One Hit Wonder Directors

by Brakathor | created - 30 Mar 2013 | updated - 05 Jul 2017 | Public

I am using the term (one hit wonder) somewhat liberally, in that I may include directors who have made no more than two widely available feature films. Equally, a director who has made two or less feature films and multiple shorts can be found here: shorts almost never will be considered in this list unless they're longer and somewhat acclaimed. Directors who have done up to four feature films with only one being widely available, or directors who have done up to three, with one standing out significantly above the rest, will also be included.

Each film scoring a 4 or 5 in a given category receives a star for that category.

✦ The green category ✦ rates the integrity of a film's screenplay, plot development and believability.

explained: I deem this category the most important, as without a solid sensible plot, all you have is a hodgepodge of badly connected scenes, regardless of their individual worth where the lines between surrealism and simply badly planned directing can be blurred. For feature films, this is integral.

✦ The yellow category ✦ rates the quality of a film's directorial and cinematographic flair, style, power, and innovation in scene construction, which may also include dialogue and music.

explained: A film may not have a sensible plot, but its individual scenes may be outstanding examples of artistry.

✦ The orange category ✦ rates the talent and assets in a film, including acting talent, hair/makeup, special effects, anything that can often be boiled down to the film's budget, but ultimately, how that budget is made use of.

explained: Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the greater a film's budget, the less likely it is to be a flop. Producers can always churn out a well funded formula based film, largely lacking in substance that will always please viewers adequately and make tonnes of money.

✦ The red category ✦ is to rate how much I personally simply enjoyed the film.

explained: It is intended as somewhat of a recap of the other three categories, but also goes to show, that try as we might, we can never be completely objective. More importantly though, sometimes the viewer simply likes or dislikes a film, and the reasons are not always easy to identify, or simply too complex to list. it could be a point of interest when the rating of this category diverges from the median of the other three.

1. Jacob Estes

Writer | Mean Creek

Jacob Estes was born on September 6, 1972 in Tulare County, California, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Mean Creek (2004), Rings (2017) and Don't Let Go (2019).

✦✦✦✦ Mean Creek (2004) 4 + 4 + 5 + 5 = 18

could break the label

2. Gerald Kargl

Director | Angst

Gerald Kargl born 1953 in Villach, Austria, is a writer and director, famous for the psycho-thriller "Angst" (1983). Kargl started experimenting with the film camera when he was 14. This resulted in a large number of short films. Between 1976 and 1982 he founded and organized the Austrian film ...

✦✦✦ Angst/Schizophrenia (1983) 3 + 5 + 4 + 5 = 17

3. Mitch Davis

Producer | Divided Into Zero

Since its inception in 1996, Mitch has been involved in what has been called by director Quentin Tarantino, "the most important and prestigious genre film festival on this planet". Mitch is the director of international selection for and the co-director of the world renowned Fantasia International ...

✦✦✦ Divided Into Zero (1999) 3 + 5 + 4 + 5 = 17

4. Thomas Clay

Sound_department | Soi Cowboy

Cites Stanley Kubrick as an influence.

✦✦ The Great Ecstasy Of Robert Carmichael (2005) 3 + 4 + 3 + 4 = 14 ✦✦ Soi Cowboy (2008) 4 + 4 + 3 + 3 = 14

could break the label*

5. Bo Arne Vibenius

Writer | Thriller - en grym film

Bo Arne Vibenius was born on March 29, 1943 in Solna, Stockholms län, Sweden. He is known for his work on Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973).

Breaking Point (1975) 3 + 3 + 2 + 4 = 12 Thriller - En Grym Film (1973) 1 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 9

6. Andrew Copp

Producer | The Mutilation Man

Andrew Copp was born on August 10, 1972 in Dayton, Ohio, USA as Andrew Mark Copp. He was an actor and producer, known for The Mutilation Man (1998), Church of the Eyes (2013) and Consumption of the Heart (2012). He died on January 19, 2013 in Dayton.

The Mutilation Man (1998) 2 + 4 + 3 + 3 = 12

7. Anne-Sophie Birot

Writer | Les filles ne savent pas nager

Anne-Sophie Birot is a writer and director, known for Girls Can't Swim (2000), Une vague idée de la mer (1996) and La lettre de Nabil (1995).

Les Filles Ne Savent Pas Nager (2000) 2 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 11

8. Christina Rosendahl

Director | Idealisten

Christina Rosendahl was born on January 5, 1971 in Nykøbing Falster, Denmark. She is a director and writer, known for Idealisten (2015), Violently in Love (2017) and Triple Dare (2006).

Supervoksen (2006) 2 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 11

9. Jennifer Montgomery

Director | Art for Teachers of Children

Jennifer Montgomery is a director and producer, known for Art for Teachers of Children (1995), Transitional Objects (2000) and Troika (1998).

The Art For Teachers Of Children (1995) 4 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 10 "Very slow tepidly paced, though quite conscientiously crafted low budget beginner film. Passable but largely uncompelling."

10. Tommy Wiseau

Actor | The Room

Tommy Wiseau is an American actor, director, screenwriter & producer. He trained to be an actor at: American Conservatory Theater, Vince Chase Workshop, Jean Shelton Acting Lab, Laney College and Stella Adler Academy of Acting.

In 2001 he wrote, produced, directed and starred in The Room (2003), a ...

The Room (2003) 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10 Horrible as a film, though the performance of Wiseau himself makes the film a highly entertaining unmistakably unintentional spoof of itself.

11. Robert Martin Carroll

Director | Baby Luv

Robert Martin Carroll is a director and producer, known for Baby Luv (2000), Pale Horse Pale Rider (1980) and Sonny Boy (1989). He is married to Dalene Young.

Sonny Boy (1989) 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8 "The only thing good about this film to me was the theme song written by David Carradine."

12. Stu Dodge

Species II

Stu Dodge is known for his work on Species II (1998), Hot Mama and Remember the Titans (2000).

Cheerleader Autopsy (2003) 1 + 2 + 2 + 3 = 8 "A horrible film in every way, but not without low brow entertainment value."

13. Doreen Ross

Actress | Knee Dancing

Doreen Ross is an actress and writer, known for Knee Dancing (1988), The Worm Eaters (1977) and Ten Violent Women (1982).

14. Pieter Jan Brugge

Actor | 127 Hours

Pieter Jan Brugge was born in 1956 in Deventer, Overijssel, Netherlands. He is a producer and production manager, known for 127 Hours (2010), The Insider (1999) and Defiance (2008). He has been married to Cristina Berio since 2019. He was previously married to Anna Boorstin.

15. Claudio Guerín

Director | Los desafíos

In 1973, on the final day of shooting for "La Campana del Infierno" (The Bell Of Hell), Claudio fell or jumped to his death from the central bell tower constructed for the film.

16. Samantha Morton

Actress | Minority Report

Samantha Morton has established herself as one of the finest actors of her generation, winning Oscar nominations for her turns in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and Jim Sheridan's In America (2002). She has the talent to become one of the major performers in the cinema of this young century.


17. Paulo Diaz

Director | Maintenance

Paulo Diaz is a director and cinematographer, known for Maintenance (2007), Framed (2004) and Unforeseen (2006).

19. Lewis Jackson

Director | You Better Watch Out

Lewis Jackson is a director and writer, known for Christmas Evil (1980) and The Deviates (1970).

21. Scott Weber

Producer | Desolation Sound

Scott Weber is a producer, known for Desolation Sound (2005), Revisited (1998) and The Timekeeper (2014).

22. Johan Renck

Director | Chernobyl

Johan Renck is one of the most respected and sought after directors of commercials and music videos today, so much so that the French magazine CB News dubbed him "the number one director of commercials and music videos in the world".

His directing career started in 1992 when he joined the production...

could break the label

23. Al Pacino

Actor | Serpico

Alfredo James "Al" 'Pacino established himself as a film actor during one of cinema's most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

He was born April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York City, to Italian-American parents, Rose (nee Gerardi)...

24. Andrew Paquin

Director | Open House

Andrew Paquin was born in 1977 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is a producer and director, known for Open House (2010), New in Town (2009) and Blue State (2007).

26. Meir Zarchi

Producer | I Spit on Your Grave

Meir (Born In Israel) Is An Outstanding Filmmaker Perhaps Highly Notable For His Quiet Yet, Outspoken 1978 Horror Hit I Spit On Your Grave About One Woman And A Group Of Maniacs. After 1978 He Moved Into Some More Films Leading Into The 90's And In 1999 He Did A Production As Well. In 2010 Steven R...

28. Peter Cohn

Director | Drunks

Peter Cohn is a director, producer and screenwriter. His debut film was "Drunks," which premiered at Sundance in 1996, and went on to broadcast on Showtime and to a theatrical release in the US and abroad. "Drunks" depicts a group of New Yorkers at a Times Square AA meeting and stars Richard Lewis,...

29. Michael McDonald

Actor | MADtv

Michael McDonald was born and raised in Fullerton, Orange County, California. He graduated from USC with a degree in Business and became a loan officer at a bank in Los Angeles. A friend took him to see a sketch comedy/improv show at L.A.'s famous Groundling Theater, and everything changed for him....

30. Sophie Marceau

Actress | La boum

Sophie Marceau was born Sophie Danièle Sylvie Maupu in Paris, France, to Simone (Morisset), a shop assistant, and Benoît Maupu, a truck driver. She grew up far from the studio spotlights. When she was 14 she was living in the Paris suburb of Gentilly with her father. She learned from friends that ...

could break the label

31. Leland Thomas

Director | Bits and Pieces

Leland Thomas is a director and actor, known for Bits and Pieces (1985) and Not Without Reason (2016).

32. Jason Eisener

Director | Hobo with a Shotgun

Jason Eisener is a director and editor, known for Hobo with a Shotgun (2011), V/H/S/2 (2013) and Grindhouse (2007).

could break the label

33. Ben Coccio

Writer | Zero Day

Ben Coccio was born on August 2, 1975 in the USA. He is a writer, known for Zero Day (2002), The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) and The Beginner (2010).

could break the label

34. Laurie Collyer

Director | Sherrybaby

Laurie Collyer was born in 1967 in Mountainside, New Jersey, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Sherrybaby (2006), Nuyorican Dream (2000) and Sunlight Jr. (2013).

could break the label

35. Jimi Jones

Cinematographer | Like Sunday, Like Rain

Jimi Jones is known for his work on Like Sunday, Like Rain (2014), Where Is Kyra? (2017) and Touched with Fire (2015).

could break the label

36. Steven Seagal

Actor | On Deadly Ground

Steven Frederic Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, to Patricia Anne (Fisher), a medical technician, and Samuel Seagal, a high school math teacher. His paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, and his mother had English, German, and distant Irish and Dutch, ancestry. The enigmatic ...

37. Stephen Belber

Writer | Management

Stephen Belber's plays have been produced on Broadway and in over 25 countries. They include Match, Tape, Don't Go Gentle, Dusk Rings a Bell, McReele, Finally, Geometry of Fire, Fault Lines, Carol Mulroney, A Small, Melodramatic Story, One Million Butterflies, The Power of Duff and The Muscles In ...

could break the label

38. Moisés Kaufman

Director | The Laramie Project

Moisés Kaufman was born in 1964 in Caracas, Venezuela.

39. Skip Woods

Writer | Thursday

Skip Woods is an American screenwriter and producer. He is best known for writing the screenplay for "Swordfish", the film adaptation of the Hitman video game series, and the 5th installment of the Die Hard franchise, "A Good Day to Die Hard". He lives in Los Angeles, CA. Woods is also a partner in...

40. Jonathan Mossek

Director | As Good as Dead

For the past fifteen years Jonathan Mossek has worked as a Director, Producer and Editor in both film and television. He received his training as a film maker working in news for NBC, covering world global events such as: the Intifada in Gaza and the assassination of PM Rabin, Kosovo, Afganisthan, ...

41. Frederick R. Friedel

Director | Date with a Kidnapper

Frederick R. Friedel is a director and actor, known for Date with a Kidnapper (1976), Axe (1974) and My Next Funeral (2000).

42. Robert A. Endelson

Director | Fight for Your Life

Works as a dentist in upstate New York

43. Laetitia Colombani

Writer | À la folie... pas du tout

Laetitia Colombani was born in 1976. She is an actress and writer, known for He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not (2002), My Stars (2008) and Montagnes Russes.

could break the label

44. Eric Nicholas

Director | Alone with Her

Eric Nicholas is a writer-director known for the movies Alone with Her (2006) and River Rats (1995), and for the TV program The 50 Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen (2010). He is also the author of "Picture Yourself Directing a Movie: Step-By-Step Instruction for Creating Short Films and More" ...

45. Joel Viertel

Producer | The Adjustment Bureau

Joel Viertel is a producer and editor, known for The Adjustment Bureau (2011), Conventioneers (2005) and Ready or Not (2012).

could break the label

46. Sande Zeig

Director | The Girl

Sande Zeig is a director and producer, known for The Girl (2000), Sister Jaguar's Journey (2015) and The Living Saint of Thailand (2019).

47. Yann Gozlan

Writer | Captifs

Yann Gozlan is a writer and director, known for Caged (2010), Burn Out (2017) and A Perfect Man (2015).

48. Gideon Raff

Writer | Homeland

Gideon Raff was born on September 10, 1972 in Jerusalem, Israel. He is a writer and producer, known for Homeland (2011), Prisoners of War (2009) and Dig (2015).

could break the label

49. Giovanni Simonelli

Writer | Il conquistatore di Maracaibo

Giovanni Simonelli was born in 1926. He was a writer and assistant director, known for Conqueror of Maracaibo (1961), Assassination in Rome (1965) and The Ten Gladiators (1963). He died on November 17, 2007 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

50. Benjamin Louis

Producer | Stoker Hills

Speaks fluent French.

51. Guerdon Trueblood

Writer | Jaws 3-D

Guerdon Trueblood is the grandson of General Billy Mitchell, who's the founding father of the U.S. Air Force. Trueblood attended George Wastington University in Virginia. He achieved his greatest success as a solid and dependable television writer. Trueblood has written scripts for such TV shows as...

54. Mo Ogrodnik

Writer | Deep Powder

Professor of Undergraduate Film and Television at New York University

55. Sanja Spasojevic

Actress | Srpski film

Sanja Spasojevic is an actress, known for A Serbian Film (2010).

57. Jake Cashill

Writer | Oral Fixation

Jake is the writer/director of arguably the greatest film ever made on a Thursday morning before 11:03, Nundercover. He also wrote and directed the Edsel of sexy thrillers, Oral Fixation, which remains, however, very popular with young men in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

Jake is the ...

58. Robert Parigi

Writer | Love Object

Robert Parigi is known for his work on Love Object (2003), Automation (2019) and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013).

59. Joseph Ellison

Director | Joey

Joseph Ellison was born in Manhattan in 1948, where he first fell in love with music, especially the diverse sounds of Hank Williams Sr, Thelonious Monk, and The Maguire Sisters. His Texas born father instilled a strong sense of morality in him while moving him around the nation. He recalls his ...

60. Christopher Denham

Actor | Argo

Christopher Denham is an actor and writer, known for Argo (2012), Shutter Island (2010) and Billions (2016).

61. Tom Garrett

Sid and Nancy

Tom Garrett is a producer of independent feature films and a founding partner of Circa Films, a sales and distribution company engaged in production and international distribution of independent feature films. Over a 20-year period Tom has been credited as a producer on 14 feature films. He has ...

