Along with the birth of cinema and the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are several famous movie directors from the 20th century. These are the men responsible for the popularity of movies as well as providing cinema with some of their crowning achievements.

  1. D.W. Griffith. An early pioneer of cinema, Griffith is a famous movie director from the early 1900s. His most famous film, “The Birth of a Nation,” was one of the first feature length movies ever made, with a runtime of 190 minutes. It is also considered one of the first blockbusters as it attracted audiences all over the country.

  2. Alfred Hitchcock. Often calle The Master of Suspense, Hitchcock’s movies are still effective today. This famous director is responsible for such 20th century classics as “Psycho,” “The Birds,” “Vertigo” and “North by Northwest.” His film techniques, such as twist endings, the use of MacGuffins and the “vertigo shot” are still used by directors today.

  3. Orson Welles. This famous movie director was a man that could do it all. He directed, produced and even starred in some of his films. He burst onto the seen after causing mass panic with a 1938 radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”, leading much of the country to believe that we were actually under attack by aliens. His most notable film is “Citizen Kane”, which is widely considered one of the best films of all time.

  4. Stanley Kubrik. A perfectionist at heart, Kubrik is a famous movie director who has left an undeniable mark on 20th century movies and beyond. Although his resume is small compared to other more prolific directors, every one is a masterpiece. He is known for working in a variety of genres, including horror (“The Shining”), science fiction (“2001: A Space Oddyssey”), and even comedy (“Dr. Strangelove”).

  5. Steven Spielberg. The legendary “Bearded One” is responsible for the most famous and successful movies of the 20th century and has one of the most recognizable names of any director. He is responsible for creating the summer movie craze with “Jaws” that Hollywood has followed since. He is a visual effects pioneer with films such as “Jurassic Park” and “The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn” as well as more intimate films like “Schindler’s List” and “The Color Purple.”

  6. George Lucas. A close friend of Spielberg’s, Lucas is the creator of one of the most famous film franchises of the 20th century. With the original “Star Wars” in 1977, this famous movie director blew audience away and pushed the boundaries of what was possible in movies. He continued that theme with the subsequent five sequels, making it the third highest grossing film series of all time.

  7. James Cameron. This famous movie director is best known for his science fiction films. “Aliens” was an action-packed sequel to the original thriller and a hallmark of the series. With “Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” Cameron created one of the most famous movie characters and made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star. “Avatar” is one of the greatest 3D films of all time and pushed the envelope for CGI created characters. Oh, and he also holds the record for the top two highest grossing films of all time with “Avatar” and “Titanic.”