A list of directors, in no specific order, who not merely described the working class but who also tried to make us understand.
Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter's College, Oxford, he branched out into the theater...
William A. Wellman
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...
“ Wild Boys of the Road and others ” - karlericsson
“ In spite of The Fountainhead, which fascism he probably did not understand, a director with social conscious as displayed in The Crowd. ” - karlericsson
Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica
grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee idol of the Italian theatre...
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...
Michael Francis Moore was born in Flint, Michigan on April 23, 1954, and was raised in its Davison suburb. He is the son of Helen Veronica (Wall), a secretary, and Francis Richard Moore, who worked on an auto assembly line. He has Irish, as well as English and Scottish, ancestry. Moore studied journalism at the University of Michigan-Flint...
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...
“ Because of They Live ” - karlericsson
“ Because of Blue Collar ” - karlericsson
A bright child, John Sayles began reading novels before age 9. A Williams grad in 1972, he shunned a corporate career to work various blue-collar jobs, moving to east Boston to take a factory job. He wrote stories and submitted them to various magazines, and the Atlantic Monthly gave him the idea of publishing them in a novel--thus "Pride of the Bimbos" (1975) was born...
“ Because of Matevan ” - karlericsson
Martin Ritt, one of the best and most sensitive American filmmakers of all time, was a director, actor and playwright who worked in both film and theater. He was born in New York City. His films reflect, like almost none other, a profound and intimate humane vision of his characters. He originally attended and played football for Elon College in North Carolina...
“ Molly Mcguires and others. ” - karlericsson
Born in West Covina, California, but raised in New York City, Tim Robbins is the son of former The Highwaymen
singer Gil Robbins
and actress Mary Robbins
(née Bledsoe). Robbins studied drama at UCLA, where he graduated with honors in 1981. That same year, he formed the Actors' Gang theater group...
“ Bob Roberts ” - karlericsson
The director Michael Curtiz
was an American director of Hungarian origin and an Oscar-winner. He received his diploma from the School for Dramatic Arts in 1906. He then went to live in Pécs, then in Szeged. Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. The next year...
“ Cabin In the Cotton and others ” - karlericsson
“ Cool Hand Luke ” - karlericsson
“ The Simple-Minded Murderer ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Fat City ” - karlericsson
“ Four Friends and The Chase ” - karlericsson
“ Howard's End ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Ikiru ” - karlericsson
Emile de Antonio
The son of a wealthy physician, Emile de Antonio grew up in the tough coal-mining town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and it made a deep impression on him. His sympathies were always with working-class people (although he was a Harvard graduate, he was at times a dock worker, a peddler, the captain of a river barge and a broker in war-surplus equipment)...
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Georg Wilhelm Pabst is considered by many to be the greatest director of German cinema, in his era. He was especially appreciated by actors and actresses for the humane way in which he treated them. This was in contrast to some of his contemporaries, such as Arnold Fanck
, who have been characterized as martinets.
“ Kameradschaft ” - karlericsson
French film director considered a master in the mystery genre. He is credited with starting the "nouvelle vague" French film movement.
“ La ceremonie ” - karlericsson
“ Kuhle Wampe ” - karlericsson
studied liberal arts at the University of Pisa, becoming interested in the cinema after seeing Roberto Rossellini's Paisan
. After writing and directing short films and plays with his brother Vittorio, he made his first feature in 1962. The brothers have continued to work together ever since...
“ Padre Padrone and others ” - karlericsson
“ Panama Deception ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Paths of Glory ” - karlericsson
“ Pelle, the Conqueror ” - karlericsson
“ The Railroad Man ” - karlericsson
Since starring in his first film, Splendor in the Grass
, Warren Beatty has been said to have demonstrated a greater longevity in movies than any actor of his generation. Few people have taken so many responsibilities for all phases of the production of films as producer, director, writer, and actor, and few have evidenced so high a level of integrity in a body of work...
“ Reds and Bulworth ” - karlericsson
Paul W.S. Anderson
Paul W.S. Anderson gained a fair bit of notoriety in his native England when he directed the ultra-violent Shopping
(which he also wrote), starring Jude Law
and Sean Pertwee
in a story about thieves who steal by ramming a car into storefronts. The film was banned in some cinemas in England, and became a direct-to-video slightly edited release in the United States...
“ Resident Evil - ferocious attack at capitalism/corporations disguised as action. ” - karlericsson
After studying drama in the arts institute, Jean Pierre Dardenne and his brother Luc made some videos about the rough life in blue-collar small towns in the Wallonie. After their meeting with filmmaker Armad Gatti and cinematographer Ned Burgess, they decided to enter in the movie business. In 1978 they shot their first documentary...
“ The Child, Rosetta and others ” - karlericsson
The Russian theatre and film director Andrei Konchalovsky is an elder brother of Nikita Mikhalkov
, born August, 20, 1937. As a youngster he planned to pursue a career of a musician and learned to play piano but his love for cinema outweighed and he entered VGIK-the major state film school where he studied under Mikhail Romm
“ Runaway Train ” - karlericsson
Brian De Palma
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...
“ Scarface ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Sunchaser ” - karlericsson
Director. First was assistant to Max Reinhardt
. Began making movies in Germany in 1919. Went to the USA in 1926.
“ Sunrise ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Tender Comrade and others ” - karlericsson
“ Themroc ” - karlericsson
“ Thunderheart ” - karlericsson
“ A Town Called Bastard ” - karlericsson
Antoine Fuqua is an American film director and film producer. His first feature film was the action film The Replacement Killers (1998), starring Chow Yun Fat. He then directed the crime thriller Training Day (2001), for which star Denzel Washington won an Oscar, the action war drama Tears of the Sun (2003)...
“ Shooter, Training Day ” - karlericsson
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...
Three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont was born in a refugee camp in 1959 in Montbeliard, France, the son of Hungarian parents who had fled Budapest during the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution. Brought to America as an infant, he settled with his family in Los Angeles and attended Hollywood High School...
“ Shawshank Redemption ” - karlericsson
“ Spartan ” - karlericsson
Donovan Philips Leitch was born May 10, 1946, in Glasgow, Scotland. Music was always part of his home life, with both traditional Scottish/Irish songs at family and local celebrations, and popular music through radio and live performances. When Donovan was ten his family moved south to England, resettling in Hatfield...
“ This is the son of Donovan. He's on this list because of Last Party 2000 ” - karlericsson
Director. Writer. Producer. Has studied history, literature and theatre, but hasn't finished it. Founded his own production company in 1963. Has staged several operas, besides others in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has won numerous national and international awards for his films.
“ Stroszek ” - karlericsson
Sydney Pollack was an Academy Award-winning director, producer, actor, writer and public figure, who directed and produced over 40 films. Sydney Irwin Pollack was born July 1, 1934 in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, to Rebecca (Miller), a homemaker, and David Pollack, a professional boxer turned pharmacist...
“ 3 Days of the Condor, The Yakuza ” - karlericsson
“ Twenty-four Eyes ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Tucker ” - karlericsson
“ The Ugly American ” - karlericsson
Born Aveley, Essex, England Educated Palmer's School, University of Southampton (BA Hons Electronics) University of Bristol Postgraduate degree in drama.
“ A Very British Coup ” - karlericsson
“ V For Vendetta ” - karlericsson
Director, writer and producer Lilly Wachowski was born in 1967 in Chicago as Andrew Wachowski, the son of Lynne, a nurse and painter and Ron, a businessman. Lilly was educated at Kellogg Elementary School in Chicago, before moving on to Whitney Young High School. After graduating from high school, she attended Emerson College in Boston, but dropped out...
“ The Matrix ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Mon oncle d'Amerique ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and others ” - karlericsson
“ Murder By Decree ” - karlericsson
“ Nick Of Time ” - karlericsson
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)...
“ La Strada and Nights of Cabiria ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Odd Man Out and even The Third Man (a little) ” - karlericsson
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter, credited as the inventor of "Spaghetti Western" genre. Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots. His movies include the sword and sandal action films The Last Days of Pompeii
and The Colossus of Rhodes
“ Once Upon a Time In America ” - karlericsson
The distinguished film director Anatole Litvak was born in the Ukrainian city of Kiev, the son of Jewish parents. His very first job was as a stage hand. In 1915, he became an actor, performing at a little-known experimental theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. As a teenager, he witnessed the 1917 Russian Revolution and the consequent nationalization of all theaters and drama schools...
“ The Snake Pit and Act of Love ” - karlericsson
After a decade as a screenwriter, Clouzot made his directorial debut in 1942. His next film, The Raven
had the distinction of being banned both by the Nazis and the victorious French forces for differing reasons. He shot to international fame with The Wages of Fear
and consolidated that success with Diabolique
“ The Wages Of Fear ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Wag the Dog ” - karlericsson
“ Waking the Dead ” - karlericsson
“ Who'll Stop the Rain ” - karlericsson
“ Cutter's Way ” - karlericsson
Sent to London to read for the Bar, Cacoyannis gravitated instead to the Old Vic stage school. He had a short stage career under the name "Michael Yannis" before deciding he wanted to direct films.
“ Zorba and others ” - karlericsson
Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until reunification)...
“ American Friend ” - karlericsson
“ Billy Jack and others ” - karlericsson
“ Queimada (Burn) and others ” - karlericsson
James Whale, who grew up poor in an English mining town, learned to put on plays in a World War I German POW camp. Postwar theatre work took him to the London stage, then Broadway, then a contract with Paramount, as dialog director for Howard Hughes
' Hell's Angels
. He began his contribution to the horror film genre with his move to Universal...
