This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

List of Sidney Poitier Movies: Ranked Best To Worst

1. A Patch of Blue (1965)
19
4
A Patch of Blue
19
4

Selina is a blind young woman who has spent her whole life confined in a small apartment with her abusive mother. Her life takes a turn when she meets a man who wants to help her escape her impoverished life. He introduces her to the outside world, and over time, she falls in love with him, unaware that he is black. When her mother finds out about their relationship, she tries to prevent her from seeing him anymore, due to his race.

Role:
Gordon Ralfe
Starring:
Shelley Winters, Ivan Dixon, Wallace Ford, Elizabeth Hartman
Directed By:
Guy Green
2. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
16
4
A Raisin in the Sun
16
4
Role:
Walter Lee Younger
Starring:
Ivan Dixon, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands
Directed By:
Daniel Petrie
3. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
51
12
In the Heat of the Night
51
12

Bill Gillespie, the bigoted police chief of Sparta, Mississippi, arrests African-American Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs for a businessman’s murder. After proving his credentials, Tibbs is reluctantly asked to assist the investigations. Facing risks, he delves deep into the case, but encounters difficulties from Gillespie on every step. As the two men learn to work together, Tibbs proves his mettle earning Gillespie’s respect. 

Role:
Virgil Tibbs
Starring:
Rod Steiger, Harry Dean Stanton, Lee Grant, Larry Gates, Warren Oates
Directed By:
Norman Jewison
4. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
39
9
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
39
9

Joanna is a young woman who was raised with liberal values. One day, when she brings home her fiance, who is an African-American widowed physician, her parent’s attitudes are challenged. 

Role:
John Prentice
Starring:
Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cecil Kellaway, Katharine Houghton
Directed By:
Stanley Kramer
5. To Sir, with Love (1967)
25
5
To Sir, with Love
25
5
Role:
Mark Thackeray
Starring:
Ann Bell, Christian Roberts, Judy Geeson, Suzy Kendall
Directed By:
James Clavell
6. The Defiant Ones (1958)
20
5
The Defiant Ones
TV-PG
20
5

A truck transporting members of a chain gang meets  with an accident. Jackson and Cullen, two convicts who are chained together, flee. Though they both appear to be opposites in every way, they need to get along in order to dodge the arrest.

Role:
Noah Cullen
Starring:
Tony Curtis, Claude Akins, Carl Switzer, Charles McGraw, Theodore Bikel, Lon Chaney Jr.
Directed By:
Stanley Kramer
Awards:
BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
7. Lilies of the Field (1963)
22
4
Lilies of the Field
22
4
Role:
Homer Smith
Starring:
Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann, Isa Crino, Francesca Jarvis
Directed By:
Ralph Nelson
Awards:
Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Drama
8. Blackboard Jungle (1955)
16
4
Blackboard Jungle
16
4

Richard Dadier is a navy veteran, who takes up a job as a teacher at North Manual Trades High School. However, things are not quite easy for him, because Gregory Miller, along with other students engage in anti-social behavior. The class doesn’t show respect for Dadier, and things even get worse after Dadier is forced to subdue a student who attacks another teacher.

Starring:
Glenn Ford, Richard Kiley, John Hoyt, Louis Calhern
Directed By:
Richard Brooks
10. The Bedford Incident (1965)
12
4
The Bedford Incident
12
4
Role:
Ben Munceford
Starring:
Richard Widmark, Donald Sutherland, James MacArthur, Martin Balsam, Wally Cox
Directed By:
James B. Harris
11. Good-bye, My Lady (1956)
8
3
Good-bye, My Lady
8
3

Orphan Skeeter lives with his toothless poor uncle, Jesse, in a Mississippi swamp cabin. One night they take in a strange dog that does not bark but rather laughs. When the rightful owner of the dog comes looking, Skeeter is forced to give up his new pet but gets a US $100 reward. 

Role:
Gates Watson
Starring:
Walter Brennan, William Hopper, Phil Harris, Brandon De Wilde
Directed By:
William A. Wellman
12. Edge of the City (1957)
11
3
Edge of the City
11
3
Role:
Tommy Tyler
Starring:
John Cassavetes, Jack Warden, Ruby Dee, Kathleen Maguire
Directed By:
Martin Ritt
13. Sneakers (1992)
36
14
Sneakers
PG-13
36
14

Martin Bishop, who runs a company that tests security systems, is blackmailed by government agents into getting a black box from its inventor. Bishop’s ex-girlfriend and his team of experts, who retrieve the device, discover that it can decode any encryption code. As Bishop realizes that those men were criminals and not government officers, they incriminate him in the murder of the inventor.

