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Ranking All Of Director Fred Zinnemann’s Movies

Fred Zinnemann Filmography Movie Ranking Movies

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

We took all of the movies directed by Fred Zinnemann and looked at their 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 Fred Zinnemann



31 ) While America Sleeps (1939)

 While America Sleeps (1939) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 31
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

An episode in the “Crime Does Not Pay” series. Dave Miller, an aircraft plant worker, is actually selling secret bomber plans to foreign agents. United States Intelligence Department agents plan to trap him and the spies he works for.

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30 ) The Old South (1940)

 The Old South (1940) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 30
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

Chronicle of the importance of cotton to the economy and culture of the American South.

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29 ) Little Mister Jim (1947)

 Little Mister Jim (1947) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 29
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

After his mother’s death, a young boy tries to help his father stop drinking.

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28 ) My Brother Talks to Horses (1947)

 My Brother Talks to Horses (1947) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 27
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

Living with his family in Baltimore, 9-year-old Lewie Penrose claims that he can converse with horses–and also pick the winners of upcoming races. When it appears as though Lewie is telling the truth, he attracts the interest of gambler Rich Roeder who needs a “sure thing” in the upcoming Preakness. Meanwhile, Lewie’s older brother John carries on a romance with the lovely Martha.

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26 ) Forbidden Passage (1941)

 Forbidden Passage (1941) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 25
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

This entry in MGM’s series of shorts, “Crime Doesn’t Pay”, features the U.S. Department of Immigration’s efforts to halt the smuggling of illegal aliens into the country. Desperate immigrants, tired of waiting for legal entry, pay exorbitant fees and risk a grisly death to enter by illegal means.

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26 ) Help Wanted (1939)

 Help Wanted (1939) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 25
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

Starring Tom Neal as a temporary laborer who helps bring down a mob-sponsored employment racket

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22 ) Five Days One Summer (1982)

 Five Days One Summer (1982) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 16
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 17
  • IMDB User Review Score: 27
  • Letterboxd User Score: 19

A 1930s Scottish doctor (Sean Connery) goes climbing in the Alps with an infatuated niece (Betsy Brantley) he passes off as his wife.

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22 ) Friend Indeed (1937)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 22
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

Pete Smith tells the story of ‘Sparky’, a German shepherd dog trained to lead his blind master, a country doctor who lost his sight in a fire, and now has to depend upon the dog to lead him in his daily rounds. ‘Sparky” was the dog who was responsible for the Interstate Commerce Commission passing a special ruling allowing guide-dogs to travel first-class in Pullman cars to accompany their blind partner, and not as animals confined to the baggage car. Smith shows how ‘Sparky’ went to Washington D. C. with his master and helped sell the change to the legislators.

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22 ) That Mothers Might Live (1938)

 That Mothers Might Live (1938) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 22
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

This short tells the story of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818-1865), a Hungarian physician. He was the first to realize that the deaths of new mothers could be significantly reduced simply by requiring doctors to wash their hands before treating a patient.

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22 ) Weather Wizards (1939)

 Weather Wizards (1939) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 22
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

Modern meteorology and a hard-working government weather team put their science and organization to work as a cold front moves from Alaska toward the citrus groves of Southern California. First, the scientists predict the storm’s course, giving several days’ warning to farmers and growers. The growers, typified by the Morgan family, prepare the oil-burning pots throughout their grove. Then, as the temperature dips below freezing, they light the pots. The cold snap continues as oil-supplies dwindle; the smoky air slows traffic, including trucks bringing more oil. The scientists strive to predict how long freezing temperatures will last: can the Morgans hold out?

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21 ) The Lady or the Tiger? (1946)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 19
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

Author Frank R. Stockton, often asked the question, finally decides to divulge the untold ending of his story, The Lady or the Tiger?

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20 ) Eyes in the Night (1942)

 Eyes in the Night (1942) Review Website Ranks:

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

Tale of a blind detective (Edward Arnold) who tries to outwit Nazi spies and to solve a murder.

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19 ) Markheim (1956)

 Markheim (1956) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 11
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

Fred Zinnemann directs this adaptation of a Robert Louis Stevenson story for Screen Directors Playhouse. Starring Ray Milland and Rod Steiger.

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18 ) Teresa (1951)

 Teresa (1951) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 21
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

An Italian war bride has problems dealing with her husband’s possessive mother.

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17 ) Redes (1936)

 Redes (1936) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 8

A Mexican fisherman, whose son has died because he could not afford necessary medical care out of his meagre wages, becomes aware of how badly exploited he and his many fellow fisherman are by the one greedy man for whom they work and the corrupt politician who makes the laws to benefit him.

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16 ) The Member of the Wedding (1952)

 The Member of the Wedding (1952) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 15
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 15

Carson McCullers stage hit brought to the screen by Fred Zinnemann starring Ethel Waters and Julie Harris. Tomboy Julie Harris dreams of running away with her brother and new fiancee away from the Deep South.

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15 ) Kid Glove Killer (1942)

 Kid Glove Killer (1942) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 18
  • Letterboxd User Score: 19

Van Heflin stars as the head of a city crime lab who tries to solve the murder of the town mayor by scientifically analyzing evidence.

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14 ) The Sundowners (1960)

 The Sundowners (1960) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 14
  • IMDB User Review Score: 11
  • Letterboxd User Score: 15

In the Australian Outback, the Carmody family–Paddy, Ida and their teenage son Sean–are sheep drovers, always on the move. Ida and Sean want to settle down and buy a farm. Paddy wants to keep moving. A sheep-shearing contest, the birth of a child, drinking, gambling and a race horse will all have a part in the final decision.

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13 ) A Hatful of Rain (1957)

 A Hatful of Rain (1957) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 9
  • IMDB User Review Score: 10
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

Based on the stage play by Michael V. Gazzo, this noir-stained drama provides a searing look at the emotional carnage of a drug addicted ex-G.I. (Don Murray) along with his family and friends. Perhaps the harshest and most realistic perspective of a grim topic that holds up better than any other film of its type.

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11 ) The Men (1950)

 The Men (1950) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 15
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 9
  • IMDB User Review Score: 11
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

Fred Zinnemann’s sensitive film on the plight of paraplegic WWII veterans features Marlon Brando in his superbly moving screen debut. He plays Lt. Bud Wilozek, one of a group of veterans recovering in the paraplegic ward of a hospital in his hometown. His former fiancée, Ellen (Teresa Wright), explains to his physician, Dr. Brock (Everett Sloane), her concern about his isolation and apparent depression since he has broken their engagment and refuses to see her. He counsels her to be patient, but when he decides to broach the issue with Bud, the embittered patient reacts angrily to the doctor’s intrusiveness, and continues to refuse to see Ellen. The doctor cajoles the withdrawn paraplegic into the life of the ward, where fellow patients begin to pull Bud out of his spiritual miasma. At length, his sense of hope starts to return, and after seeing Ellen for the first time in months, he begins to contemplate the possibility of marriage.

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11 ) Behold a Pale Horse (1964)

 Behold a Pale Horse (1964) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 11
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 9
  • IMDB User Review Score: 15
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

Manuel Artiguez, a famous bandit during the Spanish civil war, has lived in French exile for 20 years. When his mother is dying he considers visiting her secretly in his Spanish home town. But his biggest enemy, the Spanish police officer Vinolas, prepared a trap at the hospital as a chance to finally catch Artiguez.

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10 ) Julia (1977)

 Julia (1977) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 12
  • IMDB User Review Score: 8
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany.

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9 ) Oklahoma! (1955)

 Oklahoma! (1955) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 4
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 8
  • IMDB User Review Score: 11
  • Letterboxd User Score: 15

This joyous celebration of frontier life combines tender romance and violent passion in the Oklahoma Territory of the 1900’s, with a timeless score filled with unforgettable songs. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s hit Broadway musical.

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8 ) The Seventh Cross (1944)

 The Seventh Cross (1944) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 13
  • IMDB User Review Score: 8
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The seventh cross is still empty as George Heisler seeks freedom in Holland.

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7 ) Act of Violence (1949)

 Act of Violence (1949) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 7
  • IMDB User Review Score: 7
  • Letterboxd User Score: 3

A former prisoner of war, Frank Enley is hailed as a hero in his California town. However, Frank actually aided his Nazi captors, and he closely guards this secret. Frank’s shameful past comes back to visit him when fellow survivor Joe Parkson emerges, intent on making the turncoat pay for his betrayal. As Joe closes in on Frank, the traitor goes into hiding, abandoning his wife, Edith, who has no clue about her husband’s wartime transgressions.

