Innovating Directors

by brendan-thiecke | created - 10 Jun 2014 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

1. Sidney Lumet

Director | 12 Angry Men

Sidney Lumet was a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors -- and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York. He made over 40 movies, often complex and emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. Although ...

2. Wes Craven

Writer | A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold vision.

Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Caroline (Miller) and Paul Eugene Craven. He had a midwestern suburban upbringing. His first feature film was The Last House on ...

3. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

4. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

5. Vincenzo Natali

Director | Cube

Vincenzo Natali was born on January 6, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is known for his work on Cube (1997), Cypher (2002) and Splice (2009).

6. Larry Bishop

Actor | Hell Ride

Larry Bishop was born on November 30, 1948 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up in New Jersey. He's the son of famous Rat Pack comic Joey Bishop. Larry attended high school in Beverly Hills, California. After graduation Bishop was briefly in an improvisational group whose other members included...

7. Jaume Balagueró

Writer | [Rec]

Jaume Balagueró was born on November 2, 1968 in Lleida, Lleida, Catalonia, Spain as Jaume Balagueró i Bernat. He is a writer and director, known for [Rec] (2007), Sleep Tight (2011) and The Nameless (1999).

8. Paco Plaza

Director | [Rec]

Paco Plaza was born in 1973 in València, València, Comunitat Valenciana, Spain as Francisco Plaza Trinidad. He is a director and writer, known for [Rec] (2007), Veronica (2017) and [Rec] 2 (2009). He is married to Leticia Dolera.

9. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.

In January of...

10. Norman Jewison

Director | In the Heat of the Night

Norman Frederick Jewison was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Dorothy Irene (Weaver) and Percy Joseph Jewison, who managed a post office and a convenience store. His mother was an English immigrant, and his father was of English and Ulster-Scots descent. Jewison got his BA at Victoria College, ...

11. John Flynn

Director | Lock Up

John Flynn was a very fine, efficient and sadly underrated director who excelled at making mean'n'lean crime pictures. His movies are distinguished by tight plots, a hard, no-nonsense tone, and a taut, streamlined and fiercely economical directorial style. John was born on March 14, 1932 in Chicago...

12. Norifumi Suzuki

Director | Torakku yarô: Goiken muyô

Norifumi Suzuki was born on November 26, 1933 in Shizuoka, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Truck Rascals (1975), Girl Boss Revenge: Sukeban (1973) and Kyôfu joshikôkô: Onna bôryoku kyôshitsu (1972). He died on May 15, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.

13. Paul Verhoeven

Director | RoboCop

Paul Verhoeven graduated from the University of Leiden, with a degree in math and physics. He entered the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he began his film career by making documentaries for the Navy and later for TV. In 1969, he directed the popular Dutch TV series, Floris (1969), about a medieval ...

14. Danny Boyle

Director | 127 Hours

Danny Boyle was born on October 20, 1956 in Manchester, England as Daniel Boyle. He is a director and producer, known for 127 Hours (2010), 28 Days Later... (2002) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

15. Sam Raimi

Director | Spider-Man

Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead (1981). From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making ...

16. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

17. Walter Hill

Writer | 48 Hrs.

Hill was born in Long Beach, California and educated at Mexico City College and Michigan State University. He worked in oil drilling and construction in the 60s before becoming a 2nd assistant director in 1967. He has written and co-written screenplays, including several uncredited works. He has ...

18. John Carpenter

Soundtrack | Escape from New York

John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky ...

19. Richard C. Sarafian

Director | The Next Man

Richard C. Sarafian was born on April 28, 1930 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard Caspar Sarafian. He was a director and actor, known for The Next Man (1976), Blue Streak (1999) and Bound (1996). He was married to Helen Joan Altman. He died on September 18, 2013 in Santa Monica, California,...

20. Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer | The Neon Demon

Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teen years. ...

21. Ang Lee

Director | Wo hu cang long

Born in 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, Ang Lee has become one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers. Ang graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975 and then came to the U.S. to receive a B.F.A. Degree in Theatre/Theater Direction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ...

22. John Sturges

Director | The Great Escape

John Sturges was born on January 3, 1910 in Oak Park, Illinois, USA as John Elliott Sturges. He was a director and producer, known for The Great Escape (1963), The Magnificent Seven (1960) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). He was married to Katherine Helena Soules and Dorothy Lynn Brooks. He died ...

23. Nicolas Provost

Director | Stardust

Nicolas Provost is a director and producer, known for Stardust (2010), The Invader (2011) and Tokyo Giants (2013).

24. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...

25. Shane Meadows

Director | This Is England

Shane Meadows was born on December 26, 1972 in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England. He is a director and writer, known for This Is England (2006), Dead Man's Shoes (2004) and TwentyFourSeven (1997).

26. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

27. Wolfgang Petersen

Director | Das Boot

This director seems to shine most when making movies that can best be described as part action movies/part disaster movies.

Beginning with Outbreak (1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees....

28. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

29. Dennis Hopper

Actor | Easy Rider

With an amazing cinematic career of more than five decades, Dennis Hopper was a multi-talented and unconventional actor/director, regarded by many as one of the true "enfants terribles" of Hollywood. Hopper was born on May 17, 1936 in Dodge City, Kansas, to Marjorie Mae (Davis) and James Millard ...

30. Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Director | Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da

Nuri Bilge Ceylan was born in Istanbul on January 26th, 1959. In 1976, he began studying chemical engineering at Istanbul Technical University, in a context of strong student unrest, boycotts and political polarization. In 1978, he switched courses to Electrical Engineering at Bogazici University. ...

31. John Hough

Producer | The Human Race

Talented and versatile director John Hough has had a long and eclectic career that encompasses everything from a sexy "Hammer" horror feature to more wholesome "Disney" family fare. Hough was born on November 21st, 1941 in London, England. Hough began his career in his early twenties, working odd ...

32. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Ran

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

33. John Woo

Director | Ying hung boon sik

Born in southern China, John Woo grew up in Hong Kong, where he began his film career as an assistant director in 1969, working for Shaw Brothers Studios. He directed his first feature in 1973 and has been a prolific director ever since, working in a wide variety of genres before A Better Tomorrow ...

34. Leos Carax

Director | Holy Motors

Leos Carax made several short films and also wrote film criticism, then at the age of 24 years made a very strong first feature Boy Meets Girl (1984). The film played at the 1984 Cannes film festival and was a critical triumph. It paved the way for Carax's second feature Mauvais Sang (1986) (Bad ...

35. Federico Fellini

Writer | Amarcord

The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...

36. Charles Vidor

Director | Gilda

Hungarian-born Karoly Vidor spent the First World War as a lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian infantry. Following the armistice, he made his way to Berlin and worked for the German film company Ufa, as editor and assistant director. In 1924, he emigrated to the U.S. and, for several years, earned ...

37. Ari Folman

Writer | Vals Im Bashir

Ari Folman was born on December 17, 1962 in Haifa, Israel. He is a writer and director, known for Waltz with Bashir (2008), The Congress (2013) and Saint Clara (1996).

38. Roy Andersson

Director | Sånger från andra våningen

Roy Andersson was born on March 31, 1943 in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden as Roy Arne Lennart Andersson. He is a director and writer, known for Songs from the Second Floor (2000), A Swedish Love Story (1970) and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014).

39. Lou Adler

Producer | Up in Smoke

Lou Adler was born on December 13, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He has been married to Page Hannah since March 28, 1992. They have four children. He was previously married to Shelley Fabares.

40. George Roy Hill

Director | The Sting

George Roy Hill was never able to 'hit it off' with the critics despite the fact that 2 of his films - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and The Sting (1973) - had remained among the top 10 box office hits by 1976. His work was frequently derided as 'impersonal' or lacking in stylistic ...

41. 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 ...

42. Russ Meyer

Director | Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens

Russell Albion Meyer was born in San Leandro, California, to Lydia Lucinda (Hauck), a nurse, and William Arthur Meyer, a police officer, who divorced during his childhood. His parents were both of German descent. Meyer began winning prizes at 15 with his amateur films. He spent World War II in ...

43. Arthur Penn

Director | Bonnie and Clyde

Arthur Penn was born on September 27, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Little Big Man (1970) and The Miracle Worker (1962). He was married to Peggy Maurer. He died on September 28, 2010 in Manhattan, New York City, New York,...

44. Jean-Jacques Annaud

Director | Der Name der Rose

Jean-Jacques Annaud is a French film director, screenwriter and producer, best known for directing Quest for Fire (1981), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Lover (1992), Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and Wolf Totem (2015). Annaud has received numerous awards for his work, including four César Awards, ...

