Top 10s

Franc Roddam’s Top 10

Franc Roddam’s Top 10

Franc Roddam, the director of Quadrophenia, got his start working for British television in the seventies, making award-winning films like Mini and Dummy and the fly-on-the-wall series The Family. His other feature films include The Lords of Discipline, The Bride, War Party, and K2. Among his more recent television credits include directing the Golden Globe–nominated movie Moby Dick and creating the reality competition series Masterchef, which is shown in 150 countries worldwide. He is also the founder and chairman of Ziji Publishing; its many titles include The Last Templar, which has sold over five million copies worldwide.

  • The 400 Blows

    1.
    The 400 Blows

    François Truffaut

    Truffaut reportedly said his film was to be judged on its sincerity rather than its technical merit. The film is beautifully made, but Truffaut’s sincerity confirmed my path as a filmmaker. The 400 Blows strongly influenced my films Mini and Quadrophenia.

  • Bicycle Thieves

    2.
    Bicycle Thieves

    Vittorio De Sica

    Set in postwar Italy, this film brings a beautiful, brutal honesty to the plight of the have-nots. This is a fight for survival and dignity in an uncaring world.

  • The Killing

    3.
    The Killing

    Stanley Kubrick

    I loved this film before I knew who Stanley Kubrick was. Sterling Hayden’s portrayal of the ill-fated criminal is majestic and psychopathic. The mechanics of the heist are brilliant, but Kubrick lets us see how it’s only the flaws in the characters that bring it down.

  • Seduced and Abandoned

    4.
    Seduced and Abandoned

    Pietro Germi

    If I had to describe this film in three words, I would say: “Charm, charm, charm.” The beautiful Stefania Sandrelli is seduced by her sister’s fiancé, who then refuses to marry her because she’s no longer a virgin. The moral logic of the Italian family is hilarious.

  • Seven Samurai

    5.
    Seven Samurai

    Akira Kurosawa

    This is the template for many films, including The Magnificent Seven. The story is a brilliant construction, and the path of the heroes is eternally inspiring. Kurosawa directs action like no other. It’s an awe-inspiring film.

  • The Spirit of the Beehive

    6.
    The Spirit of the Beehive

    Víctor Erice

    This film is an epicurean delight: subtle, sensitive, and truly moving. This is a director in love with cinema.

  • Sweet Smell of Success

    7.
    Sweet Smell of Success

    Alexander Mackendrick

    It’s a bold film, made by a bold filmmaker. Director Mackendrick’s defense of the artist and the individual against a corrupt and malevolent press and its metaphor for corrupt government remains ever pertinent. The dialogue, written by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, is exceptional.

  • The Third Man

    8.
    The Third Man

    Carol Reed

    I defy anyone seeing this film for the first time not to gasp when Orson Welles suddenly appears in that doorway about a third of the way through. Directed by Carol Reed, screenplay by Graham Greene, this is top-drawer.

  • The Wages of Fear

    9.
    The Wages of Fear

    Henri-Georges Clouzot

    Clouzot’s version is a cinema tour de force. Tense from beginning to end, perfectly framed and edited, brilliantly acted. A must-see.

  • Wings of Desire

    10.
    Wings of Desire

    Wim Wenders

    Wings of Desire celebrates the joy and pathos of being human. It’s down-to-earth and magical at the same time. It’s conceptually a breakthrough film, and no one interested in storytelling and the human condition should miss seeing it.