Top 50 Directors

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1.
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 Movies: Bring mir den Kopf von Alfredo Garcia, Sacramento, Getaway, Pat Garrett jagt Billy the Kid, Wild Bunch, ” - Channing_F
 
2.
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...
“ Best Movies: Heat, Insider, Miami Vice, Manhunter, Der Einzelgänger ” - Channing_F
 
3.
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 Movies: Der Pate 1-3, Der Regenmacher, Apocalypse Now, Dracula ” - Channing_F
 
4.
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 Movies: Casino, Good Fellas, Departed, Taxi Driver ” - Channing_F
 
5.
Clint Eastwood
Perhaps the icon of macho movie stars, and a living legend, Clint Eastwood has become a standard in international cinema. Born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the elder of two children in a middle-class family, Eastwood stayed in high school until the comparatively late age of nineteen and worked menial jobs over a period of several years before enrolling at Los Angeles City College...
“ Best Movies: Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Mitternacht im Garten von Gut und Böse, Erbarmungslos ” - Channing_F
 
6.
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...
“ Best Movies: Es war einmal in Amerika, Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod ” - Channing_F
 
7.
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)...
“ Favourite Movies: Die Vögel, Psycho, Der Mann der zuviel wusste, Der unsichtbare Dritte ” - Channing_F
 
8.
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...
“ Best Movies: Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds ” - Channing_F
 
9.
Martin Campbell
Director, Casino Royale
Martin Campbell knows how to entertain an audience when he steps behind the camera. When he directed The Mask of Zorro, the movie earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations and launched the international careers of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Next, when he helmed Vertical Limit, the film was well received by the critics and earned over $200 million in worldwide box-office sales...
“ Best Movies: Auftrag Rache, Goldeneye, Die Plutonium-Affäre ” - Channing_F
 
10.
“ Best Movies: Up in the Air, Juno ” - Channing_F
 
11.
Edward Zwick
Edward Zwick is well-known for his heroic movies that include Glory, and the breathtaking works of art that include Legends of the Fall. Zwick has also been known for his thoughtfulness as a director, and for his record of working with television series and other films as a producer. Born in 1952...
“ Best Movies:Blood Diamond, Love and other Drugs, Ausnahmezustand ” - Channing_F
 
12.
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...
“ Best Movies: Star Trek, Andromeda, Bis das Blut gefriert ” - Channing_F
 
13.
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 Movies: Sieben, Fight Club, Verblendung ” - Channing_F
 
14.
Christopher Nolan
Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear story-telling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of film-making, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made. At 7 years old...
“ Best Movies: Batman Begins, Dark Knight, Insomnia ” - Channing_F
 
15.
Wes Anderson
Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an event that he described as the most crucial event of his brothers and his growing up...
“ Best Movies: Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore ” - Channing_F
 
16.
Olivier Marchal
Olivier Marchal started taking acting lessons when he still was a police officer. He began his career in television, appearing in supporting parts or writing scripts for detective TV series. In 1989 when Yves Rénier resurrected his TV series Commissaire Moulin he became his partner as scriptwriter...
“ Best Movies: 36, MR73 ” - Channing_F
 
17.
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 Movies: Flammen des Widerstands, Ronin, Dead Bang, Schwarzer Sonntag ” - Channing_F
 
18.
“ Best Movies: Bonnie & Clyde, Target, Little Big Man ” - Channing_F
 
19.
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 Movies: French Connection, Der Exorzist, Blue Chips ” - Channing_F
 
20.
Walter Hill
Producer, Aliens
Hill was born in Long Beach, California and educated at Mexico City College and Michigan State University. He worked in oil drilling and construction in the 60s before becoming a 2nd assistant director in 1967. He has written and co-written screenplays, including several uncredited works. He has produced and directed films since 1975.
“ Best Movies: Ausgelöscht, 48 Stunden, Long Riders, Die letzten Amerikaner ” - Channing_F
 
21.
Phillip Noyce
Director, Salt
Born in the Australian outback town of Griffith, New South Wales, Phillip Noyce moved to Sydney with his family at the age of 12. As a teenager, he was introduced to underground films produced on shoestring budgets as well as mainstream American movies. He was 18 when he made his first film, the 15-minute...
“ Best Movies: Salt, Das Kartell, Todesstille ” - Channing_F
 
22.
“ Best Movies: Smokin Aces, Narc, ” - Channing_F
 
23.
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 Movies: Ben Hur, Weites Land, Desperate Hours ” - Channing_F
 
24.
Ridley Scott
Producer, Blade Runner
Ridley Scott was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham) on 30 November 1937. His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him throughout the UK and Europe before they eventually returned to Teesside. Scott wanted to join Army (his...
“ Best Movies: Königreich der Himmel, American Gangster, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Black Rain ” - Channing_F
 
25.
Tony Scott
Producer, Man on Fire
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British military...
“ Best Movies: True Romance, Man on Fire, Unstoppable, Staatsfeind Nr1, Crimson Tide ” - Channing_F
 
26.
Gregory Hoblit
Producer, Frequency
Gregory Hoblit was born in Texas but moved to Northern California at a young age because of his father's job in law enforcement, a hint at what might have attracted the mystery/courtroom plots of his movie/TV credits. After graduating from UCLA, he worked as a TV co-producer with Steven Bochco until directing the 80s series...
“ Best Movies: Frequency, Zwielicht, Dämon ” - Channing_F
 
