Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Top Ten Favorite Film Directors

A list that will surely expand and evolve.

Included below are:
- The director's name and ranking.
- Movies by the director that I've seen.
- The averaged Netflix Rating of the director's movies.
- Comments on the director's body of work.

UPDATED 4/12/07


1

John Ford

Netflix Rating:

3.5

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Searchers
(1956)

The shortcomings in Grapes are forgiven by the influential, iconic and profound masterpiece, The Searchers, my all-time favorite. (-)

2

Joseph H. Lewis

Netflix Rating:

5.0

Gun Crazy (1950)
The Big Combo (1955)

Two of the most amazing film noirs ever. The dazzling imagery, bitter dialogue and brutal violence leave an indelible mark. (-)

3

Otto Preminger

Netflix Rating:

4.3

Laura (1944)
Fallen Angel (1945)
Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)

A decent detective flick is sandwiched between two mesmerizing mystery films. (-)

4

Alfred Hitchcock

Netflix Rating:

4.3

Strangers on a Train (1951)
Rear Window
(1954)
To Catch a Thief
(1955)
Vertigo
(1958)
North by Northwest
(1959)
Psycho
(1960)

The master of suspense himself. Vertigo and Rear Window stand out as the cream of this crop, but also check out Thief for its unforgettable dialogue. (-)

5

Martin Scorsese

Netflix Rating:

3.25

Mean Streets (1970)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Raging Bull (1980)
The King of Comedy
(1983)
After Hours (1985)

While Scorsese's earlier works emphasize style over substance, Raging Bull remains an enduring masterpiece. Avoid After Hours. (-)

6

Fran├žois Truffaut

Netflix Rating:

4.5

The 400 Blows (1959)
Shoot the Piano Player
(1960)

Exhilarating best describes Truffaut's whimsical yet tragic tales. (-)

7

Billy Wilder

Netflix Rating:

5.0

Double Indemnity (1944)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Some Like It Hot (1959)

He made perhaps the best detective flick ever, a superb courtroom drama and certainly the funniest movie ever. Mr. Wilder could do it all. (-)

8

Francis Ford Coppola

Netflix Rating:

N/A

The Godfather (1972)
The Conversation (1974)
The Godfather: Part II
(1974)
Apocalypse Now
(1979)
The Godfather: Part III
(1990)

While Coppola is rightfully praised for The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now, his excellent paranoia thriller shouldn't be forgotten. (-)

9

Nicholas Ray

Average Netflix Rating:

3.5

In a Lonely Place (1950)
Rebel Without a Cause
(1955)

While Lonely Place fails to be worthwhile, Rebel's compelling love story remains unforgettable.

10

John Frankenheimer

Average Netflix Rating:

4.0

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Seconds (1966)

One political, the other psychological. Both great thrillers. (-)

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