Great Movie Directors of the Golden Age of Hollywood

Posted on 23 Aug 00:00


The Golden Age of Hollywood, also known as the classic Hollywood narrative is a term used in cinematography. It set the pace for all the visual technological advancement the new age Hollywood now enjoys. Indeed, it is one of the glorious times in Hollywood’s journey to becoming what it is today. As a matter of fact, most of the classic movies and hard to find DVD’s that we grew up with, were probably produced in this era.

That’s why it comes as no surprise that some of the best and well-renowned movie directors that ever walked on the face of the earth, existed in this era. Obviously, their dedication and contribution to cinematography and filmography are what instigated the production of most of the rare movies that we now see today. While it is almost expected that movies directed by these old directors would be out of print movies by now, new directors can still learn a few film tricks from their playbook.

Here are some of the prominent directors of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

  1. Alfred Hitchcock (1899 - 1930)

Even in the absence of high-graphics technology or 3D cameras, Alfred Hitchcock was able to direct suspense-driven thrillers, that drove serious movie buffs of the golden age to the edge of their seats. He is the genius behind many classic movies (most on DVD) like Psycho (1960, The Birds (1963), Rebecca (1940), Shadow of Doubt (1943), Woman on the Run (1950), and many many more!

  1. Elia Kazan (1909 - 2003)

He was a brilliant Greek-American actor who doubled as a writer, producer, and director, and 'one of the most influential and esteemed movie directors of all time' – according to the New York Times. His contributions as a director to the classic films of the Hollywood golden age include 'On the Waterfront (1954), East of Eden (1955) and Viva Zapata (1952)' and many other notable films.

  1. John Huston (1906 - 1987)

He was a celebrated screenwriter, director and actor who used his inventiveness to create the screenplays for most of the classic films that he directed. His is most remembered as a genius movie director and is popular among die-hard movie buffs.  He garnered 15 Oscar nominations throughout his 56-year career. His notable works include: 'The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and The Misfits (1961), among a multitude of other memorable classic films.

  1. Billy Wilder (1906 - 2002)

Aside from the fact that he was a celebrated classic film director, he was also a journalist, artist, screenwriter, and a producer. Billy Wilder was the first person to receive three academy awards for the same movie (The Apartment) as director, screenwriter, and producer. He directed many of today's still popular out of print movies:  Some Like It Hot (1959), Sunset Boulevard (1950), The Apartment (1960), The Lost Weekend (1945), Double Indemnity (1944) and Five Graves to Cairo (1943), and many more remembered classic films.

  1. Frank Capra (1897 - 1991)

Frank Capra became the creative force behind many great films of the Golden Age of Hollywood that are currently out of print today. Capra made a huge impact in the film industry during his lifetime. Hence, the 3 Academy Awards that he won honoring him during his career. He was the creative force behind 'It Happened One Night (1934), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), and The Cowboy and the Lady (1938) as well as many more of the great classic films we still enjoy today.

  1. John Ford (1894 - 1973)

John Ford notably won four well-deserved Academy awards, and directed some of the best epic historical western films adapted from popular classic 20th-century novels.  He spent most of his life on the Hollywood scene creating the movies we still cherish today, most now available on DVD. He directed many classic westerns which include: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), The Searchers (1956), Stagecoach (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949), as well as many more westerns that we still enjoy today.

  1. Robert Wise (1914 - 2005)

Robert Wise was a multi-talented classic film director with expertise in film editing and movie production.  One of his many great movies “The Sand Pebbles” is a must-watch for serious movie buffs. Needless to say that he was nominated for best picture for this film. Other notable films of his that we still enjoy today include:  The Sound of Music (1965), West Side Story (1961), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and many other movie gems!

A Few Other Great Directors

  1. Charles Chaplin
  2. David Lean
  3. Orson Welles
  4. Howard Hawks
  5. Victor Fleming  

There are far too many great directors to mention in one article who are responsible to the many wonderful films enjoyed by millions all over the world. You are probably thinking of a few of your own favorites now who definitely belong in this category.  And, we are grateful to be able to still enjoy the fruits of their imagination, talent and labor.

Movie Buffs Forever stocks classic DVD’s from the 1950s to the early 2000s. Browse our full collection of DVDs and classic movies.