Films that influenced Paul Thomas Anderson

by goldfussmikey | created - 08 Apr 2018 | updated - 24 Apr 2018 | Public

Top 300 Films that influenced Paul Thomas Anderson based on interviews and articles. Selected by Year

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1. Sunrise (1927)

Passed | 94 min | Drama, Romance

An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston, Bodil Rosing

Votes: 44,128

2. Men Without Women (1930)

Passed | 77 min | Action, Drama

Navy divers clear the torpedo tube of a sunken submarine.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Kenneth MacKenna, Frank Albertson, J. Farrell MacDonald, Warren Hymer

Votes: 204

3. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

99 Metascore

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 151,824 | Gross: $0.02M

4. 42nd Street (1933)

Passed | 89 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A director puts on what may be his last Broadway show and, at the last moment, a naive newcomer has to replace the star.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Ruby Keeler

Votes: 9,864 | Gross: $2.30M

5. The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Romance, War

A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori, Walter Connolly

Votes: 3,224

6. The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady, Edward Everett Horton

Votes: 6,369

7. The Merry Widow (1934)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

When a small kingdom's main tax payer leaves for Paris, its king dispatches a dashing count to win back her allegiance.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Edward Everett Horton, Marcel Vallée

Votes: 2,380

8. Carefree (1938)

Passed | 83 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy, Luella Gear

Votes: 3,028

9. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 112,951 | Gross: $4.36M

10. The Bank Dick (1940)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy

Henpecked Egbert Sousé has comic adventures as a substitute film director and unlikely bank guard.

Director: Edward F. Cline | Stars: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio

Votes: 6,289

11. They Drive by Night (1940)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When one of 2 truck driving brothers loses an arm, they both join a transport company where later, the other is falsely charged as an accessory in the murder of the owner.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino

Votes: 6,568

12. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of publishing tycoon, Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 370,345 | Gross: $1.59M

13. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, Robert Wise | Stars: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter

Votes: 20,624

14. Day of Wrath (1943)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, History

The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin, Sigrid Neiiendam, Kirsten Andreasen

Votes: 8,395

15. Destination Tokyo (1943)

Approved | 135 min | Adventure, History, War

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale, John Ridgely

Votes: 4,319

16. The Ghost Ship (1943)

Approved | 69 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Richard Dix, Russell Wade, Edith Barrett, Ben Bard

Votes: 2,721

17. The Seventh Victim (1943)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 5,142

18. Gaslight (1944)

Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, May Whitty

Votes: 21,672

19. Brief Encounter (1945)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey

Votes: 32,490

20. I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

A young Englishwoman goes to the Hebrides to marry her older, wealthier fiancé. When the weather keeps them separated on different islands, she begins to have second thoughts.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, George Carney, Walter Hudd

Votes: 7,247

21. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 31,105 | Gross: $9.46M

22. Let There Be Light (1946)

Not Rated | 58 min | Documentary, War

A group of mentally traumatized veteran patients is followed as they go through psychiatric treatment.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Walter Huston, Benjamin Simon

Votes: 1,351

23. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

92 Metascore

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 54,038 | Gross: $23.65M

24. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 74,619 | Gross: $6.54M

25. The Dark Corner (1946)

Passed | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Secretary tries to help her boss, who is framed for a murder.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix, Mark Stevens

Votes: 3,700

26. Nightmare Alley (I)

Drama | Pre-production

A corrupt con-man teams up with a female psychiatrist to trick people into giving them money. A remake of the 1947 film.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett

27. Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 29,667

28. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders

Votes: 23,981 | Gross: $0.01M

29. 3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | 106 min | Drama, Western

Three outlaws on the run find a dying woman in the desert who gives birth to a baby. The mother entrusts the care of the child to the three men.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

Votes: 7,609

30. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

98 Metascore

Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett

Votes: 105,609 | Gross: $5.01M

31. Adam's Rib (1949)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell

Votes: 18,156

32. Stray Dog (1949)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji, Eiko Miyoshi

Votes: 13,535

33. The Passionate Friends (1949)

Approved | 95 min | Drama

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin (Ann Todd) meets Steven Stratton (Trevor Howard) again and they have one last ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean | Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains, Betty Ann Davies

Votes: 1,983

34. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 25,343

35. Father of the Bride (1950)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Romance

The father of a young woman deals with the emotional pain of her getting married, along with the financial and organizational trouble of arranging the wedding.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor

Votes: 9,365

36. La Ronde (1950)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Romance

Vignettes revolving around a circle of interconnected love.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Simone Simon

Votes: 4,464

37. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Passed | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore

Votes: 22,138

38. Winchester '73 (1950)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Drama, Western

The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally

Votes: 15,392

39. A Place in the Sun (1951)

Passed | 122 min | Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere

Votes: 18,463

40. Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Film-Noir

72 Metascore

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall

Votes: 25,482 | Gross: $3.97M

41. An American in Paris (1951)

Passed | 114 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

84 Metascore

Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary

Votes: 27,879 | Gross: $4.50M

42. Bend of the River (1952)

Approved | 91 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

When a town boss confiscates homesteader's supplies after gold is discovered nearby, a tough cowboy risks his life to try and get it to them.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Arthur Kennedy, Julie Adams

Votes: 7,144

43. Le Plaisir (1952)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Three separate stories about the same thing: le plaisir (pleasure).

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Jean Gabin, Danielle Darrieux, Simone Simon, Claude Dauphin

Votes: 3,837

44. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

99 Metascore

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

Votes: 201,702 | Gross: $8.82M

45. The Band Wagon (1953)

Passed | 112 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

93 Metascore

A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray

Votes: 9,200

46. The Earrings of Madame De... (1953)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Romance

The diamond earrings of a French aristocrat, a wedding gift from her husband, cause a series of conflicts as they change hands repeatedly.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux, Vittorio De Sica, Jean Debucourt

Votes: 8,058

47. The Naked Spur (1953)

Passed | 91 min | Thriller, Western

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker

Votes: 9,283

48. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy

Monsieur Hulot comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation, where he accidentally (but good-naturedly) causes havoc.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla, Valentine Camax

Votes: 15,376

49. Rear Window (1954)

PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller

100 Metascore

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 408,425 | Gross: $36.76M

50. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Not Rated | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery