Best Rated Films of Oscar Best Director Nominees

by hypathio7 | created - 10 Feb 2017 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

Based on IMDb's average rating (8 stars or above) of all Best Director Oscar nominated films.

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1. The Crowd (1928)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Romance

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark

Votes: 7,555

2. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Passed | 152 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

A German youth eagerly enters World War I, but his enthusiasm wanes as he gets a firsthand view of the horror.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Votes: 57,492 | Gross: $3.27M

3. It Happened One Night (1934)

Approved | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A renegade reporter and a crazy young heiress meet on a bus heading for New York, and end up stuck with each other when the bus leaves them behind at one of the stops.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 94,642 | Gross: $4.36M

4. The Thin Man (1934)

TV-PG | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

86 Metascore

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 26,784

5. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A simple small-town man inherits a massive fortune and is immediately hounded by those who wish to take advantage of him.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander

Votes: 19,827

6. My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler - but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick

Votes: 21,306

7. Dodsworth (1936)

Passed | 101 min | Drama, Romance

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas, Mary Astor

Votes: 8,237

8. You Can't Take It with You (1938)

Passed | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold

Votes: 23,434 | Gross: $4.66M

9. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 19,918

10. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 291,488 | Gross: $198.68M

11. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Passed | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold

Votes: 107,496 | Gross: $9.60M

12. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, History

96 Metascore

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 85,890 | Gross: $0.06M

13. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

96 Metascore

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 63,871

14. Rebecca (1940)

Approved | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

86 Metascore

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 124,693 | Gross: $4.36M

15. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of publishing tycoon Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 406,067 | Gross: $1.59M

16. The Little Foxes (1941)

Approved | 116 min | Drama, Romance

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright, Richard Carlson

Votes: 10,543

17. Random Harvest (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

62 Metascore

An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn, Susan Peters

Votes: 6,985 | Gross: $10.14M

18. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical expatriate American cafe owner struggles to decide whether or not to help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape the Nazis in French Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 524,919 | Gross: $1.02M

19. The More the Merrier (1943)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Romance, War

During the World War II housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Richard Gaines

Votes: 6,022

20. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 42,934 | Gross: $4.36M

21. Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

95 Metascore

An insurance representative lets himself be talked by a seductive housewife into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr

Votes: 144,428 | Gross: $5.72M

22. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Passed | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 33,717 | Gross: $9.46M

23. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

93 Metascore

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 57,577 | Gross: $23.65M

24. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 408,076

25. Brief Encounter (1945)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance

92 Metascore

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey

Votes: 35,900

26. Great Expectations (1946)

Approved | 118 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean | Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager, Jean Simmons

Votes: 22,198

27. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

98 Metascore

Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett

Votes: 114,890 | Gross: $5.01M

28. The Heiress (1949)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Romance

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson, Miriam Hopkins

Votes: 14,020

29. All About Eve (1950)

Passed | 138 min | Drama

98 Metascore

A seemingly timid but secretly ruthless ingénue insinuates herself into the lives of an aging Broadway star and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm

Votes: 121,187 | Gross: $0.01M

30. The Third Man (1949)

Approved | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 159,458 | Gross: $0.45M

31. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter develops a dangerous relationship with a faded film star determined to make a triumphant return.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 202,830

32. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

PG | 122 min | Drama

97 Metascore

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden

Votes: 99,620 | Gross: $8.00M

33. High Noon (1952)

PG | 85 min | Drama, Thriller, Western

89 Metascore

A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 97,626 | Gross: $9.45M

34. Stalag 17 (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, War

84 Metascore

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German P.O.W. camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss

Votes: 51,181

35. Roman Holiday (1953)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Romance

78 Metascore

A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power

Votes: 127,920

36. On the Waterfront (1954)

Approved | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger

Votes: 142,892 | Gross: $9.60M

37. Rear Window (1954)

PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller

100 Metascore

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 446,529 | Gross: $36.76M

38. East of Eden (1955)

PG | 118 min | Drama

72 Metascore

Two brothers struggle to maintain their strict, Bible-toting father's favor.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Burl Ives

Votes: 40,577

39. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

British POWs are forced to build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, not knowing that the allied forces are planning to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 204,467 | Gross: $44.91M

40. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama

96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 695,107 | Gross: $4.36M

41. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Approved | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A veteran British barrister must defend his client in a murder trial that has surprise after surprise.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester

Votes: 109,810 | Gross: $8.18M

42. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

84 Metascore

Brick is an alcoholic ex-football player who drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife. A reunion with his terminal father jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson

Votes: 45,364 | Gross: $17.57M

43. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

After a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 220,436 | Gross: $74.70M

44. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Passed | 121 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

98 Metascore

After two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft

Votes: 245,294 | Gross: $25.00M

45. The Apartment (1960)

Approved | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance