The Greatest movie directors of all time.

This is a list of the the very finest directors in the history of movie making. Daunting and difficult to synthesize into a list, it is highly personal and subjective and intended as a tribute to them all! I've included the very best of each legendary Director's films.
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Billy Wilder
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 German films until Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933...
“ Best of Billy Wilder:
1. The Apartment
2. Double Indemnity
3. Witness for the Prosecution
4. Some Like it Hot
5. Sunset Boulevard
6. The Lost Weekend
7. Stalag 17
8. The Spirit of St. Louis ” - John Jacoby
Sidney Lumet
Director, 12 Angry Men
Sidney Lumet was a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors -- and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York. He made over 40 movies, often complex and emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. Although his politics were somewhat left-leaning and he often treated socially relevant themes in his films...
“ Best of Sidney Lumet:
1. Prince of the City
2. Network
3. Twelve Angry Men
4. Dog Day Afternoon
5. The Verdict
6. Fail Safe
7. The Hill
8. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead ” - John Jacoby
William Wyler
Director, Ben-Hur
William Wyler was an American filmmaker who, at the time of his death in 1981, was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema. The winner of three Best Director Academy Awards, second again only to Ford's four, Wyler's reputation has unfairly suffered as...
“ Best of William Wyler:
1. The Best Years of Our Lives
2. Ben - Hur
3. The Heiress
4. Mrs. Miniver
5. Wuthering Heights
6. The Collector
7. Dodsworth ” - John Jacoby
Alfred Hitchcock
Actor, 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 Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
“ Best of Hitch:
1. North By Northwest
2. Vertigo
3. Marnie
4. Psycho
5. Dial M for Murder
6. Frenzy
7. Rear Window ” - John Jacoby
John Huston
An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry included English...
“ Best of John Huston:
1. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
2. The Maltese Falcon
3. Prizzi's Honor
4. The African Queen
5. Key Largo
6. Moulin Rouge
7. The Asphalt Jungle ” - John Jacoby
John Ford
Director, The Searchers
John Ford is, arguably, The Great American Director. When Orson Welles, who repeatedly screened Ford's Stagecoach as a crash course in filmmaking before helming his first film, Citizen Kane, was asked who his three favorite directors were, he answered, "John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford." Along with D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille...
“ Best of John Ford:
1. Grapes of Wrath
2. The Searchers
3. Stagecoach
4. Young Mr. Lincoln
5. The Quiet Man
6. How Green Was My Valley
7. My Darling Clementine ” - John Jacoby
Steven Spielberg
Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer...
“ Best of Spielberg:
1. Saving Private Ryan
2. Schlindler's List
3. Jaws
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
5. The Color Purple
6. Catch Me If you Can
7. E.T., the Extra - Terrestrial ” - John Jacoby
Fred Zinnemann
Director, High Noon
Initially grew up wanting to be a violinist, but while at the University of Vienna decided to study law. While doing so, he became increasingly interested in American film and decided that was what he wanted to do. He became involved in European filmaking for a short time before going to America to study film.
“ Best of Fred Zinnemann:
1. From Here to Eternity
2. A Man for all Seasons
3. The Day of the Jackal
4. The Search
5. High Noon
6. Julia
7. The Nun's Story ” - John Jacoby
Martin Scorsese
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 provided the inspiration for several of his films...
“ Best of Scorsese:
1. Goodfellas
2. Raging Bull
3. The Departed
4. The Aviator
5. Taxi Driver
6. The Color of Money
7. The King of Comedy ” - John Jacoby
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University...
“ Best of Coppola:
1. The Godfather, Part II
2. The Godfather
3. The Conversation
4. The Rainmaker
5. Apocalypse Now
6. The Outsiders
7. Tucker: A Man and His Machine ” - John Jacoby
Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Eastwood took interest in music and mechanics...
“ Best of Clint (as Director):
1. Mystic River
2. Million Dollar Baby
3. Unforgiven
4. Letters From Iwo Jima
5. The Changeling
6. Gran Torino
7. Flags of Our Fathers ” - John Jacoby
Frank Capra
One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. "There's no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you could ever be," Capra said about his Atlantic passage...
“ Best of Frank Capra:
1. It's a Wonderful Life
2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
3. Arsenic and Old Lace
4. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
5. Lost Horizon
6. You can't Take It With You
7. Meet John Doe ” - John Jacoby
David Lean
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon on March 25, 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s, he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding a job at Gaumont British Studios in 1927...
“ Best of David Lean:
1. Doctor Zhivago
2. The Bridge on the River Kwai
3. Lawrence of Arabia
4. Ryan's Daughter
5. Brief Encounter
6. Great Expectations
7. A Passage to India ” - John Jacoby
Ron Howard
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 to the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films. Howard directed and produced "Cinderella Man" starring Oscar winner Russell Crowe...
“ Best of Ron Howard:
1. Apollo 13
2. A Beautiful Mind
3. Splash
4. Cocoon
5. Cinderella Man
6. Night Shift
7. The Da Vinci Code ” - John Jacoby
Elia Kazan
Known for his creative stage direction, Elia Kazan was born Elias Kazantzoglou on September 7, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey). Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He directed a string of successful films...
“ Best of Elia Kazan:
1. On the Waterfront
2. A Streetcar Named Desire
3. Gentlemen's Agreement
4. East of Eden
5. Splendor in the Grass
6. America, America
7. Panic in the Streets ” - John Jacoby
John Frankenheimer
Director, Ronin
Born in New York and raised in Queens, John Frankenheimer wanted to become a professional tennis player. He loved movies and his favorite actor was Robert Mitchum. He decided he wanted to be an actor but then he applied for and was accepted in the Motion Picture Squadron of the Air Force where he realized his natural talent to handle a camera...
“ Best of John Frankenheimer:
1. The Train
2. Seven Days in May
3. The Manchurian Candidate
4. Birdman of Alcatraz
5. Seconds
6. The Iceman Cometh
7. Black Sunday ” - John Jacoby
Mike Nichols
Director, Closer
He, along with the other members of the "Compass Players" including Elaine May, Paul Sills, Byrne Piven, Joyce Hiller Piven and Edward Asner helped start the famed "Second City Improv" company. They used the games taught to them by fellow cast mate, Paul Sills 's mother, Viola Spolin...
“ Best of Mike Nichols:
1. The Graduate
2. Working Girl
3. Silkwood
4. Charlie Wilson's War
5. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
6. Primary Colors
7. Heartburn ” - John Jacoby
Otto Preminger
Otto Ludwig Preminger was born in Wiznitz, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary. His father was a prosecutor, and Otto originally intended to follow his father into a law career; however, he fell in love with the theater and became a stage director. He directed his first film in 1931, and came to the US in 1936 to direct on the Broadway stage...
“ Best of Otto Preminger:
1. Anatomy of a Murder
2. Man With the Golden Arm
3. Laura
4. Advise and Consent
5. The Cardinal
6. The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell
7. In Harm's Way ” - John Jacoby
Barry Levinson
Producer, Sleepers
Barry Levinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Violet (Krichinsky) and Irvin Levinson, who worked in furniture and appliance. He is of Russian Jewish descent. Levinson graduated from high school in 1960, attended college at American University in Washington, DC. He did well, but decided he wanted to go to Los Angeles...
“ Best of Barry Levinson:
1. Rain Man
2. Bugsy
3. The Natural
4. Wag the Dog
5. Diner
6. Disclosure
7. Good Morning, Vietnam ” - John Jacoby
Oliver Stone
Director, Platoon
Oliver Stone has become known as a master of controversial subjects and a legendary film maker. His films are filled with a variety of film angles and styles, he pushes his actors to give Oscar-worthy performances, and despite his failures, has always returned to success. William Oliver Stone was born in New York City...
“ Best of Oliver Stone:
1. JFK
2. Wall Street
3. Platoon
4. Nixon
5. Born on the Fourth of July
6. The Doors
7. World Trade Center ” - John Jacoby
Stanley Kubrick
Director, The Shining
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 produce better academic performance...
“ Best of Stanley Kubrick:
1. Dr. Strangelove
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
3. Spartacus
4. Full Metal Jacket
5. The Killing
6. Paths of Glory
7. The Shining ” - John Jacoby
George Stevens
Director, Giant
George Stevens, a filmmaker known as a meticulous craftsman with a brilliant eye for composition and a sensitive touch with actors, is one of the great American filmmakers, ranking with John Ford, William Wyler and Howard Hawks as a creator of classic Hollywood cinema, bringing to the screen mytho-poetic worlds that were also mass entertainment...
