John Ford, is known for his visually powerful westerns, with his characters framed against America's stunning natural landmarks. Stagecoach (1939) and the highly regarded and hugely influential The Searchers (1956) both starring John Wayne. His four Academy Awards for Best Director remain a record and include such classics as How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Quiet Man (1952) and his adaptation of the John Steinbeck classic The Grapes of Wrath (1940.
Michael Curtiz helped popularize the classic swashbuckler with Captain Blood (1935) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). He directed many dramas classics such as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), and Mildred Pierce (1945), and musicals Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and White Christmas (1954). But he is best known for creating one the most loved films of all time Casablanca (1942) with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
Sir David Lean, the British the two-time Academy Award-winning director is best known for his extraordinary cinematic epics, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Passage to India (1984). Lean co-directed with Noel Cowrad, In Which We Serve (1942), also directing adaptations of Charles Dickens novels: Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), as well as his classic melodrama Brief Encounter (1945).
Stanley Kubrick is considered one of the greatest and most influential directors in cinematic history. Bringing his early audiences, The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory (1957) and Dr Strangelove (1964). His cinematic masterpiece was to arrive in 1968 with the creation of the space epic, a year before the moon landing, 2001: A Space Odyssey. This was followed by A Clockwork Orange (1972) and The Shining (1980) starring Jack Nicholson.
The director of the Clark Gable classic It Happened One Night, epic The Lost Horizon with Ronald Colman and the US Christmas favourite It's a Wonderful Life.
The hard-hitting director who had seen atrocities at the end of the war as a marine in China became known for his violent scenes. He is remembered for Ride the High Country, The Wild Bunch, Cross of Iron and The Getaway but ultimately as the man who reinvented the western.
The silent era king who went on to direct cinema epics Cleopatra, The Ten Commandments and The Greatest Show on Earth.
The film director that brought us Mrs Miniver, The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben-Hur, and Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn. His actors won more Oscars than for any other director.
A legendary filmmaker from Japan, creator of Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood and Ran.
He directed the great Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn in many classics - Adam's Rib, Pat and Mike, followed by two classic musicals: A Star is Born, and My Fair Lady.
Hawkes' early years with Cary Grant in Bringing up Baby and His Girl Friday, then later for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall starring in To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep, and Rio Bravo with John Wayne.
Fritz Lang's career began in Germany with Metropolis and M; he then built a new career following the Nazi uprising, moved to Hollywood to become the king of film noir.
From Greta Garbo's Ninotchka, film noir classic Double Indemnity, to his Academy Award-winning classics Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment.
Hitchcock defined his own unique style of filmmaking from the early days of The 39 Steps and The Lodger to the Hollywood glamour of North by Northwest and Rear Window, to the terrifying Psycho and The Birds.
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