actors The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever  

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In the movie business there are great actors and great directors; when two of these tremendously talented people come together to make a film, the result is often a classic. When a great actor/director team continues to pair up and make films, the result is a legend. To add to this list, click Info View.

From Scorcese & De Niro to Burton & Depp, there's no denying that certain actor/director teams have a unsaid spark between them (the director able to coax the best performance from the actor and he in turn being able to translate a director's vision into that stellar performance). Point is: there are some truly great director/actor combos out there.

Let's get something straight: this is not a list of all the best directors of all time or the best actors and actresses ever, this is a list of the all-time best actor/director collaborations. These are movie directors who work with the same actors over and over again because of the tremendous results they get. Now bear in mind, there are times when even the top actor/director duos slip up and make a less-than-epic film (*cough*The Terminal*cough*), but on the whole, these creative teams are behind many of the best movies of all time.

If your favorite director/actor team didn't make the list, feel free to add them and let others vote on their effectiveness at delivering great performances together. And before you ask, yes, Steven Spielberg/Harrison Ford and all the other actors/directors who are linked by sequels were intentional omissions. That's not a choice to work together, it's a contract. Now go forth and make your choices for the top actor and director collaborators.
list ordered by

1
480 99
Steven Spielberg / Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Steven Spielberg / Tom Hanks Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Band of Brothers, The Terminal

2
362 106
Ron Howard / Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Ron Howard / Tom Hanks Apollo 13, Splash, The 'Burbs, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons

3
392 217
Martin Scorsese / Robert De Ni... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Martin Scorsese / Robert De Niro Cape Fear, Casino, GoodFellas, Mean Streets, New York, New York, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy

4
226 91
Alfred Hitchcock / James Stewa... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Alfred Hitchcock / James Stewart Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rope, and Rear Window

5
154 84
Mel Brooks / Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Mel Brooks / Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein, The Producers, and Blazing Saddles

6
240 140
Clint Eastwood / Clint Eastwoo... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Clint Eastwood / Clint Eastwood Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Bridges of Madison County

7
237 155
Quentin Tarantino / Samuel L. ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Quentin Tarantino / Samuel L. Jackson Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 2

8
291 232
Martin Scorsese / Leonardo DiC... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Martin Scorsese / Leonardo DiCaprio The Departed, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island

9
179 87
Alfred Hitchcock / Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Alfred Hitchcock / Cary Grant North by Northwest, Notorious, Suspicion, and To Catch a Thief

10
135 62
Steven Spielberg / George Luca... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Steven Spielberg / George Lucas / Harrison Ford

11
154 63
Sergio Leone / Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Sergio Leone / Clint Eastwood A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

12
132 73
Wes Anderson / Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Wes Anderson / Bill Murray Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox

13
157 65
Francis Ford Coppola / Robert ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Francis Ford Coppola / Robert Duvall The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Godfathe: Part II

14
159 81
The Coen Brothers / John Goodm... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
The Coen Brothers / John Goodman Barton Fink, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, and The Hudsucker Proxy

Actors Who Almost Got the Part in a Marvel Film

15
206 179
Tim Burton / Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Tim Burton / Johnny Depp Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice in Wonderland

16
126 62
Alfred Hitchcock / Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Alfred Hitchcock / Grace Kelly Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief

17
107 50
The Coen Brothers / Frances Mc... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
The Coen Brothers / Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona, The Man Who Wasn't There, Barton Fink, Blood Simple.

18
172 83
Christopher Nolan / Christian ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, The Prestige

19
145 97
Quentin Tarantino / Uma Thurma... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Quentin Tarantino / Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Vol 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2

20
118 49
Billy Wilder / Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Billy Wilder / Jack Lemmon Avanti, The Front Page, The Apartment, Buddy Buddy, Irma la Douce, Some Like it Hot, and The Fortune Cookie

21
118 53
John Huston / Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
John Huston / Humphrey Bogart Across the Pacific, Beat the Devil, Key Largo, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

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22
158 117
John Ford / John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
John Ford / John Wayne The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Searchers, Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, How the West Was Won, Stagecoach, Fort Apache

