Oscar Nominated Directors & Their 5 Best Films

by j1977 | created - 14 Oct 2017 | updated - 10 months ago | Public

Theatrical features only. Up to five of my favorites. Must be a credited director on the film. * = best

1. Lenny Abrahamson

Director | Room

Lenny Abrahamson was born in Dublin in 1966. He studied physics and philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. While at university he directed short videos with the Trinity Video Society, which he co-founded with Ed Guiney. He graduated in 1991 with first class honours (gold medal). His first short film...

2015 Room - Nominated *

2. 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...

1986 Hannah and Her Sisters - Nominated * 1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors - Nominated 1991 Shadows and Fog 1997 Deconstructing Harry 1999 Sweet and Lowdown

3. 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 ...

1986 Matador 1988 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown 1999 All About My Mother 2002 Talk to Her - Nominated * 2006 Volver

4. 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...

1970 MASH - Nominated * 1992 The Player - Nominated 1993 Short Cuts - Nominated 1999 Cookie's Fortune 2006 A Prairie Home Companion

5. Michael Anderson

Director | Logan's Run

London-born Michael Anderson began his career in films as an office boy at Elstree studios. By 1938, he had progressed up the ladder to become assistant director for distinguished film makers Noël Coward, David Lean and Anthony Asquith. Shortly after, during wartime with the Royal Signals Corps (...

6. 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...

1996 Hard Eight 1997 Boogie Nights 1999 Magnolia * 2007 There Will Be Blood - Nominated 2012 The Master

7. Wes Anderson

Writer | Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...

1998 Rushmore * 2001 The Royal Tenenbaums 2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 2007 The Darjeeling Limited 2012 Moonrise Kingdom

8. 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"...

9. Darren Aronofsky

Director | Pi

Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won ...

1998 Pi 2000 Requiem for a Dream 2008 The Wrestler 2010 Black Swan - Nominated *

10. Hal Ashby

Director | Harold and Maude

Hal Ashby was born the fourth and youngest child in a Mormon household, in Ogden, Utah, to Eileen Ireta (Hetzler) and James Thomas Ashby, on September 2, 1929. His father was a dairy farmer. After a rough childhood that included the divorce of his parents, his father's suicide, his dropping out of ...

1971 Harold and Maude 1973 The Last Detail 1976 Bound for Glory 1978 Coming Home - Nominated 1979 Being There *

11. Richard Attenborough

Actor | Jurassic Park

Lord Richard Attenborough was born in Cambridge, England, the son of Mary (née Clegg), a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council, and Frederick Levi Attenborough, a scholar and academic administrator who was a don at Emmanuel College and wrote a standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. ...

1982 Gandhi - Winner * 1992 Chaplin 1993 Shadowlands

12. John G. Avildsen

Director | Rocky

John G. Avildsen was born on December 21, 1935 in Oak Park, Illinois, USA as John Guilbert Avildsen. He was a director and editor, known for Rocky (1976), Rocky V (1990) and The Karate Kid Part III (1989). He was married to Tracy Brooks Swope and Marie Olga Maturevich. He died on June 16, 2017 in ...

1970 Joe 1973 Save the Tiger 1976 Rocky - Winner * 1984 The Karate Kid 1986 The Karate Kid Part II

13. Hector Babenco

Director | Carandiru

Hector Babenco was born on February 7, 1946 in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina as Héctor Eduardo Babenco. He was a director and writer, known for Carandiru (2003), Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (1981) and Lúcio Flávio, o Passageiro da Agonia (1977). He was married to Bárbara Paz,...

1985 Kiss of the Spider Woman - Nominated 1987 Ironweed *

14. Lionel Barrymore

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

Famed actor, composer, artist, author and director. His talents extended to the authoring of the novel "Mr. Cartonwine: A Moral Tale" as well as his autobiography. In 1944, he joined ASCAP, and composed "Russian Dances", "Partita", "Ballet Viennois", "The Woodman and the Elves", "Behind the Horizon...

15. Warren Beatty

Actor | Reds

Since starring in his first film, Splendor in the Grass (1961), Warren Beatty has been said to have demonstrated a greater longevity in movies than any actor of his generation. Few people have taken so many responsibilities for all phases of the production of films as producer, director, writer, ...

1981 Reds - Winner * 1998 Bulworth

16. Harry Beaumont

Director | The Broadway Melody

Born in Abilene, KS, in 1888, Harry Beaumont started his show-business career early--he quit school to become an actor in a traveling stock company, and eventually made his way to the New York stage. In 1912 he began working as a film actor for Edison studios--which was headquartered across the ...

17. Roberto Benigni

Actor | La vita è bella

Roberto Benigni was born on October 27, 1952 in Manciano La Misericordia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany, Italy as Roberto Remigio Benigni. He is an actor and writer, known for La vita è bella (1997), La tigre e la neve (2005) and Down by Law (1986). He has been married to Nicoletta Braschi ...

1991 Johnny Stecchino 1994 The Monster 1997 Life is Beautiful - Nominated *

18. Robert Benton

Writer | Kramer vs. Kramer

Robert Benton was born on September 29, 1932 in Waxahachie, Texas, USA as Robert Douglas Benton. He is a writer and director, known for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Superman (1978).

1979 Kramer vs. Kramer - Winner 1984 Places in the Heart - Nominated * 1994 Nobody's Fool 2003 The Human Stain

19. Bruce Beresford

Director | 'Breaker' Morant

Bruce Beresford was born in Australia and graduated from Sydney University in 1962. He served as Film Officer for the British Film Institute Production Board from 1966-1971 and as a Film Advisor to the Arts Council of Great Britain. Beresford has also directed several operas including Girl Of The ...

1983 Tender Mercies - Nominated 1989 Driving Miss Daisy * 1999 Double Jeopardy

20. Ingmar Bergman

Writer | Smultronstället

Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, Den goda viljan (1992) is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Enskilda samtal (1996) is the trilogy ...

1957 The Seventh Seal * 1978 Autumn Sonata

21. Bernardo Bertolucci

Writer | The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films were known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone (1961) and directed La commare secca (...

1987 The Last Emperor - Winner *

22. Kathryn Bigelow

Director | The Hurt Locker

A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...

1995 Strange Days * 2008 The Hurt Locker - Winner

23. Peter Bogdanovich

Director | The Last Picture Show

Peter Bogdanovich was conceived in Europe but born in Kingston, New York. He is the son of immigrants fleeing the Nazis, Herma (Robinson) and Borislav Bogdanovich, a painter and pianist. His father was a Serbian Orthodox Christian, and his mother was from a rich Austrian Jewish family. Peter ...

1971 The Last Picture Show - Nominated * 1973 Paper Moon 1985 Mask 1992 Noises Off 2001 The Cat's Meow

24. John Boorman

Producer | Excalibur

John Boorman attended Catholic school (Salesian Order) although his family was not, in fact, Roman Catholic. His first job was for a dry-cleaner. Later, he worked as a critic for a women's journal and for a radio station until he entered the television business, working for the BBC in Bristol. ...

1972 Deliverance - Nominated * 2001 The Tailor of Panama

25. 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, ...

26. Danny Boyle

Director | 127 Hours

Danny Boyle was born on October 20, 1956 in Manchester, England as Daniel Boyle. He is a director and producer, known for 127 Hours (2010), 28 Days Later... (2002) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

1994 Shallow Grave 1996 Trainspottting 2000 The Beach 2008 Slumdog Millionaire - Winner 2010 127 Hours *

27. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Henry V

Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...

1991 Dead Again *

28. Herbert Brenon

Director | Beau Geste

Herbert Brenon was born on January 13, 1880 in Dublin, Ireland, UK as Alexander Herbert Reginald St. John Brenon. He was a director and writer, known for Beau Geste (1926), Ivanhoe de kampvechter (1913) and Sorrell and Son (1927). He was married to Mrs. Herbert Brenon. He died on June 21, 1958 in ...

