39 Movies Martin Scorsese Recommends To Young Film Makers

> 39 Movies Martin Scorsese Recommends To Young Film Makers

Colin Levy, who was in his high school years, shot a short film in the back yard making his father act for 5 minutes. Then he participated in an international film festival called YoungArts and won. All of a sudden he finds himself hanging out with director Martin Scorsese in New York and though he doesn't know which movies Scorsese is talking about, he listens to him very carefully. A few weeks later after returning home, he sends Scorsese a thank you card and tells him that he doesn't know anything about foreign films and wants recommendation from him. After a few weeks, Colin receives books and DVDs from Scorsese's assistant. Besides that, Scorsese sends him a foreign movie list.

The movies were listed according to the original list by Martin Scorsese. The storylines were taken from IMDb.

And the list...

And the list...

1. Metropolis (1927) | IMDb 8.3

1. Metropolis (1927) | IMDb 8.3


Sometime in the future, the city of Metropolis is home to a Utopian society where its wealthy residents live a carefree life. One of those is Freder Fredersen. One day, he spots a beautiful woman with a group of children, she and the children who quickly disappear. Trying to follow her, he, oblivious to such, is horrified to find an underground world of workers, apparently who run the machinery which keeps the above ground Utopian world functioning. One of the few people above ground who knows about the world below is Freder's father, Joh Fredersen, who is the founder and master of Metropolis. Freder learns that the woman is Maria, who espouses the need to join the 'hands' - the workers - to the 'head' - those in power above - by a mediator or the 'heart'. Freder wants to help the plight of the workers in the want for a better life. But when Joh learns of what Maria is espousing and that Freder is joining their cause, Joh, with the assistance of an old colleague and now nemesis named Rotwang, an inventor, works toward quashing a supposed uprising, with Maria as the center of their plan. However, Joh is unaware that Rotwang has his own agenda. But if any of these plans includes the shut down of the machines, total anarchy could break loose both above ground and below.

2. Nosferatu (1922) | IMDb 8.0

2. Nosferatu (1922) | IMDb 8.0


Wisbourg, Germany based estate agent Knock dispatches his associate, Hutter, to Count Orlok's castle in Transylvania as the Count wants to purchase an isolated house in Wisbourg. They plan on selling him the one across the way from Hutter's own home. Hutter leaves his innocent wife, Ellen, with some friends while he is away. Hutter's trek is an unusual one, with many locals not wanting to take him near the castle where strange events have been occurring. Once at the castle, Hutter does manage to sell the Count the house, but he also notices and feels unusual occurrences, primarily feeling like there is a dark shadow hanging over him, even in the daytime when the Count is unusually asleep. Hutter eventually sees the Count's sleeping chamber in a crypt, and based on a book he has recently read, believes the Count is really a vampire or Nosferatu. While Hutter is trapped in the castle, the Count, hiding in a shipment of coffins, makes his way to Wisbourg, causing death along his way, which most attribute to the plague. Hutter himself tries to rush home to save his town and most importantly save Ellen from Nosferatu's imminent arrival. In Wisbourg, Ellen can feel the impending darkness as Nosferatu gets closer. But she learns that a sinless woman can sacrifice herself to kill the vampire. Will Hutter be able to save Ellen either from Nosferatu and/or her self-sacrifice?

3. Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit (1922) | IMDb 7.9

3. Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit (1922)  | IMDb 7.9

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit

Dr. Mabuse and his organization of criminals are in the process of completing their latest scheme, a theft of information that will allow Mabuse to make huge profits on the stock exchange. Afterwards, Mabuse disguises himself and attends the Folies Bergères show, where Cara Carozza, the main attraction of the show, passes him information on Mabuse's next intended victim, the young millionaire Edgar Hull. Mabuse then uses psychic manipulation to lure Hull into a card game where he loses heavily. When Police Commissioner von Wenk begins an investigation of this mysterious crime spree, he has little to go on, and he needs to find someone who can help him.

4. Napoléon (1927) | IMDb 7.4

4. Napoléon (1927)  | IMDb 7.4


A massive six-hour biopic of Napoleon, tracing his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797 (the film stops there because it was intended to be part one of six, but director Abel Gance never raised the money to make the other five). The film's legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story, culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages projected simultaneously on three screens.

5. La grande illusion (1937) | IMDb 8.2

5. La grande illusion (1937)   | IMDb 8.2

La grande illusion

During 1st WW, two French officers are captured. Captain De Boeldieu is an aristocrat while Lieutenant Marechal was a mechanic in civilian life. They meet other prisoners from various backgrounds, as Rosenthal, son of wealthy Jewish bankers. They are separated from Rosenthal before managing to escape. A few months later, they meet again in a fortress commanded by the aristocrat Van Rauffenstein. De Boeldieu strikes up a friendship with him but Marechal and Rosenthal still want to escape.

6. The Rules of the Game (1939) | IMDb 8.1

6. The Rules of the Game (1939) | IMDb 8.1

The Rules of the Game

Aviator André Jurieux has just completed a record-setting flight, but when he is greeted by an admiring crowd, all he can say to them is how miserable he is that the woman he loves did not come to meet him. He is in love with Christine, the wife of aristocrat Robert de la Cheyniest. Robert himself is involved in an affair with Geneviève de Marras, but he is trying to break it off. Meanwhile, André seeks help from his old friend Octave, who gets André an invitation to the country home where Robert and Christine are hosting a large hunting party. As the guests arrive for the party, their cordial greetings hide their real feelings, along with their secrets - and even some of the servants are involved in tangled relationships.

7. Les enfants du paradis (1945) | IMDb 8.3

7. Les enfants du paradis (1945)  | IMDb 8.3

Les enfants du paradis

This tale centers around the love between Baptiste, a theater mime, and Claire Reine, an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by three other men: Frederick, a pretentious actor; Lacenaire, a conniving thief; and Count Edouard of Montray. The story is further complicated by Nathalie, an actress who is in love with Baptiste. Garance and Baptiste meet when Garance is falsely accused of stealing a man's watch. Garance is forced to enter the protection of Count Edouard when she is innocently implicated in a crime committed by Lacenaire. In the intervening years of separation, both Garance and Baptiste become involved in loveless relationships with the Count and Nathalie, respectively. Baptiste is the father of a son. Returning to Paris, Garance finds that Baptiste has become a famous mime actor. Nathalie sends her child to foil their meeting, but Baptiste and Garance manage one night together. Lacenaire murders Edouard. In the last scenes, Garance is returning to Edouard's hotel and disaster as Baptiste struggles after her through crowds of merrymakers, many dressed as his famous character.

8. Rome, Open City (1945) | IMDb 8.1

8. Rome, Open City (1945)  | IMDb 8.1

Rome, Open City

The location: Nazi occupied Rome. As Rome is classified an open city, most Romans can wander the streets without fear of the city being bombed or them being killed in the process. But life for Romans is still difficult with the Nazi occupation as there is a curfew, basic foods are rationed, and the Nazis are still searching for those working for the resistance and will go to any length to quash those in the resistance and anyone providing them with assistance. War worn widowed mother Pina is about to get married to her next door neighbor Francesco. Despite their situation - Pina being pregnant, and Francesco being an atheist - Pina and Francesco will be wed by Catholic priest Don Pietro Pelligrini. The day before the wedding, Francesco's friend, Giorgio Manfredi, who Pina has never met, comes looking for Francesco as he, working for the resistance, needs a place to hide out. For his latest mission, Giorgio also requests the assistance of Don Pietro, who is more than willing as he sees such work as being in the name of God. Don Pietro's position also provides him with access to where others are not able. Giorgio's girlfriend, Marina, a cabaret performer, doesn't even know where Giorgio is in hiding. Both Pina and Marina take measures to improve their lives under this difficult situation, those actions in combination which have tragic consequences.

9. Paisà (1946) | IMDb 7.8

9. Paisà (1946) | IMDb 7.8


Six vignettes follow the Allied invasion from July 1943 to winter 1944, from Sicily north to Venice. Communication is fragile. A woman leads an Allied patrol through a mine field; she dies protecting a G.I., but the Yanks think she killed him. A street urchin steals shoes from a G.I. who tracks him to a shanty town. A G.I. meets a woman the day Rome is liberated; in six months they meet again: he's cynical, she's a prostitute. A US nurse braves the trip across the Arno into German fire in search of a partisan she loves. Three chaplains, including a Jew, call on a monastery north in the Apennines. Allied soldiers and partisans try to escape capture in the marshes of the Po.

10. La terra trema (1948) | IMDb 7.9

10. La terra trema (1948) | IMDb 7.9

La terra trema

Poor Sicilian fishers are exploited by fish wholesalers. One of the families is trying to escape them by being their own boss. But fate nobody helps them, and even fate is against them.

