Oscars The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars  

Ranker Film
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5k votes 499 voters 8.3k views 67 items

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

155 55
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City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator

79 22
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Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore

120 63
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Carrie, Scarface, Dressed to Kill

164 85
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

127 52
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dca1983 added The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West

63 16
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Abdallah Nabawy added The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

107 55
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Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys

87 43
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Trioxin245 added Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

118 69
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The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me

67 46
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The Fly, The Dead Zone, Eastern Promises

78 41
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
The Three Ages, Seven Chances, Go West

68 38
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Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

84 44
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Trioxin245 added Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone

63 37
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Trioxin245 added The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

48 31
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Trioxin245 added Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

116 98
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Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town

31 6
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Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs

49 36
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The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, Straw Dogs

23 13
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Alex Farias added The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, Funny Games

22 13
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iandmph added Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

41 30
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Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Show Boat

75 60
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12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame

45 48
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Trioxin245 added The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men: First Class

47 51
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Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai

7 0
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daryushshokofo added Seven Servants, Breathful, Asudem