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, “Who 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, such as Alfred Hitchcock or Federico Fellini. There are also modern auteurs, like David Lynch and Wes Anderson. Some of film’s famous auteur directors have produced history’s greatest movies, such as Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Lost in Translation, and Moonrise Kingdom.
This list features history’s best auteurs, including Wes Craven, Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, and Charlie Kaufman. Vote for your favorite auteur film directors below, and then check back to see if they topped the list!
Credits (Film): Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rear Window
Nominated for Best Director Oscar for Rebecca (1941), Lifeboat (1945), Spellbound (1946), Rear Window (1955), and Psycho (1961)
Nominated for Best Director Golden Globe for Frenzy (1973)
Credits (Film): The Seventh Seal, Persona, Fanny and Alexander, Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers
Credits (Film): Citizen Kane, The Muppet Movie, The Third Man, Touch of Evil, A Man for All Seasons
Nominated for Best Director Oscar for Citizen Kane (1942)
Credits (Film): Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune
Credits (Film): La Dolce Vita, 8½, La Strada, Amarcord, Fellini Satyricon
Credits (Film): The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Credits (Film): Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev, Ivan's Childhood, The Mirror
Credits (Film): City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Cinema Paradiso
Credits (Film): The Magnificent Seven, A Fistful of Dollars, Seven Samurai, Ran, Rashomon
Credits (Film): Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, Stalag 17
Credits (Film): Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Great Expectations
Credits (Film): Good, Once Upon a Time in the West, Once Upon a Time in America, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More
Credits (Film): The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Beauty of the Day, An Andalusian Dog, The Exterminating Angel, Robinson Crusoe
Credits (Film): Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Band of Outsiders, Weekend, Vivre Sa Vie
Credits (Film): The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, Stagecoach, How the West Was Won, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Credits (Film): The Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, Partie de campagne, French Cancan
Credits (Film): Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Breathless, Fahrenheit 451, The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim
Credits (Film): The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, Patton, American Graffiti
Credits (Film): Goodfellas, The Departed, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Gangs of New York
Credits (Film): Chinatown, The Maltese Falcon, The Black Cauldron, The African Queen, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Credits (Film): Cinema Paradiso, Bicycle Thieves, Blood for Dracula, Umberto D, Two Women
Credits (Film): Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Volume 1, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained
Credits (Film): Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Floating Weeds, Equinox Flower, I Was Born But...
Credits (Film): Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, Minority Report, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love
Credits (Film): Blowup, L'Avventura, The Passenger, Zabriskie Point, L'Eclisse