Greatest Film Directors
and Their Best Films

Part 5

Greatest Film Directors
Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 , Part 6

Greatest Film Directors: These honored selections are designed as a tribute to some of the greatest directors of all-time, with suggested or recommended Best Films or 'Must-See' Films from their filmographies. See also this site's multi-part compilation of other deserved film directors (alphabetical) - More Great Film Directors.

Key to Iconic Symbols: The following additional sources are indicated by icons in Filmsite's compilation:

selections of the "50 Greatest Film Directors" from the entire list are without ranking numbers. A few more than 50 directors are actually listed on these webpages, due to the issue of not having enough slots for the 'best of the best.'

The Greatest Directors and Their Best Films
Part 5
(Alphabetical Order, Unranked)

Important Director of Hollywood Stars from the 70s through the 90s; also Profilic Producer and Actor

Suggested Filmography: The Slender Thread (1965), This Property is Condemned (1966), The Swimmer (1968) (uncredited), Castle Keep (1969), They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), The Yakuza (1975), Bobby Deerfield (1977), The Electric Horseman (1979), Absence of Malice (1981), Tootsie (1982) (actor, producer, director), Out of Africa (1985), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) (ex. producer), Presumed Innocent (1990) (producer), Havana (1990), Dead Again (1991) (producer), The Firm (1993), Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) (producer), Sabrina (1995), Sense and Sensibility (1995) (producer), Random Hearts (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley (ex. producer), Blow Dry (2001) (ex. producer), Heaven (2002) (ex. producer), The Interpreter (2005), Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005).

British Director/Screenwriter Duo of Visually-Impressive Films

The U.K. screenwriter-director team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger made popular art movies like Black Narcissus and Peeping Tom.

Suggested Filmography: The Man Behind the Mask (1936) (Powell only), The Edge of the World (1937), The Thief of Bagdad (1940), 49th Parallel (1941), One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I'm Going (1945), A Matter of Life and Death/Stairway to Heaven (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), The Small Black Room (1949), The Elusive Pimpernel (1950), The Tales of Hoffman (1951), Peeping Tom (1960) (Powell only), Age of Consent (1969).

Serious Austrian-Born Independent Producer/Director and Outspoken Taboo Breaker Who Challenged the Film Production Codes

After the film noir Laura, he challenged movie censors with drug abuse, in The Man With the Golden Arm, and rape, in Anatomy of a Murder.

Suggested Filmography: Laura (1944) (replaced Mamoulian), Daisy Kenyon (1947), Forever Amber (1947), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), Angel Face (1952), The Moon Is Blue (1953), Carmen Jones (1954), River of No Return (1954), The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), The Man With the Golden Arm (1955), Saint Joan (1957), Bonjour Tristesse (1958), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Porgy and Bess (1959), Exodus (1960), Advise & Consent (1962), The Cardinal (1963), In Harm's Way (1965), Bunny Lake is Missing (1965), Hurry Sundown (1967), Skidoo (1968), Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970).

Cult Movie King, Horror Film Director, and Acclaimed Blockbuster Movie Helmer

Suggested Filmography: The Evil Dead (1981), Crimewave (1985), Evil Dead II (1987), Darkman (1990), Army of Darkness (1993), The Quick and the Dead (1995), A Simple Plan (1998), For Love of the Game (1999), The Gift (2000), Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Spider-Man 3 (2007), Drag Me to Hell (2009), The Possession (2012) (producer), Evil Dead (2013) (producer), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).

NICHOLAS RAY 1911-1979
Hollywood Director of Distinctively Personal/Confessional Works in the 50s

Suggested Filmography: The Twisted Road (1948) - re-released as They Live By Night (1949), Knock on Any Door (1949), In A Lonely Place (1950), On Dangerous Ground (1951), Flying Leathernecks (1951), The Lusty Men (1952), Johnny Guitar (1954), Rebel Without A Cause (1955), Bigger Than Life (1956), Bitter Victory (1957), Party Girl (1958), King of Kings (1961), 55 Days at Peking (1963).

SATYAJIT RAY 1921-1992
Award-Winning Indian-Born Director, the Most Famous of All-Time, and Noted for the Acclaimed "Apu Trilogy"

Suggested Filmography: Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), The Music Room (1958), The World of Apu (1959), The Big City (1963), Charulata (1964), Days and Nights in the Forest (1969), Distant Thunder (1973), The Branches of the Tree (1990).

JEAN RENOIR 1894-1979
Famed Expressionistic French Director of Three of the Greatest Films of All-Time; One of the First Auteurs and Son of Famed Impressionistic Painter Auguste Renoir

Suggested Filmography (mostly Fr.): La Chienne/The Bitch (1931), Boudu Sauvé des Eaux/Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932), Les Bas-fonds/The Underground (1936), The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936), Une Partie Campagne/A Day in the Country (1936), La Grande Illusion/Grand Illusion (1937), La Bete Humaine/The Human Beast (1938), La Marseillaise (1938), La Règle du Jeu/The Rules of the Game (1939), L'Amour/Ways of Love (1940), Swamp Water (1941), This Land is Mine (1943), The Southerner (1945), The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946), The Woman on the Beach (1947), The River (1951), Le Carrosse D'or/The Golden Coach (1953), French Cancan (1955), Elena et Les Hommes (1956), Picnic on the Grass (1959).

KEN RUSSELL 1927-2011
Flamboyant British Director of Sensational, Often Shocking, Grotesque, Impressionistic Cinema

Suggested Filmography: French Dressing (1964), Billion Dollar Brain (1967), Women in Love (1969), The Boy Friend (1971), The Devils (1971), The Music Lovers (1971), Savage Messiah (1972), Mahler (1974), Lisztomania (1975), Tommy (1975), Valentino (1977), Altered States (1980), Crimes of Passion (1984), Gothic (1986), The Lair of the White Worm (1988), Salome's Last Dance (1988), The Rainbow (1989), Whore (1991), Lion's Mouth (2000), The Fall of the Louse of Usher (2002), Revenge of the Elephant Man (2004), Trapped Ashes (2006), Moll Flanders (2008).

Skillful, Capable, and Celebrated British Director

Suggested Filmography: A Kind of Loving (1962), Billy Liar (1963), Darling (1965), Far From the Madding Crowd (1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971), The Day of the Locust (1975), Marathon Man (1976), Yanks (1979), Honky Tonk Freeway (1981), The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), The Believers (1987), Madame Sousatzka (1988), Pacific Heights (1990), The Innocent (1993), Cold Comfort Farm (1995), Eye For An Eye (1996), The Next Best Thing (2000).

Renowned, Notable, Modern American Film-maker of a "New Hollywood" Generation; Director of Contemporary, Visually-Stimulating Films That Predominantly Featured New York City, and Had Urban/Crime Themes

You talkin' to him? No one captures alienated men on the edge the way he's done in Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The Departed.

Suggested Filmography: Who's That Knocking at My Door? (1968), Boxcar Bertha (1972), Mean Streets (1973), Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), New York, New York (1977), The Last Waltz (1978), Raging Bull (1980), The King of Comedy (1982), After Hours (1985), The Color of Money (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), GoodFellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), The Age of Innocence (1993), Casino (1995), A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies (1995) (documentary), Kundun (1997), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), You Can Count on Me (2000) (ex. producer), Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005), The Departed (2006), Shine a Light (2008), Shutter Island (2010), Hugo (2011), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Silence (2016), The Irishman (2019), Killers of the Flower Moon (2023).

Hit-Producing, British-Born Director of Visually-Striking 80s and 90s (and Beyond) Films

A TV-commercial star turned stylish auteur, he made the cool, slick Alien, Blade Runner, and Thelma & Louise.

Suggested Filmography: The Duellists (1977), Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Legend (1985), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Black Rain (1989), Thelma & Louise (1991), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), White Squall (1996), G.I. Jane (1997), Gladiator (2000), Hannibal (2001), Black Hawk Down (2001), Matchstick Men (2003), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), American Gangster (2007), Body of Lies (2008), Robin Hood (2010), Prometheus (2012), The Counselor (2013), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), The Martian (2015), Alien: Covenant (2017), All the Money in the World (2017), The Last Duel (2021), House of Gucci (2021), Napoleon (2023).

TONY SCOTT 1944-2012
British Writer/Director (Brother of Ridley) With Top Gun As His Greatest Claim to Fame

Suggested Filmography: The Hunger (1983), Top Gun (1986), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Days of Thunder (1990), Revenge (1990), The Last Boy Scout (1991), True Romance (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), The Fan (1996), Money (1996), Enemy of the State (1998), Spy Game (2001), Beat the Devil (2002), Man on Fire (2004), Domino (2005), Deja Vu (2006), The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009), Unstoppable (2010).

MACK SENNETT 1880-1960
Greatest, Most Influential Master of Silent Screen Comedy, the "King of Comedy" and Anarchic Slapstick

Suggested Filmography: Producer and Director of hundreds of short films, Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914), The Dentist (1932) (producer), The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933) (producer).

Director of Films Specializing in Twists and Surprise Endings

Suggested Filmography: Praying with Anger (1992), Wide Awake (1998), The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008), The Last Airbender (2010), After Earth (2013), The Visit (2015), Split (2016), Glass (2019), Old (2021), Knock at the Cabin (2023).

DON SIEGEL 1912-1991
Action-Film Director of Low-Budget Police Dramas, Established a Prolific Association with Anti-Hero Clint Eastwood

Suggested Filmography: The Big Steal (1949), Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Baby Face Nelson (1957), The Line-Up (1958), Flaming Star (1960), Hell Is For Heroes (1962), The Killers (1964), Coogan's Bluff (1968), Madigan (1968), Two Mules for Sister Sara (1969), The Beguiled (1971), Dirty Harry (1971), Charley Varrick (1973), The Black Windmill (1974), The Shootist (1976), Telefon (1977), Escape From Alcatraz (1979), Rough Cut (1980), Jinxed! (1982).

DOUGLAS SIRK 1900-1987
Director of Glossy, Stylized, 50s Technicolor, Melodramatic Soap Operas

Suggested Filmography: Lured (1947), Sleep, My Love (1948), Shockproof (1949), Thunder on the Hill (1951), Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952), All I Desire (1953), Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955), Sign of the Pagan (1955), There's Always Tomorrow (1956), Written on the Wind (1956), Battle Hymn (1957), The Tarnished Angels (1957), A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958), Imitation of Life (1959).

Most Commercially-Successful and Prolific Producer/Director of Hollywood Blockbusters and Other 'Big-Budget' Films

He reworked the genre crowd-pleasers of his youth into the modern blockbusters: Jaws, E.T., and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Suggested Filmography: Duel (1971), The Sugarland Express (1974), Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), 1941 (1979), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Poltergeist (1982), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) (segment 2), Gremlins (1984) (producer), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Back to the Future, II, III (1985, 1989, 1990) (executive producer), The Color Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) (executive producer), Always (1989), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Hook (1991), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993), Twister (1996) (executive producer), Amistad (1997), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Men in Black (1997) (producer), Saving Private Ryan (1998), A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001), Jurassic Park III (2001) (ex. producer), Minority Report (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Terminal (2004), War of the Worlds (2005), Munich (2005), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), The Adventures of Tintin (2011), War Horse (2011), Lincoln (2012), Bridge of Spies (2015), The BFG (2016), The Post (2017), Ready Player One (2018), West Side Story (2021), The Fabelmans (2022).

Respected American Producer/Director/Cinematographer of Many Classics

Suggested Filmography: Alice Adams (1935), Swing Time (1936), A Damsel in Distress (1937), Vivacious Lady (1938), Gunga Din (1939), Penny Serenade (1941), The Talk of the Town (1942), Woman of the Year (1942), The More the Merrier (1943), I Remember Mama (1948), American Trilogy: A Place In the Sun (1951), Shane (1953), Giant (1956), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), The Only Game in Town (1970).

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