Special Report

Best Foreign Films of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Ajay Film Company

50. La Chienne (1931)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (4,100 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (17 reviews)
> Directed by: Jean Renoir
> Language: French

Jean Renoir’s second sound film centers on an unhappy cashier (Michael Simon), who gets swindled by a prostitute and her pimp. The director’s seamless camera technique and pointed exploration of socio-economic themes would reappear in later work.

Source: Courtesy of Lopert Pictures Corporation

49. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (30,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98% (55 reviews)
> Directed by: Georges Franju
> Language: French

This French classic set an early benchmark for the body horror sub-genre and influenced a legion of subsequent directors. It follows a mad plastic surgeon (Pierre Brasseur) as he goes to murderous extremes while trying to repair his daughter’s disfigured face.

Source: Courtesy of Brandon Films

48. Diary of a Country Priest (1950)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (11,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (39 reviews)
> Directed by: Robert Bresson
> Language: French

French filmmaker Robert Bresson brings his minimalist style and spiritual fixations to this acclaimed drama. It tells the story of an ascetic priest (Claude Laydu), whose earnest intentions are misconstrued by the local community.

Source: Courtesy of Janus Films

47. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (12,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (24 reviews)
> Directed by: Andrzej Wajda
> Language: Polish

The final installment in Andrzej Wajda’s informal war trilogy, this taut drama takes place on the last day of World War II. With orders to assassinate his former ally, a Polish man (Zbigniew Cybulski) experiences romance and doubt against a backdrop of political upheaval. Martin Scorsese has cited it as both a major influence and personal favorite.

Source: Courtesy of IntraMovies

46. L’Avventura (1960)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (28,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (49 reviews)
> Directed by: Michelangelo Antonioni
> Language: Italian

Initially booed during its Cannes premiere, this Italian drama is now widely hailed as a masterpiece of European cinema. Eschewing traditional narrative technique, Antonioni makes groundbreaking use of visual composition. What appears to be the story of a woman’s disappearance becomes a purposefully ambiguous examination of modern life.

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