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The director is responsible for all drama and artistic decisions in a film. They start working on the screenplay in early pre-production, visualize it for the screen, and give the crew and cast direction during production. This is a demanding and rewarding position. This is a ranking of some of the top directors of all time based on their achievements and influence. These individuals are some of the most prominent filmmakers in history.

  1. Sergei Eisenstein

From the 1920s to the 1940s, Sergei Eisenstein worked in silent cinema. He started his career as a film theorist and worked in theater. After making a couple of short films, his first feature, “Battleship Potemkin,” became a global hit.

Due to political pressure, he could not finish many of his films. Despite having a short filmography, he has had a lasting influence on film theory. His work has been cited by some of the most prominent filmmakers of the 20th century. Among them are Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, and Charlie Chaplin.

  1. Charlie Chaplin

From the 1920s to the 1960s, he worked as a director and actor. After working in theater and circus for a couple of years, he decided to try making films. His most famous film was “The Kid.” This was his first feature-length film.

After becoming an international celebrity, Chaplin continued to work in the film industry. In 1920, he helped establish United Artists, a prominent Hollywood distribution company. Because of his silent films, he could reach a broad audience. His works have influenced many filmmakers, such as Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks. Chaplin is regarded as the most recognizable and iconic filmmaker in the world.

  1. Alfred Hitchcock

Between the 1920s and 1970s, Hitchcock made over 50 feature films. Before becoming a director, he worked as a title card designer for silent films. After his third feature film, “The Lodger,” was a commercial success in the UK, he decided to pursue his passion for suspense thrillers.

Hitchcock has been acknowledged as one of the most prominent filmmakers of all time for his unique cinematic techniques and storytelling. His work has influenced modern thrillers and horror films. Due to his legacy, his movies are still widely used today.

  1. Akira Kurosawa

Japanese filmmaker Akira worked in the film industry from the 1930s to the 1990s. Before becoming a director, he worked as an assistant director for several years. His breakthrough came with the release of “Rashomon.”

One of the first Japanese filmmakers to be successful worldwide, Akira’s works have been heavily influenced by Hollywood movies. His movies have been used in different genres, such as westerns and thrillers.

George Lucas noted that “Star Wars” was based on a film by Akira. Other notable Hollywood adaptations of his works include “A Fistful of Dollars,” “The Magnificent Seven,” and “The Matrix.” This is why he is regarded as one of the most outstanding filmmakers.

  1. Federico Fellini

Fellini is known for his unique filmmaking style, characterized by surrealism. From the 1950s to the 1980s, he worked as a screenwriter. One of his works, “Rome, Open City,” was nominated for an Oscar. After becoming a successful screenwriter, Fellini started directing his movies. His eighth film, “La Dolce Vita,” was a box office hit in 1960.

Due to his unique style, Fellini was widely acknowledged for his work. His work has inspired other filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch. Although his movies weren’t as successful as some other famous directors, his talent was still recognized worldwide. He was nominated for over 20 Academy Awards. In 1993, he was given a lifetime achievement award, making him one of the most prominent filmmakers in history.