Watchworthy

The Best Orson Welles Movies 

Reference
Updated September 23, 2019 2.8k votes 405 voters 26.7k views 90 items

List Rules Vote 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?"

If Orson Welles movies are your thing, then check out the greatest movies by Rod Steiger and William Powell too.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Citizen Kane is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Orson Welles Movies
Orson Welles, Alan Ladd, Agnes Moorehead

Released: 1941

Directed by: Orson 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 ...more

More Citizen Kane 

#185 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #575 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Joseph Cotten

Released: 1949

Directed by: Carol 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 ...more

More The Third Man 

#141 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #293 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Ranker Video
Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich

Released: 1958

Directed by: Orson 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 ...more

More Touch of Evil 

#1,377 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #33 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made #61 of 102 The Best Movies Directed by the Star

4
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Anne Baxter, Agnes Moorehead

Released: 1942

Directed by: Orson 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, ...more

More The Magnificent Ambersons 

#33 of 70 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1940s #21 of 23 The Best Second Films from Famous Directors #128 of 253 The Best Movies of 1940

5
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young

Released: 1946

Directed by: Orson 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

More The Stranger 

#209 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #70 of 84 Great Movies That Take Place in Autumn #119 of 163 The Best Spy Movies

6
Ranker Video
Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Errol Flynn

Released: 1947

Directed by: Orson 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
7
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau

Released: 1965

Directed by: Orson 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

More Chimes at Midnight 

#580 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #191 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made #93 of 189 The Best Medieval Movies

8
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins, Romy Schneider

Released: 1962

Directed by: Orson 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: ...more
9
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Hilton Edwards

Released: 1952

Directed by: Orson 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. ...more

More Othello 

#22 of 37 The Best Shakespeare Film Adaptations #77 of 125 The Best Movies About Tragedies

10
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, Margaret O'Brien

Released: 1944

Directed by: Robert 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, ...more

More Jane Eyre 

#466 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #51 of 78 The Best Period Romance Movies #66 of 75 The Greatest Classic Romance Movies

11
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Michael Redgrave, Akim Tamiroff

Released: 1955

Directed by: Orson 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 ...more
12
Ranker Video
John Hurt, Orson Welles, Vanessa Redgrave

Released: 1966

Directed by: Fred 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 ...more

More A Man for All Seasons 

#63 of 195 The Best Movies of the '60s #209 of 321 The Best Political Films Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Roddy McDowall, Alan Napier

Released: 1948

Directed by: Orson Welles

Macbeth is a 1948 American film adaptation by Orson Welles of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth.
14
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Gregory Peck, John Huston

Released: 1956

Directed by: John 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 ...more
15
Ranker Video
Paul Newman, Angela Lansbury, Orson Welles

Released: 1958

Directed by: Martin 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 ...more

More The Long, Hot Summer 

#35 of 91 The Best Southern Movies #12 of 65 The Best Paul Newman Movies #6 of 68 Movies That Sparked Off-Screen Celebrity Romances

16
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Dolores del Río, Joseph Cotten

Released: 1943

Directed by: Orson 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

More Journey into Fear 

#37 of 43 The Best '70s Spy Movies #14 of 47 The Best Spy Movies of the 1940s

17
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell, Gavin MacLeod

Released: 1959

Directed by: Richard 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 ...more
18
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Christopher Plummer, Rod Steiger

Released: 1970

Directed by: Sergei Bondarchuk

Waterloo is a 1970 Soviet-Italian film directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. It depicts the story of the preliminary events and the Battle of Waterloo, and is famous ...more

More Waterloo 

#124 of 375 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #522 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #55 of 222 The Best Historical Drama Movies Of All Time, Ranked

19
Ranker Video
Natalie Wood, Orson Welles, Claudette Colbert

Released: 1946

Directed by: Irving Pichel

Tomorrow Is Forever is a 1946 black-and-white romance film distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, directed by Irving Pichel, starring Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles and George Brent. The music ...more
20
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Fernando Rey

Released: 1968

Directed by: Orson 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 ...more
21
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Tyrone Power, Marina Berti

Released: 1949

Directed by: Henry 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.
22
King Lear is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Orson Welles Movies
King Lear Orson Welles, Beatrice Straight, Alan Badel

Released: 1953

Directed by: Andrew McCullough

King Lear is a 1953 live television adaptation of the Shakespeare play staged by Peter Brook and starring Orson Welles. Preserved on kinescope, it aired October 18, 1953, as part of the CBS ...more
23
Ranker Video
Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith, Orson Welles

Released: 1963

Directed by: Anthony Asquith

The V.I.P.s, also known as Hotel International, is a 1963 British drama film in Metrocolor and Panavision. It was directed by Anthony Asquith, produced by Anatole de Grunwald and distributed by ...more
24
Ranker Video
Woody Allen, Ursula Andress, Peter O'Toole

Released: 1967

Directed by: Val Guest, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, John Huston, Ken Hughes, + more

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. ...more
25
Ranker Video
Orson Welles, Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones

Released: 1946

Directed by: Josef von Sternberg, William Dieterle, William Cameron Menzies, King Vidor, Sidney Franklin, + more

Duel in the Sun is a Technicolor 1946 Western film directed by King Vidor, produced and written by David O. Selznick, which tells the story of a Mestiza girl who goes to live with her caucasian ...more

More Duel in the Sun 

#132 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #298 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #9 of 50 The Best 1940s Western Movies