A list of 40 Great Movie Directors

by makiprettywoman3 | created - 27 Dec 2013 | updated - 28 Dec 2013 | Public

1. Donald Petrie

Director | Mystic Pizza

Donald Petrie was born on April 2, 1954 in New York City, New York, USA. He is a director and actor, known for Mystic Pizza (1988), Just My Luck (2006) and Miss Congeniality (2000).

2. Brian Levant

Director | The Flintstones

Brian Levant was born on August 6, 1952 in Highland Park, Illinois, USA as Brian Michael Levant. He is a producer and writer, known for The Flintstones (1994), The New Leave It to Beaver (1983) and Jingle All the Way (1996).

3. Michael Bay

Producer | Armageddon

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and Divinyls. His work won...

4. Ron Underwood

Director | Tremors

A director who is equally adept at working in television as well as features, Southern California native Ron Underwood has been making films since 5th grade and was winning Eastman Kodak filmmaking awards by the time he was in his teens. After graduating from University of Southern California, he ...

5. Bob Clark

Director | A Christmas Story

Bob Clark was born on August 5, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Benjamin Clark. He was a director and writer, known for A Christmas Story (1983), Porky's (1981) and Murder by Decree (1979). He died on April 4, 2007 in Pacific Palisades, California, USA.

6. Peter Berg

Writer | Very Bad Things

Peter Berg is an American actor, director, writer, and producer. His first role was in the Adam Rifkin road movie Never on Tuesday (1989). He went on to star in the World War 2 film A Midnight Clear (1992). Roles in Fire in the Sky (1993) and Cop Land (1997) followed, and the Tom Cruise films ...

7. Keenen Ivory Wayans

Writer | White Chicks

Keenan attended college at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama but dropped out his senior year to persue comedy full time. His comic influence is Richard Pryor.

8. Raja Gosnell

Director | Big Momma's House

Raja Gosnell started his film career as an assistant editor in the late 1970s. His first credit as a film's main editor was the romantic comedy "The Lonely Guy" (1984), for director Arthur Hiller. During the 1980s, Gosnell served as editor in films directed by Tom Laughlin, David Worth, Bob Dahlin,...

9. Joe Dante

Director | Innerspace

Joe Dante is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art. After a stint as a film reviewer, he began his filmmaking apprenticeship in 1974 as trailer editor for Roger Corman's New World Pictures. He made his directorial debut in 1976 with Hollywood Boulevard (co-directed with Allan Arkush), a ...

10. Les Mayfield

Director | Blue Streak

Les Mayfield was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. He is a producer and director, known for Blue Streak (1999), Flubber (1997) and Encino Man (1992).

13. Edward D. Wood Jr.

Writer | Plan 9 from Outer Space

Hacks are nothing new in Hollywood. Since the beginning of the film industry at the turn of the 20th century, thousands of untalented people have come to Los Angeles from all over America and abroad to try to make it big (as writers, producers, directors, actors, talent agents, singers, composers, ...

14. Tamra Davis

Director | Crossroads

Began her career directing music videos for acts like Tone Loc, Depeche Mode, NWA and Sonic Youth and made her first feature in 92 with Guncrazy starring Drew Barrymore. Ms Barrymore received a Golden Globe Nomination. She then went on to direct feature films starring Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Dave...

15. Dennis Dugan

Actor | Happy Gilmore

Dennis Dugan was born on September 5, 1946 in Wheaton, Illinois, USA as Dennis Barton Dugan. He is an actor and director, known for Happy Gilmore (1996), You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008) and Big Daddy (1999). He is married to Sharon Dugan. He was previously married to Joyce Van Patten.

16. Gore Verbinski

Director | Rango

Gore Verbinski, one of American cinema's most inventive directors who was a punk-rock guitarist as a teenager and had to sell his guitar to buy his first camera, is now the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) which made the industry record for highest opening weekend of ...

17. Roger Donaldson

Director | The World's Fastest Indian

Roger Donaldson was born on November 15, 1945 in Ballarat, Australia. He is a director and producer, known for The World's Fastest Indian (2005), Species (1995) and Cocktail (1988). He is married to Marliese Schneider. He was previously married to Susan Hockley.

18. Neil LaBute

Writer | In the Company of Men

Acclaimed and highly discussed filmmaker Neil LaBute has made himself a force to be reckoned with and a name to watch. With his true-to-life cynical and self-absorbed characters and all-too-true social themes, he has firmly established himself as an unforgiving judge of the ugliest side of human ...

19. Steve Carr

Director | Movie 43

Steve Carr is a director and producer, known for Movie 43 (2013), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) and Daddy Day Care (2003).

20. M. Night Shyamalan

Producer | Lady in the Water

Born in Puducherry, India, and raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional actor, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots.

He is the son of Jayalakshmi, a Tamil ...

21. Catherine Hardwicke

Director | Thirteen

Catherine Hardwicke was born on October 21, 1955 in Cameron, Texas, USA as Helen Catherine Hardwicke. She is a director and production designer, known for Thirteen (2003), Twilight (2008) and Red Riding Hood (2011).

22. Mark L. Lester

Director | Firestarter

Director, writer and producer Mark L. Lester has created high-action films throughout his career, including some of the world's biggest box office draws. His directorial expertise has garnered praise for such films as Arnold Schwarzenegger's box-office mega-hit Commando (1985), Stephen King's ...

23. Stephen Sommers

Producer | G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Stephen Sommers was born on March 20, 1962 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, he attended St. John's University and the University of Seville in Spain. Afterward, Sommers spent the next four years performing as an actor in theater groups and managing rock bands throughout ...

24. Danny DeVito

Actor | Matilda

Danny DeVito has amassed a formidable and versatile body of work as an actor, producer and director that spans the stage, television and film.

Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. was born on November 17, 1944, in Neptune, New Jersey, to Italian-American parents. His mother, Julia (Moccello), was a homemaker. ...

25. Tyler Perry

Writer | Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Perry was born and raised in New Orleans, to Willie Maxine (Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr. His mother was a church-goer and took Perry along with her once a week. His father was a carpenter and they had a very strained and abusive relationship, which led Perry to suffer from depression as a ...

26. Uwe Boll

Producer | Postal

As a child, he produced a number of short films on Super 8 and video before beginning his studies as a film director in Munich and Vienna. He also studied literature and economics in Cologne and Siegen. Uwe graduated from university in 1995 with a doctorate in literature. From 1995-2000, he was a ...

27. Barry Sonnenfeld

Producer | Wild Wild West

Barry Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from New York University of Film School in 1978. He started work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water (1982). Then Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple. (1984). This film began his ...

28. Joel Schumacher

Director | The Phantom of the Opera

Joel Schumacher was born on August 29, 1939 in New York City, New York, USA as Joel T. Schumacher. He is a director and writer, known for The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Batman & Robin (1997) and Phone Booth (2002).

29. Jon Turteltaub

Producer | National Treasure

Jon Turteltaub was born on August 8, 1963 in New York City, New York, USA as Jonathan Charles Turteltaub. He is a producer and director, known for National Treasure (2004), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) and Phenomenon (1996). He has been married to Amy Eldon since July 6, 2006. They ...

30. Roger Kumble

Director | Cruel Intentions

Roger Kumble was born on May 28, 1966 in Harrison, New York, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Cruel Intentions (1999), The Sweetest Thing (2002) and Just Friends (2005). He has been married to Mary Mehagian since November 4, 2000. They have three children.

31. Jessy Terrero

Casting_department | Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Jessy Terrero was born on July 3, 1975 in the Dominican Republic. He is a director and producer, known for Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), The Pursuit and Freelancers (2012).

32. John Stockwell

Actor | Top Gun

John Stockwell is an American actor, director, producer and writer who is probably best known - as an actor - for his roles in the Tom Cruise vehicles Losin' It (1983) and Top Gun (1986), and the Stephen King - John Carpenter film Christine (1983).

John has since moved from acting into the ...

33. Tom Vaughan

Director | Victoria

Tom Vaughan was born on September 5, 1969 in Scotland. He is a director and writer, known for Victoria (2016), Doctor Foster (2015) and Starter for 10 (2006).

34. Tom Brady

Writer | The Hot Chick

Raised on the back-streets of Jersey, Tom's award-winning fiction helped earn him a scholarship to Harvard College. Arriving in Cambridge, he landed a lead acting role opposite Amy Brenneman where they stripped naked and smeared ice cream and sprinkles on each other - and Tom knew a career in show ...

35. Tinto Brass

Director | La vacanza

Giovanni Brass was born on 26 March 1933 into the family of a famous artist, Italico Brass, who was his grandfather. Italico gave his grandson a nickname "Tintoretto," which Giovanni later adapted into his cinematic name, Tinto Brass.

Tinto inherited his grandfather's artistic skills, but he applied...

36. McG

Director | Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

McG was born on August 9, 1968 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA as Joseph McGinty Nichol. He is known for his work on Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009) and Charlie's Angels (2000).

37. Renny Harlin

Director | Die Hard 2

Born in 15 March 1959 as Renny Lauri Mauritz Harjola, he is the most successful Finnish film director in the history of Hollywood.

Harlin started his career in film business in the beginning of 1980s when he was directing commercials and company films for companies like Shell. Later he worked as a ...

38. Steven Brill

Director | Little Nicky

A native of Utica, New York, Steven Brill studied film, theater and acting at Boston University. It was there that he became a student of acclaimed, Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright, Derek Walcott. Brill became a part of Mr. Walcott's first theater group in Boston, Playwright's Theater, ...

39. Roland Emmerich

Producer | Independence Day

Roland Emmerich is a German film director and producer of blockbuster films like The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Godzilla (1998), Independence Day (1996) and The Patriot (2000). Before fame, he originally wanted to be a production designer, but decided to be a director, after watching the original ...

40. Stewart Raffill

Writer | Passenger 57

Stewart Raffill was born on January 27, 1942 in the UK. He is known for his work on Passenger 57 (1992), The Ice Pirates (1984) and High Risk (1981).