Tarantino, Scorsese and Other Directors Reveal Their Top 10 Movies of All Time

There was plenty of discussion across the movie blogosphere following last week’s announcement that Vertigo had dethroned Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time according to Sight & Sound’s decennial poll. In addition to revealing the top 50 as determined by critics, they also provided a top 10 based on a separate poll for directors only. In the print version of the magazine, they have taken it a step further by reprinting some of the individual top 10 lists from the filmmakers who participated, and we now have some of them here for your perusal.

Among them, we have lists from legends like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino, but there are also some unexpected newcomers who took part including Richard Ayoade (Submarine), Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) and Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene). Some of these lists aren’t all that surprising (both Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright have given versions of their top 10s before), but hey, who knew that Michael Mann liked both Avatar and Biutiful so much? There’s plenty to chew on here, so check out the lists after the jump and then tell us who is on point and who is simply off their rocker.


Woody Allen

  • Bicycle Thieves (1948, dir. Vittorio De Sica)
  • The Seventh Seal (1957, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
  • Citizen Kane (1941, dir. Orson Welles)
  • Amarcord (1973, dir. Federico Fellini)
  • 8 1/2 (1963, dir. Federico Fellini)
  • The 400 Blows (1959, dir. Francois Truffaut)
  • Rashomon (1950, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
  • La Grande Illusion (1937, dir. Jean Renoir)
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972, dir. Luis Bunuel)
  • Paths of Glory (1957, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

Richard Ayoade (Submarine)

  • Persona (1966, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
  • Le Mepris (1963, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
  • Raging Bull (1980, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Ordet (1955, dir. Carl theodor Dreyer)
  • Barry Lyndon (1975, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989, dir. Woody Allen)
  • The Apartment (1960, dir. Billy Wilder)
  • Tokyo Story (1953, dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
  • Make Way For Tomorrow (1937, dir. Leo McCarey)
  • Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)

Bong Joon-Ho

  • A City of Sadness (1989, dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  • Cure (1997, dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  • The Housemaid (1960, dir. Kim Ki-young)
  • Fargo (1996, dir. the Coen Brothers)
  • Psycho (1960, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Raging Bull (1980, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Touch of Evil (1958, dir. Orson Welles)
  • Vengeance Is Mine (1973, dir. Shohei Imamura)
  • The Wages of Fear (1953, dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot)
  • Zodiac (2007, dir. David Fincher)

Francis Ford Coppola

  • Ashes and Diamonds (1958, dir. Andrzej Wajda)
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946, dir William Wyler)
  • I Vitteloni (1953, dir. Federico Fellini)
  • The Bad Sleep Well (1960, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
  • Yojimbo (1961, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
  • Singin’ in the Rain (1952, dir. Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly)
  • The King of Comedy (1983, dir Martin Scorsese)
  • Raging Bull (1980, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • The Apartment (1960s, dir. Billy Wilder)
  • Sunrise (1927, dir. F.W. Murnau)

Guillermo Del Toro

  • Frankenstein (1931, dir. James Whale)
  • Freaks (1932, dir. Todd Browning)
  • Shadow of a Doubt (1943, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Greed (1925, dir. Erich Von Stroheim)
  • Modern Times (1936, dir. Charlie Chaplin)
  • La Belle Et La Bete (1946, dir. Jean Cocteau)
  • Goodfellas (1990, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Los Olvidados (1950, dir. Luis Bunuel)
  • Nosferatu (1922, dir. F.W. Murnau)
  • 8 1/2 (1963, dir. Federico Fellini)

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (The Kid with a Bike)

  • Accatone (1961, dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  • The Big Heat (1953, dir. Fritz Lang)
  • Dodes’ka-den (1970, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
  • Germany Year Zero (1948, dir. Roberto Rossellini)
  • Loulou (1980, dir. Maurice Pialat)
  • Modern Times (1936, dir. Charlie Chaplin)
  • The Searchers (1956, dir. John Ford)
  • Shoah (1985, dir. Claude Lanzmann)
  • Street of Shame (1956, dir. Kenji Mizoguchi)
  • Sunrise (1927, dir. F.W. Murnau)

Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene)

