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Every single film that Martin Scorsese has ever recommended

“My whole life has been movies and religion. That’s it. Nothing else.” — Martin Scorsese

On the cusp of the millennium, Martin Scorsese was asked to select his ten favourite films from the 1990s for a discussion with the late American film critic Roger Ebert. Scorsese, not only chose eleven films but his number one, Horse Thief, was released in 1986; it was simply the case that he didn’t see it until the ’90s. That’s the sort of fellow we’re dealing with here. Of course, his heart is clearly in the right place; he chose eleven films and selected one from an entirely different decade because he is so profuse with an unbridled passion for cinema that he thought it was surely a benevolent act to bring more joy to the masses via his carefully curated choices. In his boundless enthusiasm, he obliterated the rule book, like a puppy who pisses on the floor with sheer excitement.

When it’s laid out on those terms, you’d be hard pushed to argue against his rulebreaking ardour. But boy, has his perennial paroxysm of cinephilia made the production of this list a most thankless task indeed! The man is a guiser of constant film recommendations, so much so that he is first and foremost a film expert and secondly a filmmaker. As he said himself, “Your job is to get your audience to care about your obsessions.”

There have been many times while compiling the endless interviews, lists of favourite British movies, favourite gangster movies, favourite foreign movies and everything in between that the man has divulged over the years, where I have lost faith, lost sight of the end goal, and there is no doubting that many are missing and that he will continue to disseminate even more, but, this is my valiant effort.

There are also a thousand more movies that he has mentioned in passing, but the ones stated below are ones that he has affirmed an affection for. They all come from genuine and ratified sources too convoluted to provide (some sources and quotes are available under the links above).

Scorsese once said, “Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our lifetime, we need to keep them alive.” Quite frankly, I’m surprised that he has had time to equate the number of movies he has watched with the small glimmer of reality that he has had time to see them. But, all jokes aside, we can certainly be thankful to be the benefactors of his brilliance and passion both in terms of the movies he has made and the others that he has bestowed on anyone who will listen, collected up, rather tediously, in the list below.

His love affair with the silver screen started when he was six years old when he experienced his “most impressive memory of a feature film”. He suffered from terrible asthma as a boy; thus, his parents often took him to the cinema “because he couldn’t play outside much,” then he was taken by his mother to see Duel in the Sun, he fell in love, and his devotion to the art form continued therein to this day.

In more recent times, he has fallen head over heels in love with the work of Midsommar director, Ari Aster, eulogising the young director’s “formal control”. His jubilation continues to unspool like an endless reel of celluloid. Soon he’ll be adding another of his own love letters to the oeuvre as Killers of the Flower Moon recently got underway, but first, to the list in hand…

From his undying veneration of Stanley Kubrick to his unfettered adulation for films that seemingly nobody else in the world has ever seen, the end is simply listless. Enjoy.

Every film that Martin Scorsese has ever recommended:

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick, 1968.
  2. 81/2 – Federico Fellini, 1963.
  3. The 400 Blows – François Truffaut
  4. A Borrowed Life – Nien-Jen Wu, 1994.
  5. Ace In the Hole – Billy Wilder, 1951.
  6. Advise & Consent – Otto Preminger, 1962.
  7. Aguirre, the Wrath of God – Werner Herzog, 1972.
  8. A High Wind in Jamaica — Alexander Mackendrick, 1965.
  9. Al Capone – Richard Wilson, 1959.
  10. AliEats the Soul – Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974.
  11. All that Heaven Allows – Douglas Sirk, 1955. 
  12. All that Jazz – Bob Fosse, 1979.
  13. America, America – Elia Kazan, 1963.
  14. The American Friend – Wim Wenders, 1970.
  15. An American in Paris – Vincente Minnelli, 1951.
  16. Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola, 1979.
  17. Archipelago – Joanna Hogg, 2010.
  18. Arsenic and Old Lace – Frank Capra, 1944.
  19. Ashes and Diamonds – Andrzej Wajda, 1958.
  20. The Asphyx — Peter Newbrook, 1972.
  21. A Trip to the Moon – George Méliès, 1902.
  22. L’Avventura – Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960.
  23. The Bad and the Beautiful – Vincente Minnelli, 1952.
  24. Bad Lieutenant – Abel Ferrera, 1992.
  25. Band of Outsiders – Jean-Luc Godard, 1964.
  26. The Band Wagon – Vincente Minnelli, 1953.
  27. Barry Lyndon – Stanley Kubrick, 1975.
  28. Beauty & The Beast – 
  29. Before the Revolution – Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964.
  30. The Bicycle Thief – Vittorio De Sica, 1948.
  31. Big Deal on Madonna Street – Mario Monicelli, 1958.
  32. BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee, 2018.
  33. Blood Money – Rowland Brown, 1933.
  34. Blow Up – Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966.
  35. The Asphyx — Peter Newbrook, 1972.
  36. A Trip to the Moon – George Méliès, 1902.
  37. L’Avventura – Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960.
  38. The Bad and the Beautiful – Vincente Minnelli, 1952.
  39. Bad Lieutenant – Abel Ferrera, 1992.
  40. Band of Outsiders – Jean-Luc Godard, 1964.
  41. The Band Wagon – Vincente Minnelli, 1953.
  42. Barry Lyndon – Stanley Kubrick, 1975.
  43. Beauty & The Beast – 
  44. Before the Revolution – Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964.
  45. The Bicycle Thief – Vittorio De Sica, 1948.
  46. Big Deal on Madonna Street – Mario Monicelli, 1958.
  47. BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee, 2018.
  48. Blood Money – Rowland Brown, 1933.
  49. Blow Up – Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966.
  50. The Blue Lamp — Basil Dearden, 1950.
  51. Le Boucher – Claude Cahrbol, 1970.
  52. Born on the Fourth of July – Oliver Stone, 1989.
  53. Bottle Rocket Wes Anderson, 1996.
  54. Breathless – Jean-Luc Godard, 1960.
  55. Breaking the Waves – Lors Von Trier, 1996.
  56. Brief Ecstasy – Edmond T. Greville, 1937. 
  57. Cape Fear – J. Lee Thompson, 1962.
  58. Cat People – Val Lewton, 1942.
  59. Caught – Max Ophüls, 1949.
  60. The Changeling – Peter Medak, 1980.
  61. The Chess Player – Satyajit Ray, 1977.
  62. Children of Paradise – Marcel Carné, 1945.
  63. Citizen Kane – Orson Welles, 1941.
  64. Contempt – Jean-Luc Godard, 1963.
  65. The Conversation – Francis Ford Coppola, 1974.
  66. Crash – David Cronenberg, 1996.
  67. The Damned — Joseph Losey, 1963.
  68. Dead of Night – Alberto Cavalcanti, 1945.
  69. Death by Hanging – Nagisa Ôshima, 1968.
  70. Deeds Goes to Town – Frank Capra, 1936.
  71. The Devil Rides Out — Terence Fisher, 1968.
  72. Dial M for Murder – Alfred Hitchcock, 1954.
  73. Do the Right Thing – Spike Lee, 1989.
  74. Double Indemnity – Billy Wilder, 1944.
  75. Le Doulos – Jean-Pierre Melville, 1962.
  76. Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde — Roy Ward Baker, 1971.
  77. Dr Mabuse, The Gambler – Fritz Lang, 1922.
  78. Duel in the Sun – King Vidor, 1946. 
  79. East of Eden – Elia Kazan, 1955.
  80. The Enigma of Kasper Hauser – Werner Herzog, 1974.
  81. The Entity – Sidney J. Furie, 1982.
  82. Europa ’51 – Roberto Rossellini, 1952.
  83. The Exorcist – William Friedkin, 1973.
  84. Eyes Wide Shut – Stanley Kubrick, 1999.
  85. Faces – John Cassavetes, 1968.
