300 Directors of Aleby OldAle1 | created - 27 Nov 2017 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
300 of my favorite directors. Listed in four tiers:
This list will probably take a while to "complete" but I'll start by listing films from my all time favorites list for each director, roughly ordered.
Writer | Gertrud
The illegitimate son of a Danish farmer and his Swedish housekeeper, Carl Theodor Dreyer was born in Copenhagen on the 3th of February, 1889. He spent his early years in various foster homes before being adopted by the Dreyers at the age of two. Contrary to popular belief (perhaps nourished by the ...
Ordet La passion de Jeanne d'Arc Gertrud Du skal ære din hustru / Master of the House Vampyr Prästänkan / The Parson's Widow Præsidenten
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 ...
Weekend Le mépris / Contempt Alphaville Pierrot le fou Histoire(s) du cinéma À bout de souffle / Breathless Hélas pour moi / Oh, Woe is Me Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux/My Life to Live
3. Fritz Lang
Actor | Le mépris
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. ...
M Metropolis Western Union Die Niebelungen The Big Heat Moonfleet Fury Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler
4. Guy Maddin
Director | The Saddest Music in the World
Guy Maddin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to Herdis Maddin (a hair-dresser) and Charles "Chas" Maddin (grain clerk and general manager of the Maroons, a Winnipeg hockey team). Maddin studied economics at the University of Winnipeg, working as a bank manager, house painter, and photographic...
The Forbidden Room My Winnipeg The Heart of the World The Saddest Music in the World Archangel Odilon Redon
5. Yasujirô Ozu
Director | Tôkyô monogatari
Tokyo-born Yasujiro Ozu was a movie buff from childhood, often playing hooky from school in order to see Hollywood movies in his local theatre. In 1923 he landed a job as a camera assistant at Shochiku Studios in Tokyo. Three years later, he was made an assistant director and directed his first ...
Banshun / Late Spring Tôkyô monogatari / Tokyo Story Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo / I Was Born, But... Bakushû / Early Summer Hitori musoko / The Only Son Sôshun / Early Spring
Director | A Matter of Life and Death
The son of Thomas William Powell and 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 a hotel). Educated at Kings School, Canterbury and Dulwich ...
*A Canterbury Tale
*'I Know Where I'm Going!'
The Thief of Bagdad
*The Tales of Hoffman
*The Red Shoes
*The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
*with Emeric Pressburger
Director | La belle noiseuse
Although François Truffaut has written that the New Wave began "thanks to Rivette," the films of this masterful French director are not well known. Rivette, like his "Cahiers du Cinéma" colleagues Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Éric Rohmer, did graduate to filmmaking but, like Rohmer...
Out 1, noli me tangere L'amour fou Céline et Julie vont en bateau/Celine and Julie Go Boating Noroît / Nor'wester Duelle (une quarantaine) / Twhylight Paris nous appartient / Paris Belong to Us La religieuse / The Nun L'amour par terre / Love on the Ground Haut bas fragile / Up Down Fragile Le pont du nord / The North Bridge La belle noiseuse
8. Raoul Ruiz
Director | Mistérios de Lisboa
Chilean director Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly ...
Le temps retrouvé, d'après l'oeuvre de Marcel Proust / Time Regained Mistérios de Lisboa Manoel dans l'île des merveilles / Manoel on the Island of Wonders Mammame Colloque de chiens / Dog's Dialogue L'hypothèse du tableau volé / Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting Zig-Zag - le jeu de l'oie (Une fiction didactique à propos de la cartographie) / Snakes and Ladders
Writer | Solyaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood (1962), which ...
Stalker Offret / The Sacrifice Andrei Rublev Zerkalo / Mirror Solaris Nostalghia Ivanovo detstvo / Ivan's Childhood
10. Orson Welles
Actor | Citizen Kane
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....
The Magnificent Ambersons Chimes at Midnight / Falstaff Citizen Kane Touch of Evil Le procès / The Trial The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice / Othello The Lady from Shanghai The Other Side of the Wind
11. Robert Bresson
Writer | Au hasard Balthazar
Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Affaires publiques (1934) in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Les anges du péché (1943) in 1943. ...
Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut / A Man Escaped
Au hasard Balthazar
Lancelot du lac
Journal d'un curé de campagne / Diary of a Country Priest
*I consider Bresson particularly hard to rate and this is thus a particularly inaccurate list*
12. Frank Capra
Director | It's a Wonderful Life
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 ...
It's a Wonderful Life Lost Horizon Meet John Doe It Happened One Night Mr. Smith Goes to Washington The Bitter Tea of General Yen
13. John Cassavetes
Actor | Love Streams
John Cassavetes was born on December 9, 1929 in New York City, New York, USA as John Nicholas Cassavetes. He was an actor and director, known for Love Streams (1984), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). He was married to Gena Rowlands. He died on February 3, 1989 in Los ...
Opening Night Faces A Woman Under the Influence Husbands Minnie and Moskowitz Gloria Love Streams
14. Terence Davies
Director | The House of Mirth
Distant Voices, Still Lives A Quiet Passion The Long Day Closes Sunset Song Of Time and the City
15. Louis Feuillade
Director | Les vampires
A prolific director--over 700 films, most of them short- or medium-length--Louis Feuillade began his career with Gaumont where, as well as directing his own features, he was appointed artistic director in charge of production in 1907. His work was largely comprised of film series; his first series,...
Tih minh Les vampires Fantômas Judex
16. Dave Fleischer
Director | Mr. Bug Goes to Town
Dave Fleischer was born on July 14, 1894 in New York City, New York, USA as David Fleischer. He is known for his work on Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941), In the Good Old Summer Time (1926) and Gulliver's Travels (1939). He was married to Mae Schwartz and Ida Mae Sharnow. He died on June 25, 1979 in ...
Bimbo's Initiation Swing You Sinners! Snow-White Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle Betty Boop's Penthouse
17. John Ford
Director | The Quiet Man
John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known for his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, ...
The Searchers Stagecoach The Grapes of Wrath My Darling Clementine
18. 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 ...
Vertigo Rear Window Shadow of a Doubt The Birds
19. Chuck Jones
Actor | Gremlins
Starting as a cel washer, Chuck Jones worked his way up to animator and then director at the animation division of Warner Bros. He is famous for creating such beloved cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Henery Hawk, Pepé Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, Ralph Wolf, Road Runner, Sam Sheepdog, Sniffles,...
Rabbit of Seville What's Opera, Doc? How the Grinch Stole Christmas! One Froggy Evening Feed the Kitty Rabbit Seasoning Duck! Rabbit, Duck!
20. Abbas Kiarostami
Director | Bad ma ra khahad bord
Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career ...
Nema-ye Nazdik / Close-Up Bad ma ra khahad bord / The Wind Will Carry Us Copie conforme / Certified Copy Zendegi va digar hich / Life and Nothing More... Ta'm e guilass / Taste of Cherry
21. 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 ...
2001: A Space Odyssey Paths of Glory Dr. Strangelove Eyes Wide Shut Barry Lyndon
22. 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 ...
Once Upon a Time in America C'era una volta il West / Once Upon a Time in the West Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo / The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
23. 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 Inland Empire Mulholland Dr. Blue Velvet
24. Kenji Mizoguchi
Director | Saikaku ichidai onna
Coming from a lower class family Mizoguchi entered the production company Nikkatsu as an actor specialized in female roles. Later he became an assistant director and made his first film in 1922. Although he filmed almost 90 movies in the silent era, only his last 12 productions are really known ...
Sanshô Dayû / Sansho the Bailiff Zangiku monogatari / The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum Saikaku ichidai onna / The Life of Oharu Ugetsu monogatari Genroku Chûshingura / The 47 Ronin Yôkihi / Princess Yang Kwei Fei
25. F.W. Murnau
Director | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
F.W. Murnau was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt. During World War I he served as a company commander at the eastern front and was in the German air ...
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens Der letzte Mann / The Last Laugh
26. Mikio Naruse
Director | Ukigumo
Came from a poor background and worked his way up from prop man at the Shochiko company in 1920, to full director ten years later. Had his best period in the 1950', becoming known for his depiction of contemporary social problems, particularly the role of women in Japanese society.
Yama no oto / The Sound of the Mountain Uta andon / The Song Lantern Okaasan / Mother Okuni to Gohei
27. Jean Renoir
Writer | La grande illusion
Son of the famous Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste, he had a happy childhood. Pierre Renoir was his brother, and Claude Renoir was his nephew. After the end of World War I, where he won the Croix de Guerre, he moved from scriptwriting to filmmaking. He married Catherine Hessling, for whom he ...
La règle du jeu / The Rules of the Game La grande illusion Partie de campagne / A Day in the Country
28. Alain Resnais
Director | Hiroshima mon amour
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 Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Same Old Song (1997) and Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He ...
Muriel ou le temps d'un retour / Muriel L'année dernière à Marienbad / Last Year at Marienbad Mon oncle d'Amérique Toute la mémoire du monde Nuit et brouillard / Night and Fog Le chant du Styrène La guerre est finie / The War is Over Guernica
29. Agnès Varda
Director | Sans toit ni loi
Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She is a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Le Bonheur (1965) and Les plages d'Agnès (2008). She was previously married to Jacques Demy.
Le bonheur / Happiness Mur murs Les glaneurs et la glaneuse / The Gleaners and I Visages villages / Faces Places
30. Edward Yang
Writer | Yi yi
Born on November 6, 1947 in Shanghai, China, Edward Yang has become one of the most talented international filmmakers of his generation. Along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Tsai Ming-Liang, Yang ranks among the leading artists of the Taiwanese New Wave, and one of the world's most brilliant auteurs. ...
Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian / A Brighter Summer Day Qing mei zhu ma / Taipei Story Yi yi
31. Chantal Akerman
Director | Un divan à New York
Chantal Akerman was born on June 6, 1950 in Brussels, Belgium as Chantal Anne Akerman. She was a director and writer, known for Un divan à New York (1996), Je, tu, il, elle (1974) and The Meetings of Anna (1978). She was married to Sonia Wieder-Atherton. She died on October 5, 2015 in Paris,...
Director | Topio stin omihli
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 ...
33. Kenneth Anger
Director | Fireworks
Kenneth Anger grew up in Hollywood and started out as a child actor, but his interest in filmmaking was evident at an early age: he made his first film, "Who's Been Rocking My Dreamboat?", at age 9. Anger developed into one of the pioneers of the American underground film movement. His gritty, ...
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"...
35. Tex Avery
Director | A Wild Hare
Tex Avery was a descendant of Judge Roy Bean and Daniel Boone, but all his grandma ever told him about it was "Don't ever mention you are kin to Roy Bean. He's a no good skunk!!" After graduating from North Dallas High School in 1927, Avery moved to Southern California in 1929 and got a job in the ...
36. Bahram Beizai
Writer | Sagkoshi
Bahram Beizai started skipping school from around the age of 17 in order to go to movies which were becoming popular in Iran at a rapid pace. This only fed his hunger to learn more about cinema and the visual arts. By 1961 he had already spent a lot of time studying-and researching- ancient persian...
37. Ingmar Bergman
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 ...
38. Budd Boetticher
Director | Bullfighter and the Lady
Brilliant, distinguished American director, particularly of Westerns, whose simple, bleak style disguises a complex artistic temperament. The son of a wealthy hardware retailer, Boetticher attended Culver Military Academy and Ohio State University, where he excelled in football and boxing.
39. Frank Borzage
Director | No Greater Glory
Frank Borzage was born on April 23, 1894 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. He was an actor and director, known for No Greater Glory (1934), 7th Heaven (1927) and Bad Girl (1931). He was married to Juanita Scott, Edna Skelton and Rena Rogers. He died on June 19, 1962 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, ...
40. Albert Brooks
Actor | Drive
Albert Brooks was born on July 22, 1947 in Beverly Hills, California, USA as Albert Lawrence Einstein. He is an actor and writer, known for Drive (2011), Defending Your Life (1991) and Broadcast News (1987). He has been married to Kimberly Shlain since March 15, 1997. They have two children.
41. Luis Buñuel
Writer | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie
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 ...
42. Charles Burnett
Director | To Sleep with Anger
Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi on April 13, 1944, Charles Burnett moved with his family to the Watts area of Los Angeles at an early age. He describes the community of having a robust mythical connection with the South as a result of having so many Southern transplants, an atmosphere which has ...
43. 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 ...
44. Robert Clampett
Director | Thunderbolt the Wondercolt
Born in San Diego, California, the young Robert Clampett was monumentally moved as a child by the film The Lost World (1925), inspiring him to create a sea-serpent sock-puppet that he used in puppet shows to entertain the neighborhood kids. This led him to create a stuffed Mickey Mouse toy, which ...
45. 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...
46. Jacques Demy
Director | Les parapluies de Cherbourg
Jacques Demy was born on June 5, 1931 in Pontchâteau, Loire-Atlantique, France. He was a director and writer, known for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Une Chambre en Ville (1982) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967). He was married to Agnès Varda. He died on October 27, 1990 in Paris, France.
47. Maya Deren
Director | Meshes of the Afternoon
Maya Deren came to the USA in 1922 as Eleanora Derenkowsky. Together with her father, a psychiatrist, and her mother, an artist, she fled the pogroms against Russian Jews. She studied journalism and political science in at Syracuse University in New York, finishing her BA at NYU in June 1936 and ...
48. Lav Diaz
Writer | Ang babaeng humayo
Lav Diaz was born on December 30, 1958 in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, Mindanao, Philippines as Lavrente Indico Diaz. He is a writer and director, known for Ang babaeng humayo (2016), Kagadanan sa banwaan ning mga engkanto (2007) and Mula sa kung ano ang noon (2014).
Writer | Zemlya
Aleksandr Dovzhenko was born on September 10, 1894 in Vyunishche, Sosnitsa Ueyzd, Chernigov Governorate, Russian Empire as Aleksandr Petrovich Dovzhenko. He was a writer and director, known for Zemlya (1930), Life in Bloom (1949) and Shors (1939). He was married to Yuliya Solntseva. He died on ...
51. Clint Eastwood
Actor | Million Dollar Baby
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...
Director | Aleksandr Nevskiy
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 ...
53. Cy Endfield
Director | Zulu
The son of a struggling businessman, Cy Endfield--born Cyril Raker Endfield--worked hard to be admitted to Yale University in 1933. While completing his education he became enamored with progressive theatre and appeared in a New Haven production of a minor Russian play in 1934. He was also ...
54. Oskar Fischinger
Special_effects | Frau im Mond
He prepared a film which was originally named Radio Dynamics, tightly synchronized to Ralph Rainger's tune "Radio Dynamics". This short film was planned for inclusion in the feature film The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936). However, Paramount only planned to release in black-and-white film, which was ...
55. Samuel Fuller
Writer | The Steel Helmet
At age 17, Samuel Fuller was the youngest reporter ever to be in charge of the events section of the New York Journal. After having participated in the European battle theater in World War II, he directed some minor action productions for which he mostly wrote the scripts himself and which he also ...
56. 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....
58. D.W. Griffith
Director | The Birth of a Nation
David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War veteran. Young Griffith grew up with his father's romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually shape his movies. In 1897 ...
59. Howard Hawks
Director | Rio Bravo
What do the classic films Scarface (1932), Twentieth Century (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Rio Bravo (1959) have in...
60. Werner Herzog
Director | Fitzcarraldo
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...
61. Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Writer | Ci ke Nie Yin Niang
Of the ten films that Hsiao-Hsien Hou directed between 1980 and 1989, seven received best film or best director awards from prestigious international films festivals in Venice, Berlin, Hawaii, and the Festival of the Three Continents in Nantes. In a 1988 worldwide critics' poll, Hou was championed ...
63. Jon Jost
Director | They Had It Coming
Born in Chicago in 1943, of a military family, Jost grew up in Georgia, Kansas, Japan, Italy, Germany, and, Virginia. Expelled from college in 1963, He began making 16mm films. He is self-taught. He has made some 20 shorts and 16 feature films, all of which he has conceived, written, photographed, ...
64. Buster Keaton
Actor | The General
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 ...
Writer | Trois couleurs: Bleu
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, Personnel (...
Director | Jigokumon
Former female impersonator who entered films in 1917 as an actor, turned to directing in 1922 and made some of the most formally brilliant Japanese films of the following decades. The few of Kinugasa's early works to have reached the West betray a highly mature, sophisticated talent. His best-known...
67. 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...
68. Spike Lee
Director | Do the Right Thing
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 ...
69. Ernst Lubitsch
Director | To Be or Not to Be
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 ...
Writer | Gabbeh
Mohsen Makhmalbaf is known as one of the most influential filmmakers and founders of the new wave of Iranian cinema in the world today.
Many of his films like Salam Cinema, A Moment Of Innocence, Gabbeh, Kandahar and The President have been widely well received across the globe and have brought him ...
71. Anthony Mann
Director | El Cid
Anthony Mann was born on June 30, 1906 in San Diego, California, USA as Emil Anton Bundesmann. He was a director and writer, known for El Cid (1961), Men in War (1957) and The Glenn Miller Story (1954). He was married to Anna; 1 child Nicholas Anthony Mann, Sara Montiel and Mildred Mann. He died on...
72. Chris Marker
Writer | Twelve Monkeys
Chris Marker was born on July 29, 1921 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve. He was a director and writer, known for Twelve Monkeys (1995), Sans Soleil (1983) and Description d'un combat (1960). He died on July 29, 2012 in Paris, France.
73. Leo McCarey
Director | An Affair to Remember
Leo McCarey was born on October 3, 1896 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Thomas Leo McCarey. He was a director and writer, known for An Affair to Remember (1957), Going My Way (1944) and Love Affair (1939). He was married to Stella Martin. He died on July 5, 1969 in Santa Monica, California.
74. Georges Méliès
Director | À la conquête du pôle
Georges Méliès was a French illusionist and film director famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema.
Méliès was an especially prolific innovator in the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, multiple exposures, ...
Director | Os Canibais
Manoel de Oliveira was born on December 11, 1908 in Oporto, Portugal as Manoel Candido Pinto de Oliveira. He was a director and writer, known for Os Canibais (1988), Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997) and Gebo et l'ombre (2012). He was married to Maria Isabel Brandão de Meneses de Almeida ...
76. Max Ophüls
Director | La ronde
Director Max Ophüls was born Max Oppenheimer in Saarbrücken, Germany. He began his career as a stage actor and director in the golden twenties. He worked in cities such as Stuttgart, Dortmund, Wuppertal, Vienna, Frankfurt, Breslau and Berlin. In 1929 his son Marcel Ophüls was born in Frankfurt, ...
77. Jafar Panahi
Director | Taxi
Jafar Panahi (Born 11 July 1960) is an Iranian film director, screenwriter, and film editor, commonly identified with the Iranian New Wave film movement. After several years of making short films and working as an assistant director for fellow Iranian film-maker Abbas Kiarostami, Panahi achieved ...
78. Sergei Parajanov
Director | Tini zabutykh predkiv
One of the 20th century's greatest masters of cinema Sergei Parajanov was born in Georgia to Armenian parents and it was always unlikely that his work would conform to the strict socialist realism that Soviet authorities preferred. After studying film and music, Parajanov became an assistant ...
Director | Lerd
Mohammad Rasoulof was born in Shiraz, Iran in 1972. He is an independent director, writer and producer. He studied sociology. Rasoulof started his filmmaking with documentaries and short films. For his first film 'Gagooman'(The Twilight, 2002) Rasoulof won the prize for the best film at the Fajr ...
