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The Best American Directors of All Time

Table of Contents

American directors have always been divided between the greats film studios in Hollywood and from work in small productions of independent films. American filmmakers have had a major impact on the international film market since the early 20th century. The dominant style of American cinema is the classic Hollywood cinema, and is still common to many films made to date. While the French Auguste and Louis Lumière are usually credited with birthing modern cinema, American filmmakers became a dominant force in the market.

Actually most of the innovations, inventors and artists were in Europe, mainly in France. The productions of the United States have been able to import what already existed in an industrial system, in which cinema has lost the inclination to become art to become a product of mass entertainment, capable of creating fashions and lifestyles, entertainment and forms of thought guided by careful commercial planning where the producer and the studio are the ones who have the decision-making power.

In mainstream cinema, the American director is just a cog in a large production machine, comparable to a simple employee executing the project. Even directors who have had great commercial success and great decision-making autonomy are unable to realize their most personal projects that are not in line with the logic of profit, as for example happened to Alfred Hitchcock for the film Psycho.

As a reaction to the dominant film industry, American directors who have worked in independent cinema have been and continue to be very numerous. Independent films play an important part and enjoy the possibility of having budgets that in other countries would be considered impossible. Most of these independent films, however, have only an independence and are produced by subsidiary companies of the big studios dedicated to creating products for the niche audience of moviegoers.

American Directors and Hollywood


Hollywood has produced the third-largest variety of films of any domestic cinema, after India and China, with more than 600 English-language films typically released each year. Even though the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand produce films in the same language, they are not part of the Hollywood system. Hollywood was conceived as a multinational cinema, and has produced numerous linguistic variations of some titles, often in French or Spanish. Contemporary Hollywood often outsources production to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Hollywood is thought to have been the first film market, in the sense of being where the first film studios and production businesses emerged. It is the birthplace of numerous genres of cinema – including comedy, drama, action, music, romance, horror, sci-fi and warfare – and has effectively set the example for other national film markets.

The United States produced the world’s first synchronized sound musical film, The Jazz Singer, in 1927, and for the next several years has been at the forefront of the progress of sound film. In the early 20th century, the US film market was mainly based in the Hollywood area, Los Angeles, California. American director DW Griffith developed the film language. Citizen Kane (1941) by the American director Orson Welles is often referred to in critics’ polls as the best movie of all time. The major studios in Hollywood are the main source of the most commercial films in the world. Most Hollywood films that have grossed more at the box office outside the United States than films made in other places.

The most famous filmmakers who were not born in the United States, or who did not have their childhood in the United States, are not included in this list. Many filmmakers considered “American” were actually immigrants from other countries in their youth or adulthood. They were able to carry out large and expensive projects in America that were not feasible in their home countries. They had the opportunity to work with famous actors, receiving large fees for each film, but most of them soon came into conflict with the Hollywood production system, returning to their home country where they had made their arthouse films. The avant-garde films made with low budgets in Europe, in fact, remain their most important and considered fundamental works in the history of cinema. Standard production procedures and an all-star cast often created commercial successes but were not sufficient to make meaningful films.


Edwin S. Porter


Edwin Stanton Porter, born in 1870, was an American director, also very popular as a producer and director of photography with the Edison Manufacturing Company and the Famous Players Film Company. Of the more than 250 films produced by Porter, his essential film consists of: What Happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City, (1901); Jack and the Beanstalk (1902); Life of an American Fireman (1903); The Great Train Robbery (1903); The European Rest Cure (1904); The Kleptomaniac (1905); Life of a Cowboy (1906); Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest (1908); The Prisoner of Zenda (1913).

DW Griffith


David Griffith, born January 22, 1875, was an American film director considered among the most important figures of the history of cinema, gave rise to many elements of film montage and expanded the art of narrative film. Griffith is best known to modern audiences for directing the film The Birth of a Nation (1915), which earned its producers huge profits, but also attracted much debate for its anti-Semitic views and degrading depictions of African Americans, its glorification of the Ku Klux Klan and its racist perspective. The film caused riots in a number of major cities across the United States, and the NAACP sought to have the film banned. Griffith made his next film Intolerance (1916) as a response to critics, who he felt unfairly insulted his work.

Fred Niblo


Fred Niblo, born January 6, 1874, was an American director, producer and actor. He began his career in show business performing in vaudeville and live theater. After more than 20 years of live monologue performances, during which he traveled extensively around the world, he worked in Australia from 1912 to 1915, where he relied on the burgeoning film industry and made his first films 2.

Robert J. Flaherty


Robert Flaherty, born February 16, 1884, was an American filmmaker who directed and produced the first commercially effective feature-length documentary, Nanook of the North (1922). He continued to create new narrative documentaries with Moana (1926), set in the South Seas, and Man of Aran (1934), shot in Ireland’s Aran Islands. Flaherty is considered the “father” of both documentary and ethnographic film.


Buster Keaton


Buster Keaton, born October 4, 1895, was an American actor, comedian, and director. He is best known for his silent film work, featuring physical gags accompanied by a stoic, deadpan expression which has earned him the label of “The Great Stone Face”. Recognized among the greatest film directors, is among the timeless actors of Hollywood cinema.

King Vidor


King Wallis Vidor, born February 8, 1894, was an American director, also film producer and screenwriter, whose 67-year film career spanned the sound and silent periods. His works are distinguished by a bright and thoughtful depiction of modern social problems. An auteur director, Vidor approached numerous genres and allowed subject matter to define style, often pushing the boundaries of cinematic convention.

Howard Hawks


Howard Hawks, born May 30, 1896, was an American director, producer and screenwriter of Hollywood’s Golden Age. A flexible director, Hawks has directed numerous categories such as comedies, dramas, gangster films, science fiction, film noir, war films and westerns. His most famous films are Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Thing From Another World (1951), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Rio Bravo (1959). Her depictions of strong, fast-talking female characters define the “Hawksian woman.”

Mervyn LeRoy


Mervyn Leroy, born October 15, 1900, was an American film director. In his youth he acted in vaudeville films as well as in comedy films. Throughout the 1930s, LeRoy was between two specialists in efficient and inexpensive film directing at Warner Brothers studios, the other being his friend Michael Curtiz. LeRoy’s many well-known films from his time at Warners include Little Caesar (1931), I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932), Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), and They Won’t Forget (1937). LeRoy moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1939 to serve as both director and producer. Perhaps his most significant achievement as a producer is the timeless 1939 The Wizard of Oz, on which he was also credited as director.

Ernest B. Schoedsack


Ernest Beaumont Schoedsack, born on June 8, 1893, was an American cinematographer, director and film producer. He has worked on a number of films with Merian C. Cooper, including King Kong, Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness and The Most Dangerous Game.

John Cromwell


John Cromwell, born December 23, 1886, was an American film director and actor. His films spanned the early days from silent to film noir in the early 1950s, by which time his filmmaking profession had all but gone off the Hollywood blacklist.

William Cameron Menzies


William Cameron Menzies, born July 29, 1896, was an American film production designer and art director, as well as a film director and producer. He began his career during the silent era and later started using color in films with significant results.

