Combustible Celluloid
 

Great Directors

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By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I was inspired to do this list many years ago by a pair of twin articles in Entertainment Weekly and Empire magazines, listing the top 50 directors of all time. The lists were somewhat different, and of course, my ideas differed from both. I originally made up my own list of 50 and then 60, and then 100, and now I have simply made the list alphabetical, with no real limitation on the number.

I think I have mostly made it for myself, to more easily keep track of my favorites, and the films I've seen and reviewed, but I hope that others can get something out of it too. Please feel free to let me know if you disagree, or remind me of whom I left out.

A-B | C-D | E-H | J-K | L-M | N-P | Q-R | S | T-U | V-Z



Robert Aldrich
USA, (1918-1983) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Big Leaguer (1953), World for Ransom (1954), Apache (1954), Vera Cruz (1954), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), The Big Knife (1955), Autumn Leaves (1956), Attack (1956), Ten Seconds to Hell (1959), The Angry Hills (1959), The Last Sunset (1961), Sodom and Gomorrah (1962), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), 4 for Texas (1963), Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968), The Killing of Sister George (1968), Too Late the Hero (1970), The Grissom Gang (1971), Ulzana's Raid (1972), Emperor of the North (1973), The Longest Yard (1974), Hustle (1975), Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977), The Choirboys (1977), The Frisco Kid (1979), ...All the Marbles (1981)



Woody Allen
USA, (1935-) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966), Take the Money and Run (1969), Bananas (1971), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask (1972), Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), Annie Hall (1977), Interiors (1978), Manhattan (1979), Stardust Memories (1980), A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982), Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987), September (1987), Another Woman (1988), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), New York Stories (1989) (segment), Alice (1990), Shadows and Fog (1991), Husbands and Wives (1992), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Don't Drink the Water (1994) (TV), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Deconstructing Harry (1997), Celebrity (1998), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Small Time Crooks (2000), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), Hollywood Ending (2002), Anything Else (2003), Melinda and Melinda (2004), Match Point (2005), Scoop (2006), Cassandra's Dream (2007), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), Whatever Works (2009), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), Midnight in Paris (2011), To Rome with Love (2012), Blue Jasmine (2013), Magic in the Moonlight (2014), Irrational Man (2015), Café Society (2016), Crisis in Six Scenes (2016)



Pedro Almodóvar
Spain, (1949-) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Pepi, Luci, Bom (1980), Labyrinth of Passion (1982), Dark Habits (1983), What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984), Matador (1986), Law of Desire (1987), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989), High Heels (1991), Kika (1993), The Flower of My Secret (1995), Live Flesh (1997), All About My Mother (1999), Talk to Her (2002), Bad Education (2004), Volver (2006), Broken Embraces (2009), The Skin I Live In (2011), I'm So Excited! (2013), Julieta (2016)



Robert Altman
USA, (1925-2006) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
The James Dean Story (1957), The Delinquents (1957), Nightmare in Chicago (1964) (TV), Countdown (1967), That Cold Day in the Park (1969), M*A*S*H (1970), Brewster McCloud (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Images (1972), The Long Goodbye (1973), California Split (1974), Thieves Like Us (1974), Nashville (1975), Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976), 3 Women (1977), A Wedding (1978), A Perfect Couple (1979), Quintet (1979), Health (1980), Popeye (1980), Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), Streamers (1983), Secret Honor (1984), Fool for Love (1985), O.C. and Stiggs (1985), Aria (1987) (segment), Beyond Therapy (1987), The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1988) (TV), Tanner '88 (1988) (TV), Vincent & Theo (1990), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), Prêt-à-Porter (1994), Kansas City (1996), The Gingerbread Man (1998), Cookie's Fortune (1999), Dr. T and the Women (2000), Gosford Park (2001), The Company (2003), A Prairie Home Companion (2006)



Paul Thomas Anderson
USA, (1970-) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Hard Eight (1997), Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), There Will Be Blood (2007), The Master (2012), Inherent Vice (2014)



Wes Anderson
USA, (1969-) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)



Michelangelo Antonioni
Italy, (1912-2007) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Story of a Love Affair (1950), I Vinti (1952), The Lady Without Camelias (1953), Love in the City (1953) [segment], Le Amiche (1955), Il Grido (1957), L'Avventura (1960), La Notte (1961), L'Eclisse (1962), Red Desert (1964), Blowup (1966), Zabriskie Point (1970), Chung Kuo, Cina (1972), The Passenger (1975), The Mystery of Oberwald (1981), Identification of a Woman (1982), Beyond the Clouds (1995), Eros (2005) [segment], Michelangelo Eye to Eye (2004) [short]



Dario Argento
Italy, (1940-) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), Cat o' Nine Tails (1971), Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971), Deep Red (1975), Suspiria (1977), Inferno (1980), Tenebre (1982), Phenomena (1985), Opera (1987), Two Evil Eyes (1990), Trauma (1993), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996), The Phantom of the Opera (1998), Sleepless (2001), The Card Player (2004), Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005), Jenifer (2005), Pelts (2006), Mother of Tears (2007), Giallo (2009), Dracula 3D (2012)



