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Who is the best Best Director of all time?

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  • awardskel
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    #538896

    All have brought us quality entertainment, but whose film was directed the best?

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    Scottferguson
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    #538898

    Appreciate your efforts, but for me, that list doesn’t reflect the best in the category.

    Frank Borzage/Seventh Heaven
    Leo McCay/The Awful Truth 
    John Ford/How Green Was My Valley
    John Ford/The Quiet Man
    Michael Curtiz/Casablanca
    Clint Eastwood/Unforgiven

    all vastly superior to all on that list except for perhaps (close) David Lean

    Victor Fleming didn’t even direct much of Gone With the Wind – George Cukor (initially), Sam Wood, William Cameron Menzies, even David O. Selznick directed major parts of the film.

    John Ford is fairly universally regarded as the best American-born director ever, and won four Oscars. Although he directed quite a few films better than any he won for, How Green Was My Valley remains the greatest achievement in directing of any of the winners.      

    I’d also include Coppola, Cameron, Scorsese, Zemeckis and Bigelow among winners since 1970 above most the ones listed.
                    

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    tonorlo
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    #538899

    From this list, Milestone (and thank you, Scottferguson, for mentioning Borzage).

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    allabout oscars
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    #538900

    For me… ONLY 1 CHOICE PER DIRECTOR

    SPIELBERG- SCHINDLER’S LIST
    HITCHCOCK- VERTIGO
    SCORSESE- RAGING BULL
    NICHOLS- VIRGINIA WOOLF
    WYLER- BEN-HUR

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    Scottferguson
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    #538901

    AAO – I think the choices are limited to the Oscar winners.

    For what it’s worth, the one good scene in the 1959 Ben-Hur – the chariot race – was not directed by Wyler. He wasn’t even in Europe when it was shot, and had nothing to do with the design. It was directed by the great Yakima Canutt, the greatest stunt coordinator of all time (and great stuntsman in his own right, as well as an occassional director). He should have gotten the Oscar, not Wyler. 

      

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    babypook
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    #538902

    The ‘best’ director of all time?!?
    Gach.

    Well from the list, I’d give full/partial credit to Victor Icamelately Fleming, who directed that adaptation for all of it’s flaws.

    But personally, who I’d consider a great director(s) isnt up there.

    Love Woody’s Anne Hall and Kazan’s OtWF, most of the films up there.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #538903

    He’s not listed in this poll, but the “greatest director” of all time is Alfred Hitchcock.

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    Pieman1994
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    #538904

    F*** you all for forgetting Stanley Kubrick. (Not really. You’re all great, but seriously??) There are only so many Kubrick films, but you can watch all of them from Paths of Glory on over and over and over, still be completely amazed, and pick out new things to appreciate every time. 

    Speilberg makes spectacles. His films are grandiose. They all feel like they should be magical and life affirming, and a lot of them are.

    Hitchcock is the inverse of Speilberg. His films are skin deep, and often borderline claustrophobic. That’s what makes them so edgy and compelling. 

    Tarantino contructs parts at a time that fit together in a cohesive or semi-cohexive narrative. That’s why every scene of Inglourious Basterds and Pulp Fiction are so completely memorable.  

    David Lean is the master of the epic. His films, like Speilberg, are grandiose, but that’s sort of the point (as per the name.) Lean dabbles in observing microcosms of epochs in history. There’s something about them that are unquestionably pestigious. Watching Lean’s films, a person is not simply viewing a film. They’re experiencing one. 

    The problem with listing directors with only one film is that it places their whole body of work under the context of one film and one kind of film. That’s why Kubrick is the best. He’s the most prolific, the most meticulous, and more focused on quality over quantity. While he never really wrote an original film, even his adaptations are their own incarnations. Kubrick tells stories his way, which means driving home several ideas through a larger thread without being wasteful or arbitrary. His films are artful, timeless, entertaining, and all so separate of one another that they are not just unique; they’re Kubrickian. 

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #538905

    ^UMM, it’s not as if you discovered Stanley Kubrick, dear. Here is a list of my top 25 favorite directors (in alphabetical order). Since there are at least 200 great directors, there are some heinous omissions, for which you shall have to forgive me.

    1. Michelangelo Antonioni
    2. Ingmar Bergman
    3. Robert Bresson
    4. Luis Buñuel 
    5. Charles Chaplin
    6. Vittorio De Sica
    7. Carl Theodor Dreyer
    8. Sergei Eisenstein
    9. Federico Fellini
    10. Jean-Luc Godard
    11. Alfred Hitchcock
    12. Stanley Kubrick
    13. Akira Kurosawa
    14. Fritz Lang
    15. David Lean
    16. F.W. Murnau
    17. Max Ophüls
    18. Yasujiro Ozu
    19. Roman Polanski
    20. Alain Resnais
    21. Jean Renoir
    22. Andrei Tarkovsky
    23. Jean Vigo
    24. Luchino Visconti
    25. Orson Welles
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    babypook
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    #538906

    ^UMM, it’s not as if you discovered Stanley Kubrick, dear. Here is a list of my top 25 favorite directors (in alphabetical order). Since there are at least 200 great directors, there are some heinous omissions, for which you shall have to forgive me.

