Top Classic Cinema Directors

Directors Responsibilities >>
Ordered list descending by highest rated director. To find a specific director, perform a search for the directors name. Alternatively, if you're not sure of the correct spelling, you can 1. press ctrl+f and 2. start typing the name of the director in the "find" feild that pops up, which will highlight and jump to the directors name on this page as you type. Mac users press command+f.
  1. Sidney Lumet
  2. Frank Capra
  3. Charles Chaplin
  4. Alfred Hitchcock
  5. Fritz Lang
  6. John Huston
  7. Clyde Bruckman
  8. Buster Keaton
  9. Orson Welles
  10. F.W. Murnau
  11. Carl Theodor Dreyer
  12. Victor Fleming
  13. Fred C. Newmeyer
  14. Sam Taylor
  15. Ernst Lubitsch
  16. William A. Wellman
  17. Gregory La Cava
  18. Sergei M. Eisenstein
  19. Robert Wiene
  20. Erich von Stroheim
  21. Billy Wilder
  22. Otto Preminger
  23. William Wyler
  24. Stanley Donen
  25. Norman Jewison
  26. Mel Brooks
  27. George A. Romero
  28. Howard Hawks
  29. Arthur Penn
  30. Luis Buñuel
  31. George Seaton
  32. William Dieterle
  33. D.W. Griffith
  34. James W. Horne
  35. John Ford
  36. Cecil B. DeMille
  37. William Cottrell
  38. David Hand
  39. Preston Sturges
  40. George Cukor
  41. Arthur Rosson
  42. Douglas Sirk
  43. Peter Ustinov
  44. Ted Wilde
  45. Rupert Julian
  46. René Clair
  47. Raoul Walsh
  48. Zoltan Korda
  49. Delmer Daves
  50. Tod Browning
  51. Norman Ferguson
  52. T. Hee
  53. Ralph Nelson
  54. Jean Vigo
  55. David Miller
  56. Phil Karlson
  57. Mark Sandrich
  58. Rudolph Maté
  59. Edgar G. Ulmer
  60. Allan Dwan
  61. Irving Pichel
  62. Ernest B. Schoedsack
  63. Joseph H. Lewis
  64. Samuel Fuller
  65. Lewis Milestone
  66. Winsor McCay
  67. J. Stuart Blackton
  68. Samuel Armstrong
  69. Yu Wang
  70. Wallace Worsley
  71. Michael Gordon
  72. Clyde Geronimi
  73. Wilfred Jackson
  74. Harve Foster
  75. Gus Meins
  76. Charley Rogers
  77. Fred Niblo
  78. Alfred L. Werker
  79. Richard Fleischer
  80. Alan James
  81. Ray Taylor
  82. John English
  83. William Witney
  84. Herk Harvey
  85. Lewis D. Collins
  86. Byron Haskin
  87. Elia Kazan
  88. Albert Parker
  89. Anthony Mann
  90. Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
  91. Joseph Kohn
  92. Leonard Reed
  93. H. Bruce Humberstone
  94. W.S. Van Dyke
  95. Paul Grimault
  96. Don Hartman
  97. Ida Lupino
  98. Sidney Meyers
  99. Charles Swenson
  100. Fred Wolf
  101. B. Reeves Eason
  102. Armand Schaefer
  103. Sidney Lanfield
  104. Arthur Lubin
  105. Josh Binney
  106. Marc Connelly
  107. William Keighley
  108. Cheh Chang
  109. Shigehiro Ozawa
  110. Prachya Pinkaew
  111. Walter Lang
  112. King Vidor
  113. Joseph Kane
  114. Compton Bennett
  115. Andrew Marton
  116. John Berry
  117. Ray McCarey
  118. Melville Shavelson
  119. John Farrow
  120. Martin Ritt
  121. Charles Vidor
  122. Busby Berkeley
  123. Sam Wood
  124. Ford Beebe
  125. Jack Hill
  126. Lewis Allen
  127. Howard Bretherton
  128. Tony Benedict
  129. Barry Mahon
  130. William Castle
  131. Wallace Fox
  132. Forrest Sheldon
  133. Dave Fleischer
  134. James Edward Grant
  135. Harold S. Bucquet
  136. Robert Pirosh
  137. Marc Allégret
  138. William Cameron Menzies
  139. Hsi-chieh Lai
  140. Sung Pe Liu
  141. Frank McDonald
  142. Clifford Smith
  143. George Sherman
  144. Albert Herman
  145. Elmer Clifton
  146. Henry Koster
  147. Kinji Fukasaku
  148. Jack Kinney
  149. Lloyd Corrigan
  150. John Rawlins
