Film Directors The Greatest Auteurs in Film History  

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List Rules Filmmakers known as auteurs

An auteur is a filmmaker or director whose personal, individual production style and creative flare gives his or her films a distinctive, unique feel. A director who falls in this category usually has complete control over the creative elements of producing a film. Since their influence on their films is so great they are considered the author of the film, regardless of whether or not they actually wrote the script. If you’ve ever asked the question, “What are the Greatest Auteurs in Film History?” before then you’ve definitely landed on the right page!
 
If you’re a movie buff, you’ve probably been a fan of at least a few of history’s greatest auteurs for years, whether or not you have actually understood what the definition of one is! Some of film’s greatest auteur directors have produced history’s greatest movies that have stood the test of time, such as: Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Lost in Translation, and Moonrise Kingdom.
 
This list features history’s best auteurs, including: Wes Craven, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Kaufman and Julian Schnabel. Vote for your favorite auteur film director below, or add one whose style you love if they aren't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
319 84
Alfred Hitchcock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo

2
354 99
Stanley Kubrick is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey

3
177 45
Akira Kurosawa is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
The Magnificent Seven, A Fistful of Dollars, Seven Samurai

4
153 45
Orson Welles is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
MickLamarr added Citizen Kane, The Muppet Movie, The Third Man

5
150 49
Andrei Tarkovsky is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev

6
162 61
Ingmar Bergman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
The Seventh Seal, Persona, Fanny and Alexander

7
182 69
David Lynch is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead

8
138 47
Federico Fellini is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
La Dolce Vita, 8½, La Strada

9
115 35
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
drkaramaniac added City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times

10
209 89
Martin Scorsese is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Goodfellas, The Departed, Taxi Driver

11
41 4
Daryush Shokof is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
daryushshokofo added Seven Servants, Breathful, Asudem

12
74 19
Luis Buñuel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Beauty of the Day, An Andalusian Dog

13
137 53
Hayao Miyazaki is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke

14
99 36
Francis Ford Coppola is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
drkaramaniac added The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now

15
86 38
Sergio Leone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
BillSchmalz added Good, Once Upon a Time in the West, Once Upon a Time in America

16
214 131
Quentin Tarantino is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Volume 1

17
53 15
Fritz Lang is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Catherine Judd added Metropolis, M, The Big Heat

18
48 13
Billy Wilder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Catherine Judd added Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Sunset Boulevard

19
89 48
François Truffaut is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
snourb added Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Breathless, Fahrenheit 451

20
135 87
Paul Thomas Anderson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, Minority Report

21
86 47
John Ford is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
MickLamarr added The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, Stagecoach

22
74 37
Jean-Luc Godard is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Band of Outsiders

23
51 23
Vittorio De Sica is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
MickLamarr added Cinema Paradiso, Bicycle Thieves, Blood for Dracula

24
163 109
Wes Anderson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums

25
60 31
David Lean is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Auteurs in Film History
MickLamarr added Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago