My Best Director Winners

This list details the film directors I feel should have won the Academy Award for Best Director from the award's inception in 1927/28 through the present. My choices are purely opinion and largely reflect only those movies which I have seen, so my opinions, and subsequently this list, may change as time goes by and I see more films. I have also included whether or not my winner was nominated and/or won the Academy Award for that particular direction as well as the other films/actors/directors I would have nominated alongside my winner. The nominees are listed in PREFERENTIAL ORDER. I do not have the time to write explanations for all of my choices so leave polite, mature feedback/comments and I'll be happy to justify my choices to the best of my ability.
Note: For Nominees, * denotes category nominee and ** denotes category winner for actual Academy Awards.
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1.
F.W. Murnau
Director, Nosferatu
Director. First was assistant to Max Reinhardt. Began making movies in Germany in 1919. Went to the USA in 1926.
“ Year: 1927/28
Film: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *King Vidor (The Crowd); Fritz Lang (Metropolis); William A. Wellman (Wings); **Frank Borzage (Seventh Heaven) ” - jmpatison003
 
2.
Victor Sjöström
Director, Körkarlen
Victor Sjöström was born on September 20, 1879, and is the undisputed father of Swedish film, ranking as one of the masters of world cinema. His influence lives on in the work of Ingmar Bergman and all those directors, both Swedish and international, influenced by his work and the works of directors whom he himself influenced...
“ Year: 1928/29
Film: The Wind
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc)); *Ernst Lubitsch (The Patriot); *Harry Beaumont (The Broadway Melody); *Irving Cummings (In Old Arizona) ” - jmpatison003
 
3.
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...
“ Year: 1929/30
Film: All Quiet on the Western Front
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: G.W. Pabst (Pandora's Box); Howard Hughes (Hell's Angels); *King Vidor (Hallelujah!); Rouben Mamoulian (Applause) ” - jmpatison003
 
4.
Charles Chaplin
Writer, Modern Times
Charles Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years...
“ Year: 1930/31
Film: City Lights
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: Fritz Lang (M); **Norman Taurog (Skippy); Mervyn LeRoy (Little Caesar); William A. Wellman (The Public Enemy) ” - jmpatison003
 
5.
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...
“ Year: 1931/32
Film: Trouble in Paradise
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: Howard Hawks (Scarface: The Shame of a Nation); **Frank Borzage (Bad Girl); Edmund Goulding (Grand Hotel); *Josef von Sternberg (Shanghai Express) ” - jmpatison003
 
6.
Mervyn LeRoy
Director, Mister Roberts
The great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 was a tragedy for Mervyn Leroy. While he and his father managed to survive, they lost everything they had. To make money, Leroy sold newspapers and entered talent contests as a singer. When he entered vaudeville, his act was "LeRoy and Cooper--Two Kids and a Piano"...
“ Year: 1932/33
Film: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack (King Kong); Lloyd Bacon and Busby Berkeley (42nd Street); *George Cukor (Little Women); Alexander Korda (The Private Life of Henry VIII) ” - jmpatison003
 
7.
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...
“ Year: 1934
Film: It Happened One Night
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *W.S. Van Dyke (The Thin Man); Cecil B. DeMille (Cleopatra); Howard Hawks (Twentieth Century); Mark Sandrich (The Gay Divorcee) ” - jmpatison003
 
8.
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...
“ Year: 1935
Film: The Informer
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: Mark Sandrich (Top Hat); *Michael Curtiz (Captain Blood); James Whale (Bride of Frankenstein); Alfred Hitchcock (The 39 Steps) ” - jmpatison003
 
9.
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...
“ Year: 1936
Film: Dodsworth
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Charlie Chaplin (Modern Times); *Gregory La Cava (My Man Godfrey); **Frank Capra (Mr. Deeds Goes to Town); *W.S. Van Dyke (San Francisco) ” - jmpatison003
 
10.
“ Year: 1937
Film: Make Way for Tomorrow
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No (won for The Awful Truth)
Nominees: *William A. Wellman (A Star Is Born); Frank Capra (Lost Horizon); *Gregory La Cava (Stage Door); *Sidney Franklin (The Good Earth) ” - jmpatison003
 
11.
Jean Renoir
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 began to make movies; he wanted to make a star of her...
“ Year: 1938
Film: Grand Illusion
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: Michael Curtiz and William Keighley (The Adventures of Robin Hood); Howard Hawks (Bringing Up Baby); Alfred Hitchcock (The Lady Vanishes); **Frank Capra (You Can't Take It with You) ” - jmpatison003
 
12.
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...
“ Year: 1939
Film: Gone with the Wind
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington); *John Ford (Stagecoach); *William Wyler (Wuthering Heights); Ernst Lubitsch (Ninotchka) ” - jmpatison003
 
13.
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...
“ Year: 1940
Film: The Grapes of Wrath
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Alfred Hitchcock (Rebecca); Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator); *George Cukor (The Philadelphia Story); Howard Hawks (His Girl Friday) ” - jmpatison003
 
14.
Orson Welles
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 seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
“ Year: 1941
Film: Citizen Kane
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: John Huston (The Maltese Falcon); **John Ford (How Green Was My Valley); Preston Sturges (Sullivan's Travels); Alfred Hitchcock (Suspicion) ” - jmpatison003
 
15.
Orson Welles
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 seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
“ Year: 1942
Note: Directed with Fred Fleck
Film: The Magnificent Ambersons
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *Michael Curtiz (Yankee Doodle Dandy); Sam Wood (The Pride of the Yankees); Ernst Lubitsch (To Be or Not to Be); Preston Sturges (The Palm Beach Story) ” - jmpatison003
 
16.
Michael Curtiz
Director, Casablanca
Michael Curtiz was a Hungarian-born (as Mihaly Kertesz) American director who turned out some of the best-regarded films ever to come out of Hollywood. He received his diploma from the School for Dramatic Arts in Hungary in 1906. He then went to live in Pécs, then Szeged. He began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912...
“ Year: 1943
Film: Casablanca
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: Alfred Hitchcock (Shadow of a Doubt); *George Stevens (The More the Merrier); *Ernst Lubitsch (Heaven Can Wait); William A. Wellman (The Ox-Bow Incident) ” - jmpatison003
 
17.
Vincente Minnelli
Director, Gigi
Born Lester Anthony Minnelli in Chicago on February 28 1903, his father Vincent was a musical conductor of the Minnelli Brothers' Tent Theater. Wanting to pursue an artistic career, Minelli worked in the costume department of the Chicago Theater, then on Broadway during the depression as a set designer and costumer...
“ Year: 1944
Film: Meet Me in St. Louis
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity); *Alfred Hitchcock (Lifeboat); Preston Sturges (The Miracle of Morgan's Creek); Howard Hawks (To Have and Have Not) ” - jmpatison003
 
18.
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...
“ Year: 1945
Film: The Lost Weekend
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: Elia Kazan (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn); Marcel Carne (Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise)); *Clarence Brown (National Velvet); Roberto Rossellini (Rome, Open City (Roma, citta aperta)) ” - jmpatison003
 
19.
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...
“ Year: 1946
Film: It's a Wonderful Life
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives); Alfred Hitchcock (Notorious); *David Lean (Brief Encounter); Howard Hawks (The Big Sleep) ” - jmpatison003
 
20.
Jacques Tourneur
Director, Out of the Past
Born in Paris in 1904, Tourneur went to Hollywood with his father, director Maurice Tourneur around 1913. He started out as a script clerk and editor for his father, then graduated to such jobs as directing shorts (often with the pseudonym Jack Turner), both in France and America. He was hired to run the second unit for David O. Selznick's A Tale of Two Cities...
“ Year: 1947
Film: Out of the Past
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (Black Narcissus); *David Lean (Great Expectations); Charlie Chaplin (Monsieur Verdoux); Joseph L. Mankiewicz (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) ” - jmpatison003
 
