Top 25 Best Films about Filmmaking

by Dennis Alink | created - 14 Oct 2013 | updated - 24 Mar 2015 | Public

The best films about filmmaking.

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1. (1963)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo

Votes: 93,523 | Gross: $0.05M

2. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

R | 96 min | Documentary

Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.

Directors: Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, George Lucas

Votes: 15,764 | Gross: $1.32M

3. Ed Wood (1994)

R | 127 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

70 Metascore

Ambitious but troubled movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. tries his best to fulfill his dreams, despite his lack of support.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette

Votes: 152,260 | Gross: $5.89M

4. Burden of Dreams (1982)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary

A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 5,125

5. The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans (the film shares the same name as Evans's famous 1994 autobiography).

Directors: Nanette Burstein, Brett Morgen | Stars: Robert Evans, Eddie Albert, Peter Bart, Charlie Bluhdorn

Votes: 6,398 | Gross: $1.43M

6. Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)

Not Rated | 142 min | Documentary, Biography

The career and life of Stanley Kubrick is explored through pictures, clips from his films, his old home movies, comments from his colleagues and a narration by Tom Cruise.

Director: Jan Harlan | Stars: Katharina Kubrick, Malcolm McDowell, Stanley Kubrick, Barbara Kroner

Votes: 9,054

7. Empire of Dreams: The Story of the 'Star Wars' Trilogy (2004 Video)

151 min | Documentary, History, Sci-Fi

An in-depth making of documentary about the original Star Wars trilogy, covering the productions of the three films and their impact on popular culture.

Directors: Edith Becker, Kevin Burns | Stars: Robert Clotworthy, Walter Cronkite, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg

Votes: 2,980

8. Billy Wilder Speaks (2006 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 71 min | Documentary

Billy Wilder discusses his life and films in interviews filmed by Volker Schlondorff over two weeks in 1988.

Directors: Gisela Grischow, Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: Jean Arthur, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Gary Cooper

Votes: 297

9. Contempt (1963)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama

Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli, Giorgia Moll

Votes: 22,999 | Gross: $0.04M

10. Life Itself (2014)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

The life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert.

Director: Steve James | Stars: Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, Gene Siskel, Martin Scorsese

Votes: 13,435 | Gross: $0.81M

11. Lost in La Mancha (2002)

R | 89 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), off the ground.

Directors: Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe | Stars: Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, Jeff Bridges, Tony Grisoni

Votes: 10,083 | Gross: $0.73M

12. Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008)

R | 103 min | Documentary

76 Metascore

The story of the Australian exploitation genre cinema of 1970s and 80s.

Director: Mark Hartley | Stars: Phillip Adams, Glory Annen, Christine Amor, Victoria Anoux

Votes: 3,523 | Gross: $0.02M

13. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)

TV-14 | 119 min | Documentary

A look at 1970s Hollywood when it was known as New Hollywood, and the director was the star of the movie.

Director: Kenneth Bowser | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Peckinpah

Votes: 2,408

14. A Letter to Elia (2010)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary

A documentary on the late Elia Kazan.

Directors: Kent Jones, Martin Scorsese | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Elia Kazan, Elias Koteas

Votes: 756

15. A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995 TV Movie)

225 min | Documentary

Martin Scorsese describes his initial and growing obsession with films from the 1940s and 50s as the art form developed and grew with clips from classics and cult classics.

Directors: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Allison Anders, Kathryn Bigelow, Francis Ford Coppola

Votes: 4,201

16. My Voyage to Italy (1999)

PG-13 | 246 min | Documentary

90 Metascore

World-renowned director Martin Scorsese narrates this journey through his favorites in Italian cinema.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Star: Martin Scorsese

Votes: 2,602 | Gross: $0.01M

17. Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008)

Unrated | 99 min | Documentary, Crime

78 Metascore

Examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski's sudden flight from the United States.

Director: Marina Zenovich | Stars: Andrew Braunsberg, Richard Brenneman, Douglas Dalton, Marilyn Beck

Votes: 4,479 | Gross: $0.06M

18. What Just Happened (2008)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

Two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer who's having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Robert De Niro, John Turturro, Stanley Tucci, Sean Penn

Votes: 24,869 | Gross: $1.09M

19. Filming 'Othello' (1978)

84 min | Documentary

Essay film shot for TV including Orson Welles reflections on Othello close to the Moviola, a chat with Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir and fragments of a conversation with the audience in Boston after a screening of the film.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Suzanne Cloutier, Robert Coote, Hilton Edwards

Votes: 284

20. Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography

70 Metascore

In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Justo González

Votes: 8,928 | Gross: $0.10M

21. Tempo di viaggio (1983 TV Movie)

62 min | Documentary

Like the Russian poet of 'Nostalghia', who, accompanied by his Italian guide and translator, traveled through Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer, Andrei ... See full summary »

Directors: Tonino Guerra, Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Tonino Guerra, Andrei Tarkovsky

Votes: 1,146

22. The Celluloid Closet (1995)

R | 102 min | Documentary, History

A documentary surveying the various Hollywood screen depictions of homosexuals and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American film.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman | Stars: Lily Tomlin, Tony Curtis, Susie Bright, Arthur Laurents

Votes: 5,552 | Gross: $1.51M

23. Orson Welles: The One-Man Band (1995)

88 min | Documentary

Orson Welles' archives of unfinished/never released movies and the last years of his life from the perspective of Oja Kodar (life and artistic partner Of Orson Welles in his last years). ... See full summary »

Directors: Vassili Silovic, Oja Kodar | Stars: Oja Kodar, Ingrid Bergman, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Michael Bryant

Votes: 407

24. Fritz Lang Interviewed by William Friedkin (1975)

140 min | Documentary

Interview with the director of "M" & "Metropolis"

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: William Friedkin, Fritz Lang

Votes: 226

25. Hitchcock (2012)

PG-13 | 98 min | Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

The relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho (1960) in 1959 is explored.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston

Votes: 65,673 | Gross: $6.01M