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List of Elia Kazan Movies: Ranked Best To Worst

1. On the Waterfront (1954)
15
2
On the Waterfront
15
2

This 8 Academy Awards-winning movie revolves around Terry Malloy, a boxer and longshoreman, who works for the dock union boss, Johnny Friendly. After witnessing a fellow-dockhand’s murder by Johnny’s gangsters, he rethinks about the people he is working for. When he meets the victim’s sister Edie, he decides to join hands with her in Father Barry’s campaign against the corrupt union bosses.

As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Thriller, Crime, Drama
Star Cast:
Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Pat Henning
Awards:
Academy Award for Best Director, Golden Globe Award for Best Director
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
13
2
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
13
2
As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama, Romance
Star Cast:
Dorothy McGuire, James Gleason, Joan Blondell, James Dunn, Lloyd Nolan
3. East of Eden (1955)
15
3
East of Eden
TV-PG
15
3

East of Eden is a drama film, which tells the story of two brothers who compete for the approval of their strict father, as well as for the affection of the woman whom they both are attracted to. 

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama
Star Cast:
James Dean, Julie Harris, Burl Ives, Raymond Massey, Richard Davalos
4. A Face in the Crowd (1957)
12
5
A Face in the Crowd
12
5

A Face in the Crowd is a musical drama film which revolves around Marcia, a radio producer, who decides to give exposure to a folk singer named Larry Rhodes. Over time, Larry gains a lot of popularity, but decides to use it for personal gains.

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama, Music
5. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
13
3
A Streetcar Named Desire
GP
13
3

Based on Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, A Streetcar Named Desire focuses on the story of Blanche DuBois, a Southern belle who travels to New Orleans to live with her married sister and her boorish husband in a dilapidated tenement apartment. Here, she tries to start a new life; but very soon her grimy past catches up with her. 

As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama
Star Cast:
Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, Rudy Bond
6. The People of the Cumberland (1937)
10
2
The People of the Cumberland
10
2
As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan, Jay Leyda, Sidney Meyers
Genres:
Short, Documentary
Star Cast:
Richard Blaine
7. Splendor in the Grass (1961)
11
2
Splendor in the Grass
11
2

Splendor in the Grass is a romantic drama period film which tells the story of Bud and Deanie, who are weighed down by the expectations of their parents, and soon it also starts to affect their relationship.

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama, Romance
Star Cast:
Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Phyllis Diller, Pat Hingle, Zohra Lampert, Barbara Loden
8. America America (1963)
12
2
America America
12
2
As:
Producer, Director, Writer
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama
Star Cast:
Estelle Hemsley, Stathis Giallelis, Frank Wolff, Harry Davis, Elena Karam
Awards:
Golden Globe Award for Best Director
9. Wild River (1960)
10
2
Wild River
10
2
As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama, Romance, History
Star Cast:
Bruce Dern, Lee Remick, Montgomery Clift, Jay C. Flippen, Jo Van Fleet
10. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
13
2
Gentleman's Agreement
13
2

Philip Green is a widowed journalist who has just moved to New York City with his son and his mother. When a magazine publisher asks him to write an article on antisemitism, he doesn’t show much interest initially, but soon, he gets inspired to adopt a Jewish identity, so that he can write about his first-hand experiences.

As:
Director, Writer
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama, Romance
Awards:
Academy Award for Best Director, Golden Globe Award for Best Director
11. Viva Zapata! (1952)
10
2
Viva Zapata!
10
2

Viva Zapata! is a historical drama film which revolves around the story of Emiliano Zapata, a Mexican revolutionary who is knowing  for leading a rebellion against the corrupt and oppressive dictatorship of President Porfirio Diaz, who ignores the needs of his people during the early 20th century. The government is replaced but the new administration proves to be just as corrupt, especially General Victoriano Huerta.   

As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama, History, Biography
Star Cast:
Anthony Quinn, Marlon Brando, Jean Peters, Joseph Wiseman, Arnold Moss
12. Baby Doll (1956)
11
2
Baby Doll
R
11
2
As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama
Star Cast:
Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach, Mildred Dunnock, Karl Malden, Lonny Chapman
Awards:
Golden Globe Award for Best Director
13. Watchtower Over Tomorrow (1945)
9
2
Watchtower Over Tomorrow
9
2

Watchtower Over Tomorrow is a documentary short film about the Dumbarton Oaks Plan, as well as the proposed formations of the United Nations.

As:
Director
Director:
Genres:
Documentary, Short
Star Cast:
John Nesbitt, Grant Mitchell, Martin Kosleck, Miles Mander, Edward R. Stettinius Jr.
15. City for Conquest (1940)
9
2
City for Conquest
9
2
As:
Cast
Director:
Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco
Genres:
Music, Sport, Drama
Star Cast:
James Cagney, Anthony Quinn, Donald Crisp, Frank McHugh, Frank Craven
16. Man on a Tightrope (1953)
12
2
Man on a Tightrope
12
2

A circus-owner in Communist Czechoslovakia has been ordered to insert Marxist messages into his acts. Many of his men have also been conscripted and his equipments declared government property.  Unable to operate his circus the way he wants he finally decides to flee with his entire troop. But escaping from Communist regime is not easy.  His daughter’s affair further complicates the matter. 

As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama, Thriller
Star Cast:
Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, Gloria Grahame, Cameron Mitchell, Terry Moore
18. Boomerang! (1947)
9
3
Boomerang!
9
3
As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Crime, Film-Noir, Romance, Drama
Star Cast:
Brian Keith, Jane Wyatt, Arthur Miller, Lee J. Cobb, Dana Andrews, Arthur Kennedy
19. Blues in the Night (1941)
9
2
Blues in the Night
9
2

Jigger Pine, along with his friends Nickie, Peppi, Leo and Leo’s wife Ginger, forms a music band which performs at various gigs. However, a big break always eludes them. Then Del Davis, a mobster whom they meet in a rail boxcar, helps them get a break at a New Jersey roadhouse. As bar-beauty Kay Grant enters Jigger’s life, things start getting complicated.

As:
Cast, Writer
Director:
Anatole Litvak
Genres:
Crime, Music, Drama, Film-Noir
Star Cast:
Lloyd Nolan, Jack Carson, Priscilla Lane, Betty Field, Richard Whorf
22. The Visitors (1972)
9
2
The Visitors
R
9
2

Vietnam War veteran Bill Schmidt lives with his girlfriend Martha and son Hal in a farmhouse. One day two of his ex-army friends Mike and Tony arrive and start terrorizing the family. This leads to revelations, a fight, and horrific consequences.  

As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Drama, Crime
Star Cast:
James Woods, Steve Railsback, Patrick McVey, Patricia Joyce, Chico Martínez
23. Pie in the Sky (1935)
8
2
Pie in the Sky
8
2

A priest completes his sermon and brings out a pie to distribute between several men who are waiting to eat. However, two men who were waiting at the end, doesn’t get any.

As:
Cast, Producer
Role:
(as Elia 'Gadget' Kazan)
Director:
Ralph Steiner
Genres:
Comedy, Short
Star Cast:
Russell Collins, Irving Lerner, Ralph Steiner, Elman Koolish
24. The Sea of Grass (1947)
8
2
The Sea of Grass
8
2
As:
Director
Director:
Elia Kazan
Genres:
Western, Drama
Star Cast:
Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Melvyn Douglas, Robert Walker, Phyllis Thaxter
26. Strangers All (1935)
7
1
Strangers All
7
1
As:
Cast
Director:
Charles Vidor
Genres:
Drama
Star Cast:
William Bakewell, May Robson, Preston Foster, Florine McKinney,
27. Cafe Universal (1934)
12
2
Cafe Universal
12
2
As:
Cast
Director:
Ralph Steiner
28. A Letter to Elia (2010)
9
2
A Letter to Elia
9
2
As:
Cast
Role:
Himself (archiveFootage)
Director:
Martin Scorsese, Kent Jones
Genres:
Documentary
Star Cast:
Martin Scorsese, Elias Koteas
29. Mist (1988)
8
2
Mist
8
2
As:
Cast
Director:
Zülfü Livaneli
Genres:
Drama
Star Cast:
Rutkay Aziz, Kenan Pars, Asli Altan, Sevtap Parman
30. Diaspora (2001)
4
1
Diaspora
4
1
As:
Writer
Director:
Atom Egoyan
Genres:
Short

Elia Kazan Awards

Academy Awards
On the Waterfront Best Director 1955
Gentleman's Agreement Best Director 1948
Golden Globe Awards
America America Best Director 1964
Baby Doll Best Director 1957
On the Waterfront Best Director 1955
Gentleman's Agreement Best Director 1948