My Favourite Foreign Filmsby DougWonnacott | created - 15 Mar 2012 | updated - 12 Oct 2015 | Public
These are my favourite films not primarily produced by a British or American production company. A film does not necessarily have to have been shot in a foreign language to make this list. I haven't included martial arts films as I have a separate list for them.
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1. Metropolis (1927)
Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Votes: 127,265 | Gross: $0.03M
5. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
R | 178 min | Western
A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.
Votes: 563,609 | Gross: $6.10M
6. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
PG-13 | 164 min | Western
A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.
Votes: 244,758 | Gross: $5.32M
10. Zombie (1979)
R | 91 min | Horror
Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.
11. Rupan sansei: Kariosutoro no shiro (1979)
102 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.
13. Porky's (1981)
R | 94 min | Comedy
In 1954, a group of Florida high schoolers seek out to help their buddy lose his virginity, which leads them to seek revenge on a sleazy nightclub owner and his redneck sheriff brother for harassing them.
Votes: 33,394 | Gross: $111.29M
14. The Road Warrior (1981)
R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.
Votes: 145,976 | Gross: $12.47M
16. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
PG | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.
17. Subway (1985)
R | 104 min | Thriller
Fred is living in the Paris Metro system. He is blackmailing Helena, whose safe he has robbed. Fred has various 'friends' all living in this surreal setting. The Roller is a rollerskating ... See full summary »
Votes: 12,121 | Gross: $0.39M
18. Crocodile Dundee (1986)
PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy
An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City.
Votes: 80,714 | Gross: $174.64M
19. Castle in the Sky (1986)
PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.
20. The Big Blue (1988)
R | 168 min | Adventure, Drama, Sport
The rivalry between Enzo and Jacques, two childhood friends and now world-renowned free divers, becomes a beautiful and perilous journey into oneself and the unknown.
Votes: 41,519 | Gross: $3.50M
21. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.
23. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
G | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.
24. La Femme Nikita (1990)
R | 117 min | Action, Thriller
Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.
Votes: 59,405 | Gross: $5.02M
26. Léon: The Professional (1994)
R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.
Votes: 827,662 | Gross: $19.50M
27. Fireworks (1997)
103 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions.
Votes: 23,139 | Gross: $0.23M
28. Princess Mononoke (1997)
PG-13 | 134 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
Votes: 259,752 | Gross: $2.38M
29. Taxi (I) (1998)
Not Rated | 86 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
To work off his tarnished driving record, a hip taxi driver must chauffeur a loser police inspector on the trail of German bank robbers.
Votes: 66,688 | Gross: $0.27M
31. Battle Royale (2000)
Not Rated | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.
32. Spirited Away (2001)
PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.
Votes: 490,678 | Gross: $10.06M
33. City of God (2002)
R | 130 min | Crime, Drama
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.
Votes: 591,878 | Gross: $7.56M
34. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
PG | 94 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a journey across the Outback.
Votes: 24,811 | Gross: $6.17M
35. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
PG | 119 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.
Votes: 249,604 | Gross: $4.71M
38. The Chaser (2008)
Not Rated | 125 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A cash-strapped pimp and former police detective draws upon the skills of his old job to track down his missing stable of prostitutes.
39. Ponyo (2008)
G | 101 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A five year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.
Votes: 96,767 | Gross: $15.09M
40. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
R | 152 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A journalist is aided by a young female hacker in his search for the killer of a woman who has been dead for forty years.
Votes: 187,572 | Gross: $10.10M
41. The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)
R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
As computer hacker Lisbeth and journalist Mikael investigate a sex-trafficking ring, Lisbeth is accused of three murders, causing her to go on the run while Mikael works to clear her name.
Votes: 79,995 | Gross: $9.08M
42. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
G | 94 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
Votes: 61,241 | Gross: $19.20M