UK Filmmakersby BalloonCinema | created - 08 Jun 2015 | updated - 19 Apr 2017 | Public
Writer | The Great Dictator
Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...
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 ...
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 ...
Director | Mary Poppins
Robert Stevenson was born on March 31, 1905 in Buxton, Derbyshire, England as Robert Edward Stevenson. He was a director and writer, known for Mary Poppins (1964), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and King Solomon's Mines (1937). He was married to Ursula Henderson, Frances Holyoke Howard, Anna Lee ...
Director | A Matter of Life and Death
The son of Thomas William Powell and Mabel (nee Corbett). Michael Powell was always a self-confessed movie addict. He was brought up partly in Canterbury ("The Garden of England") and partly in the south of France (where his parents ran a hotel). Educated at Kings School, Canterbury and Dulwich ...
6. Carol Reed
Director | The Third Man
Carol Reed was the second son of stage actor, dramatics teacher and impresario founder of the Royal School of Dramatic Arts Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Reed was one of Tree's six illegitimate children with Beatrice Mae Pinney, who Tree established in a second household apart from his married life. ...
7. David Lean
Director | Lawrence of Arabia
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon on March 25, 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s, he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding ...
Writer | The Man in the White Suit
One of the most distinguished (if frequently overlooked) directors ever to emerge from the British film industry, Alexander Mackendrick, was in fact born in the US (to Scottish parents), but grew up in his native Scotland, where he studied at the Glasgow School of Art. He started out as a ...
Director | Dr. No
Born in Shanghai and Cambridge-educated, Terence Young began in the industry as a scriptwriter. In the 1940s he worked on a variety of subjects, including the hugely popular wartime romance Suicide Squadron (1941), set to Richard Addinsell's rousing "Warsaw Concerto". His original story was devised...
10. Lewis Gilbert
Director | Alfie
Lewis Gilbert was a British film director, producer and screenwriter best known for Alfie (1966), as well as three James Bond films: You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).
He also directed Reach for the Sky (1956), Sink the Bismarck! (1960), Educating Rita (...
11. Guy Hamilton
Director | Live and Let Die
Typically British stiff-upper-lip war dramas and action adventure laced with moments of sophisticated comedy were Guy Hamilton's trademark. The son of a British diplomat, he spent most of his youth with his family in France, seemingly destined to be groomed for a career in the diplomatic service. ...
12. Lindsay Anderson
Director | If....
Lindsay Anderson was born on April 17, 1923 in Bangalore, Kingdom of Mysore, British India as Lindsay Gordon Anderson. He was a director and actor, known for If.... (1968), Britannia Hospital (1982) and This Sporting Life (1963). He died on August 30, 1994 in Angoulême, Charente, France.
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. ...
14. John Schlesinger
Director | Midnight Cowboy
Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger, who was born in London, on February 16, 1926, was the eldest child in a solidly middle-class Jewish family. Berbard Schlesinger, his father, was a pediatrician, and his mother, Winifred, was a musician. He served in the Army in the Far East during World War ...
15. 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 ...
16. John Mackenzie
Director | The Long Good Friday
A solid and reliable filmmaker with frequent flairs of brilliance, Mackenzie gave up a career in acting because of a desire to control what he was doing. He assisted Ken Loach on his classic early TV plays such as The Wednesday Play: Cathy Come Home (1966), which inspired him and gave him the best ...
17. Tony Richardson
Director | A Taste of Honey
Tony Richardson was born on June 5, 1928 in Shipley, Yorkshire, England as Cecil Antonio Richardson. He was a director and producer, known for A Taste of Honey (1961), Tom Jones (1963) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962). He was married to Vanessa Redgrave. He died on November 14,...
18. Nicolas Roeg
Director | Don't Look Now
When he made his directorial debut in 1970, Nicolas Roeg was already a 23-year veteran of the British film industry, starting out in 1947 as an editing apprentice and working his way up to cinematographer twelve years later. He first came to attention as part of the second unit on David Lean's ...
19. John Boorman
Producer | Excalibur
John Boorman attended Catholic school (Salesian Order) although his family was not, in fact, Roman Catholic. His first job was for a dry-cleaner. Later, he worked as a critic for a women's journal and for a radio station until he entered the television business, working for the BBC in Bristol. ...
20. Ken Loach
Director | I, Daniel Blake
Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter's College, Oxford, he branched out into...
21. 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 ...
22. Terry Gilliam
Writer | Brazil
Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...
