100 Greatest Male Acting Performances 1920-1969

 Movie Title - Movie Actor (Year)
  1. On The Waterfront - Marlon Brando - 1954

  2. Dr. Strangelove - Peter Sellers - 1964

  3. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - James Stewart - 1939

  4. The Bridge On The River Kwai - Alec Guinness - 1957

  5. Hamlet - Laurence Olivier - 1948

  6. Rebel Without a Cause - James Dean - 1955

  7. Casablanca - Humphrey Bogart - 1942

  8. High Noon - Gary Cooper - 1952

  9. Citizen Kane - Orson Wells - 1941

10. North by Northwest - Cary Grant - 1959

11. To Kill a Mockingbird - Gregory Peck - 1962

12. Once Upon a Time in the West - Henry Fonda - 1968

13. A Streetcar Named Desire - Marlon Brando -1951

14. City Lights - Charles Chaplin - 1931

15. The Maltese Falcon - Humphrey Bogart - 1941

16. Stalag 17 - William Holden - 1953

17. Night of the Hunter - Robert Mitchum - 1955

18. From Here to Eternity - Montgomery Clift - 1953

19. Psycho - Anthony Perkins - 1960

20. From Here To Eternity - Burt Lancaster - 1953

21. 12 Angry Men - Henry Fonda - 1957

22. It's a Wonderful Life - James Stewart - 1946

23. White Heat - James Cagney - 1949

24. The Great Dictator - Charles Chaplin - 1940

25. Boys Town - Spencer Tracy - 1938

26. The Philadelphia Story - James Stewart - 1940

27. Kind Hearts and Coronets - Alec Guinness - 1949

28. The African Queen - Humphrey Bogart - 1951

29. Yankee Doodle Dandy - James Cagney - 1942

30. Lawrence of Arabia - Peter O'Toole - 1962

31. Touch of Evil - Orson Wells - 1958

32. On The Waterfront - Rod Steiger - 1954

33. The Third Man - Orson Welles - 1949

34. The Lost Weekend - Ray Milland - 1945

35. Rear Window - James Stewart - 1954

36. His Girl Friday - Cary Grant - 1940

37. The Apartment - Jack Lemmon - 1960

38. Mutiny On The Bounty - Charles Laughton - 1935

39. Notorius - Claude Rains - 1946

40. M - Peter Lorre - 1931

41. Elmer Gantry - Burt Lancaster - 1960

42. Some Like It Hot - Jack Lemmon - 1959

43. The Searchers - John Wayne - 1956

44. Gone With The Wind - Clarke Gable - 1939

45. A Place in the Sun - Montgomery Clift - 1951

46. Wuthering Heights - Laurence Olivier - 1939

47. The Graduate - Dustin Hoffman - 1967

48. Death of a Salesman - Frederic March - 1951

49. The Grapes of Wrath - Henry Fonda - 1940

50. In the Heat of the Night - Sydney Portier - 1967

51. Cape Fear - Robert Mitchum - 1962

52. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town - Gary Cooper - 1936

53. The Gold Rush - Charlie Chaplin - 1925

54. Sunset Boulevard - William Holden - 1950

55. It Happened One Night - Clarke Gable - 1934

56. Vertigo - James Stewart - 1958

57. East of Eden - James Dean - 1955

58. Rashomon - Toshiro Mifune - 1950

59. Notorius - Cary Grant - 1946

60. Shadow Of A Doubt - Joseph Cotten - 1943

61. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - Claude Rains - 1939

62. Viva Zapata - Marlon Brando - 1952

63. Bonnie and Clyde - Warren Beatty - 1967

64. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - Humphrey Bogart - 1948

65. Dr. Strangelove - George C. Scott - 1964

66. Spartacus - Kirk Douglas - 1960

67. Birdman of Alcatraz - Burt Lancaster - 1962

68. Bullitt - Steve McQueen - 1968

69. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly - Clint Eastwood - 1966

