The Best Directors Ever - 1920s

by dziwnytenswiat | created - 10 months ago | updated - 3 months ago | Public

Points from my "The Best Films Ever Made"-Lists. Vol. 1 = 100%, Vol. 2 = 50%, Vol. 3 = 33%, Vol. 4 = 25%, Vol. 5 = 20 %, Vol. 6 = 17%

1. F.W. Murnau

Director | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

F.W. Murnau was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt. During World War I he served as a company commander at the eastern front and was in the German air ...

3906 points

2. Buster Keaton

Actor | The General

Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine ...

3857 points

3. 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 ...

2967 points

4. King Vidor

Director | Hallelujah

King Vidor was an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter of Hungarian descent. He was born in Galveston, Texas to lumberman Charles Shelton Vidor and his wife Kate Wallis. King's paternal grandfather Károly (Charles) Vidor had fled Hungary as a refugee following the failed ...

2846 points

5. Victor Sjöström

Actor | Smultronstället

Victor Sjöström was born on September 20, 1879, and is the undisputed father of Swedish film, ranking as one of the masters of world cinema. His influence lives on in the work of Ingmar Bergman and all those directors, both Swedish and international, influenced by his work and the works of ...

2304 points

6. Sam Taylor

Writer | Safety Last!

New York-born writer and director with a penchant for comedy. He graduated from Fordham University, and, from 1916, worked at Kalem on the 'Ham and Bud' series (Lloyd Hamilton & Bud Duncan). When Kalem was taken over by Vitagraph, Taylor became feature continuity writer. Sometime after 1920, he ...

1829 points

7. Fritz Lang

Actor | Le mépris

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...

1811 points

8. Fred C. Newmeyer

Director | Safety Last!

Fred C. Newmeyer was a professional baseball player from 1909-13 before beginning his career as an extra at Universal Pictures. He worked his way up the ladder to become a prop man, then assistant director and, finally, director. Notable among his films are Seven Keys to Baldpate (1925) with ...

1710 points

9. Sergei M. Eisenstein

Director | Aleksandr Nevskiy

The son of an affluent architect, Eisenstein attended the Institute of Civil Engineering in Petrograd as a young man. With the fall of the tsar in 1917, he worked as an engineer for the Red Army. In the following years, Eisenstein joined up with the Moscow Proletkult Theater as a set designer and ...

1485 points

10. Georg Wilhelm Pabst

Director | Komödianten

Georg Wilhelm Pabst is considered by many to be the greatest director of German cinema, in his era. He was especially appreciated by actors and actresses for the humane way in which he treated them. This was in contrast to some of his contemporaries, such as Arnold Fanck, who have been ...

1272 points

11. Clarence Brown

Director | Anna Karenina

Clarence Leon Brown was the son of Larkin Harry and Catherine Ann (Gaw) Brown of Clinton, Massachusetts. His family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, when he was 12 years old. He graduated from Knoxville High School in 1905 and from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in mechanical and electrical ...

1245 points

12. Carl Theodor Dreyer

Writer | Gertrud

The illegitimate son of a Danish farmer and his Swedish housekeeper, Carl Theodor Dreyer was born in Copenhagen on the 3th of February, 1889. He spent his early years in various foster homes before being adopted by the Dreyers at the age of two. Contrary to popular belief (perhaps nourished by the ...

1212 points

13. 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 ...

1191 points

14. Erich von Stroheim

Actor | Sunset Blvd.

Erich von Stroheim was born Erich Oswald Stroheim in 1885, in Vienna, Austria, to Johanna (Bondy), from Prague, and Benno Stroheim, a hatter from Gleiwitz, Germany (now Gliwice, Poland). His family was Jewish.

After spending some time working in his father's hat factory, he emigrated to America ...

1061 points

15. Robert Wiene

Director | Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari

Robert Wiene was born on April 24, 1873 in Breslau, Silesia, Germany. He was a writer and director, known for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), The Hands of Orlac (1924) and L'autre (1930). He died on July 17, 1938 in Paris, France.

1023 points

16. 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 ...

998 points

17. Fred Niblo

The Artist

Fred Niblo entered films in 1917 after two decades as a touring actor in vaudeville and one-time manager of 'The Four Cohans' (he married Josephine Cohan, the sister of George M. Cohan). He made his film debut with two early Australian silent films in 1916. He worked for Thomas H. Ince from 1917 as ...

967 points

18. Vsevolod Pudovkin

Director | Admiral Nakhimov

Vsevolod Pudovkin was born on February 28, 1893 in Penza, Russian Empire as Vsevolod Illarionovich Pudovkin. He was a director and actor, known for Admiral Nakhimov (1947), Zhukovsky (1950) and Minin i Pozharskiy (1939). He was married to Anna Zemtsova. He died on June 30, 1953 in Jurmala, Latvian ...

932 points

19. Frank Borzage

Director | No Greater Glory

Frank Borzage was born on April 23, 1894 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. He was an actor and director, known for No Greater Glory (1934), 7th Heaven (1927) and Bad Girl (1931). He was married to Juanita Scott, Edna Skelton and Rena Rogers. He died on June 19, 1962 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, ...

910 points

20. Cecil B. DeMille

Producer | The Ten Commandments

His parents Henry C. DeMille and Beatrice DeMille were playwrights. His father died when he was 12, and his mother supported the family by opening a school for girls and a theatrical company. Too young to enlist in the Spanish-American War, Cecil followed his brother William C. de Mille to the New ...

885 points

21. Clyde Bruckman

Writer | The General

Had been out of work and was pretty much broke when he killed himself. He borrowed Buster Keaton's gun and after eating a meal that he could not pay for, shot himself. There are two stories; One says it was in the restroom of the cafe on Santa Monica Blvd, and the other story states he did it in ...

866 points

22. Edward Sedgwick

Director | The Flaming Frontier

Edward Sedgwick was born on November 7, 1892 in Galveston, Texas, USA as Edward Martin Sedgewick. He was a director and actor, known for The Flaming Frontier (1926), Let 'er Buck (1925) and The Saddle Hawk (1925). He was married to Ebba Havez and Rose L. Elgueta. He died on March 7, 1953 in North ...

850 points

23. Walter Ruttmann

Cinematographer | Metropolis

Walter Ruttmann was born on December 28, 1887 in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany as Friedrich Wilhelm Walter Ruttmann. He was a director and writer, known for Metropolis (1927), Mannesmann - Ein Film der Mannesmannröhren-Werke (1937) and Acciaio (1933). He was married to Christine Margarete Helene ...

826 points

24. Herbert Brenon

Director | Beau Geste

Herbert Brenon was born on January 13, 1880 in Dublin, Ireland, UK as Alexander Herbert Reginald St. John Brenon. He was a director and writer, known for Beau Geste (1926), Ivanhoe (1913) and Sorrell and Son (1927). He was married to Mrs. Herbert Brenon. He died on June 21, 1958 in Los Angeles, ...

819 points

25. Josef von Sternberg

Director | The Devil Is a Woman

Josef von Sternberg split his childhood between Vienna and New York City. His father, a former soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, could not support his family in either city; Sternberg remembered him only as "an enormously strong man who often used his strength on me." Forced by poverty to drop ...

815 points

26. Lev Kuleshov

Director | Po zakonu

Lev Kuleshov was a Russian director who used the editing technique known as the "Kuleshov effect." Although some of the editing innovations, such as crosscutting were used by other directors before him, Kuleshov was the first to use it in the Soviet Russia. he was driving a Ford sports car amidst ...

809 points

27. Paul Leni

Director | The Man Who Laughs

Paul Leni was born on July 8, 1885 in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany as Paul Josef Levi. He was an art director and director, known for The Man Who Laughs (1928), Das Rätsel von Bangalor (1918) and The Last Warning (1928). He died on September 2, 1929 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

807 points

28. Ted Wilde

Director | Speedy

Ted Wilde was born on December 16, 1889 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a director and writer, known for Speedy (1928), The Kid Brother (1927) and For Heaven's Sake (1926). He died on December 17, 1929 in Hollywood, California, USA.

806 points

29. Dziga Vertov

Director | Chelovek s kino-apparatom

Born in Bialystok, Poland, studied music and enrolled in St. Petersburg Neurological Institute in 1916. Worked on first Soviet newsreel, Kinonedelia (1918-1919), then on subsequent newsreel series (inc. Kinopravda, 1922-1925).

