Citizen Kane wins staffroom Oscars

31st March 1995 at 01:00
In the week of the Oscars, more than 600 secondary-school teachers have voted their own top 10 films of all time, in a poll organised as part of the events marking the centenary of cinema.

Although there will be no cringe-making acceptance speeches to collect the award, Citizen Kane has been the runaway winner in the voting for "Ten Films That Shook the World," a project run by the film industry-funded media studies group, Film Education.

Perhaps saying more about the collective mood, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho has stalked into a nerve-wracked second place, particularly pulling in votes from teachers in the anxiety belt of the Midlands and South-east.

The deepest suspicions of right-wing backbenchers might be confirmed by the placing of the Bolshevik masterpiece, Battleship Potemkin, in third place; while Schindler's List is the only 1990s film in the top 10, taking fourth place.

This was despite being snubbed by voters in Scotland, who seemed to have a particular enthusiasm for Francis Ford Coppola, with Apocalypse Now and The Godfather films pulling in their votes.

Teachers nominated more than 600 different films, revealing along the way some rather eclectic tastes. While Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs hi-hoed their way into a respectable 16th place, there was less sentiment on show in the steady voting for Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Natural Born Killers.

If concern has been expressed about the effects of violent movies on children, perhaps more attention should be paid to what their teachers are watching. Among the teachers' nominations for film of the century were The Evil Dead, Terminator and Nightmare on Elm Street. And to prove they were no slouches in the sleaze stakes, Basic Instinct, Last Tango in Paris and Body Heat also received votes of confidence.

Not a single vote went to classroom classics such as The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie or Goodbye Mr Chips, while If..., featuring a speech day machine-gun massacre of teachers, pulled in several wistful votes.

Among the screen Shakespeares, Olivier's Henry V outvoted Kenneth Branagh's, while Olivier's Hamlet was beaten to the post by Mel Gibson's film version of the play. Doubly cerebral votes were also cast for Steve Martin's The Man With Two Brains, while a heartfelt nomination was given to Death of a Bureaucrat.

While old favourites such as Gone With the Wind and Casablanca made the shortlist, the poll also reveals some forever-young staffroom hipsters, with Boyz N The Hood and Romper Stomper picking up nominations. However, the search goes on to find the teachers whose lives have been changed by the artistry of films such as the Cliff Richard cappuccino-classic Expresso Bongo, Home Alone, and yes, The Sound of Music.

The winning films will be screened for school audiences later this year in cinemas around the country, while Film Education will be publishing free study guides for each of the top 10 titles.

1 Citizen Kane 2 Psycho 3 Battleship Potemkin 4 Schindler's List 5 Star Wars

6 Gone With The Wind 7 The Searchers 8 Apocalypse Now 8 Casablanca 10 The Godfather

11 Seven Samurai 12 2001: A Space Odyssey 13 Bladerunner 14 Metropolis 15 Singin' In The Rain

16 Snow White The Seven Dwarfs 17 Double Indemnity 18 Bicycle Thieves 18 Thelma Louise 20 Birth of a Nation 20 One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

20 The Third Man 23 Pulp Fiction 23 Shane 23 The Wizard of Oz

26 High Noon 27 ET 27 It's A Wonderful Life 27 Jaws 30 Some Like It Hot

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