WWII The Best Movies About the Holocaust  

Ranker Film
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The films on this list of the best movies about the Holocaust are ranked by the community as the absolute best. During the Holocaust, approximately 6 million Jews were killed at the command of Adolf Hitler. Many films have been made about this period, and WWII in general. What are the best movies about the Holocaust?
This list features the best movies about the Holocaust, either from a historical viewpoint or by telling the stories of fictional characters set during this time in history. Some of these films are among the best movies of all time and many have won various awards as well. These films range over many different genres.
The best movies about the Holocaust on this list include Schindler’s List, Sophie’s Choice, Life is Beautiful, The Pianist, Train of Life, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Pawn Broker. Vote up the best Holocaust films below or add a film you think is great but isn't already on the list.
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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

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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

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Vera Farmiga, Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a 2008 British historical-drama based on the novel of the same name by Irish writer John Boyne. Directed by Mark Herman, produced by Miramax Films, and ...more

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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

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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

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Alan Arkin, Rutger Hauer, Joanna Pacuła Escape from Sobibor is a 1987 British made-for-TV film which aired on CBS. It is the story of the mass escape from the extermination camp at Sobibor, the most successful uprising by Jewish ...more

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Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Mia Wasikowska Defiance is a 2008 World War II era film written, produced, and directed by Edward Zwick, and set during the occupation of Belarus by Nazi Germany. The film is an account of the Bielski ...more

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Harley.Roronoa added Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Heike Makatsch The Book Thief is a 2013 American-German war drama film directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse. The film is based on the 2005 novel The ...more

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Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol Sophie's Choice is a 1982 American drama film directed by Alan J. Pakula, who adapted William Styron's novel of the same name. Meryl Streep stars as Sophie, a Polish immigrant who shares a ...more

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Mollevangsvagen added Surviving With Wolves Mathilde Goffart, Yaël Abecassis, Guy Bedos

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Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust, with non-combatant war crimes against a civilian population, and with the post-World War II geo-political ...more

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Gabby Gellerman added Armin Mueller-Stahl, Erwin Geschonneck, Gerry Wolff Naked Among Wolves is a 1963 East German film directed by Frank Beyer and starring Erwin Geschonneck and Armin Mueller-Stahl. The film is based on author Bruno Apitz's 1958 novel by the same

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Trioxin245 added Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Lena Olin The Reader is a 2008 German-American romantic drama film based on the 1995 German novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink. The film was written by David Hare and directed by Stephen Daldry. ...more

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Brigette Cook Jones added Vanessa Redgrave, Christine Baranski, Maud Adams Playing For Time is a 1980 CBS television film, written by Arthur Miller and Fania Fénelon, based on Fénelon's autobiography, The Musicians of Auschwitz. Vanessa Redgrave stars as ...more

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Brigette Cook Jones added Katie Holmes, Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds Woman in Gold is a 2015 British-American drama film directed by Simon Curtis and written by Alexi Kaye Campbell. The film stars Dame Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, ...more

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Lindsey Kristoff added Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy, Mimi Rogers 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

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Trioxin245 added Jerry Lewis, Harriet Andersson The Day the Clown Cried is an unreleased 1972 film directed by and starring Jerry Lewis. It is based on a script of the same name by Joan O'Brien, who had co-written the original script with ...more

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Harley.Roronoa added Jon Voight, Hank Azaria, Donald Sutherland Uprising is a 2001 war/drama television movie about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The film was directed by Jon Avnet and written by Avnet and Paul Brickman. It was filmed in multiple locations, ...more

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Vlastimil Brodský, Henry Hübchen, Erwin Geschonneck Jacob the Liar is a 1975 East German-Czechoslovakian Holocaust film directed by Frank Beyer and based on the novel of the same name by Jurek Becker. It starred Vlastimil Brodský in the ...more

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wbalazs91 added Son of Saul Géza Röhrig

Son of Saul is a 2015 Hungarian drama film directed byLászló Nemes and co-written by Nemes and Clara Royer. It is set in theAuschwitz concentration camp during World War II, and follows a day-and-a-halfin the life of Saul Ausländer (played by Géza Röhrig), a Hungarian member ofthe Sonderkommando.

The film premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, whereit won the Grand Prix. It was also shown in the Special Presentations sectionof the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film won the award forBest Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. It also won the GoldenGlobe for Best Foreign Language Film, becoming the first Hungarian film to winthe award.

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Julie Delpy, Hanns Zischler, Marco Hofschneider Europa Europa is a 1990 film directed by Agnieszka Holland. Its original German title is Hitlerjunge Salomon, i.e. "Hitler Youth Salomon". It is based on the 1989 autobiography of ...more

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Steve Buscemi, Mira Sorvino, Harvey Keitel The Grey Zone is a 2001 film directed by Tim Blake Nelson and starring David Arquette, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino and Daniel Benzali. It is based on the book Auschwitz: A ...more

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bahar-kılıç added Stellan Skarsgård, Dominic Cooper, Eddie Marsan God on Trial is a 2008 BBC/WGBH Boston television play written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, starring Antony Sher, Rupert Graves and Jack Shepherd. The play takes place in Auschwitz during World War ...more

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Trioxin245 added Ian McKellen, David Schwimmer, Joshua Jackson Apt Pupil is a 1998 American thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro. It is based on the 1982 novella of the same name by Stephen King. In the 1980s in ...more