23. Michael Apted
Director | Rome
Michael Apted was born on February 10, 1941 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England as Michael David Apted. He is a director and producer, known for Rome (2005), Enigma (2001) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). He has been married to Paige Simpson since January 8, 2014. He was previously married to ...
24. Stephen Frears
Director | Dangerous Liaisons
Stephen Frears was born on June 20, 1941 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England as Stephen Arthur Frears. He is a director and producer, known for Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Philomena (2013) and The Queen (2006). He has been married to Anne Rothenstein since 1992. They have two children. He was ...
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. Richard Eyre
Director | Notes on a Scandal
Richard Eyre was born on March 28, 1943 in Barnstaple, Devon, England as Richard Charles Hastings Eyre. He is a director and producer, known for Notes on a Scandal (2006), Iris (2001) and Stage Beauty (2004). He has been married to Sue Birtwistle since 1973.
28. Tony Scott
Producer | Domino
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British...
31. Michael Radford
Director | Il postino
Michael Radford was born on February 24, 1946 in New Delhi, British India. He is a director and writer, known for The Postman (Il Postino) (1994), 1984 (1984) and The Merchant of Venice (2004). He is married to Emma Tweed. They have two children. He was previously married to Iseult Teran.
33. Jon Amiel
Director | Copycat
After studies in English literature, Jon Amiel graduated from Cambridge University and ran the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company, which often toured the USA. He became the Hampstead Theatre Company's literary manager and began directing there, relocating to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
35. Sally Potter
Director | Orlando
Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed seven feature films, as well as many short films (including THRILLER and PLAY) and a television series, and has directed opera (Carmen for the ENO in 2007) and other live work. Her background is in choreography, ...
Writer | The Talented Mr. Ripley
Anthony Minghella was the son of immigrants from Italy, who own an ice-cream factory on the Isle of Wight, where Anthony was born on January 6, 1954. He and his two siblings, Edana Minghella and Dominic Minghella, grew up there, a popular British holiday spot. After graduating from the University of...
37. Paul Greengrass
Director | United 93
Paul Greengrass started his filmmaking career with a super 8 camera he found in his art room in secondary school. Those short movies were animation horror films he made using old dolls, artist dummies, and the general art room clutter.
After studying in Cambridge University he got into Granada ...
38. Roger Michell
Director | Notting Hill
Roger Michell was born on June 5, 1956 in South Africa. He is a director and producer, known for Notting Hill (1999), Venus (2006) and Titanic Town (1998). He is married to Anna Maxwell Martin. They have two children. He was previously married to Kate Buffery.
44. Simon Curtis
Producer | My Week with Marilyn
Simon Curtis began his directing career at the Royal Court Theatre, where he was Deputy Director to Max Stafford Clark and director of the Theatre Upstairs. His many productions there included the world premiere of Jim Cartwright's ROAD, which transferred to the Lincoln Center, New York. He has ...
45. Stephen Daldry
Director | The Hours
In 1989, Stephen Daldry worked as a freelance reader of unsolicited manuscripts for Literary Manager Nicholas Wright in the Scripts Department at the Royal National Theatre. In July of that year, he directed a Dadaist/expressionist production of "Judgement Day," a play by Odon von Horvath, at the ...
48. Kenneth Branagh
Actor | Henry V
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...
51. Beeban Kidron
Director | Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
She came to prominence with the much lauded adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. Since then she's directed feature films, television dramas and documentaries. In 2008, she founded the charity called Filmclub with Lindsay Mackie. It has since ...
52. Ralph Fiennes
Actor | The Grand Budapest Hotel
Actor Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962 in Suffolk, England, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is the eldest of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus ...
55. David Yates
Director | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
David Yates was born on October 8, 1963 in St. Helens, Merseyside, England. He is a director and producer, known for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), The Legend of Tarzan (2016) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007).
Writer | Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Paul W.S. Anderson gained a fair bit of notoriety in his native England when he directed the ultra-violent Shopping (1994) (which he also wrote), starring Jude Law and Sean Pertwee in a story about thieves who steal by ramming a car into storefronts. The film was banned in some cinemas in England, ...
59. Sam Mendes
Producer | Road to Perdition
Samuel Alexander Mendes was born on August 1, 1965 in Reading, England, UK to parents James Peter Mendes, a retired university lecturer, and Valerie Helene Mendes, an author who writes children's books. Their marriage didn't last long, James divorced Sam's mother in 1970 when Sam was just 5-...
