Entertainment

The Very Best Jewish Movies  

Ranker Film
945 votes 104 voters 2.7k views 61 items

List Rules Movies must have a primary focus on practicing Judaism—not just on Jewish characters. Includes documentaries.

When it comes to movies created by Jewish people, some of the greatest films ever made find their way onto the list. Hollywood has long been full of creative people from all nationalities, religious backgrounds, races, sexual preference, and anything else you can think of, but some of the most influential and creative people working behind the scenes have been Jewish. Determining what makes a movie "Jewish" requires looking into the people who worked on the film, but also the content.

You won't find every movie made by Mel Brooks or Woody Allen on this list seeing as Spaceballs and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Afraid to Ask were made by Jewish people, but practicing Judaism or being Jewish was hardly the central theme of the film. Similarly, people like Steven Spielberg have a huge body of work, but only one of his films made the cut for this list and you can probably guess which one. Jewish films that make the cut for this list involve Jewish creators, but also content about Jewish people. Neil Simon's amazing body of work often involves his own life story, which is why movies like Biloxi Blues and Brighton Beach Memoirs can be found here. 

This list has everything from old Jewish movies like the 1947 Body and Soul to new films like 2017's Disobedience. Did your favorite Jewish film make the list? Add the best Jewish movies you think should have been included and rate your favorite to the top!

1
A Woman Called Golda is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
LawrenceVoltz added Ingrid Bergman, Leonard Nimoy, Ned Beatty
A Woman Called Golda is a 1982 American made-for-television film biopic of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Made by Paramount Television and directed by Alan Gibson, the film stars Ingrid ...more
2
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Yul Brynner
The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in VistaVision, and released by Paramount Pictures. It dramatizes the biblical story ...more
3
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more
4
Fiddler on the Roof is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Paul Michael Glaser, Chaim Topol, Molly Picon
Fiddler on the Roof is a 1971 American musical comedy-drama film produced and directed by Norman Jewison. It is an adaptation of the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name, with music composed ...more
5
The Prince of Egypt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer, Val Kilmer
The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 American animated epic musical biblical film and the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures. The film is an adaptation of ...more
6
An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise
An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth and produced by Sullivan Bluth Studios and Amblin Entertainment. The film tells the story of Fievel ...more
7
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb
Exodus is a 1960 epic film made by Alpha and Carlyle Productions and distributed by United Artists. Produced and directed by Otto Preminger, the film was based on the 1958 novel Exodus, by Leon ...more
8
Annie Hall is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Woody Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Walken
Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy directed by Woody Allen from a screenplay he co-wrote with Marshall Brickman. Produced by Allen's manager, Charles H. Joffe, the film stars Allen as ...more
9
The Frisco Kid is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Harrison Ford, Gene Wilder, William Smith
The Frisco Kid is a 1979 movie directed by Robert Aldrich. The movie is a Western comedy featuring Gene Wilder as Avram Belinski, a Polish rabbi who is traveling to San Francisco, and Harrison ...more
10
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz, Richard Sammel
Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his ...more
11
The Producers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars, Zero Mostel
The Producers is a 1968 American satirical dark comedy film written and directed by Mel Brooks. The film is set in the late 1960s and it tells the story of a theatrical producer and an ...more
12
Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith
Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh ...more
13
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach
Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, as well as ...more
14
Brighton Beach Memoirs is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Brighton Beach Memoirs is a semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon, the first chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy. It precedes Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound.
15
Gentleman's Agreement is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Gregory Peck, Dean Stockwell, Celeste Holm
Gentleman's Agreement is a 1947 drama film about a journalist who poses as a Jew to research an exposé on antisemitism in New York City and the affluent community of Darien, Connecticut. ...more
16
The Jazz Singer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Myrna Loy, Al Jolson, William Demarest
The Jazz Singer is a 1927 American musical film. The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the ...more
17
Crossing Delancey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
David Hyde Pierce, Geroge Martin, Amy Irving
Crossing Delancey is a romantic comedy film starring Amy Irving and Peter Riegert that was released in 1988. It is directed by Joan Micklin Silver and was based on a play by Susan Sandler, who ...more
18
The Great Dictator is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert
The Great Dictator is a 1940 American satirical political comedy-drama film starring, written, produced, scored, and directed by Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other ...more
19
Blazing Saddles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Anne Bancroft
Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman ...more
20
Once Upon a Time in America is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Jennifer Connelly, Robert De Niro, James Woods
Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian epic drama film co-written and directed by Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. It chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths ...more
21
Driving Miss Daisy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Tandy
Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film adapted from the Alfred Uhry play of the same name. The film was directed by Bruce Beresford, with Morgan Freeman reprising his role as ...more
22
The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox
The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The ...more
23
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kr... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Richard Dreyfuss, Randy Quaid, Denholm Elliott
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is a 1974 Canadian comedy-drama film directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring Richard Dreyfuss. It is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Mordecai
24
The Diary of Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
rocky 35 added Shelley Winters, Ed Wynn, Millie Perkins
The Diary of Anne Frank is a 1959 film based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name, which was based on the diary of Anne Frank. It was directed by George Stevens, with a screenplay ...more
25
The Pawnbroker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Morgan Freeman, Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald
The Pawnbroker is a 1964 drama film, directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters, Jaime Sánchez and Morgan Freeman in his feature film debut. It was ...more