Oscar Directors: Losers (Non-Winners…)

A day before the Oscar show, which is all about winning, may be the right time to celebrate the directors who, for one reason or another, have lost the award.

Here’s a list of directors who have received multiple Oscar nominations (three or more), but have never received a legit or competitive award. Most of the losers, or non-winners (to use the Academy’s jargon), have been compensated with an Honorary Oscar. Hopefully, Scorsese, a six-time nominee, will be crossed out from the list this Sunday.

This year might prove to be turning point, for Scorsese, who has been nominated six times, might be excluded from the list since he’s expected to win the Director Award for “The Departed.”

Scorsese is in very good company, one that includes Hitchcock, Robert Altman, Sideny Lumet, and David Lynch. For other distinguished directors, justice was restored rather late in their careers. Take, for example William Wyler, who won at his fifth nomination (for a bad movie, “Mrs. Miniver”), George Cukor, who also won at his fifth Nomination (for a mediocre effort “My Fair Lady”) David Lean at his fourth nomination (for “The Bridge on the River Kwai”), and Spielberg also at his fourth (for “Schindler’s List”).

As you’ll see from the list, half of losing directors are deceased by now, and several of those alive have already been granted an Honorary Oscar.

Still waiting for their turn are Ingmar Bergman, David Lynch, James Ivory, Ridley Scott, Peter Weir, and Arthur Penn, each nominated for 3 or 4 Oscars.

If the list included two-time nominees, it would have been much, much longer.

Directors (by nominations in chronological order)

6 nominations: 1 director

Martin Scorsese

5 Nominations: 4 directors

King Vidor
Clarence Brown
Alfred Hitchcock
Robert Altman

4 Nominations: 4 directors

Sidney Lumet
Federico Fellini
Stanley Kubrick
Peter Weir

3 Nominations: 11 directors

Ernst Lubitsch
William A. Wellman
Sam Wood
Richard Brooks
Stanley Kramer
Arthur Penn
Norman Jewison
Ingmar Bergman
David Lynch
James Ivory
Ridley Scott