“ Bride of Frankenstein ” - karlericsson
Joseph H. Lewis
The term "style over content" fits director Joseph H. Lewis like a glove. His ability to elevate basically mundane and mediocre low-budget material to sublime cinematic art has gained him a substantial cult following among movie buffs. The Bonnie & Clyde look-alike Deadly Is the Female
, shot in 30 days on a budget of $400,000...
“ Gun Crazy ” - karlericsson
At age 17, Samuel Fuller
was the youngest reporter ever to be in charge of the events section of the New York Journal. After having participated in the European battle theater in World War II, he directed some minor action productions for which he mostly wrote the scripts himself and which he also produced (e.g...
“ Shock Corridor and Underworld usa ” - karlericsson
Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent. He was educated at Stonyhurst, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). His first appearance on stage was in 1926. Laughton formed own film company...
“ Night of the Hunter ” - karlericsson
Director, songwriter ("Love, Your Magic Spell Is Everywhere", "Mam'selle"), composer, producer and author. He came to the US in 1919 and joined ASCAP in 1947. His chief musical collaborators included Elsie Janis
and 'Mack Gordon (I)', and his other popular song compositions include "Sweetest Moment"...
“ Nightmare Alley ” - karlericsson
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí
and Federico García Lorca
“ Los Olvidados ” - karlericsson
Herbert J. Biberman
Herbert J. Biberman, the progressive producer, director and screenwriter now best known as one of the Hollywood Ten who were blacklisted by the American Film Industry for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), was born on March 4, 1900 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...
“ Salt of the Earth ” - karlericsson
Preston Sturges' own life is as unlikely as some of the plots of his best work. He was born into a wealthy family. As a boy he helped out on stage productions for his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan
(the scarf that strangled her was made by his mother's company, Maison Desti). He served in the U.S...
“ Sullivan's travels ” - karlericsson
Toshiya Fujita was born on January 16, 1932 in Pyongyang, Korea. Following graduation from Tokyo University Fujita joined the Nikkatsu studio in 1955. Toshiya initially worked at Nikkatsu as a publicist, screenwriter, and assistant director prior to directing his first film in 1967. His debut feature won Fujita the 1967 New Directors Award from the Directors Guild of Japan...
“ Lady Snowblood I and II ” - karlericsson
Robert Enrico studied in Toulon and then in Paris where he graduated from Lycée Voltaire. He later enrolled in the famous film school IDHEC where he specialized in editing and directing. Until 1956 he was an active member of the Sorbonne's mediaeval group "Les Théophiliens". From 1956 to 1959 he did his military service within the Service Cinématographique des Armées...
“ Vent d'est and An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge ” - karlericsson
Jean Vigo had bad health since he was a child. Son of anarchist militant Miguel Almareyda, he also never really recovered from his father's mysterious death in jail when he was 12. Abandoned by his mother, he passed from boarding school to boarding school. Aged 23, through meetings with people involved in the movies...
“ On this list because of "All Or Nothing" and not so much because of his other films, which border to "social porno", which is not the same as real and dangerous criticism. ” - karlericsson
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...
“ Fight Club ” - karlericsson
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.
“ Hard Times ” - karlericsson
Robert Aldrich entered the film industry in 1941 when he got a job as a production clerk at RKO Pictures. He soon worked his way up to script clerk, then became an assistant director, a production manager and an associate producer. He began writing and directing for TV series in the early 1950s, and directed his first feature in 1953 (Big Leaguer
“ Emperor of the North but before all else "Hustle", which is not what you expect it to be. ” - karlericsson
Son of mortgage broker Danny Singleton and pharmaceutical company sales executive Sheila Ward and raised in separate households by his unmarried parents, John Singleton
attended the Film Writing Program at USC after graduating from high school in 1986. While studying there, he won three writing awards from the university...
“ Rosewood ” - karlericsson
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 (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). He is also known for the Dickens adaptations of Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), as well as the romantic drama Brief Encounter (1945)...
“ Only for "Great Expectations" ” - karlericsson
“ For "Aileen" ” - karlericsson
“ 1900 ” - karlericsson
The second of two sons, his father ran a chain of railway station cafes. As a youth he was obsessed with everything American. encouraged by his mother he enrolled as a law student at the University of Vienna but quit after 3 months to be a writer on a magazine which although poorly paid it gave him a great amount of experience interviewing such as Richard Strauss and Sigmund Freud...
“ Ace In the Whole ” - karlericsson
“ Documentaries ” - karlericsson
, known for his creative stage direction, was born "Elia Kazanjoglous" in Istanbul in 1909 to Greek parents. He directed such Broadway plays as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". He directed the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire
and also films written for the screen...
“ The man proved to be a traitor but for some time he did courageous films. ” - karlericsson
“ Ådalen 1931, Kvarteret Korpen and others ” - karlericsson
Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery. Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in Grand Junction...
“ johnny Got His Gun ” - karlericsson
“ All the King's Men and many scripts. ” - karlericsson
“ Hell's Highway ” - karlericsson
“ The Assassination of Richard Nixon ” - karlericsson