Who are the real important people that make a film a success or a failure, is it the script writer? Perhaps the actors? Or is it the directors? Certainly, great movie directors can stamp their influence all over a film, and normally the first thing a film studio tries to put in place is their choice of a director. Many directors are known for a particular genre of film, for instance the master of surprise and suspense was Alfred Hitchcock. John Ford made the best Westerns ever, and for physiological and brooding films Martin Scorsese is hard to beat. In this blog we look at some of the best film directors and the films that they made.
John Ford was the quintessential Westerner, Monument Valley became one of the best-known landscapes in the world thanks to Ford’s epic movies. He directed the three best cavalry films ever made, starring John Wayne: Rio Grande, Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Two of his best loved Westerns were The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Stagecoach. Ford was a master of capturing the big American plains and bought the majesty of this wild world onto the big screen. He was awarded four Academy Awards for Best Director, which still remains a record for a single director. During his long and highly successful career, he directed nearly 150 movies and is widely regarded as one of the best directors who ever lived.
Hitchcock was an enigma that pioneered many film techniques that made his films taut with suspense and gripped audiences by the throat during the whole movie. Tension was built up slowly, and often the gory parts of his films was merely suggested and hardly ever shown. Hitchcock loved the limelight, and is rumoured to have had walk on parts in every movie he either directed or produced. There is actually a term used in film making which describes his style, Hitchcockian. His career spanned six decades with the classic Psycho, North by Northwest, The Birds, Vertigo and Rear Window possibly being the cream of his work.
After a glittering career as an actor, Clint Eastwood turned to directing films and stunned the movie world by being highly successful. His gritty films do not cloud any issue, and any topic or subject will be made clear by Eastwood. Eastwood set up his own production company, Malpaso which proved to be a great success. The first great film Eastwood directed was the suspense thriller, Play Misty for Me. A flood of Award Winning films was to follow including: Bird, Unforgiven, The Bridges of Madison County, Million Dollar Baby and Flags of our Fathers.
These directors all made very different films, but each one illuminated their subject to the highest possible degree. They directed with imagination and bought their own personalities and in some cases persons to the screen. There are so many great directors of the film world that were omitted in this blog, and so we continue in The Best Directors and Their Films Part Two.