The Best William Wyler Movies Ranked And Where to Watch them

If you're looking for the best William Wyler movies of all time then here is a definitive list. We rank every movie directed by William Wyler based on their popularity score from IMDB from best to worst. Click on the ‘see more’ button to find out where to watch them in Australia covering all streaming services. In July 2021 there are 15 films in this list.

List of the Best Movies Directed by William Wyler In Order of Popularity

  1. Ben-Hur
  2. Roman Holiday
  3. The Best Years of Our Lives
  4. The Little Foxes
  5. The Big Country
  6. Dodsworth
  7. Wuthering Heights
  8. Mrs. Miniver
  9. How to Steal a Million
  10. Detective Story
  11. Jezebel
  12. Funny Girl
  13. These Three
  14. The Westerner
  15. The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

The top 15 Movies directed by William Wyler

1. Ben-Hur

Rated: G

8.1/10

Judah Ben-Hur lives as a rich Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century. Together with the new governor his old friend Messala arrives as commanding officer of the Roman legions. At first they are happy to meet after a long time but their different politic views separate them. During the welcome parade a roof tile falls down from Judah's house and injures the governor. Although Messala knows they are not guilty, he sends Judah to the galleys and throws his mother and sister into prison. But Judah swears to come back and take revenge.

2. Roman Holiday

Rated: Not Rated

8.0/10

Joe Bradley is a reporter for the American News Service in Rome, a job he doesn't much like as he would rather work for what he considers a real news agency back in the States. He is on the verge of getting fired when he, sleeping in and getting caught in a lie by his boss Hennessy, misses an interview with HRH Princess Ann, who is on a goodwill tour of Europe, Rome only her latest stop. However, he thinks he may have stumbled upon a huge scoop. Princess Ann has officially called off all her Rome engagements due to illness. In reality, he recognizes the photograph of her as being the young well but simply dressed drunk woman he rescued off the street last night (as he didn't want to turn her into the police for being a vagrant), and who is still in his small studio apartment sleeping off her hangover. What Joe doesn't know is that she is really sleeping off the effects of a sedative given to her by her doctor to calm her down after an anxiety attack, that anxiety because she hates her regimented life where she has no freedom and must always do and say the politically correct things, not what is truly on her mind or in her heart. In wanting just a little freedom, she seized upon a chance opportunity to escape from the royal palace where she was staying, albeit with no money in her pockets. Joe believes he can get an exclusive interview with her without she even knowing that he's a reporter or that he's interviewing her. As Joe accompanies "Anya Smith" - her name as she tells him in trying to hide her true identity - around Rome on her incognito day of freedom somewhat unaware that the secret service is searching for her, along for the ride is Joe's photographer friend, Irving Radovich, who Joe has tasked with clandestinely taking photographs of her, those photos to accompany the story. As the day progresses, Joe and Ann slowly start to fall for each other. Their feelings for each other affect what both decide to do, Ann with regard to her royal duties, Joe with regard to the story, and both with regard to if there is a future for them together.

3. The Best Years of Our Lives

Rated: Approved

8.0/10

The story concentrates on the social re-adjustment of three World War II servicemen, each from a different station of society. Al Stephenson returns to an influential banking position, but finds it hard to reconcile his loyalties to ex-servicemen with new commercial realities. Fred Derry is an ordinary working man who finds it difficult to hold down a job or pick up the threads of his marriage. Having had both hands burnt off during the war, Homer Parrish is unsure that his fiancée's feelings are still those of love and not those of pity. Each of the veterans faces a crisis upon his arrival, and each crisis is a microcosm of the experiences of many American warriors who found an alien world awaiting them when they came marching home.

4. The Little Foxes

Rated: Approved

8.0/10

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the 20th century. Regina Giddons née Hubbard has her daughter under her thumb. Mrs. Giddons is estranged from her husband, who is convalescing in Baltimore and suffers from a terminal illness. But she needs him home, and will manipulate her daughter to help bring him back. She has a sneaky business deal that she's cooking up with her two elder brothers, Oscar and Ben. Oscar has a flighty, unhappy wife and a dishonest worm of a son. Will the daughter have to marry this contemptible cousin? Who will she grow up to be - her mother or her aunt? Or can she escape the fate of both?

5. The Big Country

Rated: Passed

7.9/10

Retired, wealthy sea Captain Jame McKay arrives in the vast expanse of the West to marry fiancée Pat Terrill. McKay is a man whose values and approach to life are a mystery to the ranchers and ranch foreman Steve Leech takes an immediate dislike to him. Pat is spoiled, selfish and controlled by her wealthy father, Major Henry Terrill. The Major is involved in a ruthless civil war, over watering rights for cattle, with a rough hewn clan led by Rufus Hannassey. The land in question is owned by Julie Maragon and both Terrill and Hannassey want it.

