Stanley Kubrick’s Top 10 Favourite Films…


In 1963, Stanley Kubrick submitted the below list of his Top 10 favourite films to American magazine, Cinema – this is the first, and apparently only, time he ever submitted such a list:


1. I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953)

2. Wild Strawberries (Bergman, 1957) – what an inspired poster!

Viktor: When you were little you believed in Santa Claus. Now you believe in God.

Kubrick, in a letter to Ingmar Bergman: “I believe you are the greatest film-maker at work today. Beyond that, allow me to say you are unsurpassed by anyone in the creation of mood and atmosphere, the subtlety of performance, the avoidance of the obvious, the truthfulness and completeness of characterization.”

Poster - Citizen Kane_02
3. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston, 1948)

5. City Lights (Chaplin, 1931)

Kubrick on Chaplin:

“If something is really happening on the screen, it isn’t crucial how it’s shot. Chaplin had such a simple cinematic style that it was almost like I Love Lucy, but you were always hypnotised by what was going on, unaware of the essentially non-cinematic style. He frequently used cheap sets, routine lighting and so forth, but he made great films. His films will probably last longer than anyone else’s.”

6. Henry V (Olivier, 1944)


7. La notte (Antonioni, 1961)

8. The Bank Dick (Fields, 1940)

Roger Ebert on W.C. Fields:

“Assimilating the unique fact of W.C. Fields is a lifelong occupation for any filmgoer, conducted from time to time according to no particular plan. There is not a single Fields film that “must” be seen in order to qualify as a literate movie lover, and yet if you are not eventually familiar with Fields you are not a movie lover at all. What is amazing about him is that he exists at all. He is not lovely, and although he is graceful it is a lugubrious grace, a kind of balance in a high psychic wind. All of his scenes depend, in one way or another, on sharing his private state: He is unloved, he detests life, he is hung over, he wants a drink, he is startled by sudden movements and loud noises, he has no patience for fools, everyone is a fool, and middle-class morality is a conspiracy against the man who wants to find surcease in alcoholic bliss. These are not the feelings of his characters; they are his own feelings.”

9. Roxie Hart (Wellman, 1942)

10. Hell’s Angels (Hughes, 1930) – unbelievable trailer, by the way, that so callously boasts of the “ariel combat so real it took the lives of three pilots…”

posted by Dixie Turner

Stanley Kubrick to Ingmar Bergman: “Your vision of life has moved me deeply…”




February 9, 1960

Dear Mr. Bergman,

You have most certainly received enough acclaim and success throughout the world to make this note quite unnecessary. But for whatever it’s worth, I should like to add my praise and gratitude as a fellow director for the unearthly and brilliant contribution you have made to the world by your films (I have never been in Sweden and have therefore never had the pleasure of seeing your theater work). Your vision of life has moved me deeply, much more deeply than I have ever been moved by any films. I believe you are the greatest film-maker at work today. Beyond that, allow me to say you are unsurpassed by anyone in the creation of mood and atmosphere, the subtlety of performance, the avoidance of the obvious, the truthfullness and completeness of characterization. To this one must also add everything else that goes into the making of a film. I believe you are blessed with wonderfull actors. Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin live vividly in my memory, and there are many others in your acting company whose names escape me. I wish you and all of them the very best of luck, and I shall look forward with eagerness to each of your films.

Best Regards,

(Signed, ‘Stanley Kubrick’)

Stanley Kubrick




The Seventh Seal (1957)

Wild Strawberries (1957)

Cries and Whispers (1972)



The Killing (1956)

Lolita (1962)

Full Metal Jacket (1987)


posted by Dixie Turner