film directors The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever  

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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.
list ordered by

1
457 85
Steven Spielberg / Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Steven Spielberg / Tom Hanks Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Band of Brothers, The Terminal

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2
350 91
Ron Howard / Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Ron Howard / Tom Hanks Apollo 13, Splash, The 'Burbs, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons

3
352 213
Martin Scorsese / Robert De Ni... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Martin Scorsese / Robert De Niro Cape Fear, Casino, GoodFellas, Mean Streets, New York, New York, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy

4
206 85
Alfred Hitchcock / James Stewa... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Alfred Hitchcock / James Stewart Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rope, and Rear Window

5
229 126
Clint Eastwood / Clint Eastwoo... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Clint Eastwood / Clint Eastwood Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Bridges of Madison County

6
138 78
Mel Brooks / Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Mel Brooks / Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein, The Producers, and Blazing Saddles

7
216 145
Quentin Tarantino / Samuel L. ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Quentin Tarantino / Samuel L. Jackson Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 2

8
166 81
Alfred Hitchcock / Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Alfred Hitchcock / Cary Grant North by Northwest, Notorious, Suspicion, and To Catch a Thief

9
269 227
Martin Scorsese / Leonardo DiC... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Martin Scorsese / Leonardo DiCaprio The Departed, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island

10
144 58
Sergio Leone / Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Sergio Leone / Clint Eastwood A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

11
116 56
Steven Spielberg / George Luca... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Steven Spielberg / George Lucas / Harrison Ford

12
148 60
Francis Ford Coppola / Robert ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Francis Ford Coppola / Robert Duvall The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Godfathe: Part II

13
117 69
Wes Anderson / Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Wes Anderson / Bill Murray Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox

14
147 80
The Coen Brothers / John Goodm... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
The Coen Brothers / John Goodman Barton Fink, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, and The Hudsucker Proxy

15
136 91
Quentin Tarantino / Uma Thurma... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Quentin Tarantino / Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Vol 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2

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16
184 171
Tim Burton / Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
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

17
113 47
Billy Wilder / Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Billy Wilder / Jack Lemmon Avanti, The Front Page, The Apartment, Buddy Buddy, Irma la Douce, Some Like it Hot, and The Fortune Cookie

18
117 60
Alfred Hitchcock / Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Alfred Hitchcock / Grace Kelly Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief

19
113 51
John Huston / Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
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

20
97 49
The Coen Brothers / Frances Mc... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
The Coen Brothers / Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona, The Man Who Wasn't There, Barton Fink, Blood Simple.

21
156 80
Christopher Nolan / Christian ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, The Prestige

22
148 113
John Ford / John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
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

23
102 46
John Ford / Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
John Ford / Henry Fonda The Grapes of Wrath, How the West Was Won, Fort Apache, My Darling Clementine, Young Mr. Lincoln

24
117 54
Akira Kurosawa / Toshiro Mifun... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Akira Kurosawa / Toshiro Mifune Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood, High and Low, The Hidden Fortress

25
94 50
John Carpenter / Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
John Carpenter / Kurt Russell The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From New York, Escape From L.A

26
108 66
Christopher Nolan / Michael Ca... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Christopher Nolan / Michael Caine Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, The Prestige

27
56 14
Martin Scorsese is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
juanma added Martin Scorsese / Joe Pesci age 75

28
94 56
Tim Burton / Helena Bonham Car... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
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

29
76 54
Paul Thomas Anderson / Philip ... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Paul Thomas Anderson / Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love

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30
66 56
Sam Raimi / Bruce Campbell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Sam Raimi / Bruce Campbell Evil Dead, Oz the Great and Powerful, The Evil Dead, Spider-Man, Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness

31
69 45
Elia Kazan / Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Elia Kazan / Marlon Brando A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, Viva Zapata!

32
92 66
Woody Allen / Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Woody Allen / Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Radio Days, Love and Death, Sleeper, Interiors

33
81 60
The Coen Brothers / John Turtu... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
The Coen Brothers / John Turturro The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink

34
41 13
Brian De Palma / Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
mainpleine added Brian De Palma / Al Pacino Carlito's Way, Scarface

35
73 62
Steven Spielberg / Richard Dre... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Steven Spielberg / Richard Dreyfuss Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Always

36
101 81
David Fincher / Brad Pitt is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
David Fincher / Brad Pitt Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

37
79 41
Ingmar Bergman / Max Von Sydow is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Ingmar Bergman / Max Von Sydow The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light

38
75 57
The Coen Brothers / Jeff Bridg... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
The Coen Brothers / Jeff Bridges The Big Lebowski, True Grit

39
66 61
John Hughes / Molly Ringwald is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
John Hughes / Molly Ringwald The Breakfast club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink

40
60 38
Federico Fellini / Marcello Ma... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Federico Fellini / Marcello Mastroianni La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Ginger and Fred, Fellini's Roma, We All Loved Each Other So Much

41
110 81
Quentin Tarantino / Christoph ... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Quentin Tarantino / Christoph Waltz Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds

42
29 18
Brian De Palma / Robert De Nir... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
mainpleine added Brian De Palma / Robert De Niro The Untouchables, Greetings, The Wedding Party, Hi Mom

43
29 18
Liv Ullmann is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
bsanguin added Ingmar Bergman / Liv Ullmann age 79 - Persona, Autumn Sonata, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, Hour of the Wolf

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44
65 48
Ridley Scott / Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Ridley Scott / Russell Crowe Gladiator, American Gangster, Body of Lies, A Good Year, Robin Hood

45
45 49
James Cameron / Bill Paxton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
James Cameron / Bill Paxton Titanic, The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies

46
47 35
George Cukor / Katherine Hepbu... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
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

47
29 26
John McTiernan / Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
RonBuck added John McTiernan / Bruce Willis Die Hard, The Last Boy Scout, Die Hard: With Avengence

48
35 22
Blake Edwards / Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
ADrago added Blake Edwards / Peter Sellers The Pink Panther Series, The Party

49
18 9
Akira Kurosawa / Takashi Shimu... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
ElijahKaganer added Akira Kurosawa / Takashi Shimura

50
12 3
The Coen Brothers/Steve Buscem... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Tom Islava added The Coen Brothers/Steve Buscemi Miller's Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and Paris, je t'aime'