11. Ladri di biciclette (1948) | IMDb 8.3

11. Ladri di biciclette (1948)  | IMDb 8.3

Ladri di biciclette

Ricci, an unemployed man in the depressed post-WWII economy of Italy, gets at last a good job - for which he needs a bike - hanging up posters. But soon his bicycle is stolen. He and his son walk the streets of Rome, looking for the bicycle. Ricci finally manages to locate the thief but with no proof, he has to abandon his cause. But he and his son know perfectly well that without a bike, Ricci won't be able to keep his job.

12. Umberto D. (1952) | IMDb 8.2

12. Umberto D. (1952) | IMDb 8.2

Umberto D.

Umberto Domenico Ferrari is a retired civil servant who can barely eke out a living on his meager pension. He's behind on his rent and is now threatened with eviction. His only friends are his dog Flike and the young Maria who works as a kitchen maid in his rooming house. He's taken to selling what few possessions he has - his watch, a pair of cherished books - to pay part of his back rent but the landlady, Olga, insists he must pay her all he owes or she will evict him at the end of the month. Young Maria is pregnant, though she doesn't which of the two she's been seeing is the father and Umberto offers to help. When Umberto falls ill, he soon finds himself in hospital where he is found to have tonsillitis. He returns to his boarding house to himself without a place to stay and learns that his dog has run off. He finds Flike at the pound but must now rebuild his life.

13. La belle et la bête (1946) | IMDb 8.0

13. La belle et la bête (1946)  | IMDb 8.0

La belle et la bête

Belle is carrying out all the strenuous work at home, while her two haughty sisters are occupied with their appearances, and her lazy brother fools around with his pal Avenant. When Avenant asks Belle to marry him, she says that she doesn't want to leave her father. After a visit to a coastal town, the father rides back through a wood, but strays from the path and encounters a magic castle. When he plucks a rose for Belle, a ferocious animal in elegant clothes turns up. The Beast tells him that he has to die or send one of his daughters to die in his place within three days. The Beast's horse Magnificent carries him back home. After listening to her father's story, Belle sneaks out, and rides to the castle on Magnificent. The Beast is polite and gentle towards her, and step by step her fright for him is transformed into deep sympathy. When her father is sick, she is allowed to go home for one week. She returns a few days too late, and finds the Beast dying.

14. Tokyo Story (1953) | IMDb 8.3

14. Tokyo Story (1953) | IMDb 8.3

Tokyo Story

An elderly couple journey to Tokyo to visit their children and are confronted by indifference, ingratitude and selfishness. When the parents are packed off to a resort by their impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality.

15. Ikiru (1952) | IMDb 8.2

15. Ikiru (1952) | IMDb 8.2


Kanji Watanabe is a longtime bureaucrat in a city office who, along with the rest of the office, spends his entire working life doing nothing. He learns he is dying of cancer and wants to find some meaning in his life. He finds himself unable to talk with his family, and spends a night on the town with a novelist, but that leaves him unfulfilled. He next spends time with a young woman from his office, but finally decides he can make a difference through his job... After Watanabe's death, co-workers at his funeral discuss his behavior over the last several months and debate why he suddenly became assertive in his job to promote a city park, and resolve to be more like Watanabe.

16. Seven Samurai (1954) | IMDb 8.7

16. Seven Samurai (1954)  | IMDb 8.7

Seven Samurai

A veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village's request for protection from bandits. He gathers 6 other samurai to help him, and they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village.

17. Ugetsu monogatari (1953) | IMDb 8.2

17. Ugetsu monogatari (1953) | IMDb 8.2

Ugetsu monogatari

In the civil wars of 16th century Japan, two ambitious peasants want to make their fortunes. The potter Genjuro intends to sell his wares for vast profits in the local city, while his brother-in-law Tobei wishes to become a samurai. Their village is sacked by the marauding armies, but Genjuro's kiln miraculously survives, and they and their wives head for the city. However, Genjuro soon sends his wife Miyagi back home, promising to return to her soon, and Tobei, in his keenness to follow the samurai, abandons his wife Ohama. Meanwhile, a wealthy noblewoman, the Lady Wakasa, shows an interest in Genjuro's pots, and invites him to her mansion.

18. Sansho the Bailiff (1954) | IMDb 8.4

18. Sansho the Bailiff (1954) | IMDb 8.4

Sansho the Bailiff

In mediaeval Japan a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

19. Tengoku to jigoku (1963) | IMDb 8.4

19. Tengoku to jigoku (1963) | IMDb 8.4

Tengoku to jigoku

An executive mortgages all he owns to stage a coup and gain control of the National Shoe Company, with the intent of keeping the company out of the hands of incompetent and greedy executives. He needs the same money, though, to pay the ransom that will possibly save a child's life. His resolution of that dilemma -- the certain loss of the company vs. the probable loss of the child -- makes for one distinct drama, and an ensuing elaborate police procedure makes for a second.

20. Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958) | IMDb 8.0

20. Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958) | IMDb 8.0

Big Deal on Madonna Street

Peppe, formerly a boxer, organizes the break-in of a pawnshop. Tiberio, an unemployed photographer, Mario, a receiver, the Sicilian Michele and Capannelle, an ex-jockey, are the other members of the gang. Though they are advised by Dante, a retired burglar, the task is not so easy.

21. Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960) | IMDb 8.3

21. Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960)  | IMDb 8.3

Rocco e i suoi fratelli

The widow Rosaria moves to Milano from Lucania with her 4 sons, one of whom is Rocco. The fifth son, Vincenzo, already lives in Milano. In the beginning, the family has a lot of problems, but everyone manages to find something to do. Simone is boxing, Rocco works in a dry cleaners, and Ciro studies. Simone meets Nadia, a prostitute, and they have a stormy affair. Then Rocco, after finishing his military service, begins a relationship with her. A bitter feud ensues between the two brothers, which will lead as far as murder.

22. Les quatre cents coups (1959) | IMDb 8.1

22. Les quatre cents coups (1959)  | IMDb 8.1

Les quatre cents coups

Seemingly in constant trouble at school, 14 year-old Antoine Doinel returns at the end of every day to a drab and unhappy home life. His parents have little money and he sleeps on a couch that's been pushed into the kitchen. He knows his mother is having an affair and his parents bicker constantly. He decides to skip school and begins a downward spiral of lies and later stealing. His parents are at their wits end and after he's stopped by the police, they decide the best thing to do would be to let Antoine face the consequences. He's sent to a juvenile detention facility where he doesn't do much better. He does manage to escape however.

23. Tirez sur le pianiste (1960) | IMDb 7.7

23. Tirez sur le pianiste (1960)  | IMDb 7.7

Tirez sur le pianiste

Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, Momo and Ernest. We will discover that Charlie's real name is Edouard Saroyan, once a virtuose who gives up after his wife's suicide. Charlie now has to deal wih Chico, Ernest, Momo, Fido (his youngest brother who lives with him), and Lena.

24. À bout de souffle (1960) | IMDb 8.0

24. À bout de souffle (1960)  | IMDb 8.0

À bout de souffle

Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American.

25. Bande à part (1964) | IMDb 7.9

25. Bande à part (1964)  | IMDb 7.9

Bande à part

A triangle: Franz, Arthur, and Odile. Franz, a young man with Alain Delon good looks, has met Odile in an English class. She lives in Joinville with wealthy benefactors and has mentioned to Franz that Mr. Stolz keeps a pile of 10,000 franc notes unlocked in his room. Franz tells his friend Arthur, a swarthy guy whose shady uncle is pressing him for money. Arthur and Franz, who mimic American movie tough guys, case Odile's house, pressure her to assist them with a burglary, and make passes at her as well. She's alternately compliant and distressed. Will they pull off the heist?

26. Il sorpasso (1962) | IMDb 8.2

26. Il sorpasso (1962)  | IMDb 8.2

Il sorpasso

Roberto, a shy law student in Rome, meets Bruno, a forty-year-old exuberant, capricious man, who takes him for a drive through the Roman and Tuscany countries in the summer of 1962. They will spend two days together, meet both Roberto's and Bruno's family. The time Roberto spends with Bruno is a hilarious, but sometimes emotionally merciless accelerated maturization process. While Bruno's easy going 'l'usage du monde' and societal success attract Roberto's great admiration, he also slowly realizes Bruno's hollowness, superficiality and unhappiness.

27. L'Avventura (1960) | IMDb 8.0

27. L'Avventura (1960)  | IMDb 8.0


A group of rich Italians head out on a yachting trip to a deserted volcanic island in the Mediterranean. When they are about to leave the island, they find Anna, the main character up to this point, has gone missing. Sandro, Anna's boyfriend, and Claudia, Anna's friend, try without success to find her. While looking for the missing friend, Claudia and Sandro develop an attraction for each other. When they get back to land, they continue the search with no success. Sandro and Claudia proceed to become lovers, and all but forget about the missing Anna.

