Greatest Directors--N-O

by 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 ...

2. Christopher Nolan

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...

5. Nagisa Ôshima

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 ...

6. Gregory Nava

Writer | Selena

Gregory Nava was born on April 10, 1949 in San Diego, California, USA as Gregory James Nava. He is a writer and director, known for Selena (1997).

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 ...

9. Phillip Noyce

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 ...

11. Ruben Östlund

Director | Turist

Ruben Östlund was born on April 13, 1974 in Styrsö, Västra Götalands län, Sweden as Claes Olle Ruben Östlund. He is a director and writer, known for Force Majeure (2014), The Square (2017) and Involuntary (2008). He was previously married to Andrea Östlund.

12. Fred Niblo

The Artist

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).

15. Hideo Nakata

Director | Honogurai mizu no soko kara

Hideo Nakata was born on July 19, 1961 in Okayama, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Dark Water (2002), Ringu (1998) and Ring 2 (1999).

16. Roy William Neill

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, ...

17. Jeff Nichols

Writer | Take Shelter

Jeff Nichols was born on December 7, 1978 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Take Shelter (2011), Midnight Special (2016) and Mud (2012).

18. Manoel de Oliveira

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 ...

22. Chris Noonan

Writer | Babe

Chris Noonan was born on November 14, 1952 in Sydney, Australia as Christopher Noonan. He is a writer and director, known for Babe (1995), Stepping Out (1980) and Miss Potter (2006).

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.

26. Marcel Ophüls

Director | Hôtel Terminus

Marcel Ophüls was born on November 1, 1927 in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany as Hans Marcel Oppenheimer. He is a director and writer, known for Hôtel Terminus (1988), Veillées d'armes (1994) and The Memory of Justice (1976).

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 ...

31. François Ozon

Director | Dans la maison

François Ozon was born on November 15, 1967 in Paris, France. He is a director and writer, known for In the House (2012), 8 Women (2002) and Swimming Pool (2003).

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 ...

34. Gaspar Noé

Director | Enter the Void

Gaspar Noé was born on December 27, 1963 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a director and producer, known for Enter the Void (2009), Climax (2018) and Irreversible (2002).

35. David Nutter

Director | Game of Thrones

David Nutter was born in 1960 in the USA. He is a director and producer, known for Game of Thrones (2011), The Pacific (2010) and Space: Above and Beyond (1995). He was previously married to Birgit Nutter.

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 ...

37. Niels Arden Oplev

Director | Män som hatar kvinnor

Niels Arden Oplev was born on March 26, 1961 in Denmark. He is a director and producer, known for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009), We Shall Overcome (2006) and Held for Ransom (2019).

38. Tetsuya Nakashima

Director | Kokuhaku

Tetsuya Nakashima was born on September 2, 1959 in Fukuoka, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Confessions (2010), Memories of Matsuko (2006) and Kamikaze Girls (2004).

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.

42. Idrissa Ouedraogo

Director | Yaaba

Idrissa Ouedraogo was born on January 21, 1954 in Banfora, Upper Volta [now Burkina Faso]. He was a director and writer, known for Yaaba (1989), The Law (1990) and Samba Traoré (1992). He died on February 18, 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

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 ...

44. Govind Nihalani

Cinematographer | Droh Kaal

Cinematographs all his films himself.

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 ...

46. Yoshihiro Nakamura

Director | Fisshu sutôrî

Yoshihiro Nakamura was born in 1970 in Ibaraki, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Fish Story (2009), A Boy and His Samurai (2010) and Dark Water (2002).

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.

48. Leopoldo Torre Nilsson

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 ...

51. Annette K. Olesen

Director | Lille soldat

Annette K. Olesen was born on November 20, 1965 in Denmark. She is a director and writer, known for Little Soldier (2008), In Your Hands (2004) and Minor Mishaps (2002).

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

Director | China. Die Künste - der Alltag. Eine filmische Reisebeschreibung

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).

55. Ferzan Ozpetek

Director | La finestra di fronte

Ferzan Ozpetek was born on February 3, 1959 in Istanbul, Turkey. He is a director and writer, known for Facing Windows (2003), Loose Cannons (2010) and His Secret Life (2001).

56. Arch Oboler

Writer | Five

Arch Oboler was born on December 7, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a writer and director, known for Five (1951), Bwana Devil (1952) and The Twonky (1953). He was married to Eleanor Helfand. He died on March 19, 1987 in Westlake Village, California, USA.

57. Damien O'Donnell

Director | East Is East

Damien O'Donnell was born in 1967 in Dublin, Ireland. He is a director and producer, known for East Is East (1999), 35 Aside (1996) and Rory O'Shea Was Here (2004).

58. Miwa Nishikawa

Writer | Dia dokutâ

Miwa Nishikawa was born in 1974 in Hiroshima, Japan. She is a writer and director, known for Dear Doctor (2009), Sway (2006) and Wild Berries (2003).

59. Maurizio Nichetti

Actor | Luna e l'altra

Maurizio Nichetti was born on May 8, 1948 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. He is an actor and writer, known for Luna e l'altra (1996), To Want to Fly (1991) and The Icicle Thief (1989).

60. Yoshihiro Nishimura

Make_up_department | Tôkyô zankoku keisatsu

Yoshihiro Nishimura was born on April 1, 1967 in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. He is known for his work on Tokyo Gore Police (2008), Meatball Machine Kodoku (2017) and The ABCs of Death (2012).

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 ...

62. Damien Odoul

Writer | Le souffle

Damien Odoul was born on March 15, 1968 in Le Puy, Haute-Loire, France. He is a writer and director, known for Deep Breath (2001), The Fear (2015) and After We're Gone (2004).

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 ...

65. Don Owen

Director | High Steel

Don Owen was born on September 19, 1931 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was a director and writer, known for High Steel (1965), Unfinished Business (1984) and The Ernie Game (1967). He died on February 21, 2016 in Toronto.

66. F.J. Ossang

Director | 9 doigts

F.J. Ossang was born on August 7, 1956 as Jacques Plougeaut. He is a director and actor, known for 9 Fingers (2017), Silence (2007) and Dharma Guns (La succession Starkov) (2010).



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