Most Influential Directors in Film History and Their Masterpieces.

by lucasmoorehead23 | created - 01 Feb 2013 | updated - 02 May 2015 | Public

Each director is ranked according to how many critically acclaimed masterpieces they have directed, this corresponds to the first number given. The second number given is how many minor masterpieces they directed. Masterpieces are deduced by averaging IMDB and RT scores together with regards to the audience and critics both. The metascore and audience score on IMDB and the tomatometer and audience scores on RottenTomatoes will be used. All scores are to be weighed equal on a scale of 100. Masterpieces are movies with a score of 80+. Minor masterpieces are 70-79.75. All masterpieces by the particular director will be mentioned. The noteworthy films are 75-79.75.

1. 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 ...

24-7. Fanny and Alexander, Wild Strawberries, Through A Glass Darkly, Scenes From A Marriage, The Seventh Seal, Persona, Autumn Sonata, The Virgin Spring, Smiles of A Summer Night, The Magician, Sawdust and Tinsel, The Passion of Anna, The Silence, Cries and Whispers, Summer With Monika, The Magic Flute, Summer Interlude, Winter Light, Hour of the Wolf, Saraband, A Lesson In Love, Secrets of Women, After The Rehearsal, Shame. Noteworthy: Face To Face, Brink of Life, The Rite, To Joy, In The Presence of a Clown.

2. 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 ...

23-11. Rear Window, North By Northwest, Psycho, Vertigo, Rebecca, Strangers On A Train, Shadow Of A Doubt, Rope, Notorious, The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps, Dial M For Murder, Lifeboat, The Birds, Suspicion, To Catch A Thief, Foreign Correspondent, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Spellbound, The Lodger, Sabotage, Frenzy, The Wrong Man. Noteworthy: The Trouble With Harry, Young and Innocent, I Confess.

3. 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 ...

21-3. The Heiress, The Little Foxes, The Best Years Of Our Lives, The Big Country, How To Steal A Million Dollars, Counsellor At Law, Wuthering Heights, Roman Holiday, The Children's Hour, The Letter, Friendly Persuasion, Ben-Hur, The Collector, Funny Girl, The Westerner, Dead End, Dodsworth, Mrs. Miniver, Jezebel, The Good Fairy, These Three. Noteworthy: The Desperate Hours, Memphis Belle: A Story of A Flying Fortress.

4. 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 ...

21-3. Days and Nights In The Forest, The World of Apu, The Music Room, The Stranger, Pather Panchali, The Middleman, The Adversary, Charulata, Aparajito, Teen Kanya, The Big City, Distant Thunder, The Home and the World, Nayak: The Hero, The Golden Fortress, Joe Baba Felunath, Kanchenjungha, The Chess Players, Kapurush: The Coward, Company Limited, The Expedition.

5. 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, ...

20-12. The Grapes of Wrath, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, Sergeant Rutledge, The Quiet Man, Young Mr. Lincoln, Fort Apache, Mister Roberts, The Long Gray Line, The Whole Town's Talking, How Green Was My Valley, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, The Horse Soldiers, The Informer, How The West Was Won, The Last Hurrah, The Long Voyage Home, The Lost Patrol. Noteworthy: Wagon Master, They Were Expendable, The Iron Horse, 3 Godfathers, Steamboat Round The Bend, Four Sons.

6. 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...

19-15. Lessons of Darkness, Stroszek, Aguirre Wrath of God, Little Dieter Needs To Fly, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Grizzly Man, Fitzcarraldo, Nosferatu The Vampyre, The White Diamond, The Dark Glow of the Mountains, Land of Silence and Darkness, The Great Ecstasy of The Sculptor Steiner, Encounters At The End of the World, On Death Row, Wings of Hope, Even Dwarfs Started Small, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, My Best Fiend, God's Angry Man. Noteworthy: Echoes From A Somber Empire, Rescue Dawn, Into The Abyss, Happy People: A Year In The Taiga, Wheel of Time, Signs of Life, Ballad of the Little Soldier, Woyzeck, Heart of Glass, Herdsmen of the Sun.

7. 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 ...

19-6. Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Record of a Tenement Gentleman, Tokyo Twilight, Early Summer, I was Born But, Late Autumn, Early Spring, Floating Weeds, An Autumn Afternoon, There Was A Father, Good Morning, Equinox Flower, An Inn In Tokyo, The Only Son, Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice, End of Summer, The Munekata Sisters, A Story of Floating Weeds. Noteworthy: Tokyo Chorus, A Hen In The Wind, The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family.

8. 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. ...

18-11. M, Metropolis, The Big Heat, Fury, Scarlet Street, Spies, The Woman In The Window, Dr. Mabuse The Gambler, Testament of Dr. Mabuse, You Only Live Once, Siegfried's Death, Destiny, Liliom, Kriemhild's Revenge, Ministry of Fear, House By The River, Rancho Notorious, While The City Sleeps. Noteworthy: Man Hunt, You and Me, The Indian Tomb, The Tiger of Eschnapur, Clash By Night, The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse.

9. 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 ...

18-6. Viridiana, The Criminal Life of Archibaldo De La Cruz, Los Olvidados, Simon of the Desert, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Exterminating Angel, El, Tristana, That Obscure Object of Desire, An Andalusian Dog, The Phantom of Liberty, Belle De Jour, The Young One, The Milky Way, Nazarin, L Age D'Or, Diary of a Chambermaid, Land Without Bread. Noteworthy: The Brute, Robinson Crusoe.

10. 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 ...

17-11. A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, The Last Waltz, My Voyage To Italy, The Departed, The King of Comedy, Mean Streets, After Hours, Public Speaking, George Harrison: Living In The Material World, Hugo, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Casino, The Last Temptation of Christ. Noteworthy: The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Color of Money, Age of Innocence, Italianamerican, Shine A Light: Rolling Stones, Gangs of New York.

11. 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...

17-9. Seven Samurai, Ikiru, Rashomon, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Ran, The Hidden Fortress, Throne of Blood, The Bad Sleep Well, High and Low, Drunken Angel, Stray Dog, Kagemusha, Red Beard, Dersu Uzala, No Regrets For Our Youth, Madadayo. Noteworthy: One Wonderful Sunday, The Lower Depths, Scandal, The Idiot.

12. Billy Wilder

Writer | The Apartment

Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many ...

16-6. Sunset Blvd, Witness For The Prosecution, Double Indemnity, Some Like It Hot, Stalag 17, The Apartment, The Lost Weekend, The Major and the Minor, One Two Three, Five Graves To Cairo, A Foreign Affair, The Fortune Cookie, Ace In The Hole, Sabrina, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Love In The Afternoon. Noteworthy: Irma La Douce, Avanti, The Seven Year Itch, The Spirit of St. Louis.

13. 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...

15-12. Annie Hall, Love and Death, Zelig, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Husbands and Wives, Broadway Danny Rose, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Bullets Over Broadway, Sleeper, Midnight In Paris, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Radio Days, Purple Rose of Cairo, Blue Jasmine. Noteworthy: Take The Money And Run, Bananas, Interiors, Match Point, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask, Sweet and Lowdown.

14. 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 ...

15-10. Steamboat Bill Jr, Seven Chances, The Navigator, The General, Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr, Go West, Three Ages. Masterpiece shorts: One Week, The Scarecrow, The High Sign, The Goat, Neighbors, Cops, The Play House. Noteworthy shorts: The Electric Horse, The Haunted House, The Love Nest, Hard Luck, The Boat.

15. Éric Rohmer

Director | Ma nuit chez Maud

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, ...

15-9. Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle, My Night At Maud's, Pauline At The Beach, Chloe In The Afternoon, The Aviator's Wife, Summer, Claire's Knee, A Summer's Tale, Boyfriends and Girlfriends, Autumn Tale, Full Moon In Paris, A Good Marriage, La Collectionneuse, A Tale of Winter, The Tree The Mayor and the Mediatheque. Noteworthy: Perceval, A Tale of Springtime, The Bakery Girl of Monceau, The Sign of Leo, The Marquise of O, Six In Paris.

16. François Truffaut

Writer | La nuit américaine

French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the ...

15-7. The 400 Blows, Day For Night, Jules and Jim, Stolen Kisses, Small Change, Shoot The Piano Player, The Wild Child, Antoine et Colette, The Soft Skin, The Man Who Loved Women, The Woman Next Door, The Story of Adele H., The Last Metro, Confidentially Yours, Two English Girls. Noteworthy: Bed and Board, The Bride Wore Black, Mississippi Mermaid, Fahrenheit 451, Love At Twenty.

17. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit

Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and...

14-10. Berlin Alexanderplatz, Ali: Fear Eats The Soul, Mother Kusters Goes To Heaven, I Only Want You To Love Me, Lola, The Marriage of Maria Braun, World On A Wire, Fox and His Friends, Why Does Herr R. Run Amok, Martha, Katzelmacher, Fear of Fear, The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Veronika Voss. Noteworthy: Merchant of Four Seasons, Chinese Roulette, Whitty, Satan's Brew, Germany In Autumn, The Third Generation.

18. 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 ...

14-10. Modern Times, City Lights, The Kid, The Gold Rush, The Circus, The Great Dictator, Limelight, Monsieur Verdoux, The Chaplin Revue, The Immigrant, A Dog's Life, Easy Street, A Woman of Paris, Pay Day. Noteworthy: The Idle Class, The Water Cure, A King In New York.

19. 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 ...

14-5. The Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game, A Day In The Country, Toni, Le Chienne, French Cancan, Boudu Saved From Drowning, The Elusive Corporal, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, La Bete Humaine, The Golden Coach, The Southerner, The River, The Lower Depths. Noteworthy: This Land Is Mine, La Marseillaise.

20. 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.

14-4. The Philadelphia Story, Holiday, My Fair Lady, Adam's Rib, Gaslight, A Star Is Born, Born Yesterday, A Woman's Face, The Women, Dinner At Eight, Camille, It Should Happen To You, Little Women, Les Girls. Noteworthy: The Personal History of David Copperfield, Pat and Mike.