70. 12 Angry Men - Lee J. Cobb - 1957

71. From Russia With Love - Sean Connery - 1964

72. The Manchurian Candidate - Frank Sinatra - 1962

73. Strangers On A Train - Robert Walker - 1951

74. Casablanca - Claude Rains - 1942

75. Arsenic And Old Lace - Cary Grant - 1944

76. The Maltese Falcon - Peter Lorre - 1941

77. Spellbound - Gregory Peck - 1945

78. None But The Lonely Heart - Cary Grant - 1944

79. On The Waterfront - Karl Malden - 1954

80. Rebecca - Laurence Olivier - 1940

81. The Defiant Ones - Sydney Poitier - 1958

82. Marty - Ernest Borgnine - 1955

83. The Entertainer - Laurence Olivier - 1960

84. Days of Wine and Roses - Jack Lemmon - 1962

85. Henry V - Laurence Olivier - 1944

86. The Band Wagon - Fred Astaire - 1953

87. Lilies of the Field - Sydney Poitier - 1963

88. True Grit - John Wayne - 1969

89. Hud - Paul Newman - 1963

90. The Wizard of Oz - Ray Bulger - 1939

91. Captains Courageous - Spencer Tracy - 1937

92. Little Ceaser - Edward G. Robinson - 1930

93. Othello - Laurence Olivier - 1965

94. Harvey - James Stewart - 1950

95. Cyrano de Bergerac - Jose Ferrer - 1950

96. Sayonara - Marlon Brando - 1957

97. The Best Years of Our Lives - Frederic March - 1946

98. Sergeant York - Gary Cooper - 1941

99. Duck Soup - Groucho Marx - 1932

100. Gigot - Jackie Gleason - 1962

Honorable Mentions
The Awful Truth - Cary Grant - 1937

A Man for All Seasons - Paul Scofield - 1966

A Night at the Opera - Groucho Marx - 1935

Ball of Fire - Gary Cooper - 1941

Becket - Peter O'Toole - 1964

Ben-Hur - Charlton Heston - 1959

Bringing Up Baby - Cary Grant - 1938

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Paul Newman - 1958

Champion - Kirk Douglas - 1949

Cool Hand Luke - Paul Newman - 1967

Dr. Strangelove - Sterling Hayden - 1964

The Fortune Cookie - Walter Matthau - 1966

The Fortune Cookie - Jack Lemmon - 1966

Giant - Rock Hudson - 1956

The General - Buster Keaton - 1927

The Great Escape - Steve McQueen - 1963

High Sierra - Humphrey Bogart - 1941

Its a Gift - W.C. Fields - 1934

Key Largo - Edward G. Robinson - 1948

The King and I - Yul Brynner - 1956

The Ladykillers - Alec Guinness - 1955

Watch On The Rhine - Paul Lukas -1943

The Lion in Winter - Peter O'Toole - 1968

The Man in the White Suit - Alec Guinness - 1951

Midnight Cowboy - Dustin Hoffman - 1969

Monsieur Verdoux - Charles Chaplin - 1947

Oliver Twist - Alec Guinness - 1948

Out of the Past - Robert Mitchum - 1947

Pillow Talk - Rock Hudson - 1959

Planet of the Apes - Roddy McDowell - 1968

The Public Enemy - James Cagney - 1931

The Quiet Man - John Wayne - 1952

Richard III - Laurence Olivier - 1955

Singin' in the Rain - Gene Kelly - 1952

Singin' in the Rain - Donald O'Connor - 1952

Spartacus - Laurence Olivier - 1960

Top Hat - Fred Astaire - 1935

Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? - Richard Burton - 1966

The Wild One - Marlon Brando - 1953

Yojimbo - Toshiro Mifune - 1961



On The Waterfront - Movie Trailer


Last Updated: 2017-10-02
Newly added names are in Red

Criteria: These perfomances are based on characterization, charisma, intensity, and mainly on how well the actor portrayed the role. The genre of the role has no affect on its placement. Comedy, drama, and action, as well as both leading roles and supporting roles were all given a fair consideration.