Director | Nowhere Boy
Sam Taylor-Johnson was born on March 4, 1967 in London, England as Samantha Louise Taylor-Wood. She is a director and producer, known for Nowhere Boy (2009), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Love You More (2008). She has been married to Aaron Taylor-Johnson since June 21, 2012. They have two ...
64. Guy Ritchie
Director | Sherlock Holmes
Guy Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on September 10, 1968. After watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) as a child, Guy realized that what he wanted to do was make films. He never attended film school, saying that the work of film school graduates was boring and ...
72. Joe Wright
Director | Pride & Prejudice
Joe Wright is an English film director. He is best known for Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007), Anna Karenina (2012), and Darkest Hour (2017).
Wright always had an interest in the arts, especially painting. He would also make films on his Super 8 camera as well as spend time in the evenings...
Writer | Inception
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.
75. Matthew Vaughn
Producer | Kick-Ass
Matthew Vaughn is an English film producer and director. He is known for producing such films as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000) and for directing the crime thriller, Layer Cake (2004), the fantasy epic, Stardust (2007), the superhero comedy, Kick-Ass (2010), and the ...
76. Rupert Sanders
Director | Snow White and the Huntsman
Rupert Sanders was born on March 16, 1971 in Westminster, London, England. He is a director and writer, known for Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Ghost in the Shell (2017) and Untitled Rupert Sanders/Sci-Fi Project. He was previously married to Liberty Ross.
77. Tom Hooper
Director | The Danish Girl
Tom Hooper was educated at one of England's most prestigious schools, Westminster. His first film, Runaway Dog, was made when he was 13 years old and shot on a Clockwork 16mm Bolex camera, using 100 feet of film. At age 18, he wrote, directed and produced the short film Painted Faces (1992), which ...
78. Rupert Wyatt
Director | Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Writer, Director and Producer Rupert Wyatt was born and raised in the South of England.
He is the founding member of the film collective Picture Farm that along with its prolific Commercial output has produced numerous Documentaries and Feature Films including the multi-award winning DARK DAYS (2001...
80. Edgar Wright
Director | Shaun of the Dead
Edgar Howard Wright (born 18 April 1974) is an English director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He is best known for his comedic Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy consisting of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013), made with recurrent collaborators Simon Pegg...
83. Richard Ayoade
Writer | Submarine
Richard Ellef Ayoade was born in Hammersmith, and grew up in Suffolk, in England, the son of a Norwegian mother, Dagny Amalie (Baassuik), and a Nigerian father, Layide Ade Laditi Ayoade. He studied Law at Cambridge university, and followed in the footsteps of British Comedy legends like Monty ...
84. Tom Harper
Director | The Aeronauts
Tom Harper is a BAFTA nominated British film and television director, writer and producer. He was born and brought up in London.
Harper began his career making short films. He wrote and directed his break out short film, Cubs, in 2006 about urban fox hunting. He then moved on to direct a range of ...
87. Steven Knight
Writer | Locke
Steven Knight is a British screenwriter and film director. He is best known for screenplays he wrote for the films Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and Eastern Promises (2007), and also directed as well as written the film Locke (2013).
Knight is also one of three creators of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire...
88. Ol Parker
Writer | Now Is Good
Ol Parker was born in 1969 in London, England as Oliver Parker. He is a writer and director, known for Now Is Good (2012), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018). He has been married to Thandie Newton since July 11, 1998. They have three children.
89. Iain Softley
Director | Backbeat
Softley was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing, London, and Queens' College, Cambridge University, where he was a member of the college's dramatic society, the BATS, and directed a number of highly-praised theatrical productions. He worked for Granada TV and the BBC before becoming a director...
93. John Maybury
John Maybury was born in 1958 in London, England. He is a director and writer, known for Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), Remembrance of Things Fast: True Stories Visual Lies (1994) and The Jacket (2005).
97. M.J. Bassett
Director | Solomon Kane
MJ Bassett is a feature film and television writer/director.
As a teenager in the UK, MJ's career started as a wildlife photographer and documentary maker, subsequently becoming an on-camera host of various nature and science programs before writing and directing the feature film DEATHWATCH. ...
98. Peter Webber
Director | Girl with a Pearl Earring
A self-confessed cinephile, Peter Webber made his first short film, The Zebra Man, straight out of film school. He then worked as a film editor, beginning his association with Girl with a Pearl Earring producers Andy Paterson and Anand Tucker on Tucker's drama debut, Saint-Ex, starring Miranda ...