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): The Magnificent Seven, A Fistful of Dollars, Seven Samurai, Ran, Rashomon
- 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): 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): 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): Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, Stalag 17
- Credits (Film): Metropolis, M, The Big Heat, Contempt, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
- Credits (Film): La Dolce Vita, 8½, La Strada, Amarcord, Fellini Satyricon
- Credits (Film): The Seventh Seal, Persona, Fanny and Alexander, Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers
- Credits (Film): Solaris, Stalker, Andrei Rublev, Ivan's Childhood, The Mirror
- Credits (Film): Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune
- Credits (Film): City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Cinema Paradiso
- Credits (Film): Goodfellas, The Departed, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Gangs of New York
- 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): The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, Patton, American Graffiti
- Credits (Film): Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service
- Credits (Film): Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Breathless, Fahrenheit 451, The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim
- Credits (Film): Chinatown, The Maltese Falcon, The Black Cauldron, The African Queen, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
- Credits (Film): Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Band of Outsiders, Weekend, Vivre Sa Vie
- Credits (Film): Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Floating Weeds, Equinox Flower, I Was Born But...
- Credits (Film): The Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, Partie de campagne, French Cancan
- Credits (Film): The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, Stagecoach, How the West Was Won, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
- Credits (Film): Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Great Expectations
- Credits (Film): Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky, October: Ten Days That Shook the World, Ivan Groznyy, ¡Que viva México!
- Credits (Film): The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, Fargo, Raising Arizona, O Brother