The Best Directors Ever - 1930s

by dziwnytenswiat | created - 6 months ago | updated - 5 days ago | Public

Points from my "The Best Films Ever Made"-Lists. Vol. 1 = 100%, Vol. 2 = 50%, Vol. 3 = 33%, Vol. 4 = 25%, Vol. 5 = 20 %, Vol. 6 = 17%

1. 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 ...

4736 points

2. 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 ...

4602 points

3. 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 ...

4412 points

4. Mervyn LeRoy

Director | Gypsy

The great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 was a tragedy for Mervyn LeRoy. While he and his father managed to survive, they lost everything they had. To make money, LeRoy sold newspapers and entered talent contests as a singer. When he entered vaudeville, his act was "LeRoy and Cooper--Two...

2901 points

5. Howard Hawks

Director | Red River

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...

2888 points

6. 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...

2806 points

7. 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 ...

2470 points

8. Victor Fleming

Director | Gone with the Wind

Victor Fleming entered the film business as a stuntman in 1910, mainly doing stunt driving - which came easy to him, as he had been a mechanic and professional race-car driver. He became interested in working on the other side of the camera, and eventually got a job as a cameraman on many of the ...

2346 points

9. 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. ...

2310 points

10. William A. Wellman

Director | A Star Is Born

William Wellman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter-director of the original A Star Is Born (1937), was called "Wild Bill" during his World War I service as an aviator, a nickname that persisted in Hollywood due to his larger-than-life personality and lifestyle.

A leap-year baby born in 1896 on the 29th...

2211 points

11. James Whale

Director | The Invisible Man

James Whale was an English film director, theatre director and actor. He is best remembered for his four classic horror films: Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). He also directed films in other genres, including what is ...

2015 points

12. Edmund Goulding

Director | Grand Hotel

London-born Edmund Goulding was an actor/playwright/director on the London stage, and entered the British army when WWI broke out. Mustered out of the service because of wounds suffered in battle, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1921. He obtained assignments as a screenwriter in Hollywood, wrote a ...

2001 points

13. 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.

1833 points

14. George Cukor

Director | My Fair Lady

George Cukor was born on July 7, 1899 in Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA as George Dewey Cukor. He is known for his work on My Fair Lady (1964), The Philadelphia Story (1940) and Les Girls (1957). He died on January 24, 1983 in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, California, USA.

1816 points

15. 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 ...

1768 points

16. Rouben Mamoulian

Director | Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Rouben Mamoulian was born on October 8, 1897 in Tiflis, Russian Empire as Rouben Zachary Mamoulian. He was a director and writer, known for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Applause (1929) and The Gay Desperado (1936). He was married to Azadia Newman. He died on December 4, 1987 in Woodland Hills, ...

1723 points

17. Michael Curtiz

Director | Casablanca

Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. After WWI, he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner...

1687 points

18. Jack Conway

Director | Viva Villa!

Born Hugh Ryan Conway of Irish ancestry, Jack Conway was one of a team of MGM contract directors (others included Sam Wood and Robert Z. Leonard), who forsook any pretense to a specific individual style in favor of working within the strictures set forth by studio management--as embodied by Irving ...

1685 points

19. Marcel Carné

Director | Le quai des brumes

Marcel Carné, the son of a cabinet maker, entered the movies as the assistant of Jacques Feyder. At the age of 25 he directed his first movie Jenny (1936). Colaborating with the writer Jacques Prévert, the decorator Alexandre Trauner, the musician and composer Maurice Jaubert and the actor Jean ...

1585 points

20. Josef von Sternberg

Director | The Docks of New York

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 ...

1486 points

21. 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, ...

1469 points

22. W.S. Van Dyke

Director | The Thin Man

For the better part of his career, Woodbridge Strong Van Dyke lived up to his sobriquet "One-Take Woody" by steadfastly adhering to his credo of shooting each scene as quickly and efficiently as possible. Over his 25-year career, he economically directed over 90 diverse entertainments, which not ...

1438 points

23. Mitchell Leisen

Director | Death Takes a Holiday

Mitchell Leisen was born on October 6, 1898 in Menominee, Michigan, USA as James Mitchell Leisen. He was a director and art director, known for Death Takes a Holiday (1934), The Mating Season (1951) and Hold Back the Dawn (1941). He was married to Sandra Gahle. He died on October 28, 1972 in ...

1362 points

24. Julien Duvivier

Writer | Le paquebot Tenacity

Revered by such legendary fellow directors as Ingmar Bergman and Jean Renoir, Julien Duvivier is one of the greatest figures in the history of French cinema and of world cinema in general. He is perhaps the most neglected of the "Big Five" of classic French cinema (the other four being Jean Renoir,...

1339 points

25. 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 ...

1313 points

26. William Dieterle

Actor | Faust: Eine deutsche Volkssage

Born in Ludwigshafen, Germany, Wilhelm Dieterle was the youngest of nine children of parents Jacob and Berthe Dieterle. They lived in poverty, and when he was old enough to work, young Wilhelm earned money as a carpenter and a scrap dealer. He dreamed of better things, though, and theater caught ...

1218 points

27. Leni Riefenstahl

Actress | Das blaue Licht

Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With...

1176 points

28. Norman Z. McLeod

Director | Horse Feathers

Norman Z. McLeod was one of Hollywood's leading early comedy directors. Born in Grayling, Michigan, he came from a family that had no connections to show business (his father was a clergyman). He was educated at the University of Washington and spent two years as a fighter pilot in the US Army in ...

1097 points

29. Lewis Milestone

Director | All Quiet on the Western Front

Lewis Milestone, a clothing manufacturer's son, was born in Bessarabia (now Moldova), raised in Odessa (Ukraine) and educated in Belgium and Berlin (where he studied engineering). He was fluent in both German and Russian and an avid reader. Milestone had an affinity for the theatre from an early ...

1075 points

30. Kenji Mizoguchi

Director | Ugetsu monogatari

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 ...

1059 points

31. 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, ...

1019 points

32. Frank Lloyd

Director | Cavalcade

Frank Lloyd was an unpretentious, technically skilled director, who crafted several enduring Hollywood classics during the 1930's. He started out as a stage actor and singer in early 1900's London and was well-known as an imitator of Harry Lauder. After several years in music hall and with touring ...

991 points

33. Archie Mayo

Director | The Petrified Forest

A stage actor, Archie Mayo went to Hollywood in 1915 and worked until his retirement in 1946. He began directing slapstick two-reelers, later making features at Warner Bros. just about the time sound was being introduced into films. He did much work for Warners, but he also made films at Goldwyn ...

882 points

34. Sam Wood

Director | Ivy

Following a two-year apprenticeship under Cecil B. DeMille as assistant director, Samuel Grosvenor Wood had the good fortune to have assigned to him two of the biggest stars at Paramount during their heyday: Wallace Reid (between 1919 and 1920) and Gloria Swanson (from 1921 to 1923). By the time ...

836 points

35. King Vidor

Director | Hallelujah

King Vidor was an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter of Hungarian descent. He was born in Galveston, Texas to lumberman Charles Shelton Vidor and his wife Kate Wallis. King's paternal grandfather Károly (Charles) Vidor had fled Hungary as a refugee following the failed ...

822 points

36. Anthony Asquith

Director | The Browning Version

British film director Anthony Asquith was born on November 9, 1902, to H.H. Asquith, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his second wife. A former home secretary and the future leader of the Liberal Party, H.H. Asquith served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1908-1916 and was ...

812 points

37. John Cromwell

Director | The Prisoner of Zenda

Actor / director John Cromwell was born December 23, 1887, in Toledo, OH. He made his Broadway debut on October 14, 1912, in Marian De Forest's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" at the Playhouse Theatre. The show was a hit, running for a total of 184 performances. Cromwell appeared ...

796 points

38. Lloyd Bacon

Director | Marked Woman

One of the workhorses in Warner Brothers' stable of directors in the 1930s, Lloyd Bacon didn't have a career as loaded with classic films as many of his more famous contemporaries. What few "classics" he had his hand in (42nd Street (1933), Footlight Parade (1933)) are so overshadowed by the ...

768 points

39. William Keighley

Director | The Adventures of Robin Hood

William Keighley's professional career spanned three distinct mediums: the theatre, motion pictures and, finally, radio. Initially trained as a stage actor and Broadway director, he arrived in Hollywood shortly after the advent of sound, landing a job with Warner Brothers (where he spent most of ...

760 points

40. Roy Del Ruth

Director | It Happened on Fifth Avenue

Roy Del Ruth was born on Oct. 18, 1895, in Philadelphia, PA. He began his Hollywood career as a writer for Mack Sennett in 1915. He began directing in 1919 for Sennett with the two-reeler Hungry Lions and Tender Hearts (1920). In the early 1920s he moved over to features with such efforts as Asleep...

748 points

41. Alfred E. Green

Director | The Jolson Story

One of the more prolific American directors, Alfred E. Green entered films in 1912 as an actor for the Selig Polyscope Co. He became an assistant to director Colin Campbell and started directing two-reelers, turning to features in 1917. His career lasted into the mid-1950s but his output was mostly...

729 points

42. 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, ...

692 points

43. William A. Seiter

Director | The Cheerful Fraud

Originally a writer and artist, William A. Seiter entered films with Selig. He worked from 1915 as a stunt double and bit player at Keystone and quickly graduated to directing comedy shorts. He moved up to features in the 1920s. He married actress Laura La Plante, who he directed in several films, ...

670 points

44. Georg Wilhelm Pabst

Director | Komödianten

Georg Wilhelm Pabst is considered by many to be the greatest director of German cinema, in his era. He was especially appreciated by actors and actresses for the humane way in which he treated them. This was in contrast to some of his contemporaries, such as Arnold Fanck, who have been ...

623 points

45. Norman Taurog

Director | The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

A successful child actor (on stage from 1907) and rather less successful romantic lead, baby-faced Norman Taurog found being behind the camera a more rewarding experience. Before becoming a director, he paid his dues as a prop man and editor. By 1919, he was put in charge of two-reel comedies, ...

582 points

46. Gregory La Cava

Director | Stage Door

A former cartoonist, Gregory La Cava entered films during WWI as an animator for Walter Lantz on such animated films as "The Katzenjammer Kids" series. Hired by the Hearst Corp. as the editor-in-chief for its International Comic Films division, La Cava switched to live-action films in the 1920s and...

573 points

47. John M. Stahl

Director | Leave Her to Heaven

John Stahl was the final executive in charge of Tiffany Pictures (located on the Talisman lot, later owned by Monogram Pictures), once a big fish in the pond of "Poverty Row", which in those days also included Columbia Pictures. With a B-movie history dating back to the silent era and after making ...

556 points

48. Mark Sandrich

Director | Shall We Dance

Died suddenly of a heart attack while playing gin rummy with his wife.

556 points

49. Sidney Franklin

Director | The Good Earth

Sidney Franklin was involved in amateur filmmaking while still at school. With his brother Chester M. Franklin, he wrote, directed and edited a short film, The Baby (1915), at a cost of $400. Somehow it attracted the interest of D.W. Griffith, who decided to put the brothers to work making ...

548 points

50. 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: ...

519 points

51. Marcel Pagnol

Writer | La fille du puisatier

Marcel Pagnol was born on February 28, 1895 in Aubagne, Bouches-du-Rhône, France as Marcel Paul Pagnol. He was a writer and producer, known for The Well-Digger's Daughter (1940), Heartbeat (1938) and La prière aux étoiles (1941). He was married to Jacqueline Pagnol and Simone Collin. ...

