List of best director Oscar winners
and other Academy Award nominees

         Updated: January 2018

Who beat who for best director Oscar: Year indicates year/period for which films were judged, not year of ceremony. Sources:, Internet Movie Database, Wikipedia

2017 nominees (result pending): Jordan Peele (Get Out), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)

2016: Damien Chazelle (La La Land) — beat Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)

2015: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant) — beat Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Adam McKay (The Big Short), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Lenny Abrahamson (Room)

2014: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) — beat Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

2013: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) — beat David O. Russell (American Hustle), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), Alexander Payne (Nebraska)

2012: Ang Lee (Life of Pi) — beat Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Michael Haneke (Amour)

2011: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) — beat Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), Alexander Payne (The Descendants)

2010: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) — beat David Fincher (The Social Network), Ethan Coen & Joel Coen (True Grit), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David O. Russell (The Fighter)

2009: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) — beat James Cameron (Avatar), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), Lee Daniels (Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire)

2008: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) — beat Gus Van Sant (Milk), David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon), Stephen Daldry (The Reader)

2007: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men) — beat Jason Reitman (Juno), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

2006: Martin Scorsese (The Departed) — beat Clint Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima), Stephen Frears (The Queen), Paul Greengrass (United 93), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel)

2005: Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) — beat Steven Spielberg (Munich), George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck), Paul Haggis (Crash), Bennett Miller (Capote)

2004: Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) — beat Martin Scorsese (The Aviator), Mike Leigh (Vera Drake), Alexander Payne (Sideways), Taylor Hackford (Ray)

2003: Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) — beat Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Clint Eastwood (Mystic River), Peter Weir (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), Fernando Meirelles (City of God)

2002: Roman Polanski (The Pianist) — beat Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York), Rob Marshall (Chicago), Pedro Almodóvar (Talk to Her), Stephen Daldry (The Hours)

2001: Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) — beat Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down), Robert Altman (Gosford Park), David Lynch (Mulholland Drive)

2000: Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) — beat Ridley Scott (Gladiator), Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich), Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot)

1999: Sam Mendes (American Beauty) — beat M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense), Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), Michael Mann (The Insider), Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules)

1998: Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan) — beat John Madden (Shakespeare in Love), Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful), Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line), Peter Weir (The Truman Show)

1997: James Cameron (Titanic) — beat Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting), Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential), Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty), Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter)

1996: Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) — beat Joel Coen (Fargo), Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies), Scott Hicks (Shine), Milos Forman (The People Vs. Larry Flynt)

1995: Mel Gibson (Braveheart) — beat Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking), Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas), Chris Noonan (Babe), Michael Radford (The Postman)

1994: Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) — beat Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Robert Redford (Quiz Show), Woody Allen (Bullets Over Broadway), Krzysztof Kieslowski (Three Colors: Red)

1993: Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List) — beat Robert Altman (Short Cuts), James Ivory (The Remains of the Day), Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father), Jane Campion (The Piano)

1992: Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven) — beat Martin Brest (Scent of a Woman), Robert Altman (The Player), James Ivory (Howards End), Neil Jordan (The Crying Game)

1991: Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) — beat Oliver Stone (JFK), John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood), Ridley Scott (Thelma & Louise), Barry Levinson (Bugsy)

1990: Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves) — beat Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas), Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Part III), Stephen Frears (The Grifters), Barbet Schroeder (Reversal of Fortune)

1989: Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July) — beat Woody Allen (Crimes and Misdemeanors), Kenneth Branagh (Henry V), Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot), Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society)

1988: Barry Levinson (Rain Man) — beat Martin Scorsese (The Last Temptation of Christ), Mike Nichols (Working Girl), Alan Parker (Mississippi Burning), Charles Crichton (A Fish Called Wanda)

1987: Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor) — beat Norman Jewison (Moonstruck), Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction), Lasse Hallström (My Life as a Dog), John Boorman (Hope and Glory)

1986: Oliver Stone (Platoon) — beat David Lynch (Blue Velvet), Woody Allen (Hannah and her Sisters), Roland Joffé (The Mission), James Ivory (A Room with a View)

1985: Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa) — beat John Huston (Prizzi's Honor), Peter Weir (Witness), Akira Kurosawa (Ran), Hector Babenco (Kiss of the Spider Woman)

1984: Milos Forman (Amadeus) — beat David Lean (A Passage to India), Woody Allen (Broadway Danny Rose), Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields), Robert Benton (Places in the Heart)

1983: James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment) — beat Ingmar Bergman (Fanny and Alexander), Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies), Mike Nichols (Silkwood), Peter Yates (The Dresser)

1982: Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) — beat Steven Spielberg (E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial), Sidney Lumet (The Verdict), Sydney Pollack (Tootsie), Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot)

1981: Warren Beatty (Reds) — beat Steven Spielberg (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond), Hugh Hudson (Chariots of Fire), Louis Malle (Atlantic City)

1980: Robert Redford (Ordinary People) — beat Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull), Roman Polanski (Tess), David Lynch (The Elephant Man), Richard Rush (The Stunt Man)

1979: Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer) — beat Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now), Bob Fosse (All That Jazz), Peter Yates (Breaking Away), Edouard Molinaro (La cage aux folles)

1978: Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) — beat Warren Beatty and Buck Henry (Heaven Can Wait), Woody Allen (Interiors), Hal Ashby (Coming Home), Alan Parker (Midnight Express)

1977: Woody Allen (Annie Hall) — beat George Lucas (Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope), Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Fred Zinnemann (Julia), Herbert Ross (The Turning Point)

1976: John G. Avildsen (Rocky) — beat Sidney Lumet (Network), Ingmar Bergman (Face to Face), Alan J. Pakula (All the President’s Men), Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties: Lina Wertmüller)

1975: Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) — beat Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon), Stanley Kubrick (Barry Lyndon), Robert Altman (Nashville), Federico Fellini (Amarcord)

1974: Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Part II) — beat Roman Polanski (Chinatown), Bob Fosse (Lenny), John Cassavetes (A Woman Under the Influence), François Truffaut (Day for Night)

1973: George Roy Hill (The Sting) — beat William Friedkin (The Exorcist), George Lucas (American Graffiti), Ingmar Bergman (Cries and Whispers), Bernardo Bertolucci (Last Tango in Paris)

1972: Bob Fosse (Cabaret) — beat Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Sleuth), Jan Troell (The Emigrants), John Boorman (Deliverance)

1971: William Friedkin (The French Connection) — beat Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange), Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show), John Schlesinger (Sunday Bloody Sunday), Norman Jewison (Fiddler on the Roof)

1970: Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton) — beat Arthur Hiller (Love Story), Federico Fellini (Fellini Satyricon), Robert Altman (MASH), Ken Russell (Women in Love)

1969: John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) — beat George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Sydney Pollack (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?), Arthur Penn (Alice’s Restaurant), Costa-Gavras (Z)

1968: Carol Reed (Oliver!) — beat Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey), Anthony Harvey (The Lion in Winter), Gillo Pontecorvo (The Battle of Algiers), Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet)

1967: Mike Nichols (The Graduate) — beat Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde), Stanley Kramer (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner), Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night), Richard Brooks (In Cold Blood)

1966: Fred Zinnemann (A Man for All Seasons) — beat Mike Nichols (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Richard Brooks (The Professionals), Michelangelo Antonioni (Blow-Up), Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman)

1965: Robert Wise (The Sound of Music) — beat David Lean (Doctor Zhivago), John Schlesinger (Darling), William Wyler (The Collector), Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman in the Dunes)

1964: George Cukor (My Fair Lady) — beat Stanley Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove), Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins), Peter Glenville (Becket), Richard Burton (Becket), Mihalis Kakogiannis (Zorba the Greek)

1963: Tony Richardson (Tom Jones) — beat Elia Kazan (America, America), Federico Fellini (8½), Martin Ritt (Hud), Otto Preminger (The Cardinal)

1962: David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) — beat Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird), Arthur Penn (The Miracle Worker), Frank Perry (David and Lisa), Pietro Germi (Divorce — Italian Style)

1961: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins (West Side Story) — beat Federico Fellini (La Dolce Vita), Stanley Kramer (Judgment at Nuremberg), Robert Rossen (The Hustler), J. Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone)

1960: Billy Wilder (The Apartment) — beat Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho), Fred Zinnemann (The Sundowners), Jules Dassin (Never on Sunday), Jack Cardiff (Sons and Lovers)

1959: William Wyler (Ben-Hur) — beat Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot), George Stevens (The Diary of Anne Frank), Jack Clayton (Room at the Top), Fred Zinnemann (The Nun’s Story)

1958: Vincente Minnelli (Gigi) — beat Richard Brooks (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Stanley Kramer (The Defiant Ones), Mark Robson (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness), Robert Wise (I Want to Live!)

1957: David Lean (The Bridge on the River Kwai) — beat Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men), Billy Wilder (Witness for the Prosecution), Mark Robson (Peyton Place), Joshua Logan (Sayonara)

1956: George Stevens (Giant) — beat Michael Anderson (Around the World in Eighty Days), King Vidor (War and Peace), William Wyler (Friendly Persuasion), Walter Lang (The King and I)

1955: Delbert Mann (Marty) — beat Elia Kazan (East of Eden), David Lean (Summertime), Joshua Logan (Picnic), John Sturges (Bad Day at Black Rock)

1954: Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront) — beat Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window), Billy Wilder (Sabrina), George Seaton (The Country Girl), William A. Wellman (The High and the Mighty)

1953: Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity) — beat George Stevens (Shane), William Wyler (Roman Holiday), Billy Wilder (Stalag 17), Charles Walters (Lili)

