Top 100 Directors (Star System)

This ranking is based on a star system. Every director gets between one and four stars for each great film. The judgement of what is great is entirely based on my personal taste.
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1.
Alfred Hitchcock
Actor, 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)...
“ 87 stars
****Vertigo
****Psycho
****Rear Window
****North by Northwest
****The Birds
***The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
***Dial M for Murder
***Spellbound
***Strangers on a Train
***Frenzy
***Shadow of a Doubt
***Marnie
***Notorious
***Rebecca
***Family Plot
***The 39 Steps
***The Lady Vanishes
***To Catch a Thief
**The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
**The Trouble with Harry
**The Wrong Man
**Lifeboat
**Suspicion
**The Manxman
**Blackmail
**The Lodger
**Stage Fright
**Torn Curtain
*Rope
*Secret Agent
*I Confess
*Saboteur
*Young and Innocent
*Under Capricorn
*The Paradine Case
*Jamaica Inn ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
2.
Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
“ 61 stars
****Annie Hall
****Match Point
***Manhattan
***Midnight in Paris
***Crimes and Misdemeanors
***Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex
***Hannah and Her Sisters
***The Purple Rose of Cairo
***Vicky Cristina Barcelona
***Small Time Crooks
***Radio Days
**Scoop
**Husbands and Wives
**Sleeper
**Bananas
**Magic in the Moonlight
**Blue Jasmine
**To Rome with Love
**Mighty Aphrodite
**Interiors
*Love and Death
*The Curse of the Jade Scorpion
*Anything Else
*Shadows and Fog
*Zelig
*Another Woman
*Alice
*Take the Money and Run ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
3.
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...
“ 34 stars
****Sunset Blvd.
****The Apartment
****The Seven Year Itch
***Some Like It Hot
***Witness for the Prosecution
***Double Indemnity
**Sabrina
**Irma la Douce
**A Foreign Affair
*The Front Page
*The Lost Weekend
*The Fortune Cookie
*Kiss Me, Stupid
*Avanti!
*Love in the Afternoon
*Stalag 17 ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
4.
Charles Chaplin
Writer, Modern Times
Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk...
“ 31 stars
****Modern Times
****The Great Dictator
***The Gold Rush
***Limelight
***Monsieur Verdoux
***City Lights
***The Kid
**The Immigrant
**The Tramp
*A Countess from Hong Kong
*A Dog's Life
*The Circus
*A King in New York ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
5.
Ingmar Bergman
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions is the trilogy closed. Here, as in 'Den Goda Viljan' Pernilla August play his mother...
“ 30 stars
****Persona
****Det sjunde insiglet
***Jungfrukällan
***Tystnaden
***Höstsonaten
**Smultronstället
**Sommaren med Monika
**En lektion i kärlek
**Ansiktet
* Skammen
*Nattvardsgästerna
*Sommarlek
*Sommarnattens leende
*Säsom i en spiegel ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
6.
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)...
“ 26 stars
****8 1/2
***Giulietta degli spiriti
***La dolce vita
***La strada
**Le notti di Cabiria
**Satyricon
**Ginger e Fred
**Il bidone
*I vitelloni
*Amarcord
*Roma
*La Città delle donne
*Boccaccio '70 ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
7.
Pedro Almodóvar
The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study filmmaking because he didn't have the money to afford it...
“ 26 stars
****Tacones lejanos
***Kika
***Atame!
***Hable con ella
***La piel que habito
***Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto?
*La mala educación
*Los abrazos rotos
*Volver
*Todo sobre mi madre
*La Flor de mi secreto
*Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios
*La ley del deseo ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
8.
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...
“ 23 stars
****The Maltese Falcon
****The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
***The Misfits
**The Night of the Iguana
**The Asphalt Jungle
**Annie
*Key Largo
*The Man Who Would Be King
*The African Queen
*The Dead
*Moby Dick
*In This Our Life ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
9.
Stanley Kubrick
Director, The Shining
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance...
