Entertainment

How Many Of These First Films From Famous Directors Have You Seen?

Some of your favorite filmmakers earned instant acclaim and fame with their debuts. Others got their starts with pornos.

  1. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

    Orson Welles launched his career as a director with Citizen Kane, one of the greatest movies ever made. Francis Ford Coppola? He began with a Western softcore comedy. Everyone’s got to start somewhere — how well do you know the debuts of these 200 famous filmmakers? Check off every film that you’ve watched all the way through. (Note: For the purposes of this list, a directorial debut is someone’s first full-length feature — no shorts and nothing for TV.)

    1. Paramount Home Entertainment
      J.J. Abrams, “Mission: Impossible III” (2006)
    2. Miramax Home Entertainment
      Ben Affleck, “Gone Baby Gone” (2007)
    1. Image Entertainment
      Woody Allen (with Senkichi Taniguchi), “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” (1966)
    2. Cinevista
      Pedro Almodóvar, “Pepi, Luci, Bom” (1980)
    1. United Artists
      Robert Altman, “The Delinquents” (1957)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Wes Anderson, “Bottle Rocket” (1996)
    1. New Horizons
      Paul W. S. Anderson, “Shopping” (1994)
    2. Sony Pictures Video
      Paul Thomas Anderson, “Hard Eight” (1996)
    1. Universal Studios Home Entertainment
      Judd Apatow, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005)
    2. VCI Entertainment
      Dario Argento, “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” (1970)
    1. Lions Gate Films
      Darren Aronofsky, “Pi” (1998)
    2. MGM Home Video
      Hal Ashby, “The Landlord” (1970)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Noah Baumbach, “Kicking and Screaming” (1995)
    2. Redemption
      Mario Bava, “Black Sunday” (1960)
    1. Columbia Pictures
      Michael Bay, “Bad Boys” (1995)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Ingmar Bergman, “Crisis” (1946)
    1. Warner Bros.
      Busby Berkeley, “She Had to Say Yes” (1933)
    2. Columbia TriStar Home Video
      Luc Besson, “Le Dernier Combat” (1983)
    1. Blue Underground
      Kathryn Bigelow (with Monty Montgomery), “The Loveless” (1981)
    2. Warner Bros.
      Brad Bird, “The Iron Giant” (1999)
    1. Warner Archive Collection
      Peter Bogdanovich, “Targets” (1968)
    2. Magnolia Home Entertainment
      Bong Joon-ho, “Barking Dogs Never Bite” (2000)
    1. Channel Four Films
      Danny Boyle, “Shallow Grave” (1994)
    2. MGM/UA Home Entertainment
      Kenneth Branagh, “Henry V” (1989)
    1. Fox Lorber
      Catherine Breillat, “A Real Young Girl” (1976)
    2. Paramount Home Video
      Albert Brooks, “Real Life” (1979)
    1. Paramount Pictures
      James L. Brooks, “Terms of Endearment” (1983)
    2. Shout! Factory
      Mel Brooks, “The Producers” (1967)
    1. Kino International
      Luis Buñuel, “L’Age d’Or” (1930)
