Greatest Directors--Rby z_ingle | created - 15 Feb 2015 | updated - 11 Feb 2019 | Public
This is a ranked list of directors whose last name begins with a "R."
Producer | El mariachi
Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA, to Rebecca (Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. His family is of Mexican descent.
Of all the people to be amazed by the images of John Carpenter's 1981 sci-fi parable, Escape from New York (1981), none ...
2. Jean Renoir
Writer | La règle du jeu
Son of the famous Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste, he had a happy childhood. Pierre Renoir was his brother, and Claude Renoir was his nephew. After the end of World War I, where he won the Croix de Guerre, he moved from scriptwriting to filmmaking. He married Catherine Hessling, for whom he ...
3. Satyajit Ray
Writer | Pather Panchali
Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta on May 2, 1921. His father, Late Sukumar Ray was an eminent poet and writer in the history of Bengali literature. In 1940, after receiving his degree in science and economics from Calcutta University, he attended Tagore's Viswa-Bharati University. His first movie ...
Writer | Land of the Dead
George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; by all indications, though, he was very successful. The director of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 ,in New York City to Ann (Dvorsky) and Jorge Romero. His father was born in Spain and raised in Cuba, and...
Writer | Paisà
The master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, as one of the creators of neo-realism, is one of the most influential directors of all time. His neo-realist films influenced France's nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and '60s that changed the face of international cinema. He also influenced American ...
Director | Koyaanisqatsi
Godfrey Reggio is a pioneer of a film style that creates poetic images of extraordinary emotional impact for audiences worldwide. Reggio is prominent in the film world for his QATSI trilogy, essays of visual images and sound that chronicle the destructive impact of the modern world on the ...
8. Sam Raimi
Director | Spider-Man
Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead (1981). From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making ...
Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With...
10. Rob Reiner
Actor | All in the Family
Robert Reiner was born in New York City, to Estelle Reiner (née Lebost) and Emmy-winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner.
As a child, he often looked up to his father as his inspiration and role-model. Carl Reiner was on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which he created and also starred in....
11. Ivan Reitman
Producer | Up in the Air
Ivan Reitman, as a producer and director, has created many of American cinema's most successful and best loved feature film comedies and has worked with Hollywood's acting elite. Reitman has produced such hits as the ground-breaking sensation National Lampoon's National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)...
12. Harold Ramis
Writer | Ghostbusters
Born on November 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, Harold Allen Ramis got his start in comedy as Playboy magazine's joke editor and reviewer. In 1969, he joined Chicago's Second City's Improvisational Theatre Troupe before moving to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" ...
13. Éric Rohmer
Director | Le genou de Claire
Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Éric Rohmer's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, ...
14. Martin Ritt
Director | Hud
Martin Ritt, one of the best and most sensitive American filmmakers of all time, was a director, actor and playwright who worked in both film and theater. He was born in New York City. His films reflect, like almost none other, a profound and intimate humane vision of his characters.
He originally ...
15. Robert Rossen
Writer | The Hustler
Robert Rossen was born on March 16, 1908 in New York City, New York, USA as Robert Rosen. He was a writer and director, known for The Hustler (1961), All the King's Men (1949) and Alexander the Great (1956). He was married to Susan Siegal. He died on February 18, 1966 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, ...
16. David O. Russell
Director | American Hustle
David Owen Russell is an American film writer, director, and producer, known for a cinema of intense, tragi-comedic characters whose love of life can surpass dark circumstances faced in very specific worlds. His films address such themes as mental illness as stigma or hope; invention of self and ...
17. Nicolas Roeg
Director | Don't Look Now
When he made his directorial debut in 1970, Nicolas Roeg was already a 23-year veteran of the British film industry, starting out in 1947 as an editing apprentice and working his way up to cinematographer twelve years later. He first came to attention as part of the second unit on David Lean's ...
