An underrated film is usually well known. It's not about being an obscure movie. It's about being misunderstood or possibly wasn't what the audience & critics expected when the flick was first released. A great example of such films as Citizen Kane, but it won't be included in this list because for me it's a masterpiece & already highly rated among critics.
One of the most exhausting jobs & most important in cinema industry is without a doubt of a director/filmmaker. And yet today credit is going always to actresses & actors performances.And forgetting it was the director who was able to get such a performance out of his/her actors & actresses.As said in previous cinema articles I'm someone who appreciates the art of cinema. It was my passion to work in such industry & still is but in my home country Lebanon, surroundings don't encourage such an interest.Nevertheless, had my share of electives about the art of film during college years & I've seen thousands of films from 1920s era to date.I believe that a combination of strong story-line, cast, crew & foremost director makes the movie a successful venture. The directors I'm going to talk about and consider as my all time Favorite visionaries in cinema are from around the world. I will introduce you to directors you might have heard of or might not if you are not into cinema like me.I hope you find my list comprehensive and make you curious to check the directors & their movies.
The director to take spot number one is master of suspense and my Favorite director is Alfred Hitchcock.Seeing his movies elevates to a different universe that can't be explained through few words.The rush when you are watching Psycho be like no other experience. Movies like Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rear Window or even Strangers on a Train can't but make you fall in love & admiration of this brilliant filmmaker.
Comes second is Stanley Kubrick movies ranged from futuristic to weird movies and has done it all with the level you expect from the legendary director. This is the least you can say about this amazing artist, his movies influenced many current directors to do the quirky stuff in their movies. Movies like 2001: A space Odyssey did in 1968 about the future & adventures in space you just think how behind others were. Other movies like the black comedy of Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and Love The Bomb to the thriller The Shining, A Clockwork Orange to Paths of Glory. All these samples of movies that are all recommended represent the versatility of Stanley Kubrick.
In third comes the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa that because of him generations chose to be filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Tarantino, Scorsese and others. All of his movies got storytelling, originality, reliance on cinematography, great acting & combination of drama, action, romance & tasteful violence. Other films stand out for me Ran, Dreams (featuring Scorsese), Yojimbo, Ikiru.
In Forth, I choose Steven Spielberg although he's not one of my Favorite directors he has done quite the memorable movies. Starting with Close encounters of the Third Kind, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse & Munich. He's a filmmaker who knows to choose his team and versatile in the type of movies which makes him one of the cinema greats.
In fifth comes Martin Scorsese, personally my favorite movie directed by him is Goodfellas brilliant take on the life of the gangsters.Other movies are considered among the best in the history of cinema include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Casino & The Wolf of Wall Street.Four of these amazing films featured the unique Robert De Niro an actor associated himself with Scorsese in world-class films.
In the sixth, we have Woody Allen who is brilliant as an actor & director and his best work involved human interaction between individuals with different backgrounds & interests. One of the best movies I've seen for him is probably Annie Hall with Diane Keaton. Don't forget films like Hannah & her sisters, Love & Death, Manhattan, & one of my Favorites Midnight in Paris.
In seventh Quentin Tarantino, who could easily top the list if it wasn't because he made fewer films & is youngest in this list. Nevertheless, Tarantino proved that he's a major player in the history of cinema through memorable flicks.Starting with Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Django Unchained & Kill Bill.
In eighth Francis Ford Coppola, without a doubt, he's one of those filmmakers who brilliantly got the ability to tell a story through his lens.The way he takes his shots shows us that he's a genius. For me Godfather part one & two are probably the best movies were made. In addition to those two, we have Apocalypse Now which is the least you can say about it's brilliant.Other movies recommended watching The Conversation with Gene Hackman & The Rain People with James Caan
In ninth Sergio Leone, he directed less than ten feature films, and they are brilliant starting with the spaghetti western (Three movies; the good, the bad & the ugly, For a few dollars more, A Fistful of Dollar) with Clint Eastwood.And Once Upon a Time in the West with the Legend Henry Fonda & Once Upon a Time in America on Gangsters. Sergio Leone is a filmmaker who managed through his few flicks to become a legend in the history of cinema.
In Tenth Orson Welles who's famous mostly for Citizen Kane which is by a huge margin the movie of all time. Citizen Kane is a breakthrough in the history of cinema and the elements that were included in shooting a movie. What is brilliant about this movie it was Orson Welles second long movie after Too much Johnson.And because of this Citizen Kane did horribly at the box office.It was after some years it was introduced in screenings for film students. Actually the first time I've seen it was in a screening in a class about Art of film. Other flicks for you to watch for this genius director are "Touch of Evil" "Confidential Report" Macbeth, & The Third Man.
I hope you enjoyed by choices and find time to watch these flicks. Some might disagree with my choices, and you are welcome to give your own list in the comments and enlighten me. On a final note and as an Honorable mention here a list of ten directors that did not appear, and they are great as well: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Cohen Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, Andrey Tarkovsky, Michelangelo Antonioni, John Ford & Jean-Luc Godard.