Burt Lancaster was an American actor who starred in some of the most iconic films of the 20th century. He had a long and varied career that spanned over four decades and won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Best Burt Lancaster Movies

Lancaster was known for his physicality, charisma, and range as an actor. In this article, we will take a look at some of his best movies and explore what made Lancaster such a beloved and respected actor.

1. From Here to Eternity (1953)

“From Here to Eternity” is a 1953 drama directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. The film tells the story of several soldiers stationed in Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Lancaster plays First Sergeant Milt Warden, a tough and charismatic soldier who becomes involved in a love triangle with his commanding officer’s wife, played by Deborah Kerr.

The film was a critical and commercial success and won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Frank Sinatra. Lancaster’s performance as Warden is one of the highlights of the film, showcasing his natural charisma and intense physicality.

From Here to Eternity
  • Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr (Actors)
  • Fred Zinnemann (Director) - Buddy Adler (Producer)
  • Thai, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, English, Portuguese (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

2. Atlantic City (1980)

“Atlantic City” is a 1980 crime drama film directed by Louis Malle and starring Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon, with Peter Finch in a supporting role.

The film is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey and follows the story of Lou Pascal (Lancaster), an aging gangster who becomes involved with a young woman named Sally Matthews (Sarandon) and her estranged husband.

Dave (played by Robert Joy). Finch plays the role of the wealthy but ailing British gambler, O’Malley.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release, and was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (for Lancaster).

Finch’s performance as the charming but ailing gambler was also praised by critics, and he was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor.

Overall, “Atlantic City” is a well-crafted and engaging crime drama, with strong performances from its talented cast. Finch’s performance as O’Malley is particularly noteworthy, and his scenes with Lancaster and Sarandon are some of the most memorable in the film.

Atlantic City [DVD]
  • Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid (Actors)
  • Louis Malle (Director) - John Guare (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)


3. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

“Judgment at Nuremberg” is a powerful courtroom drama that explores the difficult moral and ethical questions raised by the Nazi war crimes trials after World War II. Here are three reasons why you should watch Peter Finch’s performance in this movie:

Complex Character: Finch plays a defense attorney who must navigate the difficult task of defending Nazi judges accused of crimes against humanity.

His character is complex and morally ambiguous, and Finch brings a depth and nuance to the role that makes it both compelling and challenging.

Stellar Cast: “Judgment at Nuremberg” boasts an all-star cast, including Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, and Marlene Dietrich, among others. Finch holds his own among these legendary actors and delivers a performance that is just as powerful and memorable as his co-stars.

Important Historical Context: The events depicted in “Judgment at Nuremberg” are based on the real-life Nuremberg trials, which were a pivotal moment in the history of international law and human rights.

Watching this movie is a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and the importance of holding those responsible accountable for their actions.

Judgment at Nuremberg
  • Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark (Actors)
  • Stanley Kramer (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

4. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

“Sweet Smell of Success” is a 1957 film noir directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. Lancaster plays powerful newspaper columnist J.J. Hunsecker, who uses his influence to manipulate people and events in New York City.

Curtis plays Sidney Falco, a sleazy press agent who will do anything to get Hunsecker’s approval. The film is notable for its sharp dialogue, stylish cinematography, and iconic performances from Lancaster and Curtis.

Lancaster’s portrayal of Hunsecker is particularly memorable, as he expertly conveys both the character’s charm and his dark, manipulative side. The film has since become a classic of the film noir genre and a defining role for Lancaster.

Sweet Smell of Success
  • Sweet Smell Of Success - DVD Brand New
  • Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison (Actors)
  • Alexander Mackendrick (Director) - Alexander Mackendrick (Writer)
  • Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

5. The Train (1964)

“The Train” is a 1964 war film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, and Jeanne Moreau, with Peter Finch in a supporting role.

The film is set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II and follows the story of a French railway inspector named Labiche (Lancaster), who is tasked with derailing a train carrying priceless art treasures to Germany.


Finch plays the role of Colonel Von Waldheim, the German officer in charge of the train.

The film is notable for its intense action sequences, as well as its strong performances from its cast.

