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

||| Alfred Hitchcock |||
Alfred Hitchcock

This is perhaps an obvious choice, however, most people tend to overlook the Master of Suspense’s early work as well as the relevancy of his last film as a key element in the continuing transition and development of the genre he defined.

One of Hitchcock's early triumphs, this predecessor to the mistaken identity man on the run scenario Hitchcock turned to time and again, stars Robert Donat as the innocent wrongly accused of murder and pursued by both the police and enemy spies. This is the first example of Hitchcock’s mastery over the suspense tale, giving us a glimpse of the greatness to come.

Considered to be one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest works, this story of two men who meet by chance on a train and frivolously discuss swapping murders is a prime example of a common Hitchcock theme of the man who suddenly finds himself within a nightmare world over which he has no control. You can easily see how this film lays the ground work for the more popular “North by Northwest”.

Alfred Hitchcock's final film is a light-hearted thriller involving phony psychics, kidnappers and organized religion, all of which cross paths in the search for a missing heir and a fortune in jewels. Here, Hitchcock has brilliantly developed his signature form to include the now common, and often overused, device of plot twist, after plot twist, after plot twist. Widescreen!

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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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