FC Presents 100 FURIOUS FILMMAKERS – The ultimate list of directors who have shaped us as movie watchers and devoted fans of this form of popular art. We’ve also included some essential titles we’d recommend to new viewers.


Orson Welles

“A long-playing full shot is what always separates the men from the boys. Anybody can make movies with a pair of scissors and a two-inch lens.” – Essentials: Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Lady From Shanghai, Touch of Evil, The Trial, F For Fake

filmCharlie Chaplin

“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” – Essentials: The Kid, The Gold Rush, Modern Times, Limelight, The Great Dictator, A King in New York

film30Buster Keaton

“Charlie Chaplin and I would have a friendly contest: Who could do the feature film with the least subtitles?” – Essentials: The General, Go West, Steamboat Bill Jr, The Navigator, The Cameraman

film9Alfred Hitchcock

“I am a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.” – Essentials: Lifeboat, Rope, Strangers on A Train, Vertigo, The Birds, Psycho, Marnie, North By Northwest, Rear Window, Frenzy

film7John Ford

“Anybody can direct a picture once they know the fundamentals. Directing is not a mystery, it’s not an art. The main thing about directing is: photograph the people’s eyes.” – Essentials: Stagecoach, How Green Was My Valley, Young Mr Lincoln, 3 Godfathers, Mister Roberts, The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

film44Raoul Walsh

“Some men are all right in their place if they only knew the right places.” – Essentials: White Heat, The Roaring Twenties, They Drive By Night, High Sierra, They Died With Their Boots On, The Tall Men, The Big Trail

Howard Hawks

“A good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes.” – Essentials: Scarface, Bringing Up Baby, To Have and Have Not, Ball of Fire, The Big Sleep, Air Force, Seargent York, Red River, The Thing From Another World, Rio Bravo, Hatari

filmJacques Tourneur

“The real horror is to show that we all live unconsciously in fear.” – Essentials: Cat People, I Walked With a Zombie, The Leopard Man, Out of the Past, The Flame and the Arrow

Akira Kurosawa

“For me, film-making combines everything. That’s the reason I’ve made cinema my life’s work. In films painting and literature, theatre and music come together. But a film is still a film.” – Essentials: The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Ikiru, Throne of Blood, Rashomon, Sanjuro, High and Low, Ran

film1Samuel Fuller

“I write with the camera. It is my typewriter.” – Essentials: Park Row, The Steel Helmet, Fixed Bayonets, The Naked Kiss, Pickup on South Street, The Crimson Kimono, House of Bamboo, The Big Red One

film4Sam Peckinpah

“The end of a picture is always an end of a life.” – Essentials: The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, The Getaway, Junior Bonner, Ballad of Cable Hogue, Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia

film21Ishiro Honda

“Monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy, that is their tragedy.” – Essentials: Gojira, The Mysterians, King Kong Vs. Godzilla, War of the Gargantuas, Destroy All Monsters

film40Sergio Leone

“My life, my reading, everything about me revolves around the cinema. So for me, cinema is life, and vice-versa.” – Essentials: The Dollars Trilogy, Once Upon A Time in The West, Duck You Sucker, Once Upon A Time in America

film17Federico Fellini

“Cinema is an old whore, like circus and variety, who knows how to give many kinds of pleasure. Besides, you can’t teach old fleas new dogs.” – Essentials: 8/12, La Strada, La Dolce Vita, Nights of Cabiria, Amarcord

film33Lucio Fulci

“Cinema is everything to me. I live and breathe films — I even eat them!” – Essentials: A Lizard in a Womans Skin, New York Ripper, Contraband, The Psychic, The Beyond, Zombie

film15Dario Argento

“The process of writing and directing drives you to such extremes that it’s natural to feel an affinity with insanity. I approach that madness as something dangerous and I’m afraid, but also I want to go to it, to see what’s there, to embrace it. I don’t know why but I’m drawn.” – Essentials: The Bird with the Crystal Plummage, The Cat o Nine Tails, Deep Red, Suspiria, Tenebre

film37Roger Corman

“Motion pictures are the art form of the 20th century, and one of the reasons is the fact that films are a slightly corrupted artform. They fit this century – they combine Art and business!” – Essentials: A Bucket of Blood, X: The Man with X Ray Eyes, Masque of The Red Death, The Intruder, Tomb of Ligeia, The Wild Angels, St Valentines Day Massacre, The Trip, Bloody Mama

film50Jimmy Wang Yu

Essentials: The Chinese Boxer, One Armed Boxer, Tiger and Crane Fist, Master of the Flying Guillotine

film32William Witney

[on what it took to become a director] “Good headlights on your car, because you come to work in the dark and go home in the dark.” – Essentials: The Golden Stallion, Paratroop Command, The Cool and the Crazy, The Bonnie Parker Story, Darktown Strutters

film47John Woo

“I’m not a master; I’m just a hard-working filmmaker. I would like everyone to see me as a friend rather than a master.” – Essentials: Hard Boiled, The Killer, Hard Target, Face/Off

film12Chang Cheh

Essentials: The One Armed Swordsman, Vengeance!, The Water Margin, Boxer From Shantung, Five Deadly Venoms, Kid With The Golden Arm, Chinese Super Ninjas,

film48Martin Scorsese

“Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life time, we need to keep them alive.”- Essentials: Whos That Knocking At My Door, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, King of Comedy, GoodFellas, Cape Fear, Gangs of NY, Casino

film11Brian DePalma

“I like to try to go back and develop pure visual storytelling. Because to me, it’s one of the most exciting aspects of making movies and almost a lost art at this point.” – Essentials: Hi Mom!, Sisters, Phantom of The Paradise, Carrie, Scarface, Untouchables, Carlitos Way, Mission Impossible

film5Quentin Tarantino

“When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films.” – Essentials: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Django Unchained

film22Jack Hill

[on making 1970s ‘blaxplotation’ films] “You were working on pictures that the industry had nothing but contempt for. There was a lot of racism in the industry, a lot of it was under the surface, but it was here. And the executives at the studios really had contempt for the audience they were making movies for. It was an uphill struggle to try to do anything really good.” – Essentials: Pit Stop, Big Doll House, Big Bird Cage, Coffy, Foxy Brown, Switchblade Sisters

film38Russ Meyer

“Nothing is obscene providing it is done in bad taste.” – Essentials: Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Supervixens

film28John Waters

“Some call me director, producer, filmmaker. I prefer to call myself pube-king.” – Essentials: Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, Polyester, Cry Baby, Hairspray, Pecker

film16David Lynch

“All the movies are about strange worlds that you can’t go into unless you build them and film them. That’s what’s so important about film to me. I just like going into strange worlds.” – Essentials: Eraserhead, Elephant Man, Dune, Blue Velvet, Straight Story, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive

film39Sergio Corbucci

Essentials: Minnesota Clay, Django, The Mercenary, Navajo Joe, Companeros

film49Sydney Pollack

“Every single art form is involved in film, in a way.” – Essentials: They Shoot Horses Dont They?, Jeremiah Johnson, Three Days of The Condor, The Yakuza, Tootsie, The Firm

film2John Cassavetes

“As an artist, I feel that we must try many things – but above all we must dare to fail.” – Essentials: Shadows, Faces, Husbands, A Woman Under The Influence, Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Opening Night, Gloria

film46Woody Allen

“I WANTED nothing more than to be a foreign filmmaker, but of course I was from Brooklyn, which was not a foreign country. Through a happy accident I wound up being a foreign filmmaker because I couldn’t raise money any other way.” – Essentials: Take The Money and Run, Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Stardust Memories, Midnight in Paris

film18Francis Ford Coppola

“I think cinema, movies and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made films were magicians.” – Essentials: The Godfather Trilogy, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, Tucker, Dracula

film45William Friedkin

“By the time a film of mine makes it into the theaters, I have a love-hate relationship with it. There is always something I could have done to make it better.” – Essentials: The French Connection, The Exorcist, Sorcerer, Cruising, To Live and Die in LA, Rules of Engagement, Killer Joe

