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10 Filmmakers' Top 10 Films Lists: Scorsese, Kubrick, Allen, Tarantino, Nolan and More

by Beth Hanna
August 1, 2013 1:16 PM
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Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's "The Red Shoes"
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's "The Red Shoes"

Flavorwire has compiled 10 filmmakers' Top 10 Films lists. Included are Martin Scorsese (who lists Powell and Pressburger's "The Red Shoes" and Renoir's "The River," among others ), Stanley Kubrick (who singles out Chaplin's "City Lights" and Antonioni's "La notte"), and Woody Allen (a fan of Bergman's "Seventh Seal" and Kurosawa's "Rashomon"). 

Lena Dunham is the sole female representative, and also the only filmmaker to list films made by women in her Top 10: Agnes Varda's "La pointe courte," "Le bonheur," "Vagabond" and "Cleo from 5 to 7" all tie in her estimation, while Dunham also praises Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank." 

It should be noted that these lists hail from different sources and have differing criteria; some are self-made, some are from the Sight & Sound poll in 2012, some are limited to Criterion-released titles (such as Nolan's, Dunham's and Johnson's), some include more than 10 titles. Kubrick's, for example, was created in 1963. Flavorwire has the details on when and where each list comes from.

Stanley Kubrick
Dmitri Kasterine Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick

I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953)

Wild Strawberries (Bergman, 1957)

Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston, 1948)

City Lights (Chaplin, 1931)

Henry V (Olivier, 1944)

La notte (Antonioni, 1961)

The Bank Dick (Fields, 1940)

Roxie Hart (Wellman, 1942)

Hell’s Angels (Hughes, 1930)

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese

2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)

8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)

Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, 1958)

Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

The Leopard (Visconti, 1963)

Paisa (Rossellini, 1946)

The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, 1948)

The River (Renoir, 1951)

Salvatore Giuliano (Rosi, 1962)

The Searchers (Ford, 1956)

Ugetsu Monogatari (Mizoguchi, 1953)

Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)

Woody Allen
Woody Allen

Woody Allen

The 400 Blows (Truffaut, 1959)

8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)

Amarcord (Fellini, 1972)

The Bicycle Thieves (de Sica, 1948)

Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Bunuel, 1972)

Grand Illusion (Renoir, 1937)

Paths of Glory (Kubrick, 1957)

Rashomon (Kurosawa, 1950)

The Seventh Seal (Bergman, 1957)


  • Brian | March 21, 2014 1:26 AMReply

    Interesting that Carrie is in QT's top 10 list. I recently watched him at sbbif saying that "blow out" was the best brian de palma film.

  • MAX CADY | August 4, 2013 2:32 AMReply

    thank you tarantino
    i hope his list will inspire people to watch SORCERER
    it is like hurt locker
    so intense it takes your breath away

    imagine chief brody driving a truck with nitro on a bad road

  • Manni | August 3, 2013 6:15 PMReply

    It's "Wajda", not "Wadja" ("Ashes and Diamonds").

  • Sediqua | August 3, 2013 1:44 AMReply

    Who the fuck cares about Lena Dunham?

  • Ari | August 12, 2013 1:21 PM

    Thank you and while we're at, how about tossing out Rian Johnson too!

  • A Jackson | August 2, 2013 10:49 PMReply

    All in all a bit eclectic.
    Except for Scorsese and Allen , who seem to fit the 10 year Sight and Sound consensus , which , except for the strange 2012 poll results seems to average out as the best poll.
    Why Satyajit Ray cannot rise into recognition passes beyond by understanding.

  • Helluva | August 2, 2013 9:42 AMReply

    I was encouraged that I shared more favorites with Woody Allen than the others (on page 1) 'til I got to QT's list (one of my least favorite filmmakers) and saw that he & I have at least 4 of 10 in common. Interesting...

  • Helluva | August 2, 2013 9:44 AM

    Nice article by the way.

  • JAB | August 1, 2013 9:03 PMReply

    (Ditto on the Dunham inclusion unless toh! is trying to undermine its cred.)
    Even with the "Criterion" qualification, I love Nolan's inclusion of "Koyaanisqatsi". Now if we can get Bigelow, Fincher, Greengrass & Spielberg to weigh in on their favorite 10.

  • Yatagarasu | August 1, 2013 7:57 PMReply

    Why the hell is Dunham included with those great directors? She's only directed one movie and has created a TV show.

    Seriously, what is with the media and their propaganda like worship of Lena Dunham? The constant attempts to put her alongside the greatest filmmakers/TV creators of all time? It's insulting.

  • Incognito | August 2, 2013 4:04 PM

    3 years from now Girls will be off the air and nobody will talk about Dunham, and that is not an actual top ten it's just the list of films she is pretty sure none of her hipster buddy saw yet and she can claim that she saw those first.

  • Justin Chang | August 1, 2013 5:57 PMReply

    Small detail for the record: On "Ugetsu Monogatari," the director's surname is Mizoguchi, not Kenji.

  • Beth Hanna | August 1, 2013 6:28 PM

    @Justin Chang -- Good eye, thanks. It's been fixed.

  • Joseph Angier | August 1, 2013 5:34 PMReply

    Great stuff! As a wise man once said: "When it's on the screen, it makes an evening. When it's on a list, it makes history."

  • tyler4all | August 1, 2013 3:23 PMReply

    Does anyone care what Lena Dunham considers to be a good movie? im not trying to be an ass. I really do wonder. Kubrick? yeah. Coppola? yeah! Tarantino? yeah. Dunham? hmmm...not interested. What were Bergman and Kurosawa and Renoir's influences? THAT i'd wanna read.

  • G12ZZ | August 1, 2013 7:58 PM


  • Thomasi | August 1, 2013 5:29 PM

    I care, just as I'd be curious about what films are held in esteem by any filmmaker of note, even filmmakers I don't particularly like (such as Nolan), if only to put some of their choices and tendencies into a certain context.

  • Byron | August 1, 2013 5:19 PM

    Amen. While she's technically a filmmaker, I mean, come on

  • Michael LoSasso | August 1, 2013 3:07 PMReply

    This list is somewhat misleading, the top ten for Lena Dunham and Christopher Nolan are their top ten favorite films on the Criterion Collection not their top 10 overall.

  • Thomasi | August 1, 2013 5:27 PM

    This is acknowledged in the body of the article preceding the lists.

  • Mike | August 1, 2013 3:08 PM

    That goes for Rian Johnson as well

  • Renee Hirshfield | August 1, 2013 3:04 PMReply

    Let's try this again, without ASCII codes: The eighth film on Rian Johnson€' s list should be "The Third Man (Reed, 1949)"; €"The Thin Man" director and year would be "(Van Dyke, 1934)." Also, all of Johnson's selections are Criterion Collection titles.

  • Renée Hirshfield | August 1, 2013 3:01 PMReply

    The eighth film on Rian Johnson’s list should be “The Third Man (Reed, 1949)”; “The Thin Man” director and year would be “(Van Dyke, 1934).” Also, all of Johnson’s selections are Criterion Collection titles.

  • David | August 1, 2013 2:42 PMReply

    Nolan's "top 10" is his top 10 favorite films available through Criterion.

  • Thomasi | August 1, 2013 5:30 PM

    Guys, seriously. Read the article first.

  • cory everett | August 1, 2013 2:44 PM

    Ditto for Dunham.

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