Directors & Writers I Respect

by automatedcritic | created - 09 Jun 2012 | updated - 01 May 2018 | Public

I have a great deal of respect for Writers and/or Directors who take risks with their careers and their audiences. I rather have a director who challenges me with story and characters then a director/writer who gives me a run of the mill product. I want someone who puts himself/herself out there, not hide behind the safety lines like so many in hollywood do

1. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Ran

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

someone who delivered so many masterpieces i ran out of fingers to count them all. Even though widely know for his samurai cinema he was quite versatile a storyteller if you take a look at his entire filmography

2. John Huston

Director | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry was English,...

Whether by the pen or with the camera any film associated with John Huston seemed to breathe fresh life into it. Deep with in the clean and polished hollywood style Huston's films seem to have this "dirt underneath the fingernails " style to it. Imitated never duplicated

3. Billy Wilder

Writer | The Apartment

Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929 and wrote scripts for many ...

A versatile writer/director who knows that fine line between dark drama and comedy. He is unafraid to show the dark sides of all of us. His stories are filled with scrappers, opportunist, and survivors as endearing main characters.

4. John Ford

Director | The Quiet Man

John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known for his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, ...

The King

5. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

Even though i would have loved to see Hitchcock outside of his comfort zone of Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, his films are still quite enjoyable and masterfully executed.

6. Michael Curtiz

Director | Casablanca

Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. After WWI, he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner...

For many many years the hollywood studio system continued. An endless stream of writers, directors, editors, cameramen, were slated into whatever came their way. Michael Curtiz always seemed to make it work no matter what genre. The man did it all and put his stamp on each genre. Take a look at the classic years of hollywood by genre and Michael Curtiz credit is not far behind.

7. Joel Coen

Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Fargo (1996) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.

In the same spirit as Powell & Pressburger, Joel & Ethan Coen are one individual directing entity. It is amazing how diverse and subtle they can be in their filmography. Not every film is a masterpiece. When they intentionally write a comedy (except raising arizona & Lebowski) they tend to take it over the top. When they make a film in which it just happens to be funny (Fargo, A Serious Man) it is excellently crafted.

8. Sidney Lumet

Director | 12 Angry Men

Sidney Lumet was a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors -- and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York. He made over 40 movies, often complex and emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. Although ...

He just knew how to bring a script and an actor alive. Knew what a rehearsal is suppose to be used for. Knew how to handle all kinds of performers. Every film was different and organically came to life on screen. No one like him never will be another.

9. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

A lot of film buffs already know that Chaplin starred arranged directed produced financed and released his own films. Chaplin also took enormous risks with his audience. When people only wanted him. He released Woman of Paris with Edna Purvance. When Hollywood switched to sound. He made City Lights & Modern Times. When the USA refused involvement in the War in Europe in 1940. Out came the Great Dictator. When only a few could distribute United Artist was created.

10. D.W. Griffith

Director | The Birth of a Nation

David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War veteran. Young Griffith grew up with his father's romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually shape his movies. In 1897 ...

Grandfather of filmmaking. Forget birth of a nation and just peer into his work.

11. Paul Thomas Anderson

Director | Punch-Drunk Love

Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making...

I am just blown away by what this man has done. I cant wait to see what he continues to bring us.

12. Ingmar Bergman

Writer | Smultronstället

Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions (1996) is the ...

Labeled too quickly as being too cerebral a director. Give him a chance and you will find a great deal more substance in his work. I don't think i've seen more accurate relationships portrayed in film then the ones you see in Bergman. While his existential examinations may have been a little overwhelming in my early twenties. I am so glad they are around now in my mid/late 30's

13. Raoul Walsh

Director | Sadie Thompson

Raoul Walsh's 52-year directorial career made him a Hollywood legend. Walsh was also an actor: He appeared in the first version of W. Somerset Maugham's "Rain" renamed Sadie Thompson (1928) opposite Gloria Swanson in the title role. He would have played the Cisco Kid in his own film In Old Arizona ...