45. Fabián Bielinsky

Writer | Nueve reinas

He graduated from ENERC (Escuela Nacional de Experimentación y Realización Cinematográfica), the most prestigious film school in Argentina, including Lucrecia Martel among its alumni and Anahí Berneri among its lecturers. He worked in several films as Assistant Director or co-writer, until his ...

46. Alejandro Jodorowsky

Writer | La montaña sagrada

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile on February 17, 1929. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a short film, La cravate...

47. Richard Attenborough

Actor | Jurassic Park

Lord Richard Attenborough was born in Cambridge, England, the son of Mary (née Clegg), a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council, and Frederick Levi Attenborough, a scholar and academic administrator who was a don at Emmanuel College and wrote a standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. ...

48. Alejandro Amenábar

Writer | The Others

Is the son of a Spanish mother and a Chilean father. His family moved back to Spain when he was 1 year old, and he grew up and studied in Madrid. He wrote, produced and directed his first short film La cabeza at the age of 19, and he was 23 when he directed his feature debut Thesis (1996). His film ...

49. Ryan Fleck

Director | Half Nelson

Ryan K. Fleck is an American film director, cinematographer, editor, and screenwriter best known for directing and writing the 2006 film Half Nelson and the 2008 film Sugar. He is known for his collaborations with fellow filmmaker Anna Boden. Ryan was born in Berkeley, California and raised in ...

50. Robert Bresson

Writer | Au hasard Balthazar

Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Public Affairs (1934) in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Angels of Sin (1943) in 1943. His next film, Les ...

51. Luis Buñuel

Writer | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie

The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...

52. 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. Frank Perry

Director | Mommie Dearest

Frank Perry was born on August 21, 1930 in New York City, New York, USA as Jr. Frank Joseph Perry. He was a director and producer, known for Mommie Dearest (1981), Last Summer (1969) and David and Lisa (1962). He was married to Virginia Brush Ford, Barbara Goldsmith and Eleanor Perry. He died on ...

54. Sydney Pollack

Director | Tootsie

Sydney Pollack was an Academy Award-winning director, producer, actor, writer and public figure, who directed and produced over 40 films.

Sydney Irwin Pollack was born July 1, 1934 in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, to Rebecca (Miller), a homemaker, and David Pollack, a professional boxer turned pharmacist...

55. Atom Egoyan

Director | The Sweet Hereafter

Born in Egypt to Armenian parents, he was raised in Western Canada. Both his parents were painters, and he planned to be a playwright, but after making a short film, he became hooked on telling stories visually. Returned to ethnic "homeland" when he filmed Calendar (1993) in Armenia. Won attention ...

56. Hong-jin Na

Writer | Chugyeogja

Na Hong-jin born in 1974 is a South Korean film director and screenwriter. His debut film The Chaser (2008) won Best Director at the 45th Grand Bell Awards in 2008. The film also won the award for Best Film. His follow up film, The Yellow Sea, was released in South Korea on December 15, 2010. It is...

57. Ken Russell

Director | The Devils

Ken Russell tried several professions before choosing to become a film director; he was a still photographer and a dancer and he even served in the Army, but film was his destiny. He began by making several short films which paved the way for his brilliant television films of the 1960s that are ...

58. Tinto Brass

Director | La vacanza

Giovanni Brass was born on 26 March 1933 into the family of a famous artist, Italico Brass, who was his grandfather. Italico gave his grandson a nickname "Tintoretto," which Giovanni later adapted into his cinematic name, Tinto Brass.

Tinto inherited his grandfather's artistic skills, but he applied...

59. Gaspar Noé

Director | Irréversible

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

60. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

61. Stuart Rosenberg

Director | Cool Hand Luke

Stuart Rosenberg was born on August 11, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Cool Hand Luke (1967), Question 7 (1961) and The Defenders (1961). He was married to Margot Pohoryles. He died on March 15, 2007 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, ...

62. Charles Laughton

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent, respectively. He was educated at Stonyhurst (a highly esteemed Jesuit college in England) and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). ...

63. Michele Soavi

Director | Dellamorte Dellamore

Born in Milan, Italy in 1957, Michele Soavi's parents separated when he was little and he lived with his mother who remarried a painter. Interested in his stepfather's interest in painting, Soavi began an interest in creative arts in his school. During his teenage years, he decided that the cinema ...

