Top 250 Most-Acclaimed Short Films of All Timeby mjf314 | created - 22 Apr 2011 | updated - 31 Dec 2011 | Public
I compiled this list from many different polls, lists, and awards, using a weighted point system to rank the shorts (the most acclaimed shorts are on the top). I'm defining short as any film with a runtime of 45 minutes or less.
This list includes many acclaimed animated shorts which are missing from the Brief Encounters list, most notably The Man Who Planted Trees and Ruka.
Missing from IMDb: The Magic Fox (1982) (it would've been ranked #132)
This list on listsofbests.com
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1. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Unrated | 45 min | Action, Comedy, Romance
A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.
4. A Day in the Country (1936)
Not Rated | 40 min | Short, Comedy, Drama
The family of a Parisian shop-owner spends a day in the country. The daughter falls in love to a man at the inn, where they spend the day.
5. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
14 min | Short
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
7. Night and Fog (1956)
Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.
10. Listen to Britain (1942)
Not Rated | 20 min | Documentary, Short
A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.
11. Scorpio Rising (1963)
28 min | Short, Music
An army of gay/nazi bikers make their engines roar and ride the way to pain/pleasure as sexual and sadistic symbols are intercut into the dazing chaos and rhythmic experiences of this ... See full summary »
13. Wavelength (1967)
45 min | Drama
One of the most unconventional and experimental films ever made, Wavelength is a structural film of a 45-minute long zoom in on a window over a period of a week.
15. Moznosti dialogu (1983)
12 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
A three-part depiction of various forms of communication. 'Factual Discussion' depicts three heads (made up of fruit, kitchen utensils and writing implements respectively) endlessly ... See full summary »
Director: Jan Svankmajer
17. Street of Crocodiles (1986)
20 min | Animation, Short
A man closes up a lecture hall; he reaches into a box and snips the string holding a gaunt puppet. Released, the puppet warily explores the darkened rooms about him. Screws twist out of ... See full summary »
18. A Song of Love (1950)
Not Rated | 26 min | Short, Fantasy, Romance
Two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by the thick brick walls, and desperately in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication.
19. Las Hurdes (1933)
30 min | Documentary, Short
A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.
20. What's Opera, Doc? (1957)
Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
Elmer Fudd is again hunting rabbits - only this time it's an opera. Wagner's Siegfried with Elmer as the titular hero and Bugs as Brunnhilde. They sing, they dance, they eat the scenery.
21. Flaming Creatures (1963)
45 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror
With full disturbing and weirdo graphic plus sexual scenes, Flaming Creatures is one of most daring and controversial film of all time, According to Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures is a comedy in a haunted music studio.
23. King-Size Canary (1947)
Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
A mangy cat on the verge of starvation finds a tiny canary and a bottle of 'Jumbo-Gro' fertilizer, which gives him an idea that leads to giant cats, dogs, mice and canaries chasing each other round Lilliputian towns and cities...
25. Les maîtres fous (1955)
36 min | Documentary, Short, Horror
In one of the first mockumentaries ever created, director Jean Rouch takes his viewers to the city of Accra (West Africa) where he follows the Hauka movement and their religious and ritual ... See full summary »
26. Le sang des bêtes (1949)
22 min | Documentary, Short, Horror
An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh, gory conditions inside the nearby slaughterhouses. Describes the ... See full summary »
27. Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)
12 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
The cartoonist, Winsor McCay, brings the Dinosaurus back to life in the figure of his latest creation, Gertie the Dinosaur.
28. Yozhik v tumane (1975)
11 min | Animation, Short
A little hedgehog, on the way to visit his friend the bear, gets lost in thick fog, where horses, dogs and even falling leaves take on a terrifying new aspect...
