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BFI Top 100 British films

In 1999 the British Film Institute surveyed 1,000 people from the world of British film and television to produce the BFI 100 list of the greatest British films of the 20th century. Voters were asked to choose up to 100 films that were 'culturally British'. Some of the selected films were wholly or partly produced by non-UK companies, or made with input from film makers born overseas, but were regarded by voters as having significant British involvement.[1]

List breakdown

  • The 1960s led the pack with 26 films of merit for the decade; four films for each year, 1949, 1963 and 1971; and The earliest film selected was The 39 Steps (1935). Only two other 1930s films made the list, and after 1935, the only years not represented are 1936–1937, 1940–1941, 1950, 1956, 1972 and 1974–78.
  • The most represented actor is Alec Guinness, with nine films of merit although three appearances were in supporting roles. Living actor Michael Caine is most represented, starring in seven films.
  • Julie Christie is the most represented actress with six films on the list.

The top ten films

Rank Title Year Director
1 The Third Man 1949 ReedCarol Reed
2 Brief Encounter 1945 LeanDavid Lean
3 Lawrence of Arabia 1962 LeanDavid Lean
4 The 39 Steps 1935 HitchcockAlfred Hitchcock
5 Great Expectations 1946 LeanDavid Lean
6 Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949 HamerRobert Hamer
7 Kes 1969 LoachKen Loach
8 Don't Look Now 1973 RoegNicolas Roeg
9 The Red Shoes 1948 Powell and Pressburger
10 Trainspotting 1996 BoyleDanny Boyle

See also


  1. BBC. 23 September 1999. Entertainment: Best 100 British films - full list. Accessed 30 January 2014.
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