The best Jewish directors include multiple Academy Award and Golden Globe winners, who make magical things happen when they're behind the camera. Throughout the history of the Motion Picture Academy, Jewish directors have dominated the Best Director category and many are considered the best directors of all time.
For every Academy Award winning filmmaker on this list, with Woody Allen (Annie Hall), Steven Spielberg (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan), Billy Wilder (The Apartment) and the only back-to-back winner of Best Director, Joseph L. Mankiewicz (A Letter to Three Wives, All About Eve), there's a stellar group of directors whose influence on filmmaking and pop culture cannot be discounted. Perhaps the most famous and influential Jewish film director is Cecil B. DeMille. The director was at his peak during Hollywood's most formative days and his legendary films include Cleopatra (1934); Samson and Delilah (1949); The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture; and The Ten Commandments (1956).
Jewish directors are some of the most famous voices in comedic film history. They are known for their acerbic wit, creative storytelling and situational comedy, which has put them at the top of comedy. Directors like Amy Heckerling, Ethan and Joel Coen, Harold Ramis, Carl Reiner and Judd Apatow's brand of humor has influenced generations of young, up-and-coming comedians.There are so many great Jewish film directors that it's impossible to mention them all here, so take a look at who the most famous Jewish film directors in film history.
- Steven Allan Spielberg (; born December 18, 1946) is an American filmmaker. He is considered... more
- Brett Ratner (born March 28, 1969) is an American director and producer. He directed the Rush... more
- Heywood "Woody" Allen (born December 1, 1935) is an American director, writer, actor, and... more
- Joel T. Schumacher (August 29, 1939 – June 22, 2020) was an American filmmaker. Schumacher... more
- Robert Reiner (born March 6, 1947) is an American actor and filmmaker. As an actor, Reiner... more
- Judd Apatow (; born December 6, 1967) is an American filmmaker, actor and comedian. He is the... more
- Stanley Kubrick (; July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director, screenwriter,... more
- Barry Sonnenfeld (born April 1, 1953) is an American filmmaker and television director. He... more
- Rob L. Cohen (born March 12, 1949) is an American director, producer, and screenwriter of film... more
- Jeffrey Jacob Abrams (born June 27, 1966) is an American filmmaker. He is known for his work... more
- Bryan Jay Singer (born September 17, 1965) is an American director, producer and writer of... more
- Darren Aronofsky (born February 12, 1969) is an American filmmaker and screenwriter, who is... more
- Cecil Blount DeMille (; August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was an American filmmaker. Between... more
- Samuel Alexander Mendes (born 1 August 1965) is an English film director, film producer,... more
Ethan CoenAge: 63Ethan Coen is a film director, film and television producer, film editor and screenwriter....
- Joel Coen is a film and television producer, screenwriter, film director and film editor.... more
- Billy Wilder (; German: [ˈvɪldɐ]; born Samuel Wilder, June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an... more
- Ernst Lubitsch (; January 29, 1892 – November 30, 1947) was a German American film director,... more
- Sidney Arthur Lumet ( loo-MET; June 25, 1924 – April 9, 2011) was an American director,... more
Michael MannAge: 77Michael Kenneth Mann (born February 5, 1943) is an American film director, screenwriter, and... more
- Otto Ludwig Preminger (, German pronunciation: [ˈpreːmiŋɐ]; 5 December 1905 – 23 April 1986)... more
- John David Landis (; born August 3, 1950) is an American film director, comedian,... more
- Samuel M. Raimi (born October 23, 1959) is an American filmmaker, actor, and producer,... more
- Richard Brooks (May 18, 1912 – March 11, 1992) was an American screenwriter, film director,... more
- Zachary Israel Braff (born April 6, 1975) is an American actor, director, screenwriter and... more