Martin Scorsese’s 85 Films You Need to Watch

Rick Tetzeli of Fast Company recently shared a list of 85 films that Martin Scorsese thinks every serious filmmaker (screenwriters included) should watch. The full list is in alphabetical order on Fast Company. Below are the films from the list that we have scripts for:

Apocalypse Now: This Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece is from a period when directors like Brian DePalma, John Milius, Paul Schrader, Scorsese and others had great freedom–freedom that they then lost. 1979

Born on the Fourth of July: Produced by Universal Pictures under Tom Pollock and Casey Silver, this Tom Cruise movie (directed by Oliver Stone) was an example of how that studio “wanted to make special pictures,” says Scorsese. 1989

Citizen Kane: “Orson Welles was a force of nature, who just came in and wiped the slate clean. And Citizen Kane is the greatest risk-taking of all time in film. I don’t think anything had even seen anything quite like it. The photography was also unlike anything we’d seen. The odd coldness of the filmmaker towards the character reflects his own egomania and power, and yet a powerful empathy for all of them–it’s very interesting. It still holds up, and it’s still shocking. It takes storytelling and throws it up in the air.” 1941

Do The Right Thing: Spike Lee’s film was the kind of risky production that drew Scorsese to Universal Pictures when it was run by Casey Silver and Tom Pollack. “Then Pollock left,” says Scorsese, “and it all changed.” 1989

The Godfather: “Gordon Willis did the same dark filming trick on The Godfather as he had done on Klute. And now audiences accepted it, and went along with it, and every director of photography and now every director of photography of the past 40 years owes him the greatest debt, for changing the style completely–until now, of course, with the advent of digital.” 1972

It Happened One Night: “I didn’t think much of this Frank Capra film, until I saw it recently on the big screen. And I discovered it was a masterpiece! The body language of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, the way they related–it’s really quite remarkable.” 1934

Midnight Cowboy: One of the great movies released by UA in its glory days, starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. 1969

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Jimmy Stewart stars in this Capra movie, one of the all-time greats, which features a dramatic filibuster. 1939

 

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