Role:
Donald Crease
Starring:
Robert Redford, Ben Kingsley, Timothy Busfield, River Phoenix, Dan Aykroyd, Donal Logue, James Earl Jones
Directed By:
Phil Alden Robinson
14. Pressure Point (1962)
9
3
Pressure Point
9
3
Role:
Doctor
Starring:
Bobby Darin, Peter Falk, Carl Benton Reid, Mary Munday
Directed By:
Stanley Kramer, Hubert Cornfield
15. Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)
8
3
Cry, the Beloved Country
8
3
Role:
Reverend Msimangu
Starring:
Geoffrey Keen, Canada Lee, Charles Carson, Joyce Carey
Directed By:
Zoltan Korda
16. The Slender Thread (1965)
12
3
The Slender Thread
12
3
Role:
Alan Newell
Starring:
Anne Bancroft, Telly Savalas, Ed Asner, Steven Hill, Edward Asner, Anne Bancroft
Directed By:
17. Porgy and Bess (1959)
9
3
Porgy and Bess
9
3
Role:
Porgy
Starring:
Diahann Carroll, Nichelle Nichols, Scatman Crothers, Dorothy Dandridge, Claude Akins, Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey
Directed By:
18. Shoot to Kill (1988)
18
7
Shoot to Kill
R
18
7

Shoot to Kill is an action thriller film which tells the story of Steve, a criminal who has been on the run in the forests of Northern America. Meanwhile, an FBI agent Warren is obsessed with capturing him.   

Role:
Warren Stantin
Starring:
Tom Berenger, Kirstie Alley, Clancy Brown, Richard Masur
Directed By:
Roger Spottiswoode
19. Paris Blues (1961)
7
4
Paris Blues
7
4
Role:
Eddie Cook
Starring:
Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Diahann Carroll, Louis Armstrong
Directed By:
Martin Ritt
20. Let's Do It Again (1975)
8
4
Let's Do It Again
PG
8
4
Role:
Clyde Williams
Starring:
John Amos, Ossie Davis, Bill Cosby, Jimmie Walker, Calvin Lockhart
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
21. Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
8
4
Uptown Saturday Night
PG
8
4

In order to raise funds for their charity, Clyde and Billy rig a boxing match. However, this puts them against a group of gangsters who lost their money.

Role:
Steve Jackson
Starring:
Richard Pryor, Harry Belafonte, Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
22. Something of Value (1957)
6
3
Something of Value
TV-PG
6
3

Raised together since childhood, Peter, the son of a white Kenyan settler and Kimani, a black worker are close friends. Things begin to change when Kimani’s father is jailed for following a tribal tradition. Angered by this, he joins Mau Mau rebels, but cannot really accept many of their actions. The two friends finally come face to face when the rebels kill Peter’s brother-in-law.

Starring:
Rock Hudson, Wendy Hiller, Dana Wynter, Robert Beatty
Directed By:
Richard Brooks
23. Brother John (1971)
8
3
Brother John
PG
8
3

Brother John tells the story of a man who visits his hometown in Alabama, after a long time, to attend his sister’s funeral. However, unknown to others, he is actually a messenger from heaven who has been sent to assess whether mankind is worthy of redemption. 

Role:
John Kane
Starring:
Paul Winfield, Bradford Dillman, Will Geer, Ramon Bieri, Beverly Todd
Directed By:
James Goldstone
24. The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
11
6
The Greatest Story Ever Told
11
6

The Greatest Story Ever Told is a historical drama film which revolves around the life and the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, presented in two parts.  