64. Shin'ya Tsukamoto

Actor | Tetsuo

Shin'ya Tsukamoto was born on January 1, 1960 in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. He is an actor and director, known for Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989), Ichi the Killer (2001) and Vital (2004).

65. Brian De Palma

Director | Dressed to Kill

Brian De Palma is the son of a surgeon. He studied physics but at the same time felt his dedication for the movies and made some short films. After seven independent productions he had his first success with Sisters (1972) and his voyeuristic style. Restlessly he worked on big projects with the ...

66. Walter Ruttmann

Cinematographer | Metropolis

Walter Ruttmann was born on December 28, 1887 in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany as Friedrich Wilhelm Walter Ruttmann. He was a director and writer, known for Metropolis (1927), Mannesmann - Ein Film der Mannesmannröhren-Werke (1937) and Acciaio (1933). He was married to Christine Margarete Helene ...

67. John Landis

Director | The Blues Brothers

John Landis began his career in the mail room of 20th Century-Fox. A high-school dropout, 18-year-old Landis made his way to Yugoslavia to work as a production assistant on Kelly's Heroes (1970). Remaining in Europe, Landis found work as an actor, extra and stuntman in many of the Spanish/Italian "...

68. Leo McCarey

Director | An Affair to Remember

Leo McCarey was born on October 3, 1896 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Thomas Leo McCarey. He was a director and writer, known for An Affair to Remember (1957), Going My Way (1944) and Love Affair (1939). He was married to Stella Martin. He died on July 5, 1969 in Santa Monica, California.

69. Sergio Corbucci

Writer | Il grande silenzio

Sergio Corbucci was born on December 6, 1927, in Rome, Italy. He entered grade school with thoughts of becoming a businessman, but after earning a college degree in economics he took an abrupt detour into the world of cinema. Corbucci began his career as a film critic, first for the Italian film ...

70. Takashi Miike

Director | Koroshiya 1

Takashi Miike was born in the small town of Yao on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan. His main interest growing up was motorbikes, and for a while he harbored ambitions to race professionally. At the age of 18 he went to study at the film school in Yokohama founded by renowned director Shôhei Imamura, ...

71. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Broken Flowers

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

72. Gérard Corbiau

Director | Farinelli

Gérard Corbiau was born on September 19, 1941 in Brussels, Belgium. He is a director and writer, known for Farinelli (1994), The Music Teacher (1988) and The King Is Dancing (2000).

73. Michael Haneke

Writer | Caché

A true master of his craft, Michael Haneke is one of the greatest film artists working today and one who challenges his viewers each year and work goes by, with films that reflect real portions of life in realistic, disturbing and unforgettable ways. One of the most genuine filmmakers of the world ...

74. 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 ...

75. Tom Ford

Director | A Single Man

Tom Ford is an American fashion designer, film director, screenwriter and film producer. He gained fame as the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. In 2006, Ford launched his own "Tom Ford" label.

Ford directed the films A Single Man (2009) and Nocturnal Animals (2016), both films were...

76. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit

Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and...

77. Marcel Carné

Director | Le quai des brumes

Marcel Carné, the son of a cabinet maker, entered the movies as the assistant of Jacques Feyder. At the age of 25 he directed his first movie Jenny (1936). Colaborating with the writer Jacques Prévert, the decorator Alexandre Trauner, the musician and composer Maurice Jaubert and the actor Jean ...

78. Jack Arnold

Director | The Incredible Shrinking Man

Jack Arnold reigns supreme as one of the great directors of 1950s science-fiction features. His films are distinguished by moody black and white cinematography, solid acting, smart, thoughtful scripts, snappy pacing, a genuine heartfelt enthusiasm for the genre and plenty of eerie atmosphere.

Arnold...

79. Gillo Pontecorvo

Director | La battaglia di Algeri

Gillo Pontecorvo was an Italian filmmaker. He is best known for his 1966 masterpiece, The Battle of Algiers, widely viewed as one of the finest films of its genre: realistic though fictionalized documentary. Its portrayal of the Algerian resistance during the Algerian War uses the neorealist style ...

80. Benh Zeitlin

Director | Beasts of the Southern Wild

Born in New York City and raised in Sunnyside, Queens and then Westchester County, Benh Zeitlin began his career as a film-maker at the tender age of 6 years when he and a friend made a Batman movie. He continued making films as a child before attending Wesleyan University, where he majored in film...

