Entertainment

The Very Best Jewish Movies  

Ranker Film
1.1k votes 112 voters 2.9k views 68 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
Fiddler on the Roof is listed (or ranked) 1 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
2
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
The Prince of Egypt is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
The Producers is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Cabaret is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey
Cabaret is a 1972 musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous ...more
11
A Woman Called Golda is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Annie Hall is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Sigourney Weaver
Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen. Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer (Allen) falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall (Diane Keaton).
13
The Jazz Singer is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
Funny Girl is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Anne Francis
Funny Girl is a 1968 romantic musical film directed by William Wyler. The screenplay by Isobel Lennart was adapted from her book for the stage musical of the same title. It is loosely based on ...more
16
The Diary of Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
The Frisco Kid is listed (or ranked) 18 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
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
Chariots of Fire is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm
Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of ...more
22
Swing Kids is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
MoonshadowRachel added Christian Bale, Kenneth Branagh, Barbara Hershey
Swing Kids is a 1993 American musical comedy film directed by Thomas Carter and starring Christian Bale, Robert Sean Leonard and Frank Whaley. In pre-WWII Germany, two high school students, ...more
23
School Ties is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
MoonshadowRachel added Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Brendan Fraser
School Ties is a 1992 sports film directed by Robert Mandel starring Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris O'Donnell, Cole Hauser, Randall Batinkoff, Andrew Lowery and Anthony Rapp. ...more
24
The Devil's Arithmetic is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
MoonshadowRachel added Kiersten Dunst, Brittany Murphy
The Devil's Arithmetic is a 1999 TV movie based on the historical novel of the same name by Jane Yolen. It stars Kirsten Dunst as Hannah Stern and costars Brittany Murphy, Louise Fletcher, and ...more
25
New York Stories is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Jewish Movies
MoonshadowRachel added Kirsten Dunst, Woody Allen, Nick Nolte
New York Stories is a 1989 anthology film; it consists of three shorts with the central theme being New York City. The first is Life Lessons, directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Richard ...more