Monday, September 26, 2011

All-Time Great Directors Tournament

It occurred to me that if Erik Beck of the Boston Becks can come up with his list of the 100 best directors of all time and Monty of All Good Things can run a Classic Stars Match Play Tournament, there's no reason I can't horn in on their action and run an all-time great directors tournament.

Admittedly, I don't have time for a full-blown March Madness style tourney with 64 participants, but I can handle a sweet 16, divided into four brackets, The Silent Era, Classic Hollywood, Art House Favorites and The Modern Era.

Here are the match-ups:

D.W. Griffith v. Louis Feuillade
Charles Chaplin v. Buster Keaton

Alfred Hitchcock v. Billy Wilder
John Ford v. Howard Hawks

Ingmar Bergman v. Stanley Kubrick
Akira Kurosawa v. Federico Fellini

Woody Allen v. The Coen Brothers
Martin Scorsese v. Steven Spielberg

Admittedly, that leaves out a lot of favorites, both yours and mine, but what is life without disappointment and frustration.

The rounds will go off in staggered starts—Classic Hollywood today, the Modern Era tomorrow, etc.—and you'll have five days to vote on each match-up. Round Two will start next Wednesday.

Here's the Tale of the Tape for today's contestants:

Alfred Hitchcock
Born: August 13, 1899 (London, England)
Directorial Debut: Number 13 (1922) (unfinished)
Academy Awards: 5 nominations, no wins
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 4 wins: The 39 Steps (1935); The Lady Vanishes (1938); Vertigo (1958); Psycho (1960) (all in the category of Drama)
Three More To See: Notorious, Rear Window and North By Northwest

Billy Wilder
Born: June 22, 1906 (Sucha, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Sucha Beskidzka, Malopolskie, Poland])
Directorial Debut: Mauvaise Graine (1934)
Academy Awards: 21 nominations (including 8 for direction), 6 wins, including two for direction—The Lost Weekend (1945) and The Apartment (1960)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins: Double Indemnity (1944) (Drama), and Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Apartment (1960) (both Comedy/Musical)
Three More To See: Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17 and Sabrina

John Ford
Born: February 1, 1894 (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)
Directorial Debut: The Tornado (1917)
Academy Awards: 6 nominations (including 5 for direction); 4 wins—The Informer (1935); The Grapes Of Wrath (1940); How Green Was My Valley (1941) and The Quiet Man (1952)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins—Stagecoach (1939), The Grapes Of Wrath (1940) and The Searchers (1956) (all for Drama)
Three More To See: My Darling Clementine (1946), She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962)

Howard Hawks
Born: May 30, 1896 (Goshen, Indiana)
Directorial Debut: The Road To Glory (1926)
Academy Awards: 1 nomination, 0 wins
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins—Scarface (1931-32) (Drama), Bringing Up Baby (1938) (Comedy/Musical) and Rio Bravo (1959) (Drama)
Three More To See: His Girl Friday, The Big Sleep and Red River


mister muleboy said...

I'd like to ford for John Ford, just because he directed Wee Willine Winkie and a Sex Hygiene training film.

The Searchers and The Quiet Man might figure into my thinking too.

But the casting of Misterr Roberts will forever banish him to the outhouse of shitheads.

So it's Hawks for me.

And oh yeah, there's the matter of:

Rio Bravo,

Only Angels Have Wings,

Bringing Up Baby,

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,

I Was a Male War Bride,

The Big Sleep,

Sergeant York,


Red River

that influence me. . . .

His Girl Friday

mister muleboy said...

So I thought I might go with Ol' John Ford.

Anyone who directed both Wee Willie Winkie and the Sex Hygiene training film has to get a lotta consideration for Director O' All Times.

And then there's The Searchers and The Quiet Man.

But his casting choices in Mister Roberts banish him forever to the director's outhouse. Not doghouse -- outhouse.

bastardo. . . .

So I went with Hawks. Just to hate Ford

Oh yeah, and because of

Rio Bravo

The Big Sleep

Only Angels Have Wings

Bring Up Baby

Sergeant York

and Red River. . . .

mister muleboy said...


you keep deleting my comments

me sorry

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++I literally crawled around on my hands and knees for three days

Mythical Monkey said...

you keep deleting my comments

That was weird -- for some reason blogger put all of your comments in the spam folder. So I despammed them.

Must be some glitch ...

Mythical Monkey said...

That or blogger knows you personally ...

I kid.

Dawn said...

This is a great idea...

Aubyn said...

Hitchcock vs. Wilder. Oh, you don't make it easy.

But I think this will be really fun.

Sophie said...

How does one pick between Hitch and Wilder? HOW?! ;D

mister muleboy said...


I thought that Wilder over Hitchcock was so damned easy that I limited my comments to Ford v. Hawks.

Shows how much I know: 8-to-2 Hitch, and counting. . . .

PS Nice edit on that one earlier comment.

Nothing escapes these eyes. . . .

monty said...

Oh yeah! Great idea. Now comes the hard part for me on deciding...