Best Film Directors Of All Time

Thursday, March 31 by Wendy Adams

Hollywood has produced the best film directors of all time who made American films famous throughout the world. Each director’s genius is found in the titles of their most memorable films that have delighted and engrossed audiences for decades.

  1. John Ford The tenth child of Irish immigrants, Forrd followed his brother Frank to Hollywood where he began his career as an actor before breaking into directing. Ford directed some of the most famous westerns like “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.” Ford won four Best Director Oscars for “The Quiet Man,” “How Green Was My Valley,” The Grapes of Wrath” and “Stagecoach.”
  2. William Wyler His directing career lasted 45 years and began with silent films. Wyler had a reputation for being a difficult task master, but worked with some of Hollywood’s finest actors. He was nominated 12 times for an Academy Award and won the Oscar for Best Director for "Mrs. Miniver," "The Best Years of Our Lives" and “Ben Hur.” Among his best films are “Funny Girl,” “Friendly Persuasion” and “Roman Holiday.”
  3. Frank Capra An immigrant from Sicily, Capra settled in California with his family. He began his film career as an extra in movies and later worked as a gag writer for several years before being promoted to director for short films. His first serious directing job came from Harry Cohn, president of Columbia Pictures. Capra won three Best Directors Oscars for “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,” “You Can’t Take It with You” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
  4. John Huston In addition to directing, Huston was also a screenwriter and a character actor like his father, Walter Huston. His film career became serious when he began collaborating on scripts and directing for Warner Brothers. His most memorable films are “The African Queen,” “Chinatown” and “The Treasure of Sierra Madre.”
  5. Alfred Hitchcock The Master of Suspense began his film career as a title designer at a studio in London. He got his first chance at directing when he replaced a director who became ill. He worked as an assistant director at Gainsborough Pictures. His directing career was launched when he directed “The Pleasure Garden” in 1925. A few of his best known films are “Vertigo,” “Psycho” and “The Birds.”
  6. Howard Hawks In college he studied engineering but was enticed by Hollywood. Hawks began his film career as a production assistant for Cecil B. DeMille and other major Hollywood film directors as he worked his way up to director. A few of his most memorable films are “His Girl Friday,” “Bringing Up Baby” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
  7. George Cukor Cukor starting his directing career on Broadway in New York City before moving to Hollywood to direct films. He was hired to direct “Gone With The Wind” but constant battles with producer David O’Selznick got him fired. In “The Women” he amazed audiences by filming the fashion show scenes in brilliant color during the black and white film era. A few films he directed are “The Philadelphia Story,” “Adam’s Rib” and “The Corn is Green.”
  8. Orson Welles A jack of all trades in the world of entertainment, Welles was a successful radio personality, actor, screenwriter and director who started a panic with his broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” when listeners believed the attack of aliens was real. Among his best films are “Citizen Kane” and “The Magnificent Ambersons.”
  9. Billy Wilder Wilder began his professional career as a lawyer, a foreign correspondent and finally entered Hollywood as a screenwriter with greats like “The Apartment” and “Sabrina.” His best direction included “The Lost Weekend,” “Sunset Boulevard” and “Some Like It Hot.”
  10. Stephen Spielberg He is of the most prominent writers, producers and directors in Hollywood. What makes him stand out is the number of powerful films he has directed. His resume includes “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T.,” “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.”