The best German film directors have contributed much to the history of film making. German films helped create the dark dramatic genre called Film Noir. Some German film directors have stuck to this classic genre, however, others have ventured off to make blockbuster movies and historical films as well. This list of the best German film directors includes some of each.

F. W. Murnau.

This German film director is most famous for his vision in "Nosferatu." This film was a game changer in the world of cinema and practically perfected the art of Film Noir. Murnau's directorial style was dark and moody to say the least. He consistently challenged the space between dreams and reality by using creative lighting diagrams and terrifying angles. Murnau knows a thing or two about terrifying angles because he served as a combat pilot during World War I.

Roland Emmerich.

This German film director has his name on the big screen on a regular basis. He is a modern day blockbuster director with huge films such as "Godzilla," "Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow," and "2012" to his credit. In his youth, he was enrolled in his film school's director's program, and had one of his student films open at the Berlin Film Festival.

Leni Riefenstahl.

As a female German film director, Leni Riefenstahl had the odds stacked against her during the periods of her film making. She started out as a dancer in Germany which lead to acting. The German film director, Arnold Fanck, cast her in a role in one of his films. Eventually he became Leni Riefenstahl's mentor and guided her with her budding passion for directing. She moved on to serve as the director of such films as "Triumph of the Will" and "The Blue Light."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 --Amanda Ferguson