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Martin Scorsese’s Favorite Movies: 50 Films the Director Wants You to See

Movies from the U.S, India, South Korea, Senegal, Italy, and more make up an impressive list of Scorsese's favorite films.

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese

AP/Warner Bros/A24/Everett

Martin Scorsese is not just one of the greatest filmmakers of all time — he’s one of the greatest cinephiles. And Scorsese’s favorite movies are as wide-ranging in genre, year of release, and national origin as you might imagine, from Ti West’s “Pearl” to the horror films of Val Lewton and the films of Senegalese master Djibril Diop Mambety. His knowledge of film history suffuses his filmmaking as well: Many have noted how Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito shooting into the camera at the end of “Goodfellas” is a nod to the final shot of “The Great Train Robbery.” But “Shutter Island” throws back to film noir, and even something like “The Wolf of Wall Street,” with its heady mixture of depravity and moralism, seems inflected by his love of Cecil B. DeMille.

Of course, Scorsese has also been an unflagging champion of film preservation and discovery, helping to restore many films through his Film Foundation and World Cinema Project. He’s also talked at length about his personal favorites in his documentaries “A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies” (which it must be noted, has supplied a great deal of the films below), “My Voyage to Italy,” and “Letter to Elia.”

Below is an incomplete list of 50 of Scorsese’s favorite movies, starting with one in theaters right now.

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