British & Irish Directors

by RAMPARTisGREAT | created - 14 Jan 2012 | updated - 20 Mar 2012 | Public

1. Jim Sheridan

Producer | In America

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,...

2. Mike Figgis

Director | Leaving Las Vegas

Mike Figgis was born on February 28, 1948 in Carlisle, Cumberland, England as Michael Figgis. He is a director and writer, known for Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Stormy Monday (1988) and Timecode (2000).

3. Thaddeus O'Sullivan

Director | December Bride

Thaddeus O'Sullivan was born in 1947 in Dublin, Ireland. He is a director and cinematographer, known for December Bride (1991), Nothing Personal (1995) and Stella Days (2011).

4. 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. ...

5. Mike Leigh

Director | Secrets & Lies

Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is a director and writer, known for Secrets & Lies (1996), Another Year (2010) and Happy-Go-Lucky (2008). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.

6. Ken Loach

Director | I, Daniel Blake

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...

7. Stephen Frears

Director | Dangerous Liaisons

Stephen Frears was born on June 20, 1941 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England as Stephen Arthur Frears. He is a director and producer, known for Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Philomena (2013) and Dirty Pretty Things (2002). He has been married to Anne Rothenstein since 1992. They have two children. ...

8. Stephen Daldry

Director | The Hours

In 1989, Stephen Daldry worked as a freelance reader of unsolicited manuscripts for Literary Manager Nicholas Wright in the Scripts Department at the Royal National Theatre. In July of that year, he directed a Dadaist/expressionist production of "Judgement Day," a play by Odon von Horvath, at the ...

9. Antonia Bird

Director | Priest

Antonia Bird was born on May 27, 1951 in London, England. She was a director and producer, known for Priest (1994), Face (1997) and Ravenous (1999). She was married to Ian Ilett. She died on October 24, 2013 in London.

10. Peter Greenaway

Director | The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

Peter Greenaway trained as a painter and began working as a film editor for the Central Office of Information in 1965. Shortly afterwards he started to make his own films. He has produced a wealth of short and feature-length films, but also paintings, novels and other books. He has held several ...

11. Neil Jordan

Writer | The Crying Game

Neil Jordan was born on February 25, 1950 in Sligo, Ireland. He is a writer and producer, known for The Crying Game (1992), Breakfast on Pluto (2005) and Michael Collins (1996). He has been married to Brenda Rawn since June 30, 2004. They have two children. He was previously married to Vivienne ...

12. Michael Apted

Director | Enigma

Michael Apted was born on February 10, 1941 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England as Michael David Apted. He is a director and producer, known for Enigma (2001), Rome (2005) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). He has been married to Paige Simpson since January 8, 2014. He was previously married to ...

13. Adrian Lyne

Director | Flashdance

Adrian Lyne (Director/Writer/Producer) is the creative force behind some of the most talked-about movies of our time, among them, "Fatal Attraction", "9 1/2 Weeks", "Flashdance", "Indecent Proposal", "Jacob's Ladder" and "Unfaithful".

Born in Peterborough, England and raised in London, Lyne attended...

14. Alan Parker

Director | Evita

Prior to moving into film, Alan was noted as one of London's most talented advertising copywriters. He worked for the Collet Dickinson Pearce (CDP) ad agency in the 1960's and early 1970's, and began directing his own tvc scripts in their basement. Formed a partnership with David Puttnam as his ...

15. Guy Ritchie

Director | Sherlock Holmes

Guy Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on September 10, 1968. After watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) 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 ...

16. Peter Chelsom

Actor | The Space Between Us

Peter Chelsom is a member of the British Academy, the American Academy, The Directors Guild Of America, and The Writers Guild Of America. Peter was born in Blackpool in the North of England. He is a US and UK citizen. (Trivia: he is an Honorary Citizen of a small town in Tuscany, Italy, called ...

17. Alan Clarke

Director | Screen Two

Liverpool native Alan Clarke got his start in the film business in Canada, where he studied acting and directing. Upon returning to England he got a job at ITV, then moved over to the BBC in 1969. He worked mostly in television, but he made a couple of feature films that got attention for their ...

18. Danny Boyle

Director | 127 Hours

Danny Boyle was born on October 20, 1956 in Manchester, England as Daniel Boyle. He is a director and producer, known for 127 Hours (2010), 28 Days Later... (2002) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

19. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

20. Tony Scott

Producer | Domino

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...

21. Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer | Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Paul W.S. Anderson gained a fair bit of notoriety in his native England when he directed the ultra-violent Shopping (1994) (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, ...

