The 52 best drama films of all time

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1.
Imitation of Life (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A struggling young actress with a six year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white. (125 mins.)
Director: Douglas Sirk
 
2.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression. (129 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
3.
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life. (118 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
4.
Penny Serenade (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A couple's big dreams give way to a life full of unexpected sadness and unexpected joy. (119 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
5.
Separate Tables (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The stories of several people are told as they stay at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth which features dining at "Separate Tables." (100 mins.)
Director: Delbert Mann
 
6.
Now, Voyager (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A Boston spinster blossoms under therapy and finds an impossible romance. (117 mins.)
Director: Irving Rapper
 
7.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
8.
Marty (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A middle-aged butcher and a school teacher who have given up on the idea of love meet at a dance and fall for each other. (90 mins.)
Director: Delbert Mann
 
9.
The Searchers (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe. (119 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
10.
An Affair to Remember (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A couple falls in love and agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building - but will it happen? (119 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
11.
Love Affair (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
French playboy Michel Marnet and American Terry McKay fall in love aboard ship. They arrange to reunite 6 months later... (88 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
12.
Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An elderly couple are forced to separate when they lose their house and none of their five children will take both parents in. (91 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
13.
My Son John (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
The Jeffersons are the ideal picture-perfect all-American family in a small town, but their eldest son John returns home after a long absence spouting views that cause them to worry he may be a Communist. (122 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
14.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. (92 mins.)
 
15.
Written on the Wind (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister. (99 mins.)
Director: Douglas Sirk
 
16.
The Elephant Man (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity. (124 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
17.
The Executioner (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An undertaker gets married to an old executioner's daughter and, although he doesn't like it, must continue the profession of his father-in-law after his retirement. (87 mins.)
 
18.
Welcome Mr. Marshall! (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After finding out that North American people are visiting the Spanish villages, the citizens of Villar del Río start preparing themselves to welcome them when they arrive. (78 mins.)
 
19.
Placido (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In a small spanish town, a group of old ladies decide to celebrate Christmas Eve with a "Sit a poor... (85 mins.)
 
20.
The Little Apartment (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Rodolfo and Petrita each live in separate quarters in dilapidated Madrid, while looking to have a little apartment (or "pisito"... (87 mins.)
 
21.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional. (132 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
22.
Mystic River (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy. (138 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
23.
Changeling (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day. (141 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
24.
Gran Torino (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino. (116 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
25.
Bird (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The troubled life and career of the jazz musician, Charlie "Bird" Parker. (161 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
26.
Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them. (110 mins.)
Director: John M. Stahl
 
27.
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., her childhood companion who is the only living witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier. (116 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
 
28.
Not as a Stranger (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An ego-driven, aspiring physician, intolerant of the weaknesses of others, especially those closest to him, comes to grips with his own imperfections. (135 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
 
29.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost. (104 mins.)
 
30.
Camille (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail. (109 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
31.
On Golden Pond (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms. (109 mins.)
Director: Mark Rydell
 
32.
The Trip to Bountiful (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In 1940s Texas, an elderly woman is determined to visit her childhood home for one last time. (108 mins.)
Director: Peter Masterson
 
33.
Waterloo Bridge (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
During World War I, believing her fiancé to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution. (108 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
 
34.
Home from the Hill (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Dramatic story of the influential Hunnicutt family set in Texas during the late 1950s. (150 mins.)
 
35.
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes... (128 mins.)
 
36.
Evelyn (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His... (94 mins.)
Director: Bruce Beresford
 
37.
Being There (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A simple, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics. (130 mins.)
Director: Hal Ashby
 
38.
Great Expectations (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor. (118 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
39.
Oliver Twist (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An adaptation of the classic Dickens tale, where an orphan meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master. (130 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
40.
Brief Encounter (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband. (86 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
41.
Vera Drake (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family. (125 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
42.
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The feature adaptation of Roger Lewis' book about the actor best remembered as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies. (122 mins.)
Director: Stephen Hopkins
 
43.
The Man in the White Suit (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An altruistic chemist invents a fabric which resists wear and stain as a boon to humanity, but both big business and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons. (85 mins.)
 
44.
A Special Day (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two neighbors, a persecuted journalist and a resigned housewife, meet during Hitler's visit in Italy in 1938. (106 mins.)
Director: Ettore Scola
 
45.
Two Women (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In the Italy of WWII, a widow and her lonely daughter seek for distance between them and the horrors of war. (100 mins.)
 
46.
The Family (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Traces events in the life of Carlo, from his christening in 1906, where his grandfather reminds his... (127 mins.)
Director: Ettore Scola
 
47.
Espérame en el cielo (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Did Franco have a double? The story is set in the late 40's, in Spain... The humble owner of an orthopedics... (100 mins.)
Director: Antonio Mercero
 
48.
Son of the Bride (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
At age 42, Rafael Belvedere is having a crisis. He lives in the shadow of his father, he feels guilty about rarely visiting his aging mother... (123 mins.)
 
49.
Miracle in Milan (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An old woman finds a baby among the cauliflowers in her garden. She takes care of the orphan, and calls him Totò... (100 mins.)
 
50.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist. (155 mins.)
 
51.
Titanic (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. (194 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
52.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé. (108 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer