England has a long and renowned history when it comes to movies. Famous studios include Ealing, Elstree and Pinewood, housed in London and Buckinghamshire, respectively. Not only has its iconic landmarks and grand houses been the setting for may dramas and period pieces, but it has also produced some of the finest movie directors in the industry. Here, we take an entertaining look at the top five, along with their most famous movies or scenes.
No list of famous directors would be complete without the addition of Hitchcock, famous for his use of suspense, in such movies as Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960) and Rear Window (1954). Ask anybody to name their most remembered scene from a Hitchcock movie, and it would invariably be from The Birds (1963), when the star, Tippi Hedren, is being chased by a pack of crows who injure several children.
When it comes to everyone’s perception of a typical English gentleman, then David Lean fits the bill. Known for his grand epics, his movies included Dr Zhivago (1965), Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), and the unforgettable Lawrence of Arabia (1962). This incredible historical drama won numerous Oscars, including for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor. Of the top 100 British films, Lean has seven movies on the list.
Some may be surprised to learn that Scott is English, given his phenomenal success in Hollywood, the heart of the movie industry. His epic stories embrace astonishing visual effects and include Alien (1979), Gladiator (2000) and Blade Runner (1982). The success of Alien led to three sequels, and who could forget that classic scene when the creature burst out of John Hurt’s chest.
Among the list of English directors of the modern age, Danny Boyle never disappoints with the iconic Trainspotting (1996) being his crowning glory. Despite its shocking portrayal of heroin addicts, this would be a great movie to watch on your newly refurbished macbook air, allowing you to see all the clever use of humour throughout. Boyle was also responsible for the dramatic opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics and later turned down a knighthood.
He may be best remembered for his shocking BBC drama of Cathy Come Home (1966), but his movies certainly stand the test of time, especially Kes (1969) and The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006). Loach is a well-known social activist, and this shows in his movies, with their themes of poverty, capital punishment and working class people.
An evening watching any of these classic movies will not be wasted and could be seen as an education in the timeless art of film directing.