Directorsby MarlowCrew | created - 26 Sep 2018 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public
These are Directors that I think standout (are truly outstanding). Ordered by Date of Birth.
Director | Casablanca
Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. After WWI, he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner...
If it was just 'Casablanca' he wouldn't make the list, but it isn't ... 'Mildred Pierce' 'Young Man with a Horn' ...
Actor | Leap Year
Roscoe Arbuckle, one of nine children, was the baby of the family who weighed a reported 16 pounds at birth. Born in Smith Center, Kansas, on March 24, 1887, his family moved to California when he was a year old. At age eight he appeared on the stage. His first part was with the Webster-Brown Stock...
Possibly the most underrated Director of all time. Look at what is contemporaries were doing at this time.
Writer | La passion de Jeanne d'Arc
The illegitimate son of a Danish farmer and his Swedish housekeeper, Carl Theodor Dreyer was born in Copenhagen on the 3th of February, 1889. He spent his early years in various foster homes before being adopted by the Dreyers at the age of two. Contrary to popular belief (perhaps nourished by the ...
I believe Ingmar Bergman rated him, not hard to see why.
Writer | The Great Dictator
Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...
5. Fritz Lang
Actor | Le mépris
Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...
Among many other great things, the films have pace.
Actress | Mickey
Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "...
Early Comedy Director and Actress who doesn't seem to get the recognition she deserves. Not sure she is even recognised as a feminist icon.
7. Jean Renoir
Writer | La règle du jeu
Son of the famous Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste, he had a happy childhood. Pierre Renoir was his brother, and Claude Renoir was his nephew. After the end of World War I, where he won the Croix de Guerre, he moved from scriptwriting to filmmaking. He married Catherine Hessling, for whom he ...
Perhaps some of it is hereditary.
Not watched all Renoir's films yet, but I've not been disappointed with those I have watched.
I get "Boudu Saved from Drowning", "La Grande Illusion" [a personal all time favorite] and " The Rules of the Game" and their high IMDb rating.
I don't get "La Chienne" (1931) doesn't get the same level of applause, or for that matter "A Day in the Country" (1936).
Actor | The General
Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine ...
Created some of the best example showing sound certainly is everything. And stuck by his close friend.
Director | Psycho
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...
I can’t think over anyone who combines Innovative, commercial and art so well. I likely the early British moves too.
10. Luis Buñuel
Writer | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...
Multiple Directors in the same Director, with a core of genius running through.
11. Vittorio De Sica
Director | Ladri di biciclette
Vittorio De Sica grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee ...
Genius - great films that apply on multiple levels.
Anyone wanting to be a Film Director should be certified as having watch at least the first 10 minutes of "Miracolo a Milano "
12. Billy Wilder
Writer | The Apartment
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929 and wrote scripts for many ...
Great commercial movies. Two adjectives that don't always sit together.
13. Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With...
Olympia (1938) and never mind greatest female director.
I'm British and there is some pride in home grown documentary makers. However, nothing compares. [Watched]
14. Carol Reed
Director | The Third Man
Carol Reed was the second son of stage actor, dramatics teacher and impresario founder of the Royal School of Dramatic Arts Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Reed was one of Tree's six illegitimate children with Beatrice Mae Pinney, who Tree established in a second household apart from his married life. ...
The Third Man is a life long favorite, but some of the less publicised films are good such as "Odd Man Out" and "The Fallen Idol". To name but a few "The Key", "The Man Between" and "Our Man in Havana" all well worth watching.
15. Akira Kurosawa
Writer | Ran
After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...
16. Orson Welles
Actor | Citizen Kane
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was six) he traveled the world with his father. He was orphaned at 15 after his father's death and became the ward of Dr. ...
17. Ingmar Bergman
Writer | Smultronstället
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions (1996) is the ...
Seldom if ever a single frame out of place.
18. Federico Fellini
Writer | 8½
The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...
Writer | Un bruit qui rend fou
Born in Brest, France, in 1922, Alain Robbe-Grillet initially studied mathematics and biology. He graduated from the Paris-based Institut National Agronomique (National Institute of Agronomy) in 1945 and embarked on a career of scientific research in the tropics and in France. Then at age 30 he ...
Feels like a secret that would be better if it wasn't kept, some great great cinema.
20. Lindsay Anderson
Director | If....
Lindsay Anderson was born on April 17, 1923 in Bangalore, Kingdom of Mysore, British India as Lindsay Gordon Anderson. He was a director and actor, known for If.... (1968), Britannia Hospital (1982) and This Sporting Life (1963). He died on August 30, 1994 in Angoulême, Charente, France.
Quintessentially English films, with no Hollywood sellout.
21. Robert Altman
Director | Gosford Park
Robert Altman was born on February 20th, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, to B.C. (an insurance salesman) and Helen Altman. He entered St. Peters Catholic school at the age six, and spent a short time at a Catholic high school. From there, he went to Rockhurst High School. It was then that he started...
The films seem to get better the more I think about them and the IMDb rates don't seem to do them justice.
Hidden gems include 'A Wedding'
22. Mel Brooks
Actor | Spaceballs
Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to ...
This is my list, so I don't feel the need to justify every entry.
23. Stanley Kubrick
Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...
A life well spent (as far as we are concerned). Great films that we have on the shelf just so we can take them down and watch them as and when. [Watched]
24. Sergio Leone
Writer | Once Upon a Time in America
Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...
I don't want to think about how your films influenced me. [Watched]
25. Claude Chabrol
Director | Le beau Serge
Claude Chabrol was born on June 24, 1930 in Paris, France. He was a director and writer, known for Le Beau Serge (1958), La Cérémonie (1995) and Story of Women (1988). He was married to Aurore Chabrol, Stéphane Audran and Agnès Goute. He died on September 12, 2010 in Paris.
Films are about entertainment
26. Jacques Demy
Director | Les parapluies de Cherbourg
Jacques Demy was born on June 5, 1931 in Pontchâteau, Loire-Atlantique, France. He was a director and writer, known for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) and Une Chambre en Ville (1982). He was married to Agnès Varda. He died on October 27, 1990 in Paris, France.
I'm not keen on Musicals, Demy is the exception.
27. Ermanno Olmi
Director | L'albero degli zoccoli
Ermanno Olmi was born on July 24, 1931 in Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy. He was a director and writer, known for The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978), The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988) and The Profession of Arms (2001). He was married to Loredana Detto. He died on May 5, 2018 in Asiago, Veneto, Italy.
MARKER: While I work out what's going on. Starting point "Il Posto"
Writer | La nuit américaine
French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the ...
Probably my favorite Director of all time. He is one of the greatest directors ever, but may be a bit sentimental, so am I.
29. Andrei Tarkovsky
Writer | Solyaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood (1962), which ...
Like Bergman, I think it called "genius"; great is I kind of understand it though I couldn't do it, genius is beyond how you do it.
Director | Missing
Costa-Gavras was born on February 12, 1933 in Loutra-Iraias, Greece as Konstantinos Gavras. He is a director and writer, known for Missing (1982), Amen. (2002) and Z (1969). He has been married to Michèle Ray-Gavras since 1968. They have two children.
Surprisingly a number his films aren't readily available in the UK or with official English subtitles.
Most of the other Directors on this list are appreciated and frequently listed as the greatest directors. So Costa-Gavras must qualify as one of the most underrated film directors of all time, with films that vary from great to just very good.
English Subs R2 availability - as far as I can work out.
Adults in the Room (2019) - Good luck finding this. Le Capital (2012) - BluRay available. Wow! Le Couperet AKA The Ax (2005) - None Amen. (2002) - DVD Mad City (2002) - DVD and Amazon Prime Music Box (1989) - DVD Betrayed (1988) - DVD [Including a BFI version] Hanna K. (1983) - None Missing (1982) - DVD (expensive) The Confession (1970) - Rare DVD and ultra expensive BruRay Z (1069) - Hard to find DVD 1 homme de trop (1967) - None Compartiment tueurs (1965) - No English R2 DVD as far as I can see.
31. Roman Polanski
Actor | Chinatown
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933.
His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...
Repeatedly demonstrates that producing great films doesn't always require a massive budgets. Perhaps all aspiring directors should be made to watch "Knife in the Water" before they are let loose.
32. Woody Allen
Writer | Manhattan
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
You don't need to be the best at anyone one thing to be somewhere near the best overall.
You probably do have to have passion, love and respect; Woody Allen clearly has these qualities.
(Yes, I'm like every one else, I like the comedies with Woody staring in them, but that doesn't mean I don't like the others, because I do).
33. Ken Loach
Director | I, Daniel Blake
Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context.
After studying law at St. Peter's College, Oxford, he branched out into ...
There is being good and relevant, then there is being good and relevant for half a centenary; extraordinary and possibly unique.
I'm fairly sure society hasn't change as much as it should have, but Ken Loach's positive contribution to our society stretches far beyond the film and TV he makes.
Cathy Come Home Kes I Daniel Blake
34. Derek Jarman
Director | Caravaggio
Derek Jarman was born on January 31, 1942 in London, England as Michael Derek Elworthy Jarman. He was a director and cinematographer, known for Caravaggio (1986), Edward II (1991) and Wittgenstein (1993). He died on February 19, 1994 in London.
English Director who's British films can be put up against those from the great film making nations.
35. Werner Herzog
Director | Fitzcarraldo
Director. Writer. Producer. Actor. Poet. He studied history, literature and theatre for some time, but didn't finish it and founded instead his own film production company in 1963. Later in his life, Herzog also staged several operas in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has...
On the list because a few films are among my favourite ever films and alot of the others are really good.
36. Martin Scorsese
Director | Taxi Driver
Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...
A film lover who expresses that love in making great films, so was always going to make this this list. Oddly the film that made me get off my bum and actually add him - the DVD that had sat on the side for a year or so waiting to be watched "The Age of Innocence"
37. Mike Leigh
Director | Secrets & Lies
Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is a director and writer, known for Secrets & Lies (1996), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.
Films that are never anything less the good and often brilliant.
However, some of the films, the better ones, feel they have been created as a subtle mental torture of certain UK demographics e.g. Bleak Moments (1971), Another Year (2010)
Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit
Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and...
I hear "He made a lot of films", I say "Some of them are actually very good!"
39. Pedro Almodóvar
Writer | Hable con ella
The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study ...
I need to do the maths, but mathematically I think he might well come out as my favorite director.
40. Joel Coen
Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Fargo (1996) and A Serious Man (2009). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.
And Ethan Coen. Proper films and they don't appear to be European, Russian or Japanese.
Writer | Reservoir Dogs
Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.
In January of...
Responsible for many of my favorite films. "The Hateful Eight" on 70mm (!) (70mm was always a dumb idea, but in this day and age, for film lovers a grail), it just proved a complete love of cinema.
42. Lars von Trier
Writer | Dancer in the Dark
Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly ...
Unlike most Directors, the better the film the less times I want to re-watch it.