“ Best of George Stevens:
1. A Place in the Sun
2. Giant
3. The More the Merrier
4. Gunga Din
5. The Diary of Ann Frank
6. Woman of the Year
7. Penny Serenade ” - John Jacoby
Robert Redford
Actor, The Sting
Charles Robert Redford, Jr. was born on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, to Martha (Hart), from Texas, and Charles Robert Redford, an accountant for Standard Oil, who was originally from Connecticut. He is of English, Scottish, Cornish, and Irish ancestry. Robert's mother died in 1955, the year after he graduated from high school...
“ Best of Robert Redford:
1. Quiz Show
2. Ordinary People
3. A River Runs Through It.
4. The Legend of Bagger Vance
5. Lions for Lambs ” - John Jacoby
“ Best of Joel Coen:
1. Fargo
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Miller's Crossing
4. Burn After Reading
5. The Big Lebowski ” - John Jacoby
“ The Best of George Cukor:
1. Philadelphia Story
2. My Fair Lady
3. A Double Life
4. Adam's Rib
5. David Copperfield ” - John Jacoby
Howard Hawks
Director, The Big Sleep
What do the classic films Scarface, Twentieth Century, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, Sergeant York, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Red River Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Rio Bravo have in common? Aside from their displays of great craftsmanship, the answer is director Howard Hawks...
“ The Best of Howard Hawks:
1. The Big Sleep
2. Bringing Up Baby
3. To Have and Have Not
4. His Girl Friday
5. Sergeant York ” - John Jacoby
Michael Curtiz
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 Bros...
“ The Best of Michael Curtiz:
1. Casablanca
2. Yankee Doodle Dandy
3. Angels With Dirty Faces
4. Adventures of Robin Hood
5. The Sea Wolf ” - John Jacoby
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount productions in Hollywood...
“ The Best of Joe Mankiewicz:
1. All About Eve
2. A Letter to Three Wives
3. Sleuth
4. Suddenly, Last Summer
5. No Way Out ” - John Jacoby
Victor Fleming
Victor Fleming entered the film business as a stuntman in 1910, mainly doing stunt driving - which came easy to him, as he had been a mechanic and professional race-car driver. He became interested in working on the other side of the camera, and eventually got a job as a cameraman on many of the films of Douglas Fairbanks...
“ The Best of Victor Fleming:
1. Gone With the Wind
2. The Wizard of Oz
3. Captains Courageous
4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
5. Red Dust ” - John Jacoby
Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
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...
“ The Best of Woody Allen:
1. Annie Hall
2. Manhattan
3. Hannah and Her Sisters
4. Matchpoint
5. Radio Days ” - John Jacoby
Rob Reiner
Robert Reiner was born in New York City, to Estelle Reiner (née Lebost) and Emmy-Winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner. Robert as a child often looked up to his father as his inspiration and role-model. Carl Reiner was on The Dick Van Dyke Show which Carl Reiner created and also starred in...
“ The Best of Rob Reiner:
1. A Few Good Men
2. The American President
3. Misery
4. The Bucket List
5. Stand By Me ” - John Jacoby
“ The Best of James L. Brooks:
1. As Good As it Gets
2. Broadcast News
3. Terms of Endearment
4. Spanglish
5. How Do You Know ” - John Jacoby
Ingmar Bergman
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions 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 is the trilogy closed. Here, as in 'Den Goda Viljan' Pernilla August play his mother...
“ The Best of Ingmar Bergman:
1. Wild Strawberries
2. The Seventh Seal
3. The Virgin Spring
4. Cries and Whispers
5. Fanny and Alexander ” - John Jacoby
Roman Polanski
Director, The Pianist
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 before World War II began...
“ The Best of Roman Polanski:
1. Chinatown
2. Rosemary's Baby
3. The Pianist
4. Tess
5. The Tenant ” - John Jacoby
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. There were no social scars here; Reed grew up in a well-mannered...
“ The Best of Carol Reed:
1. The Third Man
2. Odd Man Out
3. The Fallen Idol
4. Oliver
5. The Agony and the Ecstasy ” - John Jacoby
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 exploring the art of exploring sound with the cheap tape recorders available at the time...
