Ever Wonder What Orson Welles’ Top Ten Favorite Films Are? Well, Here You Go…

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OrsonWellesInterview copyOrson Welles indisputably made a huge impact on the film industry, both in terms of technical proficiency and storytelling sophistication. However, Welles was never the biggest fan of films themselves. He just saw it as a way to tell stories he wanted to. That makes sense to me of how he approached filmmaking. Had he been a movie fan, I don’t know if he would have thought so much outside of the box about to make them than he did.

That isn’t to say he didn’t like all movies. In the early 1950s, Welles managed to cobble together a list of his ten favorite films for Sound on Sight (via Open Culture). As he had only been exposed to a couple of decades of cinema, I think this is a very interesting list, and one that makes a lot of sense for someone like Welles.

  1. City Lights (dir. Charles Chaplin)
  2. Greed (dir. Erich von Stroheim)
  3. Intolerance (dir. D.W. Griffith)
  4. Nanook of the North (dir. Robert Flaherty)
  5. Sciuscià (Shoe Shine) (dir. Vittorio De Sica)
  6. The Battleship Potempkin (dir. Sergei Eisenstein)
  7. La Femme du Boulanger (The Baker’s Wife) (dir. Marcel Pagnol)
  8. La Grande Illusion (The Grand Illusion) (dir. Jean Renoir)
  9. Stagecoach (dir. John Ford)
  10. Our Daily Bread (dir. King Vidor)

Of the list, I have seen City Lights, Intolerance, Nanook of the North, Shoe Shine, The Battleship Potempkin, The Grand Illusion, and Stagecoach. I would say that is a pretty good percentage, and all of them are very high quality films. I can’t argue with someone putting them on a top ten, even if I wouldn’t put any of them on mine. I have attempted to watch Greed several times, but it is just so long…

How many of Welles’ favorites have you seen?

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