English director, John Schlesinger CBE was born in Hampstead, London in 1926. He won an Academy Award for Best Director for Midnight Cowboy and was nominated for Darling, starring Julie Christie and Sunday Bloody Sunday) Other notable hits include Marathon Man (1976) starring Dustin Hoffman, Yanks (1979) with Richard Gere and The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) with Sean Penn.
Australian Director, Peter Weir, was born in August 1944. A leading figure in the Australian New Wave cinema movement (1970-1990), with films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), The Last Wave (1977) and the historical drama Gallipoli (1981). The climax of Weir's early career was the $6 million multi-national production The Year of Living Dangerously (1983). Weir then directed American and international films hits, including Academy Award-nominated Witness (1985) starring Harrison Ford, Dead Poets Society (1989), comedy-drama The Truman Show (1998).
German-American director Ernst Lubitsch was born in Berlin in 1892. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director; as his prestige grew, his films were promoted as having "the Lubitsch touch". Among his best known works are Trouble in Paradise, Design for Living, Ninotchka, The Shop Around the Corner, To Be or Not to Be and Heaven Can Wait.
American Film Director, Robert Altman was born in 1925. A five-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director, he was considered a "maverick" in making films with his satirical aesthetic. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in American cinema, with a reputation for being "anti-Hollywood" and non-conformist in both his themes and directing style. His films include MASH (1970), McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), Nashville (1975), The Player (1992) and Gosford Park (2001).
Joseph Leo Mankiewicz was born in Pennsylvania in 1909 had a long Hollywood career, and won the Oscar back-to-back for both Best Director and Best Screenplay for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950) starring Bette Davis. During his long career in Hollywood, Mankiewicz wrote forty-eight screenplays. He also produced The Philadelphia Story in 1941. However, he is best known for the films he directed, Guys and Dolls, Cleopatra and the Barefoot Contessa starring Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart.
American film director Otto Preminger was originally born in Austria-Hungary in 1905 He directed more than 35 feature films in a five-decade known for film noir mysteries such as Laura (1944) and Fallen Angel (1945), while in the 1950s and 1960s, he directed a number of high-profile adaptations of popular novels that pushed the boundaries of censorship by dealing with taboo topics such as drug addiction (The Man with the Golden Arm, 1955), rape (Anatomy of a Murder, 1959) and homosexuality (Advise and Consent, 1962). He was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director.
American director, producer and actor Sydney Pollack was born in Indiana in 1934. He directed over 20 films and acted and produced over 40 films. Out of Africa 1985, won him Academy Awards for directing and producing. He was also nominated for Best Director Oscars for They Shoot Horses, Don't They and Tootsie in which he also appeared. Other classics include The Way We Were, Three Days of the Condor and The Firm in 1993 starring Tom Cruise.
Italian Film maker, Sergio Leone, is credited as the inventor of the Spaghetti Western. His directing style of extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots alongside his collaboration with film composer Ennio Morricone, has made him one of the most influential directors in the history of cinema.. His career includes the Clint Eastwood Trlogy: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966); and the epic Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), and Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
Carol Reed was an English film director known for Odd Man Out (1947), Night Train to Munich (1948) The Fallen Idol (1948), Our Man in Havana (1959) and the musical Oliver! (1968) for which he received the Academy Award for Best Director. However his greatest film for which his is best known perhaps is his adaptation of Graham Greene's The Third Man (1949) starring Orson Welles and featuring the iconic Anton Karas 'Harry Lime' theme.
Alan J Pakula's subjects often drew from the murky and paranoid world of American politics with is noted trilogy Klute (1971), The Parallax View (1974) and All the President's Men (1976), He was nominated for three Academy Awards including his adaptation of Harper Lee's , To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Best Adapted Screenplay for Sophie's Choice (1982). His passion for the political thriller continued with John Grisham's The Pelican Brief (1993) which he wrote, produced and directed.
Filmmaker, Robert Wise, won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture for his musicals West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965). He was also nominated for Best Film Editing for Citizen Kane (1941). Wise achieved critical success as a director in other genres: horror, noir, western, war, and science fiction. Films include The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The Sand Pebbles (1966), Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), The Haunting (1963), and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).
American film director John Frankenheimer was known for social dramas and action/suspense films. Among his credits were Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Seven Days in May (1964), The Train (1965), Seconds (1966), Grand Prix (1966), French Connection II (1975), and Ronin (1998). His style was notable for their influence on contemporary thought. A pioneer of the modern-day political thriller, having begun his career at the peak of the Cold War.
George Stevens an American film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer. Like many of his peers, he served in WWII which was said to have changed his film making style after the 1940's. Among his most notable films are A Place in the Sun (1951; winner of six Academy Awards including Best Director), Shane (1953; Oscar nominated), Giant (1956; Oscar for Best Director) starring James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor, and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959; nominated for Best Director).
American film director, Don Siegel, is best known for his work with Clint Eastwood including Coogan's Bluff (1968), the iconic police thriller Dirty Harry (1971) and the prison drama Escape from Alcatraz (1979). Siegel also directed one of the great sci fi films Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), the noir classic The Kllers (1964) as well as John Wayne's final film, the 1976 Western, The Shootist.
Sidney Lumet was an American director, producer, and screenwriter. Nominated for the Academy Award four times, including 12 Angry Men (1957), Dog Day Afternoon (1975) which introduced Al Pacino, Network (1976) which earned Peter Finch a posthumous Best Actor Oscar, and The Verdict (1982) starring Paul Newman. Known as the actors 'director' his films always featured powerful storytelling and social realism.
Stanley Donen was an American film director and choreographer who began his career on Broadway. His films include On the Town (1949) with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Funny Face (1957) with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn, who also starred in Charade (1963) with Cary Grant. But perhaps his most celebrated and iconic film was Singin' in the Rain (1952), with Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly who also co-directed.
American film director, John Sturges, created two of the most iconic action films of the 20th century. The Magnificent Seven (1960) and The Great Escape (1963) both films featured the emerging stars Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn. His career included Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), The Old Man and The Sea (1958) Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and the cold war drama Ice Station Zebra (1968).
Vincente Minnelli is known for directing many of MGM's classic musicals such as Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) s, Gigi (1958), The Band Wagon (1953), and An American in Paris (1951) the Academy Award winning masterpiece starring Gene Kelly. He also directed comedy classics Father of the Bride (1950)) with Spencer Tracy, and one of the great Hollywood melodramas, The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) starring Kirk Douglas (who he also directed in Lust for Life (1956).
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