Directors with 50 or more feature films

by GusF | created - 20 Dec 2016 | updated - 31 Jul 2017 | Public

I am only including feature films as opposed to short films.

Roger Corman and Jean-Luc Godard are the only living directors on the list.

1. Richard Thorpe

Director | Knights of the Round Table

After working in vaudeville, on the stage and in early movies, Richard Thorpe launched his directing career in 1923. After directing dozens of low-budget comedies and westerns, his talents were recognized in the mid-'30s when he went to work for MGM. Studio chief Louis B. Mayer valued efficiency in...

182.

2. Michael Curtiz

Director | Casablanca

Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. After WWI, he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner...

170.

3. Ray Taylor

Director | Detective Lloyd

One of the more prolific American directors, Ray Taylor was a Midwesterner who began his show-business career as an actor and stage manager in regional theater, a career that was interrupted by army service in World War I. After his discharge he ventured to Hollywood, where he got a job with Fox ...

140.

4. Phil Rosen

Director | Hold the Press

Phil started working with Edison in 1912 as cinematographer where he filmed "Miracle Man". He then became a director and worked for Universal, Hodkinson, Paramount, MGM and FBO.

137.

5. Allan Dwan

Director | A Perfect Crime

Allan Dwan was born on April 3, 1885 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as Joseph Aloysius Dwan. He was a director and writer, known for A Perfect Crime (1921), Bound in Morocco (1918) and A Broken Doll (1921). He was married to Marie Shelton and Pauline Bush. He died on December 28, 1981 in Woodland ...

135.

6. Raoul Walsh

Director | Sadie Thompson

Raoul Walsh's 52-year directorial career made him a Hollywood legend. Walsh was also an actor: He appeared in the first version of W. Somerset Maugham's "Rain" renamed Sadie Thompson (1928) opposite Gloria Swanson in the title role. He would have played the Cisco Kid in his own film In Old Arizona ...

120.

7. John Ford

Director | The Quiet Man

John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known for his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, ...

119.

8. Spencer Gordon Bennet

Director | The Oil Raider

Spencer Gordon Bennet was born on January 5, 1893 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He was a director and producer, known for The Oil Raider (1934), The House Without a Key (1926) and Snowed In (1926). He died on October 8, 1987 in Santa Monica, California, USA.

112.

9. Jack Conway

Director | Viva Villa!

Born Hugh Ryan Conway of Irish ancestry, Jack Conway was one of a team of MGM contract directors (others included Sam Wood and Robert Z. Leonard), who forsook any pretense to a specific individual style in favor of working within the strictures set forth by studio management--as embodied by Irving ...

97.

10. Henry King

Director | The Song of Bernadette

For more than three decades, Henry King was the most versatile and reliable (not to mention hard-working) contract director on the 20th Century-Fox lot. His tenure lasted from 1930 to 1961, spanning most of Hollywood's "golden" era. King was renowned as a specialist in literary adaptations (A Bell ...

96.

11. W.S. Van Dyke

Director | The Thin Man

For the better part of his career, Woodbridge Strong Van Dyke lived up to his sobriquet "One-Take Woody" by steadfastly adhering to his credo of shooting each scene as quickly and efficiently as possible. Over his 25-year career, he economically directed over 90 diverse entertainments, which not ...

90.

12. George Marshall

Director | How the West Was Won

George Marshall was a versatile American director who came to Hollywood to visit his mother and "have a bit of fun". Expelled from Chicago University in 1912, he was an unsettled young man, drifting from job to job, variously employed as a mechanic, newspaper reporter and lumberjack with a logging ...

89.

13. Sam Wood

Director | Ivy

Following a two-year apprenticeship under Cecil B. DeMille as assistant director, Samuel Grosvenor Wood had the good fortune to have assigned to him two of the biggest stars at Paramount during their heyday: Wallace Reid (between 1919 and 1920) and Gloria Swanson (from 1921 to 1923). By the time ...

83.

14. William A. Wellman

Director | A Star Is Born

William Wellman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter-director of the original A Star Is Born (1937), was called "Wild Bill" during his World War I service as an aviator, a nickname that persisted in Hollywood due to his larger-than-life personality and lifestyle.

A leap-year baby born in 1896 on the 29th...

82.

15. Roy Del Ruth

Director | It Happened on Fifth Avenue

Roy Del Ruth was born on Oct. 18, 1895, in Philadelphia, PA. He began his Hollywood career as a writer for Mack Sennett in 1915. He began directing in 1919 for Sennett with the two-reeler Hungry Lions and Tender Hearts (1920). In the early 1920s he moved over to features with such efforts as Asleep...

80.

16. Cecil B. DeMille

Producer | The Ten Commandments

His parents Henry C. DeMille and Beatrice DeMille were playwrights. His father died when he was 12, and his mother supported the family by opening a school for girls and a theatrical company. Too young to enlist in the Spanish-American War, Cecil followed his brother William C. de Mille to the New ...

76.

17. Mervyn LeRoy

Director | Gypsy

The great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 was a tragedy for Mervyn LeRoy. While he and his father managed to survive, they lost everything they had. To make money, LeRoy sold newspapers and entered talent contests as a singer. When he entered vaudeville, his act was "LeRoy and Cooper--Two...

76.

18. Julien Duvivier

Writer | Le paquebot Tenacity

Revered by such legendary fellow directors as Ingmar Bergman and Jean Renoir, Julien Duvivier is one of the greatest figures in the history of French cinema and of world cinema in general. He is perhaps the most neglected of the "Big Five" of classic French cinema (the other four being Jean Renoir,...

70.

19. David Butler

Director | You'll Find Out

David Butler was born on December 17, 1894 in San Francisco, California, USA. He was a director and actor, known for You'll Find Out (1940), Look for the Silver Lining (1949) and Just Imagine (1930). He was married to Elshie H Schulte. He died on June 14, 1979 in Arcadia, California.

68.

20. Alexander Korda

Director | The Private Life of Don Juan

One of a large group of Hungarian refugees who found refuge in England in the 1930s, Sir Alexander Korda was the first British film producer to receive a knighthood. He was a major, if controversial, figure and acted as a guiding force behind the British film industry of the 1930s and continued to ...

68.

21. Ernst Lubitsch

Director | To Be or Not to Be

From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at ...

67.

22. Henry Hathaway

Director | True Grit

Henry Hathaway, son of a stage actress and manager, started his career as a child actor in westerns directed by Allan Dwan. His movie career was interrupted by World War I. After his discharge he briefly tried a career in finance but returned to Hollywood to work as an assistant director under such...

66.

23. Walter Lang

Director | The King and I

Walter Lang entered the film industry in New York when he got a job as a clerk in the office of a film production company. He worked his way up to assistant director, and directed his first film in 1926. By the time sound arrived Lang was already a well-regarded director, but he left the business ...

66.

24. Ford Beebe

Director | Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe

Ford Beebe was born on November 26, 1888 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA as Ford Ingalsbe Beebe. He was a writer and director, known for Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940), The Golden Idol (1954) and Lord of the Jungle (1955). He was married to Kitty Winifred Delevanti and Frances Caroline ...

65.

25. George Cukor

Director | My Fair Lady

George Cukor was born on July 7, 1899 in Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA as George Dewey Cukor. He is known for his work on My Fair Lady (1964), The Philadelphia Story (1940) and Les Girls (1957). He died on January 24, 1983 in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, California, USA.

62.

26. King Vidor

Director | Hallelujah

King Vidor was an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter of Hungarian descent. He was born in Galveston, Texas to lumberman Charles Shelton Vidor and his wife Kate Wallis. King's paternal grandfather Károly (Charles) Vidor had fled Hungary as a refugee following the failed ...

57.

27. Roger Corman

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Roger William Corman was born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan. Initially following in his father's footsteps, Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but while in school, he began to lose interest in the profession and developed a growing passion for film. Upon graduation, he worked a...

56.

28. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

56.

29. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | Pierrot le fou

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

53.

30. Victor Sjöström

Actor | Smultronstället

Victor Sjöström was born on September 20, 1879, and is the undisputed father of Swedish film, ranking as one of the masters of world cinema. His influence lives on in the work of Ingmar Bergman and all those directors, both Swedish and international, influenced by his work and the works of ...

53.

31. Clarence Brown

Director | Anna Karenina

Clarence Leon Brown was the son of Larkin Harry and Catherine Ann (Gaw) Brown of Clinton, Massachusetts. His family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, when he was 12 years old. He graduated from Knoxville High School in 1905 and from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in mechanical and electrical ...

51.

32. Terence Fisher

Director | Dracula

Terence Fisher was born in Maida Vale, England, in 1904. Raised by his grandmother in a strict Christian Scientist environment, Fisher left school while still in his teens to join the Merchant Marine. By his own account he soon discovered that a life at sea was not for him, so he left the service ...

51.

33. Tod Browning

Director | Dracula

Belonging to a well-situated family, Charles Browning fell in love at the age of 16 with a dancer of a circus. Following her began his itinerary of being clown, jockey and director of a variety theater which ended when he met D.W. Griffith and became an actor. He made his debut in Intolerance: ...

50.



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