Highest-grossing films by year

by mone0303 | created - 16 Jan 2011 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

This is a list of the highest-grossing films by year of initial release.

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1. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 19,714 | Gross: $10.00M

2. Joan the Woman (1916)

Passed | 138 min | Adventure, Drama, History

A WWI English officer is inspired the night before a dangerous mission by a vision of Joan of Arc, whose story he relives.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Geraldine Farrar, Raymond Hatton, Hobart Bosworth, Theodore Roberts

Votes: 454 | Gross: $0.61M

3. A Romance of the Redwoods (1917)

70 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A young girl travels west to live with her uncle during the California Gold Rush only to find that he has been killed by Indians and his identity assumed by an outlaw.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Mary Pickford, Elliott Dexter, Tully Marshall, Raymond Hatton

Votes: 692 | Gross: $0.42M

4. Mickey (1918)

93 min | Comedy, Drama

Mickey, an orphan who has been brought up in a mining settlement, is sent to New York to live with her aunt.

Directors: F. Richard Jones, James Young | Stars: Mabel Normand, George Nichols, Laura La Varnie, Lew Cody

Votes: 1,012 | Gross: $17.20M

5. The Miracle Man (1919)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama

A gang of crooks evade the police by moving their operations to a small town. There the gang's leader encounters a faith healer and uses him to scam gullible public of funds for a supposed ... See full summary »

Director: George Loane Tucker | Stars: Lon Chaney, Betty Compson, Joseph J. Dowling, J.M. Dumont

Votes: 135 | Gross: $3.00M

6. Way Down East (1920)

Passed | 145 min | Drama, Romance

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau, Lowell Sherman

Votes: 4,468 | Gross: $4.50M

7. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

Passed | 150 min | Drama, Romance, War

An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.

Director: Rex Ingram | Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Pomeroy Cannon, Josef Swickard

Votes: 2,843 | Gross: $9.20M

8. Robin Hood (1922)

PG | 143 min | Adventure, Family, Romance

A nobleman becomes the vigilante Robin Hood who protects the oppressed English people from the tyrannical Prince John.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: Wallace Beery, Sam De Grasse, Enid Bennett, Paul Dickey

Votes: 1,799 | Gross: $5.45M

9. The Covered Wagon (1923)

98 min | Adventure, Romance, Western

Two wagon caravans converge at what is now Kansas City, and combine for the westward push to Oregon. On their quest the pilgrims will experience desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and ... See full summary »

Director: James Cruze | Stars: J. Warren Kerrigan, Lois Wilson, Alan Hale, Ernest Torrence

Votes: 428 | Gross: $7.63M

10. The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated | 151 min | Drama, Romance, War

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill | Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell

Votes: 5,577 | Gross: $11.00M

11. Aloma of the South Seas (1926)

90 min | Comedy, Drama

Young South Seas native boy is sent to the U.S. for his education, returns to his island after his father dies to try to stop a revolution.

Director: Maurice Tourneur | Stars: Gilda Gray, Percy Marmont, Warner Baxter, William Powell

Votes: 9 | Gross: $6.54M

12. The Jazz Singer (1927)

Unrated | 88 min | Drama, Music, Musical

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.

Director: Alan Crosland | Stars: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland, Eugenie Besserer

Votes: 7,965 | Gross: $7.63M

13. The Road to Ruin (1928)

60 min | Drama

A controversial, low-budget drama about the life of a young teenage girl that goes on the "road to ruin." Sally is a 16-year-old New York City teen who, neglected by her parents, takes up ... See full summary »

Director: Norton S. Parker | Stars: Helen Foster, Grant Withers, Florence Turner, Charles Miller

Votes: 31 | Gross: $2.50M

14. The Broadway Melody (1929)

Passed | 100 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.

Director: Harry Beaumont | Stars: Bessie Love, Anita Page, Charles King, The Angeles Twins

Votes: 5,518 | Gross: $2.81M

15. Tom Sawyer (1930)

86 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

With the help of a sailing the Mississippi River, a young boy name Tom Sawyer and his pal Huckleberry Finn, It was a classic Mark Twain's stories in 1876.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Jackie Coogan, Junior Durkin, Mitzi Green, Lucien Littlefield

Votes: 139 | Gross: $11.00M

16. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 56,863 | Gross: $12.00M

17. Shanghai Express (1932)

Approved | 82 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

A loose woman rediscovers a former lover during a dangerous train ride to Shanghai.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong, Warner Oland

Votes: 6,200 | Gross: $3.70M

18. I'm No Angel (1933)

Passed | 87 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Circus performer Tira seeks a better life pursuing the company of wealthy New York men with improbable comic complications along the way.

Director: Wesley Ruggles | Stars: Mae West, Cary Grant, Gregory Ratoff, Edward Arnold

Votes: 2,599 | Gross: $2.85M

19. Viva Villa! (1934)

Passed | 115 min | Biography, Western

After enacting revenge on the overseer who murdered his father, Pancho Villa becomes a bandit, earning the respect of the poor by brutally attacking the wealthy.