63. Cæcilia Holbek Trier

Director | Send mere slik

Cæcilia Holbek Trier was born on April 16, 1953 in Denmark. She is a director and writer, known for Send More Candy (2001), Agnus Dei (1997) and Europa (1991). She was previously married to Lars von Trier.

could break the label

64. David Hollander

Writer | Ray Donovan

David Hollander was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Mount Lebanon High School and Sewickley Academy before going to Northwestern University. He began his career as a playwright before turning his attention to film and television. He has served on the faculty of the USC Graduate ...

65. Adam Arkin

Actor | Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Adam Arkin was born on August 19, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He is an actor and director, known for Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Northern Exposure (1990) and Chicago Hope (1994). He has been married to Michelle Dunker since September 2, 2017. He was previously married ...

66. Shawn Ku

Director | Beautiful Boy

Shawn Ku is a producer and director, known for Beautiful Boy (2010), Pretty Dead Girl (2004) and Seeds of Yesterday (2015).

could break the label

67. Peter Care

Director | The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

Peter Care was born in 1953. He is a director and writer, known for The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002), Johnny YesNo (1982) and R.E.M.: Man on the Moon (1992).

68. Marcus Reichert

Director | Union City

Marcus Reichert, born in 1948, is an artist of various disciplines, inlcuding painting and film-making. His works are held in many important collections throughout the world and have been written about extensively. The first neo-noir, Reichert's film Union City (1980) was hailed by Lawrence O'Toole...

69. Franck Vestiel

Assistant_director | Femme Fatale

Franck Vestiel was born on January 18, 1971 in Paris, France. He is an assistant director and director, known for Femme Fatale (2002), Them (2006) and Eden Log (2007).

72. Todd G. Bieber

Producer | One Number 2

Todd G. Bieber is a producer and director, known for One Number 2 (2003), All Is Normal (2008) and UCB Comedy Originals (2007).

73. J.M. Logan

Producer | Lunch Ladies

Josh Logan is an award winning filmmaker and who has filled nearly every position in the business. Starting at an early age in makeup effects building big rubber monsters, slinging blood and building specialty props and armor, he transitioned into visual effects, sound design, composing, and ...

74. Ivan Boeckmans

Director | Suspect

Ivan Boeckmans is a director and producer, known for Suspect (2005), Mexico ofzo (1996) and Kassablanka (2002).

76. Hélène Cattet

Director | Amer

Hélène Cattet is a director and writer, known for Amer (2009), The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (2013) and Let the Corpses Tan (2017).

could break the label

77. Rajnesh Domalpalli

Director | Vanaja

Rajnesh Domalpalli comes from Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh in South India. He was born in Chennai, but spent his childhood in small rural towns associated with dam construction projects where his father worked as a civil engineer for the Andhra government.

After completing his B. Tech in...

78. Klaus Kinski

Actor | Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht

Klaus Kinski was born as Klaus Günter Karl Nakszynski in Zoppot, Free City of Danzig (now Sopot, Poland), to Susanne (Lutze), a nurse, and Bruno Nakszynski, a pharmacist. He grew up in Berlin, was drafted into the German army in 1944 and captured by British forces in Holland. After the war he began...

79. Noam Gonick

Director | Hey, Happy!

Noam Gonick was born on March 20, 1973 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is an assistant director and director, known for Hey, Happy! (2001), Guy Maddin: Waiting for Twilight (1997) and Stryker (2004).

could break the label

80. Steve Jacobs

Director | Disgrace

Steve Jacobs was born on January 8, 1967 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He is an actor and director, known for Disgrace (2008), La spagnola (2001) and A Single Life (1986). He is married to Anna Maria Monticelli.

could break the label

81. Sean Durkin

Director | Martha Marcy May Marlene

Sean Durkin is a producer and director, known for Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), Mary Last Seen (2010) and Afterschool (2008).

could break the label

82. Bobby Garabedian

Producer | Most

Bobby Garabedian is an actor and producer, known for Most (2003), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1996) and Never a Neverland (2014).

