TSPDT's Top 250 short films

by tobias_681 | created - 23 Feb 2017 | updated - 23 Feb 2017 | Public

2017 edition

A consensus list on the most acclaimed short films (comprised of countless critic ballots) from the They Shoot Pictures Don't They website.

The list can also be downloaded here: http://www.theyshootpictures.com/resources/Top%20250%20Short%20Films.xlsx

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords






IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. La Jetée (1962)

Not Rated | 28 min | Short, Drama, Romance

The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.

Director: Chris Marker | Stars: Étienne Becker, Jean Négroni, Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich

Votes: 27,101

2. Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Not Rated | 45 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.

Director: Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, Erwin Connelly

Votes: 35,130 | Gross: $0.98M

3. A Day in the Country (1946)

Not Rated | 40 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

The family of a Parisian shop-owner spends a day in the country. The daughter falls in love with a man at the inn, where they spend the day.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Sylvia Bataille, Jane Marken, Georges D'Arnoux, André Gabriello

Votes: 5,246

4. Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present 17 minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí

Votes: 42,991

5. Night and Fog (1956)

Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler

Votes: 15,910

6. Wavelength (1967)

45 min | Drama

One of the most unconventional and experimental films ever made, Wavelength is a structural film of a 45-minute long zoom in on a window over a period of a week.

Director: Michael Snow | Stars: Hollis Frampton, Lyne Grossman, Naoto Nakazawa, Roswell Rudd

Votes: 2,151

7. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

Not Rated | 14 min | Short, Fantasy, Mystery

A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.

Directors: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid | Stars: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid

Votes: 9,821

8. Zero for Conduct (1933)

Not Rated | 44 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

In a repressive boarding school with rigid rules of behavior, four boys decide to rebel against the direction on a celebration day.

Director: Jean Vigo | Stars: Jean Dasté, Robert le Flon, Louis Lefebvre, Du Verron

Votes: 7,133

9. Listen to Britain (1942)

Not Rated | 20 min | Documentary, Short

A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.

Directors: Humphrey Jennings, Stewart McAllister | Stars: Leonard Brockington, Joseph Macleod, Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen

Votes: 1,430

10. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Action, Adventure

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 40,071

11. The House Is Black (1963)

20 min | Documentary, Short

Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness", of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.

Director: Forugh Farrokhzad | Stars: Forugh Farrokhzad, Ebrahim Golestan, Hossein Mansouri

Votes: 3,638

12. Las Hurdes (1933)

30 min | Documentary, Short

A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Abel Jacquin, Alexandre O'Neill

Votes: 4,743

13. The Little Grey Wolf Will Come (1979)

29 min | Animation, Short

Distant, well-worn memories of childhood are inhabited by a little gray wolf. Through astonishing imagery, the memory of all of Russia is depicted.

Director: Yuri Norstein | Star: Aleksandr Kalyagin

Votes: 3,021

14. Scorpio Rising (1963)

28 min | Short, Music

A gang of Nazi bikers prepares for a race as sexual, sadistic, and occult images are cut together.

Director: Kenneth Anger | Stars: Ernie Allo, Bruce Byron, Frank Carifi, Steve Crandell

Votes: 4,154

15. Un Chant D'Amour (1950)

Not Rated | 26 min | Short, Fantasy, Romance

Two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by the thick brick walls, and desperately in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication.

Director: Jean Genet | Stars: Bravo, Jean Genet, Java, Coco Le Martiniquais

Votes: 2,849

16. Flaming Creatures (1963)

45 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

An experimental film that features graphic sexual imagery, an earthquake, and a lipstick commercial.

Director: Jack Smith | Stars: Francis Francine, Sheila Bick, Joel Markman, Mario Montez

Votes: 1,186

17. Four Seasons (1975)

29 min | Documentary, Short

The last collaboration of Artavazd Peleshian and cinematographer Mikhail Vartanov is a film-essay about Armenia's shepherds, about the contradiction and the harmony between man and nature, scored to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Director: Artavazd Peleshian

Votes: 684

18. The Red Balloon (1956)

Not Rated | 34 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Director: Albert Lamorisse | Stars: Pascal Lamorisse, Sabine Lamorisse, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov

Votes: 15,315

19. Blood of the Beasts (1949)

22 min | Documentary, Short

Bucolic scenes from the outskirts of Paris are contrasted with stark footage from slaughterhouses.

