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The Best Orson Welles Movies

Updated August 7, 2021 4k votes 460 voters 27.7k views90 items

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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?"


  • 1
    Orson Welles, Trevor Howard


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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