83. Miranda July

Writer | Me and You and Everyone We Know

Filmmaker Magazine rated her #1 in their "25 New Faces of Indie Film" in 2004!

She is a performance artist and published short story writer. Since becoming a filmmaker, her debut feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) has won several film awards.

Daughter of Lindy Hough and Richard ...

could break the label

85. Johan Vandewoestijne

Producer | Lucker

Johan Vandewoestijne was born on August 26th 1961 in Kortrijk Belgium (Europe) At very young age he showed interest for television and cinema. He studied chemistry and afterwards he went to a filmschool in Brussels.The filmschool was a great disappointment since he always said and today more than ...

86. Yotta Kasai

Director | The Viscera

Yotta Kasai began making movies at age 11, but his formal film education began after high school, He soon made a short film. his next work, uncensored videos during University, was produced by the Darkness Production. It was released in Japan, introducing to some underground audiences. After ...

87. Satoru Ogura

Producer | Nanase futatabi

Satoru Ogura is a producer and writer, known for Nanase: The Psychic Wanderers (2010), The Warrior and the Wolf (2009) and Princess Raccoon (2005).

88. Hideshi Hino

Writer | Bara no Meikyu

Hideshi Hino was born on April 19, 1946 in Manchuria, China. He is a writer and director, known for Bara no Meikyu (2014), Death Train (2004) and The Boy from Hell (2004).

89. Carlton J. Albright

Writer | The Children

Carlton J. Albright is a writer and producer, known for The Children (1980), Luther the Geek (1989) and Dreams Come True (1984).

90. Glendyn Ivin

Director | The Cry

Glendyn Ivin is one of Australia's leading directors in television, film and commercials. He was recently listed in The Sydney Morning Herald as one of Australian televisions 'Most Powerful and Influential'.

Glendyn came to attention with the short film CRACKER BAG, winning the Palme d'Or in 2003 at...

could break the label

91. Radha Bharadwaj

Director | Closet Land

Radha Bharadwaj is a director and writer, known for Closet Land (1991), Space MOMs (2019) and Basil (1998).

92. Amar Singh Kaleka

Editor | Sirius

Amar Singh Kaleka was born on July 12, 1978 in Patiala, Punjab, India. He is an editor and director, known for Sirius (2013), Baby Blues (2008) and Wamba (2010).

93. Caryn Krooth

Producer | Jaded

Caryn Krooth was born on February 1, 1969 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. She is known for her work on Jaded (1998), Quiz Show (1994) and Mighty Aphrodite (1995).

95. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Actor | Predator

With an almost unpronounceable surname and a thick Austrian accent, who would have ever believed that a brash, quick talking bodybuilder from a small European village would become one of Hollywood's biggest stars, marry into the prestigious Kennedy family, amass a fortune via shrewd investments and...

96. Marc Cinquanta

Writer | Snowblind

Marc has been an actor, director, and writer in the business for over thirty years. In many different capacities he has been involved in numerous films, cable and network television shows, and social media. Look for Marc's upcoming projects including an original screenplay in which he is slated to ...

97. Walter Murch

Sound_department | The English Patient

Walter Murch has been editing sound in Hollywood since starting on Francis Ford Coppola's film The Rain People (1969). He edited sound on American Graffiti (1973) and The Godfather: Part II (1974), won his first Academy Award nomination for The Conversation (1974), won his first Oscar for ...

return to oz

100. Niki De Saint Phalle

Writer | Daddy

Niki De Saint Phalle was born on October 29, 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France as Catherine Marie-Agnes Fal de Saint Phalle. She was a writer and production designer, known for Daddy (1973), Un rêve plus long que la nuit (1976) and Ich (1968). She was married to Jean Tinguely and Harry ...


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