Director Filmography Rankings

Ranking All Of Director Elia Kazan’s Movies

Elia Kazan Filmography Movie Ranking

“What are Elia Kazan’s Best Movies?” We looked at all of Kazan’s directed filmography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the movies directed by Elia Kazan and looked at his Rotten Tomato Critic, Rotten Tomato User, IMDB, and Letterboxd scores, ranking them against one another to see which movies came out on top. The movies are ranked in our list below based on which movies have the highest overall score between all 6 review sites in comparison with all of the other movies by the same director. The process is all very scientific with no flaws at all.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Viewing!



The Top Film’s Of Elia Kazan



19 ) The Sea of Grass (1947)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 16
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 18
  • IMDB User Review Score: 18
  • Letterboxd User Score: 19

Elia Kazan directs Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in an epic western melodrama.

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18 ) The Visitors (1972)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 18
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 17
  • Letterboxd User Score: 15

Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their cosy house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez. Mike and Tony are old acquaintances of Bill; a few years back, in Vietnam, they were in the same platoon. They also became opposed parties in a court martial – for a reason that Bill never explained to Martha. What happened in Vietnam, and what is the reason for the presence of Mike and Tony ?

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17 ) The Last Tycoon (1976)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 15
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 17
  • IMDB User Review Score: 19
  • Letterboxd User Score: 17

F.Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is brought to life in this story of a movie producer slowly working himself to death.

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16 ) The Arrangement (1969)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 15
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 17

Eddie is a very rich man who has everything he wants; money, family, success. But a car crash is all that needs to make him reconsider the life he leads. Searching for the happiness he lost, he remembers his one time lover, Gwen. Meanwhile his wife conspires to take his fortune.

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15 ) Pinky (1949)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 14
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 15

Pinky, a light skinned black woman, returns to her grandmother’s house in the South after graduating from a Northern nursing school. Pinky tells her grandmother that she has been “passing” for white while at school in the North. In addition, Pinky has fallen in love with a young white doctor, Dr. Thomas Adams, who knows nothing about her black heritage. Pinky says that she will return to the North, but Granny Johnson convinces her to stay and treat an ailing white woman, Miss Em. Meanwhile, Dr. Canady, a black physician from another part of the state, visits Pinky and asks her to train some Negro students, but she declines. Pinky nurses Miss Em but is resentful because she seems to feel that she is doing the same thing her grandmother did. Pinky and Miss Em slowly develop a mutual respect for one another. Mrs. Em leaves Pinky her property when she dies, but relatives of the deceased woman contest the new will in court.

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14 ) Man on a Tightrope (1953)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 18
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 10
  • IMDB User Review Score: 15
  • Letterboxd User Score: 11

Elia Kazan’s 1953 film stars Fredric March as the owner of an impoverished circus in Communist-ruled Czechoslovokia who plots to flee across the border to freedom, taking his entire troupe of performers and wild animals with him. The cast also includes Gloria Grahame, Terry Moore, Cameron Mitchell, Richard Boone and Adolphe Menjou.

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13 ) Boomerang! (1947)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 11
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 11

In a quiet Connecticut town, a kindly priest is murdered while waiting at a street corner. The citizens are horrified and demand action from the police. All of the witnesses identify John Waldron, a nervous out-of-towner, as the killer. Although Waldron vehemently denies the crime, no one will believe him. District Attorney Henry Harvey is then put on the case and faces political opposition in his attempt to prove Waldron’s innocence. Based on a true story.

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12 ) Viva Zapata! (1952)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 11
  • IMDB User Review Score: 9
  • Letterboxd User Score: 11

The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century.

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11 ) Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 11
  • IMDB User Review Score: 11
  • Letterboxd User Score: 11

A magazine writer poses as a Jew to expose anti-Semitism.

