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'. The list also includes two non-British films, namely My Left Foot and The Commitments.
- The 1960s led the pack with 26 films of merit for the decade. Four films made the list from each of the years 1949, 1963, and 1971. 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, 1958, 1972 and 1974–78.
- David Lean, with seven films, is the most-represented director in the list, followed by Michael Powell (five films, of which four were collaborations with Emeric Pressburger). Powell and Pressburger ("The Archers") and John Schlesinger had four films each, while Alexander Mackendrick and Tony Richardson each had three. Seven of the films were produced by Ealing Studios during the years 1949–55.
- The most-represented actor is Alec Guinness with nine films of merit, although three appearances were in supporting roles. Michael Caine is the most represented living actor, starring in seven films.
- Julie Christie is the most represented actress, with six films on the list.
- All of the directors in the list are male.
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- In 2004 the BFI compiled a list of the 100 biggest UK cinematic hits of all time based on audience viewing, the list was released as a book. The top 10 are available in this BBC News Online story.
- BBC. 23 September 1999. Entertainment: Best 100 British films - full list. Accessed 30 January 2014.