  151. Jules Dassin
  152. William H. Pine
  153. Hans Burger
  154. William Forest Crouch
  155. Don Weis
  156. Walt Disney
  157. Lynn Shores
  158. Eugenio Martín
  159. Sam Newfield
  160. Georges Méliès
  161. Henry Edwards
  162. Colbert Clark
  163. Richard Whorf
  164. Victor Halperin
  165. Catherine Hardwicke
  166. John Cromwell
  167. Roger Corman
  168. Rowland V. Lee
  169. Victor Saville
  170. Feng Huang
  171. Izzy Sparber
  172. Robert F. Hill
  173. Garson Kanin
  174. Henry King
  175. Harold D. Schuster
  176. Irving Reis
  177. Peter Godfrey
  178. Joseph Pevney
  179. Lesley Selander
  180. Alexander Grasshoff
  181. Bruce Kessler
  182. John Brahm
  183. Arthur H. Leonard
  184. Seymour Kneitel
  185. Scott Pembroke
  186. Joe Rock
  187. Wan Guchan
  188. Wan Laiming
  189. John Sturges
  190. Mario Nalpas
  191. Henri Étiévant
  192. James V. Kern
  193. S. Roy Luby
  194. Frederick De Cordova
  195. Hugo Fregonese
  196. Ray Enright
  197. Roy Del Ruth
  198. George Marshall
  199. Mack V. Wright
  200. Richard Brooks
  201. Jacques Dupont
  202. Robert N. Bradbury
  203. Charles Lamont
  204. William C. McGann
  205. Robert Emmett Tansey
  206. Alfred Santell
  207. Eddie Nicart
  208. Spencer Gordon Bennet
  209. Wallace Grissell
  210. Bretaigne Windust
  211. George Abbott
  212. Otto Brower
  213. John Woo
  214. Richard Talmadge
  215. Harry L. Fraser
  216. David Howard
  217. Edward Sedgwick
  218. Tim Whelan
  219. A. Edward Sutherland
  220. Maurice Elvey
  221. Wei Lo
  222. Charles Marquis Warren
  223. George King
  224. J. Gordon Edwards
  225. Michael Curtiz
  226. Bill Karn
  227. Richard C. Kahn
  228. Jean Yarbrough
  229. Charles Guggenheim
  230. John Stix
  231. Ma Wu
  232. Henry Hathaway
  233. Glenn Tryon
  234. John Bud Cardos
  235. Emilio Fernández
  236. John Foster
  237. George Rufle
  238. Herbert Kline
  239. Fredric Gadette
  240. Joe Francis
  241. Chiang Shen
  242. Howard Hughes
  243. Léonide Moguy
  244. J.P. McGowan
  245. William Nigh
  246. Sam Firstenberg
  247. Phil Rosen
  248. Edward A. Kull
  249. Luther Reed
  250. José Antonio de la Loma
  251. Lee Shi Chieh
  252. Lee Geo Shu
  253. Bernard B. Ray
  254. Alastair Reid
  255. Harry Revier
  256. Yu Min Sheong
  257. Spencer Williams
  258. Javier Aguirre
  259. William Berke
  260. Chuan Yang
  261. Ewald André Dupont
  262. Fernando Di Leo
  263. William L. Nolte
  264. Shing Yuan Sun
  265. Ting Mei Sung
  266. Bud Pollard
  267. Gene Deitch
  268. Lee Sholem
  269. Kurt Neumann
  270. Chi-lien Yu
  271. Dorothy Davenport
  272. Melville Shyer
  273. Giorgio Simonelli
  274. George P. Breakston
  275. Kenneth G. Crane
  276. Chin-lai Sung
  277. Charles F. Haas
  278. Sandy Howard
  279. Ling Shang
  280. Noriaki Yuasa
  281. Jack Starrett
  282. Harry Bailey
  283. Hai-feng Wei
  284. Timothy Galfas
  285. Richard Kaye
  286. Robert Brandt
  287. William Rowland
  288. Elmo Williams
  289. Gianfranco Parolini
  290. Thomas Carr
  291. Fei-chien Wu
  292. Cirio H. Santiago
  293. Leo C. Popkin
  294. Kuang Hui
  295. Yi-hsiu Lin
  296. John F. Schreyer
  297. Kan Ping Yu
  298. Larry G. Spangler
  299. Kei Law
  300. Saul A. Goodkind
  301. Koji Shima
  302. Ferde Grofé Jr.
  303. Tulio Demicheli
  304. John Reinhardt
  305. George P. Quigley
  306. Pietro Francisci
  307. Clinton Childs
  308. Ralph P. King
  309. Domenico Paolella
  310. Curtis Hanson
  311. Fred C. Brannon
  312. Joseph Seiden
  313. Oscar Micheaux
  314. Antonio Margheriti
  315. Harold Young
  316. Guido Malatesta
  317. Kurt Maetzig
  318. W. Lee Wilder
  319. Koreyoshi Akasaka
  320. Teruo Ishii
  321. Terry O. Morse
  322. Edward D. Wood Jr.
  323. R. John Hugh
  324. William A. O Connor
  325. Bert I. Gordon
  326. John Evans
  327. Robert J. Horner
  328. Arthur Dreifuss
  329. Godfrey Ho
  330. Anton Giulio Majano
  331. Louis J. Gasnier
  332. Ted V. Mikels
  333. Bernard Girard
  334. Richard E. Cunha
  335. Tom Graeff
  336. Arthur Hilton
  337. Doo-yong Lee
  338. Jack Pollexfen
  339. Hollingsworth Morse
  340. Bernard L. Kowalski
  341. Dick Powell
  342. Edward Finney
  343. Jerry Warren
  344. Dwain Esper
  345. Don Dohler
  346. Larry Buchanan
  347. Vern Piehl
  348. William Beaudine
  349. John Hayes
  350. W. Merle Connell
  351. Alfonso Brescia
  352. Joseph V. Mascelli
  353. Peter Bogdanovich
  354. Giacomo Gentilomo
  355. Nicholas Webster
  356. Fritz Böttger
  357. Ron Ormond
  358. Herbert Tevos
  359. Michael A. DeGaetano
  360. James L. Wolcott
  361. Richard Ashe
  362. Karl Armstrong
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A Directors Responsibilities
 

Directors are responsible for overseeing creative aspects of a film under the overall control of the film producer. Together with the producers, directors develop a vision for a film. Once this vision is developed it is then the director’s job to carry out the vision and decide how the film should look. Directors are responsible for turning the script into a sequence of shots. They also direct what tone it should have and what an audience should gain from the cinematic experience. Film directors are responsible for deciding camera angles, lens effects and lighting with the help of the cinematographer and set designer. They will often take part in hiring the cast and key crew members. They coordinate the actors' moves and also may be involved in the writing, financing and editing of a film.

The director works closely with the cast and crew to shape the film. Some like to conduct rigorous rehearsals in preproduction while others do so before each scene. In either case, this process is essential as it tells the director, as well as other key members of the crew (director of photography, stunt coordinator, hair stylist, etc.), how the actors are going to play the scene, which enables them to make any necessary adjustments. Directors often use storyboards to illustrate sequences and concepts and a director's viewfinder to set up camera angles.

The director also plays a key role in post-production. He or she works with the editor to ensure that the emotions of the scene and the close ups, mid-shots and wide or long shots appropriately reflect which character is driving the narrative. The director also advises on the (colour) grading of the final images, adding warmth or frigidity to the composition of the shots to reflect the emotional subtext of the character or environment. The director also participates and directs the sound mix and musical composition of the film. In the subsequent promotion of the finished film, if a director is well known his name and image is used to promote the film alongside the stars of the film, but having an image is not the primary function of a director, as they are judged by their creative talent and ability to run a production. It is the second most powerful "behind the scenes" profession in the movie industry, after the producer, but the director traditionally has complete control "on the floor".