21. 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...

13-11. Rio Bravo, To Have and Have Not, His Girl Friday, The Big Sleep, Ball of Fire, Bringing Up Baby, Scarface, El Dorado, Red River, Only Angels Have Wings, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Sergeant York, Twentieth Century. Noteworthy: The Big Sky, Air Force, The Road To Glory, The Dawn Patrol, Monkey Business, Come and Get It.

22. 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 ...

13-11. Vivre Sa Vie, Breathless, Band of Outsiders, Masculin Feminin, Contempt, Numero Deux, Une Femme Mariee, Pierrot Le Fou, La Chinoise, Week End, Le Petit Soldat, Alphaville, A Woman Is A Woman. Noteworthy: Two or Three Things I Know About Her, All The Boys Are Called Patrick, Ro.Go.Pa.G, Here and Elsewhere, Six In Paris.

23. 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...

13-10. Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Angels With Dirty Faces, Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, Mildred Pierce, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Four Daughters, King Creole, Dodge City, The Comancheros, Life With Father, White Christmas. Noteworthy: The Unsuspected, The Sea Wolf, The Breaking Point, We're No Angels, Mystery of the Wax Musuem.

24. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Artificial Intelligence: AI

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, ...

13-9. Schindler's List, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Color Purple, E.T., Catch Me If You Can, Lincoln, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Duel, Minority Report. Noteworthy: Munich, Empire of the Sun, The Sugarland Express.

25. 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 ...

13-9. Nights of Cabiria, La Strada, 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, I Vitelloni, Amarcord, Il Bidone, The White Sheik, The Clowns, Juliet of the Spirits, Ginger and Fred, Orchestra Rehearsal, And The Ship Sails On. Noteworthy: Variety Lights, Boccaccio 70, Casanova, City of Women.

26. Tom Clegg

Director | McVicar

Tom Clegg was born on October 16, 1934 in Lancashire, England as Thomas Harrison Clegg. He was a director and writer, known for McVicar (1980), Slagskämpen (1984) and Sweeney 2 (1978). He was married to Audrey Clegg. He died on July 25, 2016 in the UK.

13-1. Sharpe's Company, Sharpe's Sword, Sharpe's Battle, Sharpe's Honour, Sharpe's Regiment, Sharpe's Revenge, Sharpe's Eagle, Sharpe's Waterloo, Sharpe's Siege, Sharpe's Enemy, Sharpe's Mission, Sharpe's Rifles, Sharpe's Justice. Noteworthy: Sharpe's Gold.

27. 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 ...

12-6. 12 Angry Men, The Hill, Dog Day Afternoon, The Pawnbroker, Network, Fail-Safe, The Verdict, Serpico, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Prince of the City, Murder on the Orient Express, The Iceman Cometh. Noteworthy: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, Running On Empty.

28. Louis Malle

Director | Au revoir les enfants

Louis Malle, the descendant of a French nobleman who made a fortune in beet sugar during the Napoleonic Wars, created films that explored life and its meaning. Malle's family discouraged his early interest in film but, in 1950, allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies ...

12-5. Au Revoir Les Enfants, Elevator To The Gallows, Lacombe Lucien, Phantom India, The Fire Within, Murmur Of the Heart, My Dinner With Andre, The Lovers, Atlantic City, God's Country, May Fools, Vanya on 42nd Street. Noteworthy: And The Pursuit of Happiness, The Silent World, Zazie Dans Le Metro, Vive Le Tour.

29. Michael Powell

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 ...

12-5. The Red Shoes, A Matter Of Life And Death, Black Narcissus, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, I Know Where I'm Going, Peeping Tom, The Thief of Bagdad, The Edge of the World, The Spy in Black, A Canterbury Tale, Gone To Earth, 49th Parallel. Noteworthy: Contraband, The Small Back Room, The Tales of Hoffmann.

30. 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...

12-5. The Ox-Bow Incident, Beau Geste, The Public Enemy, Battleground, A Star Is Born, Wings, Wild Boys of the Road, Heroes For Sale, Nothing Sacred, Westward the Women, Good-bye My Lady, Beggars of Life. Noteworthy: Yellow Sky, Night Nurse.

31. Hayao Miyazaki

Director | Gake no ue no Ponyo

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the ...

12-1. Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Castle In The Sky, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, Howl's Moving Castle, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Ponyo, The Wind Rises, Sherlock Hound. Noteworthy short: On Your Mark.

32. 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 was English,...

11-12. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, The Man Who Would Be King, Key Largo, The Asphalt Jungle, Fat City, The Misfits, The Dead, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, Wise Blood. Noteworthy: Moulin Rouge, The Night of the Iguana, The Red Badge of Courage, Moby Dick, In This Our Life, Let There Be Light.

33. 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...

11-10. Kes, Raining Stones, Cathy Come Home, Sweet Sixteen, Land and Freedom, The Navigators, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, My Name is Joe, Riff-Raff, Family Life, McLibel. Noteworthy: Carla's Song, The Angels' Share, Hidden Agenda, Ladybird Ladybird.