Victor Fleming


Victor Lonzo Fleming, born February 23, 1889, was an American cinematographer, producer and director. His most famous films were Gone with the Wind, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director, and The Wizard of Oz, both from 1939. Fleming has these 2 films noted in the top 10 of American Film’s Top 100 list Institute of 2007 of the AFI.

George Stevens


George Cooper Stevens, born December 18, 1904, was an American film director, producer, cinematographer and screenwriter. The films he has produced have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture 6 times while he has had 5 Best Director nominations, winning twice. Among his most significant films are Swing Time (1936 ), Gunga Din (1939) and the 5 films for which he was chosen as best director: The More the Merrier (1943 ); A Place in the Sun (1951), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director; Shane (1953), Giant (1956), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director, and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959).


George Cukor


George Dewey Cukor, born July 7, 1899, was an American film director and producer. He generally focused on comedies and literary adaptations. His profession grew at RKO when David O. Selznick, the studio’s head of production, appointed Cukor to direct many of RKO’s significant films, including What Price Hollywood? (1932), A Bill of Divorcement (1932), Our Betters (1933) and Little Women (1933). When Selznick moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1933, Cukor directed and directed Dinner at Eight (1933) and David Copperfield (1935) for Selznick, and Romeo and Juliet (1936) and Camille (1936) for Irving Thalberg.

Orson Welles


Orson Welles, born May 6, 1915, was an American actor, screenwriter, producer and director, known for his brilliant work in theatre, radio and film. It is thought to be among the best and most important directors ever. His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is regularly ranked as one of the best films ever made and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred as the title character, Charles Foster Kane. Welles directed twelve other films, most notably The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1966) and F. for Fake (1973). His unique directorial style includes non-linear and layered storytelling, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, radio sound effects, deep angles and long takes. He has been called “the supreme author”.

Sam Wood


Samuel Grosvenor Wood, born July 10, 1883, was an American film director and producer best known for directing such Hollywood blockbusters as A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Pride of the Yankees and For Whom the Bell Tolls and for his uncredited work directing portions of Gone with the Wind. As a young man, Wood developed an interest in fitness that continued through the years and influenced his interest in making sports-themed films. In the 1940s, at the height of his abilities, he made such films as Kings Row (1942) and Ivy (1947).

Vincente Minnelli


Vincente Minelli, born February 28, 1903, was an American film director. He directed the timeless film musicals Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), An American in Paris (1951), The Band Wagon (1953) and Gigi (1958). An American in Paris and Gigi both won the Academy Award for Best Picture, with Minnelli winning Best Director for Gigi. In addition to having actually directed some of the most popular musicals of his day, Minnelli made comedies and melodramas. He was married to Judy Garland from 1945 to 1951. His daughter is Liza Minelli.

Frank Capra


Frank Capra, born May 18, 1897, was an Italian-born American director, author and producer who went on to make some of the most acclaimed films of the 1940s and 1930s. Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles from the age of 5, his success story has led film historians to consider him the “American dream itself”. Capra became America’s leading director in the 1930s, winning 3 Academy Awards for Best Director in 6 nominations, as well as 3 other Academy Awards in 9 other categories. Among his major films were It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can’t Take It with You (1938), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). During World War II, Capra served in the US Army Signal Corps and produced propaganda films, such as the Why We Fight series.

William A. Wellman


William Augustus Wellman, born February 29, 1896, was an American film director best known for his work in crime films and action films, often centered around the theme of air travel. He has similarly directed a number of highly regarded satirical comedy films. Beginning his film career as an actor, he went on to direct over 80 films, sometimes co-credited as a producer. In 1927, Wellman directed Wings, which ended up being the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture at the first Academy Awards event.

Robert Rossen


Robert Rossen, born March 16, 1908, was an American film writer, director, and producer. His 1949 film All the King’s Men won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, while Rossen was singled out for an Academy Award for Best Director. It won the Golden Globe for Best Director and the film won the Golden Globe for Best Picture. In 1961, he directed The Hustler, which was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 2.

Raoul Walsh


Raoul Walsh, born March 11, 1887, was an American director, actor, founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and brother of movie star George Walsch. He was known for playing John Wilkes Booth in the silent film The Birth of a Nation (1915) and directing such films as the legendary The Big Trail (1930) with John Wayne in his first starring role, The Roaring Twenties with James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart, High Sierra (1941) with Ida Lupino and Humphrey Bogart, and White Heat (1949) with James Cagney and Edmond O’Brien. He directed his last film in 1964. His work has been considered to have an impact on directors such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jack Hill, and Martin Scorsese.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz


Joseph Leo Mankiewicz, born February 11, 1909, was an American film producer, screenwriter, and director. Mankiewicz had a long career in Hollywood and won both the Academy Award for Best Director and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in later years for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950), the the latter of which was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won 6. Comfortable in a wide range of categories and able to generate well-performed roles from famous actors and little-known actors alike, Mankiewicz integrated paradoxical and complex scripts with an accurate, in some cases elegant mise en scène.

Stanley Donen


Stanley Donen, born April 13, 1924, was an American director and choreographer whose most famous works are On the Town, (1949) and Singin’ in the Rain (1952), both co-directed with Gene Kelly. His other films are Royal Wedding (1951), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), It’s Always Fair Weather (1955), Funny Face (1957), Indiscreet (1958) and Charade (1963).

Anthony Mann


Anthony Mann, born June 30, 1906, was an American director and actor. Mann first started out as a stage star appearing in various productions. In 1937, he moved to Hollywood where he worked as a talent scout and casting director. He then ended up becoming an assistant director, mostly working for Preston Sturges. His directorial launch was Dr. Broadway (1942). He has directed numerous feature films for many production companies, including RKO Pictures, Eagle-Lion Films, Universal Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His first really significant success was T-Men (1947), which garnered significant recognition in the category of film noir through low spending plans and short shooting schedules. As a director, he often worked with cinematographer John Alton.

Richard Fleischer


Richard O. Fleischer, born December 8, 1916, was an American film director from the height of Hollywood’s Golden Age to the American New Wave. He has directed films in many categories and themes, he is best known for his big budget films, which consist of: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), The Vikings (1958), Barabbas (1961 ), Fantastic Voyage (1966 ), the musical film Doctor Dolittle (1967 ), the impressive war film Tora! Torah! Torah! (1970), the dystopian thriller Soylent Green (1973), the historical drama Mandingo (1975), and Robert E. Howard’s sword-and-sorcery films Conan the Destroyer (1984) and Red Sonja (1985).

Elia Kazan


Elia Kazan, born September 7, 1909, was an American film and theater director, actor, producer and writer of films, defined by The New York Times as “among the most important directors in the history of Broadway and Hollywood”. Born in Constantinople (now Istanbul), to Greek parents from Cappadocia, his family moved back to the United States in 1913. After attending Williams College and then the Yale School of Drama, he acted for 8 years, later enrolling in the Group Theater in 1932 and co-founded the Actors Studio in 1947. With Robert Lewis and Cheryl Crawford, his actors’ studio presented “Method Acting” under the instruction of Lee Strasberg. Kazan starred in a couple of films, including City for Conquest (1940).


Nicholas Ray


Nicholas Ray, born August 7, 1911, was an American film star, director and screenwriter best known for the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause. He is credited with many narrative works produced between 1947 and 1963, including They Live By Night, In A Lonely Place, Johnny Guitar and Bigger Than Life, as well as a work produced in the 1970s entitled We Can’t Go Home Again, which was incomplete at the time of Ray’s death. Ray’s shots within the CinemaScope frame and use of color are particularly popular and had an essential impact on the French New Wave, with Jean-Luc Godard famously writing: “…there is the cinema. And cinema is Nicholas Ray.”

Robert Aldrich


Robert Burgess Aldrich, born August 9, 1918, was an American film writer, director, and producer. His significant films are Vera Cruz (1954), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), The Big Knife (1955), Autumn Leaves (1956), Attack (1956), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962 ), Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964 ), Flight of the Phoenix (1965 ), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and The Longest Yard (1974 ).

John Ford


John Martin Feeney, born February 1, 1894, known as John Ford, was an American film director and naval officer, master of the western movie. He is as famous for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) as well as adaptations of mainstream 20th-century American books such as The Grapes of Wrath (1940). He received 6 Academy Awards, including a record 4 wins for Best Director. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Ford directed more than 140 films, but most of his silent films are lost. Ford is regarded as one of the most important and essential filmmakers of his generation. Ford’s work was held in high regard by his colleagues, with Akira Kurosawa, Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman among those who defined him among the best directors of eternity.

Cecil B. DeMille


Cecil DeMille, born on August 12, 1881, was an American film producer, actor and director. Between 1914 and 1958, he made 70 films, both sound and silent films. He is recognized as one of the founding fathers of American cinema and the most commercially successful producer-director in motion picture history. His films were distinguished by their impressive scale and cinematic spectacularity. His silent films consisted of social dramas, westerns, farces, morality comedies and historical reenactments. He was an active Freemason and a member of the Prince of Orange Lodge in New York City.

Billy Wilder


Billy Wilder, born June 22, 1906, was an Austrian-American film director. His Hollywood career spanned 50 years and he is regarded as one of the most flexible and brilliant directors of classic Hollywood cinema. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director 8 times, winning twice, and for Screenplay for a Motion Picture 13 times, winning 3 times. Wilder ended up becoming a screenwriter while residing in Berlin. The growth of the Nazi Party and anti-Semitism in Germany saw him move to Paris. He then moved to Hollywood in 1933 and had significant success when he, Charles Brackett and Walter Reisch composed the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated film Ninotchka (1939). Wilder earned his first Best Director Oscar election with the noir film adaptation of the original Double Indemnity (1944), for which he co-wrote the film screenplay with Raymond Chandler. Wilder won the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Screenplay for the film adaptation of the original The Lost Weekend (1945), which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Edward Dmytryk


Edward Dmytryk, born September 4, 1908, was an American film director. He was known for his film noirs of the 1940s and won an Oscar election for best director for Crossfire (1947). In 1947, he was listed as one of the Hollywood Ten, a group of blacklisted film professionals who refused to testify to the McCarthy-era National Un-American Activities Committee. All served prison terms for contempt of Congress. In 1951, however, Dmytryk testified to HUAC and called people, such as Arnold Manoff, whose careers were then marred for several years, to restore their profession. Employed again by independent producer Stanley Kramer in 1952, Dmytryk is probably best known for directing Caine Mutiny (1954), a major success, which was nominated for Best Picture and several other awards at the 1955 Academy Awards. Dmytryk was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.

Robert Wise


Robert Wise, born September 10, 1914, was an American film editor, director and producer. He won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture for his musical films West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965). He was similarly singled out for Best Film Editing for Citizen Kane (1941) and directed and produced The Sand Pebbles (1966), which was singled out for Best Picture. His other films include The Body Snatcher (1945), Born to Kill (1947), The Set-Up (1949), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Destination Gobi (1953), This Could Be The Night (1957). ), Run Silent, Run Deep (1958 ), I Want to Live! (1958), The Haunting (1963), The Andromeda Strain (1971), The Hindenburg (1975) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).

John Frankenheimer


John Frankenheimer, born February 19, 1930, was an American film and television director known for social dramas and action/suspense films. Among his credits were Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Seven Days in May (1964), The Train (1964), Seconds (1966), Grand Prix (1966), French Connection II ( 1975), Black Sunday (1977), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1996) and Ronin (1998). He won 4 Emmy Awards, 3 in a row, in the 1990s for directing the television films Against the Wall, The Burning Season, Andersonville and George Wallace, the last of which he also won a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or television movie.

Robert Mulligan


Robert Mulligan, born August 23, 1925, was an American director and producer. He is best known for his humanist dramas, consisting of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Summer of ’42 (1971), The Other (1972), Same Time, Next Year (1978) and The Man in the Moon (1991) . ). He was also known in the 1960s for his extensive collaborations with producer Alan J. Pakula.

John Sturges


John Sturges, born January 3, 1910, was an American film director. His films include Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957), The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963) and Ice Station Zebra (1968). In 2013, The Magnificent Seven and 2018, Bad Day at Black Rock were selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, traditionally, or visually substantial”.

Samuel Fuller


Samuel Fuller, born August 12, 1912, was a film director, screenwriter, author, journalist and World War II veteran known for directing low-budget genre films with innovative styles, often made outside the traditional system of study. Fuller composed his very first screenplay for Hats Off in 1936 and made his directorial debut with the Western I Shot Jesse James (1949). He would go on to direct numerous other westerns and war thrillers throughout the 1950s. Fuller transitioned from westerns and war films in the 1960s with his low-budget thriller Shock Corridor in 1963, followed by neo-noir The Naked Kiss (1964). He was inactive in film for most of the 1970s, before composing and directing the semi-autobiographical war film The Big Red One (1980) and the drama White Dog (1982), for which he co-wrote the screenplay with Curtis Hanson. Many of his films would be important to French New Wave directors, most notably Jean-Luc Godard, who provided him with a cameo in Pierrot le Fou (1965).

Stanley Kramer


Stanley Kramer, born September 29, 1913, was an American film director and producer, responsible for making some of Hollywood’s most popular films and an icon of liberal cinema. As an independent producer and director, he accentuated topical social reflections that most studios prevented. Among the topics covered in his films were bigotry (in The Defiant Ones and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner), nuclear war (in On the Beach), greed (in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World ), creationism against progress (in Inherit the Wind) and the domino effects of fascism (in Judgment at Nuremberg). His other films are High Noon (1952, as producer), The Caine Mutiny (1954, as producer) and Ship of Fools (1965).

Martin Ritt


Martin Ritt, born March 2, 1914, was an American director who worked in both film and theater, known for his socially conscious films. Some of the films he directed are The Long, Hot Summer (1958), The Black Orchid (1958), Paris Blues (1961), Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man (1962), Hud (1963), The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Hombre (1967), The Great White Hope (1970), Sounder (1972), The Front (1976), Norma Rae (1979), Cross Creek (1983), Murphy’s Romance (1985), Nuts ( 1987) and Stanley & Iris (1990).

Arthur Penn


Arthur Penn, born September 27, 1922, was an American director of theatre, television and film. Closely related to the American New Wave, Penn directed very popular films throughout the 1960s such as the drama The Chase (1966), the biopic crimeHe also garnered attention for his famous revisionist Westerns Little Big Man (1970), Night Moves (1975) and The Missouri Breaks (1976) which were industrial flops, although they received favorable reviews.

Mike Nichols


Mike Nichols, born November 6, 1931, was an American film and stage director, producer, comedian, and actor. He is remembered for his ability to work across a range of genres and his ability to get the best out of actors, regardless of their experience. He is among 17 people to have actually won all 4 of America’s top awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. His other honors consist of 3 BAFTA Awards, the Lincoln Center Gala Tribute in 1999, the National Medal of Arts in 2001, the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2010. His films have garnered a total of 42 Oscar nominations and 7 wins.

Richard Brooks


Richard Brooks, born May 8, 1912, was an American writer, film author, film producer and director. Chosen for 8 Academy Awards in his career, he was known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960; for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), Blood cold (1967) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977).

George A. Romero


George Romero, born February 4, 1940, was an American film director, author, and publisher. His film series Night of the Living Dead about a zombie armageddon began with the 1968 film of the same name and is generally considered a major part of the zombie movie. Other films in the series consist of Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985). Apart from this series, his works consist of The Crazies (1973), Martin (1978), Knightriders (1981), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), The Dark Half (1993) and Bruiser (2000). He also produced the television series Tales from the Darkside, from 1983 to 1988.


Sam Peckinpah

David Peckinpah, born February 21, 1925, was an American film director and screenwriter. His legendary 1969 western The Wild Bunch earned an Academy Award election and was ranked No. 80 on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 list. His films used an original and aesthetically brilliant representation of action and violence as well as a revisionist method to the western category. Peckinpah’s films deal with corruption and violence in human society. His characters are losers or loners who want to be respectable, but must take risks to resist in a world of nihilism and cruelty. He was offered the label “Bloody Sam” due to the violence in his films. Peckinpah’s combative nature, marked by years of alcohol and drug abuse, influenced his career. The production of many of his films consisted of battles with producers and team members, damaging his credibility and career. Peckinpah’s other films are Major Dundee (1965), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), Straw Dogs (1971), The Getaway (1972), Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), Cross of Iron (1977) and Convoy (1978), the most commercially successful film of his career.

George Roy Hill


George Roy Hill, born December 20, 1921, was an American film director. He is best remembered for directing such films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), both starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Hill is also known for directing such films as The World of Henry Orient (1964), Hawaii (1966), Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), Slaughterhouse-Five (1972), The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), Slap Shot (1977 ), A Little Romance (1979), The World According to Garp (1982) and his last film Funny Farm (1988).

Bob Rafelson


Robert Rafelson, born February 21, 1933, was an American film author, director, and producer. He is considered to be among the pivotal figures in the beginning of the New Hollywood movement of the 1970s. Among his best-known films as a director are those made as part of the company he cofounded, Raybert/BBS Productions, Five Easy Pieces (1970) and The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), along with popular later films, The Postman It Always Rings Twice (1981) and The Mountains of the Moon (1990). Other films he produced as part of BBS consist of 2 of the most notable films of the period, Easy Rider (1969) and The Last Picture Show (1971). Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, and The Last Picture Show have all been selected to be inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. He was also co-creator of the pop group and television series The Monkees with BBS partner Bert Schneider. His first wife was production designer Toby Carr Rafelson.

Joseph Losey


Joseph Losey, born January 14, 1909, was an American writer, producer, and stage director. Born in Wisconsin, he studied in Germany with Bertolt Brecht and later returned to the United States. Blacklisted by Hollywood in the 1950s, he moved to Europe where he made the rest of his films, mostly in the UK. Among the most serious and commercially successful were films with scripts by Harold Pinter: The Servant (1963) and The Go-Between (1971).

Don Siegel


Donald Siegel, born October 26, 1912, was an American film and television director and producer. Siegel has been called a director of tough, sincere, pessimistic action-adventure films whose tight-knit plots chronicle individualistic loners. He directed the science fiction horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), along with five films with Clint Eastwood, including the political thriller Dirty Harry (1971) and the prison drama Escape from Alcatraz (1979). He also directed John Wayne’s last film, the western The Shootist (1976).

Blake Edwards


Blake Edwards, born July 26, 1922, was an American film director, also screenwriter, producer and actor. Edwards began his career in the 1940s as an actor but soon began writing film and radio scripts before turning to directing and producing in television and film. His most famous films include Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Great Race (1965), 10 (1979), Victor/Victoria (1982) and the extraordinary Pink Panther film series. with British star Peter Sellers. Typically regarded primarily as a comedy director, he has also directed a number of drama, musical, and investigative films. Toward the end of his career, he left writing, directing and producing for the theatre.

Peter Bogdanovich


Peter Bogdanovich, born July 30, 1939, was an American film director, author, actor, critic, producer, and film historian. Among the “New Hollywood” directors, Bogdanovich started out as a film reporter until he was brought in to cover The Wild Angels (1966) by Roger Corman. Following the success of that film, he directed his own film Targets (1968), which received critical praise. He gained prevalent recognition and increased recognition for his coming-of-age drama The Last Picture Show (1971). The film garnered eight Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture, with Bogdanovich earning nominations for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman winning Academy Awards for their supporting roles.

Roger Corman


Roger Corman was born April 5, 1926 and is an American actor, producer and director, icon of independent cinema. Many of Corman’s films are based on works that have already established important credibility, such as his cycle of cult movie low-budget In 1964, Corman, appreciated by members of the French New Wave and the Cahiers du Cinéma, ended up being the youngest director to have a retrospective at the Cinémathèque Française, the British Film Institute and the Museum of Modern Art. He was the co-founder of New World Pictures, the creator of the New Concorde and is a longtime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award. Corman is also known for distributing numerous foreign directors in the United States, such as Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut and Akira Kurosawa. He provided a debut and mentored many young filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante, John Sayles, and James Cameron, and was extremely important in the New Cinema movement. Hollywood of the 70s and 60s. He has also helped launch the careers of such stars as Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, Sylvester Stallone, Diane Ladd, and William Shatner.

William Friedkin


William Friedkin, born August 29, 1935, is an American film and television producer, screenwriter and director closely associated with the “New Hollywood” movement of the 1970s. Beginning his documentary career in the early 1960s, he directed the thriller film The French Connection (1971), which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director, and the cult horror film The Exorcist (1973), which earned him an Oscar nomination for best director.

