Exclusive: Bill Hader Lists the Films That Inspired Him to Become a Filmmaker

     September 19, 2019

When Collider reached out to Bill Hader to see if he’d be interested in talking about movies and how he became such a big film fan—in concert with our list of the 100 Essential Movies Every Serious Film Fan Should See—the Barry co-creator was thankfully enthusiastic to chat. So enthusiastic that he shared a list of over 200 movies that he says inspired him to make… something.

Hader is a well-known cinephile, but he didn’t grow up in the New York theater scene or in the midst of Hollywood, so during our interview he opened up about how he refined his film taste in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He shared that one source of new movie recommendations was reading interviews with filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa and Martin Scorsese in which they themselves offered film recommendations or discussed some of their own cinematic influences. So in that spirit, hopefully Hader’s list inspires you, dear reader, to check out any number of these fine films. It’s a vast and diverse list that’s guaranteed to keep you busy and broaden your horizons as a movie fan.

You can check out the list below and our full interview here, but first a note from Bill Hader himself:

These are movies that, after seeing them, inspired me to go make…something, anything! Since I don’t know how old you are, you should know there’s some titles that are incredibly adult (Clockwork Orange, Enter the Void, Chopper, Come and See, Blue Velvet come to mind) so beware. But enjoy and be open; that’s how I like to approach a movie. And turn off you phone and don’t check your email, it affects the experience.


Image via Criterion

8 ½

Abigail’s Party

Ace in the Hole

Act of Killing

Aguirre, The Wrath of God


Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Alien (Scott)
All About My Mother

All that Jazz

All the Presidents Men

American Friend

Amores Parros


Apollo 13

Ashes and Diamonds

Asphalt Jungle
Awful Truth, The

Bad Day at Black Rock
Ball of Fire

Bad News Bears, The (Richie)

Battle of Algeirs

Being John Malkovich

Being There

Best Years of Our Lives

Bicycle Thieves

Big Clock, The

Bigger than Life

Black Cat, The (Ulmer)

Black Narcissus

Blazing Saddles

Blood Simple

Blue Velvet

Bob Le Flambeur


Image via New Line Cinema

Boogie Nights

Bottle Rocket

Breaking Point (Curtiz)

Bringing Up Baby
Broken Lullaby

Brood, The

Brother’s Keeper

Bucket of Blood, A (Corman)

Burbs, the


Canoa: A Shameful Memory

Carrie (DePalma)

Catch-22 (Nichols)

Charley Varrick

Children of Men


Citizen Kane (duh)

Cleo 5 to 7

Clockwork Orange, A

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Closely Watched Trains

Come and See

Conformist, The

Contempt (Godard)

Cranes are Flying, The

Crime Wave (deToth)

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crowd, The (Vidor)


Cure (Kurosawa)


Dawn of the Dead (Romero)

Day of Wrath

Dazed and Confused

Dead of Night (Cavalcanti)

Death Line



Image via Universal Pictures

Do the Right Thing

Don’t Look Now

Down By Law

Downhill Racer

Dr Strangelove

Duck Soup


Earrings of Madame D


Elevator to the Gallows

Emperors Naked Army Marches on

Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Enter the Void

Evil Dead 1 and 2

Executioner, The (Berlanga)


Exterminating Angel, The

Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Zeman)

Face in the Crowd, A

Fat City

Faust (Murnau)

Female Trouble

Fireman’s Ball, The

Fireworks (Kitano)

Force Majeure

Fort Apache

Gates of Heaven

Godfather 1&2 (duh)

Good Morning (Ozu)

Grand Illusion

Haunting, The (Wise)


Image via MGM

Harlan County, USA

His Girl Friday

Hit, The

Hoop Dreams

Host, The (Bong)


In the Mood for Love

Informer, The (Ford)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman)

It’s a Gift

Ivan’s Childhood
Jackie Brown

Jules and Jim


Kentucky Fried Movie


Kill Baby Kill

Killer of Sheep


L atalante

Last Detail

Le Boucher

Le quattro volte

Lil Quinquin

Los Olvidados

Love and Death

Loves of a Blonde

Malcolm X

Man Escaped

Matter of Life and Death

McCabe and Mrs Miller

Medium Cool

Merry Widow, The (Lubitsh)

Midnight Cowboy

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Mon Oncle


Image via Columbia Pictures

Mona Lisa

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Life of Brian

Mouth Agape, A

My Darling Clementine

My Friend Totoro

Naked Spur, The

Near Dark


Night and the City (Dassin)

Night of the Demon

Nights of Cabiria

No Country for Old Men

Nuts in May

Once Upon a Time in the West

One-Eyed Jacks

Only Yesterday

Pans Labyrinth

Paper Moon


Paris Texas

Pather Panchali

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Peppermint Frappe


Point Blank

Prick Up Your Ears

Radio Days


Robocop (1987)

Rolling Thunder

Rosemary’s Baby

Ruggles of Red Gap



Salvatore Giuliano

Sansho the Baliff


Scream of Fear


Image via Paramount Pictures

Sexy Beast


Shaun of the Dead

Sherlock Jr.

Short Cuts

Silence of the Lambs

Singing in the Rain

Small Change

Songs from the Second Floor


Spirited Away

Sullivans Travels

Summer with Monika


Sunset Blvd

Taxi Driver

Tenant, The

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

There Will Be Blood

Thin Blue Line

Thing, The (Carpenter)


Image via Shochiku

Train, The

Third Man

To Be or Not to Be

Tokyo Story

Toy Story

Trading Places

Treasure of Sierra Madre

Trouble in Paradise

Twentieth Century

Unfaithfully Yours



Virgin Spring

Virgin Suicides


Wages of Fear

Where’s the Friends House?

Wind, The (Sjostrom)

Woman in the Dunes

Woman Under the Influence, A

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Yi yi

Zero for Conduct

For more from Hader, including why he loves ApocalyptoIkiruPaper Moon, and others, check out our full interview.


Image via HBO


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