  • The Shining (1980, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968, dir. Roman Polanski)
  • Jaws (1975, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • 3 Women (1977, dir. Robert Altman)
  • The Birds (1963, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • The Goonies (1985, dir. Richard Donner)
  • The Piano Teacher (2001, dir. Michael Haneke)
  • Persona (1966, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
  • The Panic in Needle Park (1971, dir. Jerry Schatzberg)
  • The Conformist (1970, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)

Asghar Farhadi (A Separation)

  • Rashomon (1950, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
  • La Strada (1954, dir. Federico Fellini)
  • The Godfather (1972, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Tokyo Story (1953, dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
  • The Apartment (1960, dir. Billy Wilder)
  • Three Colors Red (1994, dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  • Take the Money and Run (1969, dir. Woody Allen)
  • Scenes From a Marriage (1973, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
  • Taxi Driver (1976, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Modern Times (1936, dir. Charlie Chaplin)

Michel Hazavanicius (The Artist)

  • City Girl (1930, dir. F.W. Murnau)
  • City Lights (1931, dir. Charlie Chaplin)
  • To Be Or Not To Be (1942, dir. Ernst Lubitsch)
  • Citizen Kane (1941, dir. Orson Welles)
  • The Apartment (1960, dir. Billy Wilder)
  • The Shining (1980, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  • North By Northwest (1959, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • The Third Man (1949, dir. Carol Reed)
  • Raging Bull (1980, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937, dir. Walt Disney)

Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know)

  • Blind (1987, dir. Frederick Wiseman)
  • Smooth Talk (1985, dir. Joyce Chopra)
  • Vertigo (1958, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • After Life (1998, dir. Hirokazu Koreeda)
  • Somewhere in Time (1980, dir. Jeannot Szwarc)
  • Cheese (2007, dir. Mika Rottenberg)
  • Punch Drunk Love (2002, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • The Red Balloon (1956, dir. Albert Lamorisse)
  • A Room With a View (1985, dir. James Ivory)
  • Fish Tank (2009, dir. Andrea Arnold)

Mike Leigh

  • American Madness (1932, dir. Frank Capra)
  • Andrei Rublev (1966, dir. Andrei Tarkovsky)
  • I Am Cuba (1964, dir. Mikhai Kalatozov)
  • The Emigrants (1971, dir. Jan Troell)
  • How a Mosquito Operates (1912, dir. Winsor McCay)
  • Jules Et Jim (1962, dir. Francois Truffaut)
  • Radio Days (1987, dir. Woody Allen)
  • Songs From the Second Floor (2000, dir. Roy Andersson)
  • Tokyo Story (1953, dir. Yasujiro Ozu)

Michael Mann

  • Apocalypse Now (1979, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Battleship Potemkin (1925, dir. Sergei Eisenstein)
  • Citizen Kane (1941, dir. Orson Welles)
  • Avatar (2009, dir. James Cameron)
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  • Biutiful (2010, dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
  • My Darling Clementine (1946, dir. John Ford)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, dir. Carl theodor Dreyer)
  • Raging Bull (1980, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • The Wild Bunch (1969, dir. Sam Peckinpah)

Steve McQueen (Shame)

  • The Battle of Algiers (1966, dir. Gillo Pontecorvo)
  • Zero de Conduite (1933, dir. Jean Vigo)
  • La Regle du Jeu (1939, dir. Jean Renoir)
  • Tokyo Story (1953, dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
  • Couch (1964, dir. Andy Warhol)
  • Le Mepris (1963, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
  • Beau Travail (1998, dir. Claire Denis)
  • Once Upon a Time in America (1984, dir. Sergio Leone)
  • The Wages of Fear (1953, dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot)
  • Do the Right Thing (1989, dir. Spike Lee)

Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter)

  • Cool Hand Luke (1967, dir. Stuart Rosenberg)
  • Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)
  • Hud (1963, dir. Martin Ritt)
  • The Hustler (1961, dir. Robert Rossen)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962, dir. David Lean)
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, dir. George Roy Hill)
  • Jaws (1975, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • North By Northwest (1959, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Stagecoach (1939, dir. John Ford)
  • Fletch (1985, dir. Michael Ritchie)

David O. Russell

  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, dir. Frank Capra)
  • Chinatown (1974, dir. Roman Polanski)
  • Goodfellas (1990, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Vertigo (1958, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994, dir. Quentin Tarantino)
  • Raging Bull (1980, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Young Frankenstein (1974, dir. Mel Brooks)
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972, dir. Luis Bunuel)
  • The Godfather (1972, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Blue Velvet (1986, dir. David Lynch)
  • Groundhog Day (1993, dir. Harold Ramis)

