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
149 53
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City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator

2
71 16
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Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore

3
157 79
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

4
114 62
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Carrie, Scarface, Dressed to Kill

5
119 51
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dca1983 added The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West

6
104 52
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Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys

7
52 12
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Abdallah Nabawy added The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

8
80 40
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Trioxin245 added Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

9
113 66
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The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me

10
74 40
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
The Three Ages, Seven Chances, Go West

11
61 44
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The Fly, The Dead Zone, Eastern Promises

12
61 34
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Trioxin245 added The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

13
64 37
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Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

14
79 42
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Trioxin245 added Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone

15
110 93
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Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town

16
45 30
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Trioxin245 added Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

17
46 35
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The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, Straw Dogs

18
20 10
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Alex Farias added The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, Funny Games

19
18 11
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iandmph added Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

20
25 6
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Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs

21
39 29
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Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Show Boat

22
40 42
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Trioxin245 added The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men: First Class

23
72 58
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12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame

24
51 37
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Up, Monsters, Inc.

25
45 49
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Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai

26
21 22
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levalex88 added Battle Royale, Fireworks, Outrage

27
33 23
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Trioxin245 added Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, Conan the Barbarian

28
27 34
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Shadows, Love Streams, Gloria

29
8 12
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iandmph added Martyrs, Heartbeats, I Killed My Mother

30
34 34
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Trioxin245 added RoboCop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers

31
30 32
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Trioxin245 added Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky, October: Ten Days That Shook the World

32
20 29
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Three... Extremes, Oldboy, I'm a Cyborg

33
28 30
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Amélie, Delicatessen, Very Long Engagement

34
34 38
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Trioxin245 added Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

35
24 26
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Trioxin245 added A Man Escaped, Au Hasard Balthazar, The Devil Probably

36
24 36
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The Rookie, Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side

37
52 63
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Do the Right Thing, Hoop Dreams, 4 Little Girls

38
15 14
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Mollevangsvagen added Hitler: A Film from Germany, Parsifal, The Ister

39
31 38
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Trioxin245 added Spider-Man 2, The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon's Animal House

40
22 27
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Trioxin245 added Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp

41
13 26
Yorgos Lanthimos is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Dogtooth, Alps

42
13 26
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Repo Man, Sid & Nancy

43
23 31
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Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, Hanna

44
14 20
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Trioxin245 added Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Floating Weeds

45
16 33
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The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Great McGinty

46
27 51
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Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, 300

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

48
16 27
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Passion Fish, The Secret of Roan Inish, Baby It's You

49
22 36
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A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Bullet in the Head

50
8 13
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Alex Farias added El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre