The Best Directors Ever - 1950s

by dziwnytenswiat | created - 7 months ago | updated - 3 days ago | Public

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

1. Billy Wilder

Writer | The Apartment

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

5508 points

2. Yasujirô Ozu

Director | Tôkyô monogatari

Tokyo-born Yasujiro Ozu was a movie buff from childhood, often playing hooky from school in order to see Hollywood movies in his local theatre. In 1923 he landed a job as a camera assistant at Shochiku Studios in Tokyo. Three years later, he was made an assistant director and directed his first ...

4965 points

3. Elia Kazan

Director | On the Waterfront

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

4322 points

4. 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 ...

4274 points

5. Luis Buñuel

Writer | El ángel exterminador

The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...

3397 points

6. Ingmar Bergman

Writer | Smultronstället

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

3092 points

7. 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 ...

2996 points

8. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Kakushi-toride no san-akunin

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

2888 points

9. Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Writer | All About Eve

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount ...

2663 points

10. Nicholas Ray

Director | Rebel Without a Cause

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

2240 points

11. William Wyler

Director | Ben-Hur

William Wyler was an American filmmaker who, at the time of his death in 1981, was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema. The winner of three Best Director Academy Awards, second again only to Ford's four, Wyler's reputation has unfairly suffered as the...

2117 points

12. Pietro Germi

Writer | Il ferroviere

Pietro Germi was born on September 14, 1914 in Genoa, Liguria, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Man of Iron (1956), Divorce Italian Style (1961) and The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (1966). He was married to Olga D'Aiello and Anna Bancio. He died on December 5, 1974 in Rome, Lazio...

1880 points

13. Kenji Mizoguchi

Director | Saikaku ichidai onna

Coming from a lower class family Mizoguchi entered the production company Nikkatsu as an actor specialized in female roles. Later he became an assistant director and made his first film in 1922. Although he filmed almost 90 movies in the silent era, only his last 12 productions are really known ...

1851 points

14. Douglas Sirk

Director | Schlußakkord

Film director Douglas Sirk, whose reputation blossomed in the generation after his 1959 retirement from Hollywood filmmaking, was born Hans Detlef Sierck on April 26, 1897, in Hamburg, Germany, to a journalist. Both of his parents were Danish, and the future director would make movies in German, ...

1768 points

15. Fred Zinnemann

Director | From Here to Eternity

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

1765 points

16. Masaki Kobayashi

Director | Seppuku

Masaki Kobayashi was born on February 14, 1916 in Hokkaido, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Harakiri (1962), The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961) and Samurai Rebellion (1967). He died on October 4, 1996 in Tokyo, Japan.

1764 points

17. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

1711 points

18. Vittorio De Sica

Director | Ladri di biciclette

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

1690 points

19. Fritz Lang

Actor | Le mépris

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...

1686 points

20. Grigoriy Chukhray

Director | Ballada o soldate

Studied at the Moscow Cinema Institute under Soviet film master Mikhail Romm. He found fame after his 1959 film "Ballad of a Soldier" which is considered one of the best Soviet war films and which has played all over the world.

1651 points

21. Keisuke Kinoshita

Writer | Nijûshi no hitomi

Keisuke Kinoshita was born on December 5, 1912 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan. He was a writer and director, known for Twenty-Four Eyes (1954), The Ballad of Narayama (1958) and The Garden of Women (1954). He died on December 30, 1998 in Tokyo, Japan.

1615 points

22. Jules Dassin

Director | Pote tin Kyriaki

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

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

1613 points

23. J. Lee Thompson

Director | The Guns of Navarone

J. Lee Thompson was born on August 1, 1914 in Bristol, England as John Lee Thompson. He was a director and writer, known for The Guns of Navarone (1961), Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957) and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972). He was married to Lucille Kelly, Penny Thompson, Florence (Bill) ...

1565 points

24. Satyajit Ray

Writer | Pather Panchali

Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta on May 2, 1921. His father, Late Sukumar Ray was an eminent poet and writer in the history of Bengali literature. In 1940, after receiving his degree in science and economics from Calcutta University, he attended Tagore's Viswa-Bharati University. His first movie ...

1473 points

25. George Cukor

Director | My Fair Lady

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

1467 points

26. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was six) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. ...

