Martin Scorsese Recommends 39 Foreign Films to Young Filmmaker

by stephenkpowell | last updated - 21 May 2012 | Public

Martin Scorsese Recommends 39 Foreign Films to Young Filmmaker

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1. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
98 Metascore

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.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 126,027 | Gross: $0.03M

Watched on 4/29/2012. Hard to tolerate film actioning in 1927, but cinemotography, editing, and use of the camera were excellent. Frizt Lang demonstrates extraordinary vision in this movie.

2. Nosferatu (1922)

Unrated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 74,568

3. Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)

Not Rated | 242 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel

Votes: 5,895

4. Napoleon (1927)

240 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A film about the French general's youth and early military career.

Director: Abel Gance | Stars: Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële, Alexandre Koubitzky

Votes: 5,818

5. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Unrated | 113 min | Drama, War

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 28,978 | Gross: $0.17M

6. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 22,427

7. Children of Paradise (1945)

Not Rated | 189 min | Drama, Romance

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, Pierre Renoir

Votes: 15,580

8. Rome, Open City (1945)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1944, resistance leader Giorgio Manfredi is chased by Nazis and he seeks refuge and escape.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero, Vito Annichiarico

Votes: 18,356

9. Paisan (1946)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, War

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The language barrier has tragic consequences in a series of unrelated stories set during the Italian Campaign of WWII.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Carmela Sazio, Joseph Garland Moore Jr., William Tubbs, Robert Van Loon

Votes: 5,581

10. La Terra Trema (1948)

160 min | Drama

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In rural Sicily, the fishermen live at the mercy of the greedy wholesalers. One family risks everything to buy their own boat and operate independently.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli, Antonio Arcidiacono, Giuseppe Arcidiacono

Votes: 3,321

11. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri

Votes: 108,606 | Gross: $0.33M

12. Umberto D. (1952)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
92 Metascore

An elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari, Ileana Simova

Votes: 18,376 | Gross: $0.07M

13. La belle et la bête (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 20,670 | Gross: $0.30M

14. Tokyo Story (1953)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura, Setsuko Hara

Votes: 33,398

15. Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka

Votes: 48,444 | Gross: $0.06M

16. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 254,035 | Gross: $0.27M

17. Ugetsu (1953)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Mito

Votes: 16,190 | Gross: $0.01M

18. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô

Votes: 11,346

19. High and Low (1963)

Not Rated | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyôko Kagawa

Votes: 20,640

20. Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)

Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy, Crime

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A motley quintet of inept small-time thieves bungle the burglary of a local pawnshop in this Italian farce.

Director: Mario Monicelli | Stars: Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, Renato Salvatori, Totò

Votes: 7,315

21. Rocco and His Brothers (1960)

Approved | 177 min | Crime, Drama, Sport

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
84 Metascore

Having recently been uprooted to Milan, Rocco and his four brothers each look for a new way in life when a prostitute comes between Rocco and his brother Simone.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot, Claudia Cardinale

Votes: 12,736

22. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 79,590

23. Shoot the Piano Player (1960)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, ... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Charles Aznavour, Marie Dubois, Nicole Berger, Michèle Mercier

Votes: 14,143

24. Breathless (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet

Votes: 58,270 | Gross: $0.34M

25. Band of Outsiders (1964)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
88 Metascore

Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Danièle Girard, Louisa Colpeyn

Votes: 18,284 | Gross: $0.04M

26. Il Sorpasso (1962)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An impulsive braggart takes a shy law student for a two-day ride through the Roman and Tuscany countries.

Director: Dino Risi | Stars: Vittorio Gassman, Catherine Spaak, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Claudio Gora

Votes: 6,770

27. L'Avventura (1960)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama, Mystery

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari, Dominique Blanchar

Votes: 20,437

28. Blow-Up (1966)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mod London photographer finds something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle

Votes: 46,047

29. Before the Revolution (1964)

105 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but ... See full summary »

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Adriana Asti, Francesco Barilli, Allen Midgette, Morando Morandini

Votes: 1,873

30. Le Boucher (1970)

GP | 93 min | Drama, Thriller

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An unlikely friendship between a dour, working class butcher and a repressed schoolteacher coincides with a grisly series of Ripper-type murders in a provincial French town.

Director: Claude Chabrol | Stars: Stéphane Audran, Jean Yanne, Antonio Passalia, Pascal Ferone

Votes: 6,055

31. Weekend (1967)

Not Rated | 105 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A surreal tale of a married couple going on a road trip to visit the wife's parents with the intention of killing them for the inheritance.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Karl Marx

Votes: 10,913

32. Kôshikei (1968)

Not Rated | 117 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Korean man is sentenced to death by hanging, but he survives the execution. For the following two hours, his executioners try to work out how to handle the situation in this black farce.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Kei Satô, Do-yun Yu, Fumio Watanabe, Hôsei Komatsu

Votes: 1,522

33. The Merchant of Four Seasons (1972)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Hans Epp is a self-destructive man who lives a dissatisfied life. He tries to find meaning as a fruit vendor, but a heart attack impedes his ability to work, which turns his dissatisfaction into despair.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Hans Hirschmüller, Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch

Votes: 3,481

34. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Barbara Valentin, Irm Hermann

Votes: 14,423

35. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

R | 120 min | Drama

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A World War II widow seeks to adjust to life in postwar Germany.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny, Gisela Uhlen

Votes: 9,919

36. Kings of the Road (1976)

Not Rated | 175 min | Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Rüdiger Vogler, Hanns Zischler, Lisa Kreuzer, Rudolf Schündler

Votes: 3,769

37. The American Friend (1977)

Not Rated | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer, Gérard Blain

Votes: 10,235

38. Jeder für sich und der Wald gegen alle - Im Kreuzthal (2010 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Meinhard Prill

39. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Del Negro

Votes: 42,464