  86. The Fall of the Roman Empire – Anthony Mann, 1963.
  87. Fargo – The Coen Brothers, 1996.
  88. The Flesh and the Fiends — John Gilling, 1960.
  89. The Flowers of St. Francis Roberto Rossellini, 1950. 
  90. Force of Evil – Abraham Polonsky, 1948.
  91. Forty Guns – Samuel Fuller, 1957.
  92. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Rex Ingram, 1921.
  93. Four-sided Triangle — Terence Fisher, 1953.
  94. Germany Year Zero – Roberto Rossellini, 1948.
  95. Gilda – Charles Vidor, 1946.
  96. The Godfather – Francis Ford Coppola, 1972.
  97. The Good Die Young — Lewis Gilbert, 1954.
  98. Grand Illusion – Jean Renoir, 1937.
  99. The Great Dictator – Charlie Chaplin, 1940.
  100. Green for Danger — Sidney Gilliat, 1946.
  101. Gun Crazy – Joseph H. Lewis, 1950
  102. Guns at Batasi —John Guillermin, 1964.
  103. The Halfway House – Basil Dearden, 1944.
  104. The Haunting – Robert Wise, 1963.
  105. Health – Robert Altman, 1980.
  106. Heat – Michael Mann, 1995.
  107. Hereditary – Ari Aster, 2018.
  108. Heaven’s Gate – Michael Cimino, 1980.
  109. High and Low – Akira Kurosawa, 1963.
  110. Horse Thief – Zhuangzhuang Tian and Peicheng Pan, 1986.
  111. House of Wax – André De Toth, 1953.
  112. How Green Was My Valley – John Ford, 1941.
  113. Hue and Cry — Charles Crichton, 1947.
  114. The Hustler – Robert Rossen, 1961.
  115. Ikiru – Akira Kurosawa, 1954.
  116. The Infernal Cakewalk – Georges Méliès, 1903.
  117. The Innocents — Jack Clayton, 1961.
  118. Isle of the Dead – Val Lewton, 1945.
  119. I Walk Alone – Byron Haskin, 1947.
  120. The Innocents – Jack Clayton, 1961.
  121. The Infernal Cakewalk – Georges Méliès, 1903.
  122. It Always Rains on Sunday — Robert Hamer, 1947.
  123. It Happened One Night – Frank Capra, 1934.
  124. Jason and the Argonauts – Don Chaffey, 1963.
  125. Johnny Guitar – Nicholas Ray, 1954.
  126. Journey to Italy – Roberto Rossellini, 1954.
  127. Julius Caesar – Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1953.
  128. Kansas City – Robert Altman, 1996. 
  129. Kind Hearts & Coronets — Robert Hamer, 1949.
  130. King of the Road – Wim Wenders, 1976.
  131. Kiss Me Deadly – Robert Aldrich, 1955.
  132. Klute – Alan J. Pakula, 1971.
  133. La Terra Trema – Luchino Visconti, 1948.
  134. The Lady From Shanghai – Orson Welles, 1947.
  135. The Legend of Hell House — John Hough, 1973.
  136. The Leopard – Luchino Visconti, 1963.
  137. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp – Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943.
  138. The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne — Jack Clayton, 1987.
  139. Macbeth – Orson Welles, 1948.
  140. Madonna of the Seven Moons – Arthur Crabtree, 1945.
  141. Mafioso – Alberto Lattuada, 1962.
  142. The Magic Box – John Boulting and Roy Boulting, 1951
  143. Malcolm X – Spike Lee, 1992.
  144. Mandy — Alexander Mackendrick, 1952.
  145. The Man in Grey – Leslie Arliss, 1943.
  146. The Marriage of Maria Braun – Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1979.
  147. M*A*S*H – Robert Altman, 1970.
  148. A Matter of Life and Death – Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946.
  149. McCabe & Mrs. Miller – Robert Altman, 1971.
  150. The Merchant of Four Seasons – Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1971.
  151. The Messiah – Roberto Rossellini, 1975.
  152. Metropolis – Fritz Lang, 1927.
  153. Midnight Cowboy – John Schlesinger, 1969.
  154. Midsommar – Ari Aster, 2019.
  155. The Mindbenders — Basil Dearden. 1963.
  156. Mishima – Paul Schrader, 1985.
  157. Moonrise – Frank Borzage, 1948.
  158. Murder by Contract – Irving Lerner, 1958.
  159. The Naked Kiss – Samuel Fuller, 1964.
  160. The Nanny – Seth Holt, 1958.
  161. Napoleon – Abel Gance, 1927.
  162. Nashville – Robert Altman, 1975.
  163. Night and the City – Jules Dassin, 1950.
  164. Night of the Demon – Jacques Tourneur, 1957.
  165. Night of the Eagle — Sidney Hayers, 1962.
  166. Nosferatu – F.W. Murnau, 1922.
  167. Nowhere to Go – Seth Holt, 1958.
  168. One Eyed Jacks – Marlon Brando, 1961.
  169. One, Two, Three – Billy Wilder, 1961.
  170. On The Waterfront – Elia Kazan, 1954.