1449 points

27. Vincente Minnelli

Director | An American in Paris

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

1440 points

28. Andrzej Wajda

Director | Katyn

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

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

1380 points

29. Robert Wise

Director | West Side Story

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

1324 points

30. Otto Preminger

Director | Anatomy of a Murder

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

1303 points

31. Juan Antonio Bardem

Writer | Calle Mayor

Juan Antonio Bardem was born on June 2, 1922 in Madrid, Spain as Juan Antonio Bardem Muñoz. He was a writer and director, known for Main Street (1956), La venganza (1958) and Death of a Cyclist (1955). He was married to María Aguado Barbado. He died on October 30, 2002 in Madrid.

1229 points

32. Phil Karlson

Director | Hell to Eternity

Phil Karlson entered the film industry while a law student at Loyola Marymount University in California. He got a job at Universal Pictures as a prop man, then worked pretty much any job they threw at him, from being an assistant director on several Bud Abbott and Lou Costello films to directing ...

1227 points

33. 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,...

1145 points

34. Alexander Mackendrick

Writer | The Man in the White Suit

One of the most distinguished (if frequently overlooked) directors ever to emerge from the British film industry, Alexander Mackendrick, was in fact born in the US (to Scottish parents), but grew up in his native Scotland, where he studied at the Glasgow School of Art. He started out as a ...

1140 points

35. 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...

1048 points

36. Henri-Georges Clouzot

Writer | Le salaire de la peur

Beginning his film career as a screenwriter, Henri-Georges Clouzot switched over to directing and in 1943 had the distinction of having his film Le Corbeau (1943) banned by both the German forces occupying France and the Free French forces fighting them, but for different reasons. He shot to ...

1040 points

37. Kon Ichikawa

Director | Inugami-ke no ichizoku

Kon Ichikawa has been influenced by artists as diverse as Walt Disney and Jean Renoir, and his films cover a wide spectrum of moods, from the comic to the overwhelmingly ironic and even the perverse. Ichikawa began his career as a cartoonist, and this influence is apparent in his skillful use of ...

1031 points

38. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

1020 points

39. Mikio Naruse

Director | Ukigumo

Came from a poor background and worked his way up from prop man at the Shochiko company in 1920, to full director ten years later. Had his best period in the 1950', becoming known for his depiction of contemporary social problems, particularly the role of women in Japanese society.

974 points

40. Robert Bresson

Writer | Au hasard Balthazar

Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Public Affairs (1934) in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Angels of Sin (1943) in 1943. His next film, Les ...

970 points

41. Mark Robson

Director | The Harder They Fall

Mark Robson studied political science and economics at the University of California. He then took a law course at Pacific Coast University, and, at one time, also attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Ultimately, his interests led him elsewhere, since he ended up in the movie business as a ...

962 points

42. Roy Ward Baker

Director | Asylum

Roy Ward Baker's first job in films was as a teaboy at the Gainsborough Studios in London, England, but within three years he was working as an assistant director. During World War II, he worked in the Army Kinematograph Unit under Eric Ambler, a writer and film producer, who, after the war, gave ...

957 points

43. Howard Hawks

Director | Red River

What do the classic films Scarface (1932), Twentieth Century (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Rio Bravo (1959) have in...

940 points

44. Anthony Mann

Director | Men in War

Anthony Mann was born on June 30, 1906 in San Diego, California, USA as Emil Anton Bundesmann. He was a director and producer, known for Men in War (1957), El Cid (1961) and God's Little Acre (1958). He was married to Anna; 1 child Nicholas Anthony Mann, Sara Montiel and Mildred Mann. He died on ...

936 points

45. Ronald Neame

Director | Golden Salamander

A British filmmaker who, over the years, worked as assistant director, cinematographer, producer, writer and ultimately director, Ronald Neame was born on April 23, 1911. His father, Elwin Neame, was a film director and his mother, Ivy Close, was a film star. During the 1920s, he started working at...

931 points

46. Sidney Lumet

Director | 12 Angry Men

Sidney Lumet was a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors -- and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York. He made over 40 movies, often complex and emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. Although ...

914 points

47. Max Ophüls

Director | La ronde

Director Max Ophüls was born Max Oppenheimer in Saarbrücken, Germany. He began his career as a stage actor and director in the golden twenties. He worked in cities such as Stuttgart, Dortmund, Wuppertal, Vienna, Frankfurt, Breslau and Berlin. In 1929 his son Marcel Ophüls was born in Frankfurt, ...

904 points

48. George Stevens

Director | Giant

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

880 points

49. Stanley Donen

Director | Charade

Inspired by Fred Astaire's dancing in Flying Down to Rio (1933), Stanley Donen (pronounced 'Dawn-en') attended dance classes from the age of ten. He later recalled that the only thing he wanted to be was a tap dancer.

He was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to Helen Pauline (Cohen) and Mordecai ...

877 points

50. Gene Kelly

Soundtrack | Singin' in the Rain

Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third son of Harriet Catherine (Curran) and James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish and German ancestry.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the largest and most powerful studio in...

877 points

51. 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 ...

859 points

52. Charles Laughton

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent, respectively. He was educated at Stonyhurst (a highly esteemed Jesuit college in England) and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). ...

854 points

53. Sergey Bondarchuk

Actor | Voyna i mir I: Andrey Bolkonskiy

Sergei Bondarchuk was one of the most important Russian filmmakers, best known for directing an Academy Award-winning film epic War and Peace (1966), based on the book by Leo Tolstoy, in which he also starred as Pierre Bezukhov.

He was born Sergei Fedorovich Bondarchuk on September, 25, 1920, in the ...

850 points

54. Louis Malle

Director | Au revoir les enfants

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

848 points

55. Julien Duvivier

Writer | Le paquebot Tenacity

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

835 points

56. Luchino Visconti

Writer | Rocco e i suoi fratelli

Luchino Visconti was born on November 2, 1906 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy as Luchino Visconti di Modrone. He was a writer and director, known for Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Death in Venice (1971) and Le Notti Bianche (1957). He died on March 17, 1976 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

834 points

57. John Cromwell

Director | The Prisoner of Zenda

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

828 points

58. Nikos Koundouros

Director | Mikres Afrodites

He studied painting and sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts from which he graduated in 1948.

Because of his left-wing political beliefs, he was exiled in Makronisos Island after the end of World War II

He started his career, as a director, at the age of 28, on 1954, with the film "Maghiki ...

820 points

59. Albert Lamorisse

Director | Le ballon rouge

A former photographer, he turned to directing short subjects in the late 40s, soon acquiring an international reputation for the poetic quality of his short and medium-length films involving the fantasy world of children. Both his White Mane (1953) and The Red Balloon (1956) received a grand prize ...

818 points

60. Morton DaCosta

Director | The Music Man

Philadelphia-born Morton DaCosta started his career as a stage actor in 1942, and by 1950 had become a respected stage director, both in stock theater and on Broadway. His short film career consisted of a pair of successful adaptations of Broadway successes, ("The Music Man" and "Auntie Mame") and ...

809 points

61. Jean Cocteau

Writer | La belle et la bête

Jean Cocteau was one of the most multi-talented artists of the 20th century. In addition to being a director, he was a poet, novelist, painter, playwright, set designer, and actor. He began writing at 10 and was a published poet by age 16. He collaborated with the "Russian Ballet" company of Sergei...

802 points

62. Martin Ritt

Director | Hud

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

He originally ...

767 points

63. Jacques Becker

Writer | Le trou

His interest in films was stimulated by a meeting with King Vidor, who offered him employment in the US as actor and assistant director. However, he remained in France and became assistant to Jean Renoir, a friend of the family, during that director's peak period (1932-39). In 1934 he ventured ...

758 points

64. 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, ...

751 points

65. Daniel Mann

Director | Come Back, Little Sheba

Stage, television and film director Daniel Mann was born Daniel Chugerman on August 8, 1912, in Brooklyn, NY. He was a child performer and attended the New York's Professional Children's School. He studied with renowned acting teacher Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse, eventually ...

747 points

66. Jean Renoir

Writer | La grande illusion

Son of the famous Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste, he had a happy childhood. Pierre Renoir was his brother, and Claude Renoir was his nephew. After the end of World War I, where he won the Croix de Guerre, he moved from scriptwriting to filmmaking. He married Catherine Hessling, for whom he ...

743 points

67. Roberto Rossellini

Writer | Paisà

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

722 points

68. Anthony Asquith

Director | The Browning Version

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

652 points

69. Bernhard Grzimek

Director | Kein Platz für wilde Tiere

He was known as 'the man who spoke for the animals'. A public relations genius, Professor Bernhard Grzimek not only managed to create nationwide interest in the plight of endangered species and threatened habitats, but actively raised in excess of five million Marks in donations via his television ...

649 points

70. 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 ...

647 points

71. Guy Hamilton

Director | Live and Let Die

Typically British stiff-upper-lip war dramas and action adventure laced with moments of sophisticated comedy were Guy Hamilton's trademark. The son of a British diplomat, he spent most of his youth with his family in France, seemingly destined to be groomed for a career in the diplomatic service. ...

646 points

72. Mario Monicelli

Writer | I compagni

Mario Monicelli was born on May 16, 1915 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for The Organizer (1963), Speriamo che sia femmina (1986) and The Great War (1959). He was married to Antonella Salerni and Chiara Rapaccini. He died on November 29, 2010 in Rome.

644 points

73. John Sturges

Director | The Great Escape

John Sturges was born on January 3, 1910 in Oak Park, Illinois, USA as John Elliott Sturges. He was a director and producer, known for The Great Escape (1963), The Magnificent Seven (1960) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). He was married to Katherine Helena Soules and Dorothy Lynn Brooks. He died ...

633 points

74. Joseph Pevney

Director | Star Trek

Joseph Pevney was born on September 15, 1911 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a director and actor, known for Star Trek (1966), Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) and Man of a Thousand Faces (1957). He was married to Margo Pevney, Philippa Hilber and Mitzi Green. He died on May 18, 2008 in Palm ...

628 points

75. 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...

627 points

76. David Lean

Director | Lawrence of Arabia

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

582 points

77. Vincent Sherman

Director | Affair in Trinidad

Vincent Sherman was born on July 16, 1906 in Vienna, Georgia, USA as Abraham Orovitz. He was a director and actor, known for Affair in Trinidad (1952), All Through the Night (1942) and Adventures of Don Juan (1948). He was married to Hedda Comoro. He died on June 18, 2006 in Woodland Hills, Los ...

579 points

78. Jean-Pierre Melville

Actor | À bout de souffle

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

577 points

79. Delbert Mann

Director | Marty

Delbert Mann, the Oscar-winning film director, was born Delbert Martin Mann Jr. in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1920. His father moved the family to Nashville, Tennesse, after taking a teaching position at Scarritt College. The young Mann graduated from Vanderbilt University, where he met his future wife, ...

562 points

80. Mervyn LeRoy

Producer | The Wizard of Oz

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

560 points

81. Richard Quine

Director | Strangers When We Meet

Richard Quine was born on November 12, 1920 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He was a director and actor, known for Strangers When We Meet (1960), My Sister Eileen (1955) and The Mickey Rooney Show (1954). He was married to Diana Balfour, Fran Jeffries, Barbara Bushman and Susan Peters. He died on June ...

547 points

82. Claude Chabrol

Director | Le beau Serge

Claude Chabrol was born on June 24, 1930 in Paris, France. He was a director and writer, known for Le Beau Serge (1958), La Cérémonie (1995) and Story of Women (1988). He was married to Aurore Chabrol, Stéphane Audran and Agnès Goute. He died on September 12, 2010 in Paris.

512 points

83. Richard Fleischer

Director | Soylent Green

Richard Fleischer was born on December 8, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Soylent Green (1973), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and Red Sonja (1985). He was married to Mary Dickson. He died on March 25, 2006 in Woodland Hills, Los ...

512 points

84. Samuel Fuller

Writer | The Steel Helmet

At age 17, Samuel Fuller was the youngest reporter ever to be in charge of the events section of the New York Journal. After having participated in the European battle theater in World War II, he directed some minor action productions for which he mostly wrote the scripts himself and which he also ...

507 points

85. Robert Aldrich

Director | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Robert Aldrich entered the film industry in 1941 when he got a job as a production clerk at RKO Pictures. He soon worked his way up to script clerk, then became an assistant director, a production manager and an associate producer. He began writing and directing for TV series in the early 1950s, ...

