My Gleanings

Friday, April 20, 2007

Best American Directors from the Belgian Cinematheque 1958

In 1957, in preparation for the "Confrontation of the Best Films in the World" event which was to be held at the Brussels Worls's Fair in 1958, the Royale Cinémathèque de Belgique distributed ballots to 150 critics across the world asking them to list the 30 most important films from the beginning of film to the end of 1955. 117 critics from 26 nations submitted list and the cited 609 different films. In the December 1959 issue of Cahiers du Cinema, Claude Gauteur contributed an article which broke down some of the statistics from the results. The following tableau is a list of the best American directors from that "confrontation".

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1.....Charles Chaplin -- 250 The Gold Rush (85), Modern Times (34), City Lights (32), The Kid (17), Limelight (15), Monsieur Verdoux (14), The Great Dictator (13), A Woman of Paris (12), The Pilgrim (8), Shoulder Arms (6), The Circus (5), The Immigrant (5), The Cure (1), Sunnyside (1), Easy Street (1)
2.....D W Griffith -- 122 Intolerance (61), Birth of a Nation (42), Broken Blossoms (15)
3.....John Ford -- 107 The Grapes of Wrath (40), Stagecoach (31), The Informer (23)
4.....Eric von Stroheim -- 93 Greed (71), Foolish Wives (11), The Wedding March (11)
5.....Robert Flaherty -- 92 Man of Aran (32), Nanook of the North (26), Louisiana story (15), Moana (8), The Land (1)
6.....Orson Welles -- 56 Citizen Kane (54), The Magnificent Ambersons (6)
7.....King Vidor -- 44 Hallelujah (21), The Crowd (16)
8.....F W Murnau -- 30 Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (17), Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (13)
......William Wyler -- 30 The Best Years of Our Lives (19)
10...Lewis Milestone -- 22 All Quiet on the Western Front (19)
11...Frank Capra -- 18
12...Ernst Lubitsch -- 16
......John Huston -- 16 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (8)
14...Walt Disney -- 15
......Fred Zinneman -- 15 High Noon (8)
16...Elia Kazan -- 16 East of Eden (9)
17...Billy Wilder -- 13
18...Buster Keaton -- 11
......Fritz Lang -- 11 Fury (5), You Only Live Once (6)
20...William Wellman -- 10 The Ox-Bow Incident (7)
21...Howard Hawks -- 8 Scarface (7), The Dawn Patrol (1)
22...Leo McCarey -- 7
23...George Stevens -- 6 Shane (4)
24...Vincente Minnelli -- 5
25...George Cukor -- 4
26...Joseph von Sternberg -- 3
......Alfred Hitchcock -- 3
28...Delbert Mann -- 2
29...Richard Brooks, Jules Dassin, Delmer Daves, Cecil B DeMille, Alan Dwan, Tay Garnett, Edmond Goulding, Henry Hathaway, Joseph Losey,Daniel Mann, Preston Sturges -- 1

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