    2. Warner Bros.
      Tim Burton, “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (1985)
    1. Columbia TriStar Home Video
      James Cameron, “Piranha Part Two: The Spawning” (1981)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Jane Campion, “Sweetie” (1989)
    1. Kino Video
      Frank Capra, “The Strong Man” (1926)
    2. VCI Entertainment
      John Carpenter, “Dark Star” (1974)
    1. Criterion Collection
      John Cassavetes, “Shadows” (1959)
    2. United Artists
      Charlie Chaplin, “The Kid” (1921)
    1. Fox Lorber
      Chen Kaige, “Yellow Earth” (1984)
    2. Universal Studios
      Lisa Cholodenko, “High Art” (1998)
    1. Miramax
      George Clooney, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002)
    2. Universal Studios Home Video
      Joel and Ethan Coen, “Blood Simple.” (1984)
    1. Buena Vista Pictures
      Chris Columbus, “Adventures in Babysitting” (1987)
    2. Kino International
      Francis Ford Coppola, “Tonight for Sure” (1962)
    1. Paramount Classics
      Sofia Coppola, “The Virgin Suicides” (1999)
    2. Twentieth Century Fox
      Wes Craven, “The Last House on the Left” (1972)
    1. Blue Underground
      David Cronenberg, “Stereo” (1969)
    2. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
      Cameron Crowe, “Say Anything…” (1989)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Alfonso Cuarón, “Sólo Con Tu Pareja” (1991)
    2. Codeblack Entertainment
      Lee Daniels, “Shadowboxer” (2005)
    1. Castle Rock Entertainment
      Frank Darabont, “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Brian De Palma, “Murder à la Mod” (1968)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Guillermo del Toro, “Cronos” (1993)
    2. Shout! Factory
      Jonathan Demme, “Caged Heat” (1974)
    1. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
      Claire Denis, “Chocolat” (1988)
    2. Warner Home Video
      Stanley Donen (with Gene Kelly), “On the Town” (1949)
    1. Universal Studios Home Video
      Clint Eastwood, “Play Misty for Me” (1971)
    2. Ego Film Arts
      Atom Egoyan, “Next of Kin” (1984)
    1. Anchor Bay
      Roland Emmerich, “The Noah’s Ark Principle” (1984)
    2. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
      Nora Ephron, “This Is My Life” (1992)
    1. New Line
      Peter and Bobby Farrelly, “Dumb & Dumber” (1994)
    2. Artisan Entertainment
      Jon Favreau, “Made” (2001)
    1. Artisan Entertainment
      Paul Feig, “I Am David” (2003)
    2. VCX
      Abel Ferrara, “9 Lives of a Wet Pussy Cat” (1976)
    1. Twentieth Century Fox
      David Fincher, “Alien 3” (1992)
    2. Columbia Pictures
      William Friedkin, “Good Times” (1967)
    1. Mill Creek Entertainment
      Antoine Fuqua, “The Replacement Killers” (1998)
    2. Warner Bros.
      Mel Gibson, “The Man Without a Face” (1993)
    1. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
      Terry Gilliam (with Terry Jones), “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Jean-Luc Godard, “Breathless” (1960)
    1. New Line Cinema
      Michel Gondry, “Human Nature” (2001)
    2. Criterion Collection
      David Gordon Green, “George Washington” (2000)
    1. Columbia Pictures
      Christopher Guest, “The Big Picture” (1989)
    2. Kino Video
      Michael Haneke, “The Seventh Continent” (1989)
    1. Twentieth Century Fox
      Catherine Hardwicke, “Thirteen” (2003)
    2. MGM Home Entertainment
      Mary Harron, “I Shot Andy Warhol” (1996)
    1. Zeitgeist Films
      Todd Haynes, “Poison” (1991)
    2. Universal Studios
      Amy Heckerling, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982)
    1. New Yorker Video
      Werner Herzog, “Signs of Life” (1968)
    2. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      George Roy Hill, “Period of Adjustment” (1962)
    1. BFI/Park Circus Films
      Alfred Hitchcock, “The Pleasure Garden” (1925)
    2. Miramax Home Entertainment
      Nicole Holofcener, “Walking and Talking” (1996)
    1. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
      Dennis Hopper, “Easy Rider” (1969)
    2. Shout! Factory
      Ron Howard, “Grand Theft Auto” (1977)
    1. New Line Cinema
      Albert and Allen Hughes, “Menace II Society” (1993)
    2. MCA/Universal Home Video