Starring:
Charlton Heston, Donald Pleasence, David McCallum, Pat Boone, Max von Sydow, Angela Lansbury, Dorothy McGuire
Directed By:
25. Duel at Diablo (1966)
9
4
Duel at Diablo
9
4
Role:
Toller
Starring:
James Garner, Bibi Andersson, Dennis Weaver, Bill Travers
Directed By:
Ralph Nelson
26. Band of Angels (1957)
8
4
Band of Angels
8
4
Role:
Rau-Ru
Starring:
Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Rex Reason
Directed By:
Raoul Walsh
27. Buck and the Preacher (1972)
10
3
Buck and the Preacher
PG
10
3
Role:
Buck
Starring:
Harry Belafonte, Cameron Mitchell, Ruby Dee, Denny Miller
Directed By:
Joseph Sargent, Sidney Poitier
28. The Jackal (1997)
54
31
The Jackal
R
54
31

A Russian mobster hires The Jackal, a mysterious highly-trained killer to eliminate a top government official. However, Jackal is chased by FBI’s Carter Preston and the Russian officer Valentina. The two also enlist the help of imprisoned Irish agent Mulqueen for the purpose. However, Jackal is not only smart and shrewd but also a master of disguise and absolutely ruthless.

Role:
FBI Deputy Director Carter Preston
Starring:
Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Jack Black, Diane Venora, Mathilda May
Directed By:
Michael Caton-Jones
29. A Piece of the Action (1977)
7
4
A Piece of the Action
PG
7
4

A retired detective has all the evidences necessary for sending two smart thieves to jail. But he agrees to keep quiet provided they consent to work among delinquent youths. Having no other options, they soon start working as career counselors for equally unwilling inner city kids. But later as they start enjoying their job they find their past catching up with them. 

Role:
Manny Durrell
Starring:
James Earl Jones, Denise Nicholas, Bill Cosby, Hope Clarke
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
30. Go Man Go (1954)
6
4
Go Man Go
6
4
Role:
Inman Jackson
Starring:
Dane Clark, Patricia Breslin, Anatol Winogradoff, Celia Brodkin
Directed By:
James Wong Howe
31. Red Ball Express (1952)
6
4
Red Ball Express
6
4
Role:
Robertson
Starring:
Charles Drake, Jeff Chandler, Alex Nicol, Judith Braun
Directed By:
Budd Boetticher
32. The Wilby Conspiracy (1975)
8
4
The Wilby Conspiracy
TV-14
8
4
Role:
Shack Twala
Starring:
Michael Caine, Nicol Williamson, Saeed Jaffrey, Prunella Gee
Directed By:
Ralph Nelson
33. For Love of Ivy (1968)
5
3
For Love of Ivy
G
5
3

African-American Ivy Moore, who has been working as a maid for years for the Austin family, decides to quit job to join secretarial school. Desperate to stop her, the Austins blackmail gambler and trucking executive Jack Parks into dating her. They truly fall for each other, but when Ivy learns that Parks was pressed into this romance, she breaks-up. Will they re-unite?

Role:
Jack Parks
Starring:
Beau Bridges, Lauri Peters, Nan Martin, Abbey Lincoln
Directed By:
Daniel Mann
34. All the Young Men (1960)
5
3
All the Young Men
5
3

All the Young Men is an action war drama film, which takes us to the Korean War. When a lieutenant is killed, a black sergeant has to take charge of his squad. However, this proves to be a challenge, due to the racism being prevalent among the men in the squad. 

Role:
Sgt. Eddie Towler
Starring:
Alan Ladd, James Darren, Glenn Corbett, Mort Sahl
Directed By:
Hall Bartlett
35. A Warm December (1973)
6
3
A Warm December
PG
6
3

On his trip to London with his daughter, Dr Matt Younger meets a beautiful dignitary Catherine Oswandu with whom he falls in love. However, strange men seem to be following her wherever she goes, and Dr Matt tries to find out who they are, and why they follow her.

Role:
Dr. Matt Younger
Starring:
George Baker, Johnny Sekka, Ester Anderson, Yvette Curtis
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
36. The Lost Man (1969)
5
3
The Lost Man
PG-13
5
3

Former US Army lieutenant Jason Higgs becomes a black militant during the 1960s Black Revolutionary Movement. He is forced to hide from the police when he commits a payroll heist in order to help his imprisoned brothers.