film34Mario Bava

“Movies are a magician’s forge, they allow you to build a story with your hands–at least, that’s what it means to me. What attracts me in movies is to be presented with a problem and be able to solve it. Nothing else; just to create an illusion, an effect, with almost nothing.” – Essentials: Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, Blood and Black Lace, Planet of the Vampires, Danger Diabolik, Kidnapped

film10Ingmar Bergman

“No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.” – Essentials: Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, Persona, The Virgin Spring, Through A Glass Darkly, The Serpents Egg, Fanny and Alexander

film29Stanley Kubrick

“One man writes a novel. One man writes a symphony. It is essential that one man make a film.” – Essentials: The Killing, Lolita, Dr Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut

film42Steven Spielberg

“I dream for a living.” – Essentials: Duel, Jaws, 1941, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Color Purple, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, War of The Worlds, Catch Me if You Can, Minority Report

filmGeorge Lucas

“It’s hard work making movies. It’s like being a doctor: you work long hours, very hard hours, and it’s emotional, tense work. If you don’t really love it, then it ain’t worth it.” – Essentials: THX-1138, American Graffiti, Star Wars

film27John Carpenter

“Movies are pieces of film stuck together in a certain rhythm, an absolute beat, like a musical composition. The rhythm you create affects the audience.” – Essentials: Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog, The Thing, Escape From New York, Big Trouble in Little China, They Live

film43The Coen Brothers

“One of the pleasures of movies is creating a world…it gives you a license to do certain things.” And: “Every movie ever made is an attempt to remake The Wizard of Oz.” – Essentials: Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou, No Country For Old Men

Paul Verhoeven

“People love seeing violence and horrible things. The human being is bad and he can’t stand more than five minutes of happiness. Put him in a dark theater and ask him to look at two hours of happiness and he’d walk out or fall asleep.” – Essentials: Turkish Delight, Soldier of Orange, Robocop, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Starship Troopers, Black Book

William Castle

“An expert is a man who tells you a simple thing in a confused way in such a fashion as to make you think the confusion is your own fault.” – Essentials: House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts, The Tingler, Homicidal, Mr Sardonicus

film8David Cronenberg

“As filmmaker, I ask questions but don’t have answers. Moviemaking is a philosophical exploration. I invite the audience to come on the journey and discover what they think and feel.” – Essentials: Shivers, Rabid, Scanners, The Dead Zone, Videodrome, The Fly, Crash, Eastern Promises

Jim Jarmusch

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.” – Essentials: Permanent Vacation, Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law, Mystery Train, Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai

Spike Lee

“All directors are storytellers, so the motivation was to tell the story I wanted to tell. That’s what I love.” – Essentials: She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, Summer of Sam, He Got Game, 25th Hour, Inside Man

Clint Eastwood

“Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously” – Essentials: Play Misty For Me, High Plains Drifter, Outlaw Josey Wales, Honkytonk Man, Unforgiven, Mystic River, Gran Torino

film3Don Siegel

“Most of my pictures, I’m sorry to say, are about nothing. Because I’m a whore. I work for money. It’s the American way.” – Essentials: Riot in Cell Block 11, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Flaming Star, Hell Is For Heroes, The Killers, Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick, The Shootist, Telefon, Escape From Alcatraz

John Huston

“The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. And one day you die. That is all there is to it.” – Essentials: The Maltese Falcon, The Asphalt Jungle, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, Beat The Devil, The Misfits, The African Queen, Fat City, Wise Blood

Jerry Lewis

“People think I’m against critics because they are negative to my work. That’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is they didn’t see the work. I have seen critics print stuff about stuff I cut out of the film before we ran it. So don’t tell me about critics.” – Essentials: The Bellboy, The Ladies Man, The Errand Boy, Nutty Professor, The Family Jewels, The Big Mouth

Stay Tuned for VOLUME 2 of our Furious Filmmakers Tribute List



Editor-In-Chief of The Grindhouse Cinema Database/Furious Cinema contributor. Pete is a rabid movie geek who enjoys everything from wild n' crazy exploitation/cult flix to big budget mainstream classics. His other interests include: graphic design, cartooning and music.

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