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Where to Begin: Great Directors

Recommended first entries from filmographies of favorite/major canon directors. 

Chosen for representation of the director’s greater work, and accessibility of introduction of how to view their filmographies. 

If you’re looking for a new director to discover, here are some places to start.


See also:
Where to Begin: 100 Great Performances - Golden Age 
Where to Begin: French New Wave
Where to Begin: French New Wave - The Outer Banks 
Where to Begin: Screwball Comedies
Where to Begin: American Westerns 

  • Nights of Cabiria
  • Blue Velvet
  • A Matter of Life and Death
  • My Darling Clementine
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God
  • The Seventh Seal
  • Band of Outsiders
  • Day for Night
  • Good Morning
  • Only Angels Have Wings
  • Paris, Texas
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  • Cabaret
  • Gloria
  • Jaws
  • The Player
  • Ivan's Childhood
  • Paper Moon
  • The Magnificent Ambersons
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Psycho
  • Bicycle Thieves
  • City Lights
  • Double Indemnity
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  • Mamma Roma
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
  • Diary of a Country Priest
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • All That Heaven Allows
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Rome, Open City
  • All About Eve
  • Shane
  • Ran
  • In a Lonely Place
  • Meet Me in St. Louis
  • Dog Day Afternoon
  • Top Hat
  • The Blue Angel
  • Grand Illusion
  • History Is Made at Night
  • Casablanca
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour
  • Out of the Past
  • The Green Ray
  • Days of Heaven
  • Sherlock, Jr.
  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • Before Sunrise
  • Aliens
  • Se7en
  • GoodFellas
  • The Lovers on the Bridge
  • Boogie Nights
  • Fargo
  • Chungking Express
  • Dogville
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • Kiki's Delivery Service
  • Moulin Rouge!
  • Snowpiercer
  • Do the Right Thing
  • The Godfather
  • Collateral
  • Chocolat
  • Le Notti Bianche
  • Fox and His Friends
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo
  • L'Avventura
  • Django
  • Le Plaisir
  • Design for Living
  • M
  • High Plains Drifter
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc
  • Close-Up
  • Down by Law
  • Funny Games
  • RoboCop
  • Ugetsu
  • Y Tu Mamá También
  • The Virgin Suicides
  • Widows
  • Youth
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Jour de fête
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • Céline and Julie Go Boating
  • The Gleaners and I
  • Straw Dogs
  • Sisters
  • White Heat
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Holiday
  • The Lady Eve
  • The Shining
  • Elevator to the Gallows
  • Easy Living
  • 42nd Street