29. Martin Brest

Director | Scent of a Woman

Martin Brest was born on August 8, 1951 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Scent of a Woman (1992), Midnight Run (1988) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984).

1979 Going in Style 1984 Beverly Hills Cop 1992 Scent of a Woman - Nominated * 1998 Meet Joe Black

30. James L. Brooks

Writer | As Good as It Gets

James L. Brooks was born on May 9, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as James Lawrence Brooks. He is a writer and producer, known for As Good as It Gets (1997), Terms of Endearment (1983) and Broadcast News (1987). He was previously married to Holly Holmberg Brooks and Marianne Catherine Morrissey.

1983 Terms of Endearment - Winner 1987 Broadcast News 1994 I'll Do Anything 1997 As Good As It Gets * 2010 How Do You Know

31. Richard Brooks

Writer | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Richard Brooks was an Academy Award-winning film writer who also earned six Oscar nominations and achieved success as a film director and producer.

He was born Ruben Sax on May 18, 1912, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants. He graduated from West Philadelphia HS...

1955 Blackboard Jungle * 1958 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Nominated 1960 Elmer Gantry 1967 In Cold Blood - Nominated

32. 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 ...

33. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

1984 The Terminator 1986 Aliens 1991 Terminator 2 Judgment Day 1997 Titanic - Winner * 2009 Avatar - Nominated

34. Jane Campion

Writer | The Piano

Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early...

1993 The Piano - Nominated *

35. 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 ...

1934 It Happened One Night - Winner 1938 You Can't Take It With You - Winner 1939 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - Nominated 1944 Arsenic and Old Lace 1946 It's a Wonderful Life - Nominated *

36. Jack Cardiff

Director | Sons and Lovers

Almost universally considered one of the greatest cinematographers of all time, Jack Cardiff was also a notable director. He described his childhood as very happy and his parents as quite loving. They performed in music hall as comedians, so he grew up with the fun that came with their theatrical ...

37. John Cassavetes

Actor | Love Streams

John Cassavetes was born on December 9, 1929 in New York City, New York, USA as John Nicholas Cassavetes. He was an actor and director, known for Love Streams (1984), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). He was married to Gena Rowlands. He died on February 3, 1989 in Los ...

1974 A Woman Under the Influence - Nominated *

38. Peter Cattaneo

Director | The Full Monty

Peter Cattaneo was born on July 1, 1964 in Twickenham, London, England. He is a director and writer, known for The Full Monty (1997), Opal Dream (2006) and The Rocker (2008).

1997 The Full Monty - Nominated * 2008 The Rocker

39. Damien Chazelle

Writer | La La Land

Damien Sayre Chazelle is an American director and screenwriter. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island. His mother, Celia Sayre (Martin) Chazelle, is an American-Canadian writer and professor of history at The College of New Jersey. His father, Bernard Chazelle, is a French-American Eugene Higgins...

2014 Whiplash * 2016 La La Land - Winner

40. Michael Cimino

Writer | The Deer Hunter

Michael Cimino studied architecture and dramatic arts; later he filmed advertisements and documentaries and also wrote scripts until the actor, producer and director Clint Eastwood gave him the opportunity to direct the thriller Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974). But his biggest success was The Deer...

1974 Thunderbolt and Lightfoot 1978 The Deer Hunter - Winner *

41. Jack Clayton

Producer | The Innocents

Jack Clayton was born on March 1, 1921 in Brighton, East Sussex, England. He was a producer and director, known for The Innocents (1961), Screen Two (1985) and The Bespoke Overcoat (1955). He was married to Haya Harareet, Katherine Kath and Christine Norden. He died on February 26, 1995 in Slough, ...

42. George Clooney

Actor | Michael Clayton

George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and television host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). He has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Clooney ...

2002 Confessions of a Dangerous Mind *

43. Ethan Coen

Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Ethan Coen was born on September 21, 1957 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Ethan Jesse Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), A Serious Man (2009) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He has been married to Tricia Cooke since October 2, 1990. They have two ...

2004 The Ladykillers 2009 A Serious Man * 2010 True Grit - Nominated

44. 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 A Serious Man (2009). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.

1991 Barton Fink 1994 The Hudsucker Proxy 1996 Fargo - Nominated * 1998 The Big Lebowski 2000 O Brother Where Art Thou?

45. 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 ...

1972 The Godfather - Nominated * 1974 The Godfather Part II - Winner 1979 Apocalypse Now - Nominated 1986 Peggy Sue Got Married 1997 The Rainmaker

46. Sofia Coppola

Director | Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...

1999 The Virgin Suicides 2003 Lost in Translation - Nominated * 2006 Marie Antoinette

47. Costa-Gavras

Director | Missing

Costa-Gavras was born on February 12, 1933 in Loutra-Iraias, Greece as Konstantinos Gavras. He is a director and writer, known for Missing (1982), Z (1969) and Amen. (2002). He has been married to Michèle Ray-Gavras since 1968. They have two children.

1982 Missing 1989 Music Box * 1997 Mad City

48. Kevin Costner

Actor | The Postman

Kevin Michael Costner was born on January 18, 1955 in Lynwood, California, the third child of Bill Costner, a ditch digger and ultimately an electric line servicer for Southern California Edison, and Sharon Costner (née Tedrick), a welfare worker. His older brother, Dan, was born in 1950. A middle ...

1990 Dances with Wolves - Winner *

49. Charles Crichton

Director | A Fish Called Wanda

Director Charles Crichton's film career began as an editor in 1935 with Alexander Korda's London Films, and in that capacity he worked on such productions as Sanders of the River (1935), Things to Come (1936) and Elephant Boy (1937) (which introduced Sabu to movie audiences). He soon left London ...

1988 A Fish Called Wanda - Nominated *

50. Alfonso Cuarón

Writer | Gravity

Alfonso Cuarón Orozco was born on November 28th in Mexico City, Mexico. From an early age, he yearned to be either a film director or an astronaut. However, he did not want to enter the army, so he settled for directing. He didn't receive his first camera until his twelfth birthday, and then ...

2001 Y Tu Mama Tambien 2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban * 2006 Children of Men

51. 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), De bronzen godin (1940) and Les Girls (1957). He died on January 24, 1983 in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, California, USA.

1940 The Philadelphia Story - Nominated 1944 Gaslight 1950 Born Yesterday - Nominated * 1957 Wild is the Wind

52. Irving Cummings

Director | Curly Top

New York-born Irving Cummings began his career as an actor on the Broadway stage in his late teens, and appeared with the legendary Lillian Russell's company. He entered films in 1909 as an actor, and became a very popular leading man in the early 1920s. He began directing at around that time, ...

53. 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...

1942 Casablanca - Winner 1942 Yankee Doodle Dandy - Nominated *

54. Stephen Daldry

Director | The Hours

In 1989, Stephen Daldry worked as a freelance reader of unsolicited manuscripts for Literary Manager Nicholas Wright in the Scripts Department at the Royal National Theatre. In July of that year, he directed a Dadaist/expressionist production of "Judgement Day," a play by Odon von Horvath, at the ...

2002 The Hours - Nominated * 2008 The Reader - Nominated

55. Lee Daniels

Producer | Precious

Lee Daniels gave his parents an early Christmas present when he entered the world on December 24, 1959; unfortunately, the Philadelphia native was to have a difficult relationship with his police officer father who later reacted violently to his son's sexuality. Despite the brutality of his ...

2009 Precious - Nominated * 2013 The Butler

56. Jules Dassin

Director | Pote tin Kyriaki

Jules Dassin was an Academy Award-nominated director, screenwriter and actor best known for his films Du rififi chez les hommes (1955), Pote tin Kyriaki (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 ...

57. Guillermo del Toro

Writer | El laberinto del fauno

Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist (1973)) and worked on making his ...

2004 Hellboy 2006 Pan's Labyrinth * 2017 The Shape of Water - Winner

58. Cecil B. DeMille

Producer | The Ten Commandments

His parents Henry C. DeMille and Beatrice DeMille were playwrights. His father died when he was 12, and his mother supported the family by opening a school for girls and a theatrical company. Too young to enlist in the Spanish-American War, Cecil followed his brother William C. de Mille to the New ...