22. Richard Attenborough

Actor | Jurassic Park

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. ...

23. Peter Hall

Director | Screen One

Sir Peter Hall directed his first play while he was still a student. He soon achieved prominence as a stage director. He started his occasional film work in 1968 with Work Is a 4-Letter Word (1968). He was the Artistic Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon from 1960 - 1968....

24. Ken Russell

Director | The Devils

Ken Russell tried several professions, before choosing to become a film director. He was a still photographer, a dancer and even served in the army, but it was film that was to be Mr. Russell's destiny. He began by making several short films, and those paved the way for his brilliant television ...

25. Nicolas Roeg

Director | Don't Look Now

When he made his directorial debut in 1970, Nicolas Roeg was already a 23-year veteran of the British film industry, starting out in 1947 as an editing apprentice and working his way up to cinematographer twelve years later. He first came to attention as part of the second unit on David Lean's ...

26. Iain Softley

Director | Backbeat

Softley was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing, London, and Queens' College, Cambridge University, where he was a member of the college's dramatic society, the BATS, and directed a number of highly-praised theatrical productions. He worked for Granada TV and the BBC before becoming a director...

27. John Madden

Director | Shakespeare in Love

John Madden was born on April 8, 1949 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. He is a director and producer, known for Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) and Miss Sloane (2016).

28. Martin McDonagh

Writer | Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Martin McDonagh was born on March 26, 1970 in Camberwell, London, England. He is a writer and director, known for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012).

29. Anthony Minghella

Writer | The Talented Mr. Ripley

Anthony Minghella was the son of immigrants from Italy, who own an ice-cream factory on the Isle of Wight, where Anthony was born on January 6, 1954. He and his two siblings, Edana Minghella and Dominic Minghella, grew up there, a popular British holiday spot. After graduating from the University of...

30. Richard Kwietniowski

Director | Love and Death on Long Island

Richard Kwietniowski was born on March 17, 1957 in London, England. He is a director, known for Love and Death on Long Island (1997), Alfalfa (1988) and Flames of Passion (1989).

31. Michael Winterbottom

Director | Genova

Michael Winterbottom was born on March 29, 1961 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. He is a director and producer, known for A Summer in Genoa (2008), A Mighty Heart (2007) and In This World (2002).

32. Peter Howitt

Actor | Sliding Doors

Peter Howitt was born on May 5, 1957 in Manchester, England. He is an actor and director, known for Sliding Doors (1998), Johnny English (2003) and Dangerous Parking (2007). He has been married to Lorraine since August 5, 2001.

33. Sally Potter

Director | The Tango Lesson

Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed seven feature films, as well as many short films (including THRILLER and PLAY) and a television series, and has directed opera (Carmen for the ENO in 2007) and other live work. Her background is in choreography, ...

35. Pat O'Connor

Director | The Ballroom of Romance

Pat O'Connor was born in 1943 in Ardmore, Ireland. He is a director and writer, known for The Ballroom of Romance (1982), Fools of Fortune (1990) and A Month in the Country (1987). He has been married to Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio since 1990. They have two children.

36. John Irvin

Director | Raw Deal

John Irvin is a British director who has made more than thirty motion pictures in his career so far, and has received mixed success over the years.

Born in England, Irvin began his career in television before he filmed the gritty and violent theatrical motion picture, The Dogs of War (1980). The ...

37. Paul McGuigan

Director | Lucky Number Slevin

Paul McGuigan was born on September 19, 1963 in Bellshill, Scotland. He is a director and producer, known for Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Wicker Park (2004) and Victor Frankenstein (2015).

38. Terry George

Writer | Hotel Rwanda

Terry George was born on December 20, 1952 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is a writer and producer, known for Hotel Rwanda (2004), In the Name of the Father (1993) and Some Mother's Son (1996). He has been married to Margaret Higgins since 1978. They have two children.

39. Bruce Robinson

Writer | Withnail & I

Such is the mythology that has sprung up around Bruce Robinson's first film, the openly autobiographical Withnail & I (1987), that it's often hard to separate fact from fiction. But the facts appear to be these: trained as an actor at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, he got off to a...

40. Roland Joffé

Director | The Killing Fields

Roland Joffé was born on November 17, 1945 in London, England. He is a director and producer, known for The Killing Fields (1984), The Mission (1986) and The Scarlet Letter (1995).

41. Nick Love

Writer | The Football Factory

Nick Love was born on December 24, 1969 in London, England. He is a producer and writer, known for The Football Factory (2004), The Sweeney (2012) and Monsters (2010). He was previously married to Patsy Palmer.