34. 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 ...

11-8. It's A Wonderful Life, It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, You Can't Take It With You, Arsenic and Old Lace, Lost Horizon, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, Lady For A Day, Meet John Doe, The Miracle Woman, American Madness. Noteworthy: The Bitter Tea of General Yen, Platinum Blonde, The Strong Man, State of the Union.

35. 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 ...

11-8. Sansho The Bailiff, Ugetsu, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, Life of Oharu, A Geisha, The Crucified Lovers, Lady Musashino, Osaka Elegy, Street of Shame, Sisters of the Gion, The 47 Ronin. Noteworthy: Lady Oyu, Five Women Around Utamaro, Princess Yank Kwei Fei.

36. 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...

11-6. Winchester 73, Raw Deal, The Man From Laramie, Bend of the River, Man of the West, The Naked Spur, The Far Country, T-Men, El Cid, The Glenn Miller Story, Men In War. Noteworthy: Fall of the Roman Empire, The Furies, Side Street.

37. David Lean

Director | Lawrence of Arabia

An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon on March 25, 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s, he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding ...

11-3. Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations, Hobson's Choice, Oliver Twist, Brief Encounter, Doctor Zhivago, This Happy Breed, Summertime, In Which We Serve, Madeleine. Noteworthy: A Passage To India.

38. 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 ...

10-8. Never Give A Sucker An Even Break, The Bank Dick, Three Ages, Million Dollar Legs. Masterpiece shorts: One Week, The Scarecrow, The High Sign, Neighbors, Cops, The Play House. Noteworthy shorts: The Electric Horse, The Haunted House, Hard Luck, The Boat. Noteworthy films: My Little Chickadee.

39. Robert Wise

Director | West Side Story

Robert Earl Wise was born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, the youngest of three sons of Olive R. (Longenecker) and Earl Waldo Wise, a meat packer. His parents were both of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. At age nineteen, the avid moviegoer came into the film business through an ...

10-7. The Day The Earth Stood Still, I Want To Live, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The Sand Pebbles, Run Silent Run Deep, The Set-Up, Executive Suite, The Haunting, Somebody Up There Likes Me. Noteworthy: Odds Against Tomorrow, The Body Snatcher.

40. Michael Apted

Director | Enigma

Michael Apted was born on February 10, 1941 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England as Michael David Apted. He is a director and producer, known for Enigma (2001), Rome (2005) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). He has been married to Paige Simpson since January 8, 2014. He was previously married to ...

10-6. 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up, 49 Up, Coal Miner's Daughter, 21 Up, Incident at Oglala, 7 Plus 7, 56 Up, Me and Isaac Newton. Noteworthy: P'Tang Yang Kipperbang, Always Outnumbered, Thunderheart, Gorillas In The Mist.

41. Joseph L. Mankiewicz

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 ...

10-5. All About Eve, 5 Fingers, Sleuth, The Ghost and Mrs Muir, A Letter To Three Wives, Julius Caesar, There Was A Crooked Man, Guys and Dolls, The Barefoot Contessa, No Way Out. Noteworthy: House of Strangers, Suddenly Last Summer, People Will Talk, The Late George Apley.

42. 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 ...

10-4. I Remember Mama, Swing Time, Giant, Vivacious Lady, The More The Merrier, The Talk of the Town, Shane, Woman of the Year, Gunga Din, Penny Serenade. Noteworthy: A Place In The Sun, Alice Adams, The Diary of Anne Frank.

43. 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. ...

10-3. Bathazar, A Man Escaped, A Gentle Woman, Pickpocket, The Trial of Joan of Arc, Four Nights of A Dreamer, Diary of A Country Priest, L'Argent, Les Dames Du Bois De Boulogne, Mouchette. Noteworthy: Lancelot of the Lake, The Devil Probably, Angels of Sin.

44. 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 ...

10-2. Dr. Strangelove, Paths of Glory, The Killing, Barry Lyndon, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, The Shining.

45. 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, Personel (...

10-1. Dekalog, A Short Film About Love, Red, Blue, Camera Buff, The Double Life of Veronique, A Short Film About Killing, White, Blind Chance, No End.

46. 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 ...

9-16. White Heat, The Roaring Twenties, Gentleman Jim, The Thief of Bagdad, Pursued, Captain Horatio Hornblower RN, The Strawberry Blonde, High Sierra, Sadie Thompson. Noteworthy: They Drive By Night, Regeneration, The Big Trail, The Man I Love, The Horn Blows At Midnight, What Price Glory (1926), Going Hollywood, Uncertain Glory, They Died With Their Boots On.

47. Vincente Minnelli

Director | An American in Paris

Born Lester Anthony Minnelli in Chicago on February 28 1903, his father Vincent was a musical conductor of the Minnelli Brothers' Tent Theater. Wanting to pursue an artistic career, Minelli worked in the costume department of the Chicago Theater, then on Broadway during the depression as a set ...