Role:
Jason Higgs
Starring:
Paul Winfield, Joanna Shimkus, Al Freeman Jr., Michael Tolan, Leon Bibb
Directed By:
Robert Alan Aurthur
37. Virgin Island (1958)
5
3
Virgin Island
5
3
Role:
Marcus
Starring:
John Cassavetes, Virginia Maskell, Isabel Dean, Colin Gordon
Directed By:
Pat Jackson
38. They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970)
10
4
They Call Me Mister Tibbs!
GP
10
4
Role:
Virgil Tibbs
Starring:
Martin Landau, Ed Asner, Edward Asner, Anthony Zerbe, Barbara McNair
Directed By:
Gordon Douglas
39. The Long Ships (1964)
7
4
The Long Ships
7
4
Role:
Aly Mansuh
Starring:
Richard Widmark, Oskar Homolka, Rosanna Schiaffino, Russ Tamblyn
Directed By:
Jack Cardiff
40. The Organization (1971)
6
4
The Organization
GP
6
4
Role:
Virgil Tibbs
Starring:
Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Sheree North, Barbara McNair, Fred Beir
Directed By:
Don Medford
41. Little Nikita (1988)
9
5
Little Nikita
PG
9
5

Jeffrey Nicolas Grant is a high school student who has applied for entry to the Air Force Academy. FBI agent Roy conducts a routine check, and he finds evidence that Grant and his family might be sleeper agents for the Soviet Union. He moves into a house across the street, and decides to keep an eye on them.  

Role:
Roy Parmenter
Starring:
River Phoenix, Richard Bradford, Richard Jenkins, Liver Phoenix, Caroline Kava
Directed By:
Richard Benjamin
42. The Mark of the Hawk (1957)
5
4
The Mark of the Hawk
5
4
Role:
Obam
Starring:
John McIntire, Eartha Kitt, Juano Hernandez, Helen Horton
Directed By:
Michael Audley
43. The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn (1999)
14
3
The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn
PG
14
3
Role:
Noah Dearborn
Starring:
Mary-Louise Parker, Dianne Wiest, George Newbern, Roxzane T. Mims
Directed By:
Gregg Champion
44. The Last Brickmaker in America (2001)
7
3
The Last Brickmaker in America
PG
7
3
Role:
Henry Cobb
Starring:
Jay O. Sanders, Piper Laurie, Wendy Crewson, Mert Hatfield
Directed By:
Gregg Champion
45. Mandela and de Klerk (1997)
8
3
Mandela and de Klerk
PG-13
8
3
Role:
Nelson Mandela
Starring:
Michael Caine, Tina Lifford, Gerry Maritz, Ian Roberts
Directed By:
Joseph Sargent
46. David and Lisa (1998)
7
3
David and Lisa
7
3
Role:
Dr. Jack Miller
Starring:
Brittany Murphy, Allison Janney, Debi Mazar, Lukas Haas
Directed By:
Lloyd Kramer
47. To Sir, with Love II (1996)
7
3
To Sir, with Love II
7
3
Role:
Mark Thackeray
Starring:
Fernando López, Dana Eskelson, Christian Payton, Casey Lluberes
Directed By:
Peter Bogdanovich
48. Free of Eden (1998)
5
3
Free of Eden
TV-MA
5
3
Role:
Will Cleamons
Starring:
Phylicia Rashad, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Robert Hooks, Khalil Kain
Directed By:
Leon Ichaso

Director

Stir Crazy (1980)
28
13
Stir Crazy
R
28
13

Two friends are wrongfully accused and convicted, after which they are sent to prison. They realize that they have no other choice but to make a foolproof escape plan. They soon realize that the annual rodeo competition may provide them with a perfect opportunity to escape.  

Starring:
Gene Wilder, Jonathan Banks, Craig T. Nelson, Richard Pryor, Georg Stanford Brown, JoBeth Williams
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
Let's Do It Again (1975)
10
4
Let's Do It Again
PG
10
4
Starring:
John Amos, Ossie Davis, Bill Cosby, Jimmie Walker, Calvin Lockhart
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
10
4
Uptown Saturday Night
PG
10
4

In order to raise funds for their charity, Clyde and Billy rig a boxing match. However, this puts them against a group of gangsters who lost their money.