Director: Georges Franju | Stars: Georges Hubert, Nicole Ladmiral, Alfred Macquart, Maurice Griselle

Votes: 2,064

20. The Mad Masters (1957)

36 min | Documentary, Short, Horror

A documentary short depicting a Hauka ceremony where young workers are possessed by British colonial officers.

Director: Jean Rouch | Star: Jean Rouch

Votes: 1,306

21. Simon of the Desert (1965)

Not Rated | 43 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

Simon, a deeply religious man living in the 4th century, wants to be nearer to God so he climbs a column. The Devil wants him to come down to Earth and is trying to seduce him.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Claudio Brook, Silvia Pinal, Enrique Álvarez Félix, Hortensia Santoveña

Votes: 8,615

22. A Diary for Timothy (1945)

40 min | Short, Documentary

This brief documentary-style film presents the status of Great Britain near the end of the Second World War by means of a visual diary for a baby boy born in September, 1944. Narration ... See full summary »

Director: Humphrey Jennings | Stars: Michael Redgrave, Myra Hess, John Gielgud, Frederick Allen

Votes: 622

23. Elephant (1989 TV Short)

Not Rated | 39 min | Short, Crime, Drama

A depiction of a series of violent killings in Northern Ireland with no clue as to exactly who is responsible.

Director: Alan Clarke | Stars: Gary Walker, Bill Hamilton, Michael Foyle, Danny Small

Votes: 1,959

24. Outer Space (1999)

Not Rated | 10 min | Short, Horror

Footage from The Entity (1980) is edited into an abstract nightmare.

Director: Peter Tscherkassky | Star: Barbara Hershey

Votes: 1,594

25. Mothlight (1963)

4 min | Short

A "found foliage" film composed of insects, leaves, and other detritus sandwiched between two strips of perforated tape.

Director: Stan Brakhage

Votes: 2,275

26. Unsere Afrikareise (1966)

13 min | Short

A trip to Africa is edited into a brief documentary without continuity between sound and image or story and time.

Director: Peter Kubelka

Votes: 644

27. The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971)

Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, Horror

At a morgue, forensic pathologists conduct autopsies of the corpses assigned.

Director: Stan Brakhage

Votes: 1,343

28. Rose Hobart (1936)

Unrated | 19 min | Short

Footage selected from 'East of Borneo' and other films is arranged and edited so as to highlight actress Rose Hobart.

Director: Joseph Cornell | Stars: Charles Bickford, Rose Hobart, Noble Johnson, Georges Renavent

Votes: 806

29. The Arrival of a Train (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short, Action

A train arrives at La Ciotat station.

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière | Stars: Madeleine Koehler, Marcel Koehler, Mrs. Auguste Lumiere, Jeanne-Joséphine Lumière

Votes: 9,433

30. Aguaespejo granadino (1955)

21 min | Documentary, Short

As stated in the film, Jose Val del Omar presents a brief audiovisual essay of lyrical plastic art.

Director: José Val del Omar

Votes: 243

31. Night Mail (1936)

Approved | 25 min | Short, Documentary

Shows the special train on which mail is sorted, dropped and collected on the run, and delivered in Scotland overnight.

Directors: Harry Watt, Basil Wright | Stars: Arthur Clark, John Grierson, Stuart Legg, Robert Rae

Votes: 1,149

32. Exiting the Factory (1895)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

Workers leaving the Lumière factory for lunch in Lyon, France in 1895; a place of great photographic innovation and one of the birth places of cinema.

Director: Louis Lumière

Votes: 5,545

33. A Portrait of Ga (1952)

4 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

A short film from Margaret Tait capturing the daily life of her mother, Ga.