      John Hughes, “Sixteen Candles” (1984)
    1. Warner Home Video
      John Huston, “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)
    2. Lions Gate Films Home Entertainment
      Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Amores Perros” (2000)
    1. Criterion Collection
      James Ivory, “The Householder” (1963)
    2. Synergy Entertainment
      Peter Jackson, “Bad Taste” (1987)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Steve James, “Hoop Dreams” (1994)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Jim Jarmusch, “Permanent Vacation” (1980)
    1. Lionsgate Home Entertainment
      Jean-Pierre Jeunet (with Marc Caro), “Delicatessen” (1991)
    2. Focus Features
      Rian Johnson, “Brick” (2005)
    1. Universal Studios
      Spike Jonze, “Being John Malkovich” (1999)
    2. Channel Four Films
      Neil Jordan, “Angel” (1982)
    1. Paramount Pictures
      Mike Judge, “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America” (1996)
    2. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
      Elia Kazan, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945)
    1. Kino International
      Buster Keaton, “Three Ages” (1923)
    2. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
      Richard Kelly, “Donnie Darko” (2001)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Abbas Kiarostami, “The Traveler” (1974)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Barbara Kopple, “Harlan County U.S.A.” (1976)
    1. New Line
      Harmony Korine, “Gummo” (1997)
    2. Kino Lorber
      Stanley Kubrick, “Fear and Desire” (1953)
    1. Toho Company
      Akira Kurosawa, “Sanshiro Sugata” (1943)
    2. Anchor Bay
      John Landis, “Schlock” (1973)
    1. Warner Home Video
      John Lasseter, “Toy Story” (1995)
    2. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
      David Lean (with Noel Coward), “In Which We Serve” (1942)
    1. Image Entertainment
      Ang Lee, “Pushing Hands” (1992)
    2. MGM Home Entertainment
      Spike Lee, “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986)
    1. Water Bearer Films
      Mike Leigh, “Bleak Moments” (1971)
    2. Warner Home Video
      Sergio Leone, “The Colossus of Rhodes” (1961)
    1. Warner Home Video
      Barry Levinson, “Diner” (1982)
    2. Paramount Home Video
      Jerry Lewis, “The Bellboy” (1960)
    1. Trimark
      Doug Liman, “Getting In” (1994)
    2. Vanguard Cinema
      Justin Lin (with Quentin Lee), “Shopping for Fangs” (1997)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Richard Linklater, “It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books” (1988)
    2. National General Pictures
      Ken Loach, “Poor Cow” (1967)
    1. Warner Bros.
      George Lucas, “THX 1138” (1971)
    2. MGM
      Sidney Lumet, “12 Angry Men” (1957)
    1. Criterion Collection
      David Lynch, “Eraserhead” (1977)
    2. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
      Adrian Lyne, “Foxes” (1980)
    1. Warner Bros.
      Terrence Malick, “Badlands” (1973)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Louis Malle, “Elevator to the Gallows” (1958)
    1. Warner Home Video
      Michael Mann, “Thief” (1981)
    2. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
      Penny Marshall, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1986)
    1. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Garry Marshall, “Young Doctors in Love” (1982)
    2. Olive Films
      Elaine May, “A New Leaf” (1971)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Albert and David Maysles (with Charlotte Zwerin), “Salesman” (1968)
    2. Dreamworks
      Adam McKay, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Steve McQueen, “Hunger” (2008)
    2. MGM Home Entertainment
      John McTiernan, “Nomads” (1986)
    1. Dreamworks
      Sam Mendes, “American Beauty” (1999)
    2. Buena Vista Pictures
      Nancy Meyers, “The Parent Trap” (1998)
    1. Artisan Entertainment
      Bennett Miller, “The Cruise” (1998)
    2. MGM Home Entertainment
      George Miller, “Mad Max” (1979)
    1. MGM Home Entertainment
      Anthony Minghella, “Truly Madly Deeply” (1990)
    2. Manga Video
      Hayao Miyazaki, “Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro” (1979)
