80s 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
116 32
John Hughes is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Dec. 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)

2
118 35
Steven Spielberg is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
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)

3
79 27
John Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
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)

4
66 20
Robert Zemeckis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
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)

5
66 25
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
age 60 Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Batman (1989)

6
66 23
Rob Reiner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
age 71 This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
The Sure Thing (1985)
Stand by Me (1986)
The Princess Bride (1987)
When Harry Met Sally.... (1989)

7
59 23
James Cameron is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
age 64 Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)
The Terminator (1984)
Aliens (1986)
The Abyss (1989)

8
53 21
Martin Scorsese is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
gschwayze added age 76

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

9
56 21
John Landis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
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)

10
35 13
Ridley Scott is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
outlel added age 81

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

11
8 0
Ivan Reitman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
EastOfTheAnduin added age 72

Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters II (1989)

Stripes (1981)

Meatballs (1979)

12
38 15
Richard Donner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
age 88 The Toy (1982)
The Goonies (1985)
Ladyhawke (1985)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Scrooged (1988)
Leathal Weapon 2 (1989)

13
39 20
Oliver Stone is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
age 72 Salvador (1986)
Platoon (1986)
Wall Street (1987)
Talk Radio (1988)
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

14
36 17
David Cronenberg is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
age 75 The Scanners (1981)
Videodrome (1983)
The Dead Zone (1983)
The Fly (1986)
Dead Ringers (1988)

15
39 23
David Lynch is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
age 72 The Elephant Man (1980)
Dune (1984)
Blue Velvet (1986)

16
32 16
Harold Ramis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Dec. at 70 (1944-2014) Caddyshack (1980)
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Club Paradise (1986)

17
30 19
Terry Gilliam is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added age 78

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

18
19 13
Barry Levinson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
age 76 Diner (1982)
The Natural (1984)
Young Sherlock Homes (1985)
Tin Men (1987)
Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
Rain Man (1988)

19
5 5
Mark Zakharov is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Alex Gaginsky added age 85

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

20
9 11
Juliusz Machulski is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added age 63

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

21
17 17
Werner Herzog is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added 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)

22
3 2
Irvin Kershner is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
starwarssuperfan added Dec. at 87 (1923-2010)

23
8 8
Alan Clarke is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
Mollevangsvagen added Dec. at 55 (1935-1990)

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

24
7 7
Robert Altman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
mchris65 added Dec. at 81 (1925-2006)

25
2 2
Richard Marquand is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1980s
starwarssuperfan added Dec. at 50 (1937-1987)