1952 The Greatest Show on Earth - Nominated 1956 The Ten Commandments *

59. Jonathan Demme

Director | The Silence of the Lambs

Jonathan Demme was born on February 22, 1944 in Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA as Robert Jonathan Demme. He was a director and producer, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Philadelphia (1993) and Rachel Getting Married (2008). He was married to Joanne Howard and Evelyn Purcell. He died...

1980 Melvin and Howard 1984 Swing Shift 1991 The Silence of the Lambs - Winner * 1993 Philadelphia 2008 Rachel Getting Married

60. 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 ...

1937 The Life of Emile Zola - Nominated *

61. Edward Dmytryk

Director | Crossfire

Edward Dmytryk grew up in San Francisco, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. After his mother died when he was 6, his strict disciplinarian father beat the boy frequently, and the child began running away while in his early teens. Eventually, juvenile authorities allowed him to live alone at the age ...

62. 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...

1990 White Hunter Black Heart 1992 Unforgiven - Winner * 1995 The Bridges of Madison County 2008 Changeling 2008 Gran Torino

63. Atom Egoyan

Director | The Sweet Hereafter

Born in Egypt to Armenian parents, he was raised in Western Canada. Both his parents were painters, and he planned to be a playwright, but after making a short film, he became hooked on telling stories visually. Returned to ethnic "homeland" when he filmed Calendar (1993) in Armenia. Won attention ...

1997 The Sweet Hereafter - Nominated *

64. John Farrow

Writer | Around the World in 80 Days

John Farrow wrote short stories and plays during his four-year career in the navy. In the late 1920s he came to Hollywood as a technical advisor for a film about Marines and stayed as a screenwriter, from A Sailor's Sweetheart (1927) through Tarzan Escapes (1936). He married Tarzan's Jane, Maureen ...

65. 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 ...

66. Mike Figgis

Director | Leaving Las Vegas

Mike Figgis was born on February 28, 1948 in Carlisle, Cumberland, England as Michael Figgis. He is a director and writer, known for Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Stormy Monday (1988) and Timecode (2000).

1995 Leaving Las Vegas - Nominated *

67. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...

1995 Seven 1999 Fight Club * 2007 Zodiac 2008 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Nominated 2014 Gone Girl

68. 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 ...

1939 Gone with the Wind - Winner 1939 The Wizard of Oz * 1941 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

69. 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, ...

1940 The Grapes of Wrath - Winner * 1955 Mister Roberts 1962 How the West Was Won

70. Milos Forman

Director | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Milos Forman was born Jan Tomas Forman in Caslav, Czechoslovakia, to Anna (Svabova), who ran a summer hotel, and Rudolf Forman, a professor. During World War II, his parents were taken away by the Nazis, after being accused of participating in the underground resistance. His father died in ...

1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Winner * 1984 Amadeus - Winner 1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt - Nominated 1999 Man on the Moon

71. Bob Fosse

Director | Cabaret

Bob Fosse was born on June 23, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Robert Louis Fosse. He is known for his work on Cabaret (1972), All That Jazz (1979) and Lenny (1974). He was married to Gwen Verdon, Joan McCracken and Mary Ann Niles. He died on September 23, 1987 in Washington, District of Columbia...

1972 Cabaret - Winner * 1974 Lenny - Nominated 1979 All That Jazz - Nominated

72. 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 ...

73. 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 ...

2000 High Fidelity 2002 Dirty Pretty Things * 2013 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight 2013 Philomena 2016 Florence Foster Jenkins

74. William Friedkin

Director | The French Connection

Friedkin's mother was an operating room nurse. His father was a merchant seaman, semi-pro softball player and ultimately sold clothes in a men's discount chain. Ultimately, his father never earned more than $50/week in his whole life and died indigent. Eventually young Will became infatuated with ...

