Art/Photography, Best Movies, Drama, History, Romance

Ranking All Of Director James Ivory’s Movies

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

We took all of the movies directed by James Ivory 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 4 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 James Ivory



29 ) Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980)

Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 26
  • IMDB User Review Score: 28
  • Letterboxd User Score: 25

Two teachers vie for the right to stage a play written by Jane Austen when she was twelve years old.



28 ) The Guru (1969)

The Guru (1969)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 26
  • IMDB User Review Score: 22
  • Letterboxd User Score: 25

Britain’s top pop artiste, Tom Pickle, travels to Bombay, India, circa 1960s to learn to play the sitar from renowned maestro Ustad Zafar Khan.



26 ) Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie’s Pictures (1978)

Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures (1978)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 25
  • IMDB User Review Score: 20
  • Letterboxd User Score: 25

This lighthearted romp through Royal India presents a world of Maharajas, palaces, imperiled art objects, and the foreign collectors who will stop at nothing to possess them. Peggy Ashcroft and Larry Pine star as two rapacious art collectors who come to the decaying Art Deco palace of a young Maharaja (Victor Banerjee) to examine a legendary collection of Indian miniature paintings. While vying with each other to get the pictures away from the royal couple—nicknamed Georgie and Bonnie as children by their Scottish governess—they must also divine the true motives of the Indian curator of the collection (Saeed Jaffrey), who, in league with the Maharaja’s beautiful sister (Aparna Sen), may be working against them. Amidst the backdrop of lavish tourist entertainments, Christmas parties, fireworks, and even an English ghost, a desperate game of palace intrigue will determine the ultimate resting place of the priceless paintings.



26 ) The Divorce (2003)

The Divorce (2003)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 16
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 28
  • Letterboxd User Score: 24

While visiting her sister in Paris, a young woman finds romance and learns her brother-in-law is a philanderer.



25 ) Autobiography of a Princess (1975)

Autobiography of a Princess (1975)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 26
  • IMDB User Review Score: 18
  • Letterboxd User Score: 25

On the birthday of her late father, a deposed Maharaja, a displaced Indian princess living in London and his former private secretary watch home movies and reminisce about royal India.



24 ) The Wild Party (1975)

The Wild Party (1975)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 24
  • IMDB User Review Score: 25
  • Letterboxd User Score: 19

Loosely based on the Fatty Arbuckle scandal, an aging silent movie comic star tries for a comeback by staging a wild party that turns into a sexual free-for-all. The comic ends up killing his mistress and her latest boyfriend.



23 ) Jefferson in Paris (1995)

Jefferson in Paris (1995)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 18
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 23
  • Letterboxd User Score: 23

His wife having recently died, Thomas Jefferson accepts the post of United States ambassador to pre-revolutionary France, though he finds it difficult to adjust to life in a country where the aristocracy subjugates an increasingly restless peasantry. In Paris, he becomes smitten with cultured artist Maria Cosway, but, when his daughter visits from Virginia accompanied by her attractive slave, Sally Hemings, Jefferson’s attentions are diverted.



22 ) Bombay Talkie (1970)

Bombay Talkie (1970)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 23
  • IMDB User Review Score: 23
  • Letterboxd User Score: 14

An English novelist travels to Bombay to watch one of her novels translated to film. She chases after the Movie’s leading man while the Screenwriter chases after her.



21 ) The 5:48

The 5:48

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 26
  • IMDB User Review Score: 2
  • Letterboxd User Score: 25

The Five Forty-Eight, drawn from a Cheever story about the fictional New York suburb of Shady Hill, concerns an advertising man, John Blake (Laurence Luckinbill), who is emotionally estranged from his wife and those around him. His disturbed secretary, Miss Dent (Mary Beth Hurt), whom he has seduced and then fired and discarded, pursues him harrowingly, and in a final scene in which she holds him at gunpoint in a field beyond the Shady Hill railroad station, she forces him to confront the squalor of his life.



20 ) The Golden Bowl (2000)

The Golden Bowl (2000)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 12
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 15
  • IMDB User Review Score: 20
  • Letterboxd User Score: 22

An intricately plotted tale of thwarted love and betrayal, “The Golden Bowl” tells the story of an extravagantly rich American widower and his sheltered daughter, both of whom marry only to discover that their respective mates, a beautiful American expatriate and an impoverished Italian aristocrat, are entangled with one another in a romantic intrigue of seduction and deceit.



18 ) Roseland (1977)

Roseland (1977)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 21
  • IMDB User Review Score: 18
  • Letterboxd User Score: 8

“Roseland” is made up of three stories, sometimes connecting, all set in the famed New York dance palace, and all having the same theme: finding the right dance partner.



