Who Won the Oscar for Best Director?

Academy Award: Best Director

From Frank Borzage in 1929 to Damien Chazelle in 2017, the Academy Awards have recognized outstanding achievement by movie directors throughout the years.

Multiple winners of the Best Director Oscar have included Frank Capra, John Ford, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Inarritu.

Best Director Academy Award Winners

1972 William Friedkin ("The French Connection")  
Other Nominees: Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show); Norman Jewison (Fiddler on the Roof); Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange); John Schlesinger (Sunday Bloody Sunday)
1971 Franklin J Schaffner ("Patton")  
Other Nominees: Robert Altman (M*A*S*H); Federico Fellini (Fellini Satyricon); Arthur Hiller (Love Story); Ken Russell (Women In Love)
1970 John Schlesinger ("Midnight Cowboy")  
Other Nominees: Costa-Gavras (Z); George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid); Arthur Penn (Alice's Restaurant); Sydney Pollack (They Shoot Horses Don't They?)
1969 Carol Reed ("Oliver!")  
Other Nominees: Anthony Harvey (The Lion In Winter); Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey); Gillo Pontecorvo (The Rattle of Algiers); Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet)
1968 Mike Nichols ("The Graduate")  
Other Nominees: Richard Brooks (In Cold Blood); Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night); Stanley Kramer (Guess Who's Coming To Dinner); Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde)
1967 Fred Zinnemann ("A Man For All Seasons")  
Other Nominees: Michelangelo Antonioni (Blow-Up); Richard Brooks (The Professionals); Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman); Mike Nichols (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
1966 Robert Wise ("The Sound Of Music")  
Other Nominees: David Lean (Doctor Zhivago); John Schlesinger (Darling); Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman In the Dunes); William Wyler (The Collector)
1965 George Cukor ("My Fair Lady")  
Other Nominees: Michael Cacoyannis (Zorba the Greek); Peter Glenville (Becket); Stanley Kubrick (Dr Strangelove); Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins)
1964 Tony Richardson ("Tom Jones")  
Other Nominees: Federico Fellini (Federico Fellini's 8 1/2); Elia Kazan (America America); Otto Preminger (The Cardinal); Martin Ritt (Hud)
1963 David Lean ("Lawrence of Arabia")  
Other Nominees: Pietro Germi (Divorce Italian Style); Robert Mulligan (To Kill A Mockingbird); Arthur Penn (The Miracle Worker); Frank Perry (David and Lisa)
1962 Robert Wise ("West Side Story")  
Jerome Robbins
Other Nominees: Federico Fellini (La Dolce Vita); Stanley Kramer (Judgment at Nuremberg); Robert Rossen (The Hustler); J Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone)
1961 Billy Wilder ("The Apartment")  
Other Nominees: Jack Cardiff (Sons and Lovers); Jules Dassin (Never On Sunday); Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho); Fred Zinnemann (The Sundowners)
1960 William Wyler ("Ben-Hur")  
Other Nominees: Jack Clayton (Room at the Top); George Stevens (The Diary of Anne Frank); Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot); Fred Zinnemann (The Nun's Story)
1959 Vincente Minnelli ("Gigi")  
Other Nominees: 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!)
1958 David Lean ("The Bridge On The River Kwai")  
Other Nominees: Joshua Logan (Sayonara); Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men); Mark Robson (Peyton Place); Billy Wilder (Witness for the Prosecution)
1957 George Stevens ("Giant")  
Other Nominees: Michael Anderson (Around the World in 80 Days); Walter Lang (The King and I); King Vidor (War and Peace); William Wyler (Friendly Persuasion)
1956 Delbert Mann ("Marty")  
Other Nominees: Elia Kazan (East of Eden); David Lean (Summertime); Joshua Logan (Picnic); John Sturges (Bad Day at Black Rock)
1955 Elia Kazan ("On The Waterfront")  
Other Nominees: Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window); George Seaton (The Country Girl); William Wellman (The High and the Mighty); Billy Wilder (Sabrina)
1954 Fred Zinnemann ("From Here To Eternity")  
Other Nominees: George Stevens (Shane); Charles Walters (Lili); Billy Wilder (Stalag 17); William Wyler (Roman Holiday)
1953 John Ford ("The Quiet Man")  
Other Nominees: Cecil B DeMille (The Greatest Show on Earth); John Huston (Moulin Rouge); Joseph L Mankiewicz (Five Fingers); Fred Zinnemann (High Noon)
1952 George Stevens ("A Place In The Sun")  
Other Nominees: John Huston (The African Queen); Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire); Vincente Minnelli (An American In Paris); William Wyler (Detective Story)
1951 Joseph L Mankiewicz ("All About Eve")  
Other Nominees: George Cukor (Born Yesterday); John Huston (The Asphalt Jungle); Carol Reed (The Third Man); Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard)
1950 Joseph L Mankiewicz ("A Letter To Three Wives")  
Other Nominees: Carol Reed (The Fallen Idol); Robert Rossen (All the King's Men); William A Wellman (Battleground); William Wyler (The Heiress)
1949 John Huston ("The Treasure of the Sierra Madre")  
Other Nominees: Anatole Litvak (The Snake Pit); Jean Negulesco (Johnny Belinda); Laurence Olivier (Hamlet); Fred Zinnemann (The Search)
1948 Elia Kazan ("Gentleman's Agreement")  
Other Nominees: George Cukor (A Double Life); Edward Dmytryk (Crossfire); Henry Koster (The Bishop's Wife); David Lean (Great Expectations)
1947 William Wyler ("The Best Years Of Our Lives")  
Other Nominees: Clarence Brown (The Yearling); Frank Capra (It's A Wonderful Life); David Lean (Brief Encounter); Robert Siodmak (The Killers)
1946 Billy Wilder ("The Lost Weekend")  
Other Nominees: Clarence Brown (National Velvet); Alfred Hitchcock (Spellbound); Leo McCarey (The Bells of St Mary's); Jean Renoir (The Southerner)
1945 Leo McCarey ("Going My Way")  
Other Nominees: Alfred Hitchcock (Lifeboat); Henry King (Wilson); Otto Preminger (Laura); Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity)
1944 Michael Curtiz ("Casablanca")  
Other Nominees: Clarence Brown (The Human Comedy); Henry King (The Song of Bernadette); Ernst Lubitsch (Heaven Can Wait); George Stevens (The More the Merrier)
1943 William Wyler ("Mrs Miniver")  
Other Nominees: Michael Curtiz (Yankee Doodle Dandy); John Farrow (Wake Island); Mervyn LeRoy (Random Harvest); Sam Wood (King's Row)
1942 John Ford ("How Green Was My Valley")  
Other Nominees: Alexander Hall (Here Comes Mr Jordan); Howard Hawkes (Sergeant York); Orson Welles (Citizen Kane); William Wyler (The Little Foxes)
1941 John Ford ("The Grapes of Wrath")  
Other Nominees: George Cukor (The Philadelphia Story); Alfred Hitchcock (Rebecca); Sam Wood (Kitty Foyle); William Wyler (The Letter)
1940 Victor Fleming ("Gone With the Wind")  
Other Nominees: Frank Capra (Mr Smith Goes To Washington); John Ford (Stagecoach); Sam Wood (Goodbye Mr Chips); William Wyler (Wuthering Heights)
1939 Frank Capra ("You Can't Take It With You")  
Other Nominees: Michael Curtiz (Angels with Dirty Faces); Michael Curtiz (Four Daughters); Norman Taurog (Boys Town); King Vidor (The Citadel)
1938 Leo McCarey ("The Awful Truth")  
Other Nominees: William Dieterle (The Life of Emile Zola); Sidney Franklin (The Good Earth); Gregory LaCava (Stage Door); William Wellman (A Star Is Born)
1937 Frank Capra ("Mr Deeds Goes To Town")  
Other Nominees: Gregory LaCava (My Man Godfrey); Robert Z Leonard (The Great Ziegfeld); W S Van Dyke (San Francisco); William Wyler (Dodsworth)
1936 John Ford ("The Informer")  
Other Nominees: Henry Hathaway (Lives of a Bengal Lancer); Frank Lloyd (Mutiny on the Bounty)
1935 Frank Capra ("It Happened One Night")  
Other Nominees: Victor Schertzinger (One Night of Love); W S Van Dyke (The Thin Man)
1934 Frank Lloyd ("Cavalcade")  
Other Nominees: Frank Capra (Lady For A Day); George Cukor (Little Women)
1932 Frank Borzage ("Bad Girl")  
Other Nominees: King Vidor; Josef von Sternberg
1930 Lewis Milestone ("All Quiet On The Western Front")  
Other Nominees: Clarence Brown; Robert Leonard; Ernst Lubitsch; King Vidor
1930 Frank Lloyd ("The Divine Lady")  
Other Nominees: Lionel Barrymore; Harry Beaumont; Irving Cummings; Ernst Lubitsch
1929 Lewis Milestone ("Two Arabian Knights")  
Other Nominees: Ted Wilde; Charles Chaplin
1929 Frank Borzage ("7th Heaven")  
Other Nominees: Herbert Brenon; King Vidor

 

Year
2017 Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
La La Land
2016 Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant)
The Revenant
2015 Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman)
Birdman
2014 Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Gravity
2013 Ang Lee (Life Of Pi)
Life Of Pi
2012 Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
The Artist
2011 Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
The King's Speech
2010 Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
The Hurt Locker
2009 Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Slumdog Millionaire
2008 Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)
No Country For Old Men
2007 Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
The Departed
2006 Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain)
Brokeback Mountain
2005 Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby)
Million Dollar Baby
2004 Peter Jackson (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
2003 Roman Polanski (The Pianist)
The Pianist
2002 Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind)
A Beautiful Mind
2001 Steven Soderbergh (Traffic)
Traffic
2000 Sam Mendes (American Beauty)
American Beauty
1999 Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan)
Saving Private Ryan
1998 James Cameron (Titanic)
Titanic
1997 Anthony Minghella (The English Patient)
The English Patient
1996 Mel Gibson (Braveheart)
Braveheart
1995 Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump)
Forrest Gump
1994 Steven Spielberg (Schindler's List)
Schindler's List
1993 Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven)
Unforgiven
1992 Jonathan Demme (The Silence Of The Lambs)
The Silence Of The Lambs
1991 Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves)
Dances With Wolves
1990 Oliver Stone (Born On The Fourth Of July)
Born On The Fourth Of July
1989 Barry Levinson (Rain Man)
Rain Man
1988 Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor)
The Last Emperor
1987 Oliver Stone (Platoon)
Platoon
1986 Sydney Pollack (Out Of Africa)
Out Of Africa
1985 Milos Forman (Amadeus)
Amadeus
1984 James L. Brooks (Terms Of Endearment)
Terms Of Endearment
1983 Richard Attenborough (Gandhi)
Gandhi
1982 Warren Beatty (Reds)
Reds
1981 Robert Redford (Ordinary People)
Ordinary People
1980 Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer)
Kramer vs. Kramer
1979 Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter)
The Deer Hunter
1978 Woody Allen (Annie Hall)
Annie Hall
1977 John G. Avildsen (Rocky)
Rocky
1976 Milos Forman (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
1975 Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather Part II)
The Godfather Part II
1974 George Roy Hill (The Sting)
The Sting
1973 Bob Fosse (Cabaret)
Cabaret