DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #45 – #41

An American director, an Italian director, a British director and two German directors go into a bar…

My 50 favourite directors #45 – #41

*NOTE: I did not include any made for TV movies in the numbers I used for each director’s full-length feature films.*

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#45. Brian De Palma

What I’ve Seen: Sisters (1973), Phantom of the Paradise (1974), Obsession (1976), Carrie (1976), The Fury (1978), Dressed to Kill (1980), Blow Out (1981), Scarface (1983), Body Double (1984), Wise Guys (1986), The Untouchables (1987), Casualties of War (1989), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Raising Cain (1992), Carlito’s Way (1993), Mission: Impossible (1996), Snake Eyes (1998), Mission to Mars (2000), The Black Dahlia (2006)

Brian De Palma is the first American director to make the list. I’ve seen 19 of De Palma’s 28 full length feature films. I must admit, I’ve been pretty disappointed in De Palma’s last few films, although I have not yet seen Redacted. While De Palma doesn’t always get it right, when he does it definitely leaves an impression. Sisters and Carrie feature two of my very favourite female killers and Carrie has long sat on my list of top 100 horror films of all-time. De Palma has covered a variety of genres but I must admit it is his horror titles I most covet. Although Blow Out, Scarface, Body Double and The Untouchables also rather kick some ass. De Palma includes all manner of little flourishes like split screens and mirrors throughout his films; viewers seem to have mixed feelings about this practice, I think it works more often than not. A talented director who has contributed some of film’s most intriguing characters. Strong stories, great performances and a style all his own; Brian De Palma has left an indelible mark on movie making and my black heart.

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#44. F.W. Murnau

What I’ve Seen: Nosferatu (1922), Phantom (1922), The Last Laugh (1924), Faust: A German Folk Legend (1926), Sunrise (1927)

German director F.W. Murnau directed 20 films of which I have seen a slim 5; nonetheless 4 of the 5 films were so bloody impressive they qualified Murnau for this list. Nosferatu completely envelopes me after multiple watches. I also gave The Last Laugh and Sunrise perfect scores and gave Faust: A German Folk Legend a 4.5/5! I am still being schooled on silent films but I have scratched multiple titles off the ‘to see’ list since starting this blog. There are plenty of films that could benefit from no speaking! Murnau’s films however benefit from many things. In a silent film visuals are particularly important and Murnau’s are extremely impressive. Intriguing stories and fascinating characters laid out on Murnau’s perfect palette. Yep, this dude has blown my mind. Sadly Murnau died March 11, 1931 at the young age of 42.

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#43. Federico Fellini

What I’ve Seen: La strada (1954), Nights of Cabiria (1957), La Dolce Vita (1960), 8½ (1963), Fellini – Satyricon (1969), Amarcord (1973)

Italian director Federico Fellini made 19 full length feature films of which I’ve seen 6. All six films are absolutely superb. Fellini worked in the film industry until his death October 31, 1993 at the age of 73. The sad and beautiful La Strada was my first Fellini film and I gave it perfect marks. La Strada would be hard to top, but top it he did with Nights of Caliria and La Dolce Vita. Funny, cruel, touching, quirky, dreamy, sexy and downright trippy; Fellini’s work influenced three other directors who will be making an appearance on this list. To say he made an important impact on filmmaking seems like a grand understatement. I intend to see every last one of Fellini’s films. I look forward to experiencing more of Fellini’s dreams and desires.

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#42. Werner Herzog

What I’ve Seen: Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970), Fata Morgana (1971), Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972), The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Woyzeck (1979), Fitzcarraldo (1982), Invincible (2001), Grizzly Man (2005), Rescue Dawn (2006), Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

German filmmaker Werner Herzog has 33 full length feature films of which I have seen 11. I love all of Herzog’s 70s films particularly Even Dwarfs Started Small, The Enigma of Kasper Hauser and Nosferatu. The talented Herzog has also directed several documentaries including the outstanding Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Genre jumping Herzog brings his magic touch to everything from horror, to drama, sci-fi, fantasies, biographies and documentaries. Actor Klaus Kinski and director Werner Herzog are one of cinema’s great pairings. Kinski always gave Herzog an outstanding performance and Herzog in return gave Kinski a well-written character and a compelling story in which his character could dwell. I have many more Herzog films still to see and that is a very good thing.

