Greta Gerwig reduces Quentin Tarantino to tears with emotional speech
(Credit: Georges Biard)

From Martin Scorsese to Steven Spielberg: Quentin Tarantino’s 20 favourite films

“I steal from every movie ever made.” – Quentin Tarantino

In the new world, Quentin Tarantino is synonymous with cinema. Throughout the three decades of him bustling with the film-art, the hugely celebrated filmmaker has built up of an oeuvre of works which is sure to be immortalised in the holy grail of movies. Tarantino has shaped our experiences of the film with his masterpieces such as Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, and Reservoir Dogs.

An avid cinephile, Tarantino was a film fan from childhood. He watched old movies on TV, recent releases in cinemas and anything that caught his fancy on VHS. Like every filmmaker, he started as a film viewer; like many filmmakers, he was keen to explore the entire range of film history. Asked what he does in his spare time, he replied, “What you’d expect—read, listen to music, hang out with friends, watch my video and DVD collection. Get obsessions about this or that. I’m a film historian so I’m always trying to feed my brain.”

Before he became a renowned director, he worked at a video rental shop where he would be spending his time devouring one movie after another. Now it has been years since Tarantino’s distinctive style has won recognition from the public. And his cinephilia isn’t only evident in the experiences of his past but also in the films he makes, which evoke his passionate love for the film industry—the history, the traditions, and the evolution.

Citing The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly as his favourite film, and Sergio Leone as an intense influence on him; Tarantino, in the 2012 Sight & Sound directors’ poll listed his top-12 films. Including films like Apocalypse Now, The Bad News Bears, Carrie, and Dazed and Confused; and works from filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Howard Hawks, and John Flynn, the list reverberates of his ardent love for the films.

Here, we have collected 20 films Quentin Tarantino has cited in numerous interviews as a selection of favourite films of all-time.

Quentin Tarantino’s favourite films:

  • Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola – 1979)
  • Audition (Takashi Miike – 1999)
  • The Bad News Bears (Michael Ritchie – 1976)
  • Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku – 2000)
  • Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai – 1994)
  • Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson – 1997)
  • Carrie (Brian De Palma – 1976)
  • Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater – 1993)
  • Dogville (Lars Von Trier – 2003)
  • Enter the Void (Gaspar Noe – 2009)
  • The Social Network (David Fincher – 2010)
  • Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach – 2012)
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Sergio Leone – 1966)
  • The Great Escape (John Sturges – 1963)
  • The Host (Bong Joon-ho – 2006)
  • His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks – 1940)
  • Jaws (Steven Spielberg – 1975)
  • Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright – 2004)
  • The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar – 2011)
  • Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese – 1976)
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