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
143 52
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Charlie Chaplin City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator

2
66 15
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Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore

3
154 75
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Tim Burton Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

4
108 60
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Brian De Palma Carrie, Scarface, Dressed to Kill

5
103 48
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Terry Gilliam Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys

6
110 51
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dca1983 added Sergio Leone The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West

7
111 62
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Rob Reiner The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me

8
98 61
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Guillermo del Toro Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, Cronos

9
47 9
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Abdallah Nabawy added Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

10
77 38
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Trioxin245 added John Carpenter Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

11
73 39
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
60 42
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David Cronenberg The Fly, The Dead Zone, Eastern Promises

13
58 32
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Trioxin245 added George A. Romero The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

14
77 40
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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
108 90
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Ben Affleck Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town

16
60 37
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Fritz Lang Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

17
43 30
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Trioxin245 added Andrei Tarkovsky Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

18
45 35
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Sam Peckinpah The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, Straw Dogs

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

20
24 5
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Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs

21
16 11
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iandmph added Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

The Greatest Works of Hunter S. Thompson

22
37 28
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James Whale Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Show Boat

23
39 38
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Trioxin245 added Bryan Singer The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men: First Class

24
70 56
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Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame

25
44 48
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Edward Zwick Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai

26
48 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
34 31
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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
23 34
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John Lee Hancock The Rookie, Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side

33
28 32
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Trioxin245 added Sergei Eisenstein Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky, October: Ten Days That Shook the World

34
31 36
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Trioxin245 added Sam Raimi Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

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
26 30
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Jean-Pierre Jeunet Amélie, Delicatessen, Very Long Engagement

37
18 29
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Park Chan-wook Three... Extremes, Oldboy, I'm a Cyborg

38
30 36
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Trioxin245 added John Landis Spider-Man 2, The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon's Animal House

39
51 63
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Spike Lee Do the Right Thing, Hoop Dreams, 4 Little Girls

40
15 14
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Mollevangsvagen added Hans-Jürgen Syberberg Hitler: A Film from Germany, Parsifal, The Ister

41
22 26
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Trioxin245 added Clyde Geronimi Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp

42
13 26
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Alex Cox Repo Man, Sid & Nancy

The Best Seasons of Chuck

43
22 30
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Joe Wright Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, Hanna

44
16 31
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Preston Sturges The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Great McGinty

45
11 26
Yorgos Lanthimos is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Yorgos Lanthimos Dogtooth, Alps

46
13 20
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Trioxin245 added Yasujirō Ozu Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Floating Weeds

47
2 3
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Dan Thompson added Carl Theodor Dreyer The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr, Ordet

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

49
5 11
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Don Siegel Dirty Harry, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Play Misty for Me

50
3 8
Pablo Larraín is listed (or ranked) 50 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