Every decade, when the British Film Institute (BFI) announces the outcome of its Sight & Sound Poll of the Greatest Films of All Time, cinephiles listen; no less a serious movie person than Roger Ebert called it, among the countless polls of great movies, “the only one most serious movie people take seriously.” When the BFI conducts the poll, it divides those polled into two groups: one for critics like Ebert, and one for directors like, say, Quentin Tarantino, whose thorough knowledge of cinema and absolute seriousness as a movie person almost makes him a critic as well, albeit one who does his criticism in the form of movies.

In the 2002 poll, Tarantino named these as the greatest films of all time:

You can watch two of Tarantino’s 2002 picks, the formally experimental caper comedy Hi Diddle Diddle as well as His Girl Friday, the capstone of the screwball comedy subgenre, for free online. Once you’ve enjoyed the both of them, why not have a look at Tarantino’s selections a decade on, for the 2012 Sight & Sound directors poll, to compare and contrast, with the new titles bolded:

Tarantino’s 2012 selections reveal a clear increase in appreciation, or at least willingness to vote his appreciation, for high-profile pictures of the 1970s — Apocalypse NowJawsTaxi DriverThe Bad News Bears — a decade whose cinema to which the director has made no lack of homage. We’ll have to wait six more years, until the 2022 poll, to get a full sense of how Tarantino’s idea of the canon has changed. Will the grim, satirical, and lurid films of the 70s consume most of his list by then? Will he favor a different era of film history entirely? I’d only put money on one thing for sure about the preference of this filmmaker who loves dialogue even more than violence: His Girl Friday isn’t going anywhere.

You can find His Girl Friday and Hi Diddle Diddle on our list, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc..

Related Content:

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Quentin Tarantino Lists His 20 Favorite Spaghetti Westerns, Starting with The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Quentin Tarantino Lists the 12 Greatest Films of All Time: From Taxi Driver to The Bad News Bears

Quentin Tarantino’s Handwritten List of the 11 “Greatest Movies”

Quentin Tarantino Lists His Favorite Films Since 1992

Watch His Girl Friday, Howard Hawks’ Classic Screwball Comedy Starring Cary Grant, Free Online

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.


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