The Greatest Living Directors People In Film
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The Greatest Living Directors

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
    Up 434
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    the people's #1 & most listed Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Departed

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  2. 2
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    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Schindler's List

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  3. 3
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    Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino

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  4. 4
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    Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski

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  5. 5
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    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now

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  6. 6
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    Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds

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  7. 7
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    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight

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  8. 8
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    Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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  9. 9
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    Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator

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  10. 10
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    The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia

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  11. 11
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    Mullholland Drive, Elephant Man, Blue Velvet

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  12. 12
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    Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris, To Rome

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  13. 13
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    Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind

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  14. 14
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    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the ...

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  15. 15
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    Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Avatar Avatar 2

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  16. 16
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    Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns

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  17. 17
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    Blazing Saddles, Blazing Saddles, Blazing Saddles

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  18. 18
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    Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Eleven, Erin Brockovich

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  19. 19
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    Scarface, Carrie, Carrie

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  20. 20
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    Chinatown, Chinatown, Chinatown

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  21. 21
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    Rushmore, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums

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  22. 22
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    The Thing, The Thing, The Thing

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  23. 23
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    Platoon, Platoon, Platoon

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  24. 24
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    Heat, Heat, Heat

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  25. 25
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    Star Trek, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness

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  26. 26
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    Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Back to the Future

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  27. 27
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    The Princess Bride, The Princess Bride, Stand by Me

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  28. 28
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    The Thin Red Line, The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life

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  29. 29
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars

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  30. 30
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    Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger, ...

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  31. 31
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    Spider-Man, Spider-Man 3, Spider-Man 3

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  32. 32
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    The Blues Brothers, The Blues Brothers, The Blues Brothers

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  33. 33
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    The Exorcist, The French Connection, To Live and Die in L.A.

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  34. 34
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    The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Night of the Living ...

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  35. 35
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    Good Will Hunting, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Milk

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  36. 36
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Dazed and Confused, Dazed and Confused, Dazed and Confused

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  37. 37
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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt

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  38. 38
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    ranked low on reranks Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire

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  39. 39
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    Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show, Master and Commander: The Far Side of ...

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  40. 40
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    The Graduate, Charlie Wilson's War, The Birdcage

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  41. 41
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    added by PeteBoyle The Fly, The Fly, The Fly

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  42. 42
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    The Avengers, The Avengers, The Avengers

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  43. 43
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    Jurassic Park III, Election, Election

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  44. 44
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    Adaptation, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook

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  45. 45
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Sling Blade, Dead Man, Dead Man

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  46. 46
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    The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, This Is Spinal Tap

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  47. 47
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    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom ...

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  48. 48
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    added by laaaarrge The Shawshank Redemption, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile

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  49. 49
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    ranked low on reranks Black Swan, Noah, The Wrestler

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  50. 50
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks The Untouchables, Hannibal, Glengarry Glen Ross

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