27.
James Gray
Writer/director James Gray made his first film Little Odessa at the age of twenty-five. The film, which starred Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell, received critical acclaim and was the winner of the Venice Film Festival's prestigious Silver Lion Award in 1994. Miramax Films released James Gray's second feature...
“ Best Movies: Little Odessa, The Yards, Helden der Nacht ” - Channing_F
 
28.
Andrew Davis
Director, The Fugitive
Director/Producer/Writer) Andrew Davis is a filmmaker with a reputation for directing intelligent thrillers, most notably the Academy Award-nominated box-office hit The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and 'Tommy Lee Jones' (Fqv). The film received seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and earned Jones a Best Supporting Actor award...
“ Best Movies: Alarmstufe Rot, Auf der Flucht, Nico, Killer-Brigade ” - Channing_F
 
29.
“ Best Movies: Lethal Weapon, Goonies, Das Omen ” - Channing_F
 
30.
John Boorman
Producer, Excalibur
John Boorman attended Catholic school (Salesian Order) although his family was not, in fact, Roman Catholic. His first job was for a dry-cleaner. Later, he worked as a critic for a women's journal and for a radio station until he entered the television business, working for the BBC in Bristol. There...
“ Best Movies: Der Smaragdwald, Excalibur, Point Blank, Rangoon ” - Channing_F
 
31.
“ Best Movies: Set it Off, Verhandlungssache ” - Channing_F
 
32.
Wolfgang Petersen
Director, Troy
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...
“ Best Movies: Tod im Spiegel, In the Line of Fire, Smog, Outbreak ” - Channing_F
 
33.
Guy Ritchie
Director, Snatch
Guy Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on September 10, 1968. After watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as a child, Guy realized that what he wanted to do was make films. He never attended film school, saying that the work of film school graduates was boring and unwatchable. At 15 years old, he dropped out of school and in 1995...
“ Best Movies: Snatch, Bube Dame König GrAs ” - Channing_F
 
34.
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...
“ Best Movies: Der Herr der Ringe, In meinem Himmel, Meet the Feebles ” - Channing_F
 
35.
Don Siegel
Director, Dirty Harry
Don Siegel was educated at Cambridge University, England. In Hollywood from the mid-'30s, he began his career as an editor and second unit director. In 1945 he directed two shorts (Hitler Lives and Star in the Night) which both won Academy Awards. His first feature as a director was 1946's The Verdict...
“ Best Movies: Der Shootist, Flucht von Alcatraz, Telefon, Der große Coup, Madigan ” - Channing_F
 
36.
“ Best Movies: Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3, Super 8 ” - Channing_F
 
37.
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 Movies: Oceans Eleven, The Limey, Traffic ” - Channing_F
 
38.
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...
“ Best Movies: Der Eissturm, Tiger and Dragon ” - Channing_F
 
39.
James Mangold
Director, Walk the Line
James Mangold is an American film and television director, screenwriter and producer. Films he has directed include Girl, Interrupted, Walk the Line, which he also co-wrote, the 2007 remake 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine, and Logan. Mangold also wrote and directed Cop Land, starring Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and Ray Liotta.
“ Best Movies: Walk the Line, Todeszug nach Yuma, Identität, Cop Land ” - Channing_F
 
40.
“ Best Movies: Homicide, Heist, Die unsichtbare Falle, Haus der Spiele ” - Channing_F
 
41.
“ Best Movies: Im Angesicht des Verbrechens, Die Katze, Cassandras Warnung, Schwarzes Wochenende, Frau Bu lacht, Die Sieger ” - Channing_F
 
42.
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 Movies: Die 12 Geschworenen, Tödliche Fragen, Nacht über Manhattan, Prince of the City ” - Channing_F
 
43.
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...
“ Best Movies: L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys, Am wilden Fluss ” - Channing_F
 
44.
“ Best Movies: Blood In Blood Out, Ray, Ein Offizier und Gentleman ” - Channing_F
 
45.
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...
“ Best Movies: Heavens Gate, Desperate Hours, Die durch die Hölle gehen, Im Jahr des Drachen ” - Channing_F
 
46.
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...
“ Best Movies: Twin Peaks, Der Wüstenplanet, Lost Highway, Blue Velvet ” - Channing_F
 
47.
John Woo
Director, Face/Off
Born in southern China, John Woo grew up in Hong Kong, where he began his film career as an assistant director in 1969, working for Shaw Brothers Studios. He directed his first feature in 1973 and has been a prolific director ever since, working in a wide variety of genres before A Better Tomorrow established...
“ Best Movies: Der City-Wolf 1+2, Hard Boiled, The Killer, Face/Off, Bulett in the Head ” - Channing_F
 
48.
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 Movies: Good Morning Vietnam, Sleepers, Banditen, Man of the Year ” - Channing_F
 
49.
Richard Attenborough
Lord Richard Attenborough was born in Cambridge, England, the son of Mary (née Clegg), a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council, and Frederick Levi Attenborough, a scholar and academic administrator who was a don at Emmanuel College and wrote a standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. Attenborough...
“ Best Movies: Gandhi, Die Brücke von Arnheim, Chaplin ” - Channing_F
 
50.
David Lean
David Lean was an English film director, producer, screenwriter and editor, best remembered for big-screen epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. He is also known for the Dickens adaptations of Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, as well as the romantic drama Brief Encounter...
“ Best Movies: Lawrence von Arabien, Doktor Schiwago ” - Channing_F