21.
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...
“ Year: 1948
Film: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (The Red Shoes); *Jean Negulesco (Johnny Belinda); Howard Hawks (Red River); *Anatole Litvak (The Snake Pit) ” - jmpatison003
 
22.
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...
“ Year: 1949
Film: The Third Man
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No (for 1950)
Nominees: *William A. Wellman (Battleground); Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette)); *Robert Rossen (All the King's Men); *William Wyler (The Heiress) ” - jmpatison003
 
23.
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...
“ Year: 1950
Film: All About Eve
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard); *George Cukor (Born Yesterday); *John Huston (The Asphalt Jungle); Vincente Minnelli (Father of the Bride) ” - jmpatison003
 
24.
Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor. 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, including A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden...
“ Year: 1951
Film: A Streetcar Named Desire
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Alfred Hitchcock (Strangers on a Train); *John Huston (The African Queen); **George Stevens (A Place in the Sun); *William Wyler (Detective Story) ” - jmpatison003
 
25.
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.
“ Year: 1952
Film: High Noon
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain); **John Ford (The Quiet Man); Vincente Minnelli (The Bad and the Beautiful); *John Huston (Moulin Rouge) ” - jmpatison003
 
26.
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...
“ Year: 1953
Film: Roman Holiday
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity); *George Stevens (Shane); *Charles Walters (Lili); *Billy Wilder (Stalag 17) ” - jmpatison003
 
27.
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...
“ Year: 1953
Film: Stalag 17
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity); *William Wyler (Roman Holiday); *George Stevens (Shane); *Charles Walters (Lili) ” - jmpatison003
 
28.
Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor. 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, including A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden...
“ Year: 1954
Film: On the Waterfront
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window); George Cukor (A Star Is Born); *George Seaton (The Country Girl); Edward Dmytryk (The Caine Mutiny) ” - jmpatison003
 
29.
Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton was born on July 1, 1899 in Yorkshire, England. He was the son of Robert Laughton, a Yorkshire hotel keeper. His mother was a devout Roman Catholic of Irish ancestry. Laughton briefly attended Scarborough College, a local boys' school in his area before attending Stonyhurst College, an English Jesult school...
“ Year: 1955
Film: The Night of the Hunter
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *Elia Kazan (East of Eden); *John Sturges (Bad Day at Black Rock); **Delbert Mann (Marty); Alfred Hitchcock (To Catch a Thief) ” - jmpatison003
 
30.
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...
“ Year: 1956
Film: Giant
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: John Ford (The Searchers); Akira Kurosawa (The Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)); Douglas Sirk (Written on the Wind); John Huston (Moby Dick) ” - jmpatison003
 
31.
David Lean
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon in 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...
“ Year: 1957
Film: The Bridge on the River Kwai
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men); Stanley Kubrick (Paths of Glory); *Billy Wilder (Witness for the Prosecution); Alexander Mackendrick (Sweet Smell of Success) ” - jmpatison003
 
32.
Alfred Hitchcock
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 Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
“ Year: 1958
Film: Vertigo
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet)); Orson Welles (Touch of Evil); *Stanley Kramer (The Defiant Ones); **Vincente Minnelli (Gigi) ” - jmpatison003
 
33.
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...
“ Year: 1959
Film: Ben-Hur
Nominated for Best-Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot); Otto Preminger (Anatomy of a Murder); Alfred Hitchcock (North by Northwest); *George Stevens (The Diary of Anne Frank) ” - jmpatison003
 
34.
Alfred Hitchcock
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 Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
“ Year: 1960
Film: Psycho
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Billy Wilder (The Apartment); Stanley Kubrick (Spartacus); Ingmar Bergman (The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukallan)); *Fred Zinnemann (The Sundowners) ” - jmpatison003
 
35.
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...
“ Year: 1961
Note: Directed with Jerome Robbins
Film: West Side Story
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Robert Rossen (The Hustler); *Federico Fellini (La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life)); *Stanley Kramer (Judgment at Nuremberg); *J. Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone) ” - jmpatison003
 
36.
Jerome Robbins
Miscellaneous Crew, West Side Story
“ Year: 1961
Note: Directed with Robert Wise
Film: West Side Story
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Robert Rossen (The Hustler); *Federico Fellini (La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life)); *Stanley Kramer (Judgment at Nuremberg); *J. Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone) ” - jmpatison003
 
37.
David Lean
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon in 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...
“ Year: 1962
Film: Lawrence of Arabia
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird); *Arthur Penn (The Miracle Worker); John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate); John Ford (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) ” - jmpatison003
 
38.
Federico Fellini
Writer,
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 devil herself said the priests who ran his school)...
“ Year: 1963
Film: 8 1/2
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: *Elia Kazan (America, America); *Martin Ritt (Hud); *Otto Preminger (The Cardinal); John Sturges (The Great Escape) ” - jmpatison003
 
39.
Stanley Kubrick
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...
“ Year: 1964
Film: Dr. Strangelove
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **George Cukor (My Fair Lady); Cy Endfield (Zulu); *Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins); *Michael Cacoyannis (Zorba the Greek) ” - jmpatison003
 
40.
David Lean
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon in 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...
“ Year: 1965
Year: Doctor Zhivago
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: *John Schlesinger (Darling); **Robert Wise (The Sound of Music); *Hiroshi Teshigahara (The Woman in the Dunes (Suna no onna)); Martin Ritt (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold) ” - jmpatison003
 
41.
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...
“ Year: 1966
Film: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Fred Zinnemann (A Man for All Seasons); *Michelangelo Antonioni (Blowup); Sergio Leone (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly); *Richard Brooks (The Professionals) ” - jmpatison003
 
42.
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...
“ Year: 1967
Film: The Graduate
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde); *Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night); *Richard Brooks (In Cold Blood); Stuart Rosenberg (Cool Hand Luke) ” - jmpatison003
 
43.
Stanley Kubrick
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...
“ Year: 1968
Film: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Sergei Bondarchuk (War and Peace (Voyna i mir)); Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West); Roman Polanski (Rosemary's Baby); Mel Brooks (The Producers) ” - jmpatison003
 
44.
John Schlesinger
Director, Midnight Cowboy
Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger, who was born in London, on February 16, 1926, was the eldest child in a solidly middle-class Jewish family. Berbard Schlesinger, his father, was a pediatrician, and his mother, Winifred, was a musician. He served in the Army in the Far East during World War II...
“ Year: 1969
Film: Midnight Cowboy
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid); Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch); *Costa-Gavras (Z); *Sydney Pollack (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?) ” - jmpatison003
 
45.
Franklin J. Schaffner
Franklin J. Schaffner was one of the most innovative creative minds in the early days of American network television, utilizing a moving camera in the days when most television directors kept the camera static. His eye for visuals was developed in the dozens of live television programs he directed on prestigious shows such as Studio One in Hollywood and Playhouse 90...
“ Year: 1970
Film: Patton
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Robert Altman (MASH); *Arthur Hiller (Love Story); Bob Rafelson (Five Easy Pieces); *Federico Fellini (Satyricon) ” - jmpatison003
 
46.
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...
“ Year: 1971
Film: The French Connection
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show); *Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange); Robert Altman (McCabe & Mrs. Miller); Don Siegel (Dirty Harry) ” - jmpatison003
 
47.
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...
“ Year: 1972
Film: The Godfather
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: *John Boorman (Deliverance); **Bob Fosse (Cabaret); *Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Sleuth); Werner Herzog (Aguirre, the Wrath of God) ” - jmpatison003
 