42. 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 ...

43. Derek Jarman

Director | Edward II

Derek Jarman was born on January 31, 1942 in London, England as Michael Derek Elworthy Jarman. He was a director and cinematographer, known for Edward II (1991), Caravaggio (1986) and Wittgenstein (1993). He died on February 19, 1994 in London.

44. Franc Roddam

Writer | Moby Dick

Franc Roddam was born on April 29, 1946 in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, England as Francis George Roddam. He is a writer and producer, known for Moby Dick (1998), Aria (1987) and Quadrophenia (1979).

45. Julien Temple

Director | Earth Girls Are Easy

Julien Temple was born on November 26, 1953 in London, England. He is a director and writer, known for Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), Vigo (1998) and Aria (1987).

46. David Lean

Director | Lawrence of Arabia

An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon on March 25, 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s, he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding ...

47. Jonathan Glazer

Director | Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer was born on March 26, 1965 in London, England. He is a director and writer, known for Under the Skin (2013), Birth (2004) and Sexy Beast (2000).

48. Peter Yates

Director | Bullitt

Having seen Robbery (1967) and Bullitt (1968), it comes as no surprise that Peter Yates started out as a professional racing car driver and team manager - albeit briefly - before turning his attention to film. The son of a military man, he was educated at Charterhouse School and trained at RADA, ...

49. Michael Radford

Director | Il postino

Michael Radford was born on February 24, 1946 in New Delhi, British India. He is a director and writer, known for Il Postino (1994), Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) and The Merchant of Venice (2004). He is married to Emma Tweed. They have two children. He was previously married to Iseult Teran.

50. Damian Harris

Director | Gardens of the Night

Damian Harris was born on August 2, 1958 in London, England. He is a director and writer, known for Gardens of the Night (2008), The Rachel Papers (1989) and Mercy (2000).

51. John Badham

Director | WarGames

English-born "Army brat" John Badham is the son of English actress Mary Hewitt and the stepson of an American Army general. Raised in Alabama and schooled at Yale, he cut his teeth producing and directing for TV before making his feature debut with The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor ...

52. Gillies MacKinnon

Director | Small Faces

Gillies MacKinnon was born on January 8, 1948 in Glasgow, Scotland. He is a director and writer, known for Small Faces (1996), Trojan Eddie (1996) and Pure (2002).

53. Henry Jaglom

Writer | New Year's Day

Henry Jaglom trained with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York, where he acted, wrote and directed off-Broadway theater and cabaret before settling in Hollywood in the late 1960s. Under contract to Columbia Pictures, Jaglom guest-starred in such TV shows as Gidget (1965) and The Flying Nun...

54. Kevin Macdonald

Director | The Last King of Scotland

Kevin Macdonald was born on October 28, 1967 in Glasgow, Scotland. He is a director and producer, known for The Last King of Scotland (2006), State of Play (2009) and Touching the Void (2003).

55. Roger Michell

Director | Notting Hill

Roger Michell was born on June 5, 1956 in South Africa. He is a director and producer, known for Notting Hill (1999), Venus (2006) and Enduring Love (2004). He is married to Anna Maxwell Martin. They have two children. He was previously married to Kate Buffery.

56. Mick Jackson

Director | Volcano

Born Aveley, Essex, England Educated Palmer's School, University of Southampton (BA Hons Electronics) University of Bristol Postgraduate degree in drama.

57. Mike Newell

Director | Four Weddings and a Funeral

Attended Cambridge University. Three year training course at Granada Television, with intention of going into theatre. Graduated to directing TV plays, building strong reputation for work with David Hare, David Edgar, Hohn, John Osborne, Jack Rosenthal.

58. Nick Hamm

Director | The Hole

Nick Hamm is a BAFTA award-winning British director and producer whose work extends to feature films, television and theatre.

Hamm spent many years as a resident director with the Royal Shakespeare Company, focusing on both Shakespeare and contemporary playwrights; the latter including, Howard ...

59. Marek Kanievska

Director | Another Country

He is well-known for his work in film and television in both the UK and the United States. His feature film directorial debut, Another Country, won awards at the 1984 Cannes and Florence Film Festivals. His next feature film was Less Than Zero, the 1987 adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis' ...

60. Beeban Kidron

Director | Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

She came to prominence with the much lauded adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. Since then she's directed feature films, television dramas and documentaries. In 2008, she founded the charity called Filmclub with Lindsay Mackie. It has since ...

