 and 16 respectively.

The Oscar-winning final instalment to Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, is the most recent film in the chart - at number 19 - with admissions of 15.22m.

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