Finch’s portrayal of the cultured but ruthless Von Waldheim is particularly impressive, and he brings a sense of complexity to the character that makes him more than just a one-dimensional villain.


The film also features some stunning cinematography, with the French countryside and the train itself serving as key visual elements.

Overall, “The Train” is a well-crafted and suspenseful war film, with a strong screenplay, great performances, and impressive production design.

Finch’s performance as Von Waldheim is one of the film’s highlights, and his interactions with Lancaster’s character add an extra layer of tension to an already gripping story.

Train, The (1964) [DVD]
  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • Black & White; Closed-captioned; Color; DVD; Letterboxed; Widescreen; NTSC
  • Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau (Actors)
  • Arthur Penn (Director) - Albert Husson (Writer)

6. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

“Birdman of Alcatraz” is a biographical drama film that tells the story of Robert Stroud, a convicted murderer who becomes an expert on birds while serving a life sentence in prison. Here are three reasons why you should watch Peter Finch’s performance in this movie:

Transformational Role: Finch’s portrayal of Robert Stroud is a masterclass in transformational acting. He gained weight, changed his appearance, and adopted a completely different persona to bring Stroud to life on screen. It’s a testament to his talent and dedication as an actor.


Compelling Story: The story of Robert Stroud is fascinating and unique, and “Birdman of Alcatraz” does an excellent job of exploring the complex character of a man who finds redemption through his love of birds.

The movie raises important questions about the nature of rehabilitation and the potential for growth and change, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Outstanding Supporting Cast: In addition to Finch’s standout performance, “Birdman of Alcatraz” features an outstanding supporting cast, including Karl Malden and Thelma Ritter.

Their performances add depth and complexity to the story, and help to create a richly nuanced portrayal of life in prison.

Birdman of Alcatraz [DVD]
  • Birdman Of Alcatraz - DVD Brand New
  • Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter (Actors)
  • John Frankenheimer (Director) - Guy Trosper (Writer)
  • Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

7. Elmer Gantry (1960)

“Elmer Gantry” is a 1960 drama film based on the novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis. Directed by Richard Brooks, the film stars Burt Lancaster as the title character, a charismatic and unscrupulous evangelist who rises to fame in the 1920s.

Lancaster delivers a powerful performance as Gantry, who uses his natural charm and gift for public speaking to manipulate people and enrich himself.

Here are some reasons why “Elmer Gantry” is one of Burt Lancaster’s best movies:

Burt Lancaster’s performance: As mentioned earlier, Lancaster delivers a powerful performance as Elmer Gantry.

He captures both the charisma and the dark side of the character, making Gantry both likable and despicable at the same time. Lancaster won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, and it is widely regarded as one of his best roles.

The direction: Richard Brooks does an excellent job directing the film, capturing the atmosphere of the 1920s and the world of evangelical tent revivals. The film is well-paced and visually striking, with some memorable scenes that stay with the viewer long after the movie is over.

The themes: “Elmer Gantry” explores themes of faith, hypocrisy, and the corrupting influence of power. It is a thought-provoking film that raises questions about the nature of religious belief and the role of religion in American society.

The film’s themes are still relevant today, making it a movie that is worth watching for both its entertainment value and its social commentary.

8. The Swimmer (1968)

“The Swimmer” is a 1968 drama film directed by Frank Perry and starring Burt Lancaster. Ift is based on a short story by John Cheever and follows the character of Ned Merrill, a man who decides to swim his way home through all the pools in his neighborhood. Here are three reasons to watch “The Swimmer”:

Burt Lancaster’s performance: Lancaster delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Ned Merrill, a once-successful man who is now struggling with his own identity and the reality of his life. He perfectly captures the character’s charm, delusion, and vulnerability.

The cinematography: The film features stunning cinematography by David L. Quaid, which captures the beauty and emptiness of suburban America. The use of slow-motion and underwater shots adds to the dreamlike and surreal quality of the film.

The exploration of the American Dream: “The Swimmer” offers a unique and thought-provoking exploration of the American Dream, and how it can lead to disillusionment and despair.

It exposes the dark underbelly of suburban life and challenges the idealized vision of the American Dream.