“ 23 stars
****2001: A Space Odyssey
***A Clockwork Orange
***Lolita
***Eyes Wide Shut
**The Shining
**Dr. Strangelove
**Spartacus
**The Killing
*Barry Lyndon
*Paths of Glory ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
10.
Roman Polanski
Director, The Pianist
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years before World War II began...
“ 22 stars
****Rosemary's Baby
****Repulsion
***Chinatown
***Tess
**Bitter Moon
**Death and the Maiden
*Noz w wodzie
*The Pianist
*La Vénus à la fourrure
*Frantic ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
11.
Brian De Palma
Director, Scarface
Brian De Palma is one of the well-known directors who spear-headed the new movement in Hollywood during the 1970s. He is known for his many films that go from violent pictures, to Hitchcock-like thrillers. Born on the 11th of September in 1940, De Palma was born in New Jersey in an American-Italian family...
“ 22 stars
***The Untouchables
***Scarface
***Carrie
***Blow Out
***Femme Fatale
**Dressed to Kill
**Body Double
*The Black Dahlia
*The Fury
*Wise Guys ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
12.
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...
“ 22 stars
***Ben-Hur
***The Children's Hour
***The Heiress
***Roman Holiday
***Mrs. Miniver
**The Little Foxes
**How to Steal a Million
*Dead End
*The Best Years of Our Lives
*Funny Girl ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
13.
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...
“ 21 stars
****Ryan's Daughter
***Doctor Zhivago
***Lawrence of Arabia
***Great Expectations
***Brief Encounter
***Oliver Twist
**The Bridge on the River Kwai ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
14.
Ken Loach
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...
“ 20 stars
***It's a Free World
***Jimmy's Hall
***Kes
***Hidden Agenda
**Family Life
**Riff-raff
**Ladybird Ladybird
*Carla's Song
*The Wind That Shakes the Barley ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
15.
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...
“ 20 stars
***Jaws
***Jurassic Park
***The Color Purple
**Schindler's List
**The Sugarland Express
**Raiders of the Lost Ark
*Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
*Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
*Close Encounters of the Third Kind
*E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
*Amistad ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
16.
Howard Hawks
Director, The Big Sleep
What do the classic films Scarface, Twentieth Century, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, Sergeant York, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Red River Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Rio Bravo have in common? Aside from their displays of great craftsmanship, the answer is director Howard Hawks...
“ 19 stars
***The Big Sleep
***His Girl Friday
***Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
***Bringing Up Baby
**To Have and Have Not
**Monkey Business
**Scarface
*I Was a Male War Bride ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
17.
Vittorio De Sica
Director, Bicycle Thieves
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...
“ 19 stars
***Ladri di biciclette
***Umberto D.
***Ieri oggi domani
**Il giardino dei Finzi Contini
**Sciuscià
*Miracolo a Milano
*I Bambini ci guardano
*Teresa Venerdì
*Matrimonio all'italiana
*Woman Times Seven
*Boccaccio '70 ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
18.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and even antigay...
“ 18 stars
****Die Ehe der Maria Braun
***Faustrecht der Freiheit
***Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
**Angst essen Seele auf
**Chinesisches roulette
*Mutter Küsters' Fahrt zum Himmel
*Lola
*Lili Marleen
*Fontane Effi Briest ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
19.
Éric Rohmer
Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Éric Rohmer's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, some have argued convincingly that...
“ 18 stars
***Conte d'été
***Ma nuit chez Maude
***Le Beau Mariage
**Le Genou de Claire
**Pauline à la plage
**La Femme de l'aviateur
**Conte d'hiver
*Le Signe du Lion ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
20.
Fritz Lang
Director, M
Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. From 1910 to 1914...
“ 18 stars
***Metropolis
***M
**You Only Live Once
**The Big Heat
**Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
**Clash by Night
*Scarlet Street
*Liliom
*Die Nibelungen
*Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
21.
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...
“ 18 stars
***All about Eve
***Sleuth
**Cleopatra
**The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
**Suddenly, Last Summer
**Julius Caesar
*Guys and Dolls
*5 Fingers
*The Barefoot Contessa
*The Quiet American ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
22.
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...
“ 17 stars
****The King of Comedy
****Taxi Driver
***The Age of Innocence
**New York, New York
*Mean Streets
*Raging Bull
*The Color of Money
*Casino ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
23.
Michael Curtiz
Director, Casablanca
Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. After WWI, he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner Bros...
“ 16 stars
****Casablanca
***The Adventures of Robin Hood
***Mildred Pïerce
**Angels with Dirty Faces
*The Charge of the Light Brigade
*The Cabin in the Cotton
*20,000 Years in Sing Sing
*Night and Day ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
24.
Louis Malle
Louis Malle, the descendant of a French nobleman who made a fortune in beet sugar during the Napoleonic Wars, created films that explored life and its meaning. Malle's family discouraged his early interest in film but, in 1950, allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Paris...
“ 16 stars
***Atlantic City
***Ascenseur pour l'échaffaud
***My Dinner with Andre
***Pretty Baby
*Zazie dans le métro
*Le Souffle au coeur
*Les Amants
*Au revoir les enfants ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
25.
François Truffaut
François began to assiduously go to the movies at 7. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who becomes his protector. Bazin helped the delinquent Truffaut and also when he was put in jail because he deserted the army...
“ 16 stars
***Le Dernier Métro
***La Nuit américaine
***La Mariée était en noir
**L'Histoire d'Adèle H.
*La Chambre verte
*Tirez sur le pianiste
*L'Enfant sauvage
*Les quatre cents coups
*Jules et Jim ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
26.
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...
“ 16 stars
***The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
***The Grapes of Wrath
**The Searchers
**How the West Was Won
*The Quiet Man
*Mogambo
*Tobacco Road
*My Darling Clementine
*Fort Apache
*How Green Was My Valley ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
27.
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...
“ 16 stars
**The Bad and the Beautiful
**An American in Paris
**Father of the Bride
**Lust for Life
**Meet Me in St. Louis
**Tea and Sympathy
**Cabin in the Sky
*The Band Wagon
*Some Came Running ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
28.
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...
“ 15 stars
****The Godfather
***Dracula
***The Conversation
**The Godfather: Part II
*Apocalypse Now
*The Godfather: Part III
*Peggy Sue Got Married ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
29.
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...
“ 15 stars
***It's a Wonderful Life
***Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
***It Happened One Night
**Arsenic and Old Lace
**You Can't Take It with You
*Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
*Lost Horizon ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
30.
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...
“ 15 stars
***12 Angry Men
***Network
***Murder on the Orient Express
**Serpico
**The Verdict
*The Wiz
*Dog Day Afternoon ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
31.
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...
“ 15 stars
***The Sound of Music
***West Side Story
***I Want to Live!
**Audrey Rose
**The Body Snatcher
*The Day the Earth Stood Still
*The Curse of the Cat People ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
32.
“ 15 stars
***Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez
***Le Gendarme se marie
**Le Gendarme et les gendarmettes
**L'Avare
**La Soupe aux choux
*Le Gendarme à New York
*Le Gendarme en balade
*Le Gendarme et les extra-terrestres ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
33.
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...
“ 14 stars
****Pulp Fiction
***Jackie Brown
***Kill Bill: Vol. 1
**Kill Bill: Vol. 2
*Reservoir Dogs
*Death Proof ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
34.
Lars von Trier
Writer, Melancholia
Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime. A highly distinctive blend of film noir and German Expressionism with stylistic nods to Dreyer...
“ 14 stars
***Dancer in the Dark
***Dogville
***Melancholia
**Idioterne
*Nymphomanac
*Antichrist
*Breaking the Waves ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
35.
Sydney Pollack
Director, Tootsie
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...
“ 14 stars
***The Way We Were
***Tootsie
***Absence of Malice
*Three Days of the Condor
*They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
*The Firm
*Out of Africa
*This Property Is Condemned ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
36.
“ 14 stars
***Swimming Pool
***Jeune & jolie
**8 femmes
**Les Amants criminels
*Une Nouvelle Amie
*Sous le sable
*Le Refuge
*5x2 ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
37.
“ 14 stars
***Gaslight
***My Fair Lady
**The Women
**David Copperfield
*Adam's Rib
*The Philadelphia Story
*Dinner at Eight
*Holiday ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
38.
Jean-Luc Godard
Director, My Life to Live
Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of Switzerland and attended school in Nyons (Switzerland)...
“ 14 stars
***Le Mépris
***À bout de souffle
**Pierrot le Fou
**Vivre sa vie
*Prénom Carmen
*Bande à part
*Une femme est une femme
*Made in U.S.A. ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
39.
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 nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. Maurice Bernstein...
“ 13 stars
****Citizen Kane
**Touch of Evil
**The Lady from Shanghai
**The Magnificent Ambersons
**The Stranger
*The Trial ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
40.
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.
“ 13 stars
***From Here to Eternity
***The Nun's Story
***The Day of the Jackal
***High Noon
*A Man for All Seasons ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
41.
Julio Medem
Director, Sex and Lucia
Julio Medem was born in San Sebastian in northern Spain. As a teenager Medem made short movies with a super-8 camera owned by his father. Some of those films are "El ciego" (1976), "El jueves pasado" (1977) and "Fideos" (1979.) Wanting to know more about the darkest corners of the human mind, Medem studied psychiatry...
“ 13 stars
****Los amantes del circulo polar
***Lucía y el sexo
***Tierra
**Room in Rome
*La ardilla roja ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
42.
“ 13 stars
****Top Hat
***The Gay Divorcee
***Shall We Dance
**Carefree
*Follow the Fleet ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
43.
Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific film-makers...
“ 13 stars
***Tulitikkutehtaan Tyttö
***Kauas Pilvet Karkaavat
***Le Havre
**Varjoja Paratiisissa
**I Hired a Contract Killer ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
44.
Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan, 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...
“ 13 stars
***On the Waterfront
***East of Eden
***A Streetcar Named Desire
**Gentlemen's Agreement
**Splendor in the Grass ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
45.
Adrian Lyne
Director, Unfaithful
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 the Highgate school...
“ 13 stars
***Lolita
***Flashdance
***Fatal Attraction
**Indecent Proposal
*Nine 1/2 Weeks
*Foxes ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
46.
Claude Chabrol
Director, La Cérémonie
French film director considered a master in the mystery genre. He is credited with starting the "nouvelle vague" French film movement.
“ 13 stars
***Le Boucher
***La Cérémonie
**Madame Bovary
**Juste avant la nuit
**Une Affaire de femmes
*Au coeur du mensonge ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
47.
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...
“ 12 stars
****Se, Jie
***Life of Pi
**Xi Yan
**Yin Shi Nan Nu
*Brokeback Mountain ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
48.
David Lynch
Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future director Jennifer Lynch shortly after he turned 21...
“ 12 stars
***Blue Velvet
***The Elephant Man
***Mulholland Dr.
**Wild at Heart
*Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
49.
Sofia Coppola
Writer, Somewhere
Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette. She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was previously married to Spike Jonze.
“ 12 stars
***The Virgin Suicides
***The Bling Ring
***Somewhere
**Lost in Translation
*Marie Antoinette ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
50.
“ 12 stars
***Efter Brylluppet
***Elsker dig for evigt
***Brödre
*Haevnen
*Den skaldede frisör
*Serena ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
51.
Michelangelo Antonioni
Writer, Blow-Up
Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema" studying directorship at the School of Cinema...
“ 12 stars
***Blow-Up
***L'Avventura
**L'Eclisse
**Il grido
*La notte
*Identificazione di una donna ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
52.
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...
“ 11 stars
***Natural Born Killers
***Wall Street
**Talk Radio
**JFK
*Comandante ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
53.
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...
“ 11 stars
***To Be Or Not to Be
***Ninotchka
**The Marriage Circle
*Lady Windermere's Fan
*The Shop around the Corner
*Heaven Can Wait ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
54.
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...
“ 11 stars
***A Place in the Sun
***Swing Time
*The Diary of Anne Frank
*The More the Merrier
*Annie Oakley
*Woman of the Year
*Giant ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
55.
F.W. Murnau
Director, Nosferatu
He studied art and literature history at the University of Heidelberg. During World War I, he was a combat pilot.
“ 11 stars
***Sunrise
**Tabu
**Der letzte Mann
**Nosferatu
*City Girl
*Faust ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
56.
Luis Buñuel
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...
“ 11 stars
***Belle de Jour
**Un Chien andalou
**Le Journal d'une femme de chambre
*Cet obscur objet du désir
*Tristana
*Los olvidados
*El angel exterminador ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
57.
“ 10 stars
****La Vie d'Adèle
***La Graine et le mulet
***Vénus noire ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
58.
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...
“ 10 stars
****Gone with the Wind
***The Wizard of Oz
**Tortilla Flat
*Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
59.
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...
“ 10 stars
***The Graduate
***Working Girl
***Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
*Regarding Henry ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
60.
Norman Jewison
Producer, The Hurricane
Norman Frederick Jewison was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Dorothy Irene (Weaver) and Percy Joseph Jewison, who managed a post office and a convenience store. His mother was an English immigrant, and his father was of English and Ulster-Scots descent. Jewison got his BA at Victoria College, University of Toronto...
“ 10 stars
***Agnes of God
***In the Heat of the Night
**Fiddler on the Roof
*Jesus Christ Superstar
*Moonstruck ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
61.
“ 10 stars
****La Grande Vadrouille
***Le Corniaud
**Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob
*La Folie des grandeurs ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
62.
“ 10 stars
***Morte a Venezia
***Bellissima
*Senso
*Ossessione
*Il Gattopardo
*Le Notti bianche ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
63.
Otto Preminger
Otto Ludwig Preminger was born in Wiznitz, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary. His father was a prosecutor, and Otto originally intended to follow his father into a law career; however, he fell in love with the theater and became a stage director. He directed his first film in 1931, and came to the US in 1936 to direct on the Broadway stage...
“ 10 stars
***The Human Factor
***Bonjour Tristesse
*The Fan
*River of No Return
*Anatomy of a Murder
*Angel Face ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
64.
Rob Reiner
Robert Reiner was born in New York City, to Estelle Reiner (née Lebost) and Emmy-Winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner. Robert as a child often looked up to his father as his inspiration and role-model. Carl Reiner was on The Dick Van Dyke Show which Carl Reiner created and also starred in...
“ 10 stars
***When Harry Met Sally...
**Stand by Me
**The Princess Bride
**Rumor Has It
*This Is Spinal Tap ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
65.
Paul Verhoeven
Director, Total Recall
Paul Verhoeven graduated from the University of Leiden, with a degree in math and physics. He entered the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he began his film career by making documentaries for the Navy and later for TV. In 1969, he directed the popular Dutch TV series, Floris, about a medieval knight...
“ 10 stars
***Basic Instinct
**Zwartboek
**Showgirls
*Soldaat van Oranje
*Keetje Tippel
*Starship Troopers ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
66.
“ 10 stars
***Steel Magnolias
**Play It Again, Sam
**The Sunshine Boys
*Footloose
*The Owl and the Pussycat
*Protocol ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
67.
“ 10 stars
***Pardon Us
**The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case
**The Music Box
*Night Owls
*Below Zero
*The Chimp ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
68.
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...
“ 9 stars
****The Remains of the Day
**A Room with a View
**Howards End
*The Golden Bowl ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
69.
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...
“ 9 stars
****One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
***Amadeus
**The People vs. Larry Flint ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
70.
“ 9 stars
***Dangerous Liaisons
***Tamara Drewe
**High Fidelity
*Chéri ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
71.
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 producer (Puttnam had been a photographers' agent)...
“ 9 stars
***Fame
***The Commitments
**Mississippi Burning
*Bugsy Malone ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
72.
Stanley Donen
Since he was a child, Stanley Donen attended dance classes and debuted on Broadway at age 17. With the help of the producer Arthur Freed and the actor Gene Kelly he got the chance to direct the musicals On the Town, Singin' in the Rain, and Love Is Better Than Ever which revolutionized the genre. Another...
