10 Most Prolific Hollywood Directors, Ranked By Number Of Films Made
Most popular Hollywood directors like to space out their projects. This not only gives them enough time to create quality movies, but also gives them an opportunity to take a break and enjoy their success. However, over the years, there have been a number of filmmakers known for having an unparalleled work ethic.
These directors have released far more projects than their peers, with most releases also being of good quality. Interestingly, some also took on a few extra gigs on top of their directing work, cementing their status as some of the most prolific people to ever be involved in the movie industry.
ten Martin Scorsese – 26
Scorsese is best known for his gangster films, most notably his piece de resistance, Goodfellas. While most of his movies tend to be blockbusters, he did several other movies that were pretty underrated.
Doing the double work of creating and directing can be tedious and one of the ways Scorsese manages to be so prolific is by not coming up with his own stories. The filmmaker is responsible for some of the best book-to-film adaptations. Moreover, Scorsese ensures quality performances in its projects by relying on the same talented actors, including Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DiCaprio.
9 Ridley Scott – 28
More than 40 years after entering the mainstream, Scott is still churning out hit films. In 2021, he had two critically acclaimed films, namely House of Gucci and The last duel.
Through Scott’s work, the importance of only doing things that you are passionate about becomes clear. Over the years, the director has mainly focused on science fiction and historical films. And as expected, most of them performed incredibly well. The director also has a reputation for including strong female characters, especially in Thelma and Louiswhich boasts one of the best freeze frames of all time.
8 Steven Spielberg – 35
In addition to directing numerous films, Spielberg is also the most commercially successful director of all time. The world crude of jurassic park ($10.6 billion) has yet to be surpassed by any other film.
Hard work pays off in Hollywood, and Speilberg has succeeded on all fronts. He has a current net worth of $3.7 billion and is therefore one of 2 Hollywood directors to achieve billionaire status (the other being George Lucas). He is also one of the few directors to create a studio, having co-founded Dreamworks. And while he’s best known for his sci-fi masterpieces, there’s hardly a genre that Spielberg hasn’t experimented with.
7 Robert Altman – 35
Starting out as a television director, Altman directed more than 100 episodes of various shows before moving on to film. He also had a penchant for using set casts.
Altman’s insistence on non-interference is what has mostly allowed him to do so much. The director especially refused to conform to the wishes of the studio heads and as such, he had to make mostly independent films. Additionally, Altman distinguished himself from his peers by relying on cinema’s anti-genre style.
6 Clint Eastwood – 36
Eastwood is undoubtedly one of the best actors turned directors. After spending his early career as a star of westerns and action films, he went on to direct a number of Oscar-winning films such as American sniper and Million dollar baby.
Employees aren’t always guaranteed to make the best bosses, so Eastwood’s accomplishments deserve a lot of praise. Summing up his acting and directing credits, Eastwood easily stands out as one of the most prolific people in Hollywood. And for him, it’s not just cinema. He also served as mayor of Carmel, California.
5 Steven Soderbergh – 38
Soderbergh still holds the record for the youngest director to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. And despite its high yield so far, the oceans the creator of the trilogy is still only 69 years old.
High performance can sometimes lead to burnout and more than a decade ago Soderbergh considered retirement, despite his young age. Fortunately, he changed his mind after a brief break. With the perfect mix of low budget films and blockbusters, Soderbergh always has something new for his fans every year.
4 Sidney Lumet – 43
Known for hits such as Network and dog afternoon, Lumet’s legacy has remained intact. And besides directing, he was also a screenwriter and producer in most of his films.
While most modern directors prefer to skip a year or two before their next project, Lumet has made a film every year since he burst onto the scene in 1957. Known as the “actor’s director”, Lumet has worked with more more stars than any director of his time, and mostly received accolades from everyone he worked with.
3 Woody Allen – 50
There are several directors with roles in their own films, but Allen has done this perhaps more than any other. Having started out as an actor, he often felt the need to do more than just sit in the director’s chair.
Anyone looking for work ethic inspiration can always study Allen. Besides acting and directing, he has also written books and released stand-up comedy albums. And for a brief period of his career, he was also a playwright. And there’s an even better stat – collectively, his movies have received 53 Oscar nominations.
2 Alfred Hitchcock – 53
Hitchcock is often considered the greatest filmmaker of all time, and for good reason. He made a movie every year in his heyday and none ever failed.
Interestingly, Hitchcock’s vast body of work consists mostly of psychological thrillers, but his most popular output is the horror film, psychology. Looking at his movies, it’s easy to see why he’s been dubbed the “Master of Suspense.” The twists and turns of Hitchcock’s projects, coupled with the clever camerawork, are what make them entertaining.
1 Roger Corman – 55
Known as “The Pope of Pop Cinema”, Corman was able to make several independent films on tight budgets. He is also credited with launching the careers of Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Sylvester Stallone.
By focusing primarily on independent films, Corman was able to avoid the studio restrictions that the majority of filmmakers have to deal with. And like Scorsese, he also got to do a lot of projects adapting tales from popular writers. Several of his films, such as Death Race 2000will be redone later.
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