Brian McFarlane

author and critic

Voted for

Brief Encounter1945David Lean
The Tragedy of Macbeth2021Joel Coen
Great Day1945Lance Comfort
Nashville1975Robert Altman
Minari2020Lee Isaac Chung
Pather Panchali1955Satyajit Ray
Random Harvest1942Mervyn Leroy
The Searchers1956John Ford
The Third Man1949Carol Reed
Battleship Potemkin1925Sergei M. Eisenstein


Brief Encounter

1945 United Kingdom

Archetypal drama deriving from the conflicting pressures of love and morality.

The Tragedy of Macbeth

2021 USA

In my view the most intelligent and insightful film version of a Shakespearean play.

Great Day

1945 United Kingdom

Intricately constructed version of lives in a small village viewed against the sense of a wider background.


1975 USA

Irresistible study of lives involved in the Country and Western world, with huge, sharply distinguished cast and great music.


2020 USA

Riveting and heartfelt account of the lives of a Korean family that moves to Arkansas. Perfectly cast and acted.

Pather Panchali

1955 India

Wonderful sense of a family making a life in the face of many difficulties

Random Harvest

1942 USA

Brilliant adaptation of James Hilton's famous novel. Cleverly constructed and very moving as acted by a fine cast.

The Searchers

1956 USA

In my view, the greatest western ever, with moments of stunning visual and emotional power.

The Third Man

1949 United Kingdom

Unforgettable beginning – and ending – and utterly engrossing in between. Superb black-and-white cinematography and irresistible musical score.

Battleship Potemkin

1925 USSR

Crucial item in the history of film, with a dazzling melding of mise en scène and editing.

Further remarks

Sorry not to have time for further comments on the films, but am under pressure at the moment from other writing projects.