The Swimmer [DVD]
  • Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule (Actors)
  • Frank Perry (Director) - Frank Perry (Producer)
  • English, French, Japanese, Georgian (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

9. Airport (1970)

“Airport” is a disaster film that follows the story of a group of people who are trapped aboard a Boeing 707 after a bomb threat is discovered on board. Here are three reasons why you should watch Peter Finch’s performance in this movie:

Strong Presence: Finch brings a commanding presence to his role as the airport’s general manager, Mel Bakersfield. He exudes confidence and authority, and his performance helps to anchor the film during its most tense moments.

Ensemble Cast: “Airport” features an all-star cast, including Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, and Jean Seberg. Finch’s performance stands out even among such a talented ensemble, and he holds his own against some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.


Groundbreaking Film: “Airport” was a groundbreaking film that helped to define the disaster movie genre. It was the first film of its kind to feature an all-star cast and multiple storylines, and it set the standard for many similar movies that followed.

Watching Finch’s performance in this film is a chance to see a classic piece of cinema history.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jean Seberg, Dean Martin, George Kennedy (Actors)
  • George Seaton (Director) - George Seaton (Writer) - Ross Hunter (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

10. The Professionals (1966)

“The Professionals” is a 1966 Western action film directed by Richard Brooks and starring Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, and Claudia Cardinale. The film follows a group of mercenaries hired to rescue a wealthy man’s kidnapped wife from a Mexican revolutionary.

Here are some reasons why “The Professionals” is one of Burt Lancaster’s best movies:

The all-star cast: Burt Lancaster shares the screen with other Hollywood legends such as Lee Marvin and Robert Ryan. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, making for an entertaining and engaging watch.

The action-packed plot: “The Professionals” is an action-packed adventure film that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The group of mercenaries faces several challenges and obstacles on their mission to rescue the kidnapped wife, making for an exciting and intense storyline.

The beautiful cinematography: “The Professionals” was filmed in various locations in the United States and Mexico, and the stunning landscapes and scenery are captured beautifully by cinematographer Conrad L. Hall.

The film’s visual appeal adds to its overall impact and makes it a must-see for cinema lovers.

The Professionals
  • Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan (Actors)
  • Richard Brooks (Director) - Richard Brooks (Producer)
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

11. The Killers (1946)

“The Killers” is a classic film noir released in 1946, directed by Robert Siodmak and starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. The movie is based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway and features a complex plot with intricate twists and turns.

The story centers on an ex-boxer named Ole “Swede” Andersen (Burt Lancaster), who is killed by two hitmen hired by a crime boss named Big Jim Colfax.

The murder investigation is led by an insurance investigator named Jim Reardon (Edmond O’Brien), who discovers that Andersen was involved in a heist with a gangster named Packy Robinson (Sam Levene).

As Reardon delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a web of corruption and deceit that leads him to a shocking conclusion.

has been influential on subsequent crime films.

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12. Local Hero (1983)

“Local Hero” is a charming and whimsical comedy-drama that follows the story of an ambitious young oil executive, Mac (played by Peter Riegert), who is sent to a small Scottish village to negotiate the purchase of land for a new refinery.

Here are three reasons why you should watch Peter Finch’s performance in this movie:

Memorable Character: Finch plays the eccentric and mysterious Scottish millionaire, Ben Knox, who becomes an unexpected ally to Mac. His character is full of whimsy and charm, and Finch’s performance brings a sense of joy and energy to the film.

Beautiful Scenery: “Local Hero” is set in the stunning Scottish countryside, and the film features beautiful shots of the rugged coastline, rolling hills, and quaint villages. Finch’s performance is a highlight against this stunning backdrop, and he adds to the film’s sense of wonder and magic.

Heartwarming Story: “Local Hero” is a heartwarming film that celebrates the beauty of small-town life and the importance of community.

Finch’s character is a vital part of this story, and his performance adds depth and complexity to the film’s central themes. Overall, “Local Hero” is a charming and delightful film that showcases the best of Peter Finch’s talent.

Local Hero (1983)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton MacKay (Actors)
  • Bill Forsyth (Director) - Bill Forsyth (Writer) - David Puttnam (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

13. The Rose Tattoo (1955)

“The Rose Tattoo” is a 1955 drama film directed by Daniel Mann and based on the play of the same name by Tennessee Williams.

The film stars Burt Lancaster as Alvaro Mangiacavallo, a truck driver who becomes the love interest of Serafina Delle Rose, played by Anna Magnani, a widowed Italian immigrant living in Louisiana who is still mourning the death of her husband.

Here are some reasons to watch “The Rose Tattoo”:

Anna Magnani’s Oscar-winning performance: Magnani won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Serafina Delle Rose in “The Rose Tattoo”. Her performance is powerful and emotional, and she perfectly captures the character’s grief, passion, and humor.

Tennessee Williams’ writing: “The Rose Tattoo” is based on Tennessee Williams’ play, and the film adaptation stays true to the original work.

Williams is known for his poetic and deeply emotional writing, and this film is no exception. The characters are complex and interesting, and the story is both moving and thought-provoking.

Burt Lancaster’s performance: Although the film is mainly remembered for Magnani’s performance, Burt Lancaster is also excellent as Alvaro Mangiacavallo. His character is charming, funny, and sympathetic, and Lancaster brings a lot of energy and charisma to the role.

The Rose Tattoo (1955) Burt Lancaster, Anna Magnani [All Region, Import]
  • DVD, Sealed, Region All, Keep Case
  • Burt Lancaster, Anna Magnani (Actors)
  • English, Korean (Subtitles)

14. Seven Days in May (1964)

“Seven Days in May” is a 1964 political thriller directed by John Frankenheimer. The film is based on a novel by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, and the screenplay was written by Rod Serling. The film stars Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, and Ava Gardner.

The story is set in the United States during the Cold War era and centers around a plot by military leaders to overthrow the President of the United States because they disagree with his disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union.

The President’s loyal aide, Colonel Martin “Jiggs” Casey (Kirk Douglas), becomes aware of the plot and tries to stop it before it’s too late.

“Seven Days in May” is a tense and suspenseful film that deals with themes of political power, loyalty, and patriotism.

The performances by the cast are outstanding, particularly those of Lancaster and Douglas. The film was well-received by critics and was nominated for two Academy Awards. It is considered a classic of the political thriller genre.

Seven Days in May (1964)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March (Actors)
  • John Frankenheimer (Director) - Rod Serling (Writer) - Edward Lewis (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

15. Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

“Come Back, Little Sheba” is a 1952 drama film directed by Daniel Mann and based on the play of the same name by William Inge.

The movie stars Shirley Booth and Burt Lancaster in the lead roles, with Terry Moore, Richard Jaeckel, and Philip Ober in supporting roles. The film received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress for Shirley Booth, who won the award for her performance.

Here are three reasons to watch “Come Back, Little Sheba”:

Superb performances: The movie features some exceptional performances, especially by Shirley Booth, who delivers a heartbreaking portrayal of a lonely, aging housewife struggling with alcoholism and unfulfilled dreams.

Burt Lancaster is equally impressive as her kind and patient husband, who tries his best to understand her and help her overcome her problems.

Realistic portrayal of marital problems: The movie deals with the issues of marriage, loneliness, and addiction in a very realistic and sensitive manner.

It shows how small misunderstandings and unfulfilled desires can lead to resentment and bitterness over time, and how difficult it can be to find love and companionship in a world that is increasingly indifferent and uncaring.

Beautifully written and directed: The movie is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and features some excellent writing by William Inge. The dialogues are sharp and poignant, and the characters are well-defined and relatable.

The direction by Daniel Mann is also noteworthy, as he manages to capture the mood and atmosphere of the play with great skill and finesse.

Come Back, Little Sheba
  • Burt Lancaster, Shirley Booth, Terry Moore (Actors)
  • Daniel Mann (Director) - Ketti Frings (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

16. The Rainmaker (1956)

“The Rainmaker” is a 1956 American film directed by Joseph Anthony and starring Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Wendell Corey, Lloyd Bridges, Earl Holliman, and Cameron Prud’Homme. The movie is based on the play of the same name by N. Richard Nash.

