EW Greatest Movies Ever Made - Kids (Live Action)

by michaelseaman | created - 26 Aug 2012 | updated - 26 Aug 2012 | Public

From the book published in 1996, based on home viewing.

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1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

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

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 311,779 | Gross: $435.11M

2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

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

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 323,184 | Gross: $22.20M

3. Mary Poppins (1964)

G | 139 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

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

In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns

Votes: 121,793 | Gross: $102.27M

4. King of the Hill (1993)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, History

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
86 Metascore

A young boy struggles on his own in a run-down motel after his parents and younger brother are separated from him in 1930s Depression-era Midwest.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Jesse Bradford, Jeroen Krabbé, Lisa Eichhorn, Karen Allen

Votes: 6,380 | Gross: $1.30M

5. Benji (1974)

G | 86 min | Adventure, Family, Romance

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A stray dog saves two kidnapped children.

Director: Joe Camp | Stars: Peter Breck, Deborah Walley, Patsy Garrett, Allen Fiuzat

Votes: 3,676 | Gross: $39.55M

6. The Miracle Worker (1962)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Drama

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

The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke, Victor Jory, Inga Swenson

Votes: 13,508

7. Little Women (1933)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Family, Romance

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

Little Women is a "coming of age" drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War, the girls father is away serving as a minister to the troops... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Paul Lukas, Edna May Oliver

Votes: 5,135

8. The Addams Family (1991)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Fantasy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
57 Metascore

Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya

Votes: 106,818 | Gross: $113.50M

9. Born Free (1966)

PG | 95 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

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

Married couple George Adamson and Joy Adamson have long lived in northern Kenya for George's work as the senior game warden of the region. One of George's primary responsibilities is to ... See full summary »

Directors: James Hill, Tom McGowan | Stars: Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Lukoye

Votes: 5,026

10. National Velvet (1944)

G | 123 min | Drama, Family, Sport

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

A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Crisp, Anne Revere

Votes: 5,470

11. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

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

Two hapless freight handlers find themselves encountering Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man.

Director: Charles Barton | Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi

Votes: 12,085

12. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 110 min | Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Story of a black woman in the South who was born into slavery in the 1850s and lives to become a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Director: John Korty | Stars: Cicely Tyson, Eric Brown, Richard Dysart, Joel Fluellen

Votes: 1,417

13. Old Yeller (1957)

Approved | 83 min | Family, Drama, Adventure

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

A teenage boy grows to love a stray yellow dog while helping his mother and younger brother run their Texas homestead while their father is away on a cattle drive. First thought to be good-for-nothing mutt, Old Yeller is soon beloved by all.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Tommy Kirk, Jeff York

Votes: 9,690 | Gross: $21.91M

14. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
63 Metascore

The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman, Kristine Sutherland

Votes: 119,259 | Gross: $130.72M

15. The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993)

PG | 108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In Missouri, during the 1840s, young Huck Finn fearful of his drunkard father and yearning for adventure, leaves his foster family and joins with runaway slave Jim in a voyage down the Mississippi River toward slavery free states.

Director: Stephen Sommers | Stars: Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Robards

Votes: 6,751 | Gross: $24.10M

16. The Karate Kid (1984)

PG | 126 min | Action, Drama, Family

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
59 Metascore

A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, Martin Kove

Votes: 144,035 | Gross: $90.82M

17. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

G | 84 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three pets escape from a California ranch to find their owners in San Francisco.

Director: Duwayne Dunham | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, Don Alder, Ed Bernard

Votes: 36,549 | Gross: $41.83M

18. Sounder (1972)

G | 105 min | Drama, Family

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

The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks, Carmen Mathews

Votes: 2,866

19. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

G | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
64 Metascore

Kermit and his friends go to New York to get their musical on Broadway only to find it's a more difficult task than they anticipated.

Director: Frank Oz | Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire

Votes: 16,605 | Gross: $25.53M

20. The Secret Garden (1993)

G | 101 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

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

Living in India, Mary Lennox, a young, privileged girl, is left orphaned when her parents are killed in an earthquake. She is sent back to England where she goes to live on her uncle's ... See full summary »

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott

Votes: 31,450 | Gross: $31.18M

21. The Parent Trap (1961)

G | 129 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Teenage twin sisters swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents.

Director: David Swift | Stars: Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 15,806

22. The Yearling (1946)

Approved | 128 min | Drama, Family

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

A boy persuades his parents to allow him to adopt a young deer, but what will happen if the deer misbehaves?

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr., Chill Wills

Votes: 4,600 | Gross: $5.20M

23. White Fang (I) (1991)

PG | 107 min | Adventure, Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jack London's classic adventure story about the friendship developed between a Yukon gold hunter and the mixed dog-wolf he rescues from the hands of a man who mistreats him.

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Seymour Cassel, Susan Hogan

Votes: 16,986 | Gross: $34.79M

24. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

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

Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Votes: 146,017 | Gross: $4.00M

25. The Absent Minded Professor (1961)

Approved | 92 min | Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi

6.8
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A college professor invents an anti-gravity substance which a corrupt businessman wants for himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn, Tommy Kirk

Votes: 5,959 | Gross: $25.38M

26. Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

PG-13 | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
45 Metascore

A babysitter must battle her way through the big city after being stranded there with the kids she's looking after.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp

Votes: 31,468 | Gross: $34.37M

27. Short Circuit (1986)

PG | 98 min | Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
50 Metascore

Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg, Fisher Stevens, Austin Pendleton

Votes: 47,904 | Gross: $40.70M

28. Beethoven (1992)

PG | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

5.6
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A slobbering St. Bernard becomes the center of attention for a loving family, but must contend with a dog-napping veterinarian and his henchmen.

Director: Brian Levant | Stars: Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Nicholle Tom

Votes: 55,286 | Gross: $57.11M

29. Babes in Toyland (1934)

Passed | 77 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

7.4
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Opposing the evil Barnaby, Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try and fail to pay-off Mother Peep's mortgage and mislead his attempts to marry Little Bo. Enraged, Barnaby's boogeymen are set on Toyland.

Directors: Gus Meins, Charley Rogers | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Virginia Karns, Charlotte Henry

Votes: 5,027

30. Treasure Island (1950)

PG | 96 min | Adventure, Family

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The treasure seeking adventures of young Jim Hawkins and pirate captain Long John Silver.

Director: Byron Haskin | Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton, Basil Sydney, Walter Fitzgerald

Votes: 5,466

31. The Black Stallion (1979)

G | 118 min | Adventure, Family, Sport

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
84 Metascore

While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks ... See full summary »

Director: Carroll Ballard | Stars: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Clarence Muse

Votes: 9,732

32. Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Approved | 126 min | Adventure, Family

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

A Swiss family must survive being shipwrecked on a deserted island.

Director: Ken Annakin | Stars: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro

Votes: 11,309 | Gross: $40.36M

33. Free Willy (1993)

PG | 112 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
79 Metascore

When a boy learns that a beloved killer whale is to be killed by the aquarium owners, the boy risks everything to free the whale.

Director: Simon Wincer | Stars: Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, Michael Madsen, Jayne Atkinson

Votes: 57,224 | Gross: $77.70M

34. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
61 Metascore

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 269,138 | Gross: $70.14M

35. Freaky Friday (1976)

G | 95 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
51 Metascore

A mother and daughter find their personalities switched and have to live each other's lives on one strange Friday.

Director: Gary Nelson | Stars: Barbara Harris, Jodie Foster, John Astin, Patsy Kelly

Votes: 9,854 | Gross: $25.94M

36. The Red Pony (1949)

Passed | 89 min | Drama, Family, Western

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A ranch boy is gifted with a colt, grows to love him but the colt escapes, with tragic results.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Myrna Loy, Robert Mitchum, Louis Calhern, Shepperd Strudwick

Votes: 803

37. My Side of the Mountain (1969)

G | 100 min | Adventure, Family

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As young Sam Gribley runs away he learns about nature.