81. Satyajit Ray
Writer | Pather Panchali
Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta on May 2, 1921. His father, Late Sukumar Ray was an eminent poet and writer in the history of Bengali literature. In 1940, after receiving his degree in science and economics from Calcutta University, he attended Tagore's Viswa-Bharati University. His first movie ...
82. Éric Rohmer
Director | Le genou de Claire
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, ...
83. 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 ...
84. Ousmane Sembene
Director | Moolaadé
The first film director from an African country to achieve international recognition, Ousmane Sembene remains the major figure in the rise of an independent post-colonial African cinema. Sembene's roots were not, as might be expected, in the educated élite. After working as a mechanic and ...
85. Douglas Sirk
Director | Schlußakkord
Film director Douglas Sirk, whose reputation blossomed in the generation after his 1959 retirement from Hollywood filmmaking, was born Hans Detlef Sierck on April 26, 1897, in Hamburg, Germany, to a journalist. Both of his parents were Danish, and the future director would make movies in German, ...
86. Michael Snow
Director | Wavelength
Central figure of the American avant-garde. An artist who made an isolated animated short, A to Z (1956), Snow concentrated on his painting career until moving to New York in 1963. After attending avant-garde film screenings organized by critic-filmmaker Jonas Mekas and turning out a second film, ...
87. Steven Spielberg
Producer | Schindler's List
One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...
Director | The Devil Is a Woman
Josef von Sternberg split his childhood between Vienna and New York City. His father, a former soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, could not support his family in either city; Sternberg remembered him only as "an enormously strong man who often used his strength on me." Forced by poverty to drop ...
Actor | Sunset Blvd.
Erich von Stroheim was born Erich Oswald Stroheim in 1885, in Vienna, Austria, to Johanna (Bondy), from Prague, and Benno Stroheim, a hatter from Gleiwitz, Germany (now Gliwice, Poland). His family was Jewish.
After spending some time working in his father's hat factory, he emigrated to America ...
90. Preston Sturges
Writer | The Great McGinty
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....
92. Jacques Tati
Writer | Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot
The comic genius Jacques Tati was born Taticheff, descended from a noble Russian family. His grandfather, Count Dimitri, had been a general in the Imperial Army and had served as military attaché to the Russian Embassy in Paris. His father, Emmanuel Taticheff, was a well-to-do picture framer who ...
93. Jacques Tourneur
Director | Out of the Past
Born in Paris in 1904, Tourneur went to Hollywood with his father, director Maurice Tourneur around 1913. He started out as a script clerk and editor for his father, then graduated to such jobs as directing shorts (often with the pseudonym Jack Turner), both in France and America. He was hired to ...
95. King Vidor
Director | Hallelujah
King Vidor was born on February 8, 1894 in Galveston, Texas, USA as King Wallis Vidor. He was a director and writer, known for Hallelujah (1929), The Crowd (1928) and The Big Parade (1925). He was married to Vidor, Elizabeth Hill, Eleanor Boardman and Florence Vidor. He died on November 1, 1982 in ...
96. Jean Vigo
Jean Vigo had bad health since he was a child. Son of anarchist militant Miguel Almareyda, he also never really recovered from his father's mysterious death in jail when he was 12. Abandoned by his mother, he passed from boarding school to boarding school. Aged 23, through meetings with people ...
97. Luchino Visconti
Director | Rocco e i suoi fratelli
Luchino Visconti was born on November 2, 1906 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy as Luchino Visconti di Modrone. He was a director and writer, known for Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Death in Venice (1971) and Le Notti Bianche (1957). He died on March 17, 1976 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.
98. Peter Watkins
Director | The War Game
Peter Watkins began his career in advertising as an assistant producer and turned to amateur filmmaking in the late 1950s. In the mid-'60s he was commissioned by BBC-TV to make two feature-length docudramas incorporating a quasi-newsreel style and nonprofessional actors. The second of these, The ...
99. Wim Wenders
Director | Der Himmel über Berlin
Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until ...
100. William Wyler
Director | The Best Years of Our Lives
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 the ...