Blogathon Relay: The 10 Most Influential Directors of All Time


Mark, over at Three Rows Back, has kindly passed the baton to me in the very interesting (and demanding) blog relay called The 10 Most Influential Directors of All Time.

This one was started by John at Hitchcock’s World, who states:

“I have compiled a list of 10 directors I consider to be extremely influential. I will name another blogger to take over. That blogger, in their own article, will go through my list and choose one they feel doesn’t belong, make a case for why that director doesn’t fit, and then bring out a replacement. After making a case for why that director is a better choice, they will pass the baton onto another blogger. That third blogger will repeat the process before choosing another one to take over, and so on.”

The baton has so far been passed to the following:

Girl Meets Cinema
And So It Begins…
Dell On Movies
Two Dollar Cinema
A Fistful Of Films
The Cinematic Spectacle
FlixChatter (who designed the banner logo!)
Three Rows Back

Before passing the baton to me, Mark eliminated Jean-Luc Godard and added John Ford.

“The more I think about it, the less I’m sure, but compared to the others on this list I feel Godard’s influence has slipped and, as such, he doesn’t quite make it. Sorry Jean-Luc, but I suspect you’d feel that lists like this are way too bourgeois anyway”.

So, the list so far includes Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, Georges Méliès, Martin Scorsese, Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick and John Ford.


But, the rules clearly state that I have to take one of them out and include someone new in. Please keep in mind that these are all incredibly beloved filmmakers and somebody’s bound to get hurt. This was an incredibly difficult decision, and I run the risk of being condemned, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, so I’m eliminating…

Orson Welles


Please don’t kill me. I mean, come on, the man directed what’s considered by many as the finest film ever: Citizen Kane. I know that. The style he showed on his debut reverberates on celluloid to this day. But looking at the other names on this list, I can’t help but think that one film (OK, a bit more if you count Touch of Evil and his Shakespeare adaptations), however influential it may be, is enough for Welles to be in the company of filmmakers with dozens of iconic movies and that are lauded for their entire filmographies (or for their contributions to the art form, like Méliès). So there.

And now for another move that will surely spark some controversy, I’m adding…

Woody Allen


Granted, his a-film-a-year strategy has rendered quite a few stinkers, but his innate talent has given us many more jewels and inspired several generations of writers and directors. Dozens of filmmakers have tried to match his acerbic wit and clever humor, and rarely achieved the same level of greatness. Allen is a master of comedy but has also concocted harrowing dramas with ease, and his unconventional approach makes him the ultimate actors’ director, maybe because he’s a thespian himself. A true triple threat, he’s even inspired an adjective to describe his films: Allenesque. That’s influence, I’d say.

This means the list so far includes Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, Georges Méliès, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick and John Ford.


Now it’s the turn of Tom (at Digital Shortbread).
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take this list, eliminate one of the directors in it (potentially angering thousands) and replace him with a choice of your own. Have fun!