Hal Ashby


William Hal Ashby, born September 2, 1929, was an American film director and editor associated with the New Hollywood motion picture wave. Prior to his directing career, Ashby edited films for Norman Jewison, most notably The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966), which earned Ashby an Academy Award nomination for Best Editing, and In the Heat of the Night ( 1967), which made him his only Oscar for the same category. Ashby earned a third Academy Award election, this time for Best Director for Coming Home (1978). Other films directed by Ashby include The Landlord (1970), Harold and Maude (1971), The Last Detail (1973), Shampoo (1975), Bound for Glory (1976) and Being There (1979).


Francis Ford Coppola


Francis Ford Coppola was born April 7, 1939 and is an American screenwriter, producer and director. He is regarded as one of the significant figures of the New Hollywood film movement of the 1970s and 1960s. Coppola has received 5 Academy Awards, 6 Golden Globes, 2 Palmes d’Or and a British Academy Film Award (BAFTA). After directing The Rain People in 1969, Coppola co-wrote Patton (1970), which earned him the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay alongside Edmund H. North. Coppola’s success as a director came with the release of The Godfather (1972), which transformed the category of gangster films, obtaining an extraordinary reception from audiences and critics. The Godfather won 3 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Screenplay adapted by Mario Puzo. His film The Godfather Part II (1974) became the first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Highly praised by critics, the film won Coppola 3 more Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture, making him the second director after Billy Wilder to win these 3 awards for the same film.

John Cassavetes


John Cassavetes, December 9, 1929, was an American actor, director and screenwriter. Known as a television and film star, Cassavetes became the leader of the American independent cinema, writing and directing films financed in part by earnings from his acting work. Called a radical iconoclast and the most important American director of the last half century.


Mel Brooks


Mel Brooks, born June 28, 1926, is an American actor, comedian and director. In a profession spanning over 70 years, he is the author and director of a number of effective farces and parodies. He began his career as a comedian and writer for Sid Caesar’s variety show Your Show of Shows (1950-1954) alongside Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart. With Carl Reiner, he developed the comedic character The 2000 Year Old Man. He wrote, with Buck Henry, the entertaining hit television series Get Smart (1965-1970).

Stanley Kubrick


Stanley Kubrick, born July 26, 1928, was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and photographer. Commonly regarded as among the finest directors in history, his films, nearly all adaptations of books or fiction, cover a wide variety of genres and are known for their ingenious cinematography, dark humor, attention to detail, and much more. Kubrick grew up in the Bronx, New York City, and attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. He achieved normal grades, but showed a keen interest in literature, photography, and film from a young age and taught himself all elements of filmmaking and directing after finishing high school. After working as a professional photographer for Look publication in the early 1950s and late 1940s, he began making short films with limited budget plans and made his first significant Hollywood film, The Killing, for United Artists in 1956. This was followed by 2 collaborations with Kirk Douglas: the war film Paths of Glory (1957) and the historical film Spartacus (1960).

Steven Spielberg


Steven Spielberg was born December 18, 1946 and is an American director, author and producer. A significant figure of the New Hollywood era is the most commercially successful filmmaker. Spielberg has received several honors, including three Academy Awards, a Cecil B. DeMille Award and an AFI Life Achievement Award. 7 of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Sidney Lumet


Sidney Lumet, born June 25, 1924, was an American film director. He was nominated 5 times for the Academy Award: 4 times for Best Director for 12 Angry Men (1957), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982) and one for Best Adapted Screenplay for Prince of the City (1981). He has not won a specific Academy Award, however he has received an Academy Honorary Award and 14 of his films have been shortlisted for the Academy Awards.

Sydney Pollack


Sydney Pollack, born July 1, 1934, was an American film producer, actor and director. Pollack has directed more than 20 movies and 10 television shows, starred in over 30 shows and movies, and produced over 44 feature films. For his film Out of Africa (1985), Pollack won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture. He was nominated for the Oscar for best director for Shoot Horses, right? (1969) and Tootsie (1982). Some of his other best known works include Jeremiah Johnson (1972), The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975) and Absence of Malice (1981). His next films were Havana (1990), The Firm (1993), The Interpreter (2005), and he starred in and produced the film Michael Clayton (2007). Pollack also appeared in Robert Altman’s The Player (1992), Woody Allen’s drama Husbands and Wives (1993), and Stanley Kubrick’s sultry psychological drama Eyes Wide Shut (1999).

Alan J. Pakula


Alan Jay Pakula was born April 7, 1928 and was an American film author, producer and director. He was nominated for 3 Academy Awards: Best Picture for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Best Director for All the President’s Men (1976) and Best Adapted Screenplay for Sophie’s Choice (1982). Pakula was also instrumental in his “trilogy of fear”: Klute (1971), The Parallax View (1974) and All the President’s Men (1976).

Michael Cimino


Michael Cimino, born February 3, 1939, was an American film director. Among the “New Hollywood” directors, Cimino achieved popularity with The Deer Hunter (1978), which won 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. A native of New York City, Cimino began his career shooting commercials and moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting in 1971. After co-writing the screenplays for Silent Running (1972) and Magnum Force (1973), he wrote the screenplay for Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), which became his directorial launch, and among the highest-grossing films of the year. Awards for co-writing, directing and producing The Deer Hunter in 1978 led to Cimino getting the budget for Heaven’s Gate (1980). The film ended up being a massive box office flop, costing production studio United Artists an estimated $37 million. In recent years, Heaven’s Gate has been drastically re-evaluated, being hailed as one of the best American films of all time, “among the highest achievements of Hollywood cinema”. His last feature film was The Sunchaser which was released in 1996. Until his death, he continued to deal with films that ultimately never came to fruition.

John Landis


John Landis was born August 3, 1950 and is an American comedy director and actor. It is best known for the comedy films that he actually directed, such as The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), The Blues Brothers (1980), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Trading Places (1983), Three Amigos (1986 ), Coming to America (1988) and Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), for directing Michael Jackson’s video for “Thriller” (1983) and “White or black” (1991).

John Carpenter


John Carpenter, born January 16, 1948, is an American director, actor and author. He has worked in different categories of films, but mostly in action and science fiction films of the 80s and 70s. He is generally recognized as one of the best masters of horror cinema. At the 2019 Cannes Film Festival they offered him the Golden Coach Award, admiring him as “an innovative genius of raw, wonderful and magnificent feeling”. Carpenter’s early films were blockbusters such as Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981) and Starman (1984). His other productions of the 1970s and 1980s have become cult classics, and he has been recognized as a prominent director. These films Dark Star (1974), Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), The Thing (1982), Christine (1983), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Prince of Darkness (1987), They Live (1988), In the Mouth of Madness (1994) and Escape from L.A. (1996). Carpenter has composed or co-composed most of the music for his films. He won a Saturn Award for Best Music for the film Vampires (1998). He has released 4 studio albums, titled Lost Themes (2015), Lost Themes II (2016), Anthology: Movie Themes 1974– 1998 (2017) and Lost Themes III: Alive After Death (2021).