Directors: Jack Conway, Howard Hawks, William A. Wellman | Stars: Wallace Beery, Fay Wray, Leo Carrillo, Donald Cook

Votes: 1,002 | Gross: $1.11M

20. Top Hat (1935)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes

Votes: 15,252 | Gross: $1.78M

21. One in a Million (1936)

Passed | 95 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

American theatrical manager (Menjou) discovers Henie preparing for the Olympics in Switzerland and brings her to Madison Square Garden.

Director: Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Sonja Henie, Adolphe Menjou, Don Ameche, Ned Sparks

Votes: 223 | Gross: $2.00M

22. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

Votes: 158,042 | Gross: $184.93M

23. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 255,931 | Gross: $198.68M

24. Pinocchio (1940)

G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

99 Metascore

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc, Don Brodie

Votes: 110,643 | Gross: $84.25M

25. Sergeant York (1941)

Not Rated | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

A marksman is drafted in World War I and ends up becoming one of the most celebrated war heroes.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias

Votes: 13,819 | Gross: $16.40M

26. Bambi (1942)

G | 70 min | Animation, Drama, Family

91 Metascore

The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright | Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey, Peter Behn

Votes: 112,630 | Gross: $102.80M

27. A Guy Named Joe (1943)

Passed | 120 min | Drama, Romance, War

A dead World War II bomber pilot named Pete Sandidge, becomes the guardian angel of another pilot, Ted Randall. He guides Ted through battle and helping him to romance his old girlfriend, despite her excessive devotion to Sandidge's memory.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond

Votes: 1,915

28. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer

Votes: 17,486 | Gross: $7.57M

29. The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

Unrated | 126 min | Drama

At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers, William Gargan

Votes: 6,211 | Gross: $21.30M

30. Song of the South (1946)

Approved | 94 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

54 Metascore

The kindly story-teller Uncle Remus tells a young boy stories about trickster Br'er Rabbit, who outwits Br'er Fox and slow-witted Br'er Bear.

Directors: Wilfred Jackson, Harve Foster | Stars: Ruth Warrick, Bobby Driscoll, James Baskett, Luana Patten

Votes: 9,810 | Gross: $63.72M

31. Golden Earrings (1947)

Approved | 95 min | Adventure, Romance, War

On the eve of World War II (1939) English officer Ralph Denistoun is in Nazi Germany on an espionage mission to recover a poison gas formula from Prof. Krosigk. He is helped by Lydia and ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Ray Milland, Marlene Dietrich, Murvyn Vye, Bruce Lester

Votes: 894 | Gross: $7.00M

32. Easter Parade (1948)

Approved | 107 min | Musical, Romance

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Ann Miller

Votes: 7,456 | Gross: $6.80M

33. Samson and Delilah (1949)

Approved | 131 min | Adventure, Drama, History

When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 5,941 | Gross: $28.80M

34. Cinderella (1950)

G | 74 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

85 Metascore

When Cinderella's cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq, and from her Fairy Godmother.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske | Stars: Ilene Woods, James MacDonald, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton

Votes: 126,057 | Gross: $85.00M

35. Quo Vadis (1951)

Not Rated | 171 min | Biography, Drama, History

A fierce Roman commander becomes infatuated with a beautiful Christian hostage and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann | Stars: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 11,760 | Gross: $24.29M

36. This Is Cinerama (1952)

G | 115 min | Documentary

A standard screen B&W prologue during which Lowell Thomas shows how, from the dawn of history, mankind has attempted to create the illusion of depth & movement by artistic, mechanical and ... See full summary »

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Gunther von Fritsch, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Michael Todd Jr. | Stars: Lowell Thomas, Kathy Darlyn, Toni Valk

Votes: 387 | Gross: $41.60M

37. Peter Pan (1953)

G | 77 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

76 Metascore

Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Jack Kinney | Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson

Votes: 107,206 | Gross: $87.40M

38. Rear Window (1954)

PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller

100 Metascore

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 383,116 | Gross: $36.76M

39. Lady and the Tramp (1955)

G | 76 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

78 Metascore

The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske | Stars: Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee, Bill Thompson

Votes: 103,789 | Gross: $93.60M

40. The Ten Commandments (1956)

G | 220 min | Adventure, Drama

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson

Votes: 55,616 | Gross: $93.74M

41. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 180,276 | Gross: $44.91M

42. South Pacific (1958)

Unrated | 157 min | Musical, Romance, War

On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.

Director: Joshua Logan | Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr, Ray Walston

Votes: 7,075

43. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 195,345 | Gross: $74.70M

44. Let's Make Love (1960)

Not Rated | 119 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Yves Montand, Tony Randall, Frankie Vaughan

Votes: 5,810 | Gross: $6.54M

45. 101 Dalmatians (1961)

G | 79 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

When a litter of Dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella de Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, J. Pat O'Malley, Martha Wentworth

Votes: 132,256 | Gross: $144.88M

46. Dr. No (1962)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

78 Metascore

A resourceful British government agent seeks answers in a case involving the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Bernard Lee, Joseph Wiseman

Votes: 130,652 | Gross: $16.07M

47. From Russia with Love (1963)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

85 Metascore

James Bond willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya, Daniela Bianchi

Votes: 102,504 | Gross: $24.80M

48. Goldfinger (1964)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

87 Metascore

While investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton

Votes: 154,699 | Gross: $51.08M

49. The Sound of Music (1965)

G | 172 min | Biography, Drama, Family