My favourite Directorsby benedam-1 | created - 09 Feb 2014 | updated - 24 Jun 2014 | Public
This list is just an excerpt. Since my movie collection is growing rapidly and I am a busy movie goer I constantly discover new movies and directors, which and who may become "favourites" of some sort some day. So this list is only temporary ...
1. Woody Allen
Writer | Manhattan
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...
Sleeper Shadows and Fog Bullets Over Broadway Sweet and Lowdown Match Point Midnight in Paris
Writer | The Others
Is the son of a Spanish mother and a Chilean father. His family moved back to Spain when he was 1 year old, and he grew up and studied in Madrid. He wrote, produced and directed his first short film La cabeza at the age of 19, and he was 23 when he directed his feature debut Tesis (1996). His film ...
Tesis The Others Mar Adentro
Director | Punch-Drunk Love
Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making...
Magnolia Punch-Drunk Love The Master
4. Wes Anderson
Writer | Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...
The Royal Tenenbaums The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director | Topio stin omichli
Theo Angelopoulos began to study law in Athens but broke up his studies to go to the Sorbonne in Paris in order to study literature. When he had finished his studies, he wanted to attend the School of Cinema at Paris but decided instead to go back to Greece. There he worked as a journalist and ...
The Beekeeper Ulysses' Gaze Eternity and a Day
Writer | Blowup
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"...
Red Desert Blow Up The Passenger
Director | Pi
Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won ...
Pi Requiem for a Dream The Fountain
8. Bille August
Director | Pelle erobreren
Bille August was born on November 9, 1948 in Brede, Denmark. He is a director and writer, known for Pelle the Conqueror (1987), The House of the Spirits (1993) and Les Misérables (1998). He is married to Sara-Marie Maltha. He was previously married to Pernilla August, Annie Munksgaard and ...
The House of the Spirits Smilla's Sense of Snow Night Train to Lisbon
Writer | Smultronstället
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) 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 (1996) is the ...
The Seventh Seal Wild Strawberries The Virgin Spring
10. Luc Besson
Writer | Le cinquième élément
Luc Besson spent the first years of his life following his parents, scuba diving instructors, around the world. His early life was entirely aquatic. He already showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997), as an adolescent bored in ...
The Last Battle Léon: The Professional The Fifth Element
11. Kathryn Bigelow
Director | The Hurt Locker
A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...
Blue Steel Strange Days The Hurt Locker
12. Richard Brooks
Writer | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
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...
Blackboard Jungle Cat on a Hot Tin Roof In Cold Blood
13. Tim Burton
Producer | Edward Scissorhands
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 ...
Batman Edward Scissorhands Big Fish
14. James Cameron
Writer | Avatar
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...
The Abyss Terminator 2: Judgment Day Titanic
15. Martin Campbell
Director | Casino Royale
Martin Campbell knows how to entertain an audience when he steps behind the camera. When he directed The Mask of Zorro (1998), the movie earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations and launched the international careers of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Next, when he helmed ...
No Escape The Mask of Zorro Vertical Limit Casino Royale
16. 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...
An Angel at My Table The Piano The Portrait of a Lady
17. Charles Chaplin
Writer | The Great Dictator
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 ...
The Gold Rush City Lights The Great Dictator
18. George Clooney
Actor | Up in the Air
George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and television host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). He has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Clooney ...
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Good Night, and Good Luck The Ides of March
19. Ethan Coen
Producer | A Serious Man
Ethan Coen was born on September 21, 1957 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Ethan Jesse Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for A Serious Man (2009), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and Fargo (1996). He has been married to Tricia Cooke since October 2, 1990. They have two children.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Man Who Wasn’t There Intolerable Cruelty A Serious Man
20. Joel Coen
Writer | Fargo
Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for Fargo (1996), A Serious Man (2009) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.
21. Isabel Coixet
Director | The Secret Life of Words
Isabel Coixet was born on April 9, 1960 in Sant Adrià de Besòs, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain as Isabel Coixet Castillo. She is a director and writer, known for The Secret Life of Words (2005), My Life Without Me (2003) and Cosas que nunca te dije (1996).
My Life Without Me The Secret Life of Words
22. Chris Columbus
Producer | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Ohio, Chris Columbus was first inspired to make movies after seeing "The Godfather" at age 15. After enrolling at NYU film school, he sold his first screenplay (never produced) while a sophomore there. After graduation Columbus tried to sell his fourth script, "...
Home Alone Stepmom Bicentennial Man
23. Bill Condon
Director | Kinsey
Bill Condon was born on October 22, 1955 in New York City, New York, USA as William Patrick Condon. He is a director and writer, known for Kinsey (2004), Dreamgirls (2006) and Gods and Monsters (1998).
Gods and Monsters Kinsey Dreamgirls
Producer | The Conversation
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 ...
The Godfather Saga The Conversation Apocalypse Now Dracula
25. Kevin Costner
Actor | The Postman
Kevin Michael Costner was born on January 18, 1955 in Lynwood, California, the third child of Bill Costner, a ditch digger and ultimately an electric line servicer for Southern California Edison, and Sharon Costner (née Tedrick), a welfare worker. His older brother, Dan, was born in 1950. A middle ...
Dances with Wolves The Postman Open Range
26. Wes Craven
Writer | A Nightmare on Elm Street
Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold vision.
Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Caroline (Miller) and Paul Eugene Craven. He had a midwestern suburban upbringing. His first feature film was The Last House on ...
The Last House on the Left A Nightmare on Elm Street Scream
27. David Cronenberg
Director | The Fly
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early...
The Brood The Dead Zone The Fly A Dangerous Method Cosmopolis
28. Alfonso Cuarón
Writer | Gravity
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco was born on November 28th in Mexico City, Mexico. From an early age, he yearned to be either a film director or an astronaut. However, he did not want to enter the army, so he settled for directing. He didn't receive his first camera until his twelfth birthday, and then ...
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Children of Men Gravity
29. 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 ...
The Hours The Reader Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
30. Frank Darabont
Writer | The Green Mile
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 ...
The Shawshank Redemption The Green Mile The Mist
31. Brian De Palma
Director | Dressed to Kill
Brian De Palma is the son of a surgeon. He studied physics but at the same time felt his dedication for the movies and made some short films. After seven independent productions he had his first success with Sisters (1972) and his voyeuristic style. Restlessly he worked on big projects with the ...
Carrie Scarface The Untouchables Carlito’s Way
32. Clint Eastwood
Actor | Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...
Pale Rider Unforgiven Mystic River Million Dollar Baby Gran Torino
33. 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 ...
Stargate The Day After Tomorrow Anonymous
34. Nora Ephron
Writer | Julie & Julia
Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...
When Harry Met Sally (script) Sleepless in Seattle You've Got Mail
35. Jon Favreau
Producer | Chef
Initially an indie film favorite, actor Jon Favreau has progressed to strong mainstream visibility into the millennium and, after nearly two decades in the business, is still enjoying character stardom as well as earning notice as a writer/producer/director.
The amiable, husky-framed actor with the ...
Iron Man Cowboys & Aliens
36. Federico Fellini
Writer | Amarcord
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 ...
La Strada La Dolce Vita 8½ Amarcord
37. 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).
Stormy Monday Mr. Jones Leaving Las Vegas Timecode
38. David Fincher
Director | Se7en
David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...
Se7en Fight Club Zodiac The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Director | Soylent Green
Richard Fleischer was born on December 8, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Soylent Green (1973), The Vikings (1958) and Red Sonja (1985). He was married to Mary Dickson. He died on March 25, 2006 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, ...
The Narrow Margin Fantastic Voyage Soylent Green
Director | The Manchurian Candidate
Born in New York and raised in Queens, John Frankenheimer wanted to become a professional tennis player. He loved movies and his favorite actor was Robert Mitchum. He decided he wanted to be an actor but then he applied for and was accepted in the Motion Picture Squadron of the Air Force where he ...
Birdman of Alcatraz The Manchurian Candidate French Connection II Ronin
41. 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 The Queen (2006). He has been married to Anne Rothenstein since 1992. They have two children. He was ...
My Beautiful Laundrette Sammy and Rosie Get Laid Hero The Queen Philomena
42. Terry Gilliam
Writer | Brazil
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....
The Fisher King 12 Monkeys Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
43. Jean-Luc Godard
Director | À bout de souffle
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 ...
Contempt - Le mépris Alphaville Weekend First Name: Carmen
44. Taylor Hackford
Producer | Ray
Taylor Hackford was born on December 31, 1944 in Santa Barbara, California, USA as Taylor Edwin Hackford. He is a producer and director, known for Ray (2004), Dolores Claiborne (1995) and An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). He has been married to Helen Mirren since December 31, 1997. He was ...
An Officer and a Gentleman Dolores Claiborne The Devil’s Advocate Ray
45. Mikael Håfström
Writer | Ondskan
Derailed 1408 The Rite
46. Paul Haggis
Writer | Crash
Paul Haggis is the award-winning filmmaker who, in 2006, became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back - Million Dollar Baby (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, and Crash (2004) which he himself directed. For Crash (2004), he won Academy Awards for Best Picture and ...
Crash In the Valley of Elah The Next Three Days
47. Lasse Hallström
Director | What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Lasse Hallström was born on June 2, 1946 in Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden as Lars Hallström. He is a director and writer, known for What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Chocolat (2000) and The Cider House Rules (1999). He has been married to Lena Olin since March 18, 1994. They have one child. ...
What's Eating Gilbert Grape The Cider House Rules The Shipping News
48. Curtis Hanson
Director | L.A. Confidential
After small films like The Bedroom Window (1987) and Sweet Kill (1972), Curtis Hanson went on to direct major features including The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), The River Wild (1994) and the Academy Award-winning L.A. Confidential (1997). Setting his sights on another city, Hanson was ...
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle The River Wild L.A. Confidential In Her Shoes
49. Werner Herzog
Director | Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
Director. Writer. Producer. Has studied history, literature and theatre, but hasn't finished it. Founded his own production company in 1963. Has staged several operas, besides others in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has won numerous national and international awards for...
Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night Invincible Grizzly Man The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans
50. Alfred Hitchcock
Director | 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 ...
Rebecca Spellbound Vertigo Psycho The Birds Topaz Family Plot
51. Ron Howard
Actor | Arrested Development
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Apollo 13 (1995) to the hit comedies Parenthood (1989) and Splash (1984), he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films.
Cocoon Willow Far and Away A Beautiful Mind Frost/Nixon Rush
52. John Huston
Director | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
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 ...
The Maltese Falcon Key Largo The Misfits Annie Prizzi’s Honor
Producer | The Revenant
Alejandro González Iñárritu (ih-nyar-ee-too), born August 15th, 1963, is a Mexican film director.
González Iñárritu is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and by the Directors Guild of America for Best Director. He is also the first Mexican-born ...
Amores Perros 21 Grams Babel
54. 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,...
Braindead Heavenly Creatures The Lord of the Rings King Kong The Lovely Bones
55. 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.
Sebastiane The Tempest Caravaggio
56. Norman Jewison
Director | In the Heat of the Night
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, ...
The Thrill of It All The Cincinnati Kid In the Heat of the Night The Thomas Crown Affair Fiddler on the Roof Jesus Christ Superstar Rollerball Moonstruck
57. Roland Joffé
Director | The Mission
The Killing Fields The Mission Vatel
58. Duncan Jones
Director | Moon
Duncan Jones was born on May 30, 1971 in Bromley, Kent, England as Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones. He is a director and writer, known for Moon (2009), Source Code (2011) and Warcraft (2016). He has been married to Rodene Ronquillo since November 6, 2012. They have one child.
Moon Source Code
59. Spike Jonze
Producer | Her
Spike Jonze made up one-third (along with Andy Jenkins and Mark Lewman) of the triumvirate of genius minds behind Dirt Magazine, the brother publication of the much lamented ground-breaking Sassy Magazine. These three uncommon characters were all editors for Grand Royal Magazine as well, under the ...
Being John Malkovich Adaption. Where the Wild Things Are Her
Writer | La double vie de Véronique
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, Przejscie podziemne (1974) (The Underground Passage), he made a number of short documentaries. His next TV title, Personel (...
Dekalog Three Colors
61. Ki-duk Kim
Writer | Bin-jip
He studied fine arts in Paris in 1990-1992. In 1993 he won the award for Best Screenplay from the Educational Institute of Screenwriting with "A Painter and A Criminal Condemned to Death". After two more screenplay awards, he made his directorial debut with Ag-o (1996). Then he went on to direct ...
The Isle Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring Bin-jip
62. Takeshi Kitano
Actor | Zatôichi
Takeshi Kitano originally studied to become an engineer, but was thrown out of school for rebellious behavior. He learned comedy, singing and dancing from famed comedian Senzaburô Fukami. Working as a lift boy on a nightclub with such features as comic sketches and striptease dancing, Kitano saw ...
Sonatine Hana-bi - Fireworks Kikujiro Zatoichi
63. Stanley Kramer
Producer | Judgment at Nuremberg
Stanley Kramer was born on September 29, 1913 in Hell's Kitchen [now Clinton], Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA as Stanley Earl Abramson. He was a producer and director, known for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) and On the Beach (1959). He was married to ...
The Defiant Ones Judgment at Nuremberg Inherit the Wind Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
64. Stanley Kubrick
Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey
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 ...
The Killing Paths of Glory 2001: A Space Odyssey Barry Lyndon Full Metal Jacket Eyes Wide Shut
65. Akira Kurosawa
Writer | Ran
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 (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...
Rashomon Throne of Blood The Hidden Fortress Kagemusha Ran Dreams Rhapsody in August
66. 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. ...
Die Nibelungen Metropolis M The Testament of Dr. Mabuse The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
67. Ang Lee
Director | Wo hu cang long
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, ...
The Wedding Banquet The Icestorm Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Brokeback Mountain
68. 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), Naked (1993) and Happy-Go-Lucky (2008). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.
Secrets & Lies Vera Drake Happy-Go-Lucky
69. Sergio Leone
Writer | Once Upon a Time in America
Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...
The Colossus of Rhodes The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Once Upon a Time in the West My Name Is Nobody Once Upon a Time in America
Director | Waking Life
Self-taught writer-director Richard Stuart Linklater was born in Houston, Texas, to Diane Margaret (Krieger), who taught at a university, and Charles W. Linklater III. Richard was among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. ...
Before Sunrise School of Rock Before Sunset A Scanner Darkly Before Midnight
71. George Lucas
Writer | Star Wars
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 Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car...
THX 1138 American Graffiti Star Wars
72. 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 ...
12 Angry Men Serpico Murder on the Orient Express Dog Day Afternoon Network The Verdict
73. David Lynch
Writer | Twin Peaks
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 ...
Eraserhead The Elephant Man Dune The Straight Story Mulholland Drive
74. 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).
Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown Shakespeare in Love Proof
75. James Mangold
Producer | Logan
James Mangold is an American film and television director, screenwriter and producer. Films he has directed include Girl, Interrupted (1999), Walk the Line (2005), which he also co-wrote, the 2007 remake 3:10 to Yuma (2007), The Wolverine (2013), and Logan (2017).
Mangold also wrote and directed Cop...
Cop Land Girl, Interrupted Identity Walk the Line 3:10 to Yuma
Writer | All About Eve
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 ...
All about Eve Suddenly, Last Summer Cleopatra
77. Brad McGann
Director | In My Father's Den
Brad McGann grew up in New Zealand and studied at the University of Otago and the Swinburne Film and Television School in Melbourne. He directed the drama It Never Rains (1996) and the documentary Come As You Are (co-director, 1996) for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He also directed the ...
In My Father’s Den
Director | Blindness
Fernando Meirelles was born in a middle class family in São Paulo City, Brazil.
He studied architecture at the university of São Paulo. At the same time he developed an interest in filmmaking. With a group of friends he started producing experimental videos. They won a huge number of awards in ...
City of God The Constant Gardener 360
79. Sam Mendes
Producer | Road to Perdition
Samuel Alexander Mendes was born on August 1, 1965 in Reading, England, UK to parents James Peter Mendes, a retired university lecturer, and Valerie Helene Mendes, an author who writes children's books. Their marriage didn't last long, James divorced Sam's mother in 1970 when Sam was just 5-...
American Beauty Road to Perdition Revolutionary Road
80. Nancy Meyers
Writer | It's Complicated
Nancy Meyers was born on December 8, 1949 in Pennsylvania, USA as Nancy Jane Meyers. She is a writer and producer, known for It's Complicated (2009), Something's Gotta Give (2003) and The Holiday (2006). She was previously married to Charles Shyer.
What women want Something’s gotta give The Holiday
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...
The English Patient The Talented Mr. Ripley Cold Mountain
82. Vincenzo Natali
Director | Cube
Writer | Bella Martha
Helen Mr. Morgan's Last Love
84. Mike Nichols
Director | The Graduate
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. He later ...
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The Graduate Silkwood The Birdcage Angels in America Closer Charlie Wilson's War
Writer | The Prestige
Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.
Following Memento Insomnia The Prestige Inception
86. 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 ...
Midnight Express Pink Floyd – The Wall Angel Heart Mississippi Burning Evita
87. Alexander Payne
Director | Nebraska
Director, producer and screenwriter Alexander Payne was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents, Peggy (Constantine) and George Payne, ran a Greek restaurant. His father is of Greek and German ancestry, and his mother is of Greek descent; the family name was originally Papadopoulos. He has two older ...
About Schmidt The Descendants Nebraska
88. Arthur Penn
Director | Bonnie and Clyde
Arthur Penn was born on September 27, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Little Big Man (1970) and The Miracle Worker (1962). He was married to Peggy Maurer. He died on September 28, 2010 in Manhattan, New York City, New York,...
Bonnie and Clyde Little Big Man
Director | Das Boot
This director seems to shine most when making movies that can best be described as part action movies/part disaster movies.
Beginning with Outbreak (1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees....
90. Roman Polanski
Actor | Chinatown
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 ...
Repulsion Dance of the Vampires Rosemary's Baby Chinatown The Tenant The Pianist Carnage
91. 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...
Jeremiah Johnson The Way We Were The Three Days of the Condor Tootsie Out of Africa The Interpreter
92. Sarah Polley
Actress | Dawn of the Dead
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her ...
Away from Her Take This Waltz
93. 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.
94. Sam Raimi
Director | Spider-Man
Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead (1981). From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making ...
95. Rob Reiner
Actor | All in the Family
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 ...
96. Alain Resnais
Director | On connaît la chanson
Alain Resnais was born on June 3, 1922 in Vannes, Morbihan, France as Alain Pierre Marie Jean Georges Resnais. He was a director and editor, known for Same Old Song (1997), Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980) and Coeurs (2006). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He died on March 1,...
97. David O. Russell
Writer | Three Kings
David Owen Russell is an American film writer, director, and producer, known for a cinema of intense, tragi-comedic characters whose love of life can surpass dark circumstances faced in very specific worlds. His films address such themes as mental illness as stigma or hope; invention of self and ...
98. 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 ...
99. 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 ...
100. Martin Scorsese
Director | Taxi Driver
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 ...