“ 9 stars
***Singin' in the Rain
***Charade
**Funny Face
*Bedazzled ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
73.
Guy Hamilton
Director, Goldfinger
Typically British stiff-upper-lip war dramas and action adventure laced with moments of sophisticated comedy were Guy Hamilton's trademark. The son of a British diplomat, he spent most of his youth with his family in France, seemingly destined to be groomed for a career in the diplomatic service. Growing up...
“ 9 stars
***Goldfinger
***The Man with the Golden Gun
**Live and Let Die
*The Mirror Crack'd ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
74.
“ 9 stars
***The Out-of-Towners
**Penelope
**The In-Laws
**Love Story ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
75.
“ 9 stars
***Opening Night
**Shadows
**A Woman under the Influence
*Faces
*Minnie and Moskowitz ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
76.
“ 9 stars
***It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
**The Defiant Ones
**Judgment at Nuremberg
*Guess Who's Coming to Diner
*Inherit the Wind ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
77.
Michael Powell
Director, The Red Shoes
The son of Thomas William Powell & Mabel (nee Corbett). Michael Powell was always a self confessed movie addict. He was brought up partly in Canterbury ("The Garden of England") and partly in the South of France (where his parents ran an hotel). Educated at Kings School, Canterbury & Dulwich College he first worked at the National Provincial Bank from 1922 - 1925...
“ 9 stars
***The Red Shoes
**A Canterbury Tale
*Black Narcissus
*A Matter of Life and Death
*The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
*Peeping Tom ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
78.
Cecil B. DeMille
His parents Henry C. DeMille and Beatrice DeMille were playwrights. His father died when he was 12, and his mother supported the family by opening a school for girls and a theatrical company. Too young to enlist in the Spanish-American War, Cecil followed his brother William C. de Mille to the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts...
“ 9 stars
**Samson and Delilah
**The Greatest Show on Earth
**The Ten Commandments (1923)
**The Ten Commandments (1956)
*Adam's Rib ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
79.
“ 9 stars
**À nos amours
**Loulou
**Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble
**Police
*Sous le soleil de Satan ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
80.
“ 9 stars
**An Affair to Remember
**Going My Way
**Duck Soup
*The Bells of St. Mary's
*The Awful Truth
*Liberty ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
81.
“ 8 stars
****Jean de Florette
****Manon des Sources ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
82.
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Krzysztof Kieslowski graduated from Lódz Film School in 1969, and became a documentary, TV and feature film director and scriptwriter. Before making his first film for TV, Pedestrian Subway (The Underground Passage), he made a number of short documentaries. His next TV title, Personnel (The Staff)...
“ 8 stars
***La Double Vie de Véronique
***Trois couleurs: rouge
**Trois couleurs: bleu ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
83.
“ 8 stars
***Secrets & Lies
***Vera Drake
**All or Nothing ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
84.
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 Kings. Badham's breakthrough credit was the box office smash Saturday Night Fever...
“ 8 stars
***Saturday Night Fever
***Point of No Return
*Wargames
*Bird on a Wire ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
85.
“ 8 stars
***Solomon and Sheba
**Duel in the Sun
**War and Peace
*The Fountainhead ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
86.
Charles Vidor
Director, Gilda
Hungarian-born Karoly Vidor spent the First World War as a lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian infantry. Following the armistice, he made his way to Berlin and worked for the German film company Ufa, as editor and assistant director. In 1924, he emigrated to the U.S. and, for several years, earned his living as a singer in Broadway choruses and (at one time) with a Wagnerian troupe...
“ 8 stars
***Gilda
**A Farewell to Arms
**Rhapsody
*Cover Girl ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
87.
Emeric Pressburger
Educated at the Universities of Prague and Stuttgart, Emeric Pressburger worked as a journalist in Hungary and Germany and an author and scriptwriter in Berlin and Paris. He was a Hungarian Jew, chased around Europe (he worked on films for UFA in Berlin and Paris) before World War II, finally finding sanctuary in London--but as a scriptwriter who didn't speak English...
