Best Ray Milland Movies

Welcome to our list of the most iconic Ray Milland films! A leading actor of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Milland is renowned for his alluring charm and exceptional acting range. From dramas to comedies to horror, he has starred in a vast variety of genres over his long and illustrious career. His memorable roles in classic films like The Lost Weekend, Dial M for Murder, and The Big Clock have earned him both critical acclaim and commercial success.

His Academy Award-winning portrayal of Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend is often regarded as his crowning achievement, but his presence in Dial M for Murder and The Big Clock has also earned him unanimous critical praise. As we count down these ten must-see films, you’ll be able to gain a better appreciation for Milland’s versatility and talent, which have cemented his legacy as one of the greats of Hollywood’s golden era.

In this article, we will be counting down the top 10 movies that show off the best of Milland’s impressive talent and versatility as an actor. So if you’re a fan of classic cinema, read on to discover why these films are considered some of the greatest works of Ray Milland’s career.

The Top 10 Best Ray Milland Movies, Ranked

10. Love Story (1970)

  • Genre: Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Ali MacGraw, Ryan O’Neal, John Marley, Ray Milland
  • Directed by: Arthur Hiller

The first movie on our list of the top 10 best Ray Milland movies is the 1970 romantic classic Love Story. The film follows the tumultuous relationship between wealthy Harvard student Oliver Barrett IV (O’Neal) and working-class Radcliffe student Jennifer Cavalleri (MacGraw).

Milland plays Oliver’s father, who does not approve of his son’s relationship with a middle-class woman. Milland only has a supporting role here. However, as this role came in the latter half of his long career, this list wouldn’t be complete without it! Even in 1970, Milland still shone in his roles!

9. Alias Nick Beal (1949)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Fantasy / Drama
  • Starring: Ray Milland, Audrey Totter, Thomas Mitchell, George Macready
  • Directed by: John Farrow

Alias Nick Beal is definitely one of the best — and most interesting — Ray Milland movies of all time! The plot of this film follows a district attorney named Joseph Foster (Mitchell), who becomes embroiled in a web of corruption and deceit when he meets the mysterious Nick Beal (Milland), a man who claims to be an agent of the Devil.

Foster will do anything to put criminals behind bars — including selling his own soul to the devil. When Nick Beal arrives to help him out, Foster finds himself growing increasingly corrupt because of the man’s influence. Such an interesting film noir based on the classic Faust tale!

8. Easy Living (1937)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland, Luis Alberni
  • Directed by: Mitchell Leisen

Easy Living is yet another one of the best Ray Milland movies of all time! The movie follows the life of Mary Smith (Arthur), a secretary who finds herself at the center of a series of misunderstandings and misadventures when a fur coat falls out of the window of a wealthy man’s (Arnold) apartment and lands on her.

As she tries to return the coat, she becomes entangled in the lives of its owner and his entire family (which includes Milland).

Filled with sharp wit and sparkling dialogue, Easy Living is a delightful and entertaining film that has stood the test of time. Jean Arthur delivers a charming and memorable performance as Mary, and the supporting cast, including Milland and Arnold, are equally memorable!

Related — Jean Arthur: 10 Essential Movies

7. Ministry Of Fear (1944)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Crime / Drama
  • Starring: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond, Hillary Brooke
  • Directed by: Fritz Lang

This list of the best Ray Milland movies of all time wouldn’t be complete without Ministry of Fear. Set in England during World War II, the film follows Stephen Neale, an innocent man who suddenly finds himself in the world of espionage.

Along the way, he enters the underground world of spies, crime, and Nazis. With its fast-paced action and gripping plot, Ministry of Fear is a must-see for any fan of Milland!

Today, Ministry of Fear is still beloved — and is even a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #649)!

6. Beau Geste (1939)

  • Genre: Action / Adventure / Drama
  • Starring: Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy
  • Directed by: William A. Wellman

Beau Geste is yet another one of the best Ray Milland movies of all time! Beau Geste tells the story of three brothers (Cooper, Milland, and Preston) who join the French Foreign Legion in order to escape a troubled past. Along the way, they confront challenges and conflicts that test their loyalty and bravery, ultimately leading to a heart-pounding finale.