18. Alain Resnais
Director | Hiroshima mon amour
Alain Resnais was born on June 3, 1922 in Vannes, Morbihan, France as Alain Pierre Marie Jean Georges Resnais. He was a director and editor, known for Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Same Old Song (1997) and My American Uncle (1980). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He died on March...
19. Brett Ratner
Director | Red Dragon
Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood's most successful filmmakers. His diverse films resonate with audiences worldwide and, as director, his films have grossed over $2 billion at the global box office. Brett began his career directing music videos before making his feature directorial debut at 26 years...
20. Jacques Rivette
Director | La belle noiseuse
Although François Truffaut has written that the New Wave began "thanks to Rivette," the films of this masterful French director are not well known. Rivette, like his "Cahiers du Cinéma" colleagues Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Éric Rohmer, did graduate to filmmaking but, like Rohmer...
21. Carol Reed
Director | The Third Man
Carol Reed was the second son of stage actor, dramatics teacher and impresario founder of the Royal School of Dramatic Arts Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Reed was one of Tree's six illegitimate children with Beatrice Mae Pinney, who Tree established in a second household apart from his married life. ...
22. Robert Redford
Actor | The Natural
Charles Robert Redford, Jr. was born on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, to Martha (Hart), from Texas, and Charles Robert Redford, an accountant for Standard Oil, who was originally from Connecticut. He is of English, Scottish, Cornish, and Irish ancestry. Robert's mother died in 1955,...
23. Hal Roach
Director | One Million B.C.
Hal Roach was born in 1892 in Elmira, New York. After working as a mule skinner, wrangler and gold prospector, among other things, he wound up in Hollywood and began picking up jobs as an extra in comedies, where he met comedian Harold Lloyd in 1913 in San Diego. By all accounts, including his own,...
24. Michael Ritchie
Director | The Golden Child
Michael Ritchie was born on November 28, 1938 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA as Michael Brunswick Ritchie. He was a director and producer, known for The Golden Child (1986), The Island (1980) and Fletch (1985). He was married to Jimmie Brown and Georgina Tebrock. He died on April 16, 2001 in New York ...
25. Carl Reiner
Actor | Ocean's Eleven
Carl Reiner is a legend of American comedy, having achieved great success as a comic actor, a director, producer and recording artist. He has won nine Emmy Awards, three as an actor, four as a writer and two as a producer. He also won a Grammy Award for his "2,000 Year Old Man" album, based on his ...
26. Herbert Ross
Director | The Turning Point
Herbert Ross was born on May 13, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Herbert David Ross. He is known for his work on The Turning Point (1977), The Goodbye Girl (1977) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969). He was married to Lee Radziwill and Nora Kaye. He died on October 9, 2001 in New York ...
27. Jean Rollin
Director | La nuit des traquées
Jean Rollin was born on November 3, 1938 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Jean Michel Rollin Le Gentil. He was a director and writer, known for The Night of the Hunted (1980). He was married to Simone Rollin. He died on December 15, 2010 in Paris, France.
28. Bob Rafelson
Producer | Five Easy Pieces
Bob Rafelson is an American film director, writer and producer. He is regarded as one of the founders of the New Hollywood movement in the 1970s. Among his best-known films are Five Easy Pieces (1970), The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981).
He was also one of ...
29. Nicholas Ray
Director | Rebel Without a Cause
Nicholas Ray was born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle in 1911, in small-town Galesville, Wisconsin, to Lena (Toppen) and Raymond Joseph Kienzle, a contractor and builder. He was of German and Norwegian descent. Ray's early experience with film came with some radio broadcasting in high school. He left the ...
30. Guy Ritchie
Director | Sherlock Holmes
Guy Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on September 10, 1968. After watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) as a child, Guy realized that what he wanted to do was make films. He never attended film school, saying that the work of film school graduates was boring and ...
31. Stuart Rosenberg
Director | Cool Hand Luke
Stuart Rosenberg was born on August 11, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Cool Hand Luke (1967), Question 7 (1961) and The Defenders (1961). He was married to Margot Pohoryles. He died on March 15, 2007 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, ...
