Top 10 Most Known Movie Directors of All Time

A movie can be a cinematic hit or a total blow. Sometimes, it all depends on a movie director and their vision. This job is not that easy– they have to show the screenplay from their perspective, guide actors, approve decorations and costumes, and most importantly, make this all work together. 

In some cases, you can actually recognize the director’s signature style. The most famous movie directors have a unique vision. Would you like to know who they are? Here, you will find a list of the top 10 world’s famous directors and the movies they are most known for:

Steven Spielberg

Steven Allan Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. He is an American director, producer, and screenwriter. He is considered one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He is known for his realistic action films with strong characters. Some of his most popular movies are ‘Jaws’, ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’, Jurassic Park’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘Jurassic Park’.

Alfred Hitchcock

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899, in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He is a British film director and producer best known for his suspense and psychological thriller films. Some of his most popular movies are ‘The Birds’, ‘Psycho’, ‘Rear Window’ and ‘Vertigo’. His movies are well-known because of their different themes but also for their clever use of camera movements and innovative editing.

Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick was born on July 26, 1928, in Manhattan, New York City, United States. He is an American film director and producer with a net worth of $20 Million. He started working as a photographer for Look Magazine before he directed his first short film in 1951. His early work includes Paths of Glory (1957) and Lolita (1962), which he made in England. In 1968 he released 2001: A Space Odyssey, which made him famous worldwide as the greatest science-fiction film director ever.

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Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino is a movie director, screenwriter, and actor (you can see him in his own films). He is one of Hollywood’s most exciting directors because he has a unique style and is not afraid to make bold statements and try something new. He was born in 1963 in Knoxville, Tennessee; he moved with his family to Los Angeles when he was 4 years old. At 18 years old, he dropped out of school and started working at Video Archives, a video store. It was a time when he started collecting movies. 

Tarantino is known for his unique colors and dialogues. His first movie was released in 1993. It was “Reservoir Dogs”. The story is about six friends who get together to pull off a jewelry store robbery. But it goes wrong when one of them gets killed, which makes the others realize that they should have never met each other. There are many more hit movies in his career, like “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” (2003), and “Kill Bill: Vol. 2” (2004).

Tim Burton

Timothy Walter Burton was born on August 25, 1958, in Burbank, California, United States. He is an American filmmaker and artist. According to Wealthy Gorilla, his estimated net worth is $60 Million. His best-known films are Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) and Batman (1989). But his big breakthrough came with Edward Scissorhands (1990), which became a cult favorite and led to several other successful movies like Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).

Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola was born on April 7, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, United States. He is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter with a net worth of $45 Million. Some of his most popular movies are The Godfather trilogy: The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990), Apocalypse Now (1979), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992).

Martin Scorsese

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942, in New York City, United States. He is an American filmmaker and screenwriter with a net worth of $235 Million. His best-known works are Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), and The Departed (2006). In 1990 he was given an Honorary Oscar for his contribution to cinema.

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Orson Welles

Orson Welles was born on May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States. He is an American actor, director, producer, and writer with a net worth of $20 Million. He is famous for his Citizen Kane movie, which is considered one of the greatest movies of all time. This movie earned him an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. Other popular movies are The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), and Chimes at Midnight (1966). Welles was one of the greatest movie directors in the history of cinema. Needless to say, he influenced many other directors with his unique style.

William Friedkin

William Friedkin is an American director, producer, and screenwriter from Chicago, Illinois. Friedkin is known for his movies with controversial issues such as religion, homosexuality, violence or drugs, and the abuse of power. He has won numerous awards for his work and has directed 15 movies to date. His best-known movies are “The French Connection” (1971), “The Exorcist” (1973), and “To Live and Die in L.A.” (1985). He has become a very influential figure in modern cinema by reinventing the gangster genre with these three movies.

Brian De Palma

Brian De Palma is an Italian-American film director from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is well-known for his neo-noir suspense thrillers filled with graphic violence. Some of his most famous works are “Carrie” (1976), “Blow Out” (1981), and “Scarface” (1983). Many of his movies are based on old horror movies and crime comics from the 1950s and 1960s. They can be very shocking and disturbing because they show violence in the raw way no one had ever seen before in a movie.

George Lucas

George Lucas is an American writer, director, producer, and chairman of the board at Lucasfilm Ltd.. He is well-known for his futuristic fantasy space opera franchise Star Wars and its sequel trilogy, which includes “Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977), “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), and “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” (1983). All three trilogies were nominated for Oscars for Best Visual Effects and Special Achievement Awards, but George Lucas did not win any for directing them. Nonetheless, he made his mark in history.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, all these famous movie directors have one thing in common – lack of fear. They have never been afraid to go beyond and try something others have never done before. Comedy, violence, sexuality, science fiction — they experimented with all of this and were rewarded for it. If you want to learn more about their directing styles, it would be better to watch movies from the list above. Be like Tarantino – he didn’t go to film school, but he watched movies again and again; it helped him create his own vision and become one of the best directors of all times. 

Photo by Chris Murray on Unsplash

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