List of films considered the best


List of films considered the best

While there is no general agreement upon the greatest film, many publications and organizations have tried to determine the films considered the best. The films mentioned in this article have all been mentioned in a notable survey – be it a popular poll or critics' poll. Many of these sources focus on American films or were polls of English-speaking film goers, but those considered the greatest within their respective countries are also included here.

None of these citations should be viewed as scientific measures of the film-watching world. They are often influenced by vote stacking or they survey a population with skewed demographics. Internet-based surveys have a self-selecting audience of unknown participants. The methodology of some surveys may be questionable. Sometimes (as in the case of the American Film Institute) voters were asked to select films from a limited list of entries.

Contents

Polls of critics and filmmakers

  • Every decade, the British film monthly Sight & Sound asks an international group of film professionals to vote for their greatest film of all time. The Sight & Sound accolade has come to be regarded as one of the most important of the "greatest ever film" lists. Roger Ebert described it as "by far the most respected of the countless polls of great movies--the only one most serious movie people take seriously."[1] The first poll, in 1952, was topped by Bicycle Thieves (1948).[2]
  • Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941) has been voted number one in each of the last five Sight & Sound polls. A separate poll of established film directors, held for the first time in 1992, has also placed Citizen Kane at the top.[2] The film was selected as number one in a Village Voice and in a Time Out critics' poll. It was listed as the greatest American film by the American Film Institute in both the first (1998) and second (2007) versions of its 100 Years... 100 Movies list.
  • The Searchers (1956) is the film most often mentioned in a poll of the favorite films of directors by German language Steadycam magazine in 1995.[3]
  • Tokyo Story (1953) by Yasujirō Ozu topped a critics' poll conducted by Asian film magazine Cinemaya in 1998. It was followed by Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali (1955) and Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu (1953) tied at second place.[4]
  • La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) (1939) by director Jean Renoir was named the greatest film by the French film magazine Positif in 1991.[5] It also holds the second slot in the Village Voice poll,[6] and is one of only two movies to have appeared in every one of the Sight & Sound polls, the other being The Battleship Potemkin.[7]
  • The Brussels World’s Fair, organized in 1958, offered the occasion for the organization by thousands of critics and filmmakers from all over the world, of the first universal film poll in history.[8] These were the films chosen as most artistically fulfilled:
Rank Film Director Year
1 Броненосец Потёмкин (The Battleship Potemkin) Sergei Eisenstein 1925
2 The Gold Rush Charles Chaplin 1925
3 Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) Vittorio De Sica 1948
4 La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc) Carl Theodor Dreyer 1928
5 La Grande Illusion (Grand Illusion) Jean Renoir 1937
6 Greed Erich von Stroheim 1924
7 Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through the Ages D. W. Griffith 1916
8 Мать (Mother) Vsevolod Pudovkin 1926
9 Citizen Kane Orson Welles 1941
10 Земля (Earth) Alexander Dovzhenko 1930

Audience polls

  • Seven Samurai (1954) was voted number one in an audience poll conducted by MovieMail in 2000. It was followed by The Third Man (1949) in second place.[5]
  • The Godfather (1972) was voted number one by Entertainment Weekly's readers[9] and voted as number one in a Time Out readers' poll in 1998.[10] The film was also voted as the "Greatest Movie of All Time" in September 2008 by 10,000 readers of Empire magazine, 150 people from the movie business and 50 film critics.[11] It currently holds the number 1 spot on the Top 200 at Everyone's a Critic,[12] and the number 2 spot on the IMDb list.[13]
  • The Godfather Part II (1974) was voted best movie ever by TV Guide readers[14] in 1998, and is currently in third place on the IMDb list.[13]
  • Star Wars (1977) and its sequel The Empire Strikes Back (1980) were chosen as the greatest films by readers of Empire magazine in November 2001 and by voters in a Channel 4 (Film4) poll.[15] Star Wars is also the highest ranking sci-fi film in both versions of the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest movies of all time (ranked number 15 in the original list, and number 13 in the updated list).
  • Raise the Red Lantern (1991) was voted the best Asian film in another audience poll conducted by MovieMail in 2000. It was followed by The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959) at second place.[5]
  • Schindler's List (1993) was voted the best film ever made by the German film magazine Cinema.[16]
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994) currently holds the top spot on the Internet Movie Database's list of the top 250 films.[13] It was voted the best film not to have won an Academy Award in a 2004 Radio Times poll and again in 2008.[17] It is currently ranked number 1 on FilmCrave.com's top 100 movies list.[18] It holds an extremely high score on Rotten Tomatoes within the community, at 98%.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003) was voted the most popular film of all time by an audience poll for the Australian television special My Favourite Film and by a poll cast by 120,000 German voters for the TV special "Die besten Filme aller Zeiten" (German "The best films of all time").[19] Its first film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), was the pick of readers in a poll by Empire magazine in November 2004.[20] The third film, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, was voted the best movie of all time by Yahoo movies and Movies.com's annual reader's poll in 2006 and 2007.[citation needed]
  • Gone with the Wind (1939) was ranked as the greatest film in a poll surveyed by Harris Interactive between January 15 and 22, 2008. Star Wars came in second place and Casablanca in third.[21] Gone with the Wind was also picked as the best film for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.[22]
  • Casablanca (1942) was voted the greatest film by readers of the Los Angeles Daily News in 1997.[23] It is also regarded the "best Hollywood movie of all time" by the influential Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide.[24] On April 7, 2006, the Writers' Guild of America declared Casablanca's screenplay the best ever written.[25]
  • Cross of Iron (1977) was voted the greatest film of all time by Cinemag.[citation needed]