28. Blow-Up (1966) | IMDb 7.7

28. Blow-Up  (1966)   | IMDb 7.7


A successful mod photographer in London whose world is bounded by fashion, pop music, marijuana, and easy sex, feels his life is boring and despairing. Then he meets a mysterious beauty, and also notices something frightfully suspicious on one of his photographs of her taken in a park. The fact that he may have photographed a murder does not occur to him until he studies and then blows up his negatives, uncovering details, blowing up smaller and smaller elements, and finally putting the puzzle together.

29. Prima della rivoluzione (1964) | IMDb 7.3

29. Prima della rivoluzione (1964)  | IMDb 7.3

Prima della rivoluzione

The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but bourgeois Clelia, and stung by the drowning of his mercurial friend Agostino, a possible suicide. Gina is herself a bundle of nervous energy, alternately sweet, seductive, poetic, distracted, and unhinged. They begin a love affair after Agostino's funeral, then Gina confuses Fabrizio by sleeping with a stranger. Their visits to Cesare and then to Puck, one of Gina's older friends, a landowner losing his land, dramatize contrasting images of Italy's future. Their own futures are bleak.

30. Le boucher (1970) | IMDb 7.6

30. Le boucher (1970) | IMDb 7.6

Le boucher

Butcher Popaul meets schoolteacher Helene at a wedding in a small rural French village. They become friends. But girls are murdered in the area and Helene finds at the scene the lighter she gave Popaul.

31. Week End (1967) | IMDb 7.4

31. Week End (1967) | IMDb 7.4

Week End

A supposedly idyllic week-end trip to the countryside turns into a never-ending nightmare of traffic jams, revolution, cannibalism and murder as French bourgeois society starts to collapse under the weight of its own consumer preoccupations.

32. Death by Hanging (1968) | IMDb 7.8

32. Death by Hanging (1968) | IMDb 7.8


A Korean man is sentenced to death by hanging, but he survives the execution. For the following two hours, his executioners try to work out how to handle the situation in this black farce.

33. Händler der vier Jahreszeiten (1971) | IMDb 7.6

33. Händler der vier Jahreszeiten (1971)  | IMDb 7.6

Händler der vier Jahreszeiten

Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart attack, his business finally begins to take off. However the more he becomes a credit to his family, the more depressed he becomes. One sociable day, while toasting his friends and family, he decides to drink himself to death.

34. Angst essen Seele auf (1974) | IMDb 8.1

34. Angst essen Seele auf (1974)  | IMDb 8.1

Angst essen Seele auf

Emmi, a German woman in her mid-sixties, falls in love with Ali, a Moroccan immigrant worker around twenty-five years younger. When they abruptly decide to marry, everyone around them seems appalled. When the folks calm down a bit, Emmi and Ali's relationship grows uncertain.

35. Die Ehe der Maria Braun (1979) | IMDb 7.9

35. Die Ehe der Maria Braun (1979) | IMDb 7.9

Die Ehe der Maria Braun

This movie follows the life of a young German woman, married to a soldier in the waning days of WWII. Fassbinder has tried to show the gritty life after the end of WWII and the turmoil of the people trapped in its wake.

36. Im Lauf der Zeit (1976) | IMDb 8.0

36. Im Lauf der Zeit (1976) | IMDb 8.0

Im Lauf der Zeit

A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.

37. Der amerikanische Freund (1977) | IMDb 7.4

37. Der amerikanische Freund (1977)  | IMDb 7.4

Der amerikanische Freund

Tom Ripley has a sweet deal with an art forger. The forger creates the paintings; Tom sells them. But another criminal business associate wants Tom to go in for an even riskier enterprise: murder. Tom suggests his associate ask a local picture framer instead. That man has a fatal disease, or so it's rumored. More, he has a wife and kid that surely he wouldn't want to leave penniless. Let this picture framer be a hit man, and no one will suspect. The terminally ill craftsman may agree to the misdeed, and several more, but he'll end up needing Tom Ripley in a pinch.

38. Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (1974) | IMDb 7.9

38. Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (1974) | IMDb 7.9

Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle

Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note; he later explained that he had been held captive in a dungeon of some sort for his entire life that he could remember, and only recently was he released, for reasons unknown. His benefactor attempts to integrate him into society, with intriguing results.

39. Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972) | IMDb 8.0

39. Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972)  | IMDb 8.0

Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes

A few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru and goes down the Amazon river in search of gold and wealth. Soon, they come across great difficulties and Don Aguirres, a ruthless man who cares only about riches, becomes their leader. But will his quest lead them to 'the golden city', or to certain destruction?