As one of the greatest actors ever to walk the Hollywood red carpet, Robert De Niro is an icon of the industry, known for his maverick method acting antics and fervent on-screen performances. Widely celebrated for his roles in the films of Martin Scorsese, including Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy and Goodfellas, De Niro has also enjoyed success working with the likes of Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino among many others.
Having worked with Martin Scorsese on nine occasions, the iconic filmmaker called the actor “the greatest actor of his generation” when he presented the actor with the Variety Creative Impact in Acting Award. During his introductory speech, Scorsese said De Niro’s “creative impact in acting will always be felt so long as there are actors to express their art”.
Whilst on-screen he often takes the roles of outspoken, confident individuals, in reality, he prefers to keep himself to himself, rarely revealing information about his personal life. As a purveyor of classic cinema, however, the actor has previously revealed his favourite screen actors in an interview with Kenneth Branagh. Speaking in the interview he reveals: “In America, the actors I thought were the most interesting were James Dean, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Kim Stanley and Greta Garbo”.
It seems as though it is truly great on-screen performances that Robert De Niro cherishes when it comes to his favourite films too, with the actor telling The Golden Globes that his personal picks involve two of the aforementioned actors, Marlon Brando and James Dean. In a feature that lists celebrities favourite films, The Golden Globes reveal that Robert De Niro chose East of Eden, On the Waterfront and Rebel Without a Cause as his personal preferences.
Both East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause star the iconic James Dean, an actor who significantly influenced the style and attitude of a mid-century youth with his counter-cultural attitudes. On the Waterfront featured Marlon Brando, an influential method actor who starred in the likes of Guys and Dolls and The Godfather and left a revolutionary approach to the acting craft that has been appreciated ever since.
Also discussing the power of each of two of these films in his interview with Kenneth Branagh, Robert De Niro notes, “When you saw James Dean do East of Eden he was great, but you can’t do what he could do. Brando with On the Waterfront or A Streetcar Named Desire, are considered the great performances of that time and still are”.
Take a look at the shortlist of Robert De Niro’s three favourite films, below.
Robert De Niro’s favourite films
- East of Eden (Elia Kazan, 1955)
- On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954)
- Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)