80s movies The Greatest Directors of the 1980s  

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List Rules Vote only based on the director's feature films released in the 1980s.

List of the top directors of the 80s. From 1980 to 1989, film history was shaped by esteemed directors who defined the decade through their movies. After all, what would the eighties be without the Brat Pack movies directed by John Hughes? The 1980s is also the time when when heavyweights like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were honing their directorial skills on epic levels, from the Indiana Jones movies to "E.T."

Woody Allen is also an auteur who made some of his absolute funniest and most dramatic Oscar-winning flicks during the 1980s. And between the "Lethal Weapon" movies and "The Goonies," director Dick Donner made the eighties an unforgettable 10 years for major motion pictures.

With nostalgic '80s movies on the mind, who can forget the arguable directorial peak of Rob Reiner with smash hits like "Spinal Tap," "Stand by Me," "The Princess Bride," and "When Harry Met Sally," which transitioned us into the 1990s.
list ordered by

1
96 29
Steven Spielberg is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Steven Spielberg age 72 Always (1989)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
The Color Purple (1985)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

2
94 28
John Hughes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
John Hughes Died at 59 (1950-2009) Sixteen Candles (1984)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Weird Science (1985)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
She's Having a Baby (1988)
Uncle Buck (1989)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

3
54 16
Robert Zemeckis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Robert Zemeckis age 67 Used Cars (1980)
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Back to the Future (1985)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)

4
63 24
John Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
John Carpenter age 70 The Fog (1980)
Escape From New York (1981)
The Thing (1982)
Christine (1983)
Starman (1984)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Prince of Darkness (1987)
They Live (1988)

5
57 20
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Tim Burton age 60 Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Batman (1989)

6
50 19
James Cameron is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
James Cameron age 64 Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)
The Terminator (1984)
Aliens (1986)
The Abyss (1989)

7
45 16
Martin Scorsese is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
gschwayze added Martin Scorsese age 76

Raging Bull (1980)
The Kings of Comedy (1982)
After Hours (1985)
The Color of Money (1986)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

8
53 21
Rob Reiner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Rob Reiner age 71 This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
The Sure Thing (1985)
Stand by Me (1986)
The Princess Bride (1987)
When Harry Met Sally.... (1989)

9
31 7
Ridley Scott is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
outlel added Ridley Scott age 81

Blade Runner (1982)
Legend (1985)
Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)
Black Rain (1989)

10
46 19
John Landis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
John Landis age 68 The Blues Brothers (1980)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Trading Places (1983)
Spies Like Us (1985)
Three Amigos (1986)
Coming to America (1988)
Into the Night (1985)

11
37 16
David Lynch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
David Lynch age 72 The Elephant Man (1980)
Dune (1984)
Blue Velvet (1986)

12
35 16
Oliver Stone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Oliver Stone age 72 Salvador (1986)
Platoon (1986)
Wall Street (1987)
Talk Radio (1988)
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

The Scariest Movies of the 1980s

13
31 12
David Cronenberg is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
David Cronenberg age 75 The Scanners (1981)
Videodrome (1983)
The Dead Zone (1983)
The Fly (1986)
Dead Ringers (1988)

14
30 14
Terry Gilliam is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Terry Gilliam age 78

Time Bandits (1981)
Brazil (1985)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

15
30 14
Richard Donner is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Richard Donner age 88 The Toy (1982)
The Goonies (1985)
Ladyhawke (1985)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Scrooged (1988)
Leathal Weapon 2 (1989)

16
22 15
Harold Ramis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Harold Ramis Died at 70 (1944-2014) Caddyshack (1980)
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Club Paradise (1986)

17
16 10
Barry Levinson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Barry Levinson age 76 Diner (1982)
The Natural (1984)
Young Sherlock Homes (1985)
Tin Men (1987)
Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
Rain Man (1988)

The Top Auto Supply Websites

18
5 1
Mark Zakharov is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Alex Gaginsky added Mark Zakharov age 85

The House That Swift Built (1983)
Formula of Love (1984)
To Kill a Dragon (1988)

19
9 7
Juliusz Machulski is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Juliusz Machulski age 63

Vabank (1981)
Seksmisja (1984)
Vabank II czyli Riposta (1984)
Kingsajz (1987)
Déjà vu (1988)

20
12 9
Abel Ferrara is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Abel Ferrara age 67

Ms. 45 (1981)
Fear City (1984)
China Girl (1987)
Cat Chaser (1989)

21
3 1
Eldar Ryazanov is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Alex Gaginsky added Eldar Ryazanov age 91

