Two weeks ago, I started publishing posts related to the 80th anniversary of the Directors Guild of America. First, I posted a copy of their list of the 80 best directed films of the last 80 years, giving my feedback regarding the list and my rating for the direction of each film on it. Last week, I posted my own choices for the 80 best directed films of the last 80 years. This week is a list of the best directors of all time, and I will conclude next week with a year-by-year look at the DGA’s picks for the best directed movie of each year and my own choice for that year.
Now, here are the best directors of all time based on the movies I have seen. Obviously, that involves limitations, so the list will surely change as I see more films by those generally thought of as the greats: especially Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Sergei Eisenstein, and Jean Renoir among many others.
10. Joel Coen (1954-)
Best movies: Blood Simple (1984); Barton Fink (1991); Fargo (1996); True Grit (2010); Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
9. Steven Spielberg (1946-)
8. Stanley Donen (1924-)
Best movies: On the Town (1949); Singin’ in the Rain (1952); Indiscreet (1958); The Grass Is Greener (1960); Charade (1963)
7. George Cukor (1899-1993)
Best movies: Holiday (1938); The Women (1939); Gaslight (1944); Adam’s Rib (1949); A Star Is Born (1954)
6. Woody Allen (1935-)
Best movies: Annie Hall (1977); Zelig (1983); Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989); Everyone Says I Love You (1996); Midnight in Paris (2011)
5. Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999)
4. Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909-1993)
3. William Wyler (1902-1981)
2. Billy Wilder (1906-2002)
1. Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)