Woody Allen, a revered yet controversial filmmaker, is considered by many as one of the greatest directors of new Hollywood.
In a career that spans six decades, Allen’s most notable work with films such has Annie Hall, Manhattan, Midnight in Paris and more have earned him four Academy Award victories one of which includes Best Director.
A former comedian himself, Allen has often detailed that he has been enormously influenced by comedians such as Bob Hope, Groucho Marx, Charlie Chaplin and more.
When asked if films have ever served as an inspiration, Allen answered: “I watch them for pleasure. I don’t study them for the lighting or the camera angles or the blocking.”
He added: “I watch them strictly for the story and for pleasure. And they do influence you. You see good movies and you want to make a movie like that sometime, because it was so much fun and you got such a kick out of watching it.”
With that in mind, Allen was asked to vote for the films he considered to be the greatest of all time in a poll for Sight and Sound magazine. It comes as little surprise that Allen included The Seventh Seal, a film by Ingmar Bergman who he has often cited as an influence.
Woody Allen’s favourite films of all time:
- The 400 Blows – François Truffaut, 1959
- 8½ – Federico Fellini, 1963
- Amarcord – Federico Fellini, 1972
- The Bicycle Thieves – Vittorio de Sica, 1948
- Citizen Kane – Orson Welles, 1941
- The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie – Luis Buñuel, 1972
- Grand Illusion – Jean Renoir, 1937
- Paths of Glory – Stanley Kubrick, 1957
- Rashomon – Akira Kurosawa, 1950
- The Seventh Seal – Ingmar Bergman, 1957
Allen’s film output in recent years has tailed off following the cancellation of the release of his film A Rainy Day in New York, which was filmed in 2017 after Amazon withdrew their five-film contract offer.
In 1992 Dylan Farrow accused Allen of molesting her as a child, an accusation he has repeatedly denied. However, Farrow’s accusation once again grew in recent years following with the rise of the Me Too movement and thus impacted Amazon’s decision to cancel their deal with Allen.
Allen later formed a major lawsuit against Amazon for breach of contract for $68 million.