Martin Scorsese lists 85 essential films every filmmaker needs to see
“I’ve seen many, many movies over the years, and there are only a few that suddenly inspire you so much that you want to continue to make films.”—Martin Scorsese.
Martin Scorsese, the acclaimed filmmaker whose career spans more than 50 years, has offered some advice to all budding creatives looking to get into the industry of cinema.
A little while ago we brought you the story of how Scorsese suggested 39 essential foreign films to young filmmaker Colin Levy and, now, the director of classics such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and more has decided to take things a step further with a fully comprehensive list.
In a wide-ranging four hour interview with Fast Company, Scorsese detailed a huge number of films which he considers invaluable to cinephiles. The list of 85 films cited by Scorsese are films he discussed alongside “others he just mentioned.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and Roberto Rossellini appear in his selected films. When speaking about The Flowers of St. Francis, Scorsese said: “This Rossellini movie and Europa ’51 are two of the best films about the part of being human that yearns for something beyond the material. Rossellini used real monks for this movie. It’s very simple and beautiful.”
When discussing Orson Welles’ iconic picture Citizen Kane, Scorsese previously said: “This was a force of nature that came in, a creation that wiped the slate clean from the type of films that preceded him. There was never any gray with him. He told ‘Kane’ cinematographer Gregg Toland, ‘Let’s do everything they told us never to do.’ The low angles and deep focal-length lenses, the structure of the story, the flashbacks, the overlapping images–no one had ever seen anything like it.”
With the likes of Billy Wilder, Robert Altman, Frank Capra and more, see the full list below:
Ace in the Hole – Billy Wilder, 1951.
All that Heaven Allows – Douglas Sirk, 1955.
America, America – Elia Kazan, 1963.
An American in Paris – Vincente Minnelli, 1951.
Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola, 1979.
Arsenic and Old Lace – Frank Capra, 1944.
The Bad and the Beautiful – Vincente Minnelli, 1952.