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Love Christopher Nolan? Here are 30 of his favorite movies

Love Christopher Nolan? Here are 30 of his favorite movies

15 Jun 2019

Christopher Nolan is one of those directors who can never go wrong with the subject at hand.

But even the greatest people have their own sources of inspiration. Nolan recently unveiled a list of 30 films he loves and watches for inspiration to IndieWire.

The list contains some pretty impressive movies including popular ones like 2001: A Space Odyssey and offbeat films like Koyaanisqatsi.

The films that inspired masterpieces like Interstellar and Inception


Nolan was inspired by several films when he chose to make Interstellar.

These include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Al Reinert's documentary For All Mankind; Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Scott's Blade Runner.

Before starting Interstellar, he screened Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff for his crew.

Nolan also loves The Tree Of Life by Terrence Malick and the kind of story it weaves.

Here are the classics loved by Nolan (and us)


He's a fan of the courtroom classic 12 Angry Men and is inspired by Alien.

An advocate for film-making on celluloid, he is often seen citing the example of Lawrence of Arabia.

When making Dunkirk, he consulted Spielberg, being a fan of his Saving Private Ryan.

Being a science-fiction guy, he also loves Star Wars and Superman (1978) "made a huge impression" on him.

You might not have heard of these offbeat films


To hone his craft, he often watches lesser-known but brilliant works of cinema including All Quiet On The Western Front (1930) and Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers.

Like most filmmakers, he's a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock, especially his Foreign Correspondent.

He called Erich von Stroheim's 1924 silent film Greed "a lost work of absolute genius," and enjoys watching the 1983 documentary Koyaanisqatsi.

Some other offbeat films liked by Nolan


Nolan referred to David Lean's 1970 romance Ryan's Daughter as "pure cinema" and takes storytelling motivation from FW Murnau's 1927 silent film Sunrise.

Fritz Lang (also Anurag Kashyap's go-to filmmaker) is a big influence on Nolan. He has seen Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse and the iconic Metropolis multiple times.

Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line greatly influenced Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk.

Other Nolan favorites include a James Bond title

More Films

The Memento director likes the Bond franchise, especially The Spy Who Loved Me.

He cast David Bowie in The Prestige after watching him in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.

Nolan's other picks include Mr. Arkadin, the stop-motion animation Street of Crocodiles, Jules Dassin's heist movie Topkapi, Nicolas Roeg's psychological thriller Bad Timing, British crime-movie The Hit, and the recently released First Man.

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