Favorite Directors Who Usually Aren't Considered All-Time Greatsby Perception_de_Ambiguity | created - 14 Dec 2014 | updated - 21 May 2017 | Public
"All-Time Greats" is relative. I mainly used TSPDT as a reference which has a list of the "250 most critically acclaimed filmmakers of all-time".
Tier One: Nicole Rittenmeyer - Trey Parker Tier Two: Larisa Shepitko - Mervyn LeRoy Tier Three: Valie Export - The End
Nicole Rittenmeyer = Nicole Rittenmeyer & Seth Skundrick Hélène Cattet = Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani Ben Hecht* = Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur & Lee Garmes Mary Ellen Bute = Mary Ellen Bute & Ted Nemeth James Sibley Watson = James Sibley Watson & Melville Webber (in 2 out of 3 cases) Ruth Orkin = Ruth Orkin & Morris Engel Christoph Lauenstein = Christoph Lauenstein & Wolfgang Lauenstein Anthony Gross = Anthony Gross & Hector Hoppin Luis Cerveró = Luis Cerveró & Lope Serrano & Nicolás Méndez (a.k.a. CANADA)
*Note with Ben Hecht that 4 out of the 7 films were written and directed together with Charles MacArthur, and Lee Garmes allegedly co-directed all 7 films, but always uncredited. So since things aren't clear-cut in this case I decided to put all three on the list.
Director | Âme d'artiste
The daughter of a cavalry captain, she was raised by a grandmother in Paris, where she studied various forms of art with an emphasis on music and the opera. In 1905 she married engineer-novelist Marie-Louis Albert-Dulac and under his influence veered toward journalism. As one of the leading radical...
Director | La mujer sin cabeza
Born in 1966 in Salta in the North of Argentina,Lucrecia Martel settled down in Buenos Aires where she attended the ENERC (National Film School). She started by directing a few shorts among which Dead King (1995), which garnered several awards in the international film festival circuit. From 1995 to...
Director | Deutschland bleiche Mutter
Helma Sanders-Brahms was born on November 20, 1940 in Emden, Lower Saxony, Germany. She was a director and writer, known for Germany Pale Mother (1980), No Mercy, No Future (1981) and Laputa (1986). She died on May 27, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
9. Maren Ade
Producer | Toni Erdmann
Maren Ade was born in Karlsruhe on 12 December 1976 to a couple of teachers.She studied cinema at Munich's Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film. As of 2001 she co-founded, together with Janine Jackowski, a fellow graduate from HFF, the "Komplizen" film company. It is through Komplizen that Maren would...
Director | Un lac
Philippe Grandrieux born 1954 is a French film director and screenwriter. Grandrieux was born in Saint-Étienne. He studied film at the Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle in Belgium. He exhibited his first video work at Galerie Albert Baronian, Bruxelles. In the 1980s, he worked in ...
13. Aleksandr Petrov
Director | Rusalka
He studied art at VGIK (state institute of cinema and TV). He was a disciple of Yuri Norstein at the Advanced School for screenwriters and directors (Moscow).
After making his first films in Russia, in Canada he adapted the novel The Old Man and the Sea (1999), resulting in a 20-minute animated ...
14. Peter Mettler
Cinematographer | The Top of His Head
Peter Mettler was born on September 7, 1958 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a cinematographer and director who is known as an influential member of the 1980s Toronto New Wave. He is best known for his innovative documentaries Picture of Light (1994), Gambling, Gods and LSD (2002), and The End Of...
15. Harun Farocki
Director | Memories
The German film director, screenwriter and media artist Harun Farocki was born on the 9th January 1944 in Nový Jicín [Neutitschein], at that time a part of Czechoslovakia annexed by the Third Reich. He was the son of an immigrated Indian doctor and a German woman. Farocki first studied Theatre, ...
16. Allan King
Director | Dying at Grace
Allan King was born on February 6, 1930 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was a director and producer, known for Dying at Grace (2003), Warrendale (1967) and Avonlea (1990). He was married to Colleen Murphy. He died on June 15, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
19. Slavko Vorkapich
Director | Hanka
Slavko Vorkapich was born on March 17, 1894 as Slavoljub Vorkapic. He is known for his work on Hanka (1955), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1928). He died on October 20, 1976 in Mijas, Málaga, Andalucía, Spain.
20. Sion Sono
Director | Ai no mukidashi
Shion Sono is a Japanese director, writer and poet. Born in Aichi Perfecture in 1961 he started his career working as a poet before taking his first steps in film directing. As a student he shot a series of short films in Super 8 and managed to make his first feature films in the late 80s and early...
22. Ben Hecht
Writer | Notorious
Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood's and Broadway's greatest writers, won an Oscar for best original story for Underworld (1927) at the first Academy Awards in 1929 and had a hand in the writing of many classic films. He was nominated five more times for the best writing Oscar, winning (along with writing...
Writer | The Scoundrel
"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers out there are starving!" When Patrick Dennis's fictional Auntie Mame uttered this pithy observation, she could have been speaking of Charles MacArthur. Charlie never shied away from the feast, and he certainly never went hungry. Arriving in November 1895 in...
24. Lee Garmes
Cinematographer | Shanghai Express
One of the most innovative of pioneer cameramen, Lee Garmes started his career on the East Coast with the New York Motion Picture Company, but was soon persuaded by the director Thomas H. Ince to join him in Hollywood. Garmes quickly climbed his way up the ladder, from painter's assistant to prop ...
25. Hiroyuki Okiura
Animation_department | Inosensu: Innocence
Okiura left high school at the age of 16 and entered the animation industry as a member of the studio Anime R, where he studied under Moriyasu Taniguchi and which Taniguchi superintends.He is known for his detailed effects animation in, for example, the chopper attack scene in Patlabor 2: The Movie...
26. Antonio Campos
Producer | Martha Marcy May Marlene
Antonio Campos was born on August 24, 1983 in New York City, New York, USA. He is a producer and director, known for Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), Afterschool (2008) and The Devil All the Time (2020). He has been married to Sofía Subercaseaux since November 28, 2015. They have one child.
27. Martin Arnold
Director | Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy
Born 1959 in Vienna. Studied Psychology and History of Art at Vienna University. Free-lance film maker since 1987. Founding member of Sixpack Film. Organisor of several avant-garde film festivals in Vienna. Presentation of a selection of Austrian avant-garde films at American cinematheques in 1990....
Animation_department | Jûbê ninpûchô
Graduated from Yokohama High School in 1968. After a few years working as animator at Mushi Production Animation, the company went bankrupt in 1972 and he joined Madhouse Studio. In the 70s he was promoted to animation director and finally debuted as film director in 1984's "SF New Century Lensman"...
29. Johnnie To
Director | San taam
With over thirty directing and producing credits to his name, Johnnie To enjoyed international breakthroughs with Election (2005), Election 2 (2006) (aka "Triad Election") and Exiled (2006); those films enjoyed multiple international film festival appearances and were separately sold to more than ...
31. Tony Scott
Producer | Domino
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British...
32. Zack Snyder
Director | 300
Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter, best known for action and science fiction films. Snyder made his feature film debut with the 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead and has gone on to be known for his comic book movies and ...
33. Saul Bass
Director | Why Man Creates
Saul Bass was born in New York City in 1920 and is a widely acclaimed graphic designer with a career spanning over 40 years. Among his most famous works are the title sequences for such classic films as The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960). Bass used his ...
34. Jean Cocteau
Writer | Orphée
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...
35. Raoul Ruiz
Director | Les trois couronnes du matelot
Chilean director Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly ...
38. Shane Carruth
Composer | Upstream Color
Writer-director Shane Carruth, a former software engineer, burst onto the independent movie scene with his extremely low-budget science-fiction film Primer (2004) in 2004. Carruth also played one of the two leads in the film and composed its music. "Primer" won the Grand Jury Prize and the Alfred P...
40. Andrew Dominik
Director | Chopper
Andrew Dominik was born on October 7, 1967 in Wellington, New Zealand. He is a director and writer, known for Chopper (2000), Killing Them Softly (2012) and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007).
41. Charlie Kaufman
Writer | I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon ...
42. Trey Parker
Music_department | South Park
Trey was born in Conifer, Colorado, on October 19, 1969 to Randy Parker, a geologist, and Sharon Parker, an insurance broker. He has an older sister, Shelley Parker. He met Matt Stone (co-creator of South Park (1997)) while attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he had a double ...
43. Larisa Shepitko
Director | Voskhozhdenie
Larisa Shepitko was born on January 6, 1938 in Artyomovsk, Ukrainian SSR, USSR as Larisa Yefimovna Shepitko. She was a director and writer, known for The Ascent (1977), Heat (1963) and You and Me (1971). She was married to Elem Klimov. She died on July 2, 1979.
45. Sofia Coppola
Actress | The Godfather: Part III
Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003), and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two daughters, Romy and ...