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#41. Terence Fisher

What I’ve Seen: Spaceways (1953), Face the Music (1954), Murder by Proxy (1954), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959), The Mummy (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The Phantom of the Opera (1962), The Gorgon (1964), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), The Devil Rides Out (1968), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

It’s Hammer time…again! Terence Fisher is the second British director who worked for Hammer Studios to make my 50 favourite list. I’ve seen 17 of Fisher’s films which I thought was a significant number but it is just a drop in the bucket of his 50 full length feature films listed on IMDB. Fisher died June 18, 1980 at the age of 76 and left behind a damn fine legacy of fabulousness! I enjoyed all 12 films I have seen directed by Fisher. I don’t even know where to begin. I love so many films on this list! Dracula, The Mummy, The Devil Rides Out, The Gorgon, The Curse of Frankenstein, and The Curse of the Werewolf to name a few. Maestro Fisher makes Hammer’s wonderful sets and costumes come alive with engrossing stories and brings out Christopher Lee’s and Peter Cushing’s best performances; among an impressive list of others including Oliver Reed, Barbara Shelley, Anton Diffring, Hazel Court and Charles Gray. Fisher’s films make me incredibly happy. I don’t know if I will ever see all fifty on his list, but I will try diligently.

9 Responses to “DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #45 – #41”

  1. Brian de Palma is my number 116 director in my personal list, I’ve enjoyed most of his films, and I love his directing style, but I guess that his most famous film, Scarface, didn’t much for me. My favorite of the films he’s directed and that I’ve seen is “Carrie” (1976) which I rated 10/10.

    F. W. Murnau is not listed, as I’ve only seen one of his films

    Federico Fellini is not listed, as I’ve only seen one of his films

    Werner Herzog is in number 57 in my personal list, but I’ve barely scratched into the inmensity of his ouvre that I like a lot of what I’ve seen and heard, can’t wait to dwelve deeply into his films. My favorite of the films he’s directed and that I’ve seen is “Bad Liutenant – Port of Call New Orleans” (2009) which I rated 9/10.

    Terence Fisher is in the number 143 in my personal list, and I consider him to be the best director of the Dracula series at Hammer, making one of the few really good ones in that series of amazing and interesting films. My favorite of the films he’s directed is “Dracula” (1958) which I rated 9/10.

    My 5:

    45. John Cassavetes (Opening Night, Shadows) *Opening Night 10/10
    44. Richard Brooks (In Cold Blood, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) *Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 9/10
    43. Robert Bresson (L’Argent, Balthazar) *L’Argent 9/10
    42. Kenneth Branagh (Thor, Hamlet) *Hamlet 9/10
    41. Joon-ho Bong (Memories of Murder, Ji-ri-myeol-lyeol) *Memories of Murder 10/10

    • goregirl Says:

      I have not seen Herzog’s The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans but that name is unnecessarily long! 9/10 huh? Wow! That is a heck of a rating! I might watch that and into the Abyss this weekend!

      Joon-ho Bong also made my shortlist and I absolutely love Memories of Murder and The Host!! Bresson also made the shortlist…films I dig, but none of which I gave perfect marks to. Must admit I like the Richard Brooks flicks you name but he did not make my radar. I have only seen one film directed by John Cassavetes; A Woman Under the Influence which I thought was amazing.

  2. Beanhammer Says:

    Thanks Goregirl.

    Great article 😀

  3. If I were to make a favorite fifty list,all these directors would be on it. Di Palma’s Sisters,which I just watched again recently,is incredible. I love the performances of Margot Kidder,Charle Durning and Jennifer Salt,an actress who faded away from the scene far too quickly. Casualties of War is one of the most harrowing,gut wrenching films I’ve ever seen. Terence Fisher’s films I can view over and over. His remake of Phantom of the Opera remains my favorite version. Night Creatures is a most impressive film as well. One other Hammer director would make my list,and that would be Peter Sasdy. Possibly Freddie Francis and Seth Holt,too,because I’m ga-ga for Hammer. A hearty bravo for this most impressive,entertaining epic list in progress oh Girl of Gore! Look forward to more!

    • goregirl Says:

      I keeping planning A Hammer Films month and somehow never quite get around to it! I’ll do it sometime before the end of the year!! Freddie Francis made my shortlist but lost out on the final cut!

      • Yikes! Night Creatures is directed by Peter Graham Scott!!! I feel dizzy and weak. Forgive this error on my part Gore Girl! Obviously I’m becoming more senile with each passing day. : )

  4. Ha… the best part of this list is that I’m going to learn the names of the directors who made a bunch of Hammer horrors that I like.

    • goregirl Says:

      Well you will be disappointed there will be no more Hammer directors…but Freddie Francis did make the shortlist (Hammer flicks: The Evil of Frankenstein, Nightmare, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave Amicus: The Skull, Torture Garden, The Creeping Flesh, Tales from the Crypt AND Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly)!

  5. […] this film slid under my radar. I am a huge fan of Terence Fisher and even gave him the #41 spot on my fifty favourite directors list. I am also a big fan of Peter Cushing who stars along with Edward Judd. Both men play doctors; […]

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