The 100 Greatest Foreign Language Films

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Created by LuisCosta.

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Three years ago, BBC Culture ran its first major critics’ poll, to find the 100 greatest American films. Two further polls looked for the best films of the 21st Century and the greatest comedies ever made – and those also ended up with films from the US in the top spot.

This year, we felt it was time to direct the spotlight away from Hollywood and celebrate the best cinema from around the world. We asked critics to vote for their favourite movies made primarily in a language other than English. The result is BBC Culture’s 100 greatest foreign-language films.

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  1. 1 -

    Shichinin no samurai

    1954 — a.k.a. Seven Samurai, in 33 top lists Check
  2. 2 -

    Ladri di biciclette

    1948 — a.k.a. Bicycle Thieves, in 35 top lists Check
  3. 3 -

    Tôkyô monogatari

    1953 — a.k.a. Tokyo Story, in 25 top lists Check
  4. 4 -

    Rashômon

    1950 — a.k.a. Rashomon, in 32 top lists Check
  5. 5 -

    La règle du jeu

    1939 — a.k.a. The Rules of the Game, in 24 top lists Check
  6. 6 -

    Persona

    1966, in 25 top lists Check
  7. 7 -

    1963, in 31 top lists Check
  8. 8 -

    Les quatre cents coups

    1959 — a.k.a. The 400 Blows, in 25 top lists Check
  9. 9 -

    Faa yeung nin wa

    2000 — a.k.a. In the Mood for Love, in 27 top lists Check
  10. 10 -

    La dolce vita

    1960 — a.k.a. La Dolce Vita, in 19 top lists Check
  11. 11 -

    À bout de souffle

    1960 — a.k.a. Breathless, in 27 top lists Check
  12. 12 -

    Ba wang bie ji

    1993 — a.k.a. Farewell My Concubine, in 16 top lists Check
  13. 13 -

    M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder

    1931 — a.k.a. M, in 34 top lists Check
  14. 14 -

    Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080...

    1975 — a.k.a. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels, in 10 top lists Check
  15. 15 -

    Pather Panchali

    1955, in 21 top lists Check
  16. 16 -

    Metropolis

    1927, in 33 top lists Check
  17. 17 -

    Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes

    1972 — a.k.a. Aguirre, the Wrath of God, in 19 top lists Check
  18. 18 -

    Beiqíng chéngshì

    1989 — a.k.a. A City of Sadness, in 9 top lists Check
  19. 19 -

    La battaglia di Algeri

    1966 — a.k.a. The Battle of Algiers, in 26 top lists Check
  20. 20 -

    Zerkalo

    1975 — a.k.a. The Mirror, in 12 top lists Check
  21. 21 -

    Jodaeiye Nader az Simin

    2011 — a.k.a. A Separation, in 12 top lists Check
  22. 22 -

    El laberinto del fauno

    2006 — a.k.a. Pan's Labyrinth, in 29 top lists Check
  23. 23 -

    La passion de Jeanne d'Arc

    1928 — a.k.a. The Passion of Joan of Arc, in 27 top lists Check
  24. 24 -

    Bronenosets Potemkin

    1925 — a.k.a. Battleship Potemkin, in 26 top lists Check
  25. 25 -

    Yi yi

    2000 — a.k.a. Yi Yi, in 18 top lists Check
  26. 26 -

    Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

    1988 — a.k.a. Cinema Paradiso, in 17 top lists Check
  27. 27 -

    El espíritu de la colmena

    1973 — a.k.a. The Spirit of the Beehive, in 20 top lists Check
  28. 28 -

    Fanny och Alexander

    1982 — a.k.a. Fanny and Alexander, in 22 top lists Check
  29. 29 -

    Oldeuboi

    2003 — a.k.a. Oldboy, in 28 top lists Check
  30. 30 -

    Det sjunde inseglet

    1957 — a.k.a. The Seventh Seal, in 24 top lists Check
  31. 31 -

    Das Leben der Anderen

    2006 — a.k.a. The Lives of Others, in 19 top lists Check
  32. 32 -

    Todo sobre mi madre

    1999 — a.k.a. All About My Mother, in 17 top lists Check
  33. 33 -

    Playtime

    1967, in 19 top lists Check
  34. 34 -

    Der Himmel über Berlin

    1987 — a.k.a. Wings of Desire, in 20 top lists Check
  35. 35 -

    Il gattopardo

    1963 — a.k.a. The Leopard, in 17 top lists Check
  36. 36 -

    La grande illusion

    1937 — a.k.a. The Grand Illusion, in 28 top lists Check
  37. 37 -

    Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

    2001 — a.k.a. Spirited Away, in 36 top lists Check
  38. 38 -

    Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian

    1991 — a.k.a. A Brighter Summer Day, in 12 top lists Check
  39. 39 -

    Nema-ye Nazdik

    1990 — a.k.a. Close-Up, in 19 top lists Check
  40. 40 -

    Andrey Rublev

    1966 — a.k.a. Andrei Rublev, in 28 top lists Check
  41. 41 -

    Huo zhe

    1994 — a.k.a. To Live, in 5 top lists Check
  42. 42 -

    Cidade de Deus

    2002 — a.k.a. City of God, in 21 top lists Check
  43. 43 -

    Beau travail

    1999, in 13 top lists Check
  44. 44 -

    Cléo de 5 à 7

    1962 — a.k.a. Cleo from 5 to 7, in 13 top lists Check
  45. 45 -

    L'avventura

    1960 — a.k.a. L'Avventura, in 22 top lists Check
  46. 46 -

    Les enfants du paradis

    1945 — a.k.a. Children of Paradise, in 20 top lists Check
  47. 47 -

    4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile

    2007 — a.k.a. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, in 12 top lists Check
  48. 48 -

    Viridiana

    1961, in 23 top lists Check
  49. 49 -

    Stalker

    1979, in 23 top lists Check
  50. 50 -

    L'Atalante

    1934, in 21 top lists Check
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Last updated on Nov 1, 2018 by LuisCosta; source