9-12. Home From The Hill, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Clock, The Bad and the Beautiful, The Band Wagon, Lust For Life, An American In Paris, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Father of the Bride. Noteworthy: Cabin In The Sky, Two Weeks In Another Town, Some Came Running, Father's Little Dividend, Tea and Sympathy.

48. 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...

9-11. I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang, Gold Diggers of 1933, Random Harvest, Mister Roberts, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Waterloo Bridge, Five Star Final, No Time For Sergeants, Homecoming. Noteworthy: Little Caesar, Little Women, They Won't Forget, Two Seconds, Quo Vadis, The Bad Seed.

49. Robert Altman

Director | Gosford Park

Robert Altman was born on February 20th, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, to B.C. (an insurance salesman) and Helen Altman. He entered St. Peters Catholic school at the age six, and spent a short time at a Catholic high school. From there, he went to Rockhurst High School. It was then that he started...

9-10. The Long Goodbye, The Player, Nashville, Short Cuts, McCabe and Mrs Miller, Three Women, MASH, California Split, Gosford Park. Noteworthy: Brewster McCloud, Come Back To The Five and Dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean, Thieves Like Us, A Wedding, Secret Honor.

50. 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...

9-9. Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, The Outlaw of Josey Wales, Letters From Iwo Jima, High Plains Drifter, Mystic River, Pale Rider, Gran Torino, A Perfect World. Noteworthy: Bridges of Madison County, Heartbreak Ridge, Bird, Play Misty For Me.

51. Fred Zinnemann

Director | A Man for All Seasons

Initially grew up wanting to be a violinist, but while at the University of Vienna decided to study law. While doing so, he became increasingly interested in American film and decided that was what he wanted to do. He became involved in European filmaking for a short time before going to America to...

9-8. The Search, High Noon, The Day of the Jackal, People On Sunday, From Here To Eternity, The Nun's Story, A Man For All Seasons, Act of Violence, Oklahoma. Noteworthy: The Seventh Cross, A Hatful of Rain, Behold a Pale Horse.

52. Vittorio De Sica

Director | Ladri di biciclette

Vittorio De Sica grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee ...

9-7. The Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D, Two Women, Miracle In Milan, Shoeshine, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, The Children Are Watching Us, Sunflower, Yesterday Today Tomorrow. Noteworthy: A Brief Vacation, Marriage Italian-Style, The Gold of Naples, The Roof, The Condemned of Altona, Boccaccio 70.

53. 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 ...

9-7. The Snapper, The Queen, Fail Safe, Philomena, High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things, Prick Up Your Ears, Dangerous Liaisons, My Beautiful Laundrette. Noteworthy: The Grifters, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, The Hit.

54. 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 ...

9-7. Paris Texas, Alice In The Cities, Wings of Desire, Kings of the Road, Buena Vista Social Club, Pina, The American Friend, Until The End of the World, Invisibles. Noteworthy: The Soul of a Man, The State of Things, Lisbon Story, Red Hot and Blue, Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet.

55. Shôhei Imamura

Director | Kuroi ame

Shohei Imamura's films dig beneath the surface of Japanese society to reveal a wellspring of sensual, often irrational, energy that lies beneath. Along with his colleagues Nagisa Ôshima and Masahiro Shinoda, Imamura began his serious directorial career as a member of the New Wave movement in Japan....

9-7. Vengeance Is Mine, The Ballad of Narayama, Profound Desires of the Gods, A Man Vanishes, The Pornographers, Black Rain, Pigs and Battleships, Dr. Akagi, The Insect Woman. Noteworthy: The Eel, Endless Desire, Intentions of Murder, The Pimp.

56. 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...

9-7. Kanal, The Promised Land, Ashes and Diamonds, Innocent Sorcerers, Man of Marble, Young Girls of Wilko, Danton, Korczak, The Wedding. Noteworthy: Man of Iron, Katyn, The Birch Wood, Landscape After Battle, Lotna, A Generation.

57. Luchino Visconti

Director | Le notti bianche

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 Le Notti Bianche (1957), Rocco and His Brothers (1960) and Death in Venice (1971). He died on March 17, 1976 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

9-6. The Leopard, La Terra Trema, Le Notti Bianche, Rocco and His Brothers, Ossessione, Bellissima, The Damned, Ludwig, L'Innocente. Noteworthy: Senso, Sandra, Death In Venice, Conversation Piece, Boccaccio 70.

58. Elia Kazan

Director | On the Waterfront

Known for his creative stage direction, Elia Kazan was born Elias Kazantzoglou on September 7, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey). Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He ...

9-5. On The Waterfront, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Face In The Crowd, East of Eden, Wild River, Baby Doll, Splendor In The Grass, Panic In The Streets. Noteworthy: Man On A Tightrope, America America, Gentleman's Agreement.

59. Yimou Zhang

Director | Shi mian mai fu

Yimou Zhang was born on November 14, 1951 in Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. He is a director and actor, known for House of Flying Daggers (2004), Ying xiong (2002) and Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (2006).

9-5. Raise The Red Lantern, Ju Dou, To Live, Red Sorghum, Hero, Not One Less, House of Flying Daggers, The Road Home, The Story of Qiu Ju. Noteworthy: Riding Alone For Thousands of Years, Shanghai Triad.

