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.

147 53
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Charlie Chaplin City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator

69 15
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Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore

155 78
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

111 62
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Brian De Palma Carrie, Scarface, Dressed to Kill

104 50
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Terry Gilliam Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys

115 51
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dca1983 added Sergio Leone The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West

101 61
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Guillermo del Toro Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, Cronos

112 64
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Rob Reiner The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me

50 12
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Abdallah Nabawy added Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

77 40
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Trioxin245 added John Carpenter Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

73 40
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

60 44
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David Cronenberg The Fly, The Dead Zone, Eastern Promises

60 33
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Trioxin245 added George A. Romero The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

62 37
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Fritz Lang Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

78 42
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Trioxin245 added John Hughes Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone

109 92
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Ben Affleck Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town

44 30
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Trioxin245 added Andrei Tarkovsky Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

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

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

24 6
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Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs

17 11
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iandmph added Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

37 29
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James Whale Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Show Boat

71 57
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Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame

39 41
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Trioxin245 added Bryan Singer The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men: First Class

21 22
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levalex88 added Takeshi Kitano Battle Royale, Fireworks, Outrage

49 37
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Pete Docter Up, Monsters, Inc.

44 49
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Edward Zwick Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai

32 23
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Trioxin245 added John Milius Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, Conan the Barbarian

27 34
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John Cassavetes Shadows, Love Streams, Gloria

8 12
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iandmph added Xavier Dolan Martyrs, Heartbeats, I Killed My Mother

34 33
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Trioxin245 added Paul Verhoeven RoboCop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers

28 30
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Jean-Pierre Jeunet Amélie, Delicatessen, Very Long Engagement

29 32
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Trioxin245 added Sergei Eisenstein Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky, October: Ten Days That Shook the World

24 35
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John Lee Hancock The Rookie, Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side

19 29
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Park Chan-wook Three... Extremes, Oldboy, I'm a Cyborg

33 38
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Trioxin245 added Sam Raimi Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

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

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

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

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

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

12 26
Yorgos Lanthimos is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Yorgos Lanthimos Dogtooth, Alps

13 26
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Alex Cox Repo Man, Sid & Nancy

14 20
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Trioxin245 added Yasujirō Ozu Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Floating Weeds

22 31
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Joe Wright Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, Hanna

16 32
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Preston Sturges The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Great McGinty

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

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

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

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