The Greatest Living Directors People In Film

The Greatest Living Directors

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List of the best living filmmakers (though not necessarily still actively making films.) When discussing the finest directors of all time, a few names immediately pop to mind. John Ford. John Huston. Frank Capra. But adding in the condition that they must still be living adds a level of difficulty.

Sure, you still have a few luminaries who are with us and clearly are contenders for the title - Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg. These guys are no slouches. But it starts to make the list a bit more challenging to compile, particularly when you consider the vast array of genres and styles in which these directors are working. Can John Lasseter's work in animation be directly compared to Sofia Coppola's atmospheric character studies? Can John Carpenter's '80s horror classics comfortably sit side-by-side with Wes Anderson's twee indie adventures? These are the kinds of tough calls Ranker listers are just going to have to make.

One final element to consider would be consistency. Terrence Malick has made far fewer films than most of the entrants on this list, but most (if not all) have been of a remarkably high level of quality. Does that earn him a spot above, say, Clint Eastwood, who has worked a lot but with a somewhat more spotty record? Tough choices... but isn't that what ranking is all about?
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 &most listed
    Martin Scorsese

    Casino, The Key to Reserva, Untitled The Departed 2 Sequel More
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  2. 2
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    Munich, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ... More
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    Mystic River, Heartbreak Ridge, Play Misty for Me More
    90
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    Love Birds in Bondage, Django Unchained, Four Rooms More
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    Youth Without Youth, One from the Heart, Gardens of Stone More
    88
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    The Hudsucker Proxy, Burn After Reading, True Grit More
    86
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    Cinema 16: British Short Films, Batman Begins, Following More
    82
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    The Counselor, A Good Year, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers ... More
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    Torso, The Beat of the Live Drum, The Game More
    75
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    Splash, Far and Away, Presidential Reunion More
    73
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    Broadway Danny Rose, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hollywood Ending More
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    The Dirk Diggler Story, Magnolia, Inherent Vice More
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    Planet of the Apes, The Match Girl, Dark Shadows More
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    Lumière and Company, The Short Films of David Lynch, The French as ... More
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    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the ... More
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  16. 16
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    The Abyss, Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day More
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    Magic Mike, Ocean's Eleven, Schizopolis More
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    The Fury, Obsession, Murder a la Mod More
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    Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Twelve Chairs, History of the World, Part I ... More
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    Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek Into Darkness, Super 8 More
    63
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    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling ... More
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    Dark Star, Starman, Dark Star: Hyperdrive Edition: Theatrical Cut More
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  23. 23
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    Tess, Two Men and a Wardrobe, Afternoon of a Champion More
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    Collateral, The Keep, The Jericho Mile More
    60
  25. 25
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    Back to the Future Part III, Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York, Flight ... More
    60
  26. 26
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    U Turn, Born on the Fourth of July, Castro in Winter More
    59
  27. 27
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    The Tree of Life, Untitled Terrence Malick project, The New World More
    58
  28. 28
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    Stand by Me, Misery, Rumor Has It… More
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  29. 29
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    THX 1138, 1:42:08, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith More
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  30. 30
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    Clockwork, Evil Dead II, Oz: The Great and Powerful More
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  31. 31
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    Life of Pi, Lust, Caution, The Ice Storm More
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  32. 32
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    What Planet Are You From?, Primary Colors, Postcards from the Edge More
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    Promised Land, 8, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues More
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  34. 34
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    The Crazies, O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose, Season of the Witch More
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    HIStory on Film, Volume II, The Kentucky Fried Movie, Coming to America ... More
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    Jade, Bug, Good Times More
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    Semafor: Greatest Hits 2, Loves of a Blonde, The Firemen's Ball More
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    Before Midnight, tape, Live from Shiva's Dance Floor More
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    The Bling Ring, The Virgin Suicides, Lick the Star More
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    From the Drain, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch More
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    added by: PeteBoyle
  41. 41
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    Broken Flowers, Stranger Than Paradise, Storytelling Giant More
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    Goners, The Avengers, Serenity More
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    Swept Away, Suspect, Revolver More
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    For Your Consideration, The Thick Of It, The Big Picture More
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    United 93, Resurrected, Bloody Sunday More
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  46. 46
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    The Winslow Boy, Lost Masterpieces of Pornography, Things Change More
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    Three Kings, Nailed, American Hustle More
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    Wholphin: Issue 10, The Truth About Charlie, New Order: Substance More
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    The Way Back, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society More
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  50. 50
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    In God We Trust, Juno, Up in the Air More
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