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Armin Mueller-Stahl, Kurt Raab, Elisabeth Trissenaar Angry Harvest is a 1985 West German film directed by Agnieszka Holland. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is based on a novel written by Hermann Field and ...more

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Ida Kamińska, Jozef Kroner, František Zvarík The Shop on Main Street is a 1965 Czechoslovak film about the Aryanization programme during World War II in the Slovak State. The film was written by Ladislav Grosman and directed by Ján ...more

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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

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Agust Diehl, Dolores Chaplin, Karl Markovics The Counterfeiters is a 2007 Austrian-German drama film written and directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky. It fictionalizes Operation Bernhard, a secret plan by Nazi Germany during the Second World War ...more

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but chickens double d added Triumph of the Will is a 1935 propaganda film directed, produced, edited and co-written by Leni Riefenstahl. It chronicles the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, which was attended by more ...more

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Hildegard Knef, Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur, Erna Sellmer Die Mörder sind unter uns, a German film known in English as Murderers Among Us in the United States or The Murderers Are Among Us in the United Kingdom) was one of the first post-World War ...more

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Thekla Reuten, Martin Wuttke, Maria Schrader Rosenstraße is a 2003 film directed by Margarethe von Trotta, starring Maria Schrader and Katja Riemann. It deals with the Rosenstrasse protest of 1943.

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NitishPanda added Phoenix Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld

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Susan Strasberg, Emmanuelle Riva, Paola Pitagora Kapò is a 1960 Italian film about the Holocaust directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. It was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film. It was an Italian-French co-production ...more

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Anna German, Daniel Olbrychski, Stanisława Celińska Landscape After the Battle is a 1970 drama film directed by Andrzej Wajda and starring Daniel Olbrychski; telling a story of a Nazi German concentration camp survivor soon after liberation, ...more

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Willem Dafoe, Edward James Olmos, Robert Loggia Triumph of the Spirit is a 1989 American film directed by Robert M. Young and starring Willem Dafoe and Edward James Olmos. It is a remake of the Slovak film The Boxer and Death directed by ...more

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Jack Warden, James Bolam, Patrick Bergin The Island on Bird Street is a 1997 drama film written by Uri Orlev, John Goldsmith and Tony Grisoni and directed by Søren Kragh-Jacobsen.

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Agust Diehl, Ulrich Matthes, Bibiana Beglau The Ninth Day is a German film, made in 2004 and directed by Volker Schlöndorff. It was released by Kino International. The film is about a Catholic priest from Luxembourg who is imprisoned ...more

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Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Mark Strong Sunshine is a 1999 historical film written by Israel Horovitz and István Szabó, directed and produced by István Szabó. It follows three generations of a Jewish family ...more

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Martin Landau, Jake Wood, Judy Parfitt The Couple is based on the true story of a Jewish Hungarian's desperate attempts to save his family from Nazi death camps

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Mathieu Kassovitz, Ulrich Tukur, Hanns Zischler Amen. is a 2002 crime, drama, and war film directed and written by Costa-Gavras with Jean-Claude Grumberg as co-writer.

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Trioxin245 added Simone Signoret, Lino Ventura, Jean-Pierre Cassel Army of Shadows is a 1969 French film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. It is a film adaptation of Joseph Kessel's 1943 book of the same name, which blends Kessel's own experiences as a member ...more

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Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, Shirley Stoler Seven Beauties is a 1975 Italian language film written and directed by Lina Wertmüller and starring Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, and Shirley Stoler. Written by Wertmüller, the ...more

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Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ian McKellen Bent is a 1997 British/Japanese drama film directed by Sean Mathias, based on the 1979 play of the same name by Martin Sherman, who also wrote the screenplay. It revolves around the persecution ...more

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John Turturro, Rade Šerbedžija, Massimo Ghini The Truce is a 1997 film directed by Francesco Rosi, written by Tonino Guerra, based on Primo Levi's memoir, The Truce. The film deals with Primo Levi's experiences returning to Italy in 1945 ...more

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Trioxin245 added Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young The Stranger is a 1946 American film noir starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Orson Welles. It was the third feature film completed by Welles as a director. A drama about a war crimes ...more

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Daniel Craig, Áron Dimény, Péter Fancsikai Fateless is a Hungarian film directed by Lajos Koltai, released in 2005. It is based on the semi-autobiographical novel Fatelessness by the Nobel Prize-winner Imre Kertész, who also wrote ...more

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Willem Dafoe, Haley Joel Osment, Krystyna Feldman Edges of the Lord is an award-winning 2001 film, written and directed by Yurek Bogayevicz, set in Poland during World War II, starring Willem Dafoe and Haley Joel Osment.

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mrpole added David Irving, Fred A. Leuchter, David Collins Documentary about Fred Leuchter, an engineer who became an expert on execution devices and was later hired by revisionist historian Ernst Zundel to "prove" that there were no gas ...more

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Gad Elmaleh, Johan Leysen, Rufus Train of Life is a tragicomedy film by France, Belgium, Netherlands, Israel and Romania made in 1998 in the French language. It tells the story of an eastern European Jewish village's plan to ...more

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Curt Bois, Martin Walz, Tina Engel The Boat Is Full is a 1981 German-language Swiss film directed by Markus Imhoof. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film as a Swiss submission. It was also ...more