804 points

30. Charles Reisner

Director | The Missing Link

Charles Reisner (also frequently billed as "Riesner") started his professional life as a prizefighter. He performed in vaudeville for ten years and eventually wound up writing lyrics for musical comedy on Broadway. After a spell under the auspices of impresario Charles B. Dillingham, Reisner moved ...

803 points

31. Rex Ingram

Director | The Great Problem

Renowned director Rex Ingram started his film career as a set designer and painter. His directorial debut was The Great Problem (1916). A true master of the medium, Ingram despised the business haggling required in the Hollywood system. He was also unhappy with the level of writing he found in ...

782 points

32. Ewald André Dupont

Writer | Varieté

German film director E.A. Dupont was an influential critic and newspaper columnist before breaking into the film industry. He wrote several screenplays and worked as a story editor for Richard Oswald before turning to directing in 1917. Over the next eight years Dupont became a respected exponent ...

651 points

33. 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...

645 points

34. Wallace Worsley

Director | The Ace of Hearts

Wallace Worsley was born on December 8, 1878 in Wappingers Falls, New York, USA as Wallace A. Worsley Sr. He was a director and actor, known for The Ace of Hearts (1921), A Blind Bargain (1922) and The Penalty (1920). He was married to Julia M. Taylor. He died on March 26, 1944 in Hollywood, ...

537 points

35. Allan Dwan

Director | Bound in Morocco

Allan Dwan was born on April 3, 1885 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as Joseph Aloysius Dwan. He was a director and writer, known for Bound in Morocco (1918), A Perfect Crime (1921) and A Broken Doll (1921). He was married to Marie Shelton and Pauline Bush. He died on December 28, 1981 in Woodland ...

513 points

36. Abel Gance

Writer | La dame aux camélias

Born an illegitimate son of a wealthy physician, Abel Flamant, and a working class mother, Francoise Perethon. He was raised by his mother and her boyfriend, who later became her husband, Adolphe Gance. Pressured by his parents, he began his working career as a lawyer's clerk in hopes of achieving ...

506 points

37. Edward F. Cline

Director | The Boat

Edward "Eddie" Cline began his career in the film business as one of the Keystone Kops. The former vaudevillian appeared sporadically in films as an actor until 1922, but became increasingly active behind the camera as a gagman and scenario writer for Mack Sennett. From 1916 he worked on a steady ...

504 points

38. Henry King

Director | The Song of Bernadette

For more than three decades, Henry King was the most versatile and reliable (not to mention hard-working) contract director on the 20th Century-Fox lot. His tenure lasted from 1930 to 1961, spanning most of Hollywood's "golden" era. King was renowned as a specialist in literary adaptations (A Bell ...

493 points

39. Tod Browning

Director | Dracula

Belonging to a well-situated family, Charles Browning fell in love at the age of 16 with a dancer of a circus. Following her began his itinerary of being clown, jockey and director of a variety theater which ended when he met D.W. Griffith and became an actor. He made his debut in Intolerance: ...

438 points

40. Jacques Feyder

Director | Pension Mimosas

Jacques Feyder was born on July 21, 1885 in Ixelles, Brabant, Belgium as Jacques Léon Louis Frédérix. He was a director and writer, known for Pension Mimosas (1935), Carnival in Flanders (1935) and Le grand jeu (1934). He was married to Françoise Rosay. He died on May 24, 1948 in Rive-de-Prangins, ...

399 points

41. Aleksandr Dovzhenko

Writer | Zemlya

Aleksandr Dovzhenko was born on September 10, 1894 in Vyunishche, Sosnitsa Ueyzd, Chernigov Governorate, Russian Empire as Aleksandr Petrovich Dovzhenko. He was a writer and director, known for Earth (1930), Shors (1939) and Life in Bloom (1949). He was married to Yuliya Solntseva. He died on ...

397 points

42. Joe May

Director | Asphalt

A businessman and operetta director, Joe May, one of the founders of the German cinema, started directing films in 1911 and started his own production company a few years later. He gave famous German director Fritz Lang his start in films, employing him as a screenwriter in his early films. After ...

394 points

43. Dimitri Kirsanoff

Director | Ménilmontant

In France from 1923. Kirsanoff was at the forefront of Parisian avant-garde filmmaking thanks to works such as Ménilmontant (1926), which combined soviet style montage with hand-held camerawork and lyrically composed static shots. Kirsanoff's early silent films, many starring his first wife Nadia ...

392 points

44. Marcel L'Herbier

Director | L'inhumaine

Marcel L'Herbier was born on April 23, 1888 in Paris, France. He was a director and writer, known for The Inhuman Woman (1924), Le bonheur (1934) and Sacrifice d'honneur (1935). He was married to Marcelle Pradot. He died on November 26, 1979 in Paris.

390 points

45. Rupert Julian

Actor | The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin

Coming to the US at the age of 34, New Zealand-born Rupert Julian started his career as a stage and screen actor touring Australia and New Zealand. Having made his name (and a cool million for Universal) as a dead ringer for Kaiser Wilhelm II in the 1918 film The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin (1918), ...

389 points

46. 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 ...

329 points

47. Robert Z. Leonard

Director | The Great Ziegfeld

Chicago-born Robert Z. Leonard studied law at the University of Colorado, but the legal profession proved not to be his forte and he dropped out in favor of a career in the theatre. When his family moved to Hollywood in 1907 Leonard sought work in the fledgling film industry, starting as an actor ...

305 points

48. Grigoriy Aleksandrov

Director | Vesna

Grigori Aleksandrov was a Soviet-Russian filmmaker best known as director of Volga - Volga (1938), The Circus (1936), and October (Ten Days that Shook the World) (1927), as well as co-star in Battleship Potemkin (1925) by director Sergei M. Eisenstein.

He was born Grigori Vasilyevich Mormonenko on ...

258 points

49. Abram Room

Director | Nashestvie

Abram Room was born on June 28, 1894 in Vilna, Russian Empire as Abram Matveyevich Room. He was a director and writer, known for Nashestvie (1945), Sud chesti (1949) and Belated Flowers (1970). He died on July 26, 1976 in Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR.

257 points

50. Pál Fejös

Director | Man och kvinna

Budapest-born director Paul Fejos first called attention to himself in Kecskemét, Hungary, as a student actor. During World War I he was a soldier in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and after the war he became a student of chemistry. His artistic inclination, however, drew him to the ...

257 points

51. Grigoriy Kozintsev

Director | Gamlet

Grigori Mikhailovich Kozintsev was born on March 22, 1905, in Kiev, Russian Empire (now Kiev, Ukraine). His father, named Mikhail Kozintsev, was a medical doctor. Young Kozintsev studied at the Kiev Gymnazium. There, in 1919, he organized experimental theatre "Arlekin" together with his fellow ...

256 points

52. Leonid Trauberg

Writer | Yunost Maksima

Leonid Zakharovich Trauberg is Soviet film director and screenwriter. People's Artist of the RSFSR (1987). Leonid Trauberg was born in Odessa. After moving to Petrograd, the family settled in house number 7, apt. 4, along Kolomenskaya street.

In December 1921, together with G. Kozintsev and G. ...

256 points

53. Frank Urson

Director | The Love Special

American director, cinematographer, and assistant director of silent films. A native of Chicago, Urson was the nephew of E.J. Hite of the Thanhauser Film Co. With his uncle's help, Urson was trained as a cameraman and eventually relocated to California as a camera operator for Fine Arts Productions...

256 points

54. 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, ...

255 points

55. John G. Blystone

Director | The Lucky Horseshoe

John G. Blystone was born on December 2, 1892 in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, USA as John Gilman Blystone. He is known for his work on The Lucky Horseshoe (1925), The Sky Hawk (1929) and The Big Party (1930). He was married to Gwendolyn Davis. He died on August 6, 1938 in Beverly Hills, California, USA.

253 points

56. Anthony Asquith

Director | The Browning Version

British film director Anthony Asquith was born on November 9, 1902, to H.H. Asquith, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his second wife. A former home secretary and the future leader of the Liberal Party, H.H. Asquith served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1908-1916 and was ...