60. 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....

9-4. Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Chimes At Midnight, The Magnificent Ambersons, F For Fake, The Trial, Othello, The Stranger, The Lady From Shanghai. Noteworthy: Mr. Arkadin, Macbeth, The Immortal Story, It's All True.

61. D.A. Pennebaker

Director | Dont Look Back

D.A. Pennebaker was born on July 15, 1925 in Evanston, Illinois, USA as Donn Alan Pennebaker. He is a director and cinematographer, known for Dont Look Back (1967), The War Room (1993) and Unlocking the Cage (2016). He has been married to Chris Hegedus since April 3, 1982. They have two children. ...

9-3. 65 Revisited, Don't Look Back, Monterey Pop, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, Jimi Play Monterey, Depeche Mode: 101, The War Room, Down From The Mountain, Company: Original Cast Album. Noteworthy: Town Bloody Hall.

62. Mani Ratnam

Writer | Kannathil Muthamittal

The man who revolutionized Tamil-language cinema, Mani Ratnam is the biggest director in south India and one of the most respected directors in all of India. Each of his films contain its own unique style, with beautifully photographed songs and unique back-lighting. However, his films contain ...

9-3. Nayakan, A Peck On The Cheek, Thalapathi, Anjali, Waves, Roja, Bombay, Gitanjali, Guru. Noteworthy: Dil Se, Aayudha Ezhuthu.

63. Josef von Sternberg

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 ...

9-2. The Last Command, The Scarlet Empress, The Docks of New York, The Blue Angel, Shanghai Express, Dishonored, Underworld, Anatahan, Morocco.

64. 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 ...

8-11. To Be Or Not To Be, The Shop Around The Corner, Ninotchka, Trouble In Paradise, One Hour With You, The Love Parade, The Merry Widow, Heaven Can Wait. Noteworthy: The Smiling Lieutenant, Cluny Brown, The Marriage Circle, If I Had A Million, Design For Living, My Lady Margarine, Lady Windermere's Fan.

65. Roberto Rossellini

Writer | Paisà

The master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, as one of the creators of neo-realism, is one of the most influential directors of all time. His neo-realist films influenced France's nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and '60s that changed the face of international cinema. He also influenced American ...

8-7. Rome Open City, Germany Year Zero, Paisan, Flowers of St Francis, Journey To Italy, Il Generale Della Rovere, It Was Night In Rome, Indie: Matri Bhumi. Noteworthy: Stromboli, The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, Europe 51, Socrates, RoGoPaG.

66. Blake Edwards

Writer | Peter Gunn

Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942) and wrote a number of others, beginning with ...

8-7. Days of Wine and Roses, A Shot In The Dark, Victor/Victoria, Experiment In Terror, Breakfast At Tiffany's, The Party, The Pink Panther, The Return of the Pink Panther. Noteworthy: The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Operation Petticoat, The Great Race, S.O.B.

67. Aki Kaurismäki

Producer | Le Havre

Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965)) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific ...

8-6. The Drifting Clouds, The Man Without a Past, Leningrad Cowboys Go America, Le Havre, Shadows In Paradise, Ariel, The Bohemian Life, The Match Factory Girl. Noteworthy: Calamari Union and I Hired A Contract Killer.

68. 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 ...

8-5. Where Is the Friends Home, Life and Nothing More, The Wind Will Carry Us, Close-Up, The Traveler, Ten, Taste of Cherry, Through The Olive Trees.

69. 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.

8-4. Fargo, No Country For Old Men, Blood Simple, Inside Llewyn Davis, True Grit, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski. Noteworthy: The Man Who Wasn't There, O Brother Where Art Thou?, A Serious Man, Raising Arizona.

70. Jean-Pierre Melville

Actor | À bout de souffle

The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its ...

8-3. Army of Shadows, Le Samourai, Le Deuxieme Souffle, Le Cercle Rouge, Le Doulos, La Silence Mer, Bob Le Flambeur, Leon Morin Priest.

71. Nicholas Ray

Director | Rebel Without a Cause

Nicholas Ray was born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle in 1911, in small-town Galesville, Wisconsin, to Lena (Toppen) and Raymond Joseph Kienzle, a contractor and builder. He was of German and Norwegian descent. Ray's early experience with film came with some radio broadcasting in high school. He left the ...

8-3. In A Lonely Place, The Lusty Men, Rebel Without A Cause, Johnny Guitar, They Live By Night, On Dangerous Ground, Bigger Than Life, The Savage Innocents. Noteworthy: King of Kings.

72. 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....

8-1. Sullivan's Travels, The Lady Eve, The Palm Beach Story, Hail The Conquering Hero, Unfaithfully Yours, The Great McGinty, Christmas In July, The Miracle Of Morgan's Creek.

73. 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, ...

8-1. The Earrings of Madame De, Letter From An Unknown Woman, La Ronde, Liebelei, Le Plaisir, Caught, Everybody's Woman, Lola Montes.

74. 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 ...

8-0. Stalker, Ivan's Childhood, Andrei Rublev, The Mirror, Solaris, Nostalghia, The Sacrifice, The Steamroller and the Violin.

75. 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 ...

7-11. When The Levees Broke, 4 Little Girls, Do The Right Thing, Passing Strange, A Huey P. Newton Story, Malcolm X, Inside Man. Noteworthy: Bad 25, 25th Hour, Get On The Bus, The Original Kings of Comedy, She's Gotta Have It.

76. 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), Another Year (2010) and Happy-Go-Lucky (2008). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.

7-10. Secrets and Lies, Life Is Sweet, High Hopes, Naked, Vera Drake, Topsy-Turvy, Another Year. Noteworthy: Abigail's Party, Career Girls, Happy-Go-Lucky and All or Nothing.

77. Don Siegel

Director | Dirty Harry

Don Siegel was educated at Cambridge University, England. In Hollywood from the mid-'30s, he began his career as an editor and second unit director. In 1945 he directed two shorts (Hitler Lives (1945) and Star in the Night (1945)) which both won Academy Awards. His first feature as a director was ...

7-9. Dirty Harry, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Shootist, Escape From Alcatraz, Riot In Cell Block 11, Charley Varrick, The Lineup. Noteworthy: Hell Is For Heroes, The Beguiled, Flaming Star, The Verdict.

78. Pedro Almodóvar

Writer | Hable con ella

The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study ...

7-6. All About My Mother, Talk To Her, Volver, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, The Law of Desire, What Have I Done To Deserve This?, Bad Education. Noteworthy: Matador, The Skin I Live In, Labyrinth of Passion, Live Flesh, The Flower of My Secret, Broken Embraces.

79. 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 ...

7-6. The Steel Helmet, Park Row, Pickup On South Street, Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss, The Crimson Kimono, The Big Red One. Noteworthy: Forty Guns, White Dog, Underworld U.S.A.

80. Frank Borzage

Director | 7th Heaven

Frank Borzage was born on April 23, 1894 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. He was an actor and director, known for 7th Heaven (1927), No Greater Glory (1934) 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, ...

7-6. 7th Heaven, The Mortal Storm, Lucky Star, Little Man What Now?, Three Comrades, Moonrise, History Is Made At Night. Noteworthy: Street Angel.

81. John Frankenheimer

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 ...

7-5. The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days In May, The Train, Grand Prix, Seconds, Birdman of Alcatraz, The Iceman Cometh. Noteworthy: Andersonville, Black Sunday.

82. Sam Wood

Director | A Night at the Opera

After 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 his ...

7-5. A Night At The Opera, A Day At The Races, The Devil and Miss Jones, The Pride of the Yankees, Kings Row, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Beyond The Rocks. Noteworthy: The Stratton Story, Command Decision.

83. Jules Dassin

Director | Pote tin Kyriaki

Jules Dassin was an Academy Award-nominated director, screenwriter and actor best known for his films Rififi (1955), Never on Sunday (1960), and Topkapi (1964).

He was born Julius Samuel Dassin on 18 December 1911, in Middletown, Connecticut, USA. He was one of eight children of Russian-Jewish ...

7-5. Du Rififi, Brute Force, Thieves' Highway, Never On Sunday, The Law, Night and the City, The Naked City. Noteworthy: He Who Must Die, A Letter For Evie, Topkapi, Uptight.

84. Ettore Scola

Writer | Una giornata particolare

Ettore Scola was born on May 10, 1931 in Trevico, Campania, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for A Special Day (1977), Le bal (1983) and The Family (1987). He was married to Gigliola. He died on January 19, 2016 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

7-5. We All Loved Each Other So Much, A Special Day, Le Bal, Ugly Dirty and Bad, Drama of Jealousy, The Terrace, Passione D'Amore. Noteworthy: The Voyage of Captain Fracassa, The Most Wonderful Evening of My Life, The Family, That Night in Varennes.

85. Emeric Pressburger

Writer | One of Our Aircraft Is Missing

Educated at the Universities of Prague and Stuttgart, Emeric Pressburger worked as a journalist in Hungary and Germany and an author and scriptwriter in Berlin and Paris. He was a Hungarian Jew, chased around Europe (he worked on films for UFA in Berlin and Paris) before World War II, finally ...

7-4. The Red Shoes, A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, I Know Where I'm Going, A Canterbury Tale, Gone To Earth. Noteworthy: The Small Back Room, The Tales of Hoffmann.

86. Sam Peckinpah

Writer | Straw Dogs

"If they move", commands stern-eyed William Holden, "kill 'em". So begins The Wild Bunch (1969), Sam Peckinpah's bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized Old West. "Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle", observed critic Pauline Kael. That ...

7-3. The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, Ride The High Country, The Ballad Of Cable Hogue, Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia, Cross of Iron, The Getaway. Noteworthy: Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.

87. Alain Resnais

Director | Mon oncle d'Amérique

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 Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980), Same Old Song (1997) and Coeurs (2006). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He died on March 1,...

7-3. Night and Fog, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Mon Oncle D'Amerique, Last Year At Marienbad, Providence, The War Is Over, Je T'Aime Je T'Aime. Noteworthy: Muriel or the Time of Return.

88. Michelangelo Antonioni

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"...

7-2. L'Avventura, Red Desert, The Passenger, L'Eclisse, Le Amiche, Blow-Up, La Notte. Noteworthy: Il Grido.

89. Errol Morris

Director | The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

His documentaries helped spur a rebirth of non-fiction film in the 80s & garnered wide critical success. But until 2003's "The Fog of War," Morris was shunned by the Academy Awards.

Morris' first two films won much acclaim (Gates of Heaven (1978) and Vernon, Florida (1981)). In the second movie, ...

7-2. The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line, A Brief History of Time, Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter, Vernon Florida, Gates of Heaven, Fast Cheap and Out of Control. Noteworthy: Tabloid, Standard Operating Procedure.

90. Sergei M. Eisenstein

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 ...

7-0. Ivan The Terrible Part 2, Ivan The Terrible Part 1, The Battleship Potemkin, Strike, Alexander Nevsky, Que Viva Mexico, October: Ten Days That Shook The World.

91. 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 ...

6-10. The Pianist, Chinatown, Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby, Knife In The Water, The Tenant. Noteworthy: Cul-De-Sac, Tess, Death and the Maiden, Macbeth, The Ghost Writer, Venus In Fur.

92. Otto Preminger

Director | Anatomy of a Murder

Otto Ludwig Preminger was born in Wiznitz, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary. His father was a prosecutor, and Otto originally intended to follow his father into a law career; however, he fell in love with the theater and became a stage director. He directed his first film in 1931, and came to the US in ...

6-7. Anatomy of a Murder, Laura, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Advise and Consent, Man With The Golden Arm, Bunny Lake Is Missing. Noteworthy: Porgy and Bess, Angel Face, The Court-Martial Of Billy Mitchell.

93. Stanley Donen

Director | Charade

Since he was a child, Stanley Donen attended dance classes and debuted on Broadway at age 17. With the help of the producer Arthur Freed and the actor Gene Kelly he got the chance to direct the musicals On the Town (1949), Singin' in the Rain (1952), and Love Is Better Than Ever (1952) which ...

6-7. Singin' In the Rain, Charade, On The Town, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, It's Always Fair Weather, Indiscreet. Noteworthy: Two For The Road, Funny Face, The Grass Is Greener, Royal Wedding, Bedazzled.

94. Bertrand Tavernier

Director | Un dimanche à la campagne

Bertrand Tavernier was a law student that preferred write film criticisms. He also wrote a few books about American movies. Then his first film won a few awards in France and abroad and established his reputation.

6-7. Round Midnight, A Sunday In The Country, The Clockmaker of St. Paul, Daddy Nostalghia, Coup De Torchon, Life and Nothing But. Noteworthy: L.627, It All Starts Today, Captain Conan, Safe Conduct, Death Watch.

95. W.S. Van Dyke

Director | Marie Antoinette

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 ...

6-7. The Thin Man, After The Thin Man, I Love You Again, San Francisco, Another Thin Man, Tarzan The Ape Man. Noteworthy: Shadow Of The Thin Man, Manhattan Melodrama, It's A Wonderful World, Marie Antoinette.

96. René Clair

Writer | Le silence est d'or

René Clair was born on November 11, 1898 in Paris, France as René-Lucien Chomette. He was a writer and director, known for Le silence est d'or (1947), À Nous la Liberté (1931) and The Grand Maneuver (1955). He was married to Bronia Clair. He died on March 15, 1981 in Neuilly-sur-Seine...

6-6. Beauty and the Devil, A Nouse La Liberte, And Then There Were None, Le Million, Paris Asleep, Entr'acte. I Married a Witch and Under The Roofs of Paris close masterpieces.

97. 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 ...

6-6. Horse Feathers, Monkey Business, It's A Gift, Topper, Road To Rio, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Noteworthy: The Paleface, Merrily We Live.

98. John Sayles

Writer | Eight Men Out

A bright child, John Sayles began reading novels before age 9. A Williams grad in 1972, he shunned a corporate career to work various blue-collar jobs, moving to east Boston to take a factory job. He wrote stories and submitted them to various magazines, and the Atlantic Monthly gave him the idea ...

6-6. Matewan, The Secret of the Roan Inish, Men With Guns, Passion Fish, Lone Star, City of Hope. Noteworthy: Eight Men out, The Brother From Secaucus Seven.

99. Martin Ritt

Director | Hud

Martin Ritt, one of the best and most sensitive American filmmakers of all time, was a director, actor and playwright who worked in both film and theater. He was born in New York City. His films reflect, like almost none other, a profound and intimate humane vision of his characters.

He originally ...

6-6. Hombre, Hud, The Long Hot Summer, Sounder, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Norma Rae. Noteworthy: Murphy's Romance.

100. Richard Linklater

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. ...

6-6. Boyhood, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Before Sunrise, Dazed and Confused, Waking Life. Noteworthy: The School of Rock, Bernie, Slacker.