1973 The Exorcist - Nominated * 2006 Bug

75. Pietro Germi

Writer | Un maledetto imbroglio

Pietro Germi was born on September 14, 1914 in Genoa, Liguria, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Un maledetto imbroglio (1959), Il ferroviere (1956) and Signore & signori (1966). He was married to Olga D'Aiello and Anna Bancio. He died on December 5, 1974 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

76. Greta Gerwig

Writer | Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig is an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, and director. She has collaborated with Noah Baumbach on several films, including Greenberg (2010), Frances Ha (2012), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination, and Mistress America (2015). Gerwig made her solo directorial debut ...

2017 Lady Bird - Nominated *

77. Mel Gibson

Actor | Braveheart

Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is ...

1993 The Man Without a Face 1995 Braveheart - Winner 2016 Hacksaw Ridge - Nominated *

78. Tony Gilroy

Writer | Michael Clayton

Tony Gilroy was born in Manhattan, New York, New York, USA; and raised in upstate New York. His father, Frank D. Gilroy, was a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, director, and screenwriter. Tony has penned many films, including The Devil's Advocate (1997) and The Cutting Edge (1992).

2007 Michael Clayton - Nominated *

79. Peter Glenville

Director | Term of Trial

A talented actor and distinguished stage director, Peter Glenville was the son of Shaun Glenville, the British music hall artist and noted pantomime dame. Born in London Glenville was educated at the Jesuit's Stonyhurst College where he appeared in a production of Hamlet in the 1930s where he was ...

1961 Summer and Smoke *

80. Paul Greengrass

Director | United 93

Paul Greengrass started his filmmaking career with a super 8 camera he found in his art room in secondary school. Those short movies were animation horror films he made using old dolls, artist dummies, and the general art room clutter.

After studying in Cambridge University he got into Granada ...

2006 United 93 - Nominated 2013 Captain Phillips *

81. Taylor Hackford

Producer | Ray

Taylor Hackford was born on December 31, 1944 in Santa Barbara, California, USA as Taylor Edwin Hackford. He is a producer and director, known for Ray (2004), Bound by Honor (1993) and Dolores Claiborne (1995). He has been married to Helen Mirren since December 31, 1997. He was previously married ...

1982 An Officer and a Gentleman 1995 Dolores Claiborne 1997 The Devil's Advocate 2004 Ray - Nominated *

82. Paul Haggis

Writer | Crash

Paul Haggis established himself over twenty years with an extensive career in television, before his big break into features arrived when he became the first screenwriter to garner two Best Film Academy Awards back-to-back for his scripts: "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, ...

83. Alexander Hall

Director | Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Making his stage debut in 1898 at age four, Alexander Hall entered films in 1914 as an actor. Leaving the film industry to serve in the American army in World War I, he returned from military service in 1917 and re-entered the business, but this time as an editor and assistant director. He made his...

84. Lasse Hallström

Director | What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Lasse Hallström was born on June 2, 1946 in Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden as Lars Hallström. He is a director and writer, known for What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Chocolat (2000) and Mitt liv som hund (1985). He has been married to Lena Olin since March 18, 1994. They have one child. He ...

1993 What's Eating Gilbert Grape * 1999 The Cider House Rules - Nominated 2000 Chocolat 2005 Casanova 2009 Hachi: A Dog's Tale

85. Michael Haneke

Writer | Caché

A true master of his craft, Michael Haneke is one of the greatest film artists working today and one who challenges his viewers each year and work goes by, with films that reflect real portions of life in realistic, disturbing and unforgettable ways. One of the most genuine filmmakers of the world ...

86. Curtis Hanson

Director | L.A. Confidential

After small films like The Bedroom Window (1987) and Sweet Kill (1972), Curtis Hanson went on to direct major features including The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), The River Wild (1994) and the Academy Award-winning L.A. Confidential (1997). Setting his sights on another city, Hanson was ...

1990 Bad Influence 2000 Wonder Boys * 2005 In Her Shoes

87. Anthony Harvey

Director | The Lion in Winter

Anthony Harvey was born on June 3, 1930 in London, England as Anthony Harrison. He was an editor and director, known for Leeuw in de winter (1968), Lolita (1962) and Dutchman (1966). He died on November 23, 2017 in Southampton, New York, USA.