252 points

57. Robert G. Vignola

Director | Broken Dreams

Robert G. Vignola was born on August 5, 1882 in Trivigno (Potenza), Basilicata, Italy. He was a director and actor, known for Broken Dreams (1933), Don Caesar de Bazan (1915) and The Young Diana (1922). He died on October 25, 1953 in Hollywood, California, USA.

252 points

58. William Beaudine

Director | The Ape Man

William Beaudine, the director of nearly 350 known films (nearly one for every day of the year; some listings of his work put his output at 500 movies and hundreds of TV episodes) and scores of television episodes, enjoyed a directing career that stretched across seven decades from the 'Teens to ...

251 points

59. Robert J. Flaherty

Director | Louisiana Story

Robert J. Flaherty was born on February 16, 1884 in Iron Mountain, Michigan, USA as Robert Joseph Flaherty. He was a director and writer, known for Louisiana Story (1948), Man of Aran (1934) and Elephant Boy (1937). He was married to Frances H. Flaherty. He died on July 23, 1951 in Brattleboro, ...

250 points

60. 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 ...

187 points

61. Edmund Goulding

Director | Grand Hotel

London-born Edmund Goulding was an actor/playwright/director on the London stage, and entered the British army when WWI broke out. Mustered out of the service because of wounds suffered in battle, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1921. He obtained assignments as a screenwriter in Hollywood, wrote a ...

187 points

62. Joseph Henabery

Actor | The Birth of a Nation

Joseph Henabery was born on January 15, 1888 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. He was a director and actor, known for The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) and The Man from Painted Post (1917). He was married to Lillian Nolan and Maceal Nolan. He died on ...

187 points

63. Mauritz Stiller

Director | Sången om den eldröda blomman

Moshe "Mauritz" Stiller, born July 17, 1883, in Helsinki, Finland, was a director, writer and actor. He began his artistic activity in the theatre, as an actor at 16. Mauritz Stiller portrayed 87 roles from 1899-1916 and directed 16 productions 1911-28. Together with Viktor Sjöström ( director, ...

186 points

64. Karl Grune

Director | Schlagende Wetter

Karl Grune (22 January 1890 - 2 October 1962) was an Austrian film director and writer who made many silent films in the 1920s.

Grune was born in Vienna, where he later attended drama school. He volunteered in the First World War, where an injury temporarily deprived him of the ability to speak in ...

185 points

65. Gustav Machatý

Director | Ekstase

Gustav Machatý was born on May 9, 1901 in Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic). His first experience with the motion picture industry was playing piano at movie theaters, accompanying silent pictures. In 1917, he made his debut as an actor.

In the early 1920s, he emigrated to ...

184 points

66. Rupert Hughes

Writer | Souls for Sale

Rupert Hughes was born on January 31, 1872 in Lancaster, Missouri, USA as Rupert Raleigh Hughes. He was a writer and director, known for Souls for Sale (1923), True As Steel (1924) and Look Your Best (1923). He was married to Patterson Dial, Mrs. Rupert Hughes and Agnes Wheeler Hedge. He died on ...

184 points

67. Carl Boese

Director | Lemkes sel. Witwe

Carl Boese was married with the actresses Grete Hollmann, Margot Hollaender and Elena Luber.

184 points

68. Paul Wegener

Actor | Der Student von Prag

Paul Wegener was born in Arnoldsdorf, West Prussia, part of the German Empire. His birthplace is currently part of Poland, under the name "Jarantowice". Wegener's family included a number of scientists, the most notable being his cousin Alfred Wegener (1880-1930). Alfred is remembered as the ...

184 points

69. Sam Wood

Director | A Night at the Opera

Following a two-year apprenticeship under Cecil B. DeMille as assistant director, Samuel Grosvenor Wood had the good fortune to have assigned to him two of the biggest stars at Paramount during their heyday: Wallace Reid (between 1919 and 1920) and Gloria Swanson (from 1921 to 1923). By the time ...

183 points

70. Svend Gade

Writer | Balletten danser

A former stage actor and director in his native Denmark, Sven Gade began making films there in 1916. He traveled to Germany a few years later to direct a film version of Hamlet (Hamlet (1921)), then journeyed to Hollywood the next year. He designed sets for other directors' films and directed ...

183 points

72. Arthur Robison

Director | Die Todesschleife

He directed 20 films between 1916 and 1935.

146 points

73. Monta Bell

Producer | The Worst Woman in Paris?

Producer / director/ screenwriter Monta Bell was born on February 5, 1891, in Washington, DC. He turned to the stage as an actor after trying his hand at journalism in that city. He was cast by Charles Chaplin in the great comedian's The Pilgrim (1923), which was Bell's sole screen appearance as an...

146 points

74. Clarence G. Badger

Director | Rangle River

A graduate of the Boston Polytechnic Institute, Clarence Badger had a varied early career as an artist, stage actor, editor and journalist with several newspapers and magazines (including "The Youth's Companion"), before entering the film business with Mack Sennett in 1915. At Sennett's ...

146 points

75. Max Linder

Actor | Seven Years Bad Luck

Although all too frequently neglected by fans of silent comedy, Max Linder is in many ways as important a figure as Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd, not least because he predated (and influenced) them all by several years and was largely responsible for the creation of the classic ...

146 points

76. George Fitzmaurice

Director | The Devil to Pay!

American director of French-Dutch ancestry, born in Paris. He studied the fine arts in Paris before resettling in America. As a set designer for stage productions, he was able to break into films in 1908 doing the same work. He dabbled in screen writing and then began directing, at first ...

145 points

77. Rowland V. Lee

Director | The Count of Monte Cristo

Coming from a show business family (his parents were stage actors), Rowland V. Lee began his career as a child actor in stock and on Broadway. He interrupted his stage career for a stint as a Wall Street stockbroker, but gave that up after two years and returned to the stage. Lee was hired by ...

144 points

78. Curtis Bernhardt

Director | Kisses for My President

If Curtis Bernhardt is a relative unknown, it's because he didn't direct his first Hollywood feature until 1940 at the age of 41. Bernhardt worked for years in Germany until his Jewish heritage made living there impossible by 1933-- he was arrested by the Gestapo and made a harrowing underground ...

144 points

79. George W. Hill

Director | The Midnight Express

Beginning his career at age 13 as a stagehand for D.W. Griffith, George W. Hill worked his way up through cinematography and screenwriting to finally begin directing films in the early 1920s. His later films took on a stark, brutally realistic atmosphere and were renowned for their effective use of...

144 points

80. Arnold Fanck

Director | Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü

Arnold Fanck was born March 6, 1889, in Frankenthal, Germany. A trained geologist, he began making documentary and action films after the end of World War I, and his love of geology inspired him to shoot his films in remote mountain locations. These pictures became immensely popular with the German...

144 points

81. Rouben Mamoulian

Director | Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Rouben Mamoulian was born on October 8, 1897 in Tiflis, Russian Empire as Rouben Zachary Mamoulian. He was a director and writer, known for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Applause (1929) and Becky Sharp (1935). He was married to Azadia Newman. He died on December 4, 1987 in Woodland Hills, Los ...

119 points

82. John S. Robertson

Director | The Girl of Today

John S. Robertson was born on June 14, 1878 in London, Ontario, Canada as John Stuart Robertson. He was a director and actor, known for The Girl of Today (1918), The Fighting Blade (1923) and The Road to Romance (1927). He was married to Josephine Lovett. He died on November 5, 1964 in Escondido, ...

119 points

83. James W. Horne

Director | The Green Archer

He worked at a number of studios in the early 1920s and directed Buster Keaton's successful 'College' in 1927 before arriving at Hal Roach studios in 1928 where the following year he directed Laurel and Hardy's 'Big Business'and the following year their sound film 'Chickens Come Home' In 1931 he ...

119 points

84. Alan Crosland

Director | Shadows of the Sea

Director Alan Crosland was birn in New York City on August 10, 1894, into an upper-middle class family, which soon moved to East Orange, NJ, where Alan was reared. His family's finances allowed for him to spend part of his elementary education in England, where he acquired a curious Anglo-American ...

117 points

85. Emmett J. Flynn

Director | Shame

Emmett J. Flynn was born on November 9, 1892 in Denver, Colorado, USA. He was a director and writer, known for Shame (1921), The Palace of Pleasure (1926) and The Lincoln Highwayman (1919). He was married to Nita Flynn, Margaret Shelby and Genevieve Flynn. He died on June 4, 1937 in Hollywood, ...

117 points



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