Martin Scorsese

  • 8 1/2 (1963, dir. Federico Fellini)
  • 2001: a Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  • Ashes and Diamonds (1958, dir. Andrzej Wajda)
  • Citizen Kane (1941, dir. Orson Welles)
  • The Leopard (1963, dir. Luchino Visconti)
  • Palsa (1946, dir. Roberto Rossellini)
  • The Red Shoes (1948, dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)
  • The River (1951, dir. Jean Renoir)
  • Salvatore Giuliano (1962, dir. Francesco Rosi)
  • The Searchers (1956, dir. John Ford)
  • Ugetsu Monogatari (1953, dir. Kenji Mizoguchi)
  • Vertigo (1958, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Quentin Tarantino

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966, dir. Sergio Leone)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  • The Bad News Bears (1976, dir. Michael Ritchie)
  • Carrie (1976, dir. Brian DePalma)
  • Dazed and Confused (1993, dir. Richard Linklater)
  • The Great Escape (1963, dir. John Sturges)
  • His Girl Friday (1940, dir. Howard Hawks)
  • Jaws (1975, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971, dir. Roger Vadim)
  • Rolling Thunder (1977, dir. John Flynn)
  • Sorcerer (1977, dir. William Friedkin)
  • Taxi Driver (1976, dir. Martin Scorsese)

Bela Tarr (The Turin Horse)

  • Man With a Movie Camera (1929, dir. Dziga Vertov)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, dir. Carl theodor Dreyer)
  • Alexander Nevsky (1938, dir. Sergei Eisenstein)
  • M (1931, dir. Fritz Lang)
  • Au hasard Balthazar (1966, dir. Robert Bresson)
  • Vivre sa vie (1962, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
  • Frenzy (1972, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Tokyo Story (1953, dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
  • The Round-Up (1965, dir. Miklos Jancso)
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

Edgar Wright

  • 2001: a Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981, dir. John Landis)
  • Carrie (1976, dir. Brian DePalma)
  • Dames (1934, dir. Ray Enright and Busby Berkeley)
  • Don’t Look Now (1973, dir. Nicolas Roeg)
  • Duck Soup (1933, dir. Leo McCarey)
  • Psycho (1960, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Raising Arizona (1987, dir. the Coen Brothers)
  • Taxi Driver (1976, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • The Wild Bunch (1969, dir. Sam Peckinpah)

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives)

  • Goodbye Dragon Inn (2003, dir. Ming-liang Tsai)
  • A Brighter Summer Day (1991, dir. Edward Yang)
  • Rain (1929, dir. Joris Ivens)
  • Empire (1964, dir. Andy Warhol)
  • Valentin de la Sierras (1971, dir. Bruce Baillie)
  • The Conversation (1974, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Full Metal Jacket (1987, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  • The Eighties (1983, dir. Chantal Akerman)
  • The General (1926, dir. Buster Keaton)
  • Satantango (1994, dir. Bela Tarr)

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  • DealwithIt

    Thanks for all the lists, random ass commenters! Which community college did you guys get your cinematography degree from?

  • DealwithIt

    Where the fuck is Congo?

  • Jamie Daniel Harmeyer

    Fletch -1985
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – 1997
    A Christmas Story – 1983
    The Sting – 1973
    Jaws -1975
    Star Wars – 1977
    Scrooge – 1951
    Pineapple Express -2008
    Goodfellas – 1990
    Xanadu – 1980

  • Earl_Grey_Hot

    Star Trek 1-10

  • HobokenGuy

    Over in Africa.

  • HobokenGuy

    That most of them are older, so their favorite movies are older. Plus the older it is, the longer you have to internalize it through multiple viewings over many years.

  • Peter Malaspina

    Dark Knight, are you kidding?

  • Peter Malaspina

    Dark Knight, wtf? That movie is ridiculous. Even the ending makes no sense.

  • Abop

    I reckon most of those directors watched a lot of films growing up and when they were young, but don’t watch that many now. Which is why there aren’t that many modern films in there.

  • AntifreezeTeetotaler

    Many, many Prestige movies have been listed here, like these directors could have raided their closets full of Criterion Collection movies. Some of these I honestly don’t even like, such as The Leopard from Scorsese’s list, or even The Third Man, which honestly doesn’t hold up very well until about two thirds of the way into the movie.

  • David Ehrenstein

    Joe’s list is the best

  • Sebastian

    There Will Be Blood
    Pulp Fiction
    Seventh Seal
    Soy Cuba
    La Haine
    He Got Game
    Tokyo Story
    The Hunt
    Raging Bull
    Motorcycle Diaries

  • Christian Thompson

    Yeah, screw you guys, using the comments section to share your personal opinions!

  • Christian Thompson

    oops didn’t mean to include that pic

  • Kirk Diggler

    The Godfather I & II
    Pulp Fiction
    The Big Lebowski
    Boogie Nights
    The Third Man
    Goodfellas
    Lost In Translation
    The Empire Strikes Back
    The Sound of Music

  • jimmy

    1. Once Upon a Time in the West
    2. Once Upon a Time in America
    3. Jackie Brown
    4. The Godfather: Part II
    5. Apocalypse Now
    6. The Sound of Music
    7. Pulp Fiction
    8. The Godfather
    9. Goodfellas
    10. Doctor Zhivago

  • Skelton Naggs

    1. The Odd Couple II
    2. Bride Wars
    3. Paparazzi
    4. The Substitute 3
    5. Booty Call
    6. The Wiz
    7. Springbreakers
    8. Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie
    9. Because of Winn Dixie
    10. Citizen Kane

  • Amanda

    Is there a single woman among any of these lists?

  • janetvaneeden

    Not one. Not one asked. Not one cited.

  • David Chute

    Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know)
    Blind (1987, dir. Frederick Wiseman)
    Smooth Talk (1985, dir. Joyce Chopra)
    Vertigo (1958, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
    After Life (1998, dir. Hirokazu Koreeda)
    Somewhere in Time (1980, dir. Jeannot Szwarc)
    Cheese (2007, dir. Mika Rottenberg)
    Punch Drunk Love (2002, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
    The Red Balloon (1956, dir. Albert Lamorisse)
    A Room With a View (1985, dir. James Ivory)
    Fish Tank (2009, dir. Andrea Arnold)

  • Loulou Von Spiel

    I think this is meant to be “10 best movies” of all time, not” your favourite movies “of all time. I will assume that those directors, at least some, may have used profesional insights to pick their list as opposed to just their personal opinions. Hence you find old, well established movies, as it is very difficult today to be groundbreaking and original, but that doesn’t mean you will appeal or satisfy the audience less.

  • disqus_R8iFalVptW

    This list is depressing. Hardly any of them revere any films that came out after they began their filmmaking careers

  • Santiago Gavaldón

    So?

  • jon

    Because it’s a really fucking good movie.

  • Shaytan

    yes. One. But how many female movie directors do you know? Apart from Asia Argento, I can’t think of none.

  • Shifu R. Careaga

    The question is, my top 10 favorite or top 10 well made. I can think of a lot of top 10 well made I didn’t enjoy, and many favorites that were technically B level or summer movie junk. I’ll opt for top 10 important movies:
    1. Metropolis
    2. Wizard of Oz
    3. Star Wars
    4. The Godfather
    5. Lord of the Rings
    6. Jurassic Park equal Terminator 2 (graphics)
    7. 2001: A Space Odyssey
    8. Citizen Kane equal with Gone with the Wind (some loss of relevance)
    9. The Lion King equal with Akira
    10. Saving Private Ryan or Patton

    so hard to decide between eras of importance!

  • Kamran Ahmed

    Mirror (Tarkovsky)
    Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski)
    Rashomon (Kurosawa)
    Diary of a Country Priest (Bresson)
    Wild Strawberries (Bergman)
    A Time to Live and a Time to Die (Hsiao-Hsien)
    Kaagaz Ke Phool (Dutt)
    Umberto D (De Sica)
    Man With a Movie Camera (Vertov)
    Tree of Life (Malick)

  • Lucas

    It’s probably because they look at their contemporaries and peers with a different perspective than their mentors and idols, which is normal and something we all do. That doesn’t mean they dislike their fellow modern day directors, but they *did* learn from those who came before them.

