Martin Scorsese Recommends 39 Foreign Films to Young Filmmaker

Young filmmaker Colin Levy reached out to Martin Scorsese asking him for some film recommendations to further his cinematic education and Scorsese's assistant responded with the following list and a note that read:

Mr. Scorsese asked that I send this your way. This should be a jump start to your film education!

The list is comprised of 39 foreign films and I've gone through and put a little check mark next to those that I have personally seen, which, I guess, means I have 19 films I need to begin to explore. Of those I haven't seen, Rocco and His Brothers and Children of Paradise are two I've meant to watch for a long time. Rocco was one Francis Ford Coppola told me was one of his favorite films back when I interviewed him for Tetro and I've still yet to give it a watch. (slacking)

According to the post from Colin at Reddit, he was given the list about six years ago and only recently did he decide to begin exploring it. Better late than never... Oh, and Colin, watch Breathless right now and keep on watching it forever!

I have included the list of films in text version below the image thanks to the folks at Reddit and you can click the image for a blank copy of the list for your own check-marking duties.

How many have you seen?

  1. Metropolis (1927)
  2. Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)
  3. Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - ein Bild der Zeit (1922)
  4. Napoleon (1927)
  5. La Grande Illusion (1937)
  6. La Regle de jeu (1939)
  7. Les Enfants du Paradis (1945)
  8. Roma, citta aperta (1945)
  9. Paisa (1946)
  10. La Terra Trema (1948)
  11. Ladri di biciclette (1948)
  12. Umberto D (1952)
  13. La belle et la bete (1946)
  14. Tokyo monogatari (1953)
  15. Ikiru (1952)
  16. Shichinin no samurai (1954)
  17. Ugetsu monogatari (1953)
  18. Sansho dayu (1954)
  19. Tengoku to jigoku (1963)
  20. Il soliti ignoti (1958)
  21. Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960)
  22. Les quatre cents coups (1959)
  23. Tirez sur le pianiste (1960)
  24. A bout de souffle (1960)
  25. Bande a part (1964)
  26. Il Sorpasso (1962)
  27. L'avventura (1960)
  28. Blowup (1966)
  29. Prima della rivoluzione (1964)
  30. Le Boucher (1970)
  31. Week End (1967)
  32. Koshikei (1968)
  33. Handler der vier Jahreszeiten (1971)
  34. Angst essen Seele auf (1974)
  35. Die Ehe der Maria Braun (1979)
  36. Im Lauf der Zeit (1976)
  37. Der amerikanische Freund (1977)
  38. Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (1976)
  39. Aguirre, der Zorn des Gottes (1972)
  • Billy W

    I'm happy to say that I have seen 29 of these films. And Brad, Children of Paradise is one of the greatest films ever made in my opinion. It is over 3 hours long and by the time it is over you wish it would go on for another 3 hours, so give it a watch as soon as you can!

  • Criterion10

    Metropolis is one of my all time favorites, along with The 400 Blows and Breathless

    I've been really wanting to see Napoleon, and it's actually getting a very rare screening over in California... The film is supposedly in a copyright dilemma that deals with Francis Ford Coppola not wanting to release the longer, restored version. I doubt it'll be released anytime soon.

  • JayRam

    Brad, should netflix carry most, if not all, of these titles?

    • Brad Brevet

      Are you asking if they should or if they do? I haven't looked yet, but I'm pretty sure all of the ones I check marked they carry because I own them all. Not sure about the other 19, but I'm sure a few will probably be hard to find.

      • JayRam

        Sorry for the misunderstanding--just a poor choice of word. I was asking if you happened to know if netflix does carry the films listed. Thanks for the info.

  • Badge

    I've seen all of them. Not sure why he'd list MARIA BRAUN as one. Glad to see IKIRU and HIGH AND LOW in there, two of my three favourite Kurosawas. He's also got two of the only three Godard films that I actually find watchable.

    • Badge

      Actually, just looking again, I realise I've seen 26 of them in cinemas.

  • Owen

    Well I've only seen 10... guess I've got a long way to go!

  • Harry Fuertes

    Tokyo Story=Masterpiece

  • Gerberzy

    Thank goodness Criterion has released over half of these films. I don't know what I would do without them.

  • John W

    Wow you're doing way better than me I've only seen three of them: Metropolis, Nosferatu, and Seven Samurai.

  • Dan

    I'm seen 20 of these, which isn't too bad. However, there are still some big ones that I need to check out, including Children of Paradise, Umberto D, Ugetsu, and Sansho the Bailiff. Interesting mix of well-known films and most obscure picks in there.