Particular genres or media

Action

Animation

Christmas

Comedy

Comicbook/Superhero

  • Persepolis (2007) is number 1 in the Rotten Tomatoes countdown of movies based on superheroes, graphic novels, manga and comic strips – in order of critical approval. Iron Man was also the highest rated superhero film based on a comic in the list being at #2. [76]
  • The Dark Knight (2008) is number 1 on the Movie Review Query Engine's list of the best comic and superhero movies.[77]
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004) is number 1 on Rotten Tomatoes' Comix Worst to Best list.[78]
  • X2 (2003) was voted number 1 in Empire Magazine's list of the 20 Greatest Comic Book Movies.[79]
  • The Incredibles (2004) was ranked number 1 in Time magazine's list of top ten greatest superhero films.[80]
  • Superman (1978) was ranked number 1 out of IGN's list of 25 greatest superhero films of all time.[81]

Courtroom

Crime/Gangster

Disaster

Documentary

Epic

Fantasy

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) is number 1 on the list of the top rated fantasy titles at the Internet Movie Database.[94] It is the only film in the genre to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It also won 11 Academy Awards, the highest number of any film ever made (tying with Ben-Hur and Titanic). It is also the only film in history to having won Best Film awards from both Academy, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Hugo, MTV, and Saturn Awards.
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) was selected as the best American fantasy movie ever by the American Film Institute during their 10 Top 10.[44]
  • The Harry Potter film series has received critical acclaim for all eight of its instalments and has received many awards as well as nominations. It is currently the highest grossing film series of all time.[95]

Horror/Thriller

Musical

Mystery

Political/Historical

  • Schindler's List (1993) was chosen as the best political/historical film for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.[114]

Propaganda

Religious

  • In 1996, the Holy See released three lists of recommended films. The three different lists considered films of religious value, virtue (or moral value) and artistic merit. Among the list of 15 religious films considered by the Vatican to be the best ever, were in no particular order, William Wyler's Ben-Hur, The Mission, The Passion of Joan of Arc, and Fred Zinnemann's 1966 version of A Man For All Seasons.[120]
  • The Island (2006) about Russian Orthodox monks living together on a remote, Arctic island, garnered multiple awards. 2006: best film at the Moscow Premiere festival. 2007: Six awards at the fifth national Golden Eagle Awards: "Best film", "Best male support role" (Viktor Suhorukov), "Best male role" (Petr Mamonov), "Best director" (Pavel Lungin), "Best scenario" (Dmitry Sobolev), "Best operator work" (Andrei Zhegalov). 2007: Nika Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, etc.

Romance

Science fiction

Sports

War

Western

Countries

Australia

Bangladesh

Belgium

Brazil

  • Bus 174 (2002). This documentary about a bus hijacking by José Padilha is the highest rated foreign film at Rotten Tomatoes.[149]
  • City of God (2002) is the highest rated Brazilian film on the IMDb Top 250 list.[150]
  • Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (1964) has been selected by Brazilian critics as the best film of all time several times, such as the 27th edition of Brazilian film magazine Contracampo.[151]

Canada

China

Croatia

  • Tko pjeva zlo ne misli (One Who Sings Means No Harm, 1970) was voted the best Croatian all time movie by the Croatian Society of Film Critics.