18 ) Slaves of New York (1989)

Slaves of New York (1989)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 19
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 7
  • IMDB User Review Score: 27
  • Letterboxd User Score: 14

Meet the denizens of New York City: artists, prostitutes, saints, and seers. All are aspiring toward either fame or oblivion, and hoping for love and acceptance. Instead they find high rents, faithless partners, and dead-end careers.



17 ) Quartet (1981)

Quartet (1981)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 14

Quartet is the story of a girl who, adrift with her feckless husband amidst the literati of glittering Paris in the 1920s, becomes entrapped by a rich and sybaritic English couple. Adapted from the wistful, melancholy autobiographical novel by Jean Rhys, Quartet is full of intense confrontations dazzlingly acted by Alan Bates, Maggie Smith, Anthony Higgins, and Isabelle Adjani. This is one of the Merchant Ivory team’s darkest and most compelling dramas of dangerously intertwined relationships.



16 ) The City of Your Final Destination (2009)

The City of Your Final Destination (2009)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 15
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 14
  • Letterboxd User Score: 18

28-year-old Kansas University doctoral student Omar Razaghi wins a grant to write a biography of Latin American writer Jules Gund. Omar must get through to three people who were close to Gund–his brother, widow, and younger mistress–so he can get authorization to write the biography. Written by Marisa_Gabriella, edited by Krystal Frauendienst



15 ) Surviving Picasso (1996)

Surviving Picasso (1996)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 10
  • IMDB User Review Score: 14
  • Letterboxd User Score: 19

The passionate Merchant-Ivory drama tells the story of Francoise Gilot, the only lover of Pablo Picasso who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty and move on with her life.



14 ) Savages (1972)

Savages (1972)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 12
  • IMDB User Review Score: 25
  • Letterboxd User Score: 8

A tribe of primitive “mudpeople” encounter a croquet ball, rolling through their forest. Following it, they find themselves on a vast, deserted Long Island estate. Entering, they begin to become civilized and assume the stereotypical roles and dress of people at a weekend party. There follows an allegory of upper-class behavior. At last, they begin to devolve toward their original status, and after a battle at croquet, they disappear into the woods.



13 ) The Bostonians (1984)

The Bostonians (1984)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 6
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 17
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 19

Based on Henry James’s novel of the same name. This bittersweet tragicomedy centers on an odd triangle of characters: Basil Ransom, a political conservative from Mississippi; Olive Chancellor, Ransom’s cousin and a Boston feminist; and Verena Tarrant, a pretty, young protégée of Olive’s in the feminist movement. The storyline concerns the struggle between Ransom and Olive for Verena’s allegiance and affection, though the film also includes a wide panorama of political activists, newspaper people, and quirky eccentrics.



12 ) The Europeans (1979)

The Europeans (1979)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 11
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 18
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 11

Based on Henry James’ novel with the same title. It’s the fall of 1850, a few miles outside Boston. The household of the dour Mr. Wentworth receives two unannounced visitors from Europe, Eugenia and Felix, the daughter and son of his half sister. Gertrude, one of Wentworth’s two daughters, is instantly infatuated with her cousins, thinking them sophisticated and worldly. She turns her back on the local Unitarian minister, Mr. Brand, who has been calling on her, to delight in the pleasure and amusement Felix offers. Another wealthy neighbor, Mr. Acton, is attracted to Eugenia, who is going through a divorce with a European aristocrat. Are the Americans being used by the penniless Europeans? Or is there real affection?



11 ) The White Countess (2005)

The White Countess (2005)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 13
  • IMDB User Review Score: 10
  • Letterboxd User Score: 14

The last movie from the team of Ismail Merchant, James Ivory, and Kazuo Ishiguro. Set in 1930s Shanghai, “The White Countess” is both Sofia (Natasha Richardson), a fallen member of the Russian aristocracy, and a nightclub created by a blind American diplomat named Jackson (Ralph Fiennes), who asks Sofia to be the centerpiece of the world he wants to create.



9 ) The Householder (1963)

The Householder (1963)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 9
  • IMDB User Review Score: 7
  • Letterboxd User Score: 8

Follows the fortunes of a young teacher Prem (Shashi Kapoor) who isn’t ready to take on the responsibilities of his arranged marriage.



9 ) Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990)

Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 9
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 14
  • IMDB User Review Score: 10
  • Letterboxd User Score: 11

It’s about a five member family. The father is a conservative and traditional person who directs the family. The mother is at home, she tries to hold together the family, while Mr. Bridge works as a lawyer. The children have just grown up, and the complications are derived from that they have a more modern view of life.



