The most famous film directors from America are filmmakers whose fame has stood the test of time or whose body of work is so extensive that their fame is almost certain to last for many decades. For these reasons, some current directors are not considered for inclusion on this list of famous film directors from America because it is yet year clear that their fame will last. Furthermore, the most famous film directors are not necessarily the best film directors, although most of them would probably make that list too.

  1. Steven Spielberg. This is a man who knows how to make movies that people want to see. Spielberg has directed blockbuster movie after blockbuster movie. His films include “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler's List,” and “Saving Private Ryan.” No one in Hollywood history has directed so many movies that are both loved and critically acclaimed. Spielberg is easily one of the most famous film directors from America, and it's likely that he will remain famous for generations to come.

  2. Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola is easily one of the most famous film directors in the world for his work on the three “Godfather” movies alone. Despite the fact that these pictures were made decades ago, they still enjoy worldwide popularity and are often considered among the finest motion pictures ever made. Coppola also directed many other successful films that contributed to his fame such as “Patton” and “Apocalypse Now.”

  3. John Ford. Ford is the most famous film director of Western movies in Hollywood history. He made John Wayne a star with the movie “Stagecoach” and directed many of Wayne's best-known movies such as “The Searchers” and “The Quiet Man.” Ford won four Academy Awards for Best Director. Interestingly enough, none of them was for a Western film. Ford was a complex man who projected a tough persona, but who was really kind, generous, and softhearted.

  4. Martin Scorsese. Scorsese is one of the most famous film directors because his movies are often both commercial and critical successes. He is also an innovator whose approach to filmmaking continues to influence other directors. Some of the most important films directed by Scorsese include “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “The Color of Money,” “Goodfellas,” and “The Departed.”

  5. Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino followed an unusual path to become one of the most famous film directors from America. He dropped out on high school, studied acting for awhile, and went to work in a video rental store where he talked about movies all day with the customers. Tarantino has credited these conversations with teaching him what kinds of movies audiences want to see. His breakout film was “Pulp Fiction,” a landmark movie that combined violence, comedy, and complex dialog in a way that no other movie has before or since. Tarantino also directed the popular “Kill Bill” movies and the film “Inglorious Basterds,” another box office success. He also writes the scripts for many of his films.