Denmark

  • Day of Wrath (Vredens dag) Carl Th. Dreyer's harrowing tale of adultery and repression is often cited in Denmark as the greatest Danish film.[157]
  • Flickering Lights (Blinkende lygter) the 2000 comedy about small-time gangsters was voted the Best Danish Film in a 2007 poll by Ekstra Bladet newspaper. Thomas Vinterberg's The Celebration (Festen) was the runner-up.[158]

Estonia

  • Kevade (Spring, 1969) received the first place in the Estonian feature films Top Ten Poll in 2002 held by Estonian film critics and journalists.[159]

Finland

France

Germany

Hong Kong

Hungary

In 2000, Hungarian film critics chose the so-called "Budapest 12",[166] the twelve best films of Hungary:

  1. Szegénylegények (The Round-Up) - Miklós Jancsó
  2. Szerelem (Love) - Károly Makk
  3. Szindbád (Sinbad) - Zoltán Huszárik
  4. Emberek a havason (Men on the Mountain) - István Szőts
  5. Valahol Európában (Somewhere in Europe) - Géza von Radványi
  6. Megáll az idő (Time Stands Still) - Péter Gothár
  7. Hyppolit, a lakáj (Hyppolit) - István Székely
  8. Körhinta (Merry-Go-Round) - Zoltán Fábri
  9. A kis Valentino (Little Valentino) - András Jeles
  10. Az én XX. Századom (My 20th Century) - Ildikó Enyedi
  11. Apa (Father) - István Szabó
  12. Hannibál tanár úr (Professor Hannibal) - Zoltán Fábri

India

Iran

  • Bashu, the Little Stranger (1986) was voted "Best Iranian Film of all time" in November 1999 by a Persian movie magazine "Picture world" poll of 150 Iranian critics and professionals.[177]

Ireland

Israel

  • Giv'at Halfon Eina Ona (1976) was voted "Favorite Israeli Film of all time" in a 2004 poll by Ynet, the web site of a popular Israeli newspaper. The film got 25,000 votes.[179]

Italy

Japan

  • Rashomon (羅生門), 1950: This film by Akira Kurosawa was the first Japanese film to gain worldwide acclaim. It is the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film in the Village Voice poll of "Best Films of the Century" (ranked number 10).[6] It also tied for the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film on the Sight and Sound 2002 Directors' Top Ten Poll (ranked number 9).[183]
  • Seven Samurai (七人の侍 Shichinin no Samurai), 1954: Also by Kurosawa, this period adventure film is frequently cited as the greatest Japanese film ever; at number 12, it is the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film on the Internet Movie Database's "Top 250 movies" list.[184] It ranked, for the first time, at number 3 in the 1982 Sight & Sound Critics' Top Ten Poll,[185] appeared on the Sight & Sound Directors' Top Ten Poll in 1992 (ranked number 10),[186] and tied for the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film in 2002 (ranked number 9).[183] It is ranked number 2 on Rotten Tomatoes' top 100 foreign films,[149] and number 1 on their top 100 action/adventure films.[32] It was also voted the "Best Japanese Film ever" in a 1979 Kinema Junpo critics’ poll.[187]
  • Tokyo Story (東京物語 Tokyo Monogatari), 1953: Directed by Yasujirō Ozu, is the highest-ranked Japanese and Asian film on the 2002 Sight and Sound Critics' Top Ten Poll (ranked number 5).[188] It was also declared the greatest film ever by Halliwell's Film Guide in 2005.[189]
  • Ugetsu (雨月物語 Ugetsu Monogatari), 1953: Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, it was the highest-ranking Asian film in the Sight & Sound critics' polls in 1962 (ranked number 4)[190] and 1972 (ranked number 10).[191]

Macedonia

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

  • Flåklypa Grand Prix (Pinchcliffe Grand Prix - 1975 - Ivo Caprino): The people's choice for "Best Norwegian Film of the Century" during the 2005 Bergen International Film Festival.[193]
  • Ni Liv (Nine Lives - 1957 - Arne Skouen): The critics' choice for "Best Norwegian Film of the Century" during the 2005 Bergen International Film Festival.[193]

Pakistan

  • Baji (1963), directed by S. Suleman, topped the British Film Institute's critics poll of "Top 10 Pakistani Films" of all time.[194]
  • Aina (1977), directed by Nazr-ul-Islam, topped the user poll of "Top 10 Pakistani Films" of all time.[195]