    1. Warner Bros.
      Michael Moore, “Roger & Me” (1989)
    2. MGM/UA Home Entertainment
      Errol Morris, “Gates of Heaven” (1978)
    1. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Mira Nair, “Salaam Bombay!” (1988)
    2. Warner Home Video
      Mike Nichols, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966)
    1. Strand Releasing
      Gaspar Noé, “I Stand Alone” (1998)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Christopher Nolan, “Following” (1998)
    1. Backroads Productions
      Phillip Noyce, “Backroads” (1977)
    2. Olive Films
      Alan J. Pakula, “The Sterile Cuckoo” (1969)
    1. Paramount Pictures
      Alan Parker, “Bugsy Malone” (1976)
    2. Lionsgate
      Alexander Payne, “Citizen Ruth” (1996)
    1. VCI Entertainment
      Sam Peckinpah, “The Deadly Companions” (1961)
    2. Warner Home Video
      Arthur Penn, “The Left Handed Gun” (1958)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Roman Polanski, “Knife in the Water” (1962)
    2. Olive Films
      Sydney Pollack, “The Slender Thread” (1965)
    1. Anchor Bay Entertainment
      Sam Raimi, “The Evil Dead” (1981)
    2. Warner Home Video
      Harold Ramis, “Caddyshack” (1980)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Lynne Ramsay, “Ratcatcher” (1999)
    2. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
      Satyajit Ray, “Pather Panchali” (1955)
    1. RKO
      Nicholas Ray, “They Live by Night” (1948)
    2. Paramount Pictures
      Robert Redford, “Ordinary People” (1980)
    1. New Line
      Robert Reiner, “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984)
    2. Twentieth Century Fox
      Jason Reitman, “Thank You for Smoking” (2005)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Alain Resnais, “Hiroshima Mon Amour” (1959)
    2. Pathfinder Pictures
      Leni Riefenstahl, “The Blue Light” (1932)
    1. Universal Studios
      Guy Ritchie, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” (1998)
    2. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
      Robert Rodriguez, “El Mariachi” (1992)
    1. Image Ten
      George A. Romero, “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)
    2. New Line
      David O. Russell, “Spanking the Monkey” (1994)
    1. MGM Home Entertainment
      John Sayles, “Return of the Secaucus Seven” (1979)
    2. Universal Studios Home Entertainment
      Joel Schumacher, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” (1981)
    1. Warner Bros.
      Martin Scorsese, “Who’s That Knocking at My Door” (1967)
    2. Shout! Factory
      Ridley Scott, “The Duellists” (1977)
    1. Warner Home Video
      Tony Scott, “The Hunger” (1983)
    2. Cinevista
      M. Night Shyamalan, “Praying with Anger” (1992)
    1. Vanguard Cinema
      Bryan Singer, “Public Access” (1993)
    2. Columbia Pictures
      John Singleton, “Boyz n the Hood” (1991)
    1. Miramax
      Kevin Smith, “Clerks.” (1994)
    2. Universal Studios
      Zack Snyder, “Dawn of the Dead” (2004)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Steven Soderbergh, “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” (1989)
    2. Spheeris Films Inc.
      Penelope Spheeris, “The Decline of Western Civilization” (1981)
    1. Universal Studios
      Steven Spielberg, “The Sugarland Express” (1974)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Whit Stillman, “Metropolitan” (1990)
    1. Scorpion Releasing
      Oliver Stone, “Seizure” (1974)
    2. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
      Barbra Streisand, “Yentl” (1983)
    1. Lionsgate Home Entertainment
      Quentin Tarantino, “Reservoir Dogs” (1992)
    2. Clear Blue Sky Productions
      Julie Taymor, “Titus” (1999)
    1. Criterion Collection
      François Truffaut, “The 400 Blows” (1959)
    2. Criterion Collection
      Gus Van Sant, “Mala Noche” (1986)
    1. Paramount Pictures
      Gore Verbinski, “Mousehunt” (1997)
    2. Something Weird Video
      Paul Verhoeven, “Diary of a Hooker” (1971)
    1. Criterion Collection
      Lars Von Trier, “The Element of Crime” (1984)
    2. Republic Pictures Home Video
      Andy and Lana Wachowski, “Bound” (1996)
    1. RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video
      Peter Weir, “The Cars That Ate Paris” (1974)
    2. Warner Home Video
      Orson Welles, “Citizen Kane” (1941)
    1. Universal Pictures
      Joss Whedon, “Serenity” (2005)
    2. Image Entertainment
      Billy Wilder (with Alexander Esway), “Mauvaise Graine” (1934)
    1. Magnolia Pictures
      Nicolas Winding Refn, “Pusher” (1996)
    2. RKO Radio Pictures
      Robert Wise, “Mademoiselle Fifi” (1944)
    1. Zipporah Films
      Frederick Wiseman, “Titicut Follies” (1967)
    2. Kino International
      Wong Kar-wai, “As Tears Go By” (1988)
    1. Golden Harvest Company
      John Woo, “The Young Dragons” (1974)
    2. Blue Dolphin Film Distribution
      Edgar Wright, “A Fistful of Fingers” (1995)
    1. Warner Home Video
      Robert Zemeckis, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” (1978)
    2. New Yorker Films
      Zhang Yimou, “Red Sorghum” (1987)

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