514 points

52. Edgar G. Ulmer

Director | The Black Cat

Edgar G. Ulmer was born on September 17, 1904 in Olmütz, Moravia, Austria-Hungary as Edgar George Ulmer. He was a director and writer, known for The Black Cat (1934), Isle of Forgotten Sins (1943) and The Light Ahead (1939). He was married to Shirley Ulmer and Joan Warner. He died on September 30, ...

508 points

53. Stephen Roberts

Director | The Ex-Mrs. Bradford

Stephen Roberts was born on November 23, 1895 in Summersville, West Virginia, USA. He was a director and writer, known for The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936), Hanging Fire (1926) and Pink Elephants (1926). He was married to Vee Eva Wolf. He died on July 17, 1936 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, ...

485 points

54. Clarence Brown

Director | Anna Karenina

Clarence Leon Brown was the son of Larkin Harry and Catherine Ann (Gaw) Brown of Clinton, Massachusetts. His family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, when he was 12 years old. He graduated from Knoxville High School in 1905 and from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in mechanical and electrical ...

471 points

55. Raoul Walsh

Director | Sadie Thompson

Raoul Walsh's 52-year directorial career made him a Hollywood legend. Walsh was also an actor: He appeared in the first version of W. Somerset Maugham's "Rain" renamed Sadie Thompson (1928) opposite Gloria Swanson in the title role. He would have played the Cisco Kid in his own film In Old Arizona ...

444 points

56. Rowland V. Lee

Director | The Count of Monte Cristo

Coming from a show business family (his parents were stage actors), Rowland V. Lee began his career as a child actor in stock and on Broadway. He interrupted his stage career for a stint as a Wall Street stockbroker, but gave that up after two years and returned to the stage. Lee was hired by ...

442 points

57. Tay Garnett

Director | China Seas

Following his service as a naval aviator in WW I, Tay Garnett entered films in 1920 as a screenwriter. After a stint as a gag writer for Mack Sennett and Hal Roach he joined Pathe, then the distributor for both competing comedy producers, and in 1928 began directing for that company. Garnett ...

440 points

58. John G. Adolfi

Director | A Man and His Mate

Entering films as an actor in 1910, John G. Adolfi soon switched careers and became a director. He turned out numerous, mostly low-budget films for minor companies, but every so often got a chance to work at a big studio like Fox. His big break came in the sound era, when he formed a partnership ...

439 points

59. Lothar Mendes

Director | The Man Who Could Work Miracles

Lothar Mendes was born on May 19, 1894 in Berlin, Germany. He was a director and writer, known for The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936), Moonlight Sonata (1937) and Scheine des Todes (1923). He was married to Dorothy Mackaill. He died on February 25, 1974 in London, England.

419 points

60. Alexander Korda

Director | The Private Life of Don Juan

One of a large group of Hungarian refugees who found refuge in England in the 1930s, Sir Alexander Korda was the first British film producer to receive a knighthood. He was a major, if controversial, figure and acted as a guiding force behind the British film industry of the 1930s and continued to ...

400 points

61. Mikhail Kalatozov

Director | Letyat zhuravli

Mikhail Kalatozov was born on December 28, 1903 in Tiflis, Russian Empire as Mikhail Kalatozishvili. He was a director and cinematographer, known for The Cranes Are Flying (1957), True Friends (1954) and Zagovor obrechyonnykh (1950). He died on March 27, 1973 in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR.

396 points

62. Harold Young

Director | Song of the Sarong

Harold Young was born on November 13, 1897 in Portland, Oregon, USA. He was a director and editor, known for Song of the Sarong (1945), The Storm (1938) and Newsboys' Home (1938). He was married to Emily. He died on March 3, 1972 in Beverly Hills, California, USA.

396 points

63. Joe May

Director | Asphalt

A businessman and operetta director, Joe May, one of the founders of the German cinema, started directing films in 1911 and started his own production company a few years later. He gave famous German director Fritz Lang his start in films, employing him as a screenwriter in his early films. After ...

394 points

64. George Marshall

Director | How the West Was Won

George Marshall was a versatile American director who came to Hollywood to visit his mother and "have a bit of fun". Expelled from Chicago University in 1912, he was an unsettled young man, drifting from job to job, variously employed as a mechanic, newspaper reporter and lumberjack with a logging ...

392 points

65. Harold S. Bucquet

Director | Without Love

After serving in the US Army during World War I, British-born Harold S. Bucquet entered the film business, first as an extra and then as a set designer. He became an assistant to director Allen Holubar, and later was hired as an assistant director at MGM--a studio where he was to spend the rest of ...

389 points

66. Marion Gering

Director | Sarumba

Rusian-born Marion Gering was a stage producer and director who came to the US in 1924 as a member of a Soviet trade commission. Making contacts in the theatrical community in Chicago, Gering put on the play "Gas", which was very successful. He stayed in Chicago and founded the Chicago Play ...

381 points

67. Dorothy Arzner

Director | Christopher Strong

Dorothy Arzner, the only woman director during the "Golden Age" of Hollywood's studio system--from the 1920s to the early 1940s and the woman director with the largest oeuvre in Hollywood to this day--was born January 3, 1897 (some sources put the year as 1900), in San Francisco, California, to a ...

372 points

68. George Stevens

Director | Giant

George Stevens, a filmmaker known as a meticulous craftsman with a brilliant eye for composition and a sensitive touch with actors, is one of the great American filmmakers, ranking with John Ford, William Wyler and Howard Hawks as a creator of classic Hollywood cinema, bringing to the screen ...

369 points

69. Henry Hathaway

Director | True Grit

Henry Hathaway, son of a stage actress and manager, started his career as a child actor in westerns directed by Allan Dwan. His movie career was interrupted by World War I. After his discharge he briefly tried a career in finance but returned to Hollywood to work as an assistant director under such...

353 points

70. Robert Florey

Director | Four Star Playhouse

Robert Florey became infatuated with Hollywood while in his teens. By the time he set off for America in the early 1920s he had written articles on film for Cinemagazine, La Cinematographie Francaise and Le Technicien du Film, acted and directed one-reel shorts in Switzerland and worked as an ...

329 points

71. Sidney Lanfield

Director | Hush Money

After a stint as a jazz musician and a vaudeville entertainer, Sidney Lanfield was hired by Fox Film Corp. in 1926 as a gag writer and brought to Hollywood. Making his debut as a director in 1930, he specialized in romances and light comedies, directing many of Bob Hope's films in the 1930s and ...

305 points

72. Elliott Nugent

Actor | So This Is College

An American minor leading man of early Depression-era talkies who played earnest, boyish leads, Ohio-born Elliott Nugent would earn more distinction as a writer, producer and director of stage and film after all was said and done. The son of playwright/producer/actor J.C. Nugent, Elliott was born ...

304 points

73. Karl Freund

Cinematographer | Key Largo

Karl Freund, an innovative director of photography responsible for development of the three-camera system used to shoot television situation comedies, was born on January 16, 1890, in the Bohemian city of Koeniginhof, then part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire (now known as Dvur Kralove in the Czech...

303 points

74. George W. Hill

Director | The Midnight Express

Beginning his career at age 13 as a stagehand for D.W. Griffith, George W. Hill worked his way up through cinematography and screenwriting to finally begin directing films in the early 1920s. His later films took on a stark, brutally realistic atmosphere and were renowned for their effective use of...

301 points

75. Henry King

Director | The Song of Bernadette

For more than three decades, Henry King was the most versatile and reliable (not to mention hard-working) contract director on the 20th Century-Fox lot. His tenure lasted from 1930 to 1961, spanning most of Hollywood's "golden" era. King was renowned as a specialist in literary adaptations (A Bell ...