Philippines

  • Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Neon) - Lino Brocka (1975): cited in numerous film anthologies and critical polls as the greatest Filipino film ever.[196][197]
  • Himala (Miracle) - Ishmael Bernal (1982): won the 2008 CNN Asia Pacific Screen Awards Viewers Choice as "Best Asia-Pacific Film of All Time" (voted for by thousands of film fans around the world).[198][199][200][201]

Poland

Romania

Best 10 Romanian films as considered by the Union of Romanian Cineastes and the Film Critics Association[204] (Uniunea Cineaştilor din România şi Asociaţia Criticilor de Film):

  1. Reconstituirea (The Reenactment - Lucian Pintilie, 1968)
  2. Pădurea spânzuraţilor (The Forest of the Hanged - Liviu Ciulei, 1965)
  3. Moartea domnului Lazarescu (The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu - Cristi Puiu, 2005)
  4. 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days - Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
  5. Secvenţe (Alexandru Tatos, 1982)
  6. Nunta de piatră (The Stone Wedding - Mircea Veroiu, Dan Piţa. 1973)
  7. La moara cu noroc (Victor Iliu. 1956)
  8. A fost sau n-a fost? (12:08 East of Bucharest - Corneliu Porumboiu, 2006)
  9. Probă de microfon (Mircea Daneliuc, 1979)
  10. Croaziera (Mircea Daneliuc, 1981)

Russia

Serbia

  • Who's That Singing Over There (Ko to tamo peva, 1980) was in 1996 voted the best Serbian movie made in the 1947-1995 period by the members of the Yugoslavian Board of the Academy of Film Art and Science (AFUN).[205]

South Korea

Sri Lanka

  • Pura Handa Kaluwara (1997), also known as Death on a Full Moon Day, directed by P. Vithanage and starring Joe Abeywickrama, topped the British Film Institute's poll of "Top 10 Sri Lankan Films" of all time.[209]
  • Ananta Rathiriya (1995), directed by P. Vithanage, topped the user poll of "Top 10 Sri Lankan Films" of all time.[210]

Sweden

  • The Emigrants (Utvandrarna): Jan Troell's naturalist masterwork is often cited in Sweden as the greatest Swedish film of all-time.[citation needed]
  • Persona: Acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman's movie reached the highest position (number 5 in 1972) of any Swedish film on any of Sight & Sound's lists of greatest films of all time.[citation needed]
  • The Seventh Seal (Sjunde Inseglet), also directed by Ingmar Bergman, is the highest rated Swedish film on the IMDb top 250 list.[13]

Taiwan

  • Cape No. 7 (traditional Chinese:海角七號): a movie in 2008 earned over $350 million NTD in just over a month to become the highest-grossing domestic film in Taiwanese history. It is also considered to be the film that revives the 10-year-lasting depression of Taiwanese cinema.[211]

Turkey

  • In 2003 Ankara Sinema Derneği (Ankara Association for Cinema Culture) chose the "Best 10 Turkish films ever" by a poll among people who are interested in cinema professionally:[212]
  1. Yol (1982), Şerif Gören
  2. Umut (1970), Yılmaz Güney
  3. Sürü (1978), Zeki Ökten
  4. Muhsin Bey (1987), Yavuz Turgul
  5. Masumiyet (1997), Zeki Demirkubuz
  6. Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım (1978), Atıf Yılmaz
  7. Anayurt Oteli (1986), Ömer Kavur
  8. Susuz Yaz (1964), Metin Erksan
  9. Gelin (1973), Ömer Lütfi Akad
  10. Uzak (2002), Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Ukraine

  1. Земля (Earth), one of the World's ten greatest films of all time (Brussels World's Fair, 1958)
  2. Пропала грамота (The Lost Letter), was banned in Soviet Union. 20 years later was awarded with Golden Pagoda during the Bangkok International Film Festival, 1991.
  3. Тіні забутих предків (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) received the British Academy Award and Grand Prix at Mar del Plata International Film Festival (1965)

United Kingdom

United States

Since 1998, the American Film Institute has assembled juries of film community leaders and polled them for a series of top 100 lists. Two of the lists from the series, 100 Years... 100 Movies from 1998 and 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) from 2007, identified Citizen Kane as the best American film ever. In other years, AFI's jury members selected Some Like It Hot the greatest American comedy, Psycho as the most thrilling American movie, Casablanca as the greatest American love story, Singin' in the Rain as the greatest American film musical, and It's a Wonderful Life as the most inspiring American film.[219]

