The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever People In Film
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The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever

In the movie business there are great actors and great directors; when two of these tremendously talented people come together to make a film, the result is often a classic. When a great actor/director team continues to pair up and make films, the result is a legend. To add to this list, click Info View.

From Scorcese & De Niro to Burton & Depp, there's no denying that certain actor/director teams have a unsaid spark between them (the director able to coax the best performance from the actor and he in turn being able to translate a director's vision into that stellar performance). Point is: there are some truly great director/actor combos out there.

Let's get something straight: this is not a list of all the best directors of all time or the best actors and actresses ever, this is a list of the all-time best actor/director collaborations. These are movie directors who work with the same actors over and over again because of the tremendous results they get. Now bear in mind, there are times when even the top actor/director duos slip up and make a less-than-epic film (*cough*The Terminal*cough*), but on the whole, these creative teams are behind many of the best movies of all time.

If your favorite director/actor team didn't make the list, feel free to add them and let others vote on their effectiveness at delivering great performances together. And before you ask, yes, Steven Spielberg/Harrison Ford and all the other actors/directors who are linked by sequels were intentional omissions. That's not a choice to work together, it's a contract. Now go forth and make your choices for the top actor and director collaborators.

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  1. 1
    + 153
    - 29

    most listed
    Martin Scorsese / Robert De Niro Cape Fear, Casino, GoodFellas, Mean Streets, New York, New York, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 85
    - 21


    Alfred Hitchcock / James Stewart Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rope, and Rear Window

  3. 3
    + 110
    - 31


    Steven Spielberg / Tom Hanks Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Band of Brothers, The Terminal

  4. 4
    + 112
    - 29


    Clint Eastwood / Clint Eastwood Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Bridges of Madison County

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 90
    - 15


    Alfred Hitchcock / Cary Grant North by Northwest, Notorious, Suspicion, and To Catch a Thief

  6. 6
    + 127
    - 52


    Martin Scorsese / Leonardo DiCaprio The Departed, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island

  7. 7
    + 82
    - 17


    John Ford / John Wayne The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Searchers, Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, How the West Was Won, Stagecoach, Fort Apache

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 67
    - 14


    John Huston / Humphrey Bogart Across the Pacific, Beat the Devil, Key Largo, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 66
    - 18


    Alfred Hitchcock / Grace Kelly Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief

  10. 10
    + 66
    - 24


    Ron Howard / Tom Hanks Apollo 13, Splash, The 'Burbs, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons

  11. 11
    + 76
    - 38


    Mel Brooks / Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein, The Producers, and Blazing Saddles

  12. 12
    + 80
    - 50


    Quentin Tarantino / Samuel L. Jackson Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 2

  13. 13
    + 69
    - 37


    The Coen Brothers / John Goodman Barton Fink, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, and The Hudsucker Proxy

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 56
    - 19


    The Coen Brothers / Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona, The Man Who Wasn't There, Barton Fink, Blood Simple.

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 46
    - 20


    John Carpenter / Kurt Russell The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From New York, Escape From L.A

  16. 16
    + 80
    - 52


    Tim Burton / Johnny Depp Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice in Wonderland

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 66
    - 32


    Francis Ford Coppola / Robert Duvall The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Godfathe: Part II

  18. 18
    + 71
    - 36


    Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, The Prestige

  19. 19
    + 55
    - 41


    Christopher Nolan / Michael Caine Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, The Prestige

  20. 20
    + 66
    - 43


    Quentin Tarantino / Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Vol 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2

  21. 21
    + 53
    - 43


    Wes Anderson / Bill Murray Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 57
    - 36


    Akira Kurosawa / Toshiro Mifune Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood, High and Low, The Hidden Fortress

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 44
    - 39


    The Coen Brothers / John Turturro The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink

  24. 24
    + 56
    - 37


    Woody Allen / Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Manhattan, Sleeper, Love and Death, Manhattan Murder Mystery

  25. 25
    + 38
    - 25


    Elia Kazan / Marlon Brando A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, Viva Zapata!

  26. 26
    + 52
    - 38


    David Fincher / Brad Pitt Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  27. 27
    + 44
    - 40


    Steven Spielberg / Richard Dreyfuss Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Always

  28. 28
    + 37
    - 36


    Paul Thomas Anderson / Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love

  29. 29
    + 37
    - 37


    John Hughes / Molly Ringwald The Breakfast club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink

  30. 30
    + 31
    - 33


    Sam Raimi / Bruce Campbell Evil Dead, Oz the Great and Powerful, The Evil Dead, Spider-Man, Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 29
    - 21


    John Ford / Henry Fonda The Grapes of Wrath, How the West Was Won, Fort Apache, My Darling Clementine, Young Mr. Lincoln

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 49
    - 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Billy Wilder / Jack Lemmon Avanti, The Front Page, The Apartment, Buddy Buddy, Irma la Douce, Some Like it Hot, and The Fortune Cookie

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 37
    - 33


    Tim Burton / Helena Bonham Carter Big Fish, Sweeney Todd: The demon Barber of Fleet Street, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, Corpse Bride

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 27
    - 20


    Elia Kazan / Karl Malden A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, Boomerang!, Baby Doll

  35. 35
    + 45
    - 38


    Quentin Tarantino / Christoph Waltz Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds

  36. 36
    + 41
    - 37


    The Coen Brothers / Jeff Bridges The Big Lebowski, True Grit

  37. 37
    + 35
    - 9

    ranked low on reranks
    Sergio Leone / Clint Eastwood A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  38. 38
    + 23
    - 28

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Cameron / Bill Paxton Titanic, The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies

  39. 39
    + 32
    - 31


    Wes Anderson / Owen Wilson Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, Bottle Rocket

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 14
    - 3


    Sergio Leone / Clint Eastwood

  41. 41
    + 14
    - 3


    Steven Spielberg / George Lucas / Harrison Ford

  42. 42
    + 26
    - 28

    often listed
    Tony Scott / Denzel Washington Man on Fire, Deja Vu, Crimson Tide, Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

  43. 43
    + 24
    - 31

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Judd Apatow / Seth Rogen Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Funny People

  44. 44
    + 17
    - 24

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Judd Apatow / Paul Rudd Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, This is 40

  45. 45
    + 38
    - 19

    ranked low on reranks
    Ingmar Bergman / Max Von Sydow The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 39
    - 23

    ranked low on reranks
    Woody Allen / Woody Allen Bananas, Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan, Take the Money and Run

  47. 47
    + 29
    - 16


    Federico Fellini / Marcello Mastroianni La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Ginger and Fred, Fellini's Roma, We All Loved Each Other So Much

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 34
    - 21


    Ridley Scott / Russell Crowe Gladiator, American Gangster, Body of Lies, A Good Year, Robin Hood

  49. 49
    + 14
    - 8


    David Zucker / Leslie Nielsen Airplane!, Naked Gun, The Naked Gun 2 1/2, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, An American Carol

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 25
    - 19


    George Cukor / Katherine Hepburn A Bill of Divorcement, Little Women, Sylvia Scarlett, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, Keeper of the Flame, Adam’s Rib, and Pat and Mike

    ) open
65 +

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