23
106 57
Tim Burton / Helena Bonham Car... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Tim Burton / Helena Bonham Carter Big Fish, Sweeney Todd: The demon Barber of Fleet Street, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, Corpse Bride

24
104 48
John Ford / Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
John Ford / Henry Fonda The Grapes of Wrath, How the West Was Won, Fort Apache, My Darling Clementine, Young Mr. Lincoln

25
126 56
Akira Kurosawa / Toshiro Mifun... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Akira Kurosawa / Toshiro Mifune Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood, High and Low, The Hidden Fortress

26
102 52
John Carpenter / Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
John Carpenter / Kurt Russell The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From New York, Escape From L.A

27
67 16
Martin Scorsese is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
juanma added Martin Scorsese / Joe Pesci age 76

28
84 54
Paul Thomas Anderson / Philip ... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Paul Thomas Anderson / Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love

The Worst A-List Hollywood Actors

29
116 70
Christopher Nolan / Michael Ca... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Christopher Nolan / Michael Caine Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, The Prestige

30
70 58
Sam Raimi / Bruce Campbell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Sam Raimi / Bruce Campbell Evil Dead, Oz the Great and Powerful, The Evil Dead, Spider-Man, Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness

31
104 68
Woody Allen / Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Woody Allen / Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Radio Days, Love and Death, Sleeper, Interiors

32
73 47
Elia Kazan / Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Elia Kazan / Marlon Brando A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, Viva Zapata!

33
111 82
David Fincher / Brad Pitt is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
David Fincher / Brad Pitt Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

34
77 62
John Hughes / Molly Ringwald is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
John Hughes / Molly Ringwald The Breakfast club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink

35
86 63
The Coen Brothers / John Turtu... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
The Coen Brothers / John Turturro The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink

Stars Who Passed on Iconic Hollywood Roles

36
78 65
Steven Spielberg / Richard Dre... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Steven Spielberg / Richard Dreyfuss Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Always

37
45 16
Brian De Palma / Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
mainpleine added Brian De Palma / Al Pacino Carlito's Way, Scarface

38
85 43
Ingmar Bergman / Max Von Sydow is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Ingmar Bergman / Max Von Sydow The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light

39
81 60
The Coen Brothers / Jeff Bridg... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
The Coen Brothers / Jeff Bridges The Big Lebowski, True Grit

40
118 83
Quentin Tarantino / Christoph ... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Quentin Tarantino / Christoph Waltz Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds

41
34 19
Liv Ullmann is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
bsanguin added Ingmar Bergman / Liv Ullmann age 79 - Persona, Autumn Sonata, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, Hour of the Wolf

42
34 20
Brian De Palma / Robert De Nir... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
mainpleine added Brian De Palma / Robert De Niro The Untouchables, Greetings, The Wedding Party, Hi Mom

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43
63 41
Federico Fellini / Marcello Ma... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Federico Fellini / Marcello Mastroianni La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Ginger and Fred, Fellini's Roma, We All Loved Each Other So Much

44
72 51
Ridley Scott / Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Ridley Scott / Russell Crowe Gladiator, American Gangster, Body of Lies, A Good Year, Robin Hood

45
54 53
James Cameron / Bill Paxton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
James Cameron / Bill Paxton Titanic, The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies

46
8 8
Pedro Almodóvar is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
iandmph added Pedro Almodóvar / Rossy De Palma age 68

47
33 36
Francois Truffaut / Jean Pierr... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
William Roberts added Francois Truffaut / Jean Pierre Léaud The 400 Blows, Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board, Two English Girls, Day for Night, Love on the Run, 

48
20 5
The Coen Brothers/Steve Buscem... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
Tom Islava added The Coen Brothers/Steve Buscemi Miller's Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and Paris, je t'aime'

49
50 38
George Cukor / Katherine Hepbu... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
George Cukor / Katherine Hepburn A Bill of Divorcement, Little Women, Sylvia Scarlett, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, Keeper of the Flame, Adam’s Rib, and Pat and Mike

50
34 30
John McTiernan / Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Actor / Director Teams Ever
RonBuck added John McTiernan / Bruce Willis Die Hard, The Last Boy Scout, Die Hard: With Avengence