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7 Directors' First Movies

Tanya Mardirossian |
November 14, 2014 | 11:43 a.m. PST

Associate Entertainment Editor

Hitchcock (Twitter/@TimeOutLondon)
Hitchcock (Twitter/@TimeOutLondon)
Success takes experience. Some of these movie directors had it rough when trying to break through the film industry, while others got off to a promising start. Do you know how your favorite movie director broke into the industry?

Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock's first directorial debut was as assistant director and screenwriter in “Woman to Woman.” The movie was a box office success. However, when it came time for his second directorial task for the film “The White Shadow” in 1924, the film didn’t do well in the theaters, and the production studio was later shut down. It all worked out for the master of suspense. Read more about Hitchcock on About Education

READ MORE: 7 Best Alfred Hitchcock Movies 

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg’s first directorial film was “Duel” in 1972. He must’ve done something right. In 1975, he directed the well-known horror film about a shark terrorizing citizens in “Jaws.” Read his career bio in Biography

Woody Allen

"What’s New Pussycat?” was Allen’s first film. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a bad review, with Film.com rating it No. 50 as the worst Woody Allen film ever made. Entertainment Weekly describes Allen’s movies when “Magic in the Moonlight” was making its way to theaters: “Woody Allen movies are like birthday presents. We receive them once a year, they come wrapped in familiar packaging (the opening credits in Windsor font, the swinging strains of old-timey jazz), and we're always happy to get them — even if we might occasionally want to return them for something different.” So, not all of Allen's films are successful, but he has made a name for himself with his film style. 

READ MORE: Film Review: 'Magic In The Moonlight' 

Christopher Nolan 

Films like the “Batman” trilogy and “Inception” were huge successes on behalf of Nolan, and now “Interstellar” is a popular film in the box office. Nolan’s first film was “Following” in 1998. Nolan’s success led him to write and direct his next feature, “Momento.” Judging films like “The Prestige” and his later works mentioned, he has been successful. 

Tim Burton

Burton’s first film was “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.” We’re used to seeing Burton’s creations as dark and, well—odd. But like Allen, Burton has set a style that sets his films apart from others. We've seen such films, including "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Dark Shadows," both of which are comedies. 

READ MORE: Best Quotes In 'Gotham' 

Sofia Coppola

Yes, we can associate this writer/director with the “Godfather” movies because of her father. Aside from those films, Coppola directed her first film “Lick the Star,” which was successful for a short. Her other, bigger well-known project is “The Virgin Suicides.” Some well-known actors like Hayden Christiansen and Kristen Dunst are featured in the film. 

Darren Aronofsky 

Most famous for “Black Swan” and “Noah,” Aronofsky’s first film was “Pi.” The film had a low budget. According to Noel Murray, ”From the beginning, when he made up for Pi’s budgetary limitation through aggressive editing and sound, Aronofsky has wanted the audience to have a visceral, even physical, experience sitting through one of his films. For him, the way to the heart is through the body.”  

Reach Associate Entertainment Editor Tanya Mardirossian here. Follow her on Twitter



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