Greatest Directors--N-Oby z_ingle | created - 12 Feb 2015 | updated - 26 Dec 2018 | Public
This is a ranked list of directors whose last name begins with a "N" or "O."
1. 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 ...
Writer | Tenet
Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear, storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970, in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.
3. Mike Nichols
Director | The Graduate
He, along with the other members of the "Compass Players" including Elaine May, Paul Sills, Byrne Piven, Joyce Hiller Piven and Ed Asner helped start the famed "Second City Improv" company. They used the games taught to them by fellow cast mate, Paul Sills 's mother, Viola Spolin. He later worked in...
4. Sven Nykvist
Cinematographer | The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Sven Nykvist was considered by many in the industry to be one of the world's greatest cinematographers. During his long career that spanned almost half a century, Nyvist perfected the art of cinematography to its most simple attributes, and he helped give the films he had worked on the simplest and...
Director | Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Nagisa Oshima's career extends from the initiation of the "Nuberu bagu" (New Wave) movement in Japanese cinema in the late 1950s and early 1960s, to the contemporary use of cinema and television to express paradoxes in modern society. After an early involvement with the student protest movement in ...
7. Mira Nair
Director | Salaam Bombay!
Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...
8. Mamoru Oshii
Director | Inosensu: Innocence
Mamoru Oshii is a Japanese filmmaker, television director and screenwriter. Famous for his philosophy-oriented storytelling, Oshii has directed a number of popular anime, including Urusei Yatsura (1981-1984), Angel's Egg (1985), Patlabor: The Movie (1989), Ghost in the Shell (1995), and Ghost in ...
Producer | Rabbit-Proof Fence
Born in the Australian outback town of Griffith, New South Wales, Phillip Noyce moved to Sydney with his family at the age of 12. As a teenager, he was introduced to underground films produced on shoestring budgets as well as mainstream American movies. He was 18 when he made his first film, the 15...
10. Laurence Olivier
Actor | Sleuth
Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High ...
12. Fred Niblo
Fred Niblo entered films in 1917 after two decades as a touring actor in vaudeville and one-time manager of 'The Four Cohans' (he married Josephine Cohan, the sister of George M. Cohan). He made his film debut with two early Australian silent films in 1916. He worked for Thomas H. Ince from 1917 as ...
13. Andrew Niccol
Writer | Gattaca
New Zealand-born screenwriter-director Andrew Niccol began his career in London, successfully directing TV commercials before moving to Los Angeles in order to make films "longer than 60 seconds." He interested high-powered producer Scott Rudin in his The Truman Show (1998) script, but Rudin was not...
14. Alanis Obomsawin
Director | Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Alanis Obomsawin was born on August 31, 1932 in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993), Waban-aki: People from Where the Sun Rises (2006) and Is the Crown at War with Us? (2002).
Director | Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
Roy William Neill was born on September 4, 1887 in ship off Ireland as Roland de Gostrie. He was a director and producer, known for Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), The Scarlet Claw (1944) and Murder Will Out (1939). He was married to Betty MacLaglen. He died on December 14, 1946 in London, ...
Director | Os Canibais
Manoel de Oliveira was born on December 11, 1908 in Oporto, Portugal as Manoel Candido Pinto de Oliveira. He was a director and writer, known for Os Canibais (1988), I'm Going Home (2001) and Cristóvão Colombo - O Enigma (2007). He was married to Maria Isabel Brandão de Meneses de ...
19. Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Writer | Akira
Katsuhiro Ôtomo is a Japanese manga artist, screenwriter and film director. He is best known as the creator of the manga Akira and its animated film adaptation.
In 1979, after writing multiple short-stories for the magazine Action, Otomo created his first science-fiction work, titled Fireball. ...
20. Mabel Normand
Actress | Mickey
Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "...
21. Jessie Nelson
Writer | I Am Sam
Jessie Nelson is an American producer and writer, known for her work on I Am Sam (2001), Stepmom (1998), Corrina, Corrina (1994), and The Story of us (1999). She is married to film and television series director Bryan Gordon and their daughter is actress Molly Gordon. Jessie and Molly have worked ...
23. Frank Oz
Actor | The Muppet Show
Frank Richard Oznowicz was born in Hereford, England to puppeteers Frances and Isidore Oznowicz. His family moved to Montana in 1951, eventually settling in Oakland, California. As a teenager, he worked as an apprentice puppeteer at Children's Fairyland amusement park. He is one of the primary ...
24. Mikio Naruse
Director | Ukigumo
Considered a major figure of Japan's 'golden age of cinema', Mikio Naruse was a filmmaker, screenwriter, and producer who directed 89 films in the period 1930 to 1967. Although Naruse's work is lesser known in the twenty-first century than those of his contemporaries Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi...
25. Mike Newell
Director | Four Weddings and a Funeral
Attended Cambridge University. Three year training course at Granada Television, with intention of going into theatre. Graduated to directing TV plays, building strong reputation for work with David Hare, David Edgar, Hohn, John Osborne, Jack Rosenthal.
27. 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...
28. Sidney Olcott
Director | Monsieur Beaucaire
Prolific silent film director, the son of Irish immigrants. Olcott started as an actor on the New York stage and then appeared in films for Mutoscope in 1904, eventually working his way up to general manager of Biograph. Lured away to a rival company he began to direct features for Kalem by 1907. ...
29. Khyentse Norbu
Writer | Phörpa
The feature films of Bhutanese writer and director Khyentse Norbu have received accolades, honours, and awards at numerous international film festivals.
Norbu's first film, The Cup (1999), became an international sensation after its premiere screening at the Cannes Film Festival's prestigious ...
30. 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 ...
32. 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, ...
33. Paul Naschy
Actor | El retorno del Hombre Lobo
Paul Naschy reigns supreme as the true king of Spanish horror cinema. He was born Jacinto Molina Alvarez on September 6, 1934, in Madrid, Spain. His father ran a successful fur business. Naschy grew up during the Spanish Civil War, and sought escape from the real-life horrors around him in ...
36. Victor Nunez
Director | Ulee's Gold
This film director, a founding member of the Independent Feature Project, has made a name with low-budget, non-"Hollywood" projects which gestate for as long as ten years before being filmed. Nunez - who grew up in Peru and in Tallahassee, Florida - completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees ...
39. María Novaro
Director | Las buenas hierbas
The most successful woman director of Mexican cinema studied Sociology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Film Production at the University Center of Film Studies (CUEC) in Mexico City. She began her career as assistant director of Alberto Cortés in Amor a la vuelta de la ...
40. Jan Nemec
Director | Toyen
Jan Nemec was born on July 12, 1936 in Prague, Czechoslovakia [now Czech Republic]. He was a director and writer, known for Toyen (2005), Diamonds of the Night (1964) and Martyrs of Love (1967). He was married to Iva Ruszeláková, Veronica Baumann, Marta Kubisová and Ester Krumbachová. He died on ...
41. Pat O'Connor
Director | The Ballroom of Romance
Pat O'Connor was born in 1943 in Ardmore, Ireland. He is a director and producer, known for The Ballroom of Romance (1986), Fools of Fortune (1990) and Sweet November (2001). He has been married to Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio since 1990. They have two children.
43. Gérard Oury
Writer | Le corniaud
Gérard Oury was born on April 29, 1919 in Paris, France as Max-Gérard Houry Tannenbaum. He was an actor and writer, known for The Sucker (1965), The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob (1973) and La Grande Vadrouille (1966). He was married to Michèle Morgan and Jacqueline Roman. He died on July 19, 2006 ...
45. Kihachi Okamoto
Director | Dai yûkai
Okamoto belonged to what one colleague called "the generation where most of them got killed": the leagues of university graduates who were drafted into and sacrificed to the last years of Japan's war in the South Pacific. Okamoto was drafted during the very worst of it, in 1943, but almost alone ...
47. Ermanno Olmi
Director | L'albero degli zoccoli
Ermanno Olmi was born on July 24, 1931 in Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy. He was a director and writer, known for The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978), The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988) and Long Live the Lady! (1987). He was married to Loredana Detto. He died on May 5, 2018 in Asiago, Veneto, Italy.
Director | La caída
After ten years as assistant director to his father 'Leopoldo Torre Rios' he co-directed two films with him. His first personal work was "Graciela (1956)", an adoption from the novel 'Nada' of 'Carmen Laforet' which was made out of reach of the censorship of 'General Perón'. Later on Torre Nilsson ...
49. Edgar Neville
Writer | La vida en un hilo
Edgar Neville was born on December 28, 1899 in Madrid, Spain as Edgar Neville Romrée (conde de Berlanga de Duero). He was a writer and director, known for La vida en un hilo (1945), El último caballo (1950) and Flamenco (1952). He was married to Ángeles Rubio Argüelles y Alessandri. He died ...
50. Marshall Neilan
Actor | Daddy-Long-Legs
In the early days of silent pictures, Marshall Neilan was a top director for Goldwyn Pictures. He had also directed a small number of Louis B. Mayer's independently produced melodramas, but there was a mutual dislike between the two men. During the festivities inaugurating the merger of Metro and ...
52. Elvira Notari
Director | Ritorna all'onda
Elvira Notari was born on February 10, 1875 in Salerno, Campania, Italy. She was a director and actress, known for Ritorna all'onda (1914), Fantasia 'e surdate (1927) and La maschera del vizio (1917). She was married to Nicola Notari. She died on December 17, 1946 in Cava de' Tirreni, Campania.
53. Naoko Ogigami
Writer | Karera ga honki de amu toki wa
After graduation from Chiba University's Image Science program, Naoko Ogigami went to the United States in 1994 to study film at the University of Southern California. During this period, she worked as an assistant for TV commercials, promotional videos, and films, and also created short films of ...
54. Ulrike Ottinger
Ulrike Ottinger was born on June 6, 1942 in Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany as Ulrike Weinberg. She is a director and writer, known for China. Die Künste - der Alltag. Eine filmische Reisebeschreibung (1986), Joan of Arc of Mongolia (1989) and Prater (2007).
61. Gunvor Nelson
Director | Field Study #2
Gunvor Eleonora Grundel Nelson, born in Stockholm, Sweden, is director, cinematographer and editor of avant-garde film. She studied at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts & Design and after moving to California, USA, art and art history. Gunvor met her future husband Robert Nelson at ...
63. Mikko Niskanen
Director | Pojat
Mikko Niskanen (1929-1990) was a Finnish film director, writer, producer and actor. He started his directing career in 1962 after studying film making in Moscow. His first feature film The Boys (1962) was a proof of his talent and earned him a Jussi Award for directing. During the next 12 months he ...
64. Yoko Ono
Actress | Isle of Dogs
Yoko Ono was born on Saturday, February 18th, 1933, in her ancestral estate in Tokyo, Japan. Her father, Eisuke Ono, was the descendant of a 9th Century Emperor of Japan. Her mother, Isoko Yasuda Ono, was the granddaughter of Zenijiro Yasuda, the founder of Yasuda Bank. Yoko was two years old when ...