With its exciting action, compelling characters, and beautiful cinematography, Beau Geste is a must-see for fans of adventure and classic Hollywood cinema.

5. The Uninvited (1944)

  • Genre: Horror / Fantasy / Mystery
  • Starring: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, Cornelia Otis Skinner
  • Directed by: Lewis Allen

The Uninvited is DEFINITELY one of the best Ray Milland movies of all time! The film stars Milland and Ruth Hussey as a brother and sister who purchase a home on the Cornish coast, only to discover that it is haunted by the ghost of a former resident.

The Uninvited is notable for its use of music to enhance the atmosphere of the film. It is often cited as one of the best examples of a Hollywood ghost story. Today, it remains popular and is even a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #677)!

4. The Major And The Minor (1942)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson, Robert Benchley
  • Directed by: Billy Wilder

Talk about a screwball comedy! The Major and the Minor is a comedic film that is also one of the best Ray Milland movies of all time!

The comedy follows Susan Applegate (Rogers), a young woman who poses as a child in order to get a discounted train ticket home. Along the way, she meets Major Philip Kirby (Milland), a man who initially mistakes her for the child she says she is!

Related — Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Movies, Ranked by Popularity Today

3. The Big Clock (1948)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Crime / Drama
  • Starring: Ray Milland, Maureen O’Sullivan, Charles Laughton, George Macready
  • Directed by: John Farrow

The Big Clock is also one of the best Ray Milland movies! The film is based on the novel of the same name by Kenneth Fearing and follows the story of a magazine editor named George Stroud (Milland) who finds himself being framed for murder while trying to track down the real killer.

One of the standout features of The Big Clock is its impressive cast, with Milland giving a standout performance as the desperate and conflicted George Stroud. Charles Laughton also shines as a ruthless publisher and boss of George Stroud.

In terms of its plot, The Big Clock keeps audiences on the edge of their seats with its twists and turns as George tries to clear his name and uncover the truth. It’s a must-watch!

2. The Lost Weekend (1945)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Drama
  • Starring: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva
  • Directed by: Billy Wilder

The Lost Weekend is a classic film from 1945 that tells the powerful and emotional story of a writer struggling with alcoholism. It also happens to be one of the very best Ray Milland movies of all time.

Starring Milland as the lead character, Don Birnam, the film follows Don on a devastating weekend bender as he tries to fight his addiction and come to terms with the destructive impact it has had on his life.

One of the standout features of The Lost Weekend is its realistic portrayal of the dangers and consequences of alcohol abuse. The film was groundbreaking in its depiction of the harsh realities of addiction and helped to shed light on the devastating effects it can have on individuals and their loved ones.

Despite being released over 75 years ago, The Lost Weekend remains a poignant and relevant film that continues to resonate with audiences today. It received widespread critical acclaim upon its release, winning a number of awards including the Academy Award for Best Actor for Milland’s powerful performance.

1. Dial M For Murder (1954)

  • Genre: Thriller / Crime
  • Starring: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Dial M for Murder is the best Ray Milland movie of all time. This movie is absolutely iconic and one of Hitchcock’s greatest! The film stars Milland as Tony Wendice, a former professional tennis player who plots to kill his wealthy wife Margot (Grace Kelly) for financial gain. When his plan goes awry, Tony must try to cover his tracks and outwit the police to avoid being caught.

Milland gives a standout performance in Dial M for Murder as Tony Wendice, the film’s antagonist. Tony is a complex character, a former professional tennis player who is willing to go to great lengths to regain his wealth, including plotting to kill his own wife. Milland’s portrayal of Tony is both charming and chilling, as he expertly conveys the character’s determination and cold calculation.

Overall, Milland’s performance is a key element of what makes Dial M for Murder such a classic film. His portrayal of Tony Wendice is complex, nuanced, and highly effective in drawing the viewer into the film’s suspenseful plot!

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