  • wrxyz

    Of the top of my head: Chantal Akerman, Agnes Varda, Claire Denis, Lynne Ramsay, Jane Campion, Niki Caro, Sarah Polley, Kathryn Bigelow, Liv Ullman, Lena Dunham, and Agnieszka Holland.

  • J.H.

    Ummm…Okay, you have only listed one femaie director on here to give a ten best films list….Question: why? there are many great female directors – are their lists not of interest to you or could you not reach them? thanks.

  • Ebert and Ernie

    1. Corky Romano
    2. Night at the Roxbury
    3. Ernest Scared Stupid
    4. Nothing But Trouble
    5. Jack and Jill
    6. Naked Gun 33 1/3
    7. Now You See Me
    8. Roshoman
    9. The Seventh Seal
    10. Phantom Menace

  • wrxyz

    Plus Sofia Coppola (not a huge fan, obviously) and Mira Nair, now that I think of it. And Julie Delpy.

  • Gagsman

    1.The Godfather
    2.Goodfellas
    3.Dr. Strangelove
    4.Raging Bull
    5.3 Idiots
    6.Star Wars
    7.The Wolf of wall street
    8.Citizen kane
    9.Toy Story
    10.The Godfather Part II

  • sarah hale

    right on!

  • sarah hale

    only one!!!!

  • sarah hale

    the list below PLUS Mira Nair, (Mississippi Marsala, the reluctant fundamentalist and many more) Annette Haywood Carter (Foxfire , Savannah), Laurie Collyer ( Sherry baby, Sunlight Junior), Maggie Greenwald (The Ballad of Little Jo, song catcher) Rose Troche ( the L word ). Barbara streisand (yentle, prince of tides) and MANY MANY more here is a link to about 500 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_film_directors

  • sarah hale

    Alison Maclean,

  • Max Magbee

    In Scorsese’s list, number 6 is PAISAN, not “Palsa”, which sounds like some sort of paralysis.

  • Leon Horka

    Spielberg, but no Buñuel? Seriously?

  • Leon Horka

    Jaws? Avatar? Spielberg? what the fuck’s wrong with these people? and they call themselves “film lovers”.

  • pollitttyler

    I am not a fan of Bunuel’s films, to me he is a hypocrite. It seems like, in my opinion, Bunuel talks down to people of faith as if they’re fools, as a man of faith myself I can’t stand that, though I do admire his surrealist approach. I believe Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game is infinitely better than The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

  • Leon Horka

    It’s your opinion but to me Spielberg is the phoniest filmmaker of all, just an artistic opportunist. He has enough money and power to make or to support good cinema and yet he makes shitty pretentious movies. I am a man of faith my self, too. I’ll watch that Renoir film someday.

  • pollitttyler

    I agree partially with you. Spielberg can at times make overly sentimental tripe, and I hate that Jaws gets so much praise. Though, I think at times, he’s a pretty smart guy, think about it, he makes the “money drawers” like E.T. and Jurassic Park, so then he can make films like Schindler’s List. I think Schindler’s List really is a masterpiece. Also, I believe pretentious is one of the most overused words in cinema, I really can’t attribute that word to many films I’ve seen, and really if there are pretentious films, Spielberg’s would be some of the farthest ones from it, considering most if his films are Hollywood money fare. I’ve only seen The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel by Bunuel and didn’t really feel any need to check out more. Based on me disliking those, would I like any other of his films in your opinion? The Rules of the Game is the most layered and meaningful film I have ever seen! Make sure you check it out! Renoir was a genius in my opinion.

  • Dustin

    There are not very many prominent female directors out there.

  • J.H.

    oh really? I dont share your opinion, dustin. To name only a few: Jane Campion(The Piano, Bright Star, Sweetie, An Angel at My Table, etc), Lena Wertmuller (Seven Beauties, Swept Away, The Seduction of Mimi,etc), Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career, Mrs Soffel, High Tide,etc), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, etc), Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank,etc), and on and on. No , I dont think its a lack of brilliant and prominent women directors.

  • Mr me

    I don’t necessarily agree with u. Maybe I’m just not as well versed in film as some, but I’ve only heard of two of those directors, and while both of them are talented, neither of them is as talented as per se, Scorsese. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think it’s an issue of sexism

  • guest

    It never ceases to blow my mind how any Bertolucci film could be in someone’s 10 favourite films of all time.

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