Director: James B. Clark | Stars: Ted Eccles, Theodore Bikel, Tudi Wiggins, Paul Hébert

Votes: 801

38. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Four teenage mutant ninja turtles emerge from the shadows to protect New York City from a gang of criminal ninjas.

Director: Steve Barron | Stars: Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, Josh Pais, David Forman

Votes: 74,253 | Gross: $135.27M

39. Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)

G | 97 min | Drama, Family

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Where the Red Fern Grows is the heartwarming and adventurous tale for all ages about a young boy and his quest for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs.

Director: Norman Tokar | Stars: James Whitmore, Beverly Garland, Jack Ging, Lonny Chapman

Votes: 2,533

40. The Ernest Green Story (1993 TV Movie)

101 min | Drama

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

Follows the story of Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine who were the first blacks to integrate into an all white school.

Director: Eric Laneuville | Stars: Morris Chestnut, Robert Alexander, Steven Allen, Katherine Bernhardt

Votes: 226

41. A Friendship in Vienna (1988 TV Movie)

Unrated | 100 min | Drama, History

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1930s Vienna, two best friends, a Jewish girl and a fascist's daughter, both witness the Nazi takeover of Austria, and question the impact it has on their lives.

Director: Arthur Allan Seidelman | Stars: Jane Alexander, Edward Asner, Natasha Bell, Helen Bourne

Votes: 112

42. The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)

Approved | 99 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Meek and mild mannered bookkeeper Henry Limpet has few passions in life. It's mid-1941 and he would love to join the Navy but has been rated 4F. His friend George Stickle is in the Navy and... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Lubin | Stars: Don Knotts, Carole Cook, Jack Weston, Andrew Duggan

Votes: 4,105

43. The Man from Snowy River (1982)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

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

In 1880s Australia, after young Jim Craig's father dies, Jim takes a job at the Harrison cattle ranch, where he is forced to become a man.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Tom Burlinson, Terence Donovan, Tommy Dysart

Votes: 6,651 | Gross: $20.66M

44. Harvey (1950)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six foot-tall rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: James Stewart, Wallace Ford, William H. Lynn, Victoria Horne

Votes: 47,553

45. Kidnapped (1960)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In Scotland in 1751, young David Balfour is shanghaied aboard a ship where he meets Jacobite rebel Alan Breck Stewart with whom he escapes to the Scottish Highlands, dodging the redcoats.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Peter Finch, James MacArthur, Bernard Lee, John Laurie

Votes: 1,037

46. All Creatures Great and Small (1978–1990)

Not Rated | 50 min | Comedy, Drama

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

The trials and misadventures of the staff of a country veterinary office in 1940's Yorkshire.

Stars: Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy, Peter Davison, Lynda Bellingham

Votes: 1,803

47. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
63 Metascore

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Votes: 365,337 | Gross: $285.76M

48. Heidi (1937)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Family, Musical

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

A plucky little orphan girl gets dumped abruptly into her gruff, hermit grandfather's care, then later gets retaken and delivered as a companion for an injured girl.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: Shirley Temple, Jean Hersholt, Arthur Treacher, Helen Westley

Votes: 3,432

49. Into the West (1992)

PG | 97 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Grandpa Ward gives a horse he found to his grandchildren, who keep it in their tower-block flat in Dublin. The horse is stolen from them, and the two young boys set out to find it and flee on it.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin, Ciarán Fitzgerald, Rúaidhrí Conroy

Votes: 2,363 | Gross: $4.79M

50. Oliver! (1968)

G | 153 min | Drama, Family, Musical

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

Young Oliver Twist runs away from an orphanage and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed

Votes: 28,574 | Gross: $16.80M