61. Mike Hodges

Director | Flash Gordon

Mike Hodges was born on July 29, 1932 in Bristol, England as Michael Tommy Hodges. He is a director and producer, known for Flash Gordon (1980), Black Rainbow (1989) and Morons from Outer Space (1985). He was previously married to Jean.

62. Richard Eyre

Director | Notes on a Scandal

Richard Eyre was born on March 28, 1943 in Barnstaple, Devon, England as Richard Charles Hastings Eyre. He is a director and producer, known for Notes on a Scandal (2006), Iris (2001) and Stage Beauty (2004). He has been married to Sue Birtwistle since 1973.

63. Nick Willing

Writer | Photographing Fairies

Nick Willing was born in 1961 in London, England. He is a writer and director, known for Photographing Fairies (1997), Close Your Eyes (2002) and Alice (2009).

64. Suri Krishnamma

Director | Iron Men

Suri Krishnamma is a director known for A Man of No Importance (1994), A Respectable Trade (1998), New Year's Day (2000), The Cazalets (2001), Locked In (2010), Bad Karma (2012) and Dark Tourist (2012). As a writer director he has made a number of short films, including Mohammed's Daughter (1987), ...

65. Stephen Poliakoff

Writer | Close My Eyes

Stephen Poliakoff was born on December 1, 1952 in Holland Park, Kensington, London, England. He is a writer and director, known for Close My Eyes (1991), Perfect Strangers (2001) and Dancing on the Edge (2013). He has been married to Sandy Welch since 1983. They have two children.

66. Karel Reisz

Director | Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Karel Reisz was born on July 21, 1926 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. He was a director and producer, known for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) and Morgan! (1966). He was married to Betsy Blair and Julia Coppard. He died on November 25, 2002 in London, ...

67. Tony Richardson

Director | A Taste of Honey

Tony Richardson was born on June 5, 1928 in Shipley, Yorkshire, England as Cecil Antonio Richardson. He was a director and producer, known for A Taste of Honey (1961), Tom Jones (1963) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962). He was married to Vanessa Redgrave. He died on November 14,...

68. Angela Pope

Director | Hollow Reed

Angela Pope is a director who started her career making documentaries for television and the moved into TV drama and features.

Born 1945 in Weybridge Surrey, she was educated at Tiffin Girls Grammar School , and at Sussex University, followed - briefly - by post graduate work at UCLA which, she quit...

69. Steve McQueen

Director | 12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen was born on October 9, 1969 in London, England as Steve Rodney McQueen. He is a director and writer, known for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Shame (2011) and Hunger (2008).

70. Oliver Parker

Actor | An Ideal Husband

Oliver Parker was born on September 6, 1960 in London, England. He is an actor and director, known for An Ideal Husband (1999), Dorian Gray (2009) and Nightbreed (1990).

71. Alex Cox

Director | Repo Man

Throughout his years in the industry, Alex Cox, an English writer-director, has not only proven his loyalty and integrity to cult cinema, but also his love for it. This all began in 1977, when Cox dropped out of Oxford University to study Radio, Film & TV at Bristol until graduating in 1977. Seeing...

72. Marc Evans

Director | My Little Eye

Marc Evans was born in 1963 in Wales. He is a director and writer, known for My Little Eye (2002), Snow Cake (2006) and House of America (1997).

73. Michael Caton-Jones

Director | Basic Instinct 2

Michael Caton-Jones was born on October 15, 1957 in Broxburn, West Lothian, Scotland as Michael Jones. He is a director and actor, known for Basic Instinct 2 (2006), The Jackal (1997) and Rob Roy (1995).

74. Hugh Hudson

Director | Chariots of Fire

Hugh Hudson was born on August 25, 1936 in London, England. He is a director and producer, known for Chariots of Fire (1981), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) and I Dreamed of Africa (2000). He has been married to Maryam d'Abo since November 2003. He was previously married ...

75. Joe Wright

Director | Pride & Prejudice

Joe Wright is an English film director. He is best known for Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007), Anna Karenina (2012), and Darkest Hour (2017).

Wright always had an interest in the arts, especially painting. He would also make films on his Super 8 camera as well as spend time in the evenings...

76. Peter Cattaneo

Director | The Full Monty

Peter Cattaneo was born on July 1, 1964 in Twickenham, London, England. He is a director and writer, known for The Full Monty (1997), Opal Dream (2006) and The Rocker (2008).

77. James Marsh

Director | The Theory of Everything

James Marsh was born on April 30, 1963 in Truro, Cornwall, England. He is a director and producer, known for The Theory of Everything (2014), The King (2005) and Wisconsin Death Trip (1999).