Top 10 Best Hollywood Film Directors of all Time

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“Movies can and do have a tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood” said Walt Disney. He is definitely right. A movie, like a book, can change your life. It can change the way you think. It can make you a better person, for there’s an electrical thing about the movies. It captures our imagination like no other. The movies we watch in childhood shape the way we think and they influence us to a great extent. There have been so many movies that are larger than life and coming of age. So many movies that have revolutionized the way we think. They may be cliché, but somehow the characters have sashayed into our lives! Few Hollywood movies are laudable and very praiseworthy, for the way they have been made.

A film is a fountain of thought. When you make a film you usually make a film about an idea. An idea that has grappled your mind! Something you want to show the world. You show the world to look at things from a new perspective, from your perspective.  It all comes down to the director. Their job is not easy. To handle so many people on the sets, to tutor the actors and to set the scenes, it requires great vision. Directors are answerable to the audience, so they always make credible movies. Whether it is about the subtleties of human emotions, or a sci-fi movie or a romcom. This article lists out ten famous Hollywood directors. It is not exhaustive, as there are too many talented directors out there. But these are some big names that every one of us would have heard.  Here they are:


10. Quentin Tarantino


Quentin Jerome Tarantino is a well known American director, screenwriter, producer and actor. He’s the man behind “Pulp Fiction”, a movie that is loved by thousand even today! His first movie, “Reservoir Dogs” won him accolades! He is the man behind “Inglorious Basterds”. QT, as few call him, made a bizarre mix of pop music and art house cinema.  His thrillers are famous for their witty and satirical dialogues. His “Kill Bill” series made Uma Therman very popular.  He has received many awards, including the Academy awards, Golden Globe award and the prestigious Palme D’Or.

9. Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win the Oscar in the best director category.  She won this award for the movie, “The Hurt Locker” in 2008. She was married to fellow director, James Cameron. Kathryn is known for her visuals and awesome action sequences.  She is a very talented painter too. In the year 2010, she was named in the Time 100 list of ‘most influential people of the year’. Her recent movie is “Zero Dark Thirty”, which was released in 2012.

8. Woody Allen

Woody Allen

Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, playwright, and musician whose career spans over half a century. If you appreciate true cinematic beauty and simplicity, then you will love Woody Allen’s movies.  He is best known for his light hearted romantic comedies, which contain a dash of slapstick. His movies portray the women as having strong characters. Some of his most famous movies are, “Annie Hall”, “Midnight in Paris”, “Manhattan” etc. He has the most number of Academy Award nominations as a screenwriter. He has won four Oscars. In 2007, a Spanish university conferred him with a PhD Honoris Causa.


7. Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola is a famous American director. His origin is Italian. He is best known for “The Godfather” trilogy, which is based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo.  In the 1960s, he emerged as one of the leading directors of the 20th century. He first gained critical acclaim as a screenwriter and even won an Academy Award for “Patton” in 1970. He is a legend, for directing some of the greatest movies ever. His career had suffered a setback initially. But his unwavering determination made him successful. “Apocalypse Now” marked the end of the golden period in his career.

6. Martin Scorsese


Martin Scorsese is known for his gritty, meticulous filmmaking style and is widely considered one of the most important directors of all time. In 1973, he directed “Mean Streets”, which was his first film to be recognized as a masterpiece. In the same movie, he collaborated with Robert De Niro, marking the beginning of one of the most successful partnerships in Hollywood.  He is regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time. He has made some of the most daring films. In 2007, he founded the World Cinema Foundation. He has accolades’ galore and has even won the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to cinema.

5. Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock went on to become the most widely known and influential director in the history of world cinema with a significant body of work produced over 50 years. His first American film, Rebecca”, won an Academy Award for best picture. Hitchcock created more than 50 films, including the classics Rear Window, “The 39 Steps , “The Man Who Knew Too Much” and “Psycho.  His movies show eccentric characterization and comedy. Nicknamed, the “Master of Suspense,” Hitchcock received the AFI’s Life Achievement Award in 1979. He died in 1980.

4. Christopher Nolan

Cristopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is best known for his existential explorations of time and memory. He is intrigued and fascinated by the perception of reality and identity. He is known as one of the most imaginative and innovative storytellers today. He is a director of psychologically demanding movies. If you have watched “Inception”, a brilliant movie without any doubt, and one of its kind, then Nolan will strike your head. His most famous character is Batman. In July 2012, Christopher Nolan became the youngest director to be honored with a hand and footprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.The Dark Knight Rises” was one of the biggest films of 2012, grossing about a billion at the box office.

3. James Cameron

James Cameron

James Francis Cameron first found success for directing the sci-fi hit “The Terminator”, in 1984. He is one of the most popular Hollywood directors. After his film “True Lies”, he took on his biggest film at the time “Titanic (1997) which won the Academy Award for best picture and him, the Academy Award for best director and film editing. After Titanic, Cameron began a project that took almost 10 years to make, his science-fiction epic “Avatar” (2009), for which he was nominated for best director and film editing, again. Even today, the movie Titanic is revered by people worldwide and it is one of the greatest movies ever to be made.

2. Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is not unheard of. He is one of the most macho of stars. His suave style has made him an international icon. His characters have a trademark expression. In a career that spanned over half a century, actor-director Clint Eastwood managed to become both a top box office draw and an Oscar-winning director.  In 2000, he was awarded the Italian Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for lifetime achievement. In recent years, Eastwood has directed many films, including the Academy Award-winning projects “Unforgiven”, “Mystic River”, “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Changeling”.

1. Steven Spielberg


Steven Spielberg is a celebrated American director. He is loved by his fans, the world over. He is perhaps the world’s most popular filmmaker. He has made some of the most successful movies ever. In a career of more than four decades, Steven Spielberg’s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg went on to become the enormously successful and Academy Award-winning director of such films as “Schindler’s List”,” The Color Purple”, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial “and “Saving Private Ryan”. He is one of the most influential film personalities and has countless big grosser are accolades to his name. This list would be incomplete without him and he is the numero uno!


17 Responses

  1. Juan Sanchez

    April 6, 2014 8:00 pm

    Quentin Tarantino #10? And Martin Scorsese #6????????? This is person obviously doesn’t know anything about movies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anthony J. Langford

    May 26, 2014 2:16 pm

    Clearly a list made by someone who knows very little about films. Rather embarrassing. I’d suggest someone under the age of 25, but really, there’s at least 300 directors better than Bigelow… and none here have the artistic credibility that warrants a placing.. save for Hitchcock – unlike Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Welles, Bergman, Fellini, Lean, Bunuel, Pasolini, omfg Im embarrassed just to leave a comment here….

  3. hitesh gosai

    July 30, 2014 4:08 am

    I m glad to talk with u . I am a indian boy I have a awesome story in my mind related to the necular reactors its a amazing story I hope u will focus on my words.and best think in it is to make sequel of it

  4. sydIRISH .

    January 8, 2015 11:33 am

    Any list that doesn’t include Stanley Kubrick is not viable, who the hell is Kathryn Bigelow? Never heard of her. Also how about David Lynch? Although not in my Top 10, Sergio Leone, I like Oliver Stone’s work. But Kubrick is my guy, his omission from this list is pure blasphemy.


    February 16, 2015 4:39 pm

    quentin tarantino should come under #5 rank cause he deserves it but i see the guy has ranked a director bigloe probably the name no one has heard of made her #9 and ranked QT#10 ……… i bet the guy dont know much about movies so i would suggest other ppl to go look another site cause this site is full of bullcrap and i see he didnt even mentioned STANLEY KUBRICK lol this is just bullshit

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