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The 25 Most Influential Directors of All Time, From Scorsese to Kubrick

The 25 Most Influential Directors of All Time, From Scorsese to Kubrick

Articles - Directing

22. John Huston (1906 – 1987)

Says writer-director Mika Kaurismäki of the life of John Huston: “John Huston’s film career lasted at least 57 years, more than the half of the first century of cinema. He started acting at the end of the 1920s, writing scripts in the beginning of the ’30s, and made his directorial debut in 1941 with the excellent The Maltese Falcon, that renewed the whole genre of detective films. The Asphalt Jungle is one of the classics of film noir; it inspired many directors, including Kubrick, who five years later made The Killing and Jean-Pierre Melville, who said that it was the most important American film of all time.

Huston was able to change with time and some of his later films (Fat City, The Life and Times of the
Judge Roy Bean
, Wise Blood and Prizzi’s Honor) were absolutely modern films that achieved the critical acclaim normally associated with promising debut filmmakers. He was a painter, boxer, bullfighter, poet, hunter, soldier, gambler and filmmaker. He adored life and took risks. This can be seen in his films; no genre was impossible for him. The African Queen, Moulin Rouge, Moby Dick, The Misfits, Freud, The Night of the Iguana, The Bible, Casino Royale, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Man Who Would be King are just a few examples of his range.

Huston was a storyteller whose films were always both well conceived and strongly character-driven, even to the extent that his ‘directorial style’ was often invisible. As James Agee says: “a wonderful breath of fresh air, light, vitality and freedom goes through every one of his issues/47/images.”

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  1. Avatar

    R. Taylor

    January 6, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Where the heck is David Lean?!

  2. Avatar


    February 25, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    david lean? where is andrei tarkovsky?

  3. Avatar


    March 8, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Where is Satyajit ray, the greatest indian filmmaker?

  4. Avatar

    Violet Ray

    May 5, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Where are the women?

  5. Avatar

    Roger Howerton

    May 9, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Yes, David Lean has should be here, and how ’bout William Wyler?

  6. Avatar


    July 25, 2019 at 1:30 am

    For me, it’s definitely Lars vor Trier with his impecable style and metaphors. His Melancholia drama was just astonishing with its sci-fi influences and Kirsten Dunst starring. I wrote more than 50 movie reviews on all of his films starting with The Orchid Gardener. I wonder how may times Willem Dafoe wanted to leave the projects.

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