“ Best of Robert Altman:
1. M.A.S.H.
2. Nashville
3. The Player
4. Gosford Park
5. McCabe and Mrs. Miller ” - John Jacoby
Milos Forman
Milos Forman was born Jan Tomas Forman in Caslav, Czechoslovakia, to Anna (Svabova), who ran a summer hotel, and Rudolf Forman, a professor. During World War II, his parents were taken away by the Nazis, after being accused of participating in the underground resistance. His father died in Buchenwald and his mother died in Auschwitz...
“ The Best of Milos Forman:
1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
2. Ragtime
3. Amadeus
4. People vs. Larry Flynt
5. Man on the Moon ” - John Jacoby
Cecil B. DeMille
His parents Henry C. DeMille and Beatrice DeMille were playwrights. His father died when he was 12, and his mother supported the family by opening a school for girls and a theatrical company. Too young to enlist in the Spanish-American War, Cecil followed his brother William C. de Mille to the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts...
“ The Best of DeMille:
1. The Ten Commandments (1956)
2. The Greatest Show on Earth
3. Cleopatra (1934)
4. The Buccaneer (1938)
5. Reap the Wild Wind ” - John Jacoby
“ The Best of Jonathan Demme:
1. Silence of the Lambs
2. Philadelphia
3. Melvin and Howard
4. Swing Shift
5. Neil Young: Heart of Gold ” - John Jacoby
William A. Wellman
Director, A Star Is Born
William Wellman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter-director of the original A Star Is Born, was called "Wild Bill" during his World War I service as an aviator, a nickname that persisted in Hollywood due to his larger-than-life personality and lifestyle. A leap-year baby born in 1896 on the 29th of February in Brookline...
“ The Best of William Wellman:
1. The Ox - Bow Incident
2. Beau Geste (1939)
3. The High and the Mighty
4. Battleground
5. The Public Enemy ” - John Jacoby
Robert Wise
Robert Earl Wise was born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, the youngest of three sons of Olive R. (Longenecker) and Earl Waldo Wise, a meat packer. His parents were both of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. At age nineteen, the avid moviegoer came into the film business through an odd job at RKO Radio Pictures...
“ The Best of Robert Wise:
1. West Side Story
2. The Sound of Music
3. the Sand Pebbles
4. I Want to Live
5. Executive Suite ” - John Jacoby
Lewis Milestone
Lewis Milestone, a clothing manufacturer's son, was born in Bessarabia (now Moldova), raised in Odessa (Ukraine) and educated in Belgium and Berlin (where he studied engineering). He was fluent in both German and Russian and an avid reader. Milestone had an affinity for the theatre from an early age...
“ The Best of Lewis Milestone:
1. All Quiet on the Western Front
2. Of Mice and Men
3. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
4. The Front Page
5. Edge of Darkness ” - John Jacoby
Norman Jewison
Producer, The Hurricane
Norman Frederick Jewison was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Dorothy Irene (Weaver) and Percy Joseph Jewison, who managed a post office and a convenience store. His mother was an English immigrant, and his father was of English and Ulster-Scots descent. Jewison got his BA at Victoria College, University of Toronto...
“ The Best of Norman Jewison:
1. In the Heat of the Night
2. And Justice for All
3. A Soldier's Story
4. Moonstruck
5. The Hurricane ” - John Jacoby
Peter Bogdanovich
After spending most of his teens studying acting with the legendary Stella Adler, and working as an actor in live TV and various theaters around the country, including the New York and the American Shakespeare Festivals, Peter Bogdanovich at age 20 began directing plays Off-Broadway and in N.Y. summer theater...
“ The Best of Peter Bogdanovich:
1. The Last Picture Show
2. Paper Moon
3. Mask
4. What's Up Doc
5. Nickelodeon ” - John Jacoby
Blake Edwards
Writer, The Party
Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point and wrote a number of others, beginning with Panhandle and including six for director Richard Quine...
“ The Best of Blake Edwards:
1. Victor/Victoria
2. The Days of Wine and Roses
3. The Great Race
4. Breakfast at Tiffany's
5. A Shot in the Dark ” - John Jacoby
“ The Best of Peter Weir:
1. Dead Poets Society
2. The Truman Show
3. The Year of Living Dangerously
4. Gallipoli
5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World ” - John Jacoby
Ernst Lubitsch
From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at night...
