favorite director of all time?

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Blackthorn, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Blackthorn

    Blackthorn I'll Lock Up

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    Looking at the history of film, there are so many wonderful directors. I love John Huston, Clint Eastwood, Speilberg, Scorcese and hundreds of others. But as I look back over the many decades, my very favorite director is John Ford. Among his masterpieces:

    Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

    Fort Apache

    The Searchers

    Rio Grande

    The Grapes of Wrath

    The Informer

    The Quiet Man



    So...other opinions?
     
  2. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    Another director that used vast panoramic shots to tell a story was, Sergio Leone! [video=youtube;b__itYJkcsE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b__itYJkcsE[/video]
     
  3. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Hitchock for me, as without looking them up, I can name ten or more of his films that I love and even the not-great ones are always interesting and I can watch them again and again.

    North by Northwest

    The Man Who Knew Too Much (both versions)

    To Catch a Thief

    Strangers on a Train

    Dial M for Murder

    Rope

    Rear Window

    Suspicion

    Psycho

    Mr and Mrs Smith

    Saboteur

    Lifeboat

    Vertigo

    Spellbound

    Marnie

    Rebecca

    The Birds

    The Lady Vanishes
     
  4. sergejvandervreede

    sergejvandervreede One Too Many

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    +1 on Hitchcock.
     
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Preston Sturges. He burned briefly but brightly as the finest comedy director of his generation.

    The Great McGinty

    Christmas In July

    The Lady Eve

    Sullivan's Travels

    The Palm Beach Story

    The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

    Hall The Conquering Hero

    The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

    Unfaithfully Yours


    There was no place in the postwar era for someone so completely non-conformist in his comic sensibility, and he didn't do anything worth looking at after 1948. But in his prime, he was the Orson Welles of comedy.
     
  6. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    I love movies too much to pick a single director, but it's pretty hard to argue with either Hitchcock or Ford. Some others that come to mind:

    Stanley Kubrick - This would have been my immediate answer as a youth, though most of his films are so cold and clinical, with barely a trace of human warmth. Still, as a technician and visionary, he's right up there. Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Dr. Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining...

    Billy Wilder - Master of dramatic comedy and comedic drama. Such a cynic! Sunset Blvd., The Apartment, Some Like It Hot, Ace In The Hole, Double Indemnity, Sabrina, A Foreign Affair...

    William Wyler - Probably the best director of actors ever. The Best Years of Our Lives, Dodsworth, Dead End, The Little Foxes, These Three & The Children's Hour, Roman Holiday, Ben Hur...

    Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger - For sheer, unbridled creativity and gonzo Englishness. Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, A Matter of Life and Death, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Thirty-Ninth Parallel, I Know Where I'm Going!, Tales of Hoffmann...

    Orson Welles - Obviously.

    Cecil B. DeMille - Much of his work is broad and overdone and has aged poorly, but he set the template for the Hollywood director. Films for de millions! The Ten Commandments (both versions), Cleopatra, Sign of the Cross, The Crusades, Samson and Delilah, The Greatest Show On Earth...

    Frank Capra - The great American populist made some wonderful films. It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's A Wonderful Life...

    Preston Sturges - The first well-known screenwriter to turn director (ahead of Wilder, Huston, etc.), his hilarious comedies are loaded with truth. The Great McGinty, The Palm Beach Story, The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels...

    John Huston - Another great writer turned director. The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle...

    David Lean - Master of literary adaptations and colorful epics. Great Expectations, Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, A Passage to India...

    Studio system stalwarts who did a wide range of styles well: Michael Curtiz, George Cukor, John Sturges, Howard Hawks, Robert Wise, Fred Zinnemann...

    The comic genius writer/director/stars: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen...

    The younger generations: Robert Altman, Sidney Lumet, Stanley Kramer, Franklin Schaffner, Francis Coppola, Arthur Penn, John Frankenheimer, Steven Spielberg, John Milius, Marty Scorsese, Terrence Malick, Guilermo del Toro, the Coen Bros., Peter Jackson, Neil Jordan, David Lynch, Lee (Spike and Ang), Darrin Aronofsky, Clint Eastwood, Pedro Almodovar, Alfonso Cuaron, David Cronenberg, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, etc.

    And the classic foreign greats - Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini...

    (Yeah, I've been a serious film buff for a REALLY LONG time!)
     
  7. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    I'd have to go with Ford myself. No director has given me so much to look at and love so consistently.... The others in the top five, Wyler, Wellman, Hitch, Capra. Oh and I must give Hawks some love as well.

