Directors That Guys Can Appreciate

You've seen the lists. The "best directors in the history of the world" with every name on the list being from within the last ten years. That's insulting to the giants that pioneered the industry.

What makes a good director for me? He/she takes all aspects of a movie from the screen play to the locations to the music and transforms them into their interpretation. The result is immersive and coherent. What makes a great director? Doing that time and again and sometimes developing a style that becomes its own and is referred to by the director who originated it. If you mention Cecil B. DeMille, you think lavish sets. If you say David Lean you think sprawling epics.

Maybe the director was a pioneer and his approach was used by others even if he didn't have a prolific output, like Orson Welles. Maybe the director didn't consistently create great works through his entire career but he had a number of greats mixed in with poors, like David Cronenberg.

So, here's the list along with the movies that represent the directors at their best. An asterisk (*) means that the film is good, but it's not necessarily a guy film.


Great Director Movies That Made Them Great
Michael Curtiz Casablanca , Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Angels with Dirty Faces, Mildred Pierce*, White Christmas*
Federico Fellini La Strada, 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, Amarcord
Cecil B. DeMille Male and Female, The King of Kings, Cleopatra, Reap the Wild Wind
Sergio Leone Once Upon a Time in America, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Fritz Lang Metropolis, M, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, The Big Heat
David Cronenberg Videodrome, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Crash
David Lynch Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr.
David Fincher Se7en, Fight Club
Roman Polanski Chinatown, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist*
Orson Welles Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Touch of Evil, F for Fake
Alfred Hitchcock Psycho, The Birds, North by Northwest, Vertigo, Rear Window
John Huston The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo, The African Queen, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Man Who Would Be King
Howard Hawks The Thing, To Have and Have Not, His Girl Friday, Scarface
Stanley Kubrick Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket
Ken Russell The Devils, Altered States, Crimes of Passion
Robert Altman M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Player, A Wedding*
Martin Scorsese GoodFellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Casino
Francis Ford Coppola The Godfather, The Conversation, Rumble Fish, Apocalypse Now Redux
Akira Kurosawa Yojimbo, Throne of Blood, Seven Samurai, Rashomon
D.W. Griffith The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance
John Ford The Grapes of Wrath*, My Darling Clementine, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
David Lean Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Blithe Spirit
Steven Spielberg Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial*
Woody Allen Hannah and Her Sisters*, Manhattan*, Annie Hall*
Quentin Tarantino Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill
George Roy Hill Slap Shot, The Sting, Slaughterhouse-Five, The World According to Garp, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Billy Wilder Stalag 17, Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity

Back to the "List of Lists" list or the main movie list.