6. Dodsworth

Rated: Passed

7.8/10

A bittersweet tale of the increasing estrangement of a retired automobile tycoon and his wife. Increasingly obsessed with maintaining an appearance of youth, she falls in with a crowd of frivolous socialites during their "second honeymoon" European vacation. He, in turn, meets a woman who is everything she is not: self-assured, self-confident, and able to take care of herself.

7. Wuthering Heights

Rated: Not Rated

7.6/10

The story of unfortunate lovers Heathcliff and Cathy who, despite a deep affection for one another, are forced by circumstance and prejudice to live their apart. Heathcliff and Cathy first meet as children when her father brings the abandoned boy to live with them. When the old man dies several years later Cathy's brother, now the master of the estate, turns Heathcliff out forcing him to live with the servants and working as a stable boy. The barrier of class comes between them and she eventually marries a rich neighbor, Mr. Edgar Linton, at which point Heathcliff disappears. He returns several years later, now a rich man but little can be done.

8. Mrs. Miniver

Rated: Not Rated

7.6/10

The Minivers, an English "middle-class" family experience life in the first months of World War II. While dodging bombs, the Minivers' son courts Lady Beldon's granddaughter. A rose is named after Mrs. Miniver and entered in the competition against Lady Beldon's rose.

9. How to Steal a Million

Rated: Not Rated

7.6/10

Nicole's father, a legendary art collector, lends his prized Cellini Venus to a prestigious Paris museum. Unfortunately, the Venus was *not* sculpted by Cellini but by Nicole's grandfather. (Her father is a forger as well, but his specialty is paintings.) Before tests can be done which would prove the Venus a fake, Nicole enlists the services of "society burglar" Simon Demott to steal the million dollar statue.

10. Detective Story

Rated: Approved

7.6/10

Jim McLeod is a hard-nosed and cynical detective. He believes in a strict interpretation of the law and doesn't believe in turning the other cheek. The current object of his zealousness is Karl Schneider, an abortionist responsible for the death of several young women. Schneider's lawyer tells the precinct lieutenant that McLeod has his own personal reasons for going after his client. It turns out that his wife was a patient before they met, although Jim knew nothing of it. His world suddenly turned upside down, McLeod is too late in re-evaluating his priorities.

11. Jezebel

Rated: Approved

7.5/10

Set in antebellum New Orleans during the early 1850's, this film follows Julie Marsden through her quest for social redemption on her own terms. Julie is a beautiful and free spirited, rapacious Southern belle who is sure of herself and controlling of her fiancé Preston Dillard, a successful young banker. Julie's sensitive but domineering personality--she does not want so much to hurt as to assert her independence--forces a wedge between Preston and herself. To win him back, she plays North against South amid a deadly epidemic of yellow fever which claims a surprising victim.

12. Funny Girl

Rated: G

7.4/10

Early twentieth century New York. Fanny Brice knows that she is a talented comedienne and singer. She also knows that she is not the beauty typical of the stage performers of the day, she with skinny legs and a crooked nose among other physical issues. So she knows she has to use whatever other means to get her break in show business, that break so that she can at least display her talents. With the help of Eddie Ryan who would become her friend, Fanny is able to get a part in a novelty act in a vaudeville show, the renown from which eventually comes to the attention of famed impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.. Fanny does become one of the Ziegfeld Follies most popular acts, despite she almost getting fired after her first performance by defying Flo's artistic vision for her closing number. Beyond stage success, Fanny also wants a happy personal life, most specifically with the suave Nicky Arnstein, a gambler in every respect of the word. Fanny loves him and loves that he loves her despite her lack of traditional beauty, but she does not love that he comes in and goes out of her life based on his financial standing at any given time and his need to earn that quick buck by the next poker game or high stakes business deal as he feels he needs to play the traditional role of money maker in their relationship on his own terms.

13. These Three

Rated: Passed

7.4/10

This first film version of "The Children's Hour" uses a heterosexual triangle rather than the play's lesbian theme. The plot concerns schoolteachers Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, both of whom are in love with Dr. Joe Cardin. The malicious lie of one of their students involves all three in a scandal which disrupts all their lives.

14. The Westerner

Rated: Approved

7.3/10

Cole Harden just doesn't look like a horse thief, Jane-Ellen Matthews tells Judge Roy Bean as she steps up to the bar. Cole says he can't take it with him as he empties all of his coins on the bar to buy drinks for the jury. He notices two big pictures of Lily Langtry behind the bar. Sure, Cole has met the Jersey Lily, whom the hanging judge adores, even has a lock of her hair. Hanging is delayed for two weeks, giving Cole time to get in the middle of a range war between cattlemen and homesteaders and to still be around when Lily Langtry, former mistress of Edward VII who became an international actress, arrives in Texas.

15. The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

Rated: Not Rated

7.3/10

Documentary about the 25th and last bombing mission of a B17, the "Memphis Belle". The "Memphis Belle" took part in a great bombing raid on sub-pens in Wilhelmshafen, Germany. On their way they encounterd heavy AA fire and interceptors.