    Worf
     
  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    I fully expect to be excoriated for this, but in the modern world, I have been very impressed with many of Tarantino's movies. "Pulp Fiction" is an incredibly complex movie that delves deeply in the psyche and motivation of various elements in the underworld and one whose violence is plot driven and not, as many movies are today, driving the plot. Much of dialogue in the movie are different character's life philosophy masquerading as conversation that, IMHO, makes the movie watchable multiple times. Plus Uma and Travolta's Jack Rabbit Slim scene is better by itself than most movies are in full.

    Reservoir Dogs - the dialogue is complex, overlapping (the way people really talk) and - for the time - outrageous

    Inglorious Bastards - Played fast and lose with WWII facts, but the story and characters were so engaging it didn't matter.

    Django Untamed - honestly, I think Tarantino just dumped some of the excess craziness in his head onto the screen for this one and made it work by dint of will - for the most part

    Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 - While Uma Thurman's movies, it took Tarantino to pull of an off-beat martial arts movie
     
  9. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

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    Billy Wilder for sure. The flavor in my mind after first viewing "The Apartment," "Sunset Boulevard," or "Spirit of St. Louis" is hard to match. Of course he also penned those films with his writing partners. "Double Indemnity" is different, an adaptation of James M. Cain's novel -- but he gave that one his own spin too, and a better ending than the novel.

    Not all of his stuff is dynamite; I've never cared for "The Fortune Cookie." But any time you see Wilder's name on a film, it's always worth watching at least once.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  10. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Spielberg for me. There few of his films I don't like.
     
  11. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    This is a great thread! It is hard to pick just one director...


    No excoriation here! Folks tend to love or hate Tarantino. I am in the former group.

    Let's not forget Jackie Brown. This is probably my favorite Tarantino film to date. It has all of the characters, story elements, music, and overall directing we've come to love in a Tarantino flick. This was before he codified those auteur-like qualities which directors can easily overuse. Wes Anderson is THE case in point.
     
  12. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I used to be indifferent towards Tarantino, but I really started liking him after Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained.
     
  13. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    Oooh, good stuff here!

    I adore Hitchcock - a true master of suspense.

    I also love Joseph Mankiewicz's work.

    And yes, John Ford. Though I hear he was quite a cuss sometimes, he was brilliant at what he did.
     
  14. 1mach1

    1mach1

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    I agree with Hitchcock and Ford. Also like John Huston.

    For newer films, I really like Clint Eastwood.
     
  15. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    (Crickets chirpin' in the da background)

    .... No love for Woody Allen I see.... or my personal fave... Mel "Springtime for Hitler and Germany" Brooks.....

    Not throwin' stones.... Jes sayin'.....

    Worfster
     
  16. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Funny, I just watched "Hannah and Her Sisters" on TCM the other week. He has some good ones - "Manhattan," and "Match Point" are two I really enjoy, but, IMHO, what hurts him - or keeps him from being in the pantheon - is that so many of his movies seem like wash-rinse-repeats of each other. And many of the early ones felt like thinly veiled autobiographies where they all blend together in your mind as one movie.
     
  17. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    Hey Worf, both Woody and Mel were on my list!

    I've loved Woody's films since I was a kid and have seen virtually all of them. Because he's made nearly a film a year since the sixties, he does tend to repeat himself, but his best films are genius. The weak ones - and he's made some real stinkers in recent years - are unfortunate, but with so many movies (who else has made a film every year for so long?!?), they can't all be gems.

    Count me in the mystified-why-Tarantino-is-considered-so-brilliant camp. I think he's obviously talented, and he writes and directs absolutely terrific dialog scenes. But basing your entire career on replicating tropes from genre films that were junk to begin with just doesn't work for me as an artistic approach. I find scattered moments in his films impressive, but they mostly leave me cold.

    Re Wes Anderson, I loved his early films, but as they've become more and more just precious little jewelboxes of unrealistic production design, he's lost me. The last time I found his characters to be even vaguely relatable to real humans were - oddly enough - the stop-motion animals in Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    And AmateisGal, how could I forget Joseph Mankiewicz?!? Another awesome golden age writer/director.
     
  18. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    Michael Curtiz, Hitchcock, David Lean, Capra, Bruce Robinson.
     
  19. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I personally cannot stand Woody Allen. He's pretentious and I don't think he's funny. He also can't act at all, and stumbles all over his lines. In fact, one of his greatest blunders in Annie Hall is attributed as one of his greatest moments.
     
  20. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    I think Woody Allen is brilliant. I agree with others that he has his weak films, but "Stardust Memories." ( which is a lot of fun to watch right after "8-1/2") and "Manhattan." Excellent films.

    So, favorite director, the one that has delighted me most, would have to be Woody Allen because of the sheer volume and quality of work.

    Tarantino has lost me since after "Jackie Brown," which showed tremendous maturity. The genre films can be fun; "Kill Bill" for instance, but that doesn't make them great films.

    Honorable mention to Carol Reed. I love "The Third Man."
     

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