The Best Non-English Language Films Of All-Time

A blogger named Edward Copeland is polling the internet film community to find out the consensus best non-English language films ever made.  He polled 51 people (a fairly prestigious group: Jonathan Rosenbaum, David Ansen, Jim Emerson, Amy Taubin among others) to come up with a list of 121 nominees (every film that received at least 3 votes).  Any one can vote and we have until Sept. 16 to submit a ranked ballot of 25 films.

These are the nominees:

Aguirre, the Wrath of God directed by Werner Herzog
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
All About My Mother directed by Pedro Almodovar
Amarcord directed by Federico Fellini
Amelie directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Amores Perros directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Andrei Rublev directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Army of Shadows directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Ashes and Diamonds directed by Andrzej Wajda
Au Hasard Balthazar directed by Robert Bresson
Band of Outsiders directed by Jean-Luc Godard
The Battle of Algiers directed by Gillo Pontecorvo
Beauty and the Beast directed by Jean Cocteau
Belle de Jour directed by Luis Bunuel
The Bicycle Thief directed by Vittorio de Sica
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Black Orpheus directed by Marcel Camus
Three Colors: Blue directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
The Blue Angel directed by Josef von Sternberg
Breathless directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Celine and Julie Go Boating directed by Jacques Rivette
Children of Paradise directed by Marcel Carne
Chungking Express directed by Wong Kar-Wai
Cinema Paradiso directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
City of God directed by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund
Cleo From 5 to 7 directed by Agnes Varda
Come and See directed by Elem Klimov
The Conformist directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Contempt directed by Jean-Luc Godard
The Cranes Are Flying directed by Mikheil Kalatozishvili
Cries and Whispers directed by Ingmar Bergman
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon directed by Ang Lee
Das Boot directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Day for Night directed by Francois Truffaut
Day of Wrath directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer
The Decalogue directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Dersu Uzala directed by Akira Kurosawa
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie directed by Luis Bunuel
The Double Life of Veronique directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
The Earrings of Madame De… directed by Max Ophuls
8 1/2 directed by Federico Fellini
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser directed by Werner Herzog
Exterminating Angel directed by Luis Bunuel
Eyes Without a Face directed by Georges Franju
Fanny and Alexander directed by Ingmar Bergman
Farewell My Concubine directed by Chen Kaige
Forbidden Games directed by René Clément
The 400 Blows directed by Francois Truffaut
The Gospel According to St. Matthew directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Grand Illusion directed by Jean Renoir
The Great Silence directed by Sergio Corbucci
High and Low directed by Akira Kurosawa
Hiroshima Mon Amour directed by Alain Resnais
Ikiru directed by Akira Kurosawa
In the Mood for Love directed by Wong Kar-Wai
Jules and Jim directed by Francois Truffaut
La Dolce Vita directed by Federico Fellini
La Strada directed by Federico Fellini
Last Year at Marienbad directed by Alain Resnais
L’Atalante directed by Jean Vigo
Late Spring directed by Yasujiro Ozu
L’Avventura directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
L’Eclisse directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
The Leopard directed by Luchino Visconti
Le Samourai directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Lola Montes directed by Max Ophuls
M directed by Fritz Lang
The Marriage of Maria Braun directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Masculin-Feminin directed by Jean-Luc Godard
My Night at Maud’s directed by Eric Rohmer
Nights of Cabiria directed by Federico Fellini
Nosferatu the Vampyre directed by Werner Herzog
Open City directed by Roberto Rossellini
Ordet directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer
Orpheus directed by Jean Cocteau
Persona directed by Ingmar Bergman
Pickpocket directed by Robert Bresson
Pierrot le fou directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Playtime directed by Jacques Tati
Raise the Red Lantern directed by Zhang Yimou
Ran directed by Akira Kurosawa
Rashomon directed by Akira Kurosawa
Three Colors: Red directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
The Red Desert directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Rififi directed by Jules Dassin
Rocco and His Brothers directed by Luchino Visconti
The Rules of the Game directed by Jean Renoir
Run Lola Run directed by Tom Tykwer
Sansho the Bailiff directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Satantango directed by Béla Tarr
Scenes from a Marriage directed by Ingmar Bergman
Seven Beauties directed by Lina Wertmuller
The Seven Samurai directed by Akira Kurosawa
The Seventh Seal directed by Ingmar Bergman
Shoot the Piano Player directed by Francois Truffaut
Smiles of a Summer Night directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sonatine directed by Takeski Kitano
Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Stolen Kisses directed by Francois Truffaut
Story of the Late Chrysanthemums directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Suspiria directed by Dario Argento
Talk to Her directed by Pedro Almodovar
Tampopo directed by Juzo Itami
Throne of Blood directed by Akira Kurosawa
The Tin Drum directed by Volker Schlöndorff
Tokyo Story directed by Yasujiro Ozu
To Live directed by Zhang Yimou
Ugetsu monogatari directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Umberto D directed by Vittorio de Sica
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg directed by Jacques Demy
The Vanishing directed by George Sluizer
Viridiana directed by Luis Bunuel
The Wages of Fear directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Three Colors: White directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Wild Strawberries directed by Ingmar Bergman
Wings of Desire directed by Wim Wenders
The Woman In the Dunes directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Yi Yi: A One and a Two directed by Edward Yang
Yojimbo directed by Akira Kurosawa
Y Tu Mama Tambien directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Z directed by Costa-Gavras

All but three of my nominees made the cut.  Guess there weren’t two other people who love Millennium Mambo, A Woman Is A Woman and Taste Of Cherry as much as I do.

My nominees were:

Seven Samurai
Chungking Express
The Rules Of The Game
Millennium Mambo
Pierrot le fou
Au hasard Balthazar
8 1/2
The Seventh Seal
A Woman Is A Woman
The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg
Three Colors: Blue
Hiroshima mon amour
Late Spring
Andrei Rublev
Celine And Julie Go Boating
Last Year At Marienbad
The Double Life Of Veronique
Nights Of Cabiria
Day Of Wrath
Sansho The Bailiff
Taste Of Cherry

And those are in ranked order, because I do that. Since I submitted the ballot, I’ve seen L’Eclisse and would certainly have voted for it ahead of, at least, Taste Of Cherry.

2 thoughts on “The Best Non-English Language Films Of All-Time

  1. Not enough people have seen Out 1, myself included. There’s probably a lot of split votes with Tarkovsky, between Mirror, Andrei Rublev, Stalker and Solaris. I voted Rublev.


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