48.
George Roy Hill
Director, The Sting
Combative director George Roy Hill never hit it off with the critics, despite the fact that two of his films -- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting -- had remained among the top ten box office hits by 1976. His work was frequently derided as 'impersonal' or lacking in stylistic trademarks, Andrew Sarris famously referring to it as 'idiosyncratic odious oiliness'...
“ Year: 1973
Film: The Sting
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *William Friedkin (The Exorcist); *George Lucas (American Graffiti); Terrence Malick (Badlands); Peter Bogdanovich (Paper Moon) ” - jmpatison003
 
49.
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...
“ Year: 1974
Film: The Godfather Part II
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Roman Polanski (Chinatown); Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein); *Bob Fosse (Lenny); Sidney Lumet (Murder on the Orient Express) ” - jmpatison003
 
50.
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...
“ Year: 1975
Film: Nashville
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: *Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon); Steven Spielberg (Jaws); **Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest); John Huston (The Man Who Would Be King) ” - jmpatison003
 
51.
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...
“ Year: 1976
Film: Network
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver); *Alan J. Pakula (All the President's Men); **John G. Avildsen (Rocky); Clint Eastwood (The Outlaw Josey Wales) ” - jmpatison003
 
52.
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car driver...
“ Year: 1977
Film: Star Wars
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Woody Allen (Annie Hall); *Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind); John Badham (Saturday Night Live); Robert Benton (The Late Show) ” - jmpatison003
 
53.
Michael Cimino
Michael Cimino studied architecture and dramatic arts; later he filmed advertisements and documentaries and also wrote scripts until the actor, producer and director Clint Eastwood gave him the opportunity to direct the thriller Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. But his biggest success was The Deer Hunter which won the Oscar for best film...
“ Year: 1978
Film: The Deer Hunter
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Alan Parker (Midnight Express); Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven); *Hal Ashby (Coming Home); *Warren Beatty and Buck Henry (Heaven Can Wait) ” - jmpatison003
 
54.
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...
“ Year: 1979
Film: Apocalypse Now
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer); *Peter Yates (Breaking Away); *Bob Fosse (All That Jazz); Hal Ashby (Being There) ” - jmpatison003
 
55.
Martin Scorsese
Director, Goodfellas
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...
“ Year: 1980
Film: Raging Bull
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Robert Redford (Ordinary People); *David Lynch (The Elephant Man); Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back); Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant) ” - jmpatison003
 
56.
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...
“ Year: 1981
Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat); **Warren Beatty (Reds); *Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond); Peter Weir (Gallipoli) ” - jmpatison003
 
57.
Wolfgang Petersen
Director, Das Boot
This director seems to shine most when making movies that can best be described as part action movies/part disaster movies. Beginning with Outbreak (1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees. Both films had the military and scientists clash, also both had choppers all over the place...
“ Year: 1982
Film: Das Boot (The Boat)
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Richard Attenborough (Gandhi); *Sidney Lumet (The Verdict); *Steven Spielberg (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial); Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) ” - jmpatison003
 
58.
Philip Kaufman
Director and screenwriter Philip Kaufman was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Chicago and later Harvard Law School. He won the Prix de la Nouvelle Critique at Cannes in 1965 for his film Goldstein. He was the screenwriter for The Outlaw Josey Wales and was to direct it but was replaced as director by Clint Eastwood...
“ Year: 1983
Film: The Right Stuff
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: **James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment); Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill); *Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies); *Ingmar Bergman (Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander)) ” - jmpatison003
 
59.
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...
“ Year: 1984
Film: Amadeus
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas); *Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields); Barry Levinson (The Natural); Rob Reiner (This Is Spinal Tap) ” - jmpatison003
 
60.
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...
“ Year: 1985
Film: The Color Purple
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *Akira Kurosawa (Ran); Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future); *Hector Babenco (Kiss of the Spider Woman); Lawrence Kasdan (Silverado) ” - jmpatison003
 
61.
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...
“ Year: 1986
Film: Platoon
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *David Lynch (Blue Velvet); *Roland Joffe (The Mission); *James Ivory (A Room with a View); *Woody Allen (Hannah and Her Sisters) ” - jmpatison003
 
62.
“ Year: 1987
Film: Broadcast News
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *John Boorman (Hope and Glory); *Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor); Stanley Kubrick (Full Metal Jacket); *Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog (Mitt liv som hund)) ” - jmpatison003
 
63.
Robert Zemeckis
A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone, 1941) and special effect vehicles (Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Back to the Future)...
“ Year: 1988
Film: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *Charles Crichton (A Fish Called Wanda); *Alan Parker (Mississippi Burning); **Barry Levinson (Rain Man); *Martin Scorsese (The Last Temptation of Christ) ” - jmpatison003
 
64.
Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan is a master story-teller, and an acclaimed film director of few films, but good films nevertheless. Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1949, Sheridan moved to America in 1982, meeting a man who invited him to run the Irish Arts Center. He found a place to live in Hell's Kitchen, New York City...
“ Year: 1989
Film: My Left Foot
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing); Steven Soderbergh (sex, lies, and videotape); Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally...); Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) ” - jmpatison003
 
65.
Martin Scorsese
Director, Goodfellas
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...
“ Year: 1990
Film: Goodfellas
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Joel Coen (Miller's Crossing); *Frances Ford Coppola (The Godfather Part III); *Stephen Frears (The Grifters); *Barbet Schroeder (Reversal of Fortune) ” - jmpatison003
 
66.
“ Year: 1991
Film: The Silence of the Lambs
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Oliver Stone (JFK); Joel Coen (Barton Fink); *John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood); *Ridley Scott (Thelma & Louise) ” - jmpatison003
 
67.
James Ivory
The main part of his few movies were filmed in the quarter of a century in which he worked closely together with the Indian producer Ismail Merchant and the German writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. His first films are all set in India and are very much influenced by the style of Satyajit Ray and Jean Renoir...
“ Year: 1992
Film: Howards End
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven); Rod Reiner (A Few Good Men); *Neil Jordan (The Crying Game); *Robert Altman (The Player) ” - jmpatison003
 
68.
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...
“ Year: 1993
Film: Schindler's List
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: Andrew Davis (The Fugitive); *Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father); *James Ivory (The Remains of the Day); *Robert Altman (Short Cuts) ” - jmpatison003
 
69.
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...
“ Year: 1994
Film: Pulp Fiction
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption); *Robert Redford (Quiz Show); **Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump); *Woody Allen (Bullets Over Broadway) ” - jmpatison003
 
70.
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...
“ Year: 1995
Film: Apollo 13
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking); David Fincher (Se7en); Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility); *Chris Noonan (Babe) ” - jmpatison003
 
71.
“ Year: 1996
Film: Fargo
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Danny Boyle (Trainspotting); Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire); *Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies); Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet) ” - jmpatison003
 
72.
Curtis Hanson
After small films like The Bedroom Window and Sweet Kill, Curtis Hanson went on to direct major features including The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The River Wild and the Academy Award-winning L.A. Confidential. Setting his sights on another city, Hanson was critically acclaimed for directing Eminem in Universal Pictures' 8 Mile...
“ Year: 1997
Film: L.A. Confidential
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: **James Cameron (Titanic); *Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting); Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights); *Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) ” - jmpatison003
 
73.
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...
“ Year: 1998
Film: Saving Private Ryan
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line); *John Madden (Shakespeare in Love); *Peter Weir (The Truman Show); Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) ” - jmpatison003
 