33. Michael Radford
Director | Il postino
Michael Radford was born on February 24, 1946 in New Delhi, British India. He is a director and writer, known for Il Postino (1994), 1984 (1984) and The Merchant of Venice (2004). He is married to Emma Tweed. They have two children. He was previously married to Iseult Teran.
34. Kelly Reichardt
Director | Wendy and Lucy
Kelly Reichardt was born and raised in Miami-Dade Country, Florida, to a family of police officers. She had an interest in photography from a very young age. She started by using her father's camera, which he used for photographing crime scenes. She went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in ...
36. Dino Risi
Director | Il sorpasso
Dino Risi became a movie director by chance. In 1940 he met Alberto Lattuada at a friend's boutique. Lattuada told him they needed an assistant director for the movie Piccolo mondo antico (1941). Risi accepted just for fun, not for work. Later, he became a psychiatrist and wrote some articles for a...
37. Jay Roach
Director | Trumbo
Jay Roach was born on June 14, 1957 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA as Mathew Jay Roach. He is a producer and director, known for Trumbo (2015), Bombshell (2019) and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). He has been married to Susanna Hoffs since April 17, 1993. They have two children.
38. Lotte Reiniger
Director | Silhouetten
Lotte Reiniger was born on June 2, 1899 in Berlin, Germany as Charlotte Reiniger. She is known for her work on Silhouetten (1936), The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) and Here and There (1949). She was married to Carl Koch. She died on June 19, 1981 in Dettenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
39. Eli Roth
Producer | Cabin Fever
Eli Raphael Roth was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Cora (Bialis), a painter, and Sheldon H. Roth, a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and clinical professor. His family is Jewish (from Austria, Hungary, Russia, and Poland). He began shooting Super 8 films at the age of eight, after watching Ridley ...
Writer | The Neon Demon
Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teen years. ...
43. 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 ...
Writer | Field of Dreams
Phil Alden Robinson was born on March 1, 1950 in Long Beach, Long Island, New York, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Field of Dreams (1989), Sneakers (1992) and The Sum of All Fears (2002). He has been married to Paulette Bartlett since September 26, 2009.
45. Ken Russell
Director | The Devils
Ken Russell tried several professions before choosing to become a film director; he was a still photographer and a dancer and he even served in the Army, but film was his destiny. He began by making several short films which paved the way for his brilliant television films of the 1960s that are ...
46. Francesco Rosi
Writer | Cadaveri eccellenti
Francesco Rosi was born on November 15, 1922 in Naples, Campania, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Illustrious Corpses (1976), La sfida (1958) and Salvatore Giuliano (1962). He was married to Giancarla Mandelli. He died on January 10, 2015 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.
47. Tony Richardson
Director | A Taste of Honey
Tony Richardson was born on June 5, 1928 in Shipley, Yorkshire, England as Cecil Antonio Richardson. He was a director and producer, known for A Taste of Honey (1961), Tom Jones (1963) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962). He was married to Vanessa Redgrave. He died on November 14,...
48. Lynne Ramsay
Director | You Were Never Really Here
Lynne Ramsay was born on December 5, 1969 in Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland. She is a director and writer, known for You Were Never Really Here (2017), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) and Morvern Callar (2002). She was previously married to Rory Stewart Kinnear.
50. Eddie Romero
Director | Ganito kami noon... Paano kayo ngayon?
Eddie Romero, who initially used the screen name 'Enrique Moreno' early in his directing career, was born July 7 1924 in Dumaguete City. He is the son of Pilar Cinco, a school teacher, and José E. Romero, a former congressman, Secretary of Education, and Philippine Ambassador to London. He was ...
Writer | Un bruit qui rend fou
Born in Brest, France, in 1922, Alain Robbe-Grillet initially studied mathematics and biology. He graduated from the Paris-based Institut National Agronomique (National Institute of Agronomy) in 1945 and embarked on a career of scientific research in the tropics and in France. Then at age 30 he ...
52. Raoul Ruiz
Director | Les trois couronnes du matelot
Chilean director Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly ...
53. Bimal Roy
Director | Bandini
Bimal Roy (July 12, 1909 - January 8, 1966) was an Indian film director. He is particularly noted for his realistic and socialistic films such as Do Bigha Zamin (1953), Bandini (1963), Biraj Bahu (1954), Madhumati (1958) which he employed to portray realism. He won a number of awards throughout his...
55. Bruce Robinson
Writer | Withnail & I
Such is the mythology that has sprung up around Bruce Robinson's first film, the openly autobiographical Withnail & I (1987), that it's often hard to separate fact from fiction. But the facts appear to be these: trained as an actor at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, he got off to a...
Writer | Terminal Island
Writer/director Stephanie Rothman was one of the few female filmmakers who specialized in low-budget drive-in exploitation fare in the '60s and '70s. Her movies are distinguished by gutsy, strong-willed and sympathetic women main characters and a radical libertarian feminist point of view. ...
57. Jay Rosenblatt
Director | Human Remains
Jay Rosenblatt is an internationally recognized artist who has been working as an independent filmmaker since 1980 and has completed over twenty-five films. His work explores our emotional and psychological cores. They are personal in their content yet universal in their appeal. Jay's films have ...
58. Tim Robbins
Actor | Mystic River
Born in West Covina, California, but raised in New York City, Tim Robbins is the son of former The Highwaymen singer Gil Robbins and actress Mary Robbins (née Bledsoe). Robbins studied drama at UCLA, where he graduated with honors in 1981. That same year, he formed the Actors' Gang theater group, ...
59. Arturo Ripstein
Director | Principio y fin
Arturo Ripstein began his career as assistant director (unbilled) of Luis Buñuel in Ángel exterminador, El (1962). His father, Alfredo Ripstein, Jr. produced his first film, a western written by Gabriel García Márquez titled Tiempo de morir (1965). Ripstein filmography is very praised in Mexico and...
60. Karel Reisz
Director | Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Karel Reisz was born on July 21, 1926 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. He was a director and producer, known for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) and Morgan! (1966). He was married to Betsy Blair and Julia Coppard. He died on November 25, 2002 in London, ...
62. Dick Richards
Producer | Tootsie
Richards rose to prominence during the 1960's advertising revolution, becoming a world-renowned photographer and television commercial director, with clients including Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, Polaroid, General Motors, Hertz, Pepsi, etc. His celebrated work has won every major industry award ...
64. Irving Rapper
Irving Rapper was one of the last surviving directors from the "Golden Age of Hollywood", passing away on Dec. 20, 1999, at the age of 101, four weeks shy of his 102nd birthday. Rapper is best remembered for the films he made with Bette Davis, including the classics Now, Voyager (1942) and The Corn...
66. Seung-wan Ryoo
Director | Beterang
Ryoo Seung-wan entered the global spotlight with his 2005 film CRYING FIST, starring Choi Min-sik (OLD BOY) and his younger brother Ryoo Seung-bum. The film displayed the director's capability to break traditional genre boundaries, and won him the FIPRESCI Prize at the 58th Cannes Film Festival and...
Director | Four Rooms
A skilled and celebrated film maker, Alexandre Rockwell is perhaps best known for his works In the Soup (1992) and 13 Moons (2002). Rockwell's characters are as intricate as they are flawed. He abstains from the shotgun pop of mainstream film and uses classical techniques and sheer creativity to ...
68. Eldar Ryazanov
Director | Nebesa obetovannye
Eldar Aleksandrovich Ryazanov was born on November 18, 1927 in Samara, Russia. He graduated with honors from the Soviet State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in 1950, as a film director. He was making documentaries for five years. In 1955 Ryazanov came to work at the Mosfilm Studios under the ...
70. Glauber Rocha
Director | Terra em Transe
He studied Law. He also directed theatre pieces, wrote movie criticisms and took part in the creation and development of the 'cinema novo' movement in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, becoming its theoretical leader and first embassador in Europe. After "Barravento (1962)", a trilogy of films and "Antonio ...
74. Edgar Reitz
Director | Die andere Heimat - Chronik einer Sehnsucht
Studied theatre science, German philology, art history, and publicism in Munich. Published some poems and short stories during early 1950s, co-edited the literature magazine "Spuren". In 1952, he took acting lessons, co-founded a student theatre which became established as the university's studio ...
75. Hans Richter
Director | Dreams That Money Can Buy
Hans Richter was born on April 6, 1888 in Berlin, Germany as Johannes Siegfried Richter. He was a director and writer, known for Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947), 8 X 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements (1957) and Race Symphony (1928). He was married to Frida Ruppel, Erna Niemeyer, Maria van Vanselow ...
76. Man Ray
Director | Home Movies
American painter and artist in various media who participated in a few films. He helped found the Dada movement and was the prime American participant in the Surrealist movement. An American expatriate to Paris in the 1920s, he was a member of the so-called "Lost Generation" of creative minds ...
77. Bernard Rose
Director | Candyman
Born on 4th August 1960, in London, England, Bernard Rose began his career by making super 8 films at the age of 9. The BBC had a amateur movie competition which he won in 1975, causing his 3 minute film to air on the BBC. He later worked for Jim Henson on the last season of The Muppet Show, as a ...
79. Mani Ratnam
Writer | Dil Se..
The man who revolutionized Tamil-language cinema, Mani Ratnam is the biggest director in south India and one of the most respected directors in all of India. Each of his films contain its own unique style, with beautifully photographed songs and unique back-lighting. However, his films contain ...
80. Mikhail Romm
Director | Chelovek No. 217
Mikhail Romm was born in 1901, into a Russian-Jewish family, in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, Russia. He served in the Red Army in 1918-21 as an Inspector of the Special Forces for Food Supplies. He was in charge of confiscations of bread and food from the wealthier farmers (kulaks) in Central ...
82. Wolf Rilla
Director | Village of the Damned
Born in Berlin, Germany, in 1894, Wolf Rilla was the son of German actor Walter Rilla. When Nazi leader Adolf Hitler came to power, the elder Rilla--who was Jewish--moved his family to London, England.
After completing his education, Wolf went to work for the BBC World Review in 1942, and in the ...
83. Lionel Rogosin
Director | Come Back, Africa
Father of producer/director/artist Michael Rogosin and producer/director Daniel Rogosin. Rogosin was a political filmmaker of cutting-edge documentaries, once said by John Cassavetes to be "probably the greatest documentary filmmaker of all time." His film "On the Bowery" was nominated for an ...
84. Jørgen Roos
Director | Ellehammer-filmen
Jørgen Roos was born on August 14, 1922 in Gilleleje, Denmark. He was a director and cinematographer, known for Ellehammer-filmen (1957), Knud (1966) and De unge gamle (1984). He was married to Noemi Roos and Edith Toft Madsen. He died on September 13, 1998 in Denmark.
85. Yuli Raizman
Director | Poslednyaya noch
Yuli Raizman was born on December 15, 1903 in Riga, Russian Empire as Yuli Yakovlevich Raizman. He was a director and writer, known for The Last Night (1937), The Fall of Berlin (1945) and Dream of a Cossack (1951). He died on December 11, 1994 in Moscow, Russia.
87. Georges Rouquier
Director | Farrebique ou Les quatre saisons
Georges Rouquier is understood as the successor to the Robert Flaherty tradition of documentary filmmaking, but also, because of the context in which his first feature was released, as a champion of a specifically French Neo Realism which pointed ahead toward the New Wave a decade later.Coming to ...
93. Dee Rees
Director | Mudbound
Writer/Director Dee Rees is an alumna of New York University's graduate film program and a Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow.
In 2018, Dee became the first Black woman nominated for an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for her highly-acclaimed film Mudbound (2017). The film, ...