Burt Lancaster stars as Bill Starbuck, a charismatic con man who arrives in a drought-stricken rural town in the American West. He convinces the local farmers that he can bring rain to their parched fields for a fee.

Katharine Hepburn plays Lizzie Curry, a spinster who lives on a ranch with her father and two brothers. Lizzie is skeptical of Starbuck’s promises but is also drawn to him.

The film deals with themes of hope, faith, and the power of belief. It received mixed reviews upon its release but has since gained a reputation as a classic American film.

The performances by Lancaster and Hepburn are often cited as highlights of the movie, and the film’s score by Alex North is also highly regarded.

The Rainmaker (1956)
  • Burt Lancaster, Wallace Ford, Katharine Hepburn (Actors)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

17. Valdez Is Coming (1971)

“Valdez Is Coming” is a 1971 western film directed by Edwin Sherin and starring Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, and Peter Falk. Here are three reasons to watch this movie:

Peter Finch’s performance: In the film, Finch plays a wealthy landowner named Frank Tanner, who orders the brutal treatment of a Mexican-American farmer named Valdez (Lancaster) after a misunderstanding.

Finch delivers a chilling and nuanced portrayal of a cold-blooded villain, making Tanner one of his most memorable roles.

Valdez Is Coming (1971)

Social commentary: The film addresses issues of racism and prejudice towards minorities, particularly Mexican-Americans, in the Old West.

Valdez’s quest for justice and revenge against Tanner highlights the brutal reality of the time, as well as the corrupt nature of powerful landowners.

Action-packed storyline: “Valdez Is Coming” is an exciting and suspenseful film that includes thrilling shootouts, horse chases, and action sequences. The film is a great example of classic Western cinema, and it keeps viewers engaged from beginning to end.

Valdez is Coming
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Frank Silvera (Actors)
  • Edwin Sherin (Director) - David Rayfiel (Writer)
  • Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

18. Tough Guys (1986)

“Tough Guys” is a 1986 comedy film directed by Jeff Kanew and starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. Here’s a brief synopsis and review:

Harry Doyle (Lancaster) and Archie Long (Douglas) are two aging ex-convicts who are released from prison after serving 30 years for a train robbery. Upon their release, they struggle to adapt to the modern world and find themselves constantly at odds with their new environment.

Despite its somewhat predictable storyline, “Tough Guys” is an entertaining film that showcases the charm and chemistry of its two veteran leads.

Lancaster and Douglas play off each other perfectly, delivering plenty of laughs and heartwarming moments throughout the film. The supporting cast, which includes Eli Wallach and Dana Carvey, also turns in solid performances.

Overall, “Tough Guys” may not be a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s a fun and enjoyable romp that’s worth watching for fans of Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.

Tough Guys
  • Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charles Durning (Actors)
  • Jeff Kanew (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

19. The Leopard (1963)

“The Leopard” is a 1963 Italian epic film directed by Luchino Visconti and starring Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, and Alain Delon.

It is based on the novel of the same name by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, which tells the story of a Sicilian nobleman, Don Fabrizio Corbera, during the Risorgimento, the period of Italian unification in the mid-19th century.

Here are some reasons why “The Leopard” is considered one of the best Burt Lancaster movies:

Burt Lancaster’s Performance: Lancaster gives a mesmerizing performance as Don Fabrizio Corbera, the aging aristocrat who is struggling to come to terms with the changing times. He brings depth and nuance to the character and delivers one of his finest performances.

Visconti’s Direction: Luchino Visconti was a master filmmaker, and his direction of “The Leopard” is nothing short of brilliant. He captures the period detail and the atmosphere of the era perfectly, and his visual style is both elegant and powerful.

Epic Scope: “The Leopard” is an epic film that covers a wide range of themes and ideas, from politics and class struggle to love and mortality. The film has a grandeur and scale that is rarely seen in cinema, and it is a testament to Visconti’s vision and ambition.

Award-Winning: “The Leopard” won the Palme d’Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Italian films ever made. It has also been included in several “best films of all time” lists, including the BFI’s Sight & Sound poll.

The Leopard (The Criterion Collection) [DVD]
  • Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon (Actors)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

20. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

“Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” is a classic western movie released in 1957, directed by John Sturges and starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas in the lead roles.

The film is based on the real-life events that occurred in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881, where Wyatt Earp, a retired lawman, and his brothers, along with their friend Doc Holliday, confront a group of outlaw cowboys in a deadly gunfight.

Here are three reasons to watch “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral”:

Stellar Cast: The movie features two of the biggest movie stars of the era, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, in leading roles, bringing their A-game to the performances. Their chemistry and dynamic are electrifying to watch on screen.

Authentic Western Atmosphere: “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” is a true representation of the western genre, from the costumes and set design to the score, making it a treat for fans of the genre.

The movie also showcases the legendary shootout in Tombstone, which has become a defining moment in American history.

Classic Storytelling: The movie is a masterclass in classic storytelling, with a simple yet compelling plot, well-developed characters, and well-executed action sequences. The film has stood the test of time and is considered a classic of the western genre.

21. Run Silent Run Deep (1958)

“Run Silent Run Deep” is a 1958 war film directed by Robert Wise and starring Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable. The film is set during World War II and follows a U.S.

Navy submarine commander, played by Gable, as he seeks revenge against a Japanese destroyer that sank his former sub.

Lancaster plays his second-in-command and the tension between the two characters drives much of the plot. Here are three reasons why you should watch “Run Silent Run Deep”:

Strong performances: Lancaster and Gable, two of Hollywood’s most iconic leading men, give strong performances as two men with different approaches to leadership who are united in their desire for revenge.

Suspenseful plot: The film builds tension as the submarine crew searches for the Japanese destroyer, using new tactics to try to outsmart their enemy. The claustrophobic setting of the submarine adds to the suspense and makes for a gripping viewing experience.

Realistic portrayal of submarine warfare: The film is praised for its accuracy in depicting submarine warfare during World War II, thanks in part to technical advisors who had served on submarines during the war.

This adds an additional layer of authenticity to the film and makes it an interesting historical document as well as a thrilling war movie.

Run Silent, Run Deep
  • Run Silent, Run Deep - DVD Brand New
  • Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Jack Warden (Actors)
  • Robert Wise (Director) - Edward L. Beach (Writer)
  • English, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

22. The Unforgiven (1960)

“The Unforgiven” is a 1960 western film directed by John Huston and starring Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, and Audie Murphy.

The film tells the story of a family of Texas ranchers in the 1880s who are faced with a crisis when they discover that their adopted daughter was actually a Kiowa Native American.

Here are three reasons to watch “The Unforgiven”:

Cast: “The Unforgiven” features a star-studded cast, including Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, and Audie Murphy, who all deliver excellent performances. Lancaster is especially impressive as the head of the family, while Hepburn shines in a rare western role.

Direction: John Huston’s direction is masterful, capturing the beauty of the Texas landscape while also conveying the tension and drama of the story. The film’s pacing is tight, and the action scenes are well-choreographed.

Themes: “The Unforgiven” deals with themes of racism, identity, and family loyalty, exploring the complex relationships between the characters as they confront the truth about their past and their prejudices.

The film is a thoughtful and nuanced exploration of these issues, and remains relevant today.

The Unforgiven
  • Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Audie Murphy (Actors)
  • John Huston (Director) - Alan Le May (Writer)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

23. Rocket Gibraltar (1988)

“Rocket Gibraltar” is a 1988 drama film directed by Daniel Petrie and starring Burt Lancaster, Suzy Amis, Patricia Clarkson, Frances Conroy, Sinead Cusack, John Glover, Bill Pullman, Kevin Spacey, and Macaulay Culkin in one of his earliest roles.

The film tells the story of an elderly patriarch (Lancaster) who gathers his family together for one last time at their beach house in Gibraltar, where he plans to announce his impending death and his desire for a Viking funeral.

Here are three reasons to watch “Rocket Gibraltar”:

Burt Lancaster’s performance: Lancaster delivers a powerful performance as the patriarch of the family, who is coming to terms with his own mortality. His portrayal is moving and poignant, and he brings a sense of gravitas to the film.