263 points

76. Tim Whelan

Director | The Murder Man

Tim Whelan was born on November 2, 1893 in Cannelton, Indiana, USA as Timothy Francis Whelan. He was a director and writer, known for The Murder Man (1935), The Thief of Bagdad (1940) and Safety Last! (1923). He was married to Miriam Seegar. He died on August 12, 1957 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles,...

263 points

77. Robert Z. Leonard

Director | The Great Ziegfeld

Chicago-born Robert Z. Leonard studied law at the University of Colorado, but the legal profession proved not to be his forte and he dropped out in favor of a career in the theatre. When his family moved to Hollywood in 1907 Leonard sought work in the fledgling film industry, starting as an actor ...

262 points

78. Leontine Sagan

Director | Mädchen in Uniform

Leontine Sagan was born on February 13, 1889 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary as Leontine Schlesinger. She was a director and actress, known for Mädchen in Uniform (1931), Men of Tomorrow (1932) and Showtime (1946). She was married to Dr. Victor Fleischer (dramatist). She died on May 20, 1974 in ...

258 points

79. Jean Vigo

Writer | Zéro de conduite: Jeunes diables au collège

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 ...

256 points

80. Robert Siodmak

Director | Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam

The director Robert Siodmak (which he insisted, be pronounced 'See-odd-mack') was a masterful film maker who successfully blended the techniques of German Expressionism with contemporary styles of American film, particularly film noir, in the process creating a handful of moody, sometimes chilling,...

255 points

81. Richard Boleslawski

Director | Theodora Goes Wild

Inventing a stage name "Boleslawski" (later spelled also "Boleslavsky"), young Pole Boleslaw Ryszard Srzednicki left his second home (Odessa, Russian Empire) to study theatre and train as an actor at the world-famous Moscow Art Theatre before and during WW I. He also acted in a few early Russian ...

254 points

82. Irving Pichel

Director | Destination Moon

Irving Pichel was born on June 24, 1891 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He was an actor and director, known for Destination Moon (1950), Tomorrow Is Forever (1946) and Without Honor (1949). He was married to Violette Wilson. He died on July 13, 1954 in Hollywood, California, USA.

254 points

83. Ernest B. Schoedsack

Director | Dr. Cyclops

Ernest B. Schoedsack was born on June 8, 1893 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA as Ernest Beaumont Schoedsack. He was a director and cinematographer, known for Dr. Cyclops (1940), Rango (1931) and The Most Dangerous Game (1932). He was married to Ruth Rose. He died on December 23, 1979 in Los Angeles ...

254 points

84. Marc Allégret

Director | Entrée des artistes

Marc Allégret was born on December 22, 1900 in Basel, Switzerland. He was a director and writer, known for The Curtain Rises (1938), With André Gide (1952) and Julietta (1953). He was married to Nadine Vogel. He died on November 3, 1973 in Paris, France.

254 points

85. Gustaf Molander

Director | En stilla flirt

He attended the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school 1907-1909 and went on to become an actor at the same theatre 1913-1926. His first work for the movies was the script to Thomas Graals bästa film (1917) and the follow-up Thomas Graal's Best Child (1918). He made his directing debut with ...

253 points

86. James Flood

Director | Midstream

Flood and director William Beaudine had been friends since they grew up as children in the same neighborhood in New York City. In fact, Flood's wife was the sister of Beaudine's wife.

187 points

87. Wesley Ruggles

Director | London Town

The younger brother of Hollywood character player Charles Ruggles, Wesley Ruggles spent most of his early years in San Francisco. He attended university there, began a lengthy apprenticeship in stock and musical comedy and then joined Keystone in Hollywood as an actor in 1914 working alongside Syd ...

187 points

88. Howard Hughes

Producer | The Outlaw

Billionaire businessman, film producer, film director, and aviator, born in Humble, Texas just north of Houston. He studied at two prestigious institutions of higher learning: Rice University in Houston and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Inherited his father's machine ...

187 points

89. Cedric Gibbons

Art_director | An American in Paris

After graduating from New York's Art Students League he worked for his architect father, then started film work at Edison Studios in 1915 assisting Hugo Ballin. In 1918 he moved to Goldwyn as art director and, in 1924, began his 32 year stint as supervising art director for some 1500 MGM films, ...

187 points

90. Walter Lang

Director | The King and I

Walter Lang entered the film industry in New York when he got a job as a clerk in the office of a film production company. He worked his way up to assistant director, and directed his first film in 1926. By the time sound arrived Lang was already a well-regarded director, but he left the business ...

186 points

91. Ben Hecht

Writer | Notorious

Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood's and Broadway's greatest writers, won an Oscar for best original story for Underworld (1927) at the first Academy Awards in 1929 and had a hand in the writing of many classic films. He was nominated five more times for the best writing Oscar, winning (along with writing...

186 points

92. Charles MacArthur

Writer | The Scoundrel

"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers out there are starving!" When Patrick Dennis's fictional Auntie Mame uttered this pithy observation, she could have been speaking of Charles MacArthur. Charlie never shied away from the feast, and he certainly never went hungry. Arriving in November 1895 in...

186 points

93. Zoltan Korda

Director | Cry, the Beloved Country

A one time Hungarian cavalry officer, Zoltan Korda started working in films as a cameraman then an editor before becoming a director with London Films run by his brother Alexander Korda. Zoltan had strong liberal/socialist ideals and often clashed with Alexander, who, despite their both being born ...

185 points

94. Stuart Walker

Director | The Eagle and the Hawk

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati, he started acting on stage, eventually heading theatrical companies in different cities. In Hollywood from 1930, first as dialogue director than as director/producer of second features for Paramount (1931-1933), then Universal (1934-1935). His ...

184 points

95. Edward F. Cline

Director | The Boat

Edward "Eddie" Cline began his career in the film business as one of the Keystone Kops. The former vaudevillian appeared sporadically in films as an actor until 1922, but became increasingly active behind the camera as a gagman and scenario writer for Mack Sennett. From 1916 he worked on a steady ...

184 points

96. Edward H. Griffith

Director | Virginia

Born in Virginia and educated in Europe, Edward H. Griffith started out as a newspaper reporter, then switched to magazine writing. He took to the Broadway stage, and entered films as an actor/writer for the Edison Co. in 1915. He soon began directing two-reelers, graduating to features in 1917. ...

184 points

97. Jean Grémillon

Director | Pattes blanches

An educated man,Jean Grémillon (b.1898) should almost be mentioned in the same breath as the big five of the golden age of the French cinema (Carné,Renoir,Duvivier, Feyder and Clair).Some of his plans never came to anything:for instance ,after WW2 ,only three movies, which is too few,for such a man.

...

183 points

98. Paul Martin

Director | Die tödlichen Träume

Paul Martin was born on February 8, 1899 in Koloszvar, Transilvania, Austria-Hungary. He was a director and writer, known for Die tödlichen Träume (1951), Schwarze Rosen (1935) and Black Roses (1936). He died on January 26, 1967 in West Berlin, West Germany.

183 points

99. Edgar Selwyn

Director | The Sin of Madelon Claudet

What a life! Edgar Selwyn was born Edgar Simon on October 20, 1875, in Cincinnati, OH. As a child he and his family lived in Toronto, Canada, before moving to Selma, AL, where his parents died. He moved to Chicago at the age of 17 to seek his fortune, but Fortune would not let the young man take ...

183 points

100. Anatole Litvak

Director | The Snake Pit

The distinguished film director Anatole Litvak was born in the Ukrainian city of Kiev, the son of Jewish parents. His very first job was as a stage hand. In 1915, he became an actor, performing at a little-known experimental theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. As a teenager, he witnessed the 1917 ...

146 points



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