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The Best Orson Welles Movies

Updated September 23, 2019 4.7k votes 419 voters 27.4k 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 Magnificent Ambersons1
    177
    18

    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...  more
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  • The Trial2
    152
    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...  more
  • Macbeth3
    97
    11

    Macbeth

    Orson Welles, Roddy McDowall

    Released1948

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Macbeth is a 1948 American film adaptation by Orson Welles of William Shakespeare's tragedy...  more
  • A Man for All Seasons4
    101
    14

    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...  more

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    #14 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#45 of 54 The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins

  • The Long, Hot Summer5
    85
    18

    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...  more
  • The Third Man6
    126
    50

    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,...  more
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    #155 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#313 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time

  • Citizen Kane7
    140
    66

    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...  more

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    #1038 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#261 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • Journey into Fear8
    71
    13

    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....  more
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  • The Stranger9
    68
    18

    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...  more
  • Touch of Evil10
    100
    48

    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...  more
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    #1273 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies#37 of 224 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

  • Chimes at Midnight11
    54
    11

    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...  more
  • Moby Dick12
    85
    39

    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...  more
  • Othello13
    50
    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....  more

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    #30 of 37 The Best Shakespeare Film Adaptations#39 of 156 The Best Movies About Tragedies

  • Casino Royale14
    58
    23

    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...  more

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    #161 of 175 The Best Movies Of The '60s#375 of 450 The Best Movies For Guys

  • The Lady from Shanghai15
    61
    44

    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...  more
  • Prince of Foxes16
    40
    24

    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...  more
  • Waterloo17
    67
    55

    Waterloo

    Orson Welles, Christopher Plummer

    Released1970

    Directed bySergei Bondarchuk

    Waterloo is a 1970 Soviet-Italian film directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by Dino De...  more

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    #127 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#53 of 198 The Best Historical Drama Movies Of All Time

  • The Immortal Story18
    34
    18

    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....  more
  • Tomorrow Is Forever19
    47
    34

    Tomorrow Is Forever

    Natalie Wood, Orson Welles

    Released1946

    Directed byIrving Pichel

    Tomorrow Is Forever is a 1946 black-and-white romance film distributed by RKO Radio Pictures,...  more
  • King Lear20
    40
    27

    King Lear

    Orson Welles, Beatrice Straight

    Released1953

    Directed byAndrew McCullough

    King Lear is a 1953 live television adaptation of the Shakespeare play staged by Peter Brook...  more
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  • Jane Eyre21
    44
    35

    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,...  more

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    #565 of 781 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#73 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies

  • The Transformers: The Movie22
    23
    12

    The Transformers: The Movie

    Orson Welles, Judd Nelson

    Released1986

    Directed byNelson Shin

    The Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated feature film based on the animated TV series by...  more
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    #214 of 542 The Best Animated Films Ever#53 of 177 The Greatest Comic Book Movies Of All Time

  • The V.I.P.s23
    50
    46

    The V.I.P.s

    Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith

    Released1963

    Directed byAnthony Asquith

    The V.I.P.s, also known as Hotel International, is a 1963 British drama film in Metrocolor and...  more
  • Black Magic24
    33
    27

    Black Magic

    Orson Welles, Raymond Burr

    Released1949

    Directed byOrson Welles, Gregory Ratoff

    Black Magic is a 1949 film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's novel Joseph Balsamo. It was...  more
  • The Other Side of the Wind25
    40
    38

    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...  more