    1. Michelangelo Antonioni
    2. Ingmar Bergman
    3. Robert Bresson
    4. Luis Buñuel 
    5. Charles Chaplin
    6. Vittorio De Sica
    7. Carl Theodor Dreyer
    8. Sergei Eisenstein
    9. Federico Fellini
    10. Jean-Luc Godard
    11. Alfred Hitchcock
    12. Stanley Kubrick
    13. Akira Kurosawa
    14. Fritz Lang
    15. David Lean
    16. F.W. Murnau
    17. Max Ophüls
    18. Yasujiro Ozu
    19. Roman Polanski
    20. Alain Resnais
    21. Jean Renoir
    22. Andrei Tarkovsky
    23. Jean Vigo
    24. Luchino Visconti
    25. Orson Welles

    Nice list. I’d add Charlie Chaplin to that list, along with Bernardo Bertolucci (I’ve always loved his films). Also Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, and James Cameron. That’s right. And David Fincher, is quickly becoming a top-tier director as another of my faves.
    I didnt expect to see Tarantino on your list but, he’d be on mine, along with every single one of your mentions.

    *edited to add: Oops. Just saw Chaplin up there. Also, I have to give Terrence Malick a shout out.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #538907

    ^I tried to stay away from directors who are still, ahem, living. But I agree that Bertolucci, Cameron and Malick deserve recognition.

    But not so Fincher and Tarantino, who are way down on my list. Way, way down. Near the bottom. Right before Mel Gibson. And Brett Ratner. And whoever directs those Adam Sandler movies.

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    Jay DeFelice
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    #538908

    Individually for these particular films, Fosse/Cabaret gets my vote.  Nichols/The Graduate a close second. However, Wilder is my fav director ever.  Allen/Annie Hall and Kazan/On the Waterfront are also major favs…though I just pulled out my OTWF dvd and was kinda irritated by Bernstein’s score…personally wish Kazan had reined him in a bit or at least toned it down volume wise in editing.

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    marcelo
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    #538909

    I vote for Bob Fosse too

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    Scottferguson
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    #538910

    Bob Fosse winning over Coppola (for The Godfather) is one of the biggest jokes in Oscar history.

    Fosse deserves credit for making one of the very, very few Broadway musical adaptations not to play like a beached whale on screen (see under West Side Story, The Sound of Music and many many more),and holds up reasonably well today. But for me it doesn’t remotely compare to Coppola’s achievement for his film.  

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    Scottferguson
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    #538911

    Looking at the 10 above, for me in 8 out of 10 choices listed the Academy didn’t even give the Oscar to the best of the nominees.

    1929-30: Ernst Lubitsch (The Love Parade) over Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front); Milestone would have been my third choice

    1939: John Ford (Stagecoach) over Victor Fleming (Gone With the Wind), who would have been my fourth choice. This is like Justin Bieber beating The Beatles as best pop performer. When Orson Welles prepped Citizen Kane, he watched Stagecoach over and over with different collaborators to learn how to make a movie – he regarded it, rightly, as cinematic perfection.

    1945: Jean Renoir (The Southerner) over Billy Wilder (The Lost Weekend), who would have been my fifth choice. Even those who like Wilder far more than me regard The Lost Weekend as a minor film.

    1954: Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window) over Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront), who would have been my third choice, separate and apart from his film being his rationalizing his destroying the lives of colleagues of his when he turned government snitch. Rear Window is one of the seminal examples of great directing in the history of film. Whatever Kazan achieved in OtW, it isn’t remotely at the same level.

    1962: I won’t fight David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia), the only worthy one on the list, but I would have been happy had Pietro Germi won for Divorce Italian Style.

    1967: Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde) over Mike Nichols (The Graduate), who would have been at best my fourth choice.

    1972: Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) over Bob Fosse (Cabaret), who would have been my third choice. John Boorman (Deliverance) would have been nearly as worthy as Coppola.

    1977: Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of a Third Kind) or George Lucas (Star Wars) over Woody Allen (Annie Hall). I don’t begrudge Allen his screenplay Oscar for that film, but he was at best fourth among that year’s nominees as director.

    1991: I can live with Jonathan Demme winning for Silence of the Lambs, although Ridley Scott (Thelma and Louise) and Barry Levinson (Bugsy) likely did their best work here. Demme has done better

    1993: Jane Campion (The Piano) over Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List). I’d have Spielberg third

       

             

          

      

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