14. William A. Wellman

Director | A Star Is Born

William Wellman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter-director of the original A Star Is Born (1937), was called "Wild Bill" during his World War I service as an aviator, a nickname that persisted in Hollywood due to his larger-than-life personality and lifestyle.

A leap-year baby born in 1896 on the 29th...

15. Ernst Lubitsch

Director | To Be or Not to Be

From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at ...

Billy Wilder had a sign in his office " W W L D " What would Lubitsch Do ?

16. Anthony Mann

Director | El Cid

Anthony Mann was born on June 30, 1906 in San Diego, California, USA as Emil Anton Bundesmann. He was a director and writer, known for El Cid (1961), Men in War (1957) and The Glenn Miller Story (1954). He was married to Anna; 1 child Nicholas Anthony Mann, Sara Montiel and Mildred Mann. He died on...

There is nothing like an Anthony Mann western.

17. Emeric Pressburger

Writer | The Red Shoes

Educated at the Universities of Prague and Stuttgart, Emeric Pressburger worked as a journalist in Hungary and Germany and an author and scriptwriter in Berlin and Paris. He was a Hungarian Jew, chased around Europe (he worked on films for UFA in Berlin and Paris) before World War II, finally ...

I am still scratching my head how the F Michael Powell, Pressburger, and Jack Cardiff did what they did when they did.

18. François Truffaut

Writer | La nuit américaine

French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the ...

19. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was six) he traveled the world with his father. He was orphaned at 15 after his father's death and became the ward of Dr. ...

Really pushed how stories can be presented. Loved to have seen another film of his in which he had complete control.

20. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

I am not the person to call myself a fanatic of his films. Dr Strangelove and Spartacus are the only films of his i can take repeated viewings of. I do respect him for challenging the conventions of film storytelling. Brilliantly crafted films. No one shoots a movie like Kubrick. His biggest flaw, his writing.

21. Chuck Jones

Actor | Gremlins

Starting as a cel washer, Chuck Jones worked his way up to animator and then director at the animation division of Warner Bros. He is famous for creating such beloved cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Henery Hawk, Pepé Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, Ralph Wolf, Road Runner, Sam Sheepdog, Sniffles,...

You can't look back at your years of enjoying those warner bros cartoons and forget the impact he had. Friz Freleng, Tex Avery, Bob Clampet and so many others did as well. Chuck Jones always pushed what he could do with the medium. Animation allows your brain to spill on paper. The technique and method of the man just is remarkable. While Disney played it safe most of the time. Chuck took what had been done and turned it on its head.

22. Rod Serling

Writer | The Twilight Zone

John Phillips is the name used by longtime television and film writer Rod Serling when he asked that his real name be removed as the writer of the pilot episode of the series "The New People" in 1969. While Serling's name remained as series developer, he was sufficiently annoyed with ABC- TV's ...

Patterns (1956) [TV MOVIE] Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) Seven Days in May (1964) Planet of the Apes (1968) [co-wrote] oh yeah and a little science fiction / storyteller program The Twilight Zone

23. Milos Forman

Director | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Milos Forman was born Jan Tomas Forman in Caslav, Czechoslovakia, to Anna (Svabova), who ran a summer hotel, and Rudolf Forman, a professor. During World War II, his parents were taken away by the Nazis, after being accused of participating in the underground resistance. His father died in ...

Really appreciated how he told his stories. Mostly from the perspective of how he viewed America. An immigrant holds the mirror up to America a lot differently than full blooded American director would

24. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

I am not a fan of all of his joints. He does spark conversations and he is a storyteller with a lot to express. I respect what he has achieved in his career. When you think you have Spike pegged, out comes something new fresh and for a time provocative.

25. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

Not everyone warms themselves to his films and i am understanding to that. Not all of his films would i consider GOD on celluloid. When many writers and directors come out maybe with a film or two every five years or so Woody has continued to write direct and release a new different film every year. While alot of common themes can be found, every film he makes is different from the last. Women are written as complex human beings in his films. We see a sliver of Woody in every character he writes. His calm and still camera style makes the audience pay attention to whats being filmed than rather how its being filmed. His latest films however have been grasping at straws to stay relevant. His years as good story teller are well behind him

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