Mario Bava
Italy, (1914-1980) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Black Sunday (1960), Hercules in the Haunted World (1961), Erik the Conqueror (1961), The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963), The Whip and the Body (1963), Black Sabbath (1963), Blood and Black Lace (1964), Planet of the Vampires (1965), Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966), Kill, Baby... Kill! (1966), Knives of the Avenger (1966), Danger: Diabolik (1968), Roy Colt and Winchester Jack (1970), Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970), Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970), Bay of Blood (1971), Baron Blood (1972), Four Times That Night (1972), Lisa and the Devil/House of Exorcism (1973), Kidnapped/Rabid Dogs (1974), Shock (1977)



Jacques Becker
France, (1906-1960) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
It Happened at the Inn (1943), Falbalas (1945), Antoine and Antoinette (1947), Rendezvous in July (1949), Edward and Caroline (1951), Casque d'Or (1952), Rue de l'Estrapade (1953), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1954), Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954), The Adventures of Arsène Lupin (1957), Modigliani of Montparnasse (1958), Le Trou (1960)



Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, (1918-2007) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Torment (1944), Crisis (1946), Port of Call (1948), Thirst (1949), To Joy (1949), Summer Interlude (1951), Secrets of Women (1952), Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), Summer with Monika (1953), A Lesson in Love (1954), Dreams (1955), Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), The Seventh Seal (1956), Wild Strawberries (1957), Brink of Life (1958), The Magician (1959), The Virgin Spring (1960), The Devil's Eye (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Winter Light (1963), The Silence (1963), Now About These Women (1964), Persona (1966), Hour of the Wolf (1968), Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), The Rite (1969), The Touch (1971), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), The Magic Flute (1975), Face to Face (1976), The Serpent's Egg (1977), Autumn Sonata (1978), From the Life of the Marionettes (1980), Fanny and Alexander (1983), After the Rehearsal (1984), Saraband (2005)



Bernardo Bertolucci
Italy, (1941-) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
La commare secca (1962), Before the Revolution (1964), Partner (1968), The Conformist (1970), The Spider's Stratagem (1970), Last Tango in Paris (1972), 1900 (1976), La Luna (1979), Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (1981), The Last Emperor (1987), The Sheltering Sky (1990), Little Buddha (1993), Stealing Beauty (1996), Besieged (1998), The Dreamers (2003), Me and You (2012)



Kathryn Bigelow
USA, (1951-) [IMDB]
Interview
Selected Filmography:
The Loveless (1982), Near Dark (1987), Blue Steel (1990), Point Break (1991), Strange Days (1995), The Weight of Water (2000), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), The Hurt Locker (2009), Zero Dark Thirty (2012)



Budd Boetticher
USA, (1916-2001) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
One Mysterious Night (1944), Escape in the Fog (1945), Behind Locked Doors (1948), Bullfighter and the Lady (1951), Red Ball Express (1952), The Cimarron Kid (1952), Horizons West (1952), City Beneath the Sea (1953), The Man from the Alamo (1953), Seminole (1953), The Killer Is Loose (1956), Seven Men from Now (1956), Decision at Sundown (1957), The Tall T (1957), Buchanan Rides Alone (1958), Westbound (1959), Ride Lonesome (1959), Comanche Station (1960), The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)



Robert Bresson
France, (1901-1999) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Les dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945), Diary of a Country Priest (1951), A Man Escaped (1956), Pickpocket (1959), The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962), Au hasard Balthazar (1966), Mouchette (1967), Une femme douce (1969), Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971), Lancelot du Lac (1974), The Devil Probably (1977), L'argent (1983)



Tod Browning
USA, (1880-1962) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
The Wicked Darling (1919), Outside the Law (1920), The Unholy Three (1925), The Road to Mandalay (1926), The Blackbird (1926), The Unknown (1927), London After Midnight (1927), The Show (1927), West of Zanzibar (1928), Where East Is East (1929), The Thirteenth Chair (1929), Dracula (1931), Freaks (1932), Fast Workers (1933), Mark of the Vampire (1935), The Devil-Doll (1936), Miracles for Sale (1939)



Andrew Bujalski
USA, (1977-) [IMDB]
Interview
Selected Filmography:
Funny Ha Ha (2002), Mutual Appreciation (2005), Beeswax (2009), Computer Chess (2013), Results (2015)



Luis Buñuel
Spain, (1900-1983) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Un Chien Andalou (1928), L'age d'Or (1930), Land Without Bread (1932), Gran Casino (1947), Los Olvidados (1950), Susana (1951), A Woman Without Love (1952), El (This Strange Passion) (1953), El Bruto (1953), Illusion Travels By Streetcar (1954), Robinson Crusoe (1954), Wuthering Heights (1954), The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955), Death in the Garden (1956), Nazarin (1959), The Young One (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Exterminating Angel (1962), Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), Simon of the Desert (1965), Belle de Jour (1967), The Milky Way (1969), Tristana (1970), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), The Phantom of Liberty (1974), That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)



Tim Burton
USA, (1958-) [IMDB]
Selected Filmography:
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Batman Returns (1992), Ed Wood (1994), Mars Attacks! (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dark Shadows (2012), Frankenweenie (2012), Big Eyes (2014), Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)


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