Entertainment The Best Movies About the Holocaust  

Ranker Film
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5.8k votes 1.4k voters 65.3k views 52 items
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

2
480 90
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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

3
448 130
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Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, Vera Farmiga
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (released as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) is a 2008 British historical-drama film directed by Mark Heyman, based on the novel by John Boyne. During World War ...more

4
312 103
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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

5
248 77
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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

6
122 23
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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

7
191 69
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Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Mia Wasikowska
Defiance is a 2008 WWII 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 partisans, a ...more

8
118 20
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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

9
147 69
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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

10
109 51
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Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich
Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust and with the post-WWII geo-political complexity of the Nuremberg Trials. The picture was written by Abby Mann and ...more

11
114 53
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Mollevangsvagen added Surviving With Wolves Mathilde Goffart, Yaël Abecassis, Guy Bedos

12
50 7
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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

13
96 54
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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

14
46 12
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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

15
55 13
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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

16
40 6
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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

17
65 36
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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

18
54 27
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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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34 5
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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

20
73 44
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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

21
54 37
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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

22
56 42
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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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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

24
26 18
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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

25
24 15
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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