Entertainment

The Best Movies About Orphans  

Ranker Film
3.3k votes 883 voters 98.3k views 46 items

List Rules Films about orphans and orphanages. Vote up the best orphan movies.

Some of the sweetest and most inspirational movies of all time are those that feature the life of a child who has been abandoned by his or her parents, whether through a death or a circumstance such as war. These stories that touch our hearts in the deepest place possible. It’s no wonder that some absolutely amazing films have told the story of an orphaned child. What are the best movies about orphans? Vote up your favorites below and see where they rank!
 
The movies on this list have been ranked as the best of films on this topic. Some of these films are classic greats in the film industry that have forever impacted our hearts. Some of the movies featured here are based on true events of survival, finding a home, and the impact that losing a parent can have on a child. Others are based on famous fictional books and fictional orphans.
 
This list features the best movies about orphans including, Les Miserables, Hugo, The Jungle Book, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, Oliver, The Red Violin, August Rush, The Book Thief, and The Cider House Rules. Vote up the best orphan movies below or add one you love that isn't already on the list.
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer
Shazam! is a 2019 superhero film directed by David F. Sandberg, based on the DC Comics character. A boy (Asher Angel) is given the ability to become an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) in times of ...more
2
Ranker Video
RavenBrookeCooper added Alec Guinness, Diana Dors, Anthony Newley
Oliver Twist is the second of David Lean's two film adaptations of Charles Dickens novels. Following the success of his 1946 version of Great Expectations, Lean re-assembled much of the same ...more
3
Ranker Video
Camilla Belle, Liam Cunningham, Vincent Schiavelli
A Little Princess is a 1995 drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, and Vanessa Lee Chester. Set during WWI, it focuses on a young ...more
4
Ranker Video
Robin Williams, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
August Rush is a 2007 drama film directed by Kirsten Sheridan and written by Nick Castle, James V. Hart, and Paul Castro, and produced by Richard Barton Lewis. Deciding to run away to New York ...more
5
Ranker Video
Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, Kevin Michael Richardson
Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American animated action-adventure comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 21, 2002. The 42nd ...more
6
Ranker Video
Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee
Hugo is a 2011 American 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of ...more
7
Ranker Video
Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure film directed by Andrew Adamson and based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published ...more
8
Ranker Video
Richard Farnsworth, Zack Ward, Colleen Dewhurst
Anne of Green Gables is a 1985 Canadian television drama film based on the novel of the same name by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The film starred Megan Follows and was produced and ...more
9
Ranker Video
Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Heike Makatsch
This film is a 2013 American-German drama film directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse. The film is about a young girl living with her ...more
10
Ranker Video
Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons
Pete's Dragon is a 1977 live-action/animated musical film from Walt Disney Productions. It is a live-action film but one of its title characters, a dragon named Elliott, is animated. The story ...more
11
Batman Begins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Orphans
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson
Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. After training with his mentor (Liam Neeson), Batman (Christian Bale) begins his fight to ...more
12
Ranker Video
Oliver Reed, Leonard Rossiter, Hugh Griffith
Oliver! is a 1968 British musical drama film directed by Carol Reed and based on the stage musical of the same name, with book, music and lyrics written by Lionel Bart. The screenplay was ...more
13
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Orphans
JimJenkins added Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger
Batman is an orphan, too! The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more
14
Ranker Video
Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall, Bruce Forsyth
This film is a 1971 American musical film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company in North America on December 13, 1971. It is based upon the books ...more
15
Ranker Video
Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman
Les Misérables is a 2012 musical drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 1862 French novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, which also inspired a 1980 concept album and 1985 ...more
16
Ranker Video
Clint Howard, George Sanders, Louis Prima
The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Inspired by the Rudyard Kipling's book of the same name, it is the 19th animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more
17
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, Margaret O'Brien
Jane Eyre is an American film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name, released by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by William Goetz, ...more
18
Man of Steel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Orphans
JimJenkins added Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon
Don't forget Superman is an orphan! Man of Steel is a 2013 superhero film directed by Zack Snyder, based on the DC Comics character. Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), one of the last of an extinguished race disguised as an unremarkable ...more
19
Ranker Video
Tom Islava added Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin, Steven Spielberg

Jake and Elwood's mission from God was in order to save the orphanage they were raised in.

The Blues Brothers is a 1980 American musical comedy film directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues, characters developed from ...more
20
Ranker Video
Albert Finney, Lynn Redgrave, Susannah York
Tom Jones is a 1963 British adventure comedy film, an adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, starring Albert Finney as the titular hero. It was one ...more
21
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Charlize Theron, Michael Caine, Paul Rudd
The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the ...more
22
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Alec Guinness, Jean Simmons, John Mills
Great Expectations is a 1946 British film directed by David Lean, based on the novel by Charles Dickens and starring John Mills, Bernard Miles, Finlay Currie, Jean Simmons, Martita Hunt, Alec ...more
23
Ranker Video
Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle
Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 American historical drama film directed by Terry George. It was adapted from a screenplay written by both George and Keir Pearson. It stars Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo ...more
24
Ranker Video
Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Gene Reynolds
Boys Town is a 1938 biographical drama film based on Father Edward J. Flanagan's work with a group of underprivileged and delinquent boys in a home that he founded and named "Boys ...more
25
Ranker Video
Philippe de Chérisey, Jacques Marin, Brigitte Fossey
Forbidden Games, is a 1952 French war drama film directed by René Clément and based on François Boyer's novel, Jeux interdits. While not initially successful in France, the ...more