Top 25 Directors

by DanSavio | created - 9 months ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

1. 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 ...

1. "Once Upon a Time in America" 2. "C'era una volta il West" 3. "Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo" 4. "Giu la testa" 5. "Per qualche dollaro in piu"

2. 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 ...

1. "2001: A Space Odyssey" 2. "A Clockwork Orange" 3. "The Shining" 4. "Dr. Strangelove" 5. "Paths of Glory"

3. 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 ...

1. "Mulholland Dr." 2. "Twin Peaks: The Return" 3. "Blue Velvet" 4. "Eraserhead" 5. "Elephant Man"

4. Werner Herzog

Director | Fitzcarraldo

Director. Writer. Producer. Actor. Poet. He studied history, literature and theatre for some time, but didn't finish it and founded instead his own film production company in 1963. Later in his life, Herzog also staged several operas in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has...

1. "Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes" 2. "Encounters at the End of the World" 3. "Jeder fur sich und Gott gegen alle" 4. "Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski" 5. "Fitzcarraldo"

5. Andrei Tarkovsky

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 ...

1. "Stalker" 2. "Offret Sacrificatio" 3. "Andrey Rublyov" 4. "Ivanovo detstvo" 5. "Zerkalo"

6. 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 ...

1. "Det sjunde inseglet" 2. "Nattvardsgasterna" 3. "Persona" 4. "Viskningar och rop" 5. "Sasom i en spegel"

7. 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 six) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. ...

1. "Citizen Kane" 2. "Touch of Evil" 3. "The Other Side of the Wind" (first part) 4. "The Magnificent Ambersons" 5. "The Lady from Shanghai"

8. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Kakushi-toride no san-akunin

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...

1. "Rashomon" 2. "Shichinin no samurai" 3. "Kumonosu jo" 4. "Yojinbo" 5. "Kakushi-toride no san-akunin"

9. 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 ...

1. "Taxi Driver" 2. "Goodfellas" 3. "Raging Bull" 4. "The Last Temptation of Christ" 5. "Silence"

10. Béla Tarr

Producer | Werckmeister harmóniák

Béla Tarr was born on July 21, 1955 in Pécs, Hungary. He is a producer and director, known for Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), The Turin Horse (2011) and Damnation (1988). He is married to Ágnes Hranitzky.

1. "Satantango" 2. "Werckmeister harmoniak" 3. "A Torinoi lo" 4. "Karhozat" 5. "Oszi almanach"

11. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

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 ...

1. "The Godfather" 2. "The Godfather: Part II" 3. "Apocalypse Now" 4. "The Conversation" 5. "The Godfather: Part III"

12. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | Pierrot le fou

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 ...

1. "A bout de souffle" 2. "Le mepris" 3. "Une femme est une femme" 4. "Pierrot le fou" 5. "Adieu au langage"

13. Terrence Malick

Writer | Days of Heaven

Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965.

A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen ...

1. "The Thin Red Line" 2. "The Tree of Life" 3. "Badlands" 4. "The New World" 5. "Days of Heaven"

14. Paul Thomas Anderson

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...

1. "There Will Be Blood" 2. "Boogie Nights" 3. "Magnolia" 4. "Phantom Thread" 5. "Inherent Vice"

15. 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...

1. "Naked Lunch" 2. "The Fly" 3. "Videodrome" 4. "Crash" 5. "Spider"

16. Emir Kusturica

Director | Underground

A Serbian film director. Born in 1954 in Sarajevo. Graduated in film directing at the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague in 1978. During his studies, he was awarded several times for his short movies including Guernica (1978), which took first prize at the Student's Film ...

1. "Underground" 2. "Crna macka, beli macor" 3. "Otac na sluzbenom putu" 4. "Dom za vjesanje" 5. "Zivot je cudo"

17. Peter Greenaway

Director | The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

Peter Greenaway trained as a painter and began working as a film editor for the Central Office of Information in 1965. Shortly afterwards he started to make his own films. He has produced a wealth of short and feature-length films, but also paintings, novels and other books. He has held several ...

1. "Baby of Macon" 2. "The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover" 3. "The Pillow Book" 4. "Drowning by Numbers" 5. "A Zed & Two Noughts"

18. 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 ...

1. "The Pianist" 2. "Rosemary's Baby" 3. "Nóż w wodzie" 4. "Le locataire" 5. "Chinatown"

19. 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 ...

1. "Do the Right Thing" 2. "BlacKkKlansman" 3. "25th Hour" 4. "Crooklyn" 5. "Mo' Better Blues"

20. Ken Loach

Director | I, Daniel Blake

Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter's College, Oxford, he branched out into...

1. "Kes" 2. "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" 3. "I, Daniel Blake" 4. "Ladybird ladybird" 5. "Land and Freedom"

21. Lav Diaz

Writer | Ang panahon ng halimaw

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 Season of the Devil (2018), The Woman Who Left (2016) and From What Is Before (2014).

1. "Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan" 2. "Melancholia" 3. "Mula sa kung ano ang noon" 4. "Ang babaeng humayo" 5. "Florentina Hubaldo, CTE"

22. Joel Coen

Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Fargo (1996) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.

1. "No Country for Old Men" 2. "Barton Fink" 3. "Fargo" 4. "Raising Arizona" 5. "Hudsucker Proxy"

23. 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...

1. "The Outlaw Josey Wales" 2. "High Plains Drifter" 3. "Gran Torino" 4. "Unforgiven" 5. "The Bridges of Madison County"

24. Krzysztof Kieslowski

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 (...

1. "Amator" 2. "Krótki film o zabijaniu" 3. "Trzy kolory: Niebieski" 4. "Krótki film o miłości" 5. "Trzy kolory: Biały"

25. Andrzej Wajda

Director | Katyn

Andrzej Wajda is an Academy Award-wining director. He is the most prominent filmmaker in Poland known for The Promised Land (1975), Man of Iron (1981), and Katyn (2007).

He was Born on March 6, 1926, in Suwalki, Poland. His mother, Aniela Wajda, was a teacher at a Ukrainian school. His father, Jakub...

1. "Ziemia obiecana" 2. "Popiół i diament" 3. "Człowiek z żelaza" 4. "Kanał" 5. "Wesele"

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