David Fincher's 26 Favorite Films Everyone Should See At Least Once

David Fincher's 26 Favorite Films Everyone Should See At Least Once
Image credit: Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, Twentieth Century Fox

These films, personally approved by Fincher, are cinematic classics.

Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, Gone Girl. There's hardly anyone who hasn't seen, let alone heard, all of these movies and the name of the man behind them, David Fincher. From Alien 3 to The Killer with Michael Fassbender, from House of Cards to Love, Death & Robots, Fincher's career is now in its fourth decade and his films have collectively grossed over $2.1 billion. But of course, no matter how original his work, even a director as innovative as Fincher is inspired by the achievements of filmmakers who came before him. Here is a list of 26 films that David Fincher has cited as his favorites.

26 Must-See Movies David Fincher Loves

26. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, Dir. George Roy Hill, IMDb rating: 8.0/10)

25. Chinatown (1974, Dir. Roman Polanski, IMDb rating: 8.1/10)

24. Dr. Strangelove (1964, Dir. Stanley Kubrick, IMDb rating: 8.4/10)

23. The Godfather Part II (1974, Dir. Francis Ford Coppola, IMDb rating: 9.0/10)

22. Taxi Driver (1976, Dir. Martin Scorsese, IMDb rating: 8.2/10)

21. Being There (1979, Dir. Hal Ashby, IMDb rating: 7.9/10)

20. Alien (1979, Dir. Ridley Scott, IMDb rating: 8.5/10)

19. Rear Window (1954, Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, IMDb rating: 8.5/10)

18. Jaws (1975, Dir. Steven Spielberg, IMDb rating: 8.1/10)

17. Lawrence of Arabia (1962, Dir. David Lean, IMDb rating: 8.3/10)

16. Zelig (1983, Dir. Woody Allen, IMDb rating: 7.7/10)

15. Cabaret (1972, Dir. Bob Fosse, IMDb rating: 7.8/10)

14. All That Jazz (1979, Dir. Bob Fosse, IMDb rating: 7.8/10)

13. Paper Moon (1972, Dir. Peter Bogdanovich, IMDb rating: 8.1/10)

12. All the President's Men (1976, Dir. Alan J. Pakula, IMDb rating: 7.9/10)

11. Citizen Kane (1941, Dir. Orson Welles, IMDb rating: 8.3/10)

10. (1963, Dir. Federico Fellini, IMDb rating: 8.0/10)

9. The Graduate (1967, Dir. Mike Nichols, IMDb rating: 8.0/10)

8. The Exorcist (1973, Dir. William Friedkin, IMDb rating: 8.1/10)

7. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978, Dir. John Landis, IMDb rating: 7.4/10)

6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, Dir. Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, IMDb rating: 8.2/10)

5. American Graffiti (1973, Dir. George Lucas, IMDb rating: 7.4/10)

4. Mad Max 2 (1981, Dir. George Miller, IMDb rating: 7.6/10)

3. The Terminator (1984, Dir. James Cameron, IMDb rating: 8.1/10)

2. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982, Dir. Peter Weir, IMDb rating: 7.1/10)

1. Days of Heaven (1978, Dir. Terrence Malick, IMDb rating: 7.7/10)

The first movie on our list, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is particularly noteworthy. The filmmaker once talked about the first time he went to see the movie with his father, screenwriter and journalist Jack Fincher. When his father asked him what he thought of it, David replied without hesitation that he wanted to make movies from that moment on. It was not only the iconic Western, but also the process of making it that influenced his decision, as Fincher had seen a documentary about the making of the film before he actually watched it.

'If a movie took two hours, it maybe took a couple days to film because you had to go from one place to another—but it never occurred to me that it took months. I was eight then,' he shared. 'I just thought: "This is fantastic, what a great gig. You get to build stuff and blow it up and hang out with Katharine Ross and travel around."'

The list shows well the variety of genres that Fincher prefers, but considering the considerable emphasis on thrillers in his career, it is quite surprising to find musicals among his favorites, even if they are famous works directed by Bob Fosse. At one point, the filmmaker even wanted to bring Fight Club to the stage as a musical, inviting Julie Taymor, a famous director and writer of theater and opera, to the project, but she rejected the proposal for being too ambitious. Who knows, maybe it's for the best that we don't know how Tyler Durden sings!

Have you watched any of David Fincher's favorite movies?