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I think Kubrick would have loved The Criterion Collection if he was still alive today and quite a lot of the films that have been cited as his favorites are in the collection.
Since Kubrick was such a famously reclusive (or "private" as he preferred to call it) and rarely interviewed person, it's very interesting to get a glimpse what kind of films that inspired and entertained him.
(I've compiled most of the information on this list from interviews with Kubrick's family, friends and colleagues and an interview he did in 1963)
I have presented these films here in no particular order.
Cited films that aren't in the collection: Eraserhead, Citizen Kane, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Godfather, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dog Day Afternoon, City Lights, La Notte, Roxie Hart, Hell's Angels, An American Werewolf in London, Metropolis, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Abigail's Party, Roger & Me and oddly enough White Men Can't Jump, Modern Romance and The Jerk.
(sources: http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/faq/index3.html, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLSWR2EnHEs, http://www.lettersofnote.com/2011/07/you-are-greatest-film-maker-at-work.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If...., more to be added later)
Since Kubrick actually worked with Olivier during the making of Spartacus in 1959 I was fascinated to learn that he considered Henry V one of his favorite films. Looking back at Kubrick's films now one suddenly notice what an important influence Olivier was on his films.(I wonder if Olivier might have given Kubrick directorial tips while they were filming Spartacus.)
"Your vision of life has moved me deeply, much more deeply than I have ever been moved by any films. I believe you are the greatest film-maker at work today" - appraisal from Kubrick in a letter sent to Ingmar Bergman in February 1960.
(The whole letter can be read at Lettersofnote.com)
"Highest of all I would rate Max Ophuls, who for me possessed every possible quality. He has an exceptional flair for sniffing out good subjects, and he got the most out of them. He was also a marvellous director of actors." - "I particularly admired his fluid camera techniques." - excerpt from an interview by US publication Cinema in 1963.
On March 25, 1957 Kubrick was shooting a scene for Paths of Glory which consisted of a single long panning shot. The shot was apparently quite a strain for the actors and after they had finished for the day Kubrick confided to one of them that he had done it as a tribute to Max Ophuls who had died earlier that day.(The play La Ronde was based on was written by Arthur Schnitzler who also wrote Traumnovelle ('Dream Story') which was the basis for Kubrick's last film Eyes Wide Shut.)
Kubrick allegedly decided to cast Malcolm McDowell for A Clockwork Orange immediately after he saw If.... and wouldn't make the film unless he could get him for the role.
Kubrick also refused to give McDowell any advice on how to play his character and would simply tell him "acting's your job, not mine". McDowell then called Lindsay Anderson to get advice and relates the story as such: "[Anderson] said 'Malcolm, this is how you play the part: there is a scene of you, a close-up in if...., where you open the doors to the gymnasium, to be beaten. You get a close-up.' He said 'do you remember...' I said 'yes. I smiled'. He said 'that's right. You gave them that smile. That sort of ironic smile, and that's how you play Alex'."
Tarkovsky supposedly made Solaris in an attempt to one up on Kubrick after he had seen 2001: A Space Odyssey (which he referred to as cold and sterile). Interestingly enough Kubrick apparently really liked Solaris and I'm sure he found it amusing that it was marketed as the "the Russian answer to 2001".
In a really odd reversal the scene where Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in The Shining chops through a bathroom door with and ax in an attempt to reach his wife and son so he can murder them is a direct tribute to a scene in The Phantom Carriage where David Holm (Sjöström) does the same to get through a locked door to reach his frightened wife and children.What's really funny is that the scene in The Phantom Carriage was already a tribute to D. W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms where a man breaks through a closet door with a hatchet to reach his daughter who is hiding from him.
According to Kubrick's biographer; John Baxter, Kubrick decided to make The Shining after he had seen Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, because he didn't like the idea of someone making such good horror films without having been allowed to make one himself to prove that he could do it just as well, if not better.