oscars The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars  

Ranker Film
Originally by
4.3k votes 390 voters 6.4k views 66 items Embed

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
129 49
Ranker Video
Charlie Chaplin City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator

22 Child Actors Who Were Nominated for Oscars How to Be a Good Parent

2
138 66
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Tim Burton Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

3
56 12
Ranker Video
Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore

4
103 48
Ranker Video
dca1983 added Sergio Leone The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West

5
102 56
Ranker Video
Brian De Palma Carrie, Scarface, Dressed to Kill

6
102 57
Ranker Video
Rob Reiner The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand by Me

7
98 47
Ranker Video
Terry Gilliam Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys

8
91 59
Ranker Video
Guillermo del Toro Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, Cronos

9
69 34
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added John Carpenter Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

10
69 37
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Buster Keaton The Three Ages, Seven Chances, Go West

11
103 80
Ranker Video
Ben Affleck Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town

12
73 38
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added John Hughes Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone

13
57 37
Ranker Video
Fritz Lang Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

14
41 30
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added Andrei Tarkovsky Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

15
52 41
Ranker Video
David Cronenberg The Fly, The Dead Zone, Eastern Promises

Every Time Film Costars Were Both Nominated For Leading Role Oscars These Disney Princess Were Absolutely Terrible Role Models

16
32 6
Ranker Video
Abdallah Nabawy added Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

17
19 10
Ranker Video
Alex Farias added Michael Haneke The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, Funny Games

18
43 35
Ranker Video
Sam Peckinpah The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, Straw Dogs

19
55 31
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added George A. Romero The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

20
21 5
Ranker Video
Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs

21
69 54
Ranker Video
Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame

22
13 10
Ranker Video
iandmph added Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

23
34 28
Ranker Video
James Whale Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Show Boat

24
39 35
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added Bryan Singer The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men: First Class

25
43 46
Ranker Video
Edward Zwick Glory, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai

26
20 22
Ranker Video
levalex88 added Takeshi Kitano Battle Royale, Fireworks, Outrage

27
47 36
Ranker Video
Pete Docter Up, Monsters, Inc.

28
32 22
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added John Milius Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, Conan the Barbarian

29
27 34
Ranker Video
John Cassavetes Shadows, Love Streams, Gloria

The Best Ralph Waldo Emerson Books The Worst Foods to Eat on a Date

30
33 29
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added Paul Verhoeven RoboCop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers

31
6 11
Ranker Video
iandmph added Xavier Dolan Martyrs, Heartbeats, I Killed My Mother

32
31 34
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added Sam Raimi Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

33
23 34
Ranker Video
John Lee Hancock The Rookie, Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side

34
30 34
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added John Landis Spider-Man 2, The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon's Animal House

35
22 26
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added Robert Bresson A Man Escaped, Au Hasard Balthazar, The Devil Probably

36
49 61
Ranker Video
Spike Lee Do the Right Thing, Hoop Dreams, 4 Little Girls

37
25 30
Ranker Video
Jean-Pierre Jeunet Amélie, Delicatessen, Very Long Engagement

38
15 14
Ranker Video
Mollevangsvagen added Hans-Jürgen Syberberg Hitler: A Film from Germany, Parsifal, The Ister

39
26 32
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added Sergei Eisenstein Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky, October: Ten Days That Shook the World

40
13 26
Ranker Video
Alex Cox Repo Man, Sid & Nancy

41
11 25
Yorgos Lanthimos is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Yorgos Lanthimos Dogtooth, Alps

42
19 26
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added Clyde Geronimi Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp

43
5 9
Ranker Video
Don Siegel Dirty Harry, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Play Misty for Me

The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s The Best Actors Working Today

44
20 30
Ranker Video
Joe Wright Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, Hanna

45
14 31
Ranker Video
Preston Sturges The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Great McGinty

46
12 20
Ranker Video
Trioxin245 added Yasujirō Ozu Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Floating Weeds

47
3 8
Pablo Larraín is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars
Tenya added Pablo Larraín No, Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus, 4:44 Last Day on Earth

48
22 35
Ranker Video
John Woo A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Bullet in the Head

49
23 48
Ranker Video
Zack Snyder Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, 300

50
1 3
Ranker Video
Dan Thompson added Carl Theodor Dreyer The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr, Ordet