Say a Word for the Poor Hussar (1981)
Station for Two (1982) 
A Cruel Romance (1984) 
Forgotten Melody for a Flute (1987) 
Dear Yelena Sergeevna (1988) 

22
15 13
Werner Herzog is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Werner Herzog age 76

Huie's Sermon (1981)
God's Angry Man (1981)
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)
Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984)
The Dark Glow of the Mountains (1984)
Cobra Verde (1987)
Herdsmen of the Sun (1989)

The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

23
8 6
Éric Rohmer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Éric Rohmer Died at 90 (1920-2010)

Catherine de Heilbronn (1980)
La Femme de l'aviateur (The Aviator's Wife, 1981)
Le Beau mariage (A Good Marriage, 1982)
Pauline à la plage (Pauline at the Beach, 1983)
Les Nuits de la pleine lune (Full Moon in Paris, 1984)
Le Rayon vert (The Green Ray/Summer, 1986)
L'Ami de mon amie (My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, 1987)
Le trio en si bémol (1987)
Quatre Aventures de Reinette et Mirabelle (1987)

24
7 5
Alan Clarke is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Alan Clarke Died at 55 (1935-1990)

Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire (1987)
Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987)

25
25 26
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Woody Allen age 83 A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)
Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Radio Days (1987)
New York Stories (1989)

26
8 7
Marcell Jankovics is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Marcell Jankovics age 77

Son of the White Mare (1981)
The Transsylvanian Woman and the Devil (1985)
A Hungarian Fairy Tale (1987)
angram (1988

27
8 7
Robert Bresson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Robert Bresson Died at 98 (1901-1999)

L'argent (Money, 1983)

These Disney Princess Were Absolutely Terrible Role Models

28
6 5
Leos Carax is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Leos Carax age 58

Boy Meets Girl (1984)
Mauvais Sang (1986)

29
5 4
Robert Altman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
mchris65 added Robert Altman Died at 81 (1925-2006)

30
8 8
Vladimir Bortko is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Vladimir Bortko age 72

Without Family (1984)
The Blonde from Around the Corner (1984)
Heart of a Dog (1988)

31
8 8
Jan Troell is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Jan Troell age 87

Flight of the Eagle (1982)
Land of Dreams (1988)

32
7 7
Godfrey Reggio is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Godfrey Reggio age 78

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1982)
Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation (1988)

The Best Black Movies of the 1980s

33
7 7
Ryszard Bugajski is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Ryszard Bugajski age 75

Interrogation (1982)

34
7 7
Emir Kusturica is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Emir Kusturica age 64

Do You Remember Dolly Bell? (1981)
When Father Was Away on Business (1985)
Time of the Gypsies (1988)
 

35
7 7
Jiří Menzel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Jiří Menzel age 80

Cutting it Short (1980)
The Snowdrop Festival (1984)
My Sweet Little Village (1985)
Chocolate Cop (1986)
End of Old Times (1989)

36
7 7
Piotr Szulkin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Piotr Szulkin age 68

Wojna światów – następne stulecie (The War of the Worlds: Next Century, 1981)
O-Bi, O-Ba. Koniec cywilizacji (1984)
Ga, Ga. Chwała bohaterom (1985)

37
6 6
Konstantin Lopushansky is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Konstantin Lopushansky age 71

Dead Man's Letters (1987)
A Visitor to a Museum (1989)

38
12 13
Hans-Jürgen Syberberg is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Hans-Jürgen Syberberg age 83

Parsifal (1982)
Die Nicht (1985)
Edith Clever liest Joyce (1985)
Fräulein Else (1986)
Penthesilea (1987)
Die Marquise von O. (1989)

39
6 7
Juraj Jakubisko is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Juraj Jakubisko age 80

Build a House, Plant a Tree (1980)
A Thousand-Year Old Bee (1983)
Perinbaba (1985)
Freckled Max and the Spooks (1987)
I'm Sitting on a Branch and I'm Fine (1989)

40
5 6
Claude Chabrol is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Claude Chabrol Died at 80 (1930-2010)

Le Cheval d'orgueil (1980)
Les Fantômes du chapelier (1982)
Le Sang des autres (1984)
Poulet au vinaigre (1985)
Inspecteur Lavardin (1986)
Masques (1987)
Le cri du hibou (1988)
Une affaire de femmes (1988)

41
5 6
Hrafn Gunnlaugsson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Hrafn Gunnlaugsson age 70

Inter Nos (1982)
When the Raven Flies (1984)
In the Shadow of the Raven) (1988)