8 ) Heat and Dust (1983)

Heat and Dust (1983)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 11
  • IMDB User Review Score: 10
  • Letterboxd User Score: 11

The parallel story of Anne and her grand-aunt Olivia in their experiences in India



7 ) A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998)

A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 6
  • IMDB User Review Score: 7
  • Letterboxd User Score: 5

This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotional slice-of-life story. Jones is portrayed here portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero turned author who combats alcoholism and is starting to experience health problems. Living in France with his wife, daughter, and an adopted son, the family travels an unconventional road which casts them as outsiders to others. Preaching a sexual freedom, his daughter’s sexual discovery begins at an early age and betrays her when the family moves to Hanover in America. Her overt sexuality clashes with the values of her teenage American peers and gives her a problematic reputation. Meanwhile, her brooding brother copes with his own interior pain regarding his past, only comfortable communicating within the domestic space.



6 ) Shakespeare-Wallah (1965)

Shakespeare-Wallah (1965)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 8
  • IMDB User Review Score: 7
  • Letterboxd User Score: 5

The story of a family troupe of English actors who travel around the towns and villages in India giving performances of Shakespearean plays. Through their travels we see the changing face of India as the old is replaced by the new, Maharajas become hotel owners, sports become more important than culture and the theater is replaced by Bollywood movies. Based on the travels of Geoffrey Kendal with his daughter Felicity Kendal.



5 ) Lumière and Company (1995)

Lumière and Company (1995)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 5
  • IMDB User Review Score: 6
  • Letterboxd User Score: 5

40 international directors were asked to make a short film using the original Cinematographe invented by the Lumière Brothers, working under conditions similar to those of 1895. There were three rules: (1) The film could be no longer than 52 seconds, (2) no synchronized sound was permitted, and (3) no more than three takes. The results run the gamut from Zhang Yimou’s convention-thwarting joke to David Lynch’s bizarre miniature epic.



4 ) Howards End (1992)

Howards End (1992)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 5
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 4
  • IMDB User Review Score: 4
  • Letterboxd User Score: 3

A saga of class relations and changing times in an Edwardian England on the brink of modernity, the film centers on liberal Margaret Schlegel, who, along with her sister Helen, becomes involved with two couples: wealthy, conservative industrialist Henry Wilcox and his wife Ruth, and the downwardly mobile working-class Leonard Bast and his mistress Jackie.



3 ) A Room with a View (1985)

A Room with a View (1985)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 3
  • IMDB User Review Score: 5
  • Letterboxd User Score: 4

When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperon Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Meeting the Emersons could change Lucy’s life forever but, once back in England, how will her experiences in Tuscany affect her marriage plans?



2 ) Maurice (1987)

Maurice (1987)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 3
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 2
  • IMDB User Review Score: 2
  • Letterboxd User Score: 1

After his lover rejects him, a young man trapped by the oppressiveness of Edwardian society tries to come to terms with and accept his sexuality.



1 ) The Remains of the Day (1993)

The Remains of the Day (1993)

Review Website Ranks:

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

A rule bound head butler’s world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of a housekeeper who falls in love with him in post-WWI Britain. The possibility of romance and his master’s cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude.



James Ivory’s Best Movies



James Ivory Review Website Filmography Rankings

FilmRT CriticRT UserIMDBLetterboxdOveral Rank
The Remains of the Day (1993) 3 1 1 1 1
Maurice (1987) 3 2 2 1 2
A Room with a View (1985) 1 3 5 4 3
Howards End (1992) 5 4 4 3 4
Lumière and Company (1995) 1 5 6 5 5
Shakespeare-Wallah (1965) 7 8 7 5 6
A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998) 10 6 7 5 7
Heat and Dust (1983) 7 11 10 11 8
The Householder (1963) 20 9 7 8 9
Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990) 9 14 10 11 9
The White Countess (2005) 13 13 10 14 11
The Europeans (1979) 11 18 16 11 12
The Bostonians (1984) 6 17 16 19 13
Savages (1972) 14 12 25 8 14
Surviving Picasso (1996) 17 10 14 19 15
The City of Your Final Destination (2009) 15 16 14 18 16
Quartet (1981) 20 19 13 14 17
Roseland (1977) 20 21 18 8 18
Slaves of New York (1989) 19 7 27 14 18
The Golden Bowl (2000) 12 15 20 22 20
The 5:48 20 26 2 25 21
Bombay Talkie (1970) 20 23 23 14 22
Jefferson in Paris (1995) 18 19 23 23 23
The Wild Party (1975) 20 24 25 19 24
Autobiography of a Princess (1975) 20 26 18 25 25
Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie’s Pictures (1978) 20 25 20 25 26
The Divorce (2003) 16 22 28 24 26
The Guru (1969) 20 26 22 25 28
Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980) 20 26 28 25 29

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