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6 ) The Nun’s Story (1959)

 The Nun's Story (1959) Review Website Ranks:

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

Gabrielle Van Der Mal gave up everything to become a nun. But her faith and her vows are forever being tested: first in the missionary Congo hospital where she assists the brilliant and handsome Dr. Fortunati and then at the mother house in France when World War II has broken out and the nuns are forbidden by the order to take sides.

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5 ) A Man for All Seasons (1966)

 A Man for All Seasons (1966) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 12
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 4
  • IMDB User Review Score: 2
  • Letterboxd User Score: 3

A Man for All Seasons is the filmed version of the life of Thomas More. An English man comes to Sir Thomas More to ask if he can divorce his wife since King Henry VIII has made it illegal. Sir Thomas More stands up in opposition to the King even though he knows he’s risking his own life. An award winning film from 1966.

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4 ) From Here to Eternity (1953)

 From Here to Eternity (1953) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 5
  • IMDB User Review Score: 5
  • Letterboxd User Score: 3

In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit’s team, while his captain’s wife and second in command are falling in love.

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3 ) The Day of the Jackal (1973)

 The Day of the Jackal (1973) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 3
  • IMDB User Review Score: 4
  • Letterboxd User Score: 2

An international assassin known as ‘The Jackal’ is employed by disgruntled French generals to kill President Charles de Gaulle, with a dedicated gendarme on the assassin’s trail.

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2 ) The Search (1948)

 The Search (1948) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 1
  • IMDB User Review Score: 2
  • Letterboxd User Score: 6

In postwar Germany, a displaced Czech boy, separated from his family during wartime, is befriended by an American GI while the boy’s mother desperately searches for him.

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1 ) High Noon (1952)

 High Noon (1952) Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 4
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 2
  • IMDB User Review Score: 1
  • Letterboxd User Score: 1

High Noon is about Will Kane, the sheriff of a small town in the New Mexico Territory, who learns a notorious outlaw he put in jail has been freed, and will be arriving on the noon train. Knowing the outlaw and his gang are coming to kill him, Kane is determined to stand his ground. He attempts to gather a posse from among the local townspeople.

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Fred Zinnemann’s Best Movies



Fred Zinnemann Review Website Filmography Rankings

Film RT Critic RT User IMDB Letterboxd Overal Rank
High Noon (1952) 4 2 1 1 1
The Search (1948) 1 1 2 6 2
The Day of the Jackal (1973) 8 3 4 2 3
From Here to Eternity (1953) 7 5 5 3 4
A Man for All Seasons (1966) 12 4 2 3 5
The Nun’s Story (1959) 6 6 6 6 6
Act of Violence (1949) 8 7 7 3 7
The Seventh Cross (1944) 1 13 8 9 8
Oklahoma! (1955) 4 8 11 15 9
Julia (1977) 14 12 8 9 10
The Men (1950) 15 9 11 9 11
Behold a Pale Horse (1964) 11 9 15 9 11
A Hatful of Rain (1957) 17 9 10 9 13
The Sundowners (1960) 13 14 11 15 14
Kid Glove Killer (1942) 1 16 18 19 15
The Member of the Wedding (1952) 10 15 16 15 16
Redes (1936) 17 19 16 8 17
Teresa (1951) 17 19 21 9 18
Markheim (1956) 17 19 11 21 19
Eyes in the Night (1942) 17 18 19 15 20
The Lady or the Tiger? (1946) 17 19 19 21 21
Five Days One Summer (1982) 16 17 27 19 22
Friend Indeed (1937) 17 19 22 21 22
That Mothers Might Live (1938) 17 19 22 21 22
Weather Wizards (1939) 17 19 22 21 22
Forbidden Passage (1941) 17 19 25 21 26
Help Wanted (1939) 17 19 25 21 26
My Brother Talks to Horses (1947) 17 19 27 21 28
Little Mister Jim (1947) 17 19 29 21 29
The Old South (1940) 17 19 30 21 30
While America Sleeps (1939) 17 19 31 21 31

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