74.
Sam Mendes
Samuel Alexander Mendes was born on August 1, 1965 in Reading, England, UK to parents James Peter Mendes, a retired university lecturer, and Valerie Helene Mendes, an author who writes children's books. Their marriage didn't last long, James divorced Sam's mother in 1970 when Sam was just 5-years-old...
“ Year: 1999
Film: American Beauty
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Michael Mann (The Insider); *M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense); *Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich); Frank Darabont (The Green Mile) ” - jmpatison003
 
75.
Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies, which he made with his friends...
“ Year: 2001
Film: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Christopher Nolan (Memento); *Robert Altman (Gosford Park); **Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind); *Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down) ” - jmpatison003
 
76.
Martin Scorsese
Director, Goodfellas
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...
“ Year: 2002
Film: Gangs of New York
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win: Yes; No
Nominees: Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers); **Roman Polanski (The Pianist); Spike Jonze (Adaptation.); *Rob Marshall (Chicago) ” - jmpatison003
 
77.
Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies, which he made with his friends...
“ Year: 2003
Film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Peter Weir (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World); *Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation); *Fernando Meirelles (City of God (Cidade de Deus)); Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent) ” - jmpatison003
 
78.
Michel Gondry
He grew up in Versailles with a family who was very influenced by pop music. When he was young, Gondry wanted to be a painter or an inventor. In the 80s he entered in an art school in Paris where he could develop his graphic skills and where he also met friends with whom he created a pop-rock band called Oui-Oui...
“ Year: 2004
Film: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: *Martin Scorsese (The Aviator); **Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby); *Alexander Payne (Sideways); *Taylor Hackford (Ray) ” - jmpatison003
 
79.
Ang Lee
Director, Life of Pi
Born in 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, Ang Lee has become one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers. Ang graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975 and then came to the U.S. to receive a B.F.A. Degree in Theatre/Theater Direction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Masters Degree in Film Production at New York University...
“ Year: 2005
Film: Brokeback Mountain
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Bennett Miller (Capote); David Cronenberg (A History of Violence); *George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck.); Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins) ” - jmpatison003
 
80.
Martin Scorsese
Director, Goodfellas
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...
“ Year: 2006
Film: The Departed
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth); *Paul Greengrass (United 93); Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men); *Clint Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima (Iojima Kara no Tegami)) ” - jmpatison003
 
81.
“ Year: 2007
Note: Directed with Ethan Coen
Film: No Country for Old Men
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood); *Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillon)); David Fincher (Zodiac); *Jason Reitman (Juno) ” - jmpatison003
 
82.
“ Year: 2007
Note: Directed with Joel Coen
Film: No Country for Old Men
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood); Florian Heckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)); *Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillon)); *Jason Reitman (Juno) ” - jmpatison003
 
83.
Christopher Nolan
Born in London in 1970, Christopher Nolan began making films at the age of seven years using his father's Super-8 camera and an assortment of male action figures. He graduated to making films involving real people, and his Super-8 surrealistic short 'Tarantella' was shown on P.B.S.' 'image union' in 1989...
“ Year: 2008
Film: The Dark Knight
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: No
Nominees: **Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire); Martin McDonagh (In Bruges); Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino); John Patrick Shanley (Doubt) ” - jmpatison003
 
84.
Kathryn Bigelow
Director, The Hurt Locker
A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be critiqued by people like Richard Serra...
“ Year: 2009
Film: The Hurt Locker
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did she win?: Yes; Yes
Nominees: *Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds); *James Cameron (Avatar); *Jason Reitman (Up in the Air); Lone Scherfig (An Education) ” - jmpatison003
 
85.
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...
“ Year: 2009
Film: The Social Network
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: Christopher Nolan (Inception); **Tom Hooper (The King's Speech); *Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan); Ben Affleck (The Town) ” - jmpatison003
 
86.
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...
“ Year: 2011
Film: The Tree of Life
Nominated for Best Director, and if so, did he win?: Yes; No
Nominees: David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo); **Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist); Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive); Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) ” - jmpatison003