Yle News' Best Finnish Films of All Time

by mymovieslists | created - 21 Nov 2012 | updated - 21 Nov 2012 | Public
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1. Inspector Palmu's Error (1960)

109 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

A closed room mystery begins when an infamous tycoon is found dead in his bath tub. The famous police lieutenant Palmu is summoned to investigate.

Director: Matti Kassila | Stars: Joel Rinne, Elina Pohjanpää, Matti Ranin, Leo Riuttu

Votes: 1,645

2. Drifting Clouds (1996)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

The recession hits a couple in Helsinki.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Kati Outinen, Kari Väänänen, Elina Salo, Sakari Kuosmanen

Votes: 6,204

3. The White Reindeer (1952)

Not Rated | 74 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A newly wed woman goes to the local shaman to get some help with her lovelife, but instead gets turned into a white reindeer vampire.

Director: Erik Blomberg | Stars: Mirjami Kuosmanen, Kalervo Nissilä, Åke Lindman, Jouni Tapiola

Votes: 1,207

4. The Unknown Soldier (1955)

177 min | Drama, War

Finnish Continuation War rages and a platoon of soldiers is forced to face the horrors of the forefront. Based on Väinö Linna's book of the same name.

Director: Edvin Laine | Stars: Kosti Klemelä, Heikki Savolainen, Reino Tolvanen, Veikko Sinisalo

Votes: 6,649

5. Eight Deadly Shots (1972– )

316 min | Drama

Small-farmer Pasi shoots four policemen who have come to arrest him for raged drunkenness. The movie is a flashback examining the events that finally lead to the tragic shooting. As time ... See full summary »

Stars: Tarja-Tuulikki Tarsala, Mikko Niskanen, Paavo Pentikäinen, Tauno Paananen

Votes: 711

6. The Man Without a Past (2002)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tähti, Juhani Niemelä

Votes: 20,484 | Gross: $0.92M

7. Frozen Land (2005)

130 min | Drama

When a schoolteacher is sacked he projects his bad mood at his troubled teen son. He in turn buys a CD player from a pawnshop with counterfeit money. This causes a chain-reaction that ... See full summary »

Director: Aku Louhimies | Stars: Jasper Pääkkönen, Mikko Leppilampi, Pamela Tola, Petteri Summanen

Votes: 5,460

8. The Year of the Hare (1977)

129 min | Comedy, Drama

Young advertising executive Vatanen suddenly quits his job and his whole life in Helsinki, and decides to spend a while in the Finnish wilderness. A wounded hare hit by a car becomes his ... See full summary »

Director: Risto Jarva | Stars: Antti Litja, Kauko Helovirta, Markku Huhtamo, Paavo Hukkinen

Votes: 1,116

9. Sensuela (1972)

104 min | Drama, Romance

A Lappish girl, the only daughter of a reindeer herder, rescues a crashed German fighter pilot during WW2. The two develop warm feelings for each other during his convalescence.

Director: Teuvo Tulio | Stars: Marianne Mardi, Ossi Elstelä, Mauritz Åkerman, Ismo Saario

Votes: 516

10. Calamari Union (1985)

Not Rated | 81 min | Comedy

An exodus to a better life in Eira

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Timo Eränkö, Kari Heiskanen, Asmo Hurula, Sakke Järvenpää

Votes: 2,821

11. The Earth Is a Sinful Song (1973)

R | 108 min | Drama

An earthy, naturalistically erotic and blood-soaked tale of young Martta's ill-fated affair with Oula, a womanizing reindeer herdsman in the Finnish Lapland of the late 1940s. When the 19-... See full summary »

Director: Rauni Mollberg | Stars: Maritta Viitamäki, Pauli Jauhojärvi, Aimo Saukko, Milja Hiltunen

Votes: 687

12. The Unknown Soldier (1985)

199 min | Drama, War

This film is the second silver screen adaption of the Finnish war book by Väinö Linna with the same name as the film. The story is based on Linna's experiences as an infantry man in the ... See full summary »

Director: Rauni Mollberg | Stars: Risto Tuorila, Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, Paavo Liski, Mika Mäkelä

Votes: 2,467

13. The Worthless (1982)

105 min | Crime, Drama

A criminal, his friend and his former girlfriend find their lives intertwining with each other.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki | Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Pirkko Hämäläinen, Juuso Hirvikangas, Esko Nikkari

Votes: 967

14. Juurakon Hulda (1937)

82 min | Comedy, Romance

Poor but ambitious country girl Hulda arrives in the country's capital and gets a job as a maid for a bachelor Member of Parliament, Judge Soratie. She works hard, never loses her common ... See full summary »

Director: Valentin Vaala | Stars: Irma Seikkula, Tauno Palo, Topo Leistelä, Hugo Hytönen

Votes: 143

15. The Boys (1962)

106 min | Comedy, Drama, War

A group of mischievous Finnish boys experience the ups and downs of life during World War 2.

Director: Mikko Niskanen | Stars: Pentti Tarkiainen, Vesa-Matti Loiri, Uti Saurio, Hannu Vironmäki

Votes: 783

16. Shadows in Paradise (1986)

Not Rated | 74 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An episode in the life of Nikander, a garbage man, involving the death of a coworker, a love affair and much more.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Kati Outinen, Sakari Kuosmanen, Esko Nikkari

Votes: 4,201

17. The Life of Aleksis Kivi (2001)

104 min | Biography, Drama

Finland in the 1850's take the first steps towards independence. The Finnish-language authors introduce themselves.

Director: Jari Halonen | Stars: Marko Tiusanen, Jari Salmi, Karoliina Kudjoi, Margit Lindeman

Votes: 540

18. The Harvest Month (1956)

94 min | Drama

Viktor Sundvall is a guard of a little channel in the Finnish countryside. He is an unsuccessful playwright who is frustrated with his marriage and his life and therefore he has became an ... See full summary »

Director: Matti Kassila | Stars: Toivo Mäkelä, Emma Väänänen, Rauni Luoma, Aino-Maija Tikkanen

Votes: 220

19. Olympian Holiday (1976)

113 min | Comedy, Romance

A shy Finn boards a wrong plane and ends up on a beach holiday instead of skiing.

Director: Risto Jarva | Stars: Antti Litja, Tuula Nyman, Eija Pokkinen, Jukka Sipilä

Votes: 332

20. The Collector (1997)

98 min | Drama, Thriller

Eevi's life isn't going the way she would want it to, so she runs away, leaving destruction in her wake. No one will ever say no to her again.

Director: Auli Mantila | Stars: Leea Klemola, Elina Hurme, Rea Mauranen, Henriikka Salo

Votes: 396

21. The Prodigal Son (1992)

97 min | Drama, Thriller

Esa is a small time crook who has been precisely released from prison. He starts to make money by mugging people. One day psychiatrist Lindström rings Esa's doorbell. He has a very strange ... See full summary »

Director: Veikko Aaltonen | Stars: Hannu Kivioja, Esko Salminen, Leea Klemola, Markku Peltola

Votes: 308

22. The Match Factory Girl (1990)

Not Rated | 69 min | Drama, Comedy

A woman's terribly dull life is upended by a one-night stand pregnancy, causing her to seek retribution.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Kati Outinen, Elina Salo, Esko Nikkari, Vesa Vierikko

Votes: 7,916

23. Täältä tullaan, elämä! (1980)

118 min | Drama, Romance

In the punk rock era of the late 1970s three restless teenagers, two boys and a girl, spend their time in and out of a special class for problem kids. Jussi seldom sees his parents at home,... See full summary »

Director: Tapio Suominen | Stars: Esa Niemelä, Tony Holmström, Kati Outinen, Risto Piskunen

Votes: 567

24. Stolen Death (1938)

101 min | Thriller

A thriller set in turn-of-the-century Helsinki, Stolen Death uses elements of German expressionism to tell the story of Finnish resistance fighters smuggling arms to overthrow the Tsarist ... See full summary »

Director: Nyrki Tapiovaara | Stars: Tuulikki Paananen, Ilmari Mänty, Santeri Karilo, Annie Mörk

Votes: 209

25. The Good Son (2011)

88 min | Drama

When his mother takes a shine to a man at a party, a young man begins to lose his grip on reality. Initial release: March 25, 2011 (Finland) Director: Zaida Bergroth Editor: Jan Forsström ... See full summary »

Director: Zaida Bergroth | Stars: Samuli Niittymäki, Elina Knihtilä, Eero Aho, Anna Paavilainen

Votes: 331

26. Gas, Inspector Palmu! (1961)

99 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

A rich widow is found dead of gas poisoning in her flat in Helsinki. First the death is thought to be an accident, but lieutenant Palmu notices that the murderer has made a mistake, and ... See full summary »

Director: Matti Kassila | Stars: Joel Rinne, Matti Ranin, Leo Jokela, Elina Salo

Votes: 1,304

27. The Wedding Waltz (1988 TV Movie)

56 min | Comedy, Drama

Viltteri, a balding guy in his thirties living in rural northern Finland, is hopelessly clueless about his new role as a married man and the father of a newborn son. A perfect escape from ... See full summary »

Director: Matti Ijäs | Stars: Vesa Vierikko, Sulevi Peltola, Markku Maalismaa, Kaija Pakarinen

Votes: 1,009

28. Dog Nail Clipper (2004)

105 min | Drama

Bright young soldier Mertsi suffers a permanent brain injury in the Second World War. In the late 1940s he wanders around the Finnish countryside looking for simple work and relying on ... See full summary »

Director: Markku Pölönen | Stars: Peter Franzén, Taisto Reimaluoto, Ahti Kuoppala, Ville Virtanen

Votes: 1,304

29. When the Heavens Fell (1972)

100 min | Drama

A psyhiotherapist's life is wrecked when her private life is exposed in a sensation magazine.

Director: Risto Jarva | Stars: Eeva-Maija Haukinen, Erkki Pajala, Heikki Hämäläinen, Matti Kassila

Votes: 166

30. Skin, Skin (1966)

89 min | Drama

Depiction of four urban youths and their excursion to the countryside.

Director: Mikko Niskanen | Stars: Eero Melasniemi, Kristiina Halkola, Pekka Autiovuori, Kirsti Wallasvaara

Votes: 629

31. The Snow Queen (1986)

Unrated | 90 min | Family, Fantasy

In this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's longest story, the beautiful Snow Queen has captured two children and now keeps them apart. She has inserted a sliver of her own special ice ... See full summary »

Director: Päivi Hartzell | Stars: Satu Silvo, Outi Vainionkulma, Sebastian Kaatrasalo, Tuula Nyman

Votes: 354

32. Portraits of Women (1970)

X | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

Finnish porn movie producer Pertsa returns from America to his home country to continue his profession with hopelessly small budgets and incompetent casts and crews. A self-ironic satire ... See full summary »

Director: Jörn Donner | Stars: Ritva Vepsä, Jörn Donner, Kirsti Wallasvaara, Aarre Elo

Votes: 194

33. A Long Hot Summer (1999)

100 min | Comedy, Music

The story of a rock band "Kalle Päätalo" in the 1980s.

Director: Perttu Leppä | Stars: Unto Helo, Hanna-Mari Karhinen, Mikko Hakola, Jimi Pääkallo

Votes: 2,191

34. Letters to Father Jacob (2009)

74 min | Drama

65 Metascore

With few options, newly pardoned convict Leila agrees to work as an assistant to a blind pastor. Father Jacob spends his days answering the letters of the needy, which Leila finds pointless... See full summary »

Director: Klaus Härö | Stars: Kaarina Hazard, Heikki Nousiainen, Jukka Keinonen, Esko Roine

Votes: 2,063

35. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

R | 84 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Horror

71 Metascore

In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 meters deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up. This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.

Director: Jalmari Helander | Stars: Jorma Tommila, Onni Tommila, Peeter Jakobi, Tommi Korpela

Votes: 23,986 | Gross: $0.26M

36. A Time of Roses (1969)

108 min | Sci-Fi

In the year 2011, historian Raimo Lappalainen wants to illustrate how life was 50 years earlier. He becomes obsessed with the fate of a 1970s nude model, Saara Turunen, and finds a perfect ... See full summary »

Director: Risto Jarva | Stars: Arto Tuominen, Ritva Vepsä, Tarja Markus, Eero Keskitalo

Votes: 197

37. Back to the USSR (1992)

94 min | Comedy, Drama

It is glasnost in the USSR. Reima August is the last communist. A lonely outcast that does not agree with the new world around him.

Director: Jari Halonen | Stars: Jorma Tommila, Ulla Koivuranta, Sanna-Maria Salmi, Pauliina Sykkö

Votes: 173

38. One Man's War (1973)

108 min | Drama

Man leaves his factory job and sells everything to buy an earth mover and start his own business, travelling from place to place with his wife and child. There is not enough work and he is ... See full summary »

Director: Risto Jarva | Stars: Eero Rinne, Tuula Nyman, Tauno Hautaniemi, Martti Pennanen

Votes: 128

39. Zombie and the Ghost Train (1991)

88 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Antti "Zombie" Autiomaa does two things well: play the bass guitar and drink. After several months' sleeping on the streets of Istanbul, he returns to Helsinki where he's called into the ... See full summary »

Director: Mika Kaurismäki | Stars: Silu Seppälä, Marjo Leinonen, Matti Pellonpää, Vieno Saaristo

Votes: 905

40. Mother of Mine (2005)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, War

During World War II, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. From the award-winning Klaus Härö (Elina: As If I Wasn't There (2002)), "... See full summary »

Director: Klaus Härö | Stars: Topi Majaniemi, Marjaana Maijala, Maria Lundqvist, Michael Nyqvist

Votes: 4,035

41. 1918 (1957)

96 min | Drama, War

Pastor Samuel Bro has lost his faith in God. He is in conflict with the Church Council and is rejected from his priesthood. He moves away to a different life.

Director: T.J. Särkkä | Stars: Åke Lindman, Anneli Sauli, Ture Ara, Matti Aulos

Votes: 58

42. Aliisa (1970 TV Movie)

80 min | Drama

Aliisa is a poor pensioner struggling to survive in the 1970s' Helsinki. This was the last role of the prolific finnish actor Siiri Angerkoski.

Director: Jukka Sipilä | Stars: Siiri Angerkoski, Selma Miettinen, Varma Lahtinen, Anja Pohjola

Votes: 73

45. The Tough Ones (1999)

105 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Häjyt tells a story of two friends who have a hard time finding their place in the society. Antti and Jussi are released from jail. While they were doing time for bank robbery, the third ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksi Mäkelä | Stars: Samuli Edelmann, Juha Veijonen, Teemu Lehtilä, Kalevi Haapoja

Votes: 4,496

46. Our Father... (1993)

88 min | Drama

Young sailor Juhani returns to his childhood home, an abandoned farm in the Finnish countryside. He takes his old senile father out of the local nursing home and brings him back to see the ... See full summary »

Director: Veikko Aaltonen | Stars: Hannu Kivioja, Martti Katajisto, Elina Hurme, Heikki Kujanpää

Votes: 136

48. The Christmas Party (1996)

84 min | Comedy

Mike is getting out of prison after serving four years for a bank robbery. Bona is arranging the party of all parties for him: a Christmas party.

Director: Jari Halonen | Stars: Jorma Tommila, Antti Reini, Rauno Juvonen, Oiva Lohtander

Votes: 383