Starring:
Richard Pryor, Harry Belafonte, Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
Buck and the Preacher (1972)
11
4
Buck and the Preacher
PG
11
4
Starring:
Harry Belafonte, Cameron Mitchell, Ruby Dee, Denny Miller
Directed By:
Joseph Sargent, Sidney Poitier
A Piece of the Action (1977)
8
4
A Piece of the Action
PG
8
4

A retired detective has all the evidences necessary for sending two smart thieves to jail. But he agrees to keep quiet provided they consent to work among delinquent youths. Having no other options, they soon start working as career counselors for equally unwilling inner city kids. But later as they start enjoying their job they find their past catching up with them. 

Starring:
James Earl Jones, Denise Nicholas, Bill Cosby, Hope Clarke
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
A Warm December (1973)
6
4
A Warm December
PG
6
4

On his trip to London with his daughter, Dr Matt Younger meets a beautiful dignitary Catherine Oswandu with whom he falls in love. However, strange men seem to be following her wherever she goes, and Dr Matt tries to find out who they are, and why they follow her.

Starring:
George Baker, Johnny Sekka, Ester Anderson, Yvette Curtis
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
Hanky Panky (1982)
6
5
Hanky Panky
PG
6
5
Starring:
Gilda Susan Radner, Richard Widmark, Gene Wilder, Kathleen Quinlan, Robert Prosky, Gilda Radner
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
Fast Forward (1985)
5
4
Fast Forward
PG
5
4
Starring:
Don Franklin, Gretchen Palmer, John Scott Clough, Tamara Mark, Tracy Silver
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier
Ghost Dad (1990)
8
9
Ghost Dad
PG
8
9

This fantasy comedy film tells the story of a workaholic widower named Hopper, who faces an accident during a cab ride, leading to his demise. He soon realizes that he is now a ghost, and tries to spend time with his children.

Starring:
Jonathan Brandis, Denise Nicholas, Bill Cosby, Christine Ebersole, Ian Bannen, Barry Corbin
Directed By:
Sidney Poitier

Special Appearance/Cameo

Sepia Cinderella (1947)
9
6
Sepia Cinderella
9
6

Barbara is a young woman who falls for a kind-hearted bandleader named Bob, who is unaware of her love. She helps him write a new song, which becomes a big hit and brings him much success. His sudden fame makes Bob abandon his former performing venue and he even loses touch with his friends. Soon, he gets involved with a devious female club owner who begins to take advantage of his success, and also seduces him, despite the fact that she is engaged. It doesn’t take much time for Bob’s career to crumble.

Role:
Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Starring:
Billy Daniels, Sheila Guyse, Tondaleyo, Ruble Blakey
Directed By:
Arthur H. Leonard

TV Shows

The Philco Television Playhouse
10
3
The Philco Television Playhouse
10
3
Starring:
Geraldine Page, Audra Lindley, John Carradine, Grace Kelly, Eli Wallach, Walter Matthau, Hume Cronyn
Directed By:
Delbert Mann, Fred Coe, Gordon Duff, Vincent J. Donehue, Arthur Penn
Kraft Television Theatre
8
2
Kraft Television Theatre
8
2
Starring:
Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Gena Rowlands, Art Carney, Christopher Plummer, Joel Grey, Eva Gabor
Directed By:
Maury Holland, Fred Carney, Fielder Cook, George Roy Hill
Separate But Equal
18
6
Separate But Equal
PG
18
6
Role:
Thurgood Marshall
Starring:
Burt Lancaster, Richard Kiley, Cleavon Little, Gloria Foster
Directed By:
George Stevens Jr.
CBS Television Workshop
6
3
CBS Television Workshop
6
3
Starring:
James Dean, Leslie Nielsen, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Robert Baines, John Baragrey, Harry Bellaver
Directed By:
Sidney Lumet, Curt Conway, Richard Franchot
Children of the Dust
14
7
Children of the Dust
R
14
7
Role:
Gypsy Smith
Starring:
Michael Moriarty, Farrah Fawcett, Jim Caviezel, Hart Bochner, Joanna Going
Directed By:
David Greene

Sidney Poitier Awards

Academy Awards
Lilies of the Field Best Actor in a Leading Role 1964
Golden Globe Awards
Winner World Film Favorite - Male 1969
Lilies of the Field Best Actor - Drama 1964
BAFTA Awards
The Defiant Ones Best Foreign Actor 1959
Grammy Awards
Winner Best Spoken Word Album 2001