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The Best Ava Gardner Movies

Updated June 11, 2019 2.3k votes 369 voters 39.7k views59 items

List RulesVote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Ava Gardner movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Ava Gardner's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Ava Gardner movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Ava Gardner movies will be at the top of the list. Ava Gardner has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Ava Gardner movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Ava Gardner films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Ava Gardner role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Ava Gardner performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

List is made up of a variety of films, including Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and Singapore.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Ava Gardner movies?" and "What are the greatest Ava Gardner roles of all time?"

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  • 1
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    The Night of the Iguana

    Ava Gardner, Richard Burton

    Released1964

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The Night of the Iguana is a 1964 film based on the 1961 play of the same name written by Tennessee Williams. Directed by John Huston, it featured Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr. The...  more

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  • 2
    63
    24

    On the Beach

    Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck

    Released1959

    Directed byStanley Kramer

    On the Beach is a 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film from United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony...  more
  • 3
    63
    25

    Mogambo

    Grace Kelly, Clark Gable

    Released1953

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Mogambo is a 1953 American adventure/romantic drama film directed by John Ford and starring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly and featuring Donald Sinden. The film was adapted by John Lee...  more
  • 4
    53
    18

    The Barefoot Contessa

    Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner

    Released1954

    Directed byJoseph L. Mankiewicz

    The Barefoot Contessa is a 1954 drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz about the life and loves of fictional Spanish sex symbol Maria Vargas. It stars Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner,...  more
  • 5
    55
    23

    The Killers

    Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster

    Released1946

    Directed byRobert Siodmak

    The Killers is a 1946 American film noir directed by Robert Siodmak and based in part on the short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. It stars Burt Lancaster in his film debut, Ava Gardner,...  more
  • 6
    45
    16

    Whistle Stop

    Ava Gardner, George Raft

    Released1946

    Directed byLéonide Moguy

    Whistle Stop is a 1946 black and white crime film noir directed by Léonide Moguy and featuring starring George Raft and Ava Gardner. The screenplay is written by Philip Yordan, and based on a novel...  more
  • 7
    48
    20

    Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

    Ava Gardner, John Laurie

    Released1951

    Directed byAlbert Lewin

    Pandora and the Flying Dutchman is a 1951 British drama film made by Romulus Films and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the United States. The film was directed by Albert Lewin and produced by...  more
  • 8
    44
    19

    The Bible: In the Beginning...

    Peter O'Toole, Ava Gardner

    Released1966

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The Bible: In the Beginning... is a 1966 American-Italian religious epic film produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by John Huston. It recounts the first 22 chapters of the biblical Book of...  more
  • 9
    40
    16

    Mayerling

    Omar Sharif, Catherine Deneuve

    Released1968

    Directed byTerence Young

    Mayerling is a 1968 romantic tragedy film starring Omar Sharif, Catherine Deneuve, James Mason, Ava Gardner, Geneviève Page, James Robertson Justice and Andréa Parisy. It was written and directed by...  more
  • 10
    36
    13

    The Great Sinner

    Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck

    Released1949

    Directed byRobert Siodmak

    The Great Sinner is a 1949 drama film directed by Robert Siodmak....  more
  • 11
    44
    24

    Show Boat

    Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson

    Released1951

    Directed byGeorge Sidney

    Show Boat is a 1951 American musical romantic drama film based on the stage musical of the same name by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, and the 1926 novel by Edna Ferber. This 1951 film version...  more
  • 12
    36
    17

    Shadow of the Thin Man

    Ava Gardner, Myrna Loy

    Released1941

    Directed byW. S. Van Dyke

    Shadow of the Thin Man is the fourth of the six The Thin Man films. It was released in 1941 and was directed by W. S. Van Dyke. It stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles. Also,...  more
  • 13
    39
    22

    One Touch of Venus

    Ava Gardner, Eve Arden

    Released1948

    Directed byWilliam A. Seiter

    One Touch of Venus is a 1948 black-and-white American romantic musical comedy film directed by William A. Seiter, starring Robert Walker and Ava Gardner, released by Universal-International, and...  more
  • 14
    39
    23

