Directors: Debuts–Strong and Brilliant (from A to Z)

Research in Progress: June 27, 2021

Directors who have made a particularly strong feature debut, in alphabetical order:

Affleck, Ben, Gone Baby Gone, 2007

Brooks, James L. Terms of Endearment, 1983

Burnett, Charles, Killer of Sheep, 1978 (2007)

Coppola, Sofia, The Virgin Suicides, 1999

Costner, Dancing With Wolves, 1990

Crowe, Cameron, Say Anything, 1989

Darabont, Frank, The Shawshank Redemption, 1994

Ford, Tom, A Single Man, 2010

Kelly, Richard, Donnie Darko, 2001

Laughton, Charles, The Night of the Hunter, 1955

Lumet, Sidney, 12 Angry Men, 1957

McQueen, Steve, Hunger, 2008

Mann, Delbert, Marty, 1955

Mendes, Sam, American Beauty, 1999

Miller, Bennett, Capote, 2005

Ray, Satyajit, Pather Panchali, 1955

Redford, Robert, Ordinary People, 1980

Singleton, John, Boyz N the Hood, 1991

 

 

A

Anderson, Lindsay, This Sporting Life, 1963, age 40

Annaud, Jean Jacques, Black and White, 1976, age 33

Armstrong, Gillian, My Brilliant Career, 1978, age 28

Ashby, Hal, The Landord, 1970, age 41

Attenborough, Richard, Oh, Lovely War! 1969, age 46

 

B

Balaban, Bob, Parents, 1989, age 44

Ballard, Carol, The Black Stallion, 1979, age 42

Jean Jacques Beinex, Diva, 198o, age 32

Bellochio, Marco, Fist in the Pocket, 1965, age 26

Branah, Kenneth, Henry V, 1989

Burton, Tim, Pee-Wee, 1985

 

C

Coen, Joel, Fargo, 1984

 

D

 

E

 

F

 

G

 

H

Hopper, Denis, Easy Rider, 1969

Hughes, John, Sixteen Candles, 1984

Huston, John, Maltese Falcon, 1941

 

I

J

 

K

 

L

Lee, Spike, She’sGot to Have It, 1986,

Levinson, Barry, Diner, 1982

Lynch, Eraserhead, 1977

 

M

Malick, Terrence, Badlands, 1973,

Mazursky, Paul, Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice, 1969

 

N

Nichols, Mike, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1966

Nichols, Ray, They Live By Night, 1948

O

P

Perry, Frank, David and Lisa, 1962

Q

 

R

 

S

Soderbergh, Steven, sex, lies and videotape, 1989, age 26

 

T

Tarantino, Quentin, Reservoir Dogs, 1991, age 28

 

U V

 

W

Welles, Orson, Citizen Kane

 

XY

Wajda, Andrzej, A Generation, 1955

 

Z

Zeitlin, Benh, Beasts of the Southern Wild, 2012 (then sophomore jinx)