50. Abel Gance
Writer | La dame aux camélias
Born an illegitimate son of a wealthy physician, Abel Flamant, and a working class mother, Francoise Perethon. He was raised by his mother and her boyfriend, who later became her husband, Adolphe Gance. Pressured by his parents, he began his working career as a lawyer's clerk in hopes of achieving ...
51. Jean Epstein
Director | La chute de la maison Usher
Jean Epstein was born on March 25, 1897 in Warsaw, Poland, Russian Empire. He was a director and writer, known for The Fall of the House of Usher (1928), Mauprat (1926) and The Lion of the Moguls (1924). He died on April 2, 1953 in Paris, France.
Director | Outer Space
Born in 1958 in Vienna. 1979 - 84 stay in Berlin. Filmmaker since 1979. Studied philosophy. Doctoral thesis: ^ÓFilm as Art. Towards a critical aesthetics of cinematography^Ô (1985/86). 1989 National Art Award for Film. Teaches filmmaking at the Academy of Art, Linz. Founding member of Sixpack Film....
54. Stephen Chow
Actor | Kung fu
Stephen Chow was the only boy of his family, and has grown up as a Bruce Lee fan and a martial arts addict. His career started on TV, where he presented a children show ( "430 Space Shuttle" (1983)) and started becoming popular. He got some supporting roles, after that, and won the Taiwanese Golden...
55. Jack Cardiff
Director | Sons and Lovers
Almost universally considered one of the greatest cinematographers of all time, Jack Cardiff was also a notable director. He described his childhood as very happy and his parents as quite loving. They performed in music hall as comedians, so he grew up with the fun that came with their theatrical ...
56. Konrad Wolf
Director | Professor Mamlock
He was the son of the German dramatist Friedrich Wolf. He left Germany with his family for the USSR and came back to Germany as a nineteen year old Lieutenant in the Russian Army in 1945. Was a short time commander of the town Bernau near Berlin in Spring 1945. _Ich war 19 (1968)_ is an ...
57. Sacha Guitry
Writer | Les perles de la couronne
French actor, dramatist and director, Sacha Guitry was born in 1885 in Saint-Petersburg where his father, actor Lucien Guitry, was under contract with the city's French theater. Early on, Sacha knew he was going to be an artist. Therefore, his studies were mediocre.
His acting debuts were not too ...
60. Hans Richter
Director | Dreams That Money Can Buy
Hans Richter was born on April 6, 1888 in Berlin, Germany as Johannes Siegfried Richter. He was a director and writer, known for Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947), 8 X 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements (1955) and Chesscetera (1957). He was married to Frida Ruppel, Erna Niemeyer, Maria van Vanselow ...
61. Franco Piavoli
Director | Al primo soffio di vento
Franco Piavoli was born on June 21, 1933 in Pozzolengo, Lombardy, Italy. He is a director and writer, known for At the First Breath of Wind (2002), The Blue Planet (1982) and Voci nel tempo (1996). He is married to Neria Poli. They have one child.
62. Michael Snow
Director | Wavelength
Central figure of the American avant-garde. An artist who made an isolated animated short, A to Z (1956), Snow concentrated on his painting career until moving to New York in 1963. After attending avant-garde film screenings organized by critic-filmmaker Jonas Mekas and turning out a second film, ...
63. Robert Hossein
Writer | Les misérables
The son of orchestra conductor André Hossein, Paris-born Robert Hossein was trained at René Simon's acting school. Hossein labored away as actor/director with the legendary Theatre Grand Guignol in Montmartre, then spent several years on the "legitimate" stage. In films from 1955's Rififi (Rififi (...
64. Jaromil Jires
Director | Zert
Jaromil Jires was born on December 10, 1935 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. He was a director and writer, known for The Joke (1969), And Give My Love to the Swallows (1972) and Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970). He died on October 26, 2001 in Prague, Czech Republic.
65. Abraham Polonsky
Writer | Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here
Writer-director Abraham Lincoln Polonsky, one of the most prominent victims of the Hollywood blacklisting of communists and social progressives in the post-World War II period, was born on December 5, 1910, in New York, New York. An unreconstructed Marxist, Polonsky never hid his membership in the ...
66. Todd Solondz
Director | Welcome to the Dollhouse
Todd Solondz was born in Newark, New Jersey. One of his earliest jobs in the film industry was when, as a young man, he worked as a messenger for the Writers' Guild of America. During this time, he wrote several screenplays.
Solondz's first color film with sync sound was the short "Schatt's Last ...
Writer | Plan 9 from Outer Space
Hacks are nothing new in Hollywood. Since the beginning of the film industry at the turn of the 20th century, thousands of untalented people have come to Los Angeles from all over America and abroad to try to make it big (as writers, producers, directors, actors, talent agents, singers, composers, ...
