I don’t quite know what to make of this poll of the 16,000 or so DGA members in celebration of their 80th year. They pick some good movies, but is Birdman really a better directed film than All the President’s Men, the Grapes of Wrath, Unforgiven, Rashomon, Network?
These choices show us more which directors are pet favorites of the film industry instead of representing any consistent sort of excellence in filmmaking. I loved Star Wars more than most back in the 1970s but it is not George Lucas’ best directed film and to have it at #19 is absurd. Stanley Kubrick makes the list 5 times, no surprise there. Who doesn’t love Kubrick, arguably the greatest director who ever lived, or one of them. Spielberg also makes the list 5 times — and again, no argument there. Hitchcock gets 4 mentions. Paul Thomas Anderson gets one. The Coens get one for Fargo — passing over No Country for Old Men which is their best so far. One woman gets in: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. Scorsese gets on the list 3 times. No David Fincher at all, which is again, absurd, and no John Cassavetes or Francois Truffaut, no Jane Campion.
It is not a surprising list. It’s the sort you’d see anywhere, from any group that fancies themselves cinephiles. No major complaints, I suppose, just minor annoyances.
|1.||The Godfather||Francis Ford Coppola||1972|
|2.||Citizen Kane||Orson Welles||1941|
|3.||Lawrence of Arabia||David Lean||1962|
|4.||2001: A Space Odyssey||Stanley Kubrick||1968|
|6.||The Godfather: Part II||Francis Ford Coppola||1974|
|7.||Apocalypse Now||Francis Ford Coppola||1979|
|8.||Schindler’s List||Steven Spielberg||1993|
|9.||Gone With the Wind||Victor Fleming||1939|
|12.||The Wizard of Oz||Victor Fleming||1939|
|13.||Raging Bull||Martin Scorsese||1980|
|15.||It’s a Wonderful Life||Frank Capra||1946|
|16.||Dr. Strangelove or: How I
Learned to Stop Worrying
and Love the Bomb
|17.||The Shawshank Redemption||Frank Darabont||1994|
|18.||The Graduate||Mike Nichols||1967|
|19.||Star Wars: Episode IV —
A New Hope
|20.||Blade Runner||Ridley Scott||1982|