Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan

Writer; singer; actor
Voted in the critics poll

Voted for:

Atalante, L' 1934 Jean Vigo
General, The 1926 Buster Keaton
grande illusion, La 1937 Jean Renoir
It's Always Fair Weather 1955 Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly
Listen to Britain 1942 Humphrey Jennings/Stewart McAllister
mépris, Le 1963 Jean-Luc Godard
Night of the Hunter, The 1955 Charles Laughton
Nothing Sacred 1937 William A Wellman
Sporting Life, The 1963 Lindsay Anderson
Sweet Smell of Success 1957 Alexander Mackendrick

Please note: while the majority of Top Ten submissions specified no order of ranking, for technical reasons it has been temporarily necessary to alphabetise all lists, overriding any other designated ordering. Apologies for any upset caused!


It is absurd at this stage of cinema’s history to come up with a mere ten titles, as so many other films stand behind (and a good number beside) my own choices. While I admire every director I have selected, my list reflects my appreciation of the collaborative nature of the medium and the work of actors as diverse as Gabin, Parlo, Piccoli Harris, Roberts, Mitchum and Gish, cinematographers such as James Wong Howe, Stanley Cortez and Boris Kaufman, the writing talents of Comden and Green, David Storey, James Agee and Clifford Odets, and the sheer magical presence of Carol Lombard, Tony Curtis, Buster Keaton and that choreographic genius Michael Kidd. No room for Cagney, Welles, Cary Grant, Astaire, Chaplin, Roeg and Reisz… we could all go on. We’re going to need a bigger list.