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The Best Orson Welles Movies

Updated August 7, 2021 4k votes 460 voters 27.7k 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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  • 1
    Orson Welles, Trevor Howard
    160
    19

    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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  • 2
    Charlton Heston, Orson Welles
    143
    47

    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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  • 3
    Orson Welles, Alan Ladd
    142
    50

    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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  • 4
    Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson
    95
    20

    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
    Orson Welles, John Gielgud
    79
    11

    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
    Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten
    75
    9

    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
    Orson Welles, Michael Redgrave
    67
    14

    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
  • 8
    Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins
    91
    35

    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
  • 9
    Orson Welles, Anne Baxter
    73
    22

    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
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  • 10
    Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles
    99
    44

    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
  • 11
    Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine
    69
    22

    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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  • 12
    Orson Welles, Roddy McDowall
    54
    12

    Released1948

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Macbeth is a 1948 American film adaptation by Orson Welles of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth....  more
  • 13
    John Hurt, Orson Welles
    51
    25

    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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  • 14
    Orson Welles, Tyrone Power
    44
    23

    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
  • 15
    Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau
    31
    12

    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
  • 16
    Orson Welles, Honor Blackman
    24
    11

    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
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  • 17
    Orson Welles, Dolores del Río
    29
    21

    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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  • 18
    Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins
    17
    6

    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
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  • 19
    Orson Welles, Peter Sellers
    28
    23

    Released1950

    Directed byHenry Hathaway

    The Black Rose is a 1950 20th Century-Fox Technicolor film starring Tyrone Power and Orson Welles, loosely based on Thomas B. Costain's book. It was filmed partly on location in England and Morocco...  more
  • 20
    Faye Dunaway, Orson Welles
    24
    17

    Released1976

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

    Voyage of the Damned is a 1976 drama film written by Gordon Thomas, Max Morgan Witts and Steve Shagan and directed by Stuart Rosenberg....  more
  • 21
    Orson Welles, Fernando Rey
    29
    24

    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
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  • 22
    Orson Welles, Bradford Dillman
    14
    5

    Released1960

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    Crack in the Mirror is a 1960 drama film directed by Richard Fleischer. The three principal actors, Orson Welles, Juliette Gréco, and Bradford Dillman, play dual roles in two interconnected stories...  more
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  • 23
    Orson Welles, Michael Wilding
    16
    8

    Released1952

    Directed byHerbert Wilcox

    Trent's Last Case is a British detective film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Michael Wilding, Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles and John McCallum. It was based on the novel Trent's Last Case...  more
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  • 24
    Orson Welles, Max von Sydow
    18
    12

    Released1970

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The Kremlin Letter is an American spy film directed by John Huston, starring Richard Boone, Orson Welles, Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Patrick O'Neal and George Sanders. It was released in February...  more

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  • 25
    Martin Sheen, Orson Welles
    44
    47

    Released1970

    Directed byMike Nichols

    Catch-22 is a 1970 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller. In creating a black comedy revolving around the "lunatic characters" of Heller's satirical novel set at a fictional...  more

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