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Top Six: British Directors

Posted on the 20 September 2012 by Kittyfairy @KittyFairy
Recently I came to the realisation that there are quite a lot of Brits taking Hollywood by storm, not just as actors, but as Directors as well. There are so many amazing British-born Directors, that this might just be the most difficult Top Six that I've put together, so far. So many people were added to the list, then taken off in place of someone else, and I kept changing my mind about what order they should be placed in. Let's just say the ordering process included a heck of a lot of bits of paper, lots of scribbling, lots of time spent on IMDb.com and lots of time analysing different aspects of each Director's career.
Interestingly, this Top Six completely throws apart my original Top Six: Film Directors post that I wrote some time ago, because two Directors featured on that list also feature on this list, however they are in completely different spots, with the one who performed the worst originally, coming much higher this time and vice versa. This has made me question whether it might be time to re-visit that original post and do another one, but for now, we'll just concentrate on this list :)

Six. Sam Mendes

Top Six: British Directors It's easy to think that Sam Mendes' upcoming film; Skyfall is the reason for his addition in this list, but I'm not going to lie, because I'd actually completely forgotten that he was the man in the Directorial Chair for the latest Bond film.
No, Mendes is here pretty much for one film alone and that film is American Beauty. American Beauty was the first "grown up" film that I remember watching and just leaving me speechless. It was the first film that stayed with me for a long time afterwards, questioning things, analysing things in a non-superficial kind of way. Plus, it was the first time that a film hadn't been about the actors at all, but more about the story that being told. That will always stay will me.
That's not to say, of course, that Mendes hasn't done any other amazing films, because he has. Most notable films include Road to Perdition and Jarhead.
Born: Reading, Berkshire

Five. Guy Ritchie

Top Six: British Directors Guy Ritchie might not be a top choice for a lot of people, because he doesn't generally make big films in the Hollywood circuit. Nevertheless, I am a huge fan of his British Gangster films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels as well as Snatch, purely because even though they're quite gritty subject matters, I love how Ritchie places the British tongue-in-cheek humor in there.
I know that for some people the Ritchie's take on Sherlock Holmes wasn't necessarily what they had in mind, but being a non-Sherlock fan, I thought that the films were great.
I read an article recently comparing Ritchie to American Director Quetin Tarantino, and although I can appreciate some of Tarantino's work, I find him a bit too violent for my personal taste, so personally I prefer Ritchie's style.
Born: Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Four. Alfred Hitchcock

Top Six: British Directors It almost seems like one big cliché to place Alfred Hitchcock in this list, but as  a film studies graduate, it seems wrong to even consider not including him.
Whether you love his films or hate them, there's no denying the influence he had both at the time, or in so many horror / thriller films made ever since. The Shower Scene, featuring the original Queen of Scream Janet Leigh, in Psycho, for example is probably one of the most iconic, copied and spoofed sequences in cinema history.
Hitchcock made so many films that went on to be considered cult classics, that it's difficult to name them all, but some of the most influential include: Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo and Dial M for Murder.
My favorite Hitchcock film, however, has to Rebecca. Never able to get my head around the Daphne Du Maurier book, I love the darkness and twisted style of the film.
Born: Leytonstone, London

Three. Ridley Scott

Top Six: British DirectorsAfter Hitchcock, Ridley Scott is probably the second most internationally acclaimed Director on this list, and I for one didn't even realize that he was British. 
Scott has been at the helm of so many amazing films including Alien, Prometheus, Blade Runner and my all-time favorite Scott film: Legend (who can resist a young Tom Cruise? Plus, it's got a good story...! I'll let you decide if you believe me on that one!)
The only reason that Scott isn't higher on this list is the fact that whilst he has made some brilliant films, he's also made quite a few bad ones that counteract against the good. For me personally, his worst films were Gladiator, Robin Hood and Kingdom of Heaven (K.o.H being the only film in existence that I went to see in the Cinema and I actually fell asleep during, it was such a Snooze Fest!)
Born: South Shields, Tyne and Wear

Two. Christopher Nolan

Top Six: British Directors Knocked off his top perch, I'm actually a little sad to have placed Nolan at number two, especially after his incredible conclusion to the Batman series with Dark Knight Rises, but in hindsight, this is the best I could do, because my Number One Director really does deserve his spot there.
In a way, I'm sort of glad that we've seen the end of the Batman series, not because I didn't like them (we all know that I loved them), but because we can now get excited to find out what this incredible Director is going to offer us in terms of mind-bending, all-questioning films. He's certainly given us a few corkers to sink our teeth into, including Inception, Insomnia and Memento.
I really hope that he's secretly locked up in some room, alongside his brother Jonathan cooking up his next thriller, because I personally can not wait to see what is next.

Born: London

One. Danny Boyle

Top Six: British Directors Danny Boyle has certainly had one heck of a year, having done such a fantastic job on the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony that saw him receive huge amounts of praise from both the media and the public right around the world. Of course, his Olympics success is half of the reason why Danny Boyle has stormed not only past all of the other five British Directors, but also Christopher Nolan, who actually sat four places ahead of Boyle in my Film Directors article.
But no, the Olympics are not the only reason that Boyle is here. Instead it's more down to sheer array of fantastic films that Boyle has offered to us, from the ground breaking and harrowing stuff like Trainspotting and 27 Hours, to the stuff of dreams in Sunshine and The Beach, to the stuff of nightmares in 27 Days Later and 27 Weeks Later.
Boyle opens up the imagination with all of his films, and there are very few that I'm not a fan of. Slumdog Millionaire being the only one that I'm really, really not a fan of.
Born: Manchester

So, there you go. That's my choice of Top Six British Directors?  Do you agree? Do you think someone is missing?

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