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

Updated November 11, 2019 1.9k votes 230 voters 7.4k 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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  • 1
    Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

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

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic adventure war film set during the Vietnam War. Produced... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
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    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    54
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    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Paris, Texas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
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    13

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

    Directed byWim Wenders

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  • 5
    Kagemusha is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    41
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Conversation is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 7
    The Mission is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
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    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
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    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Blowup is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    25
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    Blowup

    1966

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

    Directed byMichelangelo Antonioni

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  • 10
    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Sex, Lies, and Videotape is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Amour is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    21
    14

    Amour

    2012

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

    Directed byMichael Haneke

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  • 13
    4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 14
    The Piano is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    19
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 15
    MASH is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    25
    23

    MASH

    1970

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

    Directed byRobert Altman

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  • 16
    Wild at Heart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

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

    Directed byDavid Lynch

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  • 17
    if.... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    19
    17

    if....

    1968

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

    Directed byLindsay Anderson

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  • 18
    All That Jazz is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    23
    25

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

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

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  • 20
    Missing is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    14
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    The Tree of Life is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

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

    Directed byTerrence Malick

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  • 22
    Dancer in the Dark is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

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

    Directed byLars von Trier

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  • 23
    Eternity and a Day is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

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

    Directed byTheo Angelopoulos

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  • 24
    Parasite is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    14
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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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  • 25
    The Tin Drum is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies That Won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
    15
    14

    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 on Wikipedia
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