100 of My Favorite Directors

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1.
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...
“ Seven Samurai, Rashomon ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
2.
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)...
“ The Commitments, Evita, Mississippi Burning ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
3.
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)...
“ Psycho, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
4.
Brett Ratner
Producer, The Revenant
Ratner grew up in Miami Beach, the only child of a famous Jewish socialite mother. He attended Miami Beach Senior High and was President of the Leo Club in 1986. He was also a member of the "fraternity" Royal Palm. He attended NYU film school currently lives in a $3.6 M house in Beverly Hills. Ratner is also a good friend of Def Jam mogul Russell Simmons...
“ Rush Hour, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
5.
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...
“ Scarface, Carrie, The Untouchables ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
6.
“ The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X2: X-men United ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
7.
Carl Reiner
Carl Reiner is a legend of American comedy, having achieved great success as a comic actor, a director, producer and recording artist. He has won nine Emmy Awards, three as an actor, three as a writer and two as a producer. He also won a Grammy Award for his "2,000 Year Old Man" album, based on his comedy routine with Mel Brooks...
“ The Jerk, Summer School, Fatal Instinct ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
8.
David Lynch
Born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana, David Lynch was raised in small-town America. After high school, he went to Boston to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Shortly after that, he planned a three-year trip to Europe to work on his art, but didn't take to it and left after 15 days. In 1977...
“ Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
9.
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...
“ The Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders, Bram Stoker's Dracula ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
10.
Frank Darabont
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...
“ The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
11.
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car driver...
“ American Graffiti, Star Wars ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
12.
Harold Ramis
Born on November 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, Harold Allen Ramis got his start in comedy as Playboy magazine's joke editor and reviewer. In 1969, he joined Chicago's Second City's Improvisational Theatre Troupe before moving to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" with other Second City graduates including John Belushi...
“ Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
13.
“ Footloose ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
14.
“ Pretty In Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Great Outdoors, Grumpier Old Men, ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
15.
“ The Lost Boys, Batman Forever, The Phantom of the Opera ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
16.
“ Rocky, The Karate Kid Trilogy, Rocky V ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
17.
“ Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, She's Having a Bay, Uncle Buck ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
18.
John Landis
John Landis began his career in the mail room of 20th Century-Fox. A high-school dropout, 18-year-old Landis made his way to Yugoslavia to work as a production assistant on Kelly's Heroes. Remaining in Europe, Landis found work as an actor, extra and stuntman in many of the Spanish/Italian "spaghetti" westerns...
“ Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London, Trading Places, Twilight Zone: The Movie (prologue and segment 1), Thriller, iThree Amigos!, Coming to America ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
19.
Kevin Reynolds
Raised as an Air Force brat, Kevin Reynolds' love for cinema inspired him to forsake his law school degree and move to Los Angeles to enroll in the University of Southern California's legendary film school. Reynolds' graduate thesis film "Proof" became the basis for "Fandango" starring Kevin Costner and was produced by Steve Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment as one of its first productions...
“ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Count of Monte Cristo ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
20.
Kevin Smith
Producer, Comic Book Men
Kevin Patrick Smith was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, to Grace (Schultz) and Donald E. Smith, a postal worker. He is very proud of his native state; this fact can be seen in all of his movies. Kevin is of mostly German, with some Irish and English, ancestry. His first movie, Clerks, was filmed in the convenience store in which Smith worked...
“ Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, Jersey Girl ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
21.
Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to television...
“ The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Robin Hood: Men In Tights ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
22.
Michael Mann
Producer, Heat
A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch. He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile, in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release, Thief starring James Caan as a safe-cracker who falls under the spell of the mob...
“ Heat ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
23.
Penelope Spheeris
Director, Wayne's World
Spheeris is often referred to as a 'rock 'n roll anthropologist'. In 1974 she formed the first Los Angeles music video production company, ROCK 'N REEL. She concluded her music video work with the Grammy-nominated, "Bohemian Rhapsody" video for "Wayne's World". Spheeris' feature film debut was the 1979 documentary on the Los Angeles punk scene...
“ Wayne's World, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Little Rascals ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
24.
Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies, which he made with his friends...
“ Dead-Alive, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
25.
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...
“ Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
26.
“ The Omen, Superman, The Goonies ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
27.
Ridley Scott
Producer, Blade Runner
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 throughout the United Kingdom and Europe before they eventually returned to Teesside. Scott wanted to...
“ Alien, Blade Runner, Legend ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
28.
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...
“ Stand By Me, The Princess Bride ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
29.
Robert Zemeckis
A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone, 1941) and special effect vehicles (Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Back to the Future)...
“ Back to the Future Trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Forrest Gump ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
30.
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...
“ The Fearless Vampire Killers, Chinatown, Rosemary's Bay ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
31.
Ron Howard
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 to the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films. Howard directed and produced "Cinderella Man" starring Oscar winner Russell Crowe...
“ Splash, Willow, Parenthood, Far and Away ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
32.
Savage Steve Holland
Marvelously quirky and creative writer, director, producer and animator Savage Steve Holland was born in 1960. Holland earned the childhood nickname Savage after he kicked a kid in the teeth during a soccer game. He studied animation at the California Institute of the Arts. Holland's student project "Going Nowhere Fast" was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art...
“ Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, The Last Halloween ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
33.
Sergio Leone
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...
“ The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Once Upon a Time In the West ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
34.
Spike Lee
Director, Inside Man
Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University...
“ Do the Right Thing, Crooklyn, Summer of Sam ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
35.
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...
“ The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
36.
Steve Barron
Steve Barron started in films as a camera assistant on epic productions such as Richard Donner's 'Superman', Richard Attenborough's 'A Bridge Too Far' and Ridley Scott's 'The Duellist's'. He began directing music videos in the early eighties for The Jam, Human League, and Adam & the Ants, his work helping to inspire the formation of MTV...
“ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Coneheads ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
37.
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...
“ Jaws, Indiana Jones Tetralogy, Schindler's List ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
38.
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....
“ Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
39.
Tim Burton
Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was especially fond of films with Vincent Price)...
“ Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks! ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
40.
Tod Browning
Director, Dracula
Belonging to a well-situated family, Charles Browning fell in love at the age of 16 with a dancer of a circus. Following her began his itinerary of being clown, jockey and director of a variety theater which ended when he met D.W. Griffith and became an actor. He made his debut in Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages...
“ Dracula, Freaks ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
41.
Tony Scott
Director, Top Gun
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British military...
“ Top Gun, True Romance ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
42.
William Friedkin
Director, The Exorcist
Friedkin's mother was an operating room nurse. His father was a merchant seaman, semi-pro softball player and ultimately sold clothes in a men's discount chain. Ultimately, his father never earned more than $50/week in his whole life and died indigent. Eventually young Will became infatuated with Orson Welles after seeing Citizen Kane...
“ The Exorcist, The French Connection ” - WeAintFoundShin
 
43.
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...
“ Take the Money and Run ” - WeAintFoundShin