My Favorite Directors

Honorable Mentions listed for those I had a hard time choosing a top 3
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1.
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. Held back in school, Clint moved with his parents to Seattle...
“ 1: A Perfect World
2: High Plains Drifter
3: Million Dollar Baby

Honorable Mentions: Letters from Iwo Jima, Mystic River, Unforgiven, White Hunter Black Heart ” - bedram793
 
2.
David Lynch
Born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana, David Lynch was raised in small-town America. After high school, he went to Boston to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Shortly after that, he planned a three-year trip to Europe to work on his art, but didn't take to it and left after 15 days. In 1977...
“ 1: Mulholland Drive
2: Inland Empire
3: Lost Highway ” - bedram793
 
3.
David Cronenberg
Director, The Fly
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early age (he wrote and published eerie short stories...
“ 1: The Brood
2: Shivers
3: Videodrome

Honorable Mentions: A History of Violence, Cosmopolis, Eastern Promises, eXistenZ, Rabid ” - bedram793
 
4.
Sergio Leone
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 Italy (usually making Biblical and Roman epics...
“ 1: Once Upon a Time in America
2: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
3: A Fistful of Dollars ” - bedram793
 
5.
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...
“ 1: Network
2: Dog Day Afternoon
3: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead ” - bedram793
 
6.
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...
“ 1) Youth Without Youth
2) Apocalypse Now
3) The Godfather Trilogy

Honorable Mentions: Bram Stoker's Dracula, Rumble Fish, Tetro ” - bedram793
 
7.
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...
“ 1) Eyes Wide Shut
2) Barry Lyndon
3) 2001: A Space Odyssey ” - bedram793
 
8.
Michael Mann
Producer, Heat
A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch. He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile, in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release, Thief starring James Caan as a safe-cracker who falls under the spell of the mob...
“ 1) Heat
2) Manhunter
3) Collateral

Honorable Mentions: Blackhat, The Insider, The Last of the Mohicans, Miami Vice ” - bedram793
 
9.
Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen College...
“ 1) The Thin Red Line
2) The New World
3) Badlands

Honorable Mentions: Days of Heaven, The Tree of Life, Knight of Cups ” - bedram793
 
10.
John Carpenter
Writer, Halloween
John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky University and then USC film school in Los Angeles...
“ 1) The Thing
2) Prince of Darkness
3) Halloween

Honorable Mentions: Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog ” - bedram793
 
11.
Brian De Palma
Director, Scarface
Brian De Palma is one of the well-known directors who spear-headed the new movement in Hollywood during the 1970s. He is known for his many films that go from violent pictures, to Hitchcock-like thrillers. Born on the 11th of September in 1940, De Palma was born in New Jersey in an American-Italian family...
“ 1) Scarface
2) Carlito's Way
3) The Black Dahlia

Honorable Mentions: Casualties of War, The Untouchables ” - bedram793
 
12.
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...
“ 1) Straw Dogs
2) The Getaway
3) The Wild Bunch ” - bedram793
 
13.
Quentin Tarantino
Writer, Pulp Fiction
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 1992...
“ 1) Kill Bill
2) The Hateful Eight
3) Inglourious Basterds ” - bedram793
 
14.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making 8 mm films, Anderson cut his teeth shooting films on video and editing them from V.C.R. to V.C.R...
“ 1) The Master
2) There Will Be Blood
3) Boogie Nights ” - bedram793
 
15.
“ 1) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2) Killing Them Softly
3) One More Time with Feeling

Honorable Mention: Chopper ” - bedram793
 
16.
Paul Verhoeven
Director, Total Recall
Paul Verhoeven graduated from the University of Leiden, with a degree in math and physics. He entered the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he began his film career by making documentaries for the Navy and later for TV. In 1969, he directed the popular Dutch TV series, Floris, about a medieval knight...
“ 1) Showgirls
2) Robocop
3) Starship Troopers

Honorable Mentions: Basic Instinct, Black Book ” - bedram793
 
17.
D.W. Griffith
David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War hero. Young Griffith grew up with his father's romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually mold his black-and-white view of human existence and history...
“ 1) The Birth of a Nation
2) Broken Blossoms
3) Intolerance ” - bedram793
 
18.
Jean-Pierre Melville
Writer, Le Samouraï
The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its Ishmaels and its Claggarts a challenge to the European canon...
“ 1) Le Samouraï
2) Army of Shadows
3) Le Doulos

Honorable Mentions: Le Cercle Rouge, Le Deuxieme Souffle, Un Flic ” - bedram793
 
19.
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...
“ 1) Mean Streets
2) Raging Bull
3) Casino ” - bedram793
 
20.
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...
“ 1) Rosemary's Baby
2) Macbeth
3) The Pianist

Honorable Mention: Chinatown ” - bedram793
 
21.
Abel Ferrara
Director, Bad Lieutenant
Born in the Bronx, Ferrara started making amateur films on Super 8 in his teens before making his debut with violent exploitation films such as 'Driller Killer' and 'Ms.45'. Good reviews for the latter helped create his cult reputation, leading to larger budgets, studio funding and 'name' actors (Christopher Walken...
“ 1) Ms. 45
2) The Funeral
3) Bad Lieutenant ” - bedram793