Top 10 Filmmakers that Have Never Won a Best Director Oscar

They've all left an everlasting mark on cinema, even if they don't have a certain accolade to show for it.

For this list, we’re taking a look at prominent directors that never took home an Academy Award for their directing work. However, filmmakers who have been recognized with Honorary Oscars and wins in other categories are still eligible, as long as they never achieved the highest honor for a director.

The Top Ten

1 Alfred Hitchcock

That’s right, Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense and arguably one of the greatest directors who ever lived, never won one competitive Oscar for directing. He wasn’t even nominated for several of the pictures that are now his most respected works, like “Strangers on a Train” and “Vertigo.” This Oscar injustice goes to show that it doesn’t always matter if you’ve made some of the most iconic, influential, and important movies of all time; even the best can go home empty handed. But perhaps knowing that he’s so many classics is the only reward a director truly needs. - Cehrlich1

2 Stanley Kubrick

Some of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpieces, like “The Shining” and “Eyes Wide Shut,” were misunderstood upon initial release. The Academy did acknowledge several of his films, though, including “Dr. Strangelove” and “A Clockwork Orange.” Despite his numerous nominations, Kubrick only won one Oscar for the astounding visual effects in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” But Kubrick’s movies only get better with time. Looking back on his incredible track record, it’s shocking the Academy never presented him a Best Director Oscar for his groundbreaking contributions to cinema " but then again, all the best artists are more appreciated when they’re gone. - Cehrlich1

3 Akira Kurosawa
4 David Fincher David Fincher David Andrew Leo Fincher is an American film director, film producer, television director, television producer, and music video director.
5 Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin received two Honorary Academy Awards and finally won an Oscar for Best Original Score in 1973, but this icon of the silent movie era was never even nominated for Best Director. Part of this was likely because the popularity of silent movies started to die out in the ‘30s and Chaplin became an increasingly controversial figure in the ‘40s. Plus, slapstick comedies have rarely been taken seriously at the Oscars. In retrospect, though, the Academy must be kicking themselves for not recognizing the Little Tramp for his innovative direction. - Cehrlich1

6 Quentin Tarantino
7 Federico Fellini
8 Ingmar Bergman Ingmar Bergman Ernst Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish director, writer, and producer who worked in film, television, theatre and radio.
9 Robert Altman
10 Sergio Leone

The Contenders

11 Christopher Nolan Christopher Nolan Christopher Edward Nolan is an English film director, producer, and screenwriter who holds both British and American citizenship. He is one of the highest-grossing directors in history, and among the most successful and acclaimed filmmakers of the 21st century.
12 F. W. Murnau
13 Sergei Eisenstein Sergei Eisenstein
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List Stats

13 listings
2 years, 176 days old

Top Remixes

1. Alfred Hitchcock
2. Quentin Tarantino
3. Stanley Kubrick
1. Alfred Hitchcock
2. Stanley Kubrick
3. Akira Kurosawa


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