Entertainment

The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife  

Ranker Film
0 votes 23 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite movies where the director and actress were married at the time of filming.

It's time to vote for the best movies starring the director's wife. Director and actress couples are nothing new in motion pictures. Charlie Chaplin directed wife Paulette Goddard in The Great Dictator all the way back in 1940. They also made 1936's Modern Times together shortly before secretly tying the knot. More recently, Paul W.S. Anderson directed his wife Milla Jovovich in the 2016 sequel Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Plenty of other examples have existed in between.

Presumably, directing one's spouse can have its pros and cons. The big downside would be that any creative differences on set might spill over into life at home. On the plus side, when the director and star are married, there is a strong sense of trust that can benefit the film as a whole. The director knows what his lead actress is capable of, and she knows that he'll make sure all the conditions are right for her to deliver the sort of performance she's ready to give. 

Several of the most notable names in cinema have directed their wives, including Orson Welles, Brian De Palma, Judd Apatow, and Jean-Luc Goddard. When it works, audiences get to witness pure magic.

Vote up the best examples of movies where the director directs their wife from the list below, regardless of which genre they were working in. 

1
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Joel Coen
  • Actress wife: Frances McDormand

Married: 1984 - Present

Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more
2
A Woman Under the Influence is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: John Cassavetes
  • Actress wife: Gena Rowlands

Married: 1954 - 1989

A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 American drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes. It focuses on a woman whose unusual behavior leads her husband to commit her for psychiatric ...more
3
The Lady from Shanghai is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Orson Welles
  • Actress wife: Rita Hayworth

Married: 1943 - 1947

The Lady from Shanghai is a 1947 film noir directed by Orson Welles and starring Welles, his estranged wife Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane. It is based on the novel If I Die Before I Wake by ...more
4
Dressed to Kill is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Brian DePalma
  • Actress wife: Nancy Allen

Married: 1979 - 1983

This film is a 1980 American thriller film written and directed by Brian De Palma and starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen and Keith Gordon. It centers on an event involving a ...more
5
The Artist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Michel Hazanavicius
  • Actress wife: Berenice Bejo

Married: N/A - Present

The Artist is a 2011 French romantic comedy-drama in the style of a black-and-white silent film. It was written, directed, and co-edited by Michel Hazanavicius, produced by Thomas Langmann and ...more
6
This Is 40 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Judd Apatow
  • Actress wife: Leslie Mann

Married: 1997 - Present

This Is 40 is a 2012 American spin-off comedy film written, co-produced and directed by Judd Apatow. It is a stand-alone sequel to the 2007 film Knocked Up and stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. ...more
7
Dead Again is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Kenneth Branagh
  • Actress wife: Emma Thompson

Married: 1989 - 1995

This film is a 1991 psychological thriller/neo-noir written by Scott Frank and directed by Kenneth Branagh. It stars Branagh and his then-wife Emma Thompson, and co-stars Andy García, ...more
8
Bitter Moon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Roman Polanski
  • Actress wife: Emmanuelle Seigner

Married: 1989 - Present

Bitter Moon is a 1992 Franco-British-American romantic thriller film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner and Peter Coyote. The film is ...more
9
Oliver Twist is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: David Lean
  • Actress wife: Kay Walsh

Married: 1940 - 1949

Oliver Twist is the second of David Lean's two film adaptations of Charles Dickens novels. Following the success of his 1946 version of Great Expectations, Lean re-assembled much of the same ...more
10
Juliet of the Spirits is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Federico Fellini
  • Actress wife: Giulietta Masina

Married: 1943 - 1993

Juliet of the Spirits is a 1965 Italian-French fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini and starring Giulietta Masina, Sandra Milo, Mario Pisu, Valentina Cortese, and Valeska Gert. ...more
11
Pierrot le Fou is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Actress wife: Anna Karina

Married: 1961 - 1967

Pierrot le Fou is a 1965 French film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, starring Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo. The film is based on the 1962 novel, Obsession, by Lionel White. It was Jean-Luc ...more
12
Revolutionary Road is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Sam Mendes
  • Actress wife: Kate Winslet

Married: 2003 - 2011

Revolutionary Road is a 2008 American-British drama film, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Richard Yates, directed by Sam Mendes. This is the second collaboration between Leonardo ...more
13
Resident Evil: The Final Chapt... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
  • Actress wife: Milla Jovovich

Married: 2009 - Present

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a 2016 3D science fiction action horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. It is the sequel to Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) and the sixth ...more
14
The Great Dictator is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Charlie Chaplin
  • Actress wife: Paulette Goddard

Married: 1936 - 1942

The Great Dictator is a 1940 American satirical political comedy-drama film starring, written, produced, scored, and directed by Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other ...more
15
Zoolander is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Ben Stiller
  • Actress wife: Christine Taylor

Married: 2000- 2017

Zoolander is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Ben Stiller and, starring Stiller and Owen Wilson. The film contains elements from a pair of short films directed by Russell Bates and ...more
16
The Pirate is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Vincente Minnelli
  • Actress wife: Judy Garland

Married: 1945 - 1951

The Pirate is a 1948 American Technicolor musical feature film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. With songs by Cole Porter, it stars Judy Garland and Gene Kelly with co-stars Walter Slezak, Gladys ...more
17
Love Ranch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Taylor Hackford
  • Actress wife: Helen Mirren

Married: 1997 - Present

Love Ranch is a 2010 American drama film directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Helen Mirren, Joe Pesci, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Gina Gershon and Bryan Cranston. It was written by Mark ...more
18
Barbarella is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Roger Vadim
  • Actress wife: Jane Fonda

Married: 1965 - 1973

Barbarella is a 1968 French-Italian science fiction film based on Jean-Claude Forest's French Barbarella comics. The film stars Jane Fonda in the title role and was directed by Roger Vadim, who ...more
19
Underworld: Evolution is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Len Wiseman
  • Actress wife: Kate Beckinsale

Married: 2004 - 2016

Underworld: Evolution is an American action-vampire film directed by Len Wiseman. It is the second installment in the Underworld series, following Underworld. The events of the film begin during ...more
20
John Carpenter's The Fog is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: John Carpenter
  • Actress wife: Adrienne Barbeau

Married: 1979 - 1984

The Fog is a 1980 American horror film directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay and composed the music for the film. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, ...more
21
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Kevin Smith
  • Actress wife: Jennifer Schwalbach Smith

Married: 1999 - Present

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a 2001 American comedy film directed, written by, and starring Kevin Smith as Silent Bob, the fifth to be set in his View Askewniverse, a growing collection of ...more
22
The Devil's Rejects is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife

Married: 2002 - Present

The Devil's Rejects is a 2005 American horror film written and directed by Rob Zombie, and the sequel to his 2003 film House of 1000 Corpses. The film is centered on the run of three members of ...more
23
The Ratings Game is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife
  • Director: Danny DeVito
  • Actress wife: Rhea Perlman

Married: 1982 - Present

The Ratings Game, is a 1984 cable television film directed by Danny DeVito and produced by David Jablin.