Martin Scorsese Shares 50 British Film Recommendations

The beloved director has revealed 50 of his personal favourite films from British cinema, from Kind Hearts and Coronets to The Innocents.

Edgar Wright, in a series of tweets posted today, explained that he emailed the Academy Award-winning director asking for “a list of British films that he admired or had inspired him growing up.”

“It must be stressed that this is a personal list of favourites and also, by his admission, incomplete,” Wright explained. “For example Powell & Pressburger do not feature, as he’s praised them on many occasions, so their work is taken as read.”

Scorsese, known for his generously affable nature and rigorous cineliteracy, often shares these types of lists. However, this is thought to be the first time he has recommended British films alone, with his favourites mainly lying in the 1940s–1960s.

His British film recommendations show clear favourites, with the list including six films by Terence Fisher, five by Basil Dearden and four by Seth Holt. Many films are of the cult horror variety, while others are historical epics and small-budget wartime dramas.

Martin Scorsese’s list of British film recommendations, in chronological order:

  1. Shooting Stars (1927) dir. Anthony Asquith
  2. Underground (1928) dir. Anthony Asquith
  3. Brief Ecstasy (1937) dir. Edmond T. Gréville 
  4. Went the Day Well? (1942) dir. Alberto Cavalcanti
  5. The Man in Grey (1943) dir. Leslie Arliss
  6. The Halfway House (1944) dir. Basil Dearden
  7. The Happy Breed (1944) dir. David Lean
  8. Madonna of the Seven Moons (1945) dir. Arthur Crabtree
  9. Pink String and Sealing Wax (1945) dir. Robert Hamer
  10. The Seventh Veil (1945) dir. Compton Bennett
  11. Green for Danger (1946) dir. Sidney Gilliat
  12. Hue and Cry (1947) dir. Charles Crichton
  13. It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) dir. Robert Hamer
  14. Uncle Silas (1947) dir. Charles Frank
  15. To the Public Danger (1948) dir. Terence Fisher
  16. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) dir. Robert Hamer
  17. The Queen of Spades (1949) dir. Thorold Dickinson
  18. The Blue Lamp (1950) dir. Basil Dearden
  19. So Long at the Fair (1950) dir. Antony Darnborough, Terence Fisher
  20. Stolen Face (1952) dir. Terence Fisher
  21. The Sound Barrier (1952) dir. David Lean
  22. Mandy (1952) dir. Alexander Mackendrick
  23. Spaceways (1953) dir. Terence Fisher
  24. The Good Die Young (1954) dir. Lewis Gilbert
  25. Four Sided Triangle (1953) dir. Terence Fisher
  26. Yield to the Night (1956) dir. J. Lee Thompson
  27. Nowhere to Go (1958) dir. Seth Holt, Basil Dearden
  28. The Snorkel (1958) dir. Guy Green
  29. Sapphire (1959) dir. Basil Dearden
  30. The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) dir. John Gilling
  31. Taste of Fear (1961) dir. Seth Holt
  32. Night of the Eagle (1962) dir. Sidney Hayers
  33. Station Six-Sahara (1962) dir. Seth Holt
  34. The Damned (1961) dir. Joseph Losey
  35. The Innocents (1961) dir. Jack Clayton
  36. The Mind Benders (1963) dir. Basil Dearden
  37. Guns at Batasi (1964) dir. John Guillermin
  38. The Pumpkin Eater (1964) dir. Jack Clayton
  39. A High Wind in Jamaica (1965) dir. Alexander Mackendrick
  40. The Nanny (1965) dir. Seth Holt
  41. The Plague of the Zombies (1966) dir. John Gilling
  42. Quatermass and the Pit (1967) dir. Roy Ward Baker
  43. The Devil Rides Out (1968) dir. Terence Fisher
  44. Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968) dir. Jonathan Miller
  45. Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971) dir. Roy Ward Baker
  46. The Asphyx (1972) dir. Peter Newbrook
  47. The Legend of Hell House (1973) dir. John Hough
  48. Vampyres (1974) dir. José Ramón Larraz
  49. The Long Good Friday (1980) dir. John Mackenzie
  50. The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987) dir. Jack Clayton

Words by Steph Green


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