Entertainment

The Best Ellen Burstyn Movies

List Rules
Vote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Ellen Burstyn movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Ellen Burstyn's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Ellen Burstyn movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Ellen Burstyn movies will be at the top of the list. Ellen Burstyn has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Ellen Burstyn movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Ellen Burstyn films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Ellen Burstyn role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Ellen Burstyn performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

Items on this list include The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond and Within These Walls.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Ellen Burstyn movies?" and "What are the greatest Ellen Burstyn roles of all time?"

Brett Ratner and Joel Schumacher have both worked with Ellen Burstyn over the years, as have plenty of other well-known directors. Is Ellen Burstyn your favorite person to watch on the big screen? You might also want to vote on our best Brian Dennehy and Gena Rowlands films lists too.

list ordered by
  • After her husband dies, Alice (Ellen Burstyn) and her son, Tommy, leave their small New Mexico town for California, where Alice hopes to make it as a singer. Money problems force them to settle in ...more
  • One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd -- levitating, speaking in tongues -- ...more
  • Imaginatively evoking the inner landscape of human beings longing to connect, to love and feel loved, the film is a parable of happiness gloriously found and tragically lost. "Requiem for a Dream" ...more
  • In 1951, at a small California inn, George (Alan Alda) and Doris (Ellen Burstyn) have an affair. Instead of writing it off as a one-night stand, the pair decide to meet at the inn every year for a ...more
  • Edna (Ellen Burstyn) has a near-death experience when she and her husband drive off a cliff. Widowed and paralyzed, Edna returns to Kansas with her grandparents, noticing the curious effect her touch ...more
  • The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted from a semi-autobiographical 1966 novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry. Set in a small town in north ...more
  • A trapper's (Tom Skerritt) bride (Ellen Burstyn) joins him and starts a family in the harsh wilderness of early 1900s Canada.
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a 2002 American comedy-drama film starring an ensemble cast headed by Sandra Bullock, directed and written by Callie Khouri. It is based on Rebecca Wells' ...more
  • The King of Marvin Gardens is a 1972 American drama film. It stars Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn and Scatman Crothers. It is one of several collaborations between Nicholson and director ...more
  • Harry Coombes (Art Carney) is a man in his seventies who is evicted from his Manhattan apartment when the building is set to be demolished. After staying briefly with his son Burt (Phil Bruns), Harry ...more
  • After being released from jail, Percy Talbott (Alison Elliott) travels to a town in Maine looking for a new beginning. When she arrives, she finds work at a restaurant owned by the crabby Hannah ...more
  • The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond is a 2008 independent film by director Jodie Markell. The film is based on Tennessee Williams' long-forgotten 1957 screenplay. The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard in the ...more
  • A Dream of Passion is a 1978 Greek drama film directed by Jules Dassin. The story follows Melina Mercouri as Maya, an actress playing Medea, who seeks out Brenda Collins, portrayed by Ellen Burstyn, ...more
  • The Exorcist is an American horror film series consisting of five installments based on the fictional story from the novel The Exorcist, created by William Blatty. The films have been distributed by ...more
  • The Cemetery Club is a 1993 film directed by Bill Duke.
  • Hagar (Ellen Burstyn) may be 90 years old, but that doesn't mean she's ready to move into a retirement home as her son, Marvin (Dylan Baker), and his wife want her to do. Determined to keep her ...more
  • Answering an ad for an "attractive female" to care for a sick young man, Hilary (Julia Roberts) becomes the caretaker of smart, well-bred Victor (Campbell Scott), who is fighting leukemia. Their ...more
  • Kristy Thomas (Schuyler Fisk) and her six best friends struggle to make their successful business -- the Baby-Sitters Club -- into a full-fledged summer day camp. When a group of adults led by their ...more
  • In this tale of how love binds 11 random people from Los Angeles, a married couple (Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands) prepare to renew vows; a widowed mother (Ellen Burstyn) cares for a dying son (Jay ...more
  • Clive (John Gielgud), a frequently drunk author in declining health, is busy working on a new book at his Rhode Island home. The characters in his new story are based on his actual family, which ...more
  • The Ambassador is a 1984 American thriller film directed by J. Lee Thompson and stars Robert Mitchum, Ellen Burstyn and Rock Hudson. The political thriller was based on the 1974 crime novel 52 ...more
  • Soon-to-be-wed graduate student Finn Dodd (Winona Ryder) develops cold feet when she suspects her fiancé is cheating on her. In order to clear her head, Finn visits her grandmother, Hy (Ellen ...more
  • In this adaptation of Henry Miller's controversial 1934 novel, the film's backdrop is 1960s Paris. Expatriate American novelist Henry Miller (Rip Torn) spends his life womanizing and cavorting ...more
  • Canadian expatriate housewife Barbara Jackson (Ellen Burstyn) and her husband, Bob (Ronald Hines), are shocked out of their 1960s suburban malaise when British intelligence agent Stewart (Alan Bates) ...more
  • An unhappily married steelworker (Gene Hackman) turns 50 and sees a chance for a whole new life with a barmaid (Ann-Margret).