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10 ) Panic in the Streets (1950)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 6
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 13
  • IMDB User Review Score: 12
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

One night in the New Orleans slums, vicious hoodlum Blackie and his friends kill an illegal immigrant who won too much in a card game. Next morning, Dr. Clint Reed of the Public Health Service confirms the dead man had pneumonic plague. To prevent a catastrophic epidemic, Clint must find and inoculate the killers and their associates, with the reluctant aid of police captain Tom Warren, despite official skepticism, and in total secrecy, lest panic empty the city. Can a doctor turn detective? He has 48 hours to try…

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9 ) America America (1963)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 12
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 7
  • IMDB User Review Score: 6
  • Letterboxd User Score: 8

A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family’s fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to America

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8 ) Baby Doll (1956)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 9
  • IMDB User Review Score: 9
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

Based on a play by Tennessee Williams, “Baby Doll” centers on Archie Lee Meighan (Karl Malden), a failing cotton gin owner who is married to Baby Doll (Carroll Baker), a 19-year old childlike beauty whose father arranged the marriage for financial reasons. As Archie awaits the arrival of Baby Doll’s 20th birthday, the day that they are supposed to consummate their marriage, he faces interference from business rival Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach), who plots to seduce Baby Doll away from Meighan.

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7 ) Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 9
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 4
  • IMDB User Review Score: 6
  • Letterboxd User Score: 7

A fragile Kansas girl’s unrequited and forbidden love for a handsome young man from the town’s most powerful family drives her to heartbreak and madness.

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6 ) Wild River (1960)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 8
  • IMDB User Review Score: 8
  • Letterboxd User Score: 6

A young field administrator for the TVA comes to rural Tennessee to oversee the building of a dam on the Tennessee River. He encounters opposition from the local people, in particular a farmer who objects to his employment (with pay) of local black laborers. Much of the plot revolves around the eviction of an elderly woman from her home on an island in the River, and the young man’s love affair with that woman’s widowed granddaughter.

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5 ) East of Eden (1955)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 4
  • IMDB User Review Score: 4
  • Letterboxd User Score: 5

In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at every turn, from his reaction to the war, to how to get ahead in business and in life, to how to relate to estranged mother.

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4 ) A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 4
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 4
  • IMDB User Review Score: 4
  • Letterboxd User Score: 3

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

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3 ) A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 2
  • IMDB User Review Score: 1
  • Letterboxd User Score: 2

“A Face in the Crowd” charts the rise of a raucous hayseed named Lonesome Rhodes from itinerant Ozark guitar picker to local media rabble-rouser to TV superstar and political king-maker. Marcia Jeffries is the innocent Sarah Lawrence girl who discovers the great man in a back-country jail and is the first to fall under his spell.

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2 ) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 3
  • IMDB User Review Score: 3
  • Letterboxd User Score: 4

In Brooklyn circa 1900, the Nolans manage to enjoy life on pennies despite great poverty and Papa’s alcoholism. We come to know these people well through big and little troubles: Aunt Sissy’s scandalous succession of “husbands”; the removal of the one tree visible from their tenement; and young Francie’s desire to transfer to a better school…if irresponsible Papa can get his act together.

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1 ) On the Waterfront (1954)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 4
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 1
  • IMDB User Review Score: 1
  • Letterboxd User Score: 1

Terry Malloy dreams about being a prize fighter, while tending his pigeons and running errands at the docks for Johnny Friendly, the corrupt boss of the dockers union. Terry witnesses a murder by two of Johnny’s thugs, and later meets the dead man’s sister and feels responsible for his death. She introduces him to Father Barry, who tries to force him to provide information for the courts that will smash the dock racketeers.

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Elia Kazan’s Best Movies



Elia Kazan Review Website Filmography Rankings

Film RT Critic RT User IMDB Letterboxd Overal Rank
On the Waterfront 4 1 1 1 1
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 1 3 3 4 2
A Face in the Crowd 7 2 1 2 3
A Streetcar Named Desire 4 4 4 3 4
East of Eden 8 4 4 5 5
Wild River 1 8 8 6 6
Splendor in the Grass 9 4 6 7 7
Baby Doll 1 9 9 9 8
America America 12 7 6 8 9
Panic in the Streets 6 13 12 9 10
Gentleman’s Agreement 10 11 11 11 11
Viva Zapata! 14 11 9 11 12
Boomerang! 11 16 13 11 13
Man on a Tightrope 18 10 15 11 14
Pinky 13 14 13 15 15
The Arrangement 17 15 16 17 16
The Last Tycoon 15 17 19 17 17
The Visitors 18 19 17 15 18
The Sea of Grass 16 18 18 19 19

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