    The Snows of Kilimanjaro

    Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck

    Released1952

    Directed byHenry King

    The Snows of Kilimanjaro is a 1952 American Technicolor film based on the short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. The film version of the short story was directed by Henry King, written by...  more
  • 15
    32
    17

    The Sun Also Rises

    Ava Gardner, Errol Flynn

    Released1957

    Directed byHenry King

    The Sun Also Rises is a 1957 film adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name directed by Henry King. The screenplay was written by Peter Viertel and it starred Tyrone Power, Ava...  more
  • 16
    40
    26

    Bhowani Junction

    Ava Gardner, Stewart Granger

    Released1956

    Directed byGeorge Cukor

    Bhowani Junction is a 1956 film adaptation of the 1954 novel Bhowani Junction by John Masters made by MGM. The film was directed by George Cukor and produced by Pandro S. Berman from a screenplay by...  more
  • 17
    32
    17

    Lone Star

    Clark Gable, Ava Gardner

    Released1952

    Directed byVincent Sherman

    Lone Star is a 1952 Western film starring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Broderick Crawford, Ed Begley, and Lionel Barrymore as President Andrew Jackson. The film also marks the first screen appearance by...  more
  • 18
    27
    14

    The Long Hot Summer

    Ava Gardner, Don Johnson

    Released1985

    Directed byStuart Cooper

    The Long Hot Summer is a 1985 television film and remake of the 1958 film of the same name. When drifter "Ben Quick" arrives in a small Mississippi town, "Will Varner", a family patriarch, sees Ben...  more
  • 19
    25
    13

    Priest of Love

    Ian McKellen, Ava Gardner

    Released1981

    Directed byChristopher Miles

    Priest of Love is a British biographical film about D. H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda. It was produced and directed by Christopher Miles and co-produced by Andrew Donally. The screenplay was by Alan...  more
  • 20
    26
    15

    East Side, West Side

    Ava Gardner, Barbara Stanwyck

    Released1949

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy

    East Side, West Side is a 1949 melodramatic crime film, starring Barbara Stanwyck as a wronged wife and Ava Gardner in one of her earliest roles, along with James Mason and Van Heflin. Based on a...  more
  • 21
    24
    12

    City on Fire

    Ava Gardner, Henry Fonda

    Released1979

    Directed byAlvin Rakoff

    City on Fire is a 1979 disaster film directed by Alvin Rakoff and featuring an all-star cast. The film’s plot revolves around a disgruntled employee who sets fire to an oil refinery, setting off a...  more

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  • 22
    26
    19

    Tam-Lin

    Ava Gardner, Ian McShane

    Released1970

    Directed byRoddy McDowall

    Tam-Lin, also known as The Ballad of Tam-Lin, The Devil's Widow and The Devil's Woman, is a 1970 British film made by Commonwealth United Entertainment, Winkast Film Productions Ltd. and distributed...  more
  • 23
    23
    16

    The Bribe

    Ava Gardner, Vincent Price

    Released1949

    Directed byRobert Z. Leonard

    The Bribe is a 1949 American crime film noir directed by Robert Z. Leonard and written by Marguerite Roberts, based on a story written by Frederick Nebel. The drama features Robert Taylor, Ava...  more
  • 24
    20
    14

    The Blue Bird

    Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda

    Released1976

    Directed byGeorge Cukor

    The Blue Bird is a 1976 American/Soviet fantasy film directed by George Cukor. The screenplay by Hugh Whitemore, Alfred Hayes, and Aleksei Kapler is based on L'Oiseau bleu by Maurice Maeterlinck. It...  more

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  • 25
    20
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    The Hucksters

    Clark Gable, Ava Gardner

    Released1947

    Directed byJack Conway

    The Hucksters is a 1947 MGM film directed by Jack Conway and starring Clark Gable that marked the debut of Deborah Kerr in an American film. The supporting cast includes Sydney Greenstreet, Adolphe...  more