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

1
155 55
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City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator

2
79 22
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Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore

3
120 63
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Carrie, Scarface, Dressed to Kill

4
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

5
127 52
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dca1983 added The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West

6
63 16
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Abdallah Nabawy added The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

7
107 55
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Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys

8
87 43
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Trioxin245 added Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

9
118 69
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The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me

10
67 46
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The Fly, The Dead Zone, Eastern Promises

11
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

12
68 38
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Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

13
84 44
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Trioxin245 added Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone

14
63 37
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Trioxin245 added The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

15
48 31
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Trioxin245 added Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

16
116 98
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Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town

17
31 6
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Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs

18
49 36
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The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, Straw Dogs

19
23 13
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Alex Farias added The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, Funny Games

20
22 13
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iandmph added Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

21
41 30
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Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Show Boat

22
75 60
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12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame

23
45 48
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Trioxin245 added The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men: First Class

24
47 51
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Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai

25
7 0
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daryushshokofo added Seven Servants, Breathful, Asudem