  171. Othello – Orson Welles, 1951.
  172. Paisan – Roberto Rossellini, 1946.
  173. Paths of Glory – Stanley Kubrick, 1957.
  174. Peeping Tom – Michael Powell, 1960.
  175. Pete Kelly’s Blues – Jack Webb, 1955.
  176. The Phenix City Story – Phil Karlson, 1955.
  177. Pieces of a Woman – Kornél Mundruczó, 2020.
  178. Pickup on South Street – Samuel Fuller, 1953.
  179. Pink String and Sealing Wax — Robert Hamer, 1945.
  180. Plague of the Zombies — John Gilling, 1966.
  181. The Player – Robert Altman, 1992.
  182. Point Blank – John Boorman, 1967.
  183. The Power and the Glory – William K. Howard, 1933.
  184. Psycho – Alfred Hitchcock, 1960.
  185. The Public Enemy – William A. Wellman, 1931.
  186. The Pumpkin Eater — Jack Clayton, 1964.
  187. Quatermass and the Pit — Roy Ward Baker, 1967.
  188. The Queen of Spades — Thorold Dickinson, 1949.
  189. Raw Deal – Anthony Mann and John Alton, 1948.
  190. The Red Shoes – Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948.
  191. Rebel Without a Cause – Nicholas Ray, 1955.
  192. The Red Shoes – Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948.
  193. The Rise of Louis XIV – Roberto Rossellini, 1966.
  194. The River – Jean Renoir, 1951.
  195. The Roaring Twenties – Raoul Walsh, 1939.
  196. Rocco and his Brothers – Luchino Visconti, 1960.
  197. Rome, Open City – Roberto Rossellini, 1945.
  198. Rules of the Game – Jean Renoir, 1939.
  199. Salvatore Giuliano – Francesco Rosi, 1962.
  200. Sansho The Bailiff – Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954.
  201. Sapphire — Basil Dearden, 1959.
  202. Scarface – Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson, 1932.
  203. The Searchers – John Ford, 1956.
  204. Secrets of the Soul – G. W. Pabst, 1926. 
  205. Senso – Luchino Visconti, 1954.
  206. The Seventh Veil — Compton Bennett, 1945.
  207. Shadows – John Cassavetes, 1958.
  208. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon – John Ford, 1949.
  209. The Shining – Stanley Kubrick, 1980.
  210. Shock Corridor – Samuel Fuller, 1963.
  211. Shooting Stars – Anthony Asquith, 1928.
  212. Shoot the Piano Player – François Truffaut
  213. The Snorkel — Guy Green, 1958.
  214. Smith Goes to Washington – Frank Capra, 1939.
  215. So Long at the Fair — Terence Fisher, 1950.
  216. Some Came Running – Vincente Minnelli, 1958. 
  217. Il Sorpasso – Dino Risi, 1962.
  218. The Sound Barrier — David Lean, 1952.
  219. Stagecoach – John Ford, 1939
  220. Station Six Sahara – Seth Holt, 1962.
  221. Stolen Face — Terence Fisher (1952)
  222. Stromboli – Roberto Rossellini, 1950.
  223. Sullivan’s Travels – Preston Sturges, 1941.
  224. Sweet Smell of Success – Alexander Mackendrick, 1957.
  225. Tales of Hoffmann – Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1951.
  226. Taste of Fear — Seth Holt, 1961.
  227. La Terra Trema – Luchino Visconti, 1948.
  228. The Thin Red Line – Terrence Malick, 1998.
  229. The Third Man – Carol Reed, 1941.
  230. This Happy Breed — David Lean, 1944.
  231. T-Men – Anthony Mann, 1947.
  232. To the Public Danger — Terence Fisher, 1948.
  233. Tokyo Story – Yasujirō Ozu
  234. Touchez pas au Grisbi – Jacques Becker, 1954.
  235. Touch of Evil – Orson Welles, 1958.
  236. Touki Bouki – Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973.
  237. The Trial – Orson Welles, 1962.
  238. Two Weeks in Another Town – Vincente Minnelli, 1962
  239. Ugetsu – Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953.
  240. Umberto D. – Vittorio De Sica, 1952.
  241. Uncle Silas — Charles Frank, 1947.
  242. Underground — Anthony Asquith, 1928.
  243. Unforgiven – Clint Eastwood, 1992.
  244. The Uninvited – Lewis Allen, 1944.
  245. Vampyres — José Ramón Larraz, 1974.
  246. Vertigo – Alfred Hitchcock, 1958.
  247. Weekend – Jean-Luc Godard, 1967.
  248. Went The Day Well – Alberto Cavalcanti, 1942.
  249. Whistle and I’ll Come To You — Jonathan Miller, 1968.
  250. White Heat – Raoul Walsh, 1949.
  251. Woman Is the Future of Man – Hong Sang-soo, 2003.
  252. Yeelen – Solomani Cissé, 1987.
  253. Yield to the Night — J. Lee Thompson, 1956.

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