The Greatest Film Directors Ever
by Total Film Magazine
(in two parts)


Total Film Magazine (in August-September 2007 issues) provided their list of 100 Greatest Film Directors Ever.

Facts and Commentary About the List:

  • The Total Film list included their picks for each director's "picture-perfect" film. They called the list their "locked down, rubber-stamped, definitive selection."
  • There were multiple problems with this list -- Sofia Coppola, Michael Hanake, Alexander Payne, Jean Pierre Melville, and Wong Kar-Wai do not belong.
  • There were many notable omissions, as well as ranking problems, and oftentimes the choices of "picture-perfect" film ignored a director's most significant work.
Note: The films that are marked with a yellow star are the films that Greatest Films has selected as the "100 Greatest Films"

The Greatest Film Directors Ever
by Total Film Magazine
(Part 1, Ranked Order)

Ranking
Film Director
Total Film's
"Picture-Perfect" Film
Filmsite's
"Picture-Perfect" Film
1
Alfred Hitchcock Vertigo (1958) or Psycho (1960)
2
Martin Scorsese Goodfellas (1990) Taxi Driver (1976)
3
Steven Spielberg E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Schindler's List (1993)
4
Howard Hawks His Girl Friday (1940) or The Big Sleep (1946)
5
Francis Ford Coppola The Godfather (1972) or The Godfather, Part II (1974)
6
Orson Welles Citizen Kane (1941) -
7
Ingmar Bergman Persona (1966, Swed.) The Seventh Seal (1957, Swed.)
8
Stanley Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) -
9
Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings Trilogy -
10
David Fincher Fight Club (1999) Se7en (1995)
11
Akira Kurosawa The Seven Samurai (1954, Jp.) Rashomon (1950, Jp.)
12
Quentin Tarantino Reservoir Dogs (1992) Pulp Fiction (1994)
13
Billy Wilder The Apartment (1960) Double Indemnity (1944) or Sunset Boulevard (1950)
14
John Ford The Searchers (1956) -
15
Steven Soderbergh Out of Sight (1998) Traffic (2000)
16
Michael Powell The Red Shoes (1948) -
17
David Cronenberg Crash (1996) or The Fly (1986)
18
Joel & Ethan Coen Miller's Crossing (1990) Fargo (1996)
19
Woody Allen Manhattan (1979) Annie Hall (1977)
20
Paul Thomas Anderson Magnolia (1999) or Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
21
Clint Eastwood Unforgiven (1992) or Million Dollar Baby (2004)
22
David Lynch Blue Velvet (1996) or Mulholland Drive (2001)
23
Jean Renoir The Rules of the Game (1939, Fr.) or The Grand Illusion (1937, Fr.)
24
Tim Burton Ed Wood (1994) or Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985)
25
Hayao Miyazaki My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Jp.) Spirited Away (2001, Jp.)
26
Robert Altman Nashville (1975) -
27
Sam Peckinpah Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) The Wild Bunch (1969)
28
Michael Mann Heat (1995) or The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
29
Jean Pierre Melville Army of Shadows (1969, Fr.) -
30
Luis Bunuel That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Sp.) The Exterminating Angel (1962, Sp.)
31
Terrence Malick Badlands (1973) -
32
Christopher Nolan Memento (2000) -
33
Yasujiro Ozu Tokyo Story (1957, Jp.) -
34
Carol Reed The Third Man (1949, UK) -
35
Rob Reiner This is Spinal Tap (1984) -
36
Roman Polanski Chinatown (1974) -
37
Sergio Leone Once Upon a Time in the West (1968, It.) or The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966, It.)
38
James Cameron The Terminator (1984) Titanic (1997)
39
Ridley Scott Blade Runner (1982) -
40
David Lean Lawrence of Arabia (1962, UK) -
41
Ang Lee The Ice Storm (1997) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, HK/US)
42
Frank Capra It's a Wonderful Life (1946) -
43
Preston Sturges Sullivan's Travels (1941) or The Lady Eve (1941)
44
Francois Truffaut The 400 Blows (1959, Fr.) -
45
Werner Herzog Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972, Germ.) Fitzcarraldo (1982, Germ.)
46
Alexander Payne Sideways (2004) -
47
Kryzsztof Kieslowski Three Colors: Red (1994, Fr/Pol.) Three Colors: Blue (1993, Fr/Pol.)
48
Fritz Lang M (1931, Germ.) -
49
Mike Leigh Naked (1993) Secrets & Lies (1996)
50
Sam Fuller The Big Red One (1980) Pickup on South Street (1953)


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