Warren Beatty’s Biggest Films, Ranked

Warren … who?

Back in 1967, when Warren Beatty was fast on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Esquire writer Rex Reed was so frustrated by a long, rambling interview with the actor that he wrote up a hatchet job called “Will the Real Warren Beatty Please Shut Up?” that opened with a visit to the UCLA campus in which he asked five random students what they thought of the star. Only one even recognized the name, a point Reed took as damning proof that Beatty wasn’t nearly as big a deal as everyone seemed to think — when in fact, you could go down to UCLA now and perform the same poll with the name “Joe Biden” or “Mike Pence” and the recognition would be even lower.

For Beatty, that profile was so embarrassing that he swore off press for the next quarter-century, contributing to a mystique (coupled with his mythology as the industry’s most seductive star) that makes him uniquely suited to the role of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes in “Rules Don’t Apply.”

And yet, it has been so long since the last time Beatty made a movie (15 years since “Town & Country,” an R-rated flop seen by no one under the age of 17 … and by very few adults) that a proper repeat of Reed’s mean-spirited experiment would be hard-pressed to find anyone of the college-aged generation who knows Beatty’s work — which surely explains why the poster for “Rules Don’t Apply” reads, “From the Academy Award winning filmmaker of ‘Reds,’ ‘Heaven Can Wait,’ ‘Shampoo,’ ‘Dick Tracy,’ ‘Bonnie and Clyde,’ ‘Bugsy’ and ‘Bulworth.'”

Popular on Variety

That’s one helluva track record — listing seven of Beatty’s proudest producing credits, four of which the star also directed himself. How many of them have you actually seen? What follows is a ranking of those seven Warren Beatty movies from Variety’s chief film critic, Peter Debruge.

Warren Beatty’s Biggest Films – Ranked Worst to Best

More Film

  • Dev Patel Toronto International Film Festival

    Film News Roundup: Dev Patel to Star in 'Flash Crash' Financial Thriller

    In today’s film news roundup, Dev Patel will portray a market whiz in a “Flash Crash” movie, the late Marty Sklar is honored at UCLA, “The Conversation” is getting a re-release and Ellen Page’s documentary gets a trailer. PROJECT LAUNCH Dev Patel will star in the adaptation of “Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global [...]

  • Police guard the scenery in front

    Mass Shooting in Germany Raises Security Concerns for Berlin Film Festival

    A mass shooting in the West German city of Hanau has raised security concerns for the Berlin Film Festival, which kicks off on Thursday. Local media reports late Wednesday indicate that several people are dead following a shooting. Eight people are believed to have been killed while five others are injured. An unknown assailant is [...]

  • Foto: ©2019 TOM TRAMBOWProjekt: „Lassie Come

    Global Screen Sells 'Lassie Come Home' to More Than 44 Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Munich-based world sales company Global Screen has pre-sold the new adaptation of Eric Knight novel’s “Lassie Come Home,” whose canine character was first brought to the big screen more than 75 years ago, to more than 44 countries. Territories include Italy (Lucky Red), France (Mediawan Rights), Scandinavia (Angel Scandinavia), Israel (Film House), CIS (Volga Film), [...]

  • Paramount Players

    Paramount Players Loses Executives Matt Dines, Ali Bell

    Paramount Players has lost two of its executives, with Matt Dines and Ali Bell leaving their posts as executive vice presidents of development and production. A spokesman for Paramount told Variety that there are no plans to shutter the three-year-old division in the wake of the departures. Wyck Godfrey, Paramount’s motion pictures group president, remains [...]

  • Anya Taylor Joy Emma Premiere

    Anya Taylor-Joy on Playing Jane Austen's Clever, Callous Protagonist in 'Emma'

    It was an evening of elegance at the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features’ “Emma” on Tuesday night. The red carpet was lined with pastel floral arrangements at the DGA Theater, priming visitors to be transported to the ornate pageantry of Georgian-era England, as depicted in this new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic tale. Anya [...]

  • Tom Holland Chris Pratt Onward Premiere

    Tom Holland and Chris Pratt Show Off Real-Life Bond at Pixar's 'Onward' Premiere

    Pixar’s new movie “Onward” marks a reunion of sorts for Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. The two actors, who both have ties to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and most recently teamed in “Avengers: Endgame” as Spider-Man and Star-Lord, play brothers in the animated fantasy adventure. Their friendship has become a highlight of “Onward’s” promotional tour [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content