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A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| John Sturges |||
John Sturges

Helming the “Magnificent Seven” should be reason enough, demonstrating that Sturges had the happy talent of taking what was considered strictly “male” oriented stories and making them sexy enough and humorous enough to appeal to female movie-goer as well.

Sturges takes this star-studded gunslinger film based on the Japanese favorite "The Seven Samurai", and makes it a bone fide all-American classic featuring Yul Brynner. At the request of Mexican peasants, Brynner recruits a band of fellow mercenaries, half of whom Sturges introduces as the next generation of action film super-stars including Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and Steve McQueen. Widescreen!

Sturges is responsible for what is renowned as one of the greatest war films ever made, featuring Steve McQueen and his unforgettably daring motorcycle jumps in the face of the enemy. Allied prisoners escape from a German POW camp in this superior effort, noted for a brilliant international cast and Elmer Bernstein's triumphant score. Widescreen!

This day in the life of a stranger in an isolated town has since been done to death, and this is why. In the hands of a lesser director the talents of this exceedingly manly cast (Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan) would otherwise overwhelm this compelling drama with a prejudice theme, but Sturges is able to maintain a firm grasp of the reigns, keeping his actors this side of mellow drama. Widescreen!

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Oscar Handicap 2011: Director

By EdwardHavens

February 26th, 2011

Here, we will look at the recent voting patterns for the category of Best Director.

Oscar Handicap 2011: Director

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)

History was made last year, when Lee Daniels became only the second African-American to be nominated for Best Director, and Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win. No such major milestone will happen this year.

The Breakdowns
1) As long as you're not the youngest nominee, you've won here 21 of the last 25 ceremonies (84%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Coen and Coen, Fincher, Russell
2) The DGA Award winner has also won the Best Directing Oscar 21 of 25 (84%). Advantage: Hooper
3) Directors who were not writers on their project have won 18 of 25 (72%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Fincher, Hooper, Russell
4) Movies not set within the past twenty years have won here 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Coen and Coen, Hooper
5) Movies not based on factual people or incidents have won 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Coen and Coen
6) The film with the most nominations has won for Best Director 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Hooper
7) First-time nominees in this category have won 15 of 25 (60%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Hooper, Russell
8) Directors who are also producers on their film have won 14 of 25 (56%). Advantage: Coen and Coen

By The Numbers
Us fans of David Fincher are probably going to have to wait for another, as it appears to be Mr. Hopper's year
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan: +1, -2, +3, -4, +5, -6, +7, -8
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit: +1, -2, -3, +4, +5, -6, -7, +8
David Fincher, The Social Network: +1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech: -1, +2, +3, +4, -5, +6, +7, -8
David O. Russell, The Fighter: +1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8

Personal prediction for Best Director: Tom Hooper
Personal choice in this category: David Fincher


All articles in this series:
Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature
The Technical Categories