Oscars 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 54
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City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator

2
72 17
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Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore

3
159 80
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
122 51
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dca1983 added The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West

5
114 63
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Carrie, Scarface, Dressed to Kill

6
104 54
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Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys

7
54 13
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Abdallah Nabawy added The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

8
82 41
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Trioxin245 added Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

9
114 67
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The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me

10
75 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
62 45
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The Fly, The Dead Zone, Eastern Promises

12
65 37
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Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

13
62 35
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Trioxin245 added The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

14
80 42
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Trioxin245 added Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone

15
46 30
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Trioxin245 added Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

16
110 94
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Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town

17
22 10
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Alex Farias added The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, Funny Games

18
47 35
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The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, Straw Dogs

19
20 11
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iandmph added Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

20
26 6
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Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs

21
40 29
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Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Show Boat

22
41 43
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Trioxin245 added The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men: First Class

23
72 59
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12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame

24
46 49
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Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai

25
51 38
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Up, Monsters, Inc.

26
21 23
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levalex88 added Battle Royale, Fireworks, Outrage

27
34 23
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Trioxin245 added Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, Conan the Barbarian

28
28 34
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Shadows, Love Streams, Gloria

29
8 13
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iandmph added Martyrs, Heartbeats, I Killed My Mother

30
35 34
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Trioxin245 added RoboCop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers

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

32
36 38
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Trioxin245 added Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

33
21 29
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Three... Extremes, Oldboy, I'm a Cyborg

34
29 31
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Amélie, Delicatessen, Very Long Engagement

35
54 63
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Do the Right Thing, Hoop Dreams, 4 Little Girls

36
24 26
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Trioxin245 added A Man Escaped, Au Hasard Balthazar, The Devil Probably

37
24 36
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The Rookie, Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side

38
16 14
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Mollevangsvagen added Hitler: A Film from Germany, Parsifal, The Ister

39
23 27
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Trioxin245 added Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp

40
14 26
Yorgos Lanthimos is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Dogtooth, Alps

41
31 39
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Trioxin245 added Spider-Man 2, The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon's Animal House

42
14 20
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Trioxin245 added Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Floating Weeds

43
13 27
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Repo Man, Sid & Nancy

44
23 32
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Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, Hanna

45
3 3
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Dan Thompson added The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr, Ordet

46
16 33
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The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Great McGinty

47
0 0
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Ernest Gundel added Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

48
27 52
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Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, 300

49
9 13
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Alex Farias added El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre

50
16 28
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Passion Fish, The Secret of Roan Inish, Baby It's You