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Best known as Director, but only Oscar for something else

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  • Filmatelist
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    #217155

    There are some names in film history which, when you cite them, you usually associate them first-and-foremost as a director.  But in some of these cases, their only competitive Oscar win was in a different category.

    Examples:

    Hal Ashby – Best Editing (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT)
    Richard Brooks – Best Screenplay (ELMER GANTRY)
    Jane Campion – Best Screenplay (THE PIANO)
    Charles Chaplin – Best Score (LIMELIGHT)
    Costa-Gavras – Best Screenplay (MISSING)
    Cecil B. DeMille – Best Picture (THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH)
    John Farrow – Best Screenplay (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS)
    Neil Jordan – Best Screenplay (THE CRYING GAME)
    Stanley Kubrick – Best Visual Effects (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY)
    Alexander Payne – Best Screenplay (SIDEWAYS, THE DESCENDANTS)
    Quentin Tarantino – Best Screenplay (PULP FICTION, DJANGO UNCHAINED)
    William Wellman – Best Original Story (A STAR IS BORN) 

    In other cases, famous directors were never nominated for Director at all, but their (often sole) nomination was in another category:

    Budd Boetticher – Best Story (THE BULLFIGHTER AND THE LADY)
    Blake Edwards – Best Screenplay (VICTOR/VICTORIA)
    Terry Gilliam – Best Screenplay (BRAZIL)
    Spike Lee – Best Screenplay (DO THE RIGHT THING)
    Paul Mazursky – Best Screenplay (four different films)
    Ronald Neame – Best Screenplay (BRIEF ENCOUNTER), Special Effects (ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING)
    Christopher Nolan – Best Picture (INCEPTION), Screenplay (MEMENTO)
    Sam Peckinpah – Best Screenplay (THE WILD BUNCH)
    Michael Powell – Best Screenplay (ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING)
    Nicholas Ray – Best Story (REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE)
    Preston Sturges – Best Screenplay (three, including winner THE GREAT MCGINTY)
    Edward Zwick – Best Picture (two, including winner SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE)

    For the purpose of this exercise, let’s exclude artists who are known just as much for their acting as they are for directing (Welles, Olivier, M.Brooks, Affleck, Reiner) or directors who primarily worked in a non-English speaking country (Almodovar, Tati, Lelouch, Rohmer, etc.)

    What other notable directors fall into one of these two categories?

     

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    Madson Melo
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    #217157

    Todd Haynes sole Oscar nom was for the original screenplay of Far from Heaven.

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    Nate
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    #217158

    I don’t know if this counts, but feature film director Taylor Hackford won his only Oscar in the live action short film category, which is awarded to the director(s) as well as to the producer(s), for Teenage Father. And while it is difficult to separate out writer-directors, like Cameron Crowe and Sofia Coppola, as being “best known” as directors, I’d add Spike Jonze to the list, as he has many more directing credits overall and didn’t start as a writer-director.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #217159

    Noah Baumbach – Best Original Screenplay (The Squid and the Whale)
    Neill Blompkamp – Best Adapted Screenplay (District 9)
    Guillermo Del Toro – Best Original Screenplay (Pan’s Labyrinth)
    J.C. Chandor – Best Original Screenplay (Margin Call)
    Michel Gondry – Best Original Screenplay (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
    Whit Stillman – Best Original Screenplay (Metropalitan)
    Chris & Paul Weitz – Best Adapted Screenplay (About a Boy)

    There are of course a large number of directors primarily of Animated films who never receive attention in the Best Director category but are given consolation either through a Screenplay nomination or a nomination/win in Animated Feature. Hayao Miyazaki, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Brad Bird are probably some of the more notable figures in that regard. Also John Lasseter, who won in the Animated Short Film category.

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    KyleBailey
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    #217160

    Tim Burton has only 2 nominations but both for Animated movie

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    Riley
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    #217161

    You reminded me of Wes Anderson’s wait.

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    BamaEd
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    #217162

    George Miller’s Oscar is for Best Animated Feature for Happy Feet. This year is his first directing nod.

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