underrated The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars  

Ranker Film
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List Rules Only film directors who have never had an Academy Award nomination FOR DIRECTING.

The life of a movie director can be quite exciting, extremely stressful, and completely unrewarding at times. Since the first Oscars were awarded at a small, private ceremony in 1929, directors in the Western world and beyond have sought validation through those heavy, gold statuettes. However, because only a handful of directors are nominated each year, some of history’s greatest film directors have never been properly acknowledged for their efforts, even though they made movies that we all know and love and deserved to be Academy Award winning movies.

What great directors have never been nominated for a Best Director Oscar? When we think about our favorite movies, we focus on the actors, the set, and the stories. Rarely do we think about people behind the scenes. This list includes some of the best directors of all time, from new favorites like Wes Anderson and Ben Affleck to long-gone classic auteurs like Charlie Chaplin and Fritz Lang - none of whom were ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. Though a few of the people on this list won Oscars in other categories - such as Best Screenplay or even Best Picture - they have never received an "Oscar nod" for Best Directing.

Vote up these most underrated directors who were snubbed by the Academy and who deserve recognition for their work by this distinguished award.
list ordered by

1
135 51
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Charlie Chaplin City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator

2
146 68
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Tim Burton Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

3
63 14
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Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore

4
105 58
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Brian De Palma Carrie, Scarface, Dressed to Kill

5
101 48
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Terry Gilliam Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys

6
105 50
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dca1983 added Sergio Leone The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West

7
75 35
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Trioxin245 added John Carpenter Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

8
107 59
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Rob Reiner The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me

9
96 59
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Guillermo del Toro Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, Cronos

10
42 7
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Abdallah Nabawy added Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

11
72 38
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Buster Keaton The Three Ages, Seven Chances, Go West

12
55 42
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David Cronenberg The Fly, The Dead Zone, Eastern Promises

13
105 84
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Ben Affleck Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town

14
77 39
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Trioxin245 added John Hughes Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone

22 Child Actors Who Were Nominated for Oscars

15
55 31
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Trioxin245 added George A. Romero The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

16
58 37
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Fritz Lang Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

17
42 30
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Trioxin245 added Andrei Tarkovsky Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

18
19 10
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Alex Farias added Michael Haneke The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, Funny Games

19
43 35
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Sam Peckinpah The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, Straw Dogs

20
22 5
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Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs

21
39 37
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Trioxin245 added Bryan Singer The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men: First Class

The Best Candy Ever Made

22
15 11
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iandmph added Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

23
35 28
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James Whale Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Show Boat

24
69 55
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Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame

25
43 46
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Edward Zwick Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai

26
47 36
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Pete Docter Up, Monsters, Inc.

27
20 22
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levalex88 added Takeshi Kitano Battle Royale, Fireworks, Outrage

28
32 22
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Trioxin245 added John Milius Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, Conan the Barbarian

Every Time Film Costars Were Both Nominated For Leading Role Oscars

29
27 34
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John Cassavetes Shadows, Love Streams, Gloria

30
33 29
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Trioxin245 added Paul Verhoeven RoboCop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers

31
7 11
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iandmph added Xavier Dolan Martyrs, Heartbeats, I Killed My Mother

32
31 34
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Trioxin245 added Sam Raimi Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

33
30 34
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Trioxin245 added John Landis Spider-Man 2, The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon's Animal House

34
23 34
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John Lee Hancock The Rookie, Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side

35
23 26
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Trioxin245 added Robert Bresson A Man Escaped, Au Hasard Balthazar, The Devil Probably

16 Movie "In Jokes" You Probably Didn't Notice

36
27 32
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Trioxin245 added Sergei Eisenstein Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky, October: Ten Days That Shook the World

37
50 62
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Spike Lee Do the Right Thing, Hoop Dreams, 4 Little Girls

38
25 30
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Jean-Pierre Jeunet Amélie, Delicatessen, Very Long Engagement

39
15 14
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Mollevangsvagen added Hans-Jürgen Syberberg Hitler: A Film from Germany, Parsifal, The Ister

40
17 29
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Park Chan-wook Three... Extremes, Oldboy, I'm a Cyborg

41
21 26
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Trioxin245 added Clyde Geronimi Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp

42
11 25
Yorgos Lanthimos is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Yorgos Lanthimos Dogtooth, Alps

The Best Super Bowl Foods

43
13 26
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Alex Cox Repo Man, Sid & Nancy

44
22 30
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Joe Wright Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, Hanna

45
5 9
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Don Siegel Dirty Harry, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Play Misty for Me

46
15 31
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Preston Sturges The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Great McGinty

47
13 20
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Trioxin245 added Yasujirō Ozu Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Floating Weeds

48
16 26
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John Sayles Passion Fish, The Secret of Roan Inish, Baby It's You

49
3 8
Pablo Larraín is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Tenya added Pablo Larraín No, Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus, 4:44 Last Day on Earth

50
22 35
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John Woo A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Bullet in the Head