Martin Scorsese's 11 Favorite Family Films

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'A darker pirate adventure from Fritz Lang--if A High Wind in Jamaica is a song of innocence, Moonfleet is a song of experience.'

Meet Me in St. Louis

“One of the first great color movies by one of the greatest masters of color in cinema, Vincente Minnelli, and a lovely evocation of childhood and home.”

Night of the Hunter

“The one and only film directed by Charles Laughton is one of the great works of American cinema, with a remarkable performance by Robert Mitchum as a con man/preacher who becomes a boogeyman for two children in the American South.”

A High Wind In Jamaica

“A great children’s pirate adventure, exactly as you dream it when you’re young, from the director of Sweet Smell of Success, Alexander Mackendrick, with a grand performance from Anthony Quinn.”

The 400 Blows

“François Truffaut’s first, autobiographical feature, with a young Jean-Pierre Léaud in the first of many pictures as the director’s alter ego Antoine Doinel, helped to usher in the French New Wave and took the very idea of childhood in cinema to a new level of expression.”

The Secret Garden

“I recently showed the beautiful 1949 adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic to my daughter, and she loved it; the Agnieszka Holland version is also wonderful.”

The Fallen Idol

“A uniquely frank picture about a boy negotiating his way through the adult universe, from Carol Reed (who worked so well with children) and Graham Greene, with great performances from Ralph Richardson and Bobby Henrey as the boy.”


“One of Vittorio de Sica’s two great neorealist films, along with Bicycle Thieves, both centered around childhood—a harsh, heartbreaking picture, made with the most eloquent simplicity.”

A Kid For Two Farthings

“Another film from Carol Reed, a magical story about a boy and his ‘unicorn’ adapted by Wolf Mankowitz from his book, set in the Jewish quarter of London.”

Our Mother’s House

“A haunting, beautifully crafted, and little-seen film from Jack Clayton, the director of The Innocents, about a family of children living on their own in a house in London whose existence is disrupted by the appearance of their long-lost father, Dirk Bogarde.”

The Curse of the Cat People

“The producer Val Lewton hated the title of this film, which is one of the most movingly poetic and beautifully detailed portraits of a solitary childhood ever made.”