“ 8 stars
***The Red Shoes
**A Canterbury Tale
*Black Narcissus
*A Matter of Life and Death
*The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
88.
Terence Young
Director, Dr. No
Born in Shanghai and Cambridge-educated, Terence Young began in the industry as a scriptwriter. In the 1940s he worked on a variety of subjects, including the hugely popular wartime romance Suicide Squadron, set to Richard Addinsell's rousing "Warsaw Concerto". His original story was devised while listening to a concert in an army training camp...
“ 8 stars
***Dr. No
**Wait Until Dark
*Thunderball
*From Russia with Love
*Triple Cross ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
89.
Blake Edwards
Writer, The Party
Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point and wrote a number of others, beginning with Panhandle and including six for director Richard Quine...
“ 8 stars
***Breakfast at Tiffany's
**Days of Wine and Roses
*The Pink Panther
*The Great Race
*The Party ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
90.
“ 8 stars
***Soylent Green
**10 Rillington Place
*20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
*Fantastic Voyage
*Barabbas ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
91.
Buster Keaton
Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine show that included family friend...
“ 8 stars
***Seven Chances
**The General
*Sherlock Jr.
*The Navigator
*The Saphead ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
92.
Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks was an Academy Award-winning film writer who also earned six Oscar nominations and achieved success as a film director and producer. He was born Ruben Sax on May 18, 1912, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants. He graduated from West Philadelphia HS...
“ 8 stars
**In Cold Blod
**Elmer Gantry
*Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
*Blackboard Jungle
*The Last Time I Saw Paris
*$ ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
93.
Alejandro Amenábar
Writer, The Others
Amenábar was born in Santiago Chile, on the eve of Pinochet's 1973 coup-de-état, such that his mother, who had already gone through the Spanish Civil War, uprooted the whole family and fled back to Spain. He grew up in Madrid and entered the Sciences Information Faculty at Madrid's Complutense University...
“ 7 stars
****The Others
***Abre los ojos ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
94.
Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam was born in Minnesota near Medicine Lake. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of Mad magazine. In his early 20's he was often stopped by the police who often suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising....
“ 7 stars
***The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
***Monty Python and the Holy Grail
*Time Bandits ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
95.
Jane Campion
Writer, The Piano
Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early 1980s...
“ 7 stars
***The Portrait of a Lady
**The Piano
*An Angel at My Table
*Holy Smoke! ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
96.
Preston Sturges
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...
“ 7 stars
***Sullivan's Travels
**The Lady Eve
**The Palm Beach Story ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
97.
Akira Kurosawa
Writer, Yojimbo
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...
“ 7 stars
***Ikiru
**Rashômon
*Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai)
*Nora inu (Stray Dog) ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
98.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
The son of an affluent architect, Eisenstein attended the Institute of Civil Engineering in Petrograd as a young man. With the fall of the tsar in 1917, he worked as an engineer for the Red Army. In the following years, Eisenstein joined up with the Moscow Proletkult Theater as a set designer and then director...
“ 7 stars
***Bronenosts Potemkin
**Stachka
*Ivan Grozny
*Aleksandr Nevsky ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
99.
Nicholas Ray
Nicholas Ray was born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle, Jr. in 1911, in small-town Galesville, Wisconsin, to Lena (Toppen) and Raymond Joseph Kienzle, a contractor and builder. He was of German and Norwegian descent. Ray's early experience with film came with some radio broadcasting in high school. He left the University of Chicago after a year...
“ 7 stars
***Rebel without a Cause
**Bigger than Life
*Johnny Guitar
*They Live by Night ” - a_z_a_r_y_a
 
100.
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Writer, Accattone
Pier Paolo Pasolini achieved fame and notoriety long before he entered the film industry. A published poet at 19, he had already written numerous novels and essays before his first screenplay in 1954. His first film Accattone was based on his own novel and its violent depiction of the life of a pimp in the slums of Rome caused a sensation...
“ 7 stars
**Il Decameron
**Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma
*I raconti di Canterbury
*Il fiore delle mille e una notte
*Medea ” - a_z_a_r_y_a