25 Greatest American Directors Of All Time

24. Robert Altman

Robert Altman The late 1960's and early 1970's are often seen as a golden age for American filmmaking, with a host of young, exciting directors leading the way. One of the most important, as well as one of the most experimental, was Robert Altman, who in a career lasting over forty years has created classic films across all kinds of different genres. He worked for nearly twenty years in industrial films, documentaries, and television before making his feature length debut in 1956. His first big movie, MASH in 1970, kicked off a remarkable run throughout the 70's where he became one of the most admired directors in the world, making classics such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Nashville. His career became more inconsistent after 1980, as Hollywood's shift towards blockbusters made it difficult for him to get his films made, but he still turned out at least one classic film a decade for the remainder of his career with one of his last films, 2001's Gosford Park, being among his most acclaimed. Altman pushed American cinema towards a more naturalistic style of filmmaking throughout his career, enormously influencing directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson. His use of tricky narrative, unusual shooting style, naturalistic dialogue, and unsettling editing have contributed to most of his films underperforming financially, but the same cinematic bag of tricks has also enabled him to make some of the most influential American films of his time.

I love movies, literature, history, music and the NBA. I love all things nerdy including but not limited to Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Firefly. My artistic idols are Dylan, Dostoevsky, and Malick and my goal in life is to become like Bernard Black from Black Books. When I die, I hope to turn into the space baby from 2001: A Space Odyssey.