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The Best Orson Welles Movies

Updated September 23, 2019 4.5k votes 450 voters 27.6k views90 items

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

List of the best Orson Welles movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Orson Welles'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 Orson Welles movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Orson Welles movies will be at the top of the list. Orson Welles has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Orson Welles movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Orson Welles films to end the squabble once and for all.

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

Examples include Macbeth and The Third Man.

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

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    The Third Man

    Orson Welles, Trevor Howard

    Released1949

    Directed byCarol Reed

    The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. It is considered one of the greatest films of all time,...  more

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    141
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    Citizen Kane

    Orson Welles, Alan Ladd

    Released1941

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film produced by, co-written by, directed by and starring Orson Welles. The picture was Welles's first feature film. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in...  more

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    134
    47

    Touch of Evil

    Charlton Heston, Orson Welles

    Released1958

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Touch of Evil is a 1958 American thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with Welles,...  more

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    90
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    The Stranger

    Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson

    Released1946

    Directed byOrson Welles

    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
  • 5
    72
    10

    Chimes at Midnight

    Orson Welles, John Gielgud

    Released1965

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Chimes at Midnight, is a 1966 English language Spanish-Swiss co-produced film directed by and starring Orson Welles. The film's plot centers on William Shakespeare's recurring character Sir John...  more
  • 6
    67
    9

    Othello

    Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten

    Released1952

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Othello is a 1952 drama film based on the Shakespearean play, made by Mercury Productions Inc. and Les Films Marceau and distributed by United Artists when released in the United States in 1955. It...  more

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  • 7
    71
    20

    The Magnificent Ambersons

    Orson Welles, Anne Baxter

    Released1942

    Directed byOrson Welles

    The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1942 American period drama, the second feature film produced and directed by Orson Welles. Welles adapted Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1918 novel, about...  more
  • 8
    84
    33

    Moby Dick

    Orson Welles, Gregory Peck

    Released1956

    Directed byJohn Huston

    Moby Dick is a 1956 film adaptation of Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick. It was directed by John Huston with a screenplay by Huston and Ray Bradbury. The film starred Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart,...  more
  • 9
    90
    43

    The Lady from Shanghai

    Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles

    Released1947

    Directed byOrson Welles

    The Lady from Shanghai is a 1947 film noir directed by Orson Welles and starring Welles, his estranged wife Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane. It is based on the novel If I Die Before I Wake by...  more
  • 10
    81
    36

    The Trial

    Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins

    Released1962

    Directed byOrson Welles

    The Trial is a 1962 film directed by Orson Welles, who also wrote the screenplay based on the novel of the same name by Franz Kafka. Welles stated immediately after completing the film: "The Trial is...  more
  • 11
    46
    12

    Macbeth

    Orson Welles, Roddy McDowall

    Released1948

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Macbeth is a 1948 American film adaptation by Orson Welles of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth....  more
  • 12
    76
    40

    Compulsion

    Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell

    Released1959

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    Compulsion is a 1959 American crime drama film directed by Richard Fleischer. The film is based on the 1956 novel of the same name by Meyer Levin, which in turn was a fictionalized account of the...  more
  • 13
    84
    52

    The Long, Hot Summer

    Paul Newman, Angela Lansbury

    Released1958

    Directed byMartin Ritt

    The Long, Hot Summer is a 1958 film directed by Martin Ritt. The screenplay was written by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr., based in part on three works by William Faulkner: the 1931 novella...  more
  • 14
    68
    40

    Jane Eyre

    Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine

    Released1944

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    Jane Eyre is an American film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name, released by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by William Goetz, Kenneth...  more

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  • 15
    41
    19

    The Other Side of the Wind

    John Huston, Bob Random

    Released2018

    Directed byOrson Welles

    The Other Side of the Wind is a 2018 film directed by Orson Welles, shot between 1970 and 1976. The story of a legendary director named J.J. "Jake" Hannaford (John Huston), who returns to Hollywood...  more
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    30
    10

    The Immortal Story

    Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau

    Released1968

    Directed byOrson Welles

    The Immortal Story is a 1968 French film directed by Orson Welles and starring Jeanne Moreau. The film was originally broadcast on French television and was later released in theaters. It was based...  more
  • 17
    57
    40

    Mr. Arkadin

    Orson Welles, Michael Redgrave

    Released1955

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Mr. Arkadin, known in Britain as Confidential Report, is a French-Spanish-Swiss coproduction film, written and directed by Orson Welles and shot in several Spanish locations, including Costa Brava,...  more
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    43
    25

    A Man for All Seasons

    John Hurt, Orson Welles

    Released1966

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

    A Man for All Seasons is a 1966 British biographical drama film based on Robert Bolt's play of the same name about Sir Thomas More. It was released on 12 December 1966. Paul Scofield, who had played...  more

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    40
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    Prince of Foxes

    Orson Welles, Tyrone Power

    Released1949

    Directed byHenry King

    Prince of Foxes is a 1949 film adapted from Samuel Shellabarger's novel Prince of Foxes. The movie starred Tyrone Power as Orsini and Orson Welles as Cesare Borgia....  more
  • 20
    35
    21

    Is Paris Burning?

    Kirk Douglas, Orson Welles

    Released1966

    Directed byRené Clément

    Is Paris Burning? is a 1966 film directed by René Clément, starring an ensemble cast, about the liberation of Paris in August 1944 by the French Resistance and the Free French Forces during WWII. The...  more
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    Ten Days' Wonder

    Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins

    Released1971

    Directed byClaude Chabrol

    Ten Days' Wonder is a French murder-mystery film directed by Claude Chabrol and based on the novel Ten Days' Wonder by Ellery Queen. It follows the same story of the novel with the exception of...  more
  • 22
    22
    11

    Kampf um Rom I

    Orson Welles, Honor Blackman

    Released1968

    Directed byRobert Siodmak

    Kampf um Rom is a West German-Italian historical drama film starring Laurence Harvey, Orson Welles, Sylva Koscina and Honor Blackman. It was produced by Artur Brauner and was the last film to be...  more
  • 23
    56
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    Casino Royale

    Woody Allen, Ursula Andress

    Released1967

    Directed byVal Guest, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, John Huston, Ken Hughes

    Casino Royale is a 1967 spy comedy film originally produced by Columbia Pictures starring an ensemble cast of directors and actors. It is loosely based on Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel. The...  more

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    29
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    Journey into Fear

    Orson Welles, Dolores del Río

    Released1943

    Directed byOrson Welles, Norman Foster

    Journey into Fear is a 1943 American spy film based on the Eric Ambler novel of the same name. The film broadly follows the plot of the book, but the protagonist was changed to an American...  more
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    27
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    Don Quixote

    Orson Welles, Fernando Rey

    Released1992

    Directed byJesús Franco, Orson Welles

    Don Quixote or Don Quixote de Orson Welles is an unfinished film project produced, written and directed by Orson Welles. Principal photography was between 1957 and 1969; while test footage was filmed...  more