Director: Margaret Tait

Votes: 378

34. À Propos de Nice (1930)

Not Rated | 25 min | Documentary, Short, Comedy

What starts off as a conventional travelogue turns into a satirical portrait of the town of Nice on the French Cote d'Azur, especially its wealthy inhabitants.

Directors: Boris Kaufman, Jean Vigo

Votes: 3,505

35. Street of Crocodiles (1986)

Not Rated | 20 min | Animation, Short

Inside a box full of curio, a puppet who is recently freed from his strings explores a dusty and forlorn commercial area. The explorer becomes ensnared into miniature tailor shop by baby-faced dolls.

Directors: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay, Weiser Quay | Star: Feliks Stawinski

Votes: 2,293

36. Duck Amuck (1953)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

The short-tempered Daffy Duck must improvise madly as the backgrounds, his costumes, the soundtrack, even his physical form, shifts and changes at the whim of the animator.

Director: Chuck Jones | Star: Mel Blanc

Votes: 7,558

37. 79 primaveras (1969)

Not Rated | 25 min | Short, Documentary

An agit-prop documentary marking the death of Vietnamese nationalist leader Ho Chí Minh, using found footage to link his work to worldwide political movements including the Cuban revolution and resistance within the USA to the Vietnam war.

Director: Santiago Álvarez

Votes: 389

38. Arnulf Rainer (1960)

7 min | Short

An experimental short from Peter Kubelka in which the film flickers between periods of light and sound.

Director: Peter Kubelka

Votes: 771

39. My Childhood (1972)

Not Rated | 46 min | Biography, Drama

The second part (My ain folk) of Bill Douglas' influential trilogy harks back to his impoverished upbringing in early-'40s Scotland. Cinema was his only escape - he paid for it with the ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Douglas | Stars: Stephen Archibald, Hughie Restorick, Jean Taylor Smith, Karl Fieseler

Votes: 996

40. Adebar (1957)

2 min | Short

An early experimental short film produced by Peter Kubelka.

Director: Peter Kubelka

Votes: 598

41. The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (1974)

45 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

A study of the psychology of a champion ski-jumper, whose full-time occupation is carpentry.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Walter Steiner, Werner Herzog

Votes: 2,069

42. Schwechater (1958)

1 min | Short

A short film originally intended to be a commercial for Schwechater Beer, but along the way it morphed into something completely different.

Director: Peter Kubelka

Votes: 714

43. Valentin de las Sierras (1971)

Not Rated | 10 min | Short, Music

Skin, eyes, knees, horses, hair, sun, earth. Old song of Mexican hero, Valentin, sung by blind Jose Santollo Nadiso en Santa Cruz de la Soledad.

Director: Bruce Baillie

Votes: 292

44. Regen (1929)

12 min | Short, Documentary

Rain falls on a Dutch city.

Directors: Mannus Franken, Joris Ivens

Votes: 1,420

45. The Wrong Trousers (1993)

Not Rated | 30 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Wallace takes in a new lodger, a devious penguin. Sporting some techno-trousers, the penguin plans a grand theft, a plan that involves putting Wallace in danger.

Director: Nick Park | Stars: Peter Sallis, Peter Hawkins

Votes: 48,285

46. A Movie (1958)

12 min | Short

Clips of atomic explosions, pornography, and B-movies are spliced together to evoke certain emotions.

Director: Bruce Conner | Star: Theodore Roosevelt

Votes: 1,194

47. Window Water Baby Moving (1959)

13 min | Documentary, Short

Stan Brakhage films the birth of his first child, Myrrena.

Director: Stan Brakhage | Stars: Jane Brakhage, Myrrena Brakhage, Stan Brakhage

Votes: 2,025

48. Little Stabs at Happiness (1960)

15 min | Short

A film in four parts. In "In the Room", a man and a woman in outlandish garb are sitting in a claw-foot bathtub smoking, while the man abuses a doll in various ways. In "They Stopped to ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Jacobs

Votes: 352

49. Entr'acte (1924)

22 min | Short