Strong supporting cast: In addition to Lancaster’s excellent performance, the film features a talented supporting cast, including Suzy Amis, Patricia Clarkson, and Kevin Spacey, among others.

Each actor brings depth and nuance to their respective roles, adding to the film’s overall impact.

Thought-provoking themes: “Rocket Gibraltar” explores themes of family, legacy, and mortality in a nuanced and thought-provoking way. The film raises important questions about what it means to live a meaningful life and how one’s legacy can continue on after death.

  • Suzy Amis, Burt Lancaster, Macaulay Culkin (Actors)
  • Daniel Petrie (Director) - Jeff Weiss (Producer)
  • English, French, Georgian (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

24. Field of Dreams (1989)

Field of Dreams is a 1989 American sports fantasy drama film written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, based on Canadian novelist W. P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel Shoeless Joe.

The film stars Kevin Costner as a farmer who builds a baseball field in his cornfield that attracts the ghosts of baseball legends, including Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) and the Chicago Black Sox.

Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, and Burt Lancaster (in his final film role) also star. It was theatrically released on May 5, 1989.

The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay.

In 2017, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Field of Dreams
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Timothy Busfield (Actors)
  • Phil Alden Robinson (Director) - Phil Alden Robinson (Writer) - Lawrence Gordon (Producer)
  • Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

25. Trapeze (1956)

“Trapeze” is a 1956 film directed by Carol Reed and starring Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, and Gina Lollobrigida. Here’s a brief synopsis of the film:

Burt Lancaster plays Mike Ribble, a former trapeze artist who was forced to retire after a crippling accident. Tony Curtis plays Tino Orsini, a talented young acrobat who dreams of becoming the greatest trapeze artist in the world.

Ribble takes Orsini under his wing and teaches him the art of the trapeze, but their friendship is tested when they both fall in love with Lollobrigida’s character, a beautiful and ambitious trapeze artist named Lola.

“Trapeze” is known for its stunning cinematography and thrilling aerial acrobatics, which were performed by real-life trapeze artists. The film also features strong performances from its three leads and explores themes of ambition, loyalty, and sacrifice.

  • Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida (Actors)
  • Carol Reed (Director) -  Liam O'Brian (Writer) -  Harold Hecht (Producer)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

3 Reasons To Watch Burt Lancaster Movies

Certainly, here are three reasons to watch Burt Lancaster movies:

Iconic performances: Burt Lancaster was an actor who gave many memorable performances throughout his career. He had the ability to convey a wide range of emotions and captivate the audience with his intensity and charisma.

His performances in films like “From Here to Eternity,” “Elmer Gantry,” and “The Birdman of Alcatraz” are some of his most iconic and unforgettable roles.

Diverse filmography: Lancaster worked in a wide range of genres throughout his career, including westerns, war movies, crime dramas, and even comedies. This versatility allowed him to take on challenging and diverse roles, showcasing his range as an actor.

Social commentary: Many of Lancaster’s films were not just entertaining, but also had important social commentary.

He often played characters who fought against injustice, oppression, and corruption, such as in “The Killers,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” and “Judgment at Nuremberg.” His films often had important messages that are still relevant today.

Best Burt Lancaster Movies – Wrap Up

Burt Lancaster was an iconic actor known for his powerful performances and commanding presence on screen.

From his early days in Hollywood to his later years, he left a lasting impression on the world of cinema.

In this list, we highlighted some of his best movies, including “Atlantic City,” “The Train,” “The Swimmer,” “The Killers,” “Seven Days in May,” “The Rainmaker,” “The Leopard,” and “The Unforgiven.”

In these movies, Lancaster showcased his versatility as an actor, playing a range of characters from a washed-up gangster to a train station master, a suburban swimmer to a rugged Western hero.

He worked with some of the most talented directors of his time and collaborated with many of Hollywood’s greatest actors.

Lancaster’s legacy lives on as one of the most beloved actors of the Golden Age of Hollywood. His influence can still be felt in the industry today, inspiring future generations of actors to bring their best to the screen.