69. Bill Morrison
Director | Dawson City: Frozen Time
Bill Morrison was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is a director and editor, known for Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016), The Great Flood (2013), The Miners' Hymns (2011), Spark of Being (2010), Light Is Calling (2004) and Decasia (2002). Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016) won a Critics' Choice Award ...
Director | Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to ...
71. Joe Wright
Director | Pride & Prejudice
Joe Wright is an English film director. He is best known for Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007), Anna Karenina (2012), and Darkest Hour (2017).
Wright always had an interest in the arts, especially painting. He would also make films on his Super 8 camera as well as spend time in the evenings...
73. Bob Smeaton
Director | The Beatles Anthology
Bob Smeaton is a double Grammy award winner, and three times Emmy nominated director of music and arts documentaries.
Prior to working in film and television, Bob was lead vocalist with the rock band White Heat. Signed to Virgin records, the band toured extensively and released one album and two ...
Writer | Un bruit qui rend fou
Born in Brest, France, in 1922, Alain Robbe-Grillet initially studied mathematics and biology. He graduated from the Paris-based Institut National Agronomique (National Institute of Agronomy) in 1945 and embarked on a career of scientific research in the tropics and in France. Then at age 30 he ...
77. Timothy Carey
Actor | The Killing
Timothy Carey had one of the most unusual careers of all Hollywood character actors, obtaining full cult status for his portrayals of the doomed, the psychotic and the plain crazy. Carey's career was an "only in America" type of story, and he retains his status as a great American original many ...
79. Eli Craig
Director | Tucker and Dale vs Evil
Eli Craig was born on May 25, 1972 in Los Angeles County, California, USA as Elijah M. Craig. He is a director and actor, known for Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010), Little Evil (2017) and The Tao of Pong (2004). He has been married to Sasha Craig since September 5, 2004. They have one child.
81. Bert Haanstra
Director | Glas
Bert Haanstra was born on May 31, 1916 in Holten, Overijssel, Netherlands as Albert Haanstra. He was a director and writer, known for Glas (1958), Zoo (1961) and Mirror of Holland (1950). He was married to Angenieta Barendiena Wijtmans. He died on October 23, 1997 in Hilversum, Noord-Holland, ...
83. Seijun Suzuki
Director | Tsigoineruwaizen
Seijun Suzuki was born in Nihonbashi, Tôkyô, on May 24, 1923. In 1943, he entered the army to fight at the front. In 1946, he enrolled in the film department of the Kamakura Academy and passed the assistant director's exam. For the next few years, he worked as an assistant director at several ...
85. Masaaki Yuasa
Director | Yoake tsugeru Rû no uta
He cites various animated works as an influence: the works of animators Tex Avery and Irene Starewicz, the Japanese animated features Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1971) and Hakkenden shin sho (1990), the adventure series Lupin the 3rd (1971), the psychedelic sci-fantasy films Yellow Submarine (...
86. Bruce Conner
Bruce Conner was born in McPherson, Kansas, in 1933 and studied art at Wichita University, the University of Nebraska, the Brooklyn Art School, and the University of Colorado. Moving to San Francisco in 1957, Conner became involved with the Beatniks. He continued to live and work in San Francisco, ...
87. Bruce Baillie
Director | Mr. Hayashi
Bruce Baillie was born on September 24, 1931 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA. He was a director and cinematographer, known for Mr. Hayashi (1963), Quick Billy (1971) and Quixote (1966). He was married to Lorie Apit. He died on April 10, 2020 in Camano Island, Washington, USA.
91. Dalton Trumbo
Writer | Roman Holiday
Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery.
Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in ...
93. Oz Perkins
Writer | February
Oz Perkins was born on February 2, 1974 in New York City, New York, USA as Osgood Robert Perkins. He is an actor and writer, known for The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015), I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) and Legally Blonde (2001). He was previously married to Sidney.
Director | Rosalie
Born in Kwilcz, Poland, Walerian Borowczyk trained as a painter and lithographer, winning Poland's National Prize in 1953. He began his film career as a film poster designer, then started making short animated films in the late 1950s. Moving to France in the early 1960s, he gained a reputation as a...
Producer | Lady in the Water
Born in Puducherry, India, and raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional actor, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots.
He is the son of Jayalakshmi, a Tamil ...
99. Brad Bird
Writer | The Incredibles
Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor, known for both animated and live-action films. Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four children of Marjorie A. (née Cross) and Philip Cullen Bird. His father worked in...