93 Films Stanley Kubrick Really Liked

Most cinephiles want to watch not just their favorite direc­tors’ films, but their favorite direc­tors’ favorite films. And how many cinephiles’ lists of favorite direc­tors fail to include Stan­ley Kubrick? In 2013, we fea­tured the only top-ten list the direc­tor of 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clock­work Orange ever wrote, for Cin­e­ma mag­a­zine in 1963, which runs as fol­lows:

  • I Vitel­loni (Felli­ni, 1953)
  • Wild Straw­ber­ries (Bergman, 1957)
  • Cit­i­zen Kane (Welles, 1941)
  • The Trea­sure of the Sier­ra Madre (Hus­ton, 1948)
  • City Lights (Chap­lin, 1931)
  • Hen­ry V (Olivi­er, 1944)
  • La notte (Anto­nioni, 1961)
  • The Bank Dick (Fields, 1940)
  • Rox­ie Hart (Well­man, 1942)
  • Hell’s Angels (Hugh­es, 1930)

But fans eager to find out more of what shaped the cin­e­mat­ic taste of this auteur of all auteurs do have a few more resources to turn to. At criterion.com, Joshua War­ren has com­piledfrom inter­views with Kubrick­’s fam­i­ly, friends and col­leagues, an inter­view [Kubrick] did in 1957 for Cahiers du ciné­ma as well as an inter­view in 1963 for Cin­e­ma mag­a­zine and the ‘Mas­ter list’ by the BFI,” an anno­tat­ed list of Kubrick­’s favorite films.

And at the BFI’s site, Nick Wrigley (“with the help of Kubrick’s right-hand man, Jan Har­lan”) has anoth­er set of such lists. Their com­bined selec­tions, orga­nized by direc­tor, run as fol­lows. Note that one film on the extend­ed list, Fritz Lang’s 1927 mas­ter­piece Metrop­o­lis, can be viewed above.

  • Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
  • Hus­bands and Wives (Woody Allen, 1992)
  • Man­hat­tan (Woody Allen, 1979)
  • Radio Days (Woody Allen, 1987)
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Alt­man, 1971)
  • If… (Lind­say Ander­son, 1968)
  • Boo­gie Nights (Paul Thomas Ander­son, 1998)
  • La notte (Michelan­ge­lo Anto­nioni, 1961)
  • Harold and Maude (Hal Ash­by, 1971)
  • Pelle the Con­queror (Bille August, 1987)
  • Babet­te’s Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987)
  • Casque d’Or (Jacques Beck­er, 1952)
  • Édouard et Car­o­line (Jacques Beck­er, 1951)
  • Cries and Whis­pers (Ing­mar Bergman, 1972)
  • Smiles of a Sum­mer Night (Ing­mar Bergman, 1955)
  • Wild Straw­ber­ries (Ing­mar Bergman, 1972)
  • Deliv­er­ance (John Boor­man, 1972)
  • Hen­ry V (Ken­neth Branagh, 1989)
  • Mod­ern Romance (Albert Brooks, 1981)
  • Chil­dren of Par­adise (Mar­cel Carné, 1945)
  • City Lights (Charles Chap­lin, 1931)
  • The Bank Dick (Edward Cline, 1940)
  • Beau­ty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946)
  • Apoc­a­lypse Now (Fran­cis Ford Cop­po­la, 1979)
  • The God­fa­ther (Fran­cis Ford Cop­po­la, 1972)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)
  • Alexan­der Nevsky (Sergei Eisen­stein, 1938)
  • The Spir­it of the Bee­hive (Vic­tor Erice, 1973)
  • La stra­da (Fed­eri­co Felli­ni, 1954)
  • I vitel­loni (Fed­eri­co Felli­ni, 1953)
  • La Ker­messe Héroïque (Jacques Fey­der, 1935)
  • Tora! Tora! Tora! (Richard Fleis­ch­er, 1970)
  • The Fire­man’s Ball (Miloš For­man, 1967)
  • One Flew Over the Cuck­oo’s Nest (Milos For­man, 1975)
  • Cabaret (Bob Fos­se, 1972)
  • The Exor­cist (William Fried­kin, 1973)
  • Get Carter (Mike Hodges, 1971)
  • The Ter­mi­nal Man (Mike Hodges, 1974)
  • The Texas Chain­saw Mas­sacre (Tobe Hoop­er, 1974)
  • Hel­l’s Angels (Howard Hugh­es, 1930)
  • The Trea­sure of Sier­ra Madre (John Hus­ton, 1947)
  • Deka­log (Krzysztof Kies­lows­ki, 1990)
  • Rashomon (Aki­ra Kuro­sawa, 1950)
  • Sev­en Samu­rai (Aki­ra Kuro­sawa, 1954)
  • Throne of Blood (Aki­ra Kuro­sawa, 1957)
  • Metrop­o­lis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
  • An Amer­i­can Were­wolf in Lon­don (John Lan­dis, 1981)
  • Abi­gail’s Par­ty (Mike Leigh, 1977)
  • La bonne année (Claude Lelouch, 1973)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (Ser­gio Leone, 1968)
  • Very Nice, Very Nice (Arthur Lipsett, 1961)
  • Amer­i­can Graf­fi­ti (George Lucas, 1973)
  • Dog Day After­noon (Sid­ney Lumet, 1975)
  • Eraser­head (David Lynch, 1976)
  • House of Games (David Mamet, 1987)
  • The Red Squir­rel (Julio Medem, 1993)
  • Bob le flam­beur (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1956)
  • Close­ly Watched Trains (Jiří Men­zel, 1966)
  • Pacif­ic 231 (Jean Mit­ry, 1949)
  • Roger & Me (Michael Moore, 1989)
  • Hen­ry V (Lau­rence Olivi­er, 1944)
  • The Ear­rings of Madame de… (Max Ophuls, 1953)
  • Le plaisir (Max Ophuls, 1951)
  • La ronde (Max Ophuls, 1950)
  • Rose­mary’s Baby (Roman Polan­s­ki, 1968)
  • The Bat­tle of Algiers (Gillo Pon­tecor­vo, 1966)
  • Heimat (Edgar Reitz, 1984)
  • Blood Wed­ding (Car­los Saura, 1981)
  • Cría Cuer­vos (Car­los Saura, 1975)
  • Pep­per­mint Frap­pé (Car­los Saura, 1967)
  • Alien (Rid­ley Scott, 1977)
  • The Ander­son Pla­toon (Pierre Schoen­do­erf­fer, 1967)
  • White Men Can’t Jump (Ron Shel­ton, 1992)
  • Miss Julie (Alf Sjöberg, 1951)
  • The Phan­tom Car­riage (Vic­tor Sjöström, 1921)
  • The Van­ish­ing (George Sluiz­er, 1988)
  • Close Encoun­ters of the Third Kind (Steven Spiel­berg, 1977)
  • E.T. the Extra-ter­res­tri­al (Steven Spiel­berg, 1982)
  • Mary Pop­pins (Robert Steven­son, 1964)
  • Pla­toon (Oliv­er Stone, 1986)
  • Pulp Fic­tion (Quentin Taran­ti­no, 1994)
  • The Sac­ri­fice (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986)
  • Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)
  • The Emi­grants (Jan Troell, 1970)
  • The Blue Angel (Josef von Stern­berg, 1930)
  • Dan­ton (Andrzej Waj­da, 1984)
  • Girl Friends (Clau­dia Weill, 1978)
  • The Cars that Ate Paris (Peter Weir, 1974)
  • Pic­nic at Hang­ing Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
  • Cit­i­zen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
  • Rox­ie Hart (William Well­man, 1942)
  • Ådalen 31 (Bo Wider­berg, 1969)
  • The Siege of Man­ches­ter (Her­bert Wise, 1965)

As you might expect from a film­mak­er who entered a dif­fer­ent genre with every pic­ture, this list of all the movies he went on record as admir­ing includes all dif­fer­ent kinds of movies. We expect to find respect­ed films by his col­leagues in respect­ed auteur­hood like Woody Allen, Ing­mar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Max Ophuls (who, said Kubrick, “pos­sessed every pos­si­ble qual­i­ty”). But per­haps more sur­pris­ing­ly, the list also includes thrillers like The Ter­mi­nal Man, exer­cis­es in hor­ror like The Texas Chain­saw Mas­sacre, and grotesque come­dies like The Cars That Ate Paris. But think about those movies for a moment, and you real­ize that, like Kubrick­’s own work, they all tran­scend their sup­posed gen­res. As for what he saw in White Men Can’t Jump — well, I sup­pose we’ve all got to take some secrets to the grave.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Stan­ley Kubrick’s List of Top 10 Films (The First and Only List He Ever Cre­at­ed)

Ter­ry Gilliam: The Dif­fer­ence Between Kubrick (Great Film­mak­er) and Spiel­berg (Less So)

Napoleon: The Great­est Movie Stan­ley Kubrick Nev­er Made

Col­in Mar­shall writes on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (5)
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  • Toli says:

    It seems every­body who con­tributed to sourc­ing the list of 93 films has not both­ered imbu­ing it with the con­text.

    Did Kubrick real­ly love ET and thought it had rewatch val­ue like The God­fa­ther or did he just *like* it? When he saw Juras­sic Park he real­ized Spiel­berg was a bet­ter fit for AI, but would­n’t be faulty log­ic to say he enjoyed Juras­sic Park as a stand­alone film? This is the log­ic oper­at­ing through a lot of these anec­dotes, which the direc­tor him­self would have balked at.

    All we real­ly have is the 1963 list of 10 that Kubrick him­self pro­vid­ed. It is a direc­tor’s job to keep abreast of the films of his con­tem­po­raries, so piec­ing Kubrick­’s view­ings togeth­er from a hun­dred dif­fer­ent anec­dotes span­ning sev­er­al decades is hard­ly a way of argu­ing he loved them, espe­cial­ly when 99% of them are almost uni­ver­sal­ly liked any­way and bound to appear in oth­er lists.

  • Bocio says:

    Well, some­thing for­get to men­tion “The Human Con­di­tion” (Nin­gen no jojen), the japan­ese mamooth tril­o­gy (1959/1961) direct­ed by Kobayashi and con­sid­ered by many the best film in the his­to­ry of cin­e­ma. In the sec­ond part, the main char­ac­ter ‑a naive paci­fist- is recruit­ed by the Army and trained for the war. What fol­lows is one of the most repul­sive den­i­gra­tion of the human con­di­tion and a fero­cious crit­ic to every army in the world (and not only the japan­ese impe­r­i­al army). Of course, this seg­ment ends with a mid­night sui­cide in the bath­room and then comes a big war scene where a small group of sol­diers con­fronts the Sovi­et inva­sion.

    Kubrick film was an adap­ta­tion of a nov­el but it’s obvi­ous that he has this film in mind. Recent­ly some­one com­piled an album of com­par­isons with The Human Con­di­tion and oth­er movies that inspired Kubrick (per­haps this was the basis for OP’s post): http://imgur.com/a/XeNP5

  • Ronan says:

    Sor­ry to be a pedant, but “If.…” has 4 dots.

  • M.R. Kerome says:

    One film Kubrick real­ly liked and men­tioned was “Naked Lunch”, the David Cro­nen­berg film, and David Cro­nen­berg films in gen­er­al. And he liked the films of George Pal. And he liked both Howard Hawks and John Car­pen­ter films, and spoke of them. And Alphav­ille and oth­er films from Jean-Luc Godard were favorites of his. He also liked and watched Star Trek and MASH, the tele­vi­sion shows and the movies. And he liked the films of D.W. Grif­fith and Abel Gance. He spoke of all of these.

  • Wayns says:

    Curi­ous that not a sin­gle Hitch­cock film is includ­ed in this list. Giv­en how visu­al an artist Kubrick was and inno­v­a­tive, you woild think he would appre­ci­ate anoth­er one.

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