88. 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...

1948 Call Northside 777 1953 Niagara * 1962 How the West Was Won 1969 True Grit

89. Howard Hawks

Director | Rio Bravo

What do the classic films Scarface (1932), Twentieth Century (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Alleen engelen hebben vleugels (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)...

1934 Twentieth Century * 1940 His Girl Friday 1949 I Was a Male War Bride 1952 Monkey Business 1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

90. Michel Hazanavicius

Writer | The Artist

Michel Hazanavicius was born and raised in Paris, France. His grandparents were originally from Lithuania, but relocated to France in the 1920s. Hazanavicius attended art school, and moved on to work as a director for commercials and television projects. In 1999, he wrote and directed his first ...

2011 The Artist - Winner *

91. Buck Henry

Writer | The Graduate

Buck Henry was born on December 9, 1930 in New York City, New York, USA as Buck Henry Zuckerman. He is a writer and actor, known for The Graduate (1967), Catch-22 (1970) and Get Smart (1965). He is married to Sally.

92. Scott Hicks

Director | Shine

Hicks was born in Uganda and lived in Kenya, just outside Nairobi, until the age of ten. His family then moved, first to England and, when he was 14, on to Adelaide, Australia. Hicks graduated from Flinders University of South Australia (BA Honors) in 1975 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in ...

1996 Shine - Nominated * 2001 Hearts in Atlantis

93. George Roy Hill

Director | The Sting

George Roy Hill was never able to 'hit it off' with the critics despite the fact that 2 of his films - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and The Sting (1973) - had remained among the top 10 box office hits by 1976. His work was frequently derided as 'impersonal' or lacking in stylistic ...

1969 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Nominated 1973 The Sting - Winner *

94. Arthur Hiller

Director | Love Story

Arthur Hiller was born on November 22, 1923 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He was a director and producer, known for Love Story (1970), The Hospital (1971) and See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989). He was married to Gwen Hiller. He died on August 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

1970 Love Story - Nominated 1971 Plaza Suite 1976 Silver Streak * 1982 Author! Author! 1989 See No Evil, Hear No Evil

95. 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 ...

1940 Rebecca - Nominated 1944 Lifeboat - Nominated 1948 Rope 1951 Strangers on a Train * 1959 North by Northwest

96. Tom Hooper

Director | The Danish Girl

Tom Hooper was educated at one of England's most prestigious schools, Westminster. His first film, Runaway Dog, was made when he was 13 years old and shot on a Clockwork 16mm Bolex camera, using 100 feet of film. At age 18, he wrote, directed and produced the short film Painted Faces (1992), which ...

2010 The King's Speech - Winner * 2012 Les Miserables 2015 The Danish Girl

97. Ron Howard

Actor | Arrested Development

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Apollo 13 (1995) to the hit comedies Parenthood (1989) and Splash (1984), he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films.

Howard ...

1984 Splash 1985 Cocoon 1989 Parenthood * 1992 Far and Away 2008 Frost / Nixon - Nominated

98. Hugh Hudson

Director | Chariots of Fire

Hugh Hudson was born on August 25, 1936 in London, England. He is a director and producer, known for Chariots of Fire (1981), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) and The Tortoise and the Hare (1966). He has been married to Maryam d'Abo since November 2003. He was previously ...

1981 Chariots of Fire - Nominated *

99. 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,...

1948 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - Winner * 1951 The African Queen - Nominated 1975 The Man Who Would Be King 1982 Annie 1985 Prizzi's Honor - Nominated

100. Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Producer | The Revenant

Alejandro González Iñárritu (ih-nyar-ee-too), born August 15th, 1963, is a Mexican film director.

González Iñárritu is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and by the Directors Guild of America for Best Director. He is also the first Mexican-born ...

2000 Amores Perros * 2006 Babel - Nominated 2010 Biutiful 2015 The Revenant - Winner



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