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300 Greatest Movie Directors

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Criteria: These directors are ranked according to how much they influenced the way in which films are directed and to the acclaim they received specifically for their directing. Also considered, albeit to a lesser degree, are the popularity, influence and acclaim of their directorial output.

Disclaimer: This list is strongly influenced by the Western canon of films. This means that in the broader scope of a global cinema certain regions may be underrepresented, among them Russia, India, China, Africa and Latin America.

Edited by forum members:
Last Updated: 2016-12-26
300 Greatest Movie Directors
  1. Alfred Hitchcock
  2. John Ford
  3. Charles Chaplin
  4. Akira Kurosawa
  5. D. W. Griffith
  6. Jean Renoir
  7. Sergei M. Eisenstein
  8. Orson Welles
  9. Stanley Kubrick
10. Georges Méliès
11. Luis Buñuel
12. Fritz Lang
13. Jean-Luc Godard
14. Federico Fellini
15. F. W. Murnau
16. Ingmar Bergman
17. Carl Theodor Dreyer
18. Howard Hawks
19. Yasujirō Ozu
20. Robert Bresson
21. François Truffaut
22. Martin Scorsese
23. Cecil B. DeMille
24. Satyajit Ray
25. Andrei Tarkovsky
26. Ernst Lubitsch
27. Steven Spielberg
28. Michelangelo Antonioni
29. John Cassavetes
30. Billy Wilder
31. Buster Keaton
32. Erich von Stroheim
33. Roberto Rossellini
34. Kenji Mizoguchi
35. Woody Allen
36. Robert Altman
37. David Lean
38. Abbas Kiarostami
39. Dziga Vertov
40. Frank Capra
41. Roman Polański
42. Luchino Visconti
43. David Lynch
44. Jean Vigo
45. Stanley Donen (& Gene Kelly)
46. Hayao Miyazaki
47. Werner Herzog
48. Michael Powell (& Emeric Pressburger)
49. Quentin Tarantino
50. Joel & Ethan Coen
51. Francis Ford Coppola
52. Robert J. Flaherty
53. James Cameron
54. Spike Lee
55. Raoul Walsh
56. Bernardo Bertolucci
57. Sergio Leone
58. Ridley Scott
59. Vittorio De Sica
60. Douglas Sirk
61. Victor Sjöström
62. Alexander Dovzhenko
63. Paul Thomas Anderson
64. Mario Bava
65. Nicholas Ray
66. Sam Peckinpah
67. John Carpenter
68. Wong Kar-Wai
69. Josef von Sternberg
70. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
71. Jean-Pierre Melville
72. Max Ophüls
73. Wes Anderson
74. Sidney Lumet
75. George A. Romero
76. Maurice Tourneur
77. Busby Berkeley
78. David Cronenberg
79. Jean Cocteau
80. John Huston
81. Samuel Fuller
82. Krzysztof Kieślowski
83. Louis Feuillade
84. Terrence Malick
85. Edwin S. Porter
86. Chantal Akerman
87. Alain Resnais
88. Michael Curtiz
89. Claude Chabrol
90. Maya Deren
91. Chuck Jones
92. Wim Wenders
93. Pier Paolo Pasolini
94. Stan Brakhage
95. Lars von Trier
96. Jacques Tati
97. Richard Linklater
98. Preston Sturges
99. Jim Jarmusch
100. Christopher Nolan

Alfred Hitchcock movie director
Alfred Hitchcock
John Ford movie director
John Ford
Charles Chaplin movie director and actor
Charles Chaplin
Akira Kurosawa movie director
Akira Kurosawa
D.W. Griffith movie director
D. W. Griffith
Jean Renoir movie director
Jean Renoir
Sergei M. Eisenstein director
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Orson Welles movie director and actor
Orson Welles
Stanley Kubrick movie director
Stanley Kubrick
Georges Méliès movie director
Georges Méliès
Luis Buñuel movie director
Luis Buñuel
Fritz Lang director
Fritz Lang
101. Abel Gance
102. Pedro Almodóvar
103. Roger Corman
104. Louis Malle
105. George Cukor
106. William Wyler
107. Hou Hsiao-Hsien
108. Vsevolod Pudovkin
109. Elia Kazan
110. King Vidor
111. Dario Argento
112. Cecil Hepworth
113. Winsor McCay
114. Andrzej Wajda
115. Zhang Yimou
116. Louis & Auguste Lumière
117. James Whale
118. Clint Eastwood
119. Todd Haynes
120. Chris Marker
121. Agnès Varda
122. Vincente Minnelli
123. Tod Browning
124. William K. L. Dickson
125. Robert Wise
126. Anthony Mann
127. David Fincher
128. Michael Haneke
129. J. Stuart Blackton
130. Kenneth Anger
131. Mike Leigh
132. Claire Denis
133. Frank Borzage
134. G. W. Pabst
135. Miloš Forman
136. Brian De Palma
137. Fred Niblo
138. Mike Nichols
139. Arthur Penn
140. John Frankenheimer
141. René Clair
142. Gus Van Sant
143. George Miller
144. Danny Boyle
145. Marcel Carné
146. Don Siegel
147. Leni Riefenstahl
148. Sidney Olcott
149. Walt Disney/Ub Iwerks
150. Charles Burnett
151. Jack Arnold
152. Jacques Rivette
153. John Woo
154. Tim Burton
155. Chen Kaige
156. Otto Preminger
157. Ken Loach
158. Joseph L. Mankiewicz
159. John Lasseter
160. Gordon Parks
161. Tex Avery
162. Béla Tarr
163. Terry Gilliam
164. Ang Lee
165. Steven Soderbergh
166. Fred Zinnemann
167. Mack Sennett
168. Theodoros Angelopoulos
169. Éric Rohmer
170. Mauritz Stiller
171. Nagisa Ōshima
172. Jean Rouch
173. Jia Zhangke
174. John Hughes
175. Peter Weir
176. William Friedkin
177. Robert Zemeckis
178. Alfonso Cuarón
179. Carol Reed
180. Jacques Demy
181. Leo McCarey
182. Peter Jackson
183. D. A. Pennebaker
184. Sam Raimi
185. George Lucas
186. George Stevens
187. Ousmane Sembène
188. Mel Brooks
189. Rouben Mamoulian
190. Kathryn Bigelow
191. Robert Aldrich
192. Errol Morris
193. Michael Mann
194. Ishirō Honda
195. Boris Barnet
196. Paul Verhoeven
197. Nicolas Roeg
198. Henri-Georges Clouzot
199. John Waters
200. William A. Wellman
201. Lindsay Anderson
202. Oliver Stone
203. Andy Warhol/Paul Morrissey
204. Richard Lester
205. Alejandro Jodorowsky
206. William Castle
207. Edward Yang
208. Ida Lupino
209. Jacques Becker
210. Jane Campion
211. Stephen Frears
212. Alejandro González Iñárritu
213. Mario Monicelli
214. Sergei Parajanov
215. Rob Reiner
216. Paul Greengrass
217. Takeshi Kitano
218. Alice Guy-Blaché
219. Henry King
220. Glauber Rocha
221. Ken Russell
222. Apichatpong Weerasethakul
223. Budd Boetticher
224. Albert & David Maysles
225. Jules Dassin
226. John Landis
227. John Boorman
228. Aki Kaurismäki
229. Kevin Smith
230. Mervyn LeRoy
231. Oscar Micheaux
232. Hal Ashby
233. John Sayles
234. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
235. Robert Siodmak
236. Richard Donner
237. Anthony Asquith
238. Mikio Naruse
239. Lev Kuleshov
240. Nuri Bilge Ceylan
241. Peter Bogdanovich
242. Ralph Bakshi
243. Tsai Ming-Liang
244. Joseph Losey
245. John Schlesinger
246. Peter Watkins
247. Darren Aronofsky
248. Wes Craven
249. Allan Dwan
250. Alexander Sokurov
251. Georges Franju
252. Russ Meyer
253. Walter Hill
254. Joris Ivens
255. Jan Švankmajer
256. Alexander Mackendrick
257. Frederick Wiseman
258. Yevgeni Bauer
259. Robert Rodríguez
260. Pedro Costa
261. Alexander Payne
262. Mohsen Makhmalbaf
263. Julien Duvivier
264. Manoel de Oliveira
265. Yuriy Norshteyn
266. Dorothy Arzner
267. Blake Edwards
268. Olivier Assayas
269. Sydney Pollack
270. Raj Kapoor
271. Luis García Berlanga
272. Edgar G. Ulmer
273. Emir Kusturica
274. Guillermo del Toro
275. Costa-Gavras
276. Guy Maddin
277. Morris Engel
278. Jerry Lewis
279. Alan J. Pakula
280. Sadao Yamanaka
281. Herschell Gordon Lewis
282. Dave Fleischer
283. James Ivory
284. Jonathan Demme
285. Terence Davies
286. Kon Ichikawa
287. Bong Joon-Ho
288. Peter Greenaway
289. Victor Fleming
290. David O. Russell
291. Bob Clampett
292. Clarence Brown
293. Jacques Tourneur
294. Claude Lanzmann
295. Michael Cimino
296. Sofia Coppola
297. Lasse Hallström
298. Miklós Jancsó
299. Henry Hathaway
300. Wolfgang Petersen
Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
Luc Besson
Walerian Borowczyk
Chang Cheh
Benjamin Christensen
Alfred Clark
Jack Clayton
Edward F. Cline
Émile Cohl
Merian C. Cooper/Ernest B. Schoedsack
Joe Dante
William Dieterle
Guru Dutt
Roland Emmerich
Jean Epstein
Víctor Erice
Jean Eustache
Terence Fisher
William Haggar
Hal Hartley
George Roy Hill
Ron Howard
King Hu
Shōhei Imamura
Rex Ingram
Derek Jarman
Norman Jewison
Spike Jonze
Fyodor Khitruk
Masaki Kobayashi
Harmony Korine
Grigori Kozintsev (& Leonid Trauberg)
Stanley Kramer
Louis Le Prince
Joseph H. Lewis
Djibril Diop Mambéty
Jonas Mekas
Takashi Miike
Nikita Mikhalkov
Lewis Milestone
Michael Moore
Eadweard Muybridge
Laurence Olivier
Park Chan-Wook
Robert W. Paul
Maurice Pialat
Lotte Reiniger
Karel Reisz
Tony Richardson
Carlos Saura
Volker Schlöndorff
Tony Scott
George Albert Smith/James Williamson
Todd Solondz
Jean-Marie Straub (& Danièle Huillet)
Seijun Suzuki
Isao Takahata
Frank Tashlin
Roger Vadim
Lana & Lilly Wachowski
Paul Wegener
Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Sam Wood
Zucker, Abrahams & Zucker





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