81. Alain Resnais

Director | On connaît la chanson

Alain Resnais was born on June 3, 1922 in Vannes, Morbihan, France as Alain Pierre Marie Jean Georges Resnais. He was a director and editor, known for Same Old Song (1997), Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and My American Uncle (1980). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He died on March...

82. Sergey Bondarchuk

Actor | Voyna i mir I: Andrey Bolkonskiy

Sergei Bondarchuk was one of the most important Russian filmmakers, best known for directing an Academy Award-winning film epic War and Peace (1966), based on the book by Leo Tolstoy, in which he also starred as Pierre Bezukhov.

He was born Sergei Fedorovich Bondarchuk on September, 25, 1920, in the ...

83. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

84. Pedro Almodóvar

Writer | Hable con ella

The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study ...

85. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Writer | Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

Pier Paolo Pasolini achieved fame and notoriety long before he entered the film industry. A published poet at 19, he had already written numerous novels and essays before his first screenplay in 1954. His first film Accattone (1961) was based on his own novel and its violent depiction of the life ...

86. Pablo Larraín

Producer | El Club

Born in Santiago in 1976, Pablo Larraín is, along with Sebastián Lelio, Chile's greatest movie director as well as a major producer (through his Fabula company). Not for the weak-hearted, his films are straightforward, generally aggressive and interspersed with violence. They paint a hard-hitting ...

87. Yorgos Lanthimos

Director | The Lobster

Yorgos Lanthimos was born in Athens, Greece. He studied directing for Film and Television at the Stavrakos Film School in Athens. He has directed a number of dance videos in collaboration with Greek choreographers, in addition to TV commercials, music videos, short films and theater plays. Kinetta,...

88. Jack Hill

Writer | Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told

Jack Hill grew up around movies--his father was a designer for the Disney studios and Warner Brothers. He went to the University of California to study film, where he was a classmate of Francis Ford Coppola--they worked together on student productions and later both apprenticed with Roger Corman, ...

89. Roger Vadim

Writer | Barbarella

Roger Vadim was born on January 26, 1928 in Paris, France as Roger Vladimir Plemiannikov. He was a writer and director, known for Barbarella (1968), The Game Is Over (1966) and No Sun in Venice (1957). He was married to Marie-Christine Barrault, Catherine Schneider, Jane Fonda, Annette Stroyberg ...

90. Walon Green

Writer | The Wild Bunch

Walon Green was born on December 15, 1936 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He is a producer and writer, known for The Wild Bunch (1969), NYPD Blue (1993) and The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971).

92. Volker Schlöndorff

Director | Die Blechtrommel

Has studied economy and political sciences as well as at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographique (IDHEC) in Paris, France. Worked as an assistant director with Louis Malle, Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Resnais. Founded his own production company Bioskop Film together with Reinhard Hauff ...

93. Michael Madsen

Director | Into Eternity: A Film for the Future

Michael Madsen was born in 1971 in Denmark. He is a director and writer, known for Into Eternity: A Film for the Future (2010), The Visit: An Alien Encounter (2015) and The Average of the Average (2011).

94. Michelangelo Antonioni

Writer | Blowup

Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema"...

95. Zhangke Jia

Director | Tian zhu ding

Zhangke Jia was born on May 24, 1970 in Fenyang, Shanxi, China. He is a director and producer, known for A Touch of Sin (2013), Mountains May Depart (2015) and Still Life (2006). He has been married to Tao Zhao since January 7, 2012.

96. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

97. Erle C. Kenton

Director | The Ghost of Frankenstein

Erle C. Kenton entered films as an actor with the Mack Sennett troupe (he was one of the original Keystone Kops). In addition to acting, he performed pretty much any kind of behind-the-scenes job he could get, and by 1919 Sennett gave him a job directing two-reel comedies. The next year he ...

98. Jacques Tati

Writer | Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot

The comic genius Jacques Tati was born Taticheff, descended from a noble Russian family. His grandfather, Count Dimitri, had been a general in the Imperial Army and had served as military attaché to the Russian Embassy in Paris. His father, Emmanuel Taticheff, was a well-to-do picture framer who ...

99. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr....

100. Lodge Kerrigan

Writer | Clean, Shaven

Lodge Kerrigan is a New York film director who has made only four films in fifteen years but whose works have left a deep imprint on the minds of those who have seen them. Difficult indeed to forget Peter Green, the schizophrene of Clean, Shaven (1993), Claire Dolan, the reluctant call-girl of ...



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