What makes a great director? My idea of a great director has changed radically over the last few years. A great director could be a master storyteller. A great director could be someone who ventures into a wide variety of genres, exploring different kinds of themes in every film. But above all, a great director is one with an impeccable vision. But what about the not-so-great ones? Consistency is one of the most important factors that determine the success of a filmmaker. There have been many filmmakers who made just 1 or 2 great films and then slipped into oblivion. This article explores films made by those directors who’ve managed to make only a single memorable film in their careers. With everything said now, here is the list of great films made by not-so-great directors.
12. Monte Hellman – Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Monte Hellman’s career comes off as bit of a mystery to me. His horror debut wasn’t the most promising debut but his later works certainly held up his vision though his films were never really close to perfection. ‘Two-Lane Blacktop’ remains his most revered work till date and is one of the most underrated American films of the 70s. What the film beautifully does is capture the aura of an era at its heart in the form of a road movie. There’s a melancholic touch that Hellman infuses on to the frames here that lets us get a sense of his characters’ emotions in a manner that is very subtle yet quite affecting.
11. Paul Brickman – Risky Business (1983)
Comedy was Paul Brickman’s arena and ‘Risky Business’ has him in all his best elements. But his career as a filmmaker was never really pushed beyond this gem as his later films, ‘Deal of the Century’ and the Clint Eastwood starrer ‘True Crime’ were dreadful failures, both critically and commercially. He rarely worked in the 90s and with the exception of a television miniseries, hasn’t directed any film post the 2000s. However, ‘Risky Business’ remains an untouched classic in every way and is one of the funniest films ever made. It tells the hilarious story of a teenager, played by a young Tom Cruise in his breakthrough role, who has fun at his home while his parents are away on vacation. There is great writing all around and some memorably hilarious scenes as Brickman crafts a taut, thematically rich satire for the ages and most importantly giving the world a superstar in the name of Tom Cruise.