Philip Kaufman


Philip Kaufman, born October 23, 1936, is an American director and screenwriter who directed fifteen films in a career spanning more than sixty years. He has actually been called a “radical” and a “critic”, notable for his flexibility and self-confidence. He is an “author” whose films have consistently revealed his personal vision. Kaufman’s works actually consist of film genres such as realism, horror, erotica, western, crime. His selection of topics was diverse, having adapted books with different styles and stories. Examples are The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) by Milan Kundera, Rising Sun (1993) by Michael Crichton, a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and the sensual works of Henry & June (1990) by Anaïs Nin. His film The Wanderers (1979) achieved cult status. His biggest success was Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff (1983), which garnered eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

Woody Allen


Woody Allen, born November 30, 1935, is an American director, comedian, actor and author whose profession spans more than 60 years and several Academy Award-winning films. He began his career writing for television in the 1950s and working alongside Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbart and Neil Simon. He has published a number of books including fiction and humorous pieces composed for The New Yorker. In the early 1960s, he performed as a funnyman in Greenwich Village alongside Lenny Bruce, Elaine May, Mike Nichols and Joan Rivers. There he established a monologue style and persona of an insecure, intellectual, whiny man. In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Allen #4 on their list of the 100 Greatest Comedians, while a UK study ranked Allen #3 on their Greatest Comedians list.

Jim Jarmusch


Jim Jarmusch, born January 22, 1953, is an American film director and screenwriter, advocate of independent cinema since the 1980s, directing films including Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Down by Law (1986), Mystery Train (1989 ), Dead Man (1995), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), Broken Flowers (2005), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Paterson (2016) and The Dead Don’ tDie (2019). Completely Unknown Than Paradise was inducted into the National Film Registry in December 2002. As a musician Jarmusch has composed music for his own films and released 3 albums with Jozef van Wissem.

Terry Gilliam


Terrence Gilliam, born November 22, 1940, is an American-born British actor, comedian, animator, filmmaker as well as former fellow Monty Python artists. Gilliam has directed 13 feature films, including Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), The Fisher King (1991), 12 Monkeys (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) , The Brothers Grimm (2005), Tideland (2005) and also The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009). As the only Monty Python participant not born in Britain, he became a naturalized British citizen in 1968 and also officially renounced his American citizenship in 2006.

Paul Schrader


Paul Joseph Schrader, born July 22, 1946, is an American film writer , film director and also film critic. He initially gained recognition through the screenplay of Martin Scorsese’s film Taxi Driver (1976). He later continued his collaboration with Scorsese, writing Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Schrader also made 24 films, including Blue Collar (1978), Hardcore (1979), American Gigolo (1980), Cat People (1982), Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), Light Sleeper (1992), Affliction (1997), as well as First Reformed (2017); the latter earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Schrader’s work is known for its depiction of estranged men grappling with existential dilemmas, a structure he has called “God’s lonely boy.”

John Huston


John Huston, born August 5, 1906, was an American film director, screenwriter, actor and musician. He created the screenplays for many of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are considered classics today, including The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951 ), The Misfits (1961 ), Fat City (1972 ), The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and Prizzi’s Honor (1985 ). During his 46 years in the business, Huston achieved 15 Oscar elections, winning twice. He also led both his father, Walter Huston, and his daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins.

Martin Scorsese


Martin Scorsese, born November 17, 1942, is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. Scorsese became among the significant figures of the New Hollywood period. He has received several significant honors, including an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, 3 Emmy Awards, 4 British Academy Film Awards, 2 Directors Guild of America Awards, an AFI Life Achievement Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2007.

Scorsese holds a MA from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in 1968. His directorial pitch, Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1967), was accepted at the Chicago Film Festival. In the 1970s and 1980s, Scorsese’s films, heavily influenced by his Italian-American background and his childhood in New York City, centered on men with macho attitudes who frequented the world of crime. They are films of nihilism and Catholic ideas of regret and redemption. Its hallmarks consist of an innovative use of slow motion, freeze frames and scenes of violence.

His 1973 crime film Mean Streets was the start of his prestigious film career. Scorsese won the Palme d’Or at Cannes with his psychological thriller Taxi Driver starring Robert De Niro, who worked with Scorsese on 8 other films including New York, New York (1977), Raging Bull (1980) King of Comedy (1982), Goodfellas (1990 ) and Casino (1995). In the 2000s and 2010s, Scorsese enjoyed critical acclaim and box office success with a series of collaborations with Leonardo DiCaprio. These films consist of Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), Shutter Island (2010) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). He worked once again with De Niro on The Irishman (2019). Other film works by Scorsese are the black comedy After Hours (1985), the romantic drama The Age of Innocence (1993), the drama Hugo (2011) and the epic movies spirituals The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Kundun (1997) and Silence (2016).

Coen Brothers


Joel Coen, born November 29, 1954, and Ethan Coen, born September 21, 1957, are American film directors of various genres. Their most famous works are Raising Arizona (1987), Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018).

The Coen brothers collectively write, direct and produce their films, although until The Ladykillers (2004) Joel had sole directing credit and Ethan to produce. They were shortlisted for 13 Academy Awards together, and separately for one award each, winning Best Original Screenplay for Fargo and Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay for No Country for Old Men. The duo also won the Palme d’Or for Barton Fink (1991).

Brian De Palma


Brian De Palma, born September 11, 1940, is an American film director and screenwriter. With a career spanning over 50 years, he is best known for his work in thriller, crime and psychological thriller. De Palma was a leading member of the New Hollywood generation of filmmakers. His direction typically uses quotes from other films by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Jean-Luc Godard. His films have been criticized for violence and sex, but have also been promoted by American critics such as Roger Ebert and Pauline Kael. His films are considered masterpieces: Carrie (1976), Dressed to Kill (1980), Scarface (1983), The Untouchables (1987), as well as cult films such as Sisters (1972 ), Phantom of the Paradise (1974 ), Blow Out (1981 ), Body Double (1984 ), Casualties of War (1989 ), Carlito’s Way (1993 ), Femme Fatale (2002 ) and Passion (2012).

Clint Eastwood


Clinton Eastwood, born May 31, 1930, is an American actor and director. After gaining success in the Western television series Rawhide, he rose to worldwide fame with his role as the ‘Man with No Name’ in Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western ‘Dollar Trilogy’ throughout the mid-1960s and also as anti-hero police officer Harry Callahan in 5 Dirty Harry films in the 80’s and also in the 70’s. These films, to name a few, made Eastwood a symbol of manhood. Elected in 1986, Eastwood served for 2 years as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Tim Burton


Timothy Burton, born August 25, 1958, is an American film director and musician. He is known for gothic genre and scary movies like Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Corpse Bride (2005 ), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Dark Shadows (2012) and Wednesday (2022). Burton also directed the superhero films Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), the science fiction film Planet of the Apes (2001), the fantasy drama Big Fish (2003), the musical film Charlie and also The Chocolate Factory ( 2005), and the dream films Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Special Children (2016).