See also

Notes

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  2. ^ a b "Sight & Sound - Top ten". http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/polls/topten/. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  3. ^ "Lieblings Filme". Cinepad.com. http://cinepad.com/awards/lieblingsfilme.htm. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  4. ^ Totaro, Donato (January 31, 2003). "The "Sight & Sound" of Canons". Offscreen Journal (Canada Council for the Arts). http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/new_offscreen/canon.html. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  5. ^ a b c "Lists". Film Journey. http://filmjourney.weblogger.com/lists. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Take One: The First Annual Village Voice Film Critics' Poll". The Village Voice. 1999. Archived from the original on 2007-08-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20070826201343/http://www.villagevoice.com/specials/take/one/full_list.php3?category=10. Retrieved 2006-07-27. 
  7. ^ Critics' Top Ten Poll, Sight and Sound, BFI site
  8. ^ Władysław Jewsiewicki: "Kronika kinematografii światowej 1895-1964", Warsaw 1967, no ISBN, page 129 (in Polish)
  9. ^ "posting about Entertainment Weekly's book". Filmsite.org. http://www.filmsite.org/ew100.html. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  10. ^ "posting about ''Time out'' reader's poll". Filmsite.org. http://www.filmsite.org/timeout2.html. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  11. ^ "Empire Online". Empire Online. http://www.empireonline.com/500/99.asp. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  12. ^ The Top 200 at Everyone's a Critic. Retrieved 2009-10-28
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h IMDb Top 250: Top 250 movies as voted by our users at the Internet Movie Database
  14. ^ 50 Greatest Movies from TV Guide[dead link]
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  19. ^ "(german)". presseportal.de. http://www.presseportal.de/pm/7841/623493/kabel_eins/. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
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  21. ^ "Harris Poll". Harrisinteractive.com. http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=874. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  22. ^ Best in Film - Greatest Retrieved 2011-03-24
  23. ^ "''Los Angeles Daily News'' film poll (1997)". Filmsite.org. 1997-12-03. http://www.filmsite.org/dailynews.html. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  24. ^ 100 Must-See Films Of The 20th Century, Part 1, by Leonard Maltin at filmsite.org
  25. ^ "100 Greatest Screenplays". WGAW. http://www.wga.org/subpage_newsevents.aspx?id=1807. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  26. ^ Best in Film - Action Retrieved 2011-03-24
  27. ^ a b "The 25 best action movies". Moviefone.com. http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/01/18/best-action-movies/. Retrieved November 02, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "The top ten of 25 action films". IGN. http://movies.ign.com/articles/673/673392p5.html. Retrieved November 02, 2011. 
  29. ^ a b "Die Hard is number one according to Pajiba.com". Pajiba.com. http://www.pajiba.com/guides/the-best-action-films-of-all-time.php. Retrieved November 02, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Die Hard is the last mentioned on Complex.". Complex.com. http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2009/07/the-50-greatest-action-movies-of-all-time/die-hard. Retrieved November 02, 2011. 
  31. ^ ""Die Hard" tops magazine list of best action films". Reuters. 2007-06-15. http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSN1448232520070615. 
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  33. ^ "Terminator joins movie archive". BBC. December 30, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7804404.stm. Retrieved December 30, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Visual and Special Effects Film Milestones". Filmsite.org. http://www.filmsite.org/visualeffects7.html. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  35. ^ "Aliens is number 2". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20042607,00.html. Retrieved November 02, 2011. 
  36. ^ Top 100 Animated Features of All Time.
  37. ^ "Best animated movies (5-1)". Moviefone. http://blog.moviefone.com/2008/06/02/feature-page-5-1_m_f/. Retrieved November 03, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Toy Story is number one.". Total Film. http://www.totalfilm.com/features/50-greatest-animated-movies/toy-story-1995. Retrieved November 03, 2011. 
  39. ^ Best Animated Films
  40. ^ Best of Kids/Family at Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-10-27
  41. ^ "MRQE's Best CGI-Animated Movies". Mrqe.com. http://www.mrqe.com/movies/special/best_cgi_animated_movies. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  42. ^ Toy Story at Rotten Tomatoes
  43. ^ Toy Story 2 at Rotten Tomatoes
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "AFI's 10 Top 10". American Film Institute. 2008-06-17. http://www.afi.com/10top10/. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  45. ^ Pirrello, Phil; Eric Goldman, Matt Fowler, Scott Collura, Cindy White and Jesse Schedeen. "Top 25 Animated Movies of All-Time", IGN
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  57. ^ "My neighbor Totoro is number one by Time Out.". Time Out. http://www.timeout.com/film/features/show-feature/8866/. Retrieved November 03, 2011. 
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