1952: John Ford (The Quiet Man) — beat Fred Zinnemann (High Noon), Cecil B. DeMille (The Greatest Show on Earth), John Huston (Moulin Rouge), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (5 Fingers)

1951: George Stevens (A Place in the Sun) — beat John Huston (The African Queen), Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire), Vincente Minnelli (An American in Paris), William Wyler (Detective Story)

1950: Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve) — beat Billy Wilder (Sunset Blvd.), Carol Reed (The Third Man), John Huston (The Asphalt Jungle), George Cukor (Born Yesterday)

1949: Joseph L. Mankiewicz (A Letter to Three Wives) — beat William Wyler (The Heiress), Carol Reed (The Fallen Idol), Robert Rossen (All The King’s Men), William A. Wellman (Battleground)

1948: John Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) — beat Laurence Olivier (Hamlet), Fred Zinnemann (The Search), Jean Negulesco (Johnny Belinda), Anatole Litvak (The Snake Pit)

1947: Elia Kazan (Gentleman’s Agreement) — beat David Lean (Great Expectations), George Cukor (A Double Life), Henry Koster (The Bishop’s Wife), Edward Dmytryk (Crossfire)

1946: William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives) — beat Frank Capra (It’s a Wonderful Life), David Lean (Brief Encounter), Clarence Brown (The Yearling), Robert Siodmak (The Killers)

1945: Billy Wilder (The Lost Weekend) — beat Alfred Hitchcock (Spellbound), Clarence Brown (National Velvet), Leo McCarey (The Bells of St. Mary’s), Jean Renoir (The Southerner)

1944: Leo McCarey (Going My Way) — beat Alfred Hitchcock (Lifeboat), Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity), Otto Preminger (Laura), Henry King (Wilson)

1943: Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) — beat George Stevens (The More the Merrier), Ernst Lubitsch (Heaven Can Wait), Henry King (The Song of Bernadette), Clarence Brown (The Human Comedy)

1942: William Wyler (Mrs. Miniver) — beat Michael Curtiz (Yankee Doodle Dandy), John Farrow (Wake Island), Mervyn LeRoy (Random Harvest), Sam Wood (Kings Row)

1941: John Ford (How Green Was My Valley) — beat Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), Howard Hawks (Sergeant York), William Wyler (The Little Foxes), Alexander Hall (Here Comes Mr. Jordan)

1940: John Ford (The Grapes of Wrath) — beat Alfred Hitchcock (Rebecca), George Cukor (The Philadelphia Story), William Wyler (The Letter), Sam Wood (Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman)

1939: Victor Fleming (Gone With the Wind) — beat Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington), John Ford (Stagecoach), William Wyler (Wuthering Heights), Sam Wood (Goodbye, Mr. Chips)

1938: Frank Capra (You Can’t Take It with You) — beat Michael Curtiz (Four Daughters), Michael Curtiz (Angels with Dirty Faces), Norman Taurog (Boys Town), King Vidor (The Citadel)

1937: Leo McCarey (The Awful Truth) — beat William A. Wellman (A Star Is Born), Gregoy La Cava (Stage Door), Sidney Franklin (The Good Earth), William Dieterle (The Life of Emile Zola)

1936: Frank Capra (Mr. Deeds Goes to Town) — beat Robert Z. Leonard (The Great Ziegfeld), William Wyler (Dodsworth), W.S. Van Dyke (San Francisco), Gregory La Cava (My Man Godfrey)

1935: John Ford (The Informer) — beat Michael Curtiz, write-in (Captain Blood), Frank Lloyd (Mutiny on the Bounty), Henry Hathaway (The Lives of a Bengal Lancer)

1934: Frank Capra (It Happened One Night) — beat W.S. Van Dyke (The Thin Man), Victor Schertzinger (One Night of Love)

1932-33: Frank Lloyd (Cavalcade) — beat Frank Capra (Lady for a Day), George Cukor (Little Women)

1931-32: Frank Borzage (Bad Girl) — beat King Vidor (The Champ), Josef von Sternberg (Shanghai Express)

1930-31: Norman Taurog (Skippy) — beat Josef von Sternberg (Morocco), Wesley Ruggles (Cimarron), Clarence Brown (A Free Soul), Lewis Milestone (The Front Page)

1929-30: Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front) — beat Clarence Brown (Romance), Clarence Brown (Anna Christie), Robert Z. Leonard (The Divorcee), Ernst Lubitsch (The Love Parade), King Vidor (Hallelujah!)

1928-29: Frank Lloyd (The Divine Lady) — beat Lionel Barrymore (Madame X), Frank Lloyd (Weary River), Frank Lloyd (Drag), Harry Beaumont (The Broadway Melody), Irving Cummings (In Old Arizona), Ernst Lubitsch (The Patriot)

1927-28 (drama): Frank Borzage (7th Heaven) — beat Herbert Brenon (Sorrell and Son)

1927-28 (comedy): Lewis Milestone (Two Arabian Knights) — beat Ted Wilde (Speedy)


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