Abel Ferrara


Abel Ferrara, born July 19, 1951, is an American director, known for the often controversial and intriguing content in his films and also for his use of neo-noir imagery and urban settings. A veteran independent filmmaker, many of his best known films include Ms. 45 (1981), King of New York (1990), Bad Lieutenant (1992) and The Funeral (1996).

Robert Altman


Robert Altman, born February 20, 1925, was an American screenwriter and director. He was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Director and is considered one of the masters of the New Hollywood period. Altman’s cinema ranges across many categories, typically with a “subversive” twist that normally relies on satire and humor to reveal his individual views. Altman is the quintessential “anti-Hollywood” and maverick filmmaker, both in his themes and directorial design. The actors particularly enjoyed working with her direction as it motivated them to improvise by stimulating their imagination.

Altman frequently created multitrack recordings that produce dialogue superimposed from numerous actors. This produces a more natural, more vibrant and more complex experience for the audience. He likewise made extremely mobile use of the movie camera and zoom lenses to augment the action taking place on the screen. Altman’s best-known directorial achievements consist of M*A*S*H (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973), Nashville (1975), 3 Women (1977), The Player (1992), Shortcuts (1993) and Gosford Park (2001). He has never won a competitive Oscar despite 7 elections. His films M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye and Nashville have been selected for the US National Film Registry. Altman is among 3 directors whose films have simultaneously won the Golden Bear in Berlin, the Golden Lion in Venice and the Palme d’Or in Cannes.

James Ivory


James Ivory was born on June 7, 1928 and is an American film producer, screenwriter, and also director. For years he worked extensively with the Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant, his life partner, and also with the writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. All 3 starred for Merchant Ivory Productions, whose films won 7 Academy Awards; Ivory himself was nominated for 4 Oscars, winning one.

Quentin Tarantino


Quentin Tarantino, born March 27, 1963, is an American director, producer, author and actor. His films are part of pop culture: non-linear stories, violence, a counterpoint between dialogue and aesthetics. Various other directorial tropes that determine his style include the use of tracks from the 1970s and 1960s and images of women’s bare feet. Tarantino began his career as an independent director with the release of the crime film Reservoir Dogs in 1992. His second film, Pulp Fiction (1994), a dark and humorous thriller, was a notable success with audiences and critics winning numerous Awards: Palme d’Or and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Tarantino’s third film, Jackie Brown (1997), was inspired by blaxploitation films.

In 2003, Tarantino directed the martial arts-influenced Kill Bill: Volume 1; it was followed by volume 2 in 2004. He then made the exploitation slasher Death Proof (2007), part of a double feature with Robert Rodriguez, launched under the cumulative title Grindhouse. His next film Inglourious Basterds (2009) tells an alternative view in the category of war films. He followed that up with Django Unchained (2012), a revenge Spaghetti Western, which earned him his second Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Tarantino’s eighth film, The Hateful Eight (2015), is a revisionist western thriller. His most recent film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), is an entertaining drama set in the late 1960s about the transition from old Hollywood to new Hollywood. A novelization of the film was also released in 2021, becoming her debut book.

Oliver Stone


Oliver Stone, born September 15, 1946, is an American film writer, director and producer. Stone won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as writer of Midnight Express (1978), and also wrote the film remake Scarface (1983). Stone rose to prominence as writer and director of the war drama Platoon (1986), which won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture. Platoon was the beginning of a trilogy of films based on the Vietnam War, in which Stone starred as a foot soldier. He continued the collection with Born on the Fourth of July (1989) – for which Stone won his directorial Oscar, and Heaven & Earth (1993). Stone’s various other works consist of the drama Salvador (1986) based on the Salvadoran Civil War; the financial drama Wall Street (1987) and sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010); the Jim Morrison biopic The Doors (1991); the crime film Natural Born Killers (1994); a trilogy of films based on the American presidency: JFK (1991), Nixon (1995) and W. (2008); and also Snowden (2016).

Gus Van Sant


Gus Van Sant Jr. was born July 24, 1952 and is an American film director, producer, photographer and artist. He has achieved recognition as both a traditional and independent filmmaker. His films deal with marginalized subcultures, especially homosexuality. Van Sant is considered among the most famous authors of the New Queer Cinema movement.

John Sayles


John Sayles, born September 28, 1950, is an American independent film director, screenwriter, actor and editor. He was nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, for Passion Fish (1992) and Lone Star (1996). His film Men with Guns (1997) was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. His directorial pitch, Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980), was inducted into the National Film Registry.

Terrence Malick

Terrence Malick, born November 30, 1943, is an American film director. His films include Days of Heaven (1978), The Thin Red Line (1998), for which he earned Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, The New World (2005) and The Tree of Life (2011). ), the latter of which earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Director and the Palme d’Or at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.

Todd Haynes


Todd Haynes, born January 2, 1961, is an American film producer, screenwriter, and also director. His films tell of famous artists, dystopian societies and even sexuality. Haynes first gained exposure with his short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987), which chronicled the terrible life and death of singer Karen Carpenter, using Barbie dolls as actresses. The short film has become a cult film. Haynes’ directorial debut, Poison (1991), an intriguing queer film from the AIDS era, established him as a transgressive filmmaker. Poison won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and is considered an influential work of New Queer Cinema.

David Fincher


David Fincher, born August 28, 1962, is an American film director. His films, especially thrillers and biographical dramas, have won 40 nominations at the Academy Awards, including 3 for him as best director. Fincher was the founder of Propaganda Films, a film production company. Born in Denver, Colorado, Fincher wanted to make movies from an early age. He has directed countless videos, most notably Madonna’s “Express Yourself” in 1989 and also “Vogue” in 1990, both of which earned him the MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction. He made his feature film debut with Alien 3 (1992), which garnered mixed reviews, followed by the much better received thriller Seven (1995). Fincher found success with The Game (1997) and even bigger success with Fight Club (1999). In 2002, he made a comeback with the thriller Panic Room starring Jodie Foster.

Michael Mann


Michael Mann, born February 5, 1943, is an American director, writer, and also film and television producer, known for his personal style in making police films. His best known works include the films Thief (1981), Manhunter (1986), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Heat (1995), The Insider (1999), Collateral (2004), and also Public Enemy (2009) . He is also known for his role as executive producer of the popular television series Miami Vice (1984-89), which he made into a 2006 film.

Darren Aronofsky


Darren Aronofsky, born February 12, 1969, is a film producer, director and screenwriter American. His films are known for their modernist, melodramatic and often disturbing aspects, often in the form of psychological dramas and thrillers. Aronofsky attended Harvard University, where he studied film and social anthropology, and later the American Film Institute where he studied directing. He won several film awards after finishing his thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, which ended up as a finalist for the National Student Academy Award. In 1997, he founded the film and television production company Protozoa Pictures. His breakthrough play, the surrealist mental thriller Pi (1998), was produced for $60,000 and grossed over $3 million; It earned Aronofsky the Sundance Film Festival Best Directing Award and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

Aronofsky’s sequel, the psychological drama Requiem for a Dream (2000), is based on the book of the same name by Hubert Selby Jr. After writing the World War II film Below (2002), Aronofsky began production on his third film , the romantic sci-fi drama The Fountain (2006). The film performed poorly at the box office but has built up a cult following. His fourth film, the sports drama The Wrestler (2008), launched to great acclaim and both stars of the film, Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, won Academy Awards. Her next film, Black Swan (2010), received even greater praise and numerous accolades, with five Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, and a win for Best Actress for Natalie Portman. Aronofsky’s sixth feature film, the biblical-inspired emotional Noah (2014), became number 1 in the overall chart despite a lukewarm reception from audiences and critics. His seventh film, Mother! (2017), sparked debate upon release due to its eerie scenes, polarizing both audiences and critics.

