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The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

Updated November 11, 2019 2.0k votes 233 voters 7.5k views61 items

List RulesGreatest movies to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival

Every year, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival lures in the greatest filmmaking talent in the entire world to show off their latest masterpieces. At the festival, critics have the chance to take the first peek at movies that may be seen as classics in decades to come. List of the best Palme d’Or Award winners from 1964 to 2014, as ranked by film critics and movie lovers. The greatest honor Cannes has to offer is the Palme d’Or, the award given to the director of the best feature film in the festival. Almost all Palme d’Or winning movies have gone on to be a critical and financial success. Previous winners, such as Pulp Fiction, Taxi Driver, and Apocalypse Now, have gone on to win other prestigious awards like Oscars and Golden Globes.

This list answers the question, “What are the best Palme d’Or winners?” The films on this list are emotionally honest, beautifully constructed, and brilliantly acted. The truest film buffs are sure to enjoy most of the movies on this list.

Whether you’re a fan of strange abstract films like Tree of Life or foreign language films which open you up to a whole new world, like Farewell My Concubine, there’s sure to be a movie or two on this list for you.

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  • Apocalypse Now1

    ActorsMarlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • Taxi Driver2
    58
    24

    ActorsRobert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin...  more

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  • Pulp Fiction3
    55
    28

    ActorsJohn Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Walken

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob...  more

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  • Paris, Texas4
    30
    13

    ActorsNastassja Kinski, Sam Shepard, Dean Stockwell, Harry Dean Stanton, Bernhard Wicki

    Directed byWim Wenders

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  • Kagemusha5
    43
    14

    ActorsTatsuya Nakadai, Kenichi Hagiwara, Kaori Momoi, Jinpachi Nezu, Tsutomu Yamazaki

    Directed byAkira Kurosawa, Ishirō Honda

    Kagemusha is a 1980 film by Akira Kurosawa. In Japanese, kagemusha is a term used to denote a...  more
  • The Conversation6

    ActorsHarrison Ford, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Teri Garr, Billy Dee Williams

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Conversation is a 1974 American psychological thriller film written, produced and directed...  more

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  • The Mission7
    32
    17

    ActorsRobert De Niro, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, Aidan Quinn, Ronald Pickup

    Directed byRoland Joffé

    The Mission is a 1986 British drama film about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th...  more

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  • The Pianist8
    35
    23

    ActorsAdrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox, Maureen Lipman, Frank Finlay

    Directed byRoman Polanski

    The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski,...  more

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  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg9

    ActorsCatherine Deneuve, Marc Michel, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon, Jean Champion

    Directed byJacques Demy

    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a 1964 French musical film directed by Jacques Demy, starring...  more

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  • Blowup10
    26
    22

    Blowup

    1966

    ActorsJimmy Page, Vanessa Redgrave, Jeff Beck, Jane Birkin, Sarah Miles

    Directed byMichelangelo Antonioni

    Blowup, or Blow-Up, is a 1966 film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni about a fashion...  more

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  • Sex, Lies, and Videotape11

    ActorsAndie MacDowell, James Spader, Laura San Giacomo, Peter Gallagher, Steven Brill

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    This film is a 1989 American independent drama film that brought director Steven Soderbergh to...  more
  • Amour12
    22
    14

    Amour

    2012

    ActorsIsabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Alexandre Tharaud, Dinara Drukarova

    Directed byMichael Haneke

    Amour is a 2012 French-language drama film directed by Michael Haneke. The narrative focuses...  more

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  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days13

    ActorsAnamaria Marinca, Teodor Corban, Vlad Ivanov, Alexandru Potocean, Luminița Gheorghiu

    Directed byCristian Mungiu

    4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a 2007 Romanian film written and directed by Cristian Mungiu....  more
  • The Piano14
    21
    14

    ActorsAnna Paquin, Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Cliff Curtis

    Directed byJane Campion

    The Piano is a 1993 romantic drama film about a mute female piano player and her daughter. Set...  more

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  • Wild at Heart15

    ActorsNicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, Crispin Glover

    Directed byDavid Lynch

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  • MASH16
    26
    23

    MASH

    1970

    ActorsRobert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman, Rene Auberjonois

    Directed byRobert Altman

    MASH is a 1970 American satirical black comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by...  more

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  • All That Jazz17

    ActorsJessica Lange, John Lithgow, Roy Scheider, Wallace Shawn, Ben Vereen

    Directed byBob Fosse

    All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical film directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Robert...  more

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  • if....18
    20
    16

    if....

    1968

    ActorsMalcolm McDowell, Arthur Lowe, Richard Warwick, Mona Washbourne, David Wood

    Directed byLindsay Anderson

    if.... is a 1968 British drama film produced and directed by Lindsay Anderson satirising...  more
  • The Tree of Life19

    ActorsBrad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Fiona Shaw, Tye Sheridan

    Directed byTerrence Malick

    The Tree of Life is a 2011 American experimental drama film written and directed by Terrence...  more

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  • Barton Fink20
    24
    24

    ActorsJohn Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand, John Turturro, Tony Shalhoub

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

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  • Dancer in the Dark21

    ActorsBjörk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Stellan Skarsgård, Peter Stormare

    Directed byLars von Trier

    Dancer in the Dark is a 2000 Danish musical drama film directed by Lars von Trier and starring...  more

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  • Eternity and a Day22

    ActorsBruno Ganz, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Nikos Kouros, Isabelle Renauld, Despina Bebedelli

    Directed byTheo Angelopoulos

    Eternity and a Day is a 1998 Greek film starring Bruno Ganz, and directed by Theo...  more
  • Missing23
    15
    10

    ActorsJack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, Jerry Hardin, Richard Bradford

    Directed byCosta-Gavras

    Missing is a 1982 American drama film directed by Costa-Gavras, starring Jack Lemmon, Sissy...  more

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  • Parasite24
    15
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    ActorsSong Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam

    Directed byBong Joon-ho

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  • The Tin Drum25
    16
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    ActorsCharles Aznavour, Mario Adorf, Daniel Olbrychski, David Bennent, Katharina Thalbach

    Directed byVolker Schlöndorff

    The Tin Drum is a 1979 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Günter Grass. It was...  more