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Best Directors of All Time

Top 10

By Alexandrea CallaghanPublished 6 days ago 3 min read

When talking about film we have to talk about the people that make films possible. One of the most important elements of film is the direction. The director is responsible for essentially coordinating every other element in film. They have to take the words on the page and bring them to life for everyone in the production and for the audience. So who are some of the best directors of all time? Well there are plenty but we are going to narrow it down to 10. The criteria being how many movies they directed, quality level of said films, influence of style and recognizability. Other than that I don’t think that this list is going to be in any particular order.


Hayao Miyazaki is one of the founders of Studio Ghibli, he is also one of the most brilliant minds to ever grace film. He specializes in films about hope, ironic because in real life his outlook on the future and world is pretty bleak. His films are unbelievably beautiful and most of them center strong, imaginative, incredible, young, female protagonists. Few directors can say that they have produced a perfect film, Miyazaki can say that he has produced more than a few.


Dubbed the master of suspense for a reason, Alfred Hitchcock was a trailblazer for suspenseful, scary movies. Though he may have been a nightmare for his editors Hitchcock was a brilliant filmmaker. Undoubtedly a strong influence on those that came after him Hitchcock changed the landscape of film.


I would be a bad cinephile if I didn’t include Spielberg on this list. He is responsible for many blockbusters, but more than that, his directorial style is what really made blockbusters what they are. Spielberg's style is what epic feels like.


A strange man who specialized in weird. He was an expert in getting to the bizarre or creepy parts of a story. He is known for some of the best and most iconic films.


I’m sure some might disagree with this one, feel free to argue with a wall. Greta Gerwig is a trailblazer director whether you like it or not. By all definitions. She tells the stories of women and in doing so has become the highest grossing female director of all time. That doesn’t happen without connecting with an audience. Every single one of her solo projects has also been nominated for multiple Oscars. Her influence and skill is undeniable.


He influenced major films (Star Wars) and his storytelling style is arguably one of the most game changing for the film industry as a whole. A champion for longer run times, he simply told his stories in a way that was necessary for them to be completed. And every time brought something new to the big screen.


Cited as the influence for literally all of your favorite directors, Billy Wilder racked up 21 Oscar nominations in his 50 year career. You might recognize the name from things like Sunset Boulevard and Sabrina but the man directed over 20 films, two of them with Marilyn Monroe herself. Arguably, no director has had more influence over the industry and it's creatives as Billy Wilder.


You might remember Charlie Chaplin as a film star, a comic. But we are going to remember him as a director. An incredible director who, with works like Modern Times and The Great Dictator made film something to take seriously. He was one of the pioneers of the medium and inspired filmmakers around the world. We would not have film or comedy as we know it without him.


Known as the “actors director” Elia Kazan favored unknown actors that he was able to get to know and pull some of the best performances from, because he understood how they worked. As a trained actor himself he brought something rare to the directors chair, understanding. As a director he inspired actors, including helping launch the careers of James Dean and Marlon Brando.


Beautiful, talented, incredible. Ava DuVernay tells stories that matter. She is the voice that this generation (and every generation) needs. She is also such a beautiful person and meeting her was one of the greatest pleasures of my life.

pop culturemovielistentertainment

About the Creator

Alexandrea Callaghan

Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.

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