Steven Soderbergh


Steven Soderbergh, born January 14, 1963, is an American film director, producer, editor, screenwriter and cinematographer. A leader in modern independent cinema, Soderbergh is a respected and renowned director. Soderbergh’s groundbreaking directorial independent drama Sex, Lies, and also Videotape (1989) brought him into the mainstream of the public eye. At 26, Soderbergh became the youngest director to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and the film was a worldwide success, along with various awards. In Hollywood, he directed the entertaining crime Out of Sight (1998), the biopic Erin Brockovich (2000) and the crime drama Traffic (2000). For Traffic he won the Oscar for best director.

David Lynch


David Lynch, born January 20, 1946, is an American filmmaker, painter, visual artist, actor, and writer. Winner of an Academy Honorary Award in 2019, Lynch won 3 Academy Awards for Best Director, and the César Award for Best Foreign Film twice, as well as the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival. In 2007, a panel of critics convened by The Guardian stated that David Lynch is the most important contemporary director. His work has led him to be identified as “the first truly populist surrealist” by film critic Pauline Kael.

Lynch studied painting before starting making short films in the late 1960s. His very first feature, the surrealist Eraserhead (1977), ended up a hit on the midnight cinema circuit, followed by the direction of The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986). Lynch subsequently developed his own television series with Mark Frost, Twin Peaks (1990-91), which initially ran for 2 seasons. He also made the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) and the roadway film Wild at Heart (1990). Moving more towards surrealist cinema, 3 of his later films operated on non-linear and dreamlike narrative structures: Lost Highway (1997), Mulholland Drive (2001) and Inland Empire (2006). Lynch and Frost reunited in 2017 for the third season of Twin Peaks which aired on Showtime. Lynch co-wrote and directed every episode, and again played the role of Gordon Cole.

Richard Linklater


Richard Linklater, born July 30, 1960, is an American writer, producer and director. He is known for films revolving around the country community and also the impacts of the flow of time. His films include the comedies Slacker (1990) and Confused and Dazed (1993); the trilogy of romance films, Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), and Before Midnight (2013); the hilarious musical film School of Rock (2003); animated adult films Waking Life (2001), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Apollo 10 1⁄2: A Space Age Childhood (2022); the coming-of-age film Boyhood (2014); the comedy film Everybody Wants Some!! (2016).

Wes Anderson


Wesley Anderson, born May 1, 1969, is an American film director. His films are known for their eccentricity as well as unique aesthetics. Defined by some film critics as a modern example of an auteur’s work, 3 of Anderson’s films: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) appeared in the 2016 BBC Culture poll on the best films since 2000.

Spike Lee


Spike Lee, born March 20, 1957, is an American film director, screenwriter, actor and producer. His production company, 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks, has produced more than 35 films since 1983. He made his directorial debut with She’s Got ta Have It (1986). In fact, he wrote and directed films such as School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994), Clockers (1995) , 25th Hour (2002), Inside Man (2006), Chi-Raq (2015), BlacKkKlansman (2018) and Da 5 Bloods (2020). Lee has also starred in eleven of his own feature films. His films are innovative and well performed by actors such as Denzel Washington, Laurence Fishburne, Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, Rosie Perez, Delroy Lindo and John David Washington.

Michael Moore


Michael Moore, born April 23, 1954, is an American director and writer. His works often deal with the themes of globalization and consumerism. Moore won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary for Bowling for Columbine, which investigated the reasons for the carnage at Columbine High School and US guns. Fahrenheit 9/11, a documentary about the presidency of George W. Bush and the War on Terror, grossed $119,194,771 to become the highest-grossing docudrama at the US box office of all time. The film also won the Palme d’Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. His docudrama Sicko, takes a look at health care in the United States, and has been in the top 10 highest-grossing docudramas since 2020.

Robert Rodriguez


Robert Rodriguez, born June 20, 1968, is an American film director. He shoots most of his films in Mexico and his home state of Texas. Rodriguez directed the 1992 action film El Mariachi, which was a commercial success after earning $2.6 million ($4.9 million in 2021 dollars) against a budget plan of $7,000 ($13,153 in 2021 dollars) . The film spawned two sequels jointly recognized as the Mexico Trilogy: Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

Paul Thomas Anderson


Paul Thomas Anderson, born June 26, 1970, is an American film director. He made his feature film debut with Hard Eight (1996). He had success with Boogie Nights (1997) and gained even more recognition with Magnolia (1999) and Punch-Drunk Love (2002), a comedy-drama. Anderson’s fifth film, There Will Be Blood (2007), about an oil prospector during the Southern California oil boom, achieved significant both critical and commercial success, and is also generally regarded as one of the best films of the 2000s. This was followed by The Master (2012) and Inherent Vice (2014). Anderson’s eighth film Phantom Thread was released in 2017. His ninth film Licorice Pizza was released in 2021 to high praise.

Julian Schnabel


Julian Schnabel, born October 26, 1951, is an American painter and filmmaker. In the 1980s, he gained worldwide interest for his “plate paintings,” with ceramic plates affixed onto large paintings. Since the 1990s he has been a supporter of the arthouse cinema independentSchnabel directed Before Night Falls, which became Javier Bardem’s Academy Award-nominated film, as well as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which was nominated for four Academy Awards. Lastly, it won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Director and the Golden Globe for Best Director, as well as getting nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and also the César for Best Director.

Kathryn Bigelow


Kathryn Ann Bigelow, born November 27, 1951, is an American film director. Covering a wide range of film genres, his notable films are Near Dark (1987), Point Break (1991), Strange Days (1995), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), The Hurt Locker (2008), Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and Detroit (2017). Bigelow was the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker, the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Director, and the BAFTA Award for Best Director. She was also the first woman to win the Saturn Award for Best Director, with Strange Days. In addition, the publication Time named him among the 100 most important people in the world in 2010.

Ari Aster


Ari Aster, born July 15, 1986, is an American film producer, screenwriter and director. He is known for writing and directing the horror films Hereditary (2018) and Midsommar (2019). Aster was born into a Jewish family in New York City on July 15, 1986, the son of an artist father and a poet mother. As a child, Aster was fascinated by horror films, regularly renting them from home video stores. In 2004, he enrolled at the College of Santa Fe, where he studied filmmaking. After finishing in 2008, he was accepted into the Fellow Class of 2010 at the AFI Conservatory’s graduate program, where he earned an MFA with an emphasis in directing.

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