“ Best of Lubitsch:
1. The Shop Around the Corner
2. Ninotchka
3. Heaven Can Wait
4. To Be or Not to Be
5. Design for Living ” - John Jacoby
Hal Ashby
Director, Being There
Hal Ashby was born the fourth and youngest child in a Mormon household in Ogden, Utah, on September 2, 1929. His father was a dairy farmer. After a rough childhood that included the divorce of his parents, his father's suicide, his dropping out of high school, getting married and divorced all before he was 19...
“ The Best of Hal Ashby:
1. Coming Home
2. Being There
3. Bound for Glory
4. Shampoo
5. The Last Detail ” - John Jacoby
François Truffaut
François began to assiduously go to the movies at 7. 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 becomes his protector. Bazin helped the delinquent Truffaut and also when he was put in jail because he deserted the army...
“ Best of Truffaut:
1. The 400 Blows
2. Jules and Jim
3. Fahrenheir 451
4. Day for Night
5. Stolen Kisses ” - John Jacoby
Akira Kurosawa
Writer, Yojimbo
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. Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater creative freedom...
“ Best of Kurosawa:
1. Rashomon
2. Seven Samurai
3. Yojimbo
4. Ran
5. Kagemusha ” - John Jacoby
Sam Peckinpah
"If they move", commands stern-eyed William Holden, "kill 'em". So begins The Wild Bunch, Sam Peckinpah's bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized Old West. "Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle", observed critic Pauline Kael. That exploding bottle...
“ Best of Peckinpah:
1. The Wild Bunch
2. Ride the High Country
3. The Getaway
4. Straw Dogs
5. The Killer Elite ” - John Jacoby
Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks was an Academy Award-winning film writer who also earned six Oscar nominations and achieved success as a film director and producer. He was born Ruben Sax on May 18, 1912, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants. He graduated from West Philadelphia HS...
“ The Best of Richard Brooks:
1. In Cold Blood
2. The Professionals
3. Looking for Mr. Goodbar
4. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
5. Blackboard Jungle ” - John Jacoby
David Fincher
Director, Fight Club
David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials and music videos after signing with N...
“ Best of David Fincher:
1. The Social Network
2. Zodiak
3. Panic Room
4. Seven
5. Fight Club ” - John Jacoby
Steven Soderbergh
Director, Ocean's Eleven
Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to Baton Rouge...
“ Best of Steven Soderbergh:
1. Traffic
2. Erin Brockovich
3. Sex, Lies and Videotape
4. Ocean's Eleven
5. The Limey ” - John Jacoby
Edward Dmytryk
Edward Dmytryk grew up in San Francisco, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. After his mother died when he was 6, his strict disciplinarian father beat the boy frequently, and the child began running away while in his early teens. Eventually, juvenile authorities allowed him to live alone at the age of 15 and helped him find part-time work as a film studio messenger...
“ The Best of Dmytryck:
1. The Caine Mutiny
2. Crossfire
3. The Young Lions
4. Raintree County
5. Broken Lance ” - John Jacoby
Henry Hathaway
Director, True Grit
Henry Hathaway, a son of a stage actress and manager, started his career as a child actor in westerns directed by Allan Dwan. His movie career was interrupted by World War I. After his discharge, he briefly tried a career in finance but then returned to Hollywood to work as an assistant director under such directors as Frank Lloyd...
“ The Best of Hathaway:
1. Kiss of Death
2. Call Northside 777
3. The Desert Fox
4. True Grit
5. How the West Was Won ” - John Jacoby
“ Best of Pakula:
1. All the President's Men
2. Sophie's Choice
3. Starting Over
4. Klute
5. The Sterile Cuckoo ” - John Jacoby
“ Best of Avildsen:
1. Rocky
2. Save the Tiger
3. The Formula
4. The Karate Kid
5. W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings ” - John Jacoby
William Friedkin
Director, The Exorcist
Friedkin's mother was an operating room nurse. His father was a merchant seaman, semi-pro softball player and ultimately sold clothes in a men's discount chain. Ultimately, his father never earned more than $50/week in his whole life and died indigent. Eventually young Will became infatuated with Orson Welles after seeing Citizen Kane...
“ Best of Friedkin:
1. The French Connection
2. The Excorcist
3. The Brink's Job
4. Rules of Engagement
5. To Live and Die in L.A. ” - John Jacoby
“ The Best of Arthur Penn:
1. Bonnie and Clyde
2. The Miracle Worker
3. Little Big Man
4. The Chase
5. Alice's Restaurant ” - John Jacoby