507 points

86. Carol Reed

Director | The Third Man

Carol Reed was the second son of stage actor, dramatics teacher and impresario founder of the Royal School of Dramatic Arts Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Reed was one of Tree's six illegitimate children with Beatrice Mae Pinney, who Tree established in a second household apart from his married life. ...

489 points

87. Jacques Tourneur

Director | Out of the Past

Born in Paris in 1904, Tourneur went to Hollywood with his father, director Maurice Tourneur around 1913. He started out as a script clerk and editor for his father, then graduated to such jobs as directing shorts (often with the pseudonym Jack Turner), both in France and America. He was hired to ...

448 points

88. Michael Gordon

Director | Cyrano de Bergerac

A stage actor and director, Michael Gordon broke into films in 1940 as a dialogue director, then became a film editor. He directed his first feature in 1942. He started out with low-budget crime thrillers, but in the late 1940s and early 1950s turned out several well-crafted dramas, notably Cyrano ...

448 points

89. Henry Koster

Director | Harvey

Henry Koster was born Herman Kosterlitz in Berlin, Germany, on May 1, 1905. His maternal grandfather was a famous operatic tenor Julius Salomon (who died of tuberculosis in the 1880s). His father was a salesman of ladies unmentionables who left the family while Henry was at a young age, leaving him...

439 points

90. Jean Negulesco

Director | Boy on a Dolphin

Jean Negulesco made his reputation as a director of both polished, popular entertainments as well as critically acclaimed dramatic pictures in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in Craiova, Romania, he left home at age 12, ending up in Paris. He earned some money washing dishes, which paid for his art ...

438 points

91. Nunnally Johnson

Writer | The Grapes of Wrath

The son of a railway superintendent, Nunnally Johnson was schooled in Columbus, Georgia, graduating in 1915. He worked for the local newspaper as a delivery boy, became a junior reporter for the Savannah Press and then moved on to New York in 1919. There, his journalistic career really took off, ...

438 points

92. André De Toth

Director | House of Wax

Although he obtained a law degree from the Royal Hungarian University, Andre De Toth decided to become an actor, and spent several years on the stage. He then entered the Hungarian film industry, obtaining work as a writer, editor, second unit director and actor before finally becoming a director. ...

435 points

93. 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...

420 points

94. Irving Rapper

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Irving Rapper was one of the last surviving directors from the "Golden Age of Hollywood", passing away on Dec. 20, 1999, at the age of 101, four weeks shy of his 102nd birthday. Rapper is best remembered for the films he made with Bette Davis, including the classics Now, Voyager (1942) and The Corn...

419 points

95. Robert Siodmak

Director | Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam

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

409 points

96. Joseph H. Lewis

Director | Gun Crazy

The term "style over content" fits director Joseph H. Lewis like a glove. His ability to elevate basically mundane and mediocre low-budget material to sublime cinematic art has gained him a substantial cult following among movie buffs. The Bonnie & Clyde look-alike Gun Crazy (1950), shot in 30 days...

404 points

97. Mario Soffici

Director | Celos

Mario Soffici was born on May 14, 1900 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy. He was a director and actor, known for Celos (1947), Pasó en mi barrio (1951) and Rosaura a las 10 (1958). He died on May 10, 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

400 points

98. Youssef Chahine

Director | Iskanderija... lih?

Youssef Chahine (born in Alexandria, Egypt, 1926) started studying in a friars' school, and then turned to English College until the High School Certificate. After one year in the University of Alexandria, he moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Pasadena Play House, taking courses on film ...

399 points

99. Kaneto Shindô

Writer | Ichimai no hagaki

Kaneto Shindô was born on April 22, 1912 in Hiroshima, Japan. He was a writer and director, known for Postcard (2010), A Last Note (1995) and The Naked Island (1960). He was married to Nobuko Otowa and Miyo Shindo. He died on May 29, 2012 in Hiroshima.

398 points

100. Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Director | Pociag

Jerzy Kawalerowicz was born on January 19, 1922 in Gwozdziec, Stanislawowskie, Poland. He was a director and writer, known for Night Train (1959), Mother Joan of the Angels (1961) and Smierc prezydenta (1977). He was married to Malgorzata Dipont, Maria Güntner and Lucyna Winnicka. He died on ...

394 points



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