29. The Street (1976)
10 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
This film deals with a Jewish family in Montreal, Canada as they care for a dying grandmother and the young boy who is impatient to get the room he was promised as soon as she kicks the ... See full summary »
32. Une nuit sur le mont chauve (1933)
8 min | Animation, Short
Mussorgsky's composition is the soundtrack for this pin-screen animated take on night and wild things. A scarecrow blows down, clouds move by quickly. Beings take shape; a town appears, ... See full summary »
38. The Old Mill (1937)
Approved | 9 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
We see the various birds, mice, and bats that have moved into an old windmill, followed by the frogs, crickets, and fireflies making their music in an adjacent pond. Then a storm comes, ... See full summary »
39. Red Hot Riding Hood (1943)
Approved | 7 min | Animation, Comedy, Short
The characters of the traditional fairy tale demand a new approach to the story as a sexy urban comedy with Red as an adult nightclub dancer.
57. The House Is Black (1963)
20 min | Documentary, Short
Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness", of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.
58. A Girl's Own Story (1986)
27 min | Short
A look at three girls, young teens, in the era of the Beatles. Pam lives with parents who haven't spoken directly to each other in two years, using their daughters to talk across the table ... See full summary »
62. Gerald McBoing-Boing (1950)
Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
The story of a little boy who would only talk in sound effects. With story by Dr. Seuss (and Bill Scott of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame) this cartoon won the Oscar for best short subject (animated) for 1950.
65. The Great Train Robbery (1903)
TV-G | 11 min | Short, Action, Western
A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.
69. A Diary for Timothy (1945)
40 min | Short, Documentary
This brief documentary-style film presents the status of Great Britain near the end of the Second World War by means of a visual diary for a baby boy born in September, 1944. Narration ... See full summary »
71. The Heart of the World (2000)
6 min | Short
Nikolai, a mortician, and Osip, an actor playing Christ in a play, are brothers in love with the same woman. Anna, a state scientist and said woman, is in love with both brothers and ... See full summary »
76. Minnie the Moocher (1932)
Passed | 8 min | Animation, Short, Family
Betty Boop and Bimbo run away from home, but that night they are scared by a chorus of ghosts singing the title song.
77. La traversée de l'Atlantique à la rame (1978)
24 min | Animation, Short
A short film about a couple who leave their home in New York City and spend the rest of their lives in a boat in the Atlantic Ocean.
79. Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1962)
TV-PG | 28 min | Short, Adventure, Drama
In 1862, during the American Civil War, a Southern civilian is about to be hanged for attempting to sabotage a railway bridge. When the execution takes place from the bridge, the rope breaks and he begins his escape toward home.
87. Entr'acte (1924)
22 min | Short
An absolute dada movie. Somebody gets killed, his coffin gets out of control and after a chase it stops. The person gets out of it and let everybody who followed the coffin dissapear.
88. Frank Film (1973)
G | 9 min | Animation, Short, Biography
This animated short features two soundtracks - in one, Frank narrates an autobiography,in the other, he reads off a list of words beginning with the letter "f." Tying the two soundtracks ... See full summary »
89. Puce Moment (1949)
6 min | Short
A soundtrack plays folk rock as a woman prepares, at noon, to take her Borzois for a walk. She goes through her dresses, all 1920s style flapper gowns, holding them one at a time, shaking ... See full summary »
92. Hôtel des Invalides (1952)
22 min | Documentary, Short
A tour of the Hotel des Invalides, and more particularly of the Army Museum and the Saint Louis Chapel. From François I's armor to Guynemer's airplane, to Napoleon's and Marshall Foch's ... See full summary »
94. My Childhood (1972)
46 min | Biography, Drama
The second part (My ain folk) of Bill Douglas' influential trilogy harks back to his impoverished upbringing in early-'40s Scotland. Cinema was his only escape - he paid for it with the ... See full summary »
95. Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)
12 min | Short, Horror
Experimental short, featuring strobe-like erotic imagery with several shots of the Rolling Stones in performance and an original synthesizer score by Mick Jagger.
99. Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954)
38 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror
A Slavonic Mass by Leos Janácek plays as historical figures, biblical characters, and mythical creatures gather in the pleasure dome. Aphrodite, Lilith, Isis, Kali, Astarte, Nero, Pan, and ... See full summary »
100. Powers of Ten (1977)
9 min | Documentary, Short
A scientific film essay, narrated by Phil Morrison. A set of pictures of two picnickers in a park, with the area of each frame one-tenth the size of the one before. Starting from a view of ... See full summary »