Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece

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Starting your Career with a Masterpiece, especially in a medium like Film, is an unpopular notion. Yet, in cinematic history, many acclaimed directors have proved the theory wrong, by starting their careers with movies that could easily be considered masterpieces. Keeping that in mind, we present to you, a selection of 10 directors who started their careers with a masterpiece. 


10. Steve McQueen: Hunger (2008)

Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece

Steve McQueen’s debut Film Hunger is as much political as his all films are. Hunger is a historical drama film about the hunger strike in an North Irish Prison during the Irish Revolution. The striker led by Bobby sands and soon accompanied by his fellow inmates leading to a revolt inside the Jail.

It is definitely one of the best film among the titles of ‘Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece.’


9. Alejandro González Iñárritu: Amores Perros (2000)

Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece
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Debut film by Alejandro is dark tale of a car accident that connects three individuals. These different peoples resonate on each other’s loss in love due to harsh realities of life.



8. Terrence Malick: Badlands (1973)

Badlands (1973)

Terrence Malick is know for making philosophical movies like The Tree of Life, but his debut film is much violent and in a popular genre.

Badlands tells the tale of a teenage girl and her boyfriend who embarks on a journey to kill people, while in the end, they meet their fate.


7. David Lynch: Eraserhead (1977)

Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece
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Lynch’s debut film finds a man in the midst of a chaotic life, that is amplified by the birth of mutant child and his unbearable screams



6. Charles Laughton: The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece

A person marries a young widow in order to know the truth of the money her late husband hid somewhere.


5. Andrei Tarkovsky: Ivan’s Childhood (1962)

Andrei Tarkovsky: Ivan’s Childhood (1962)
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It is the story of a orphan kid who works for the Soviet Army as a scout during the World War 2. In his attempts to spy on German lines, he strikes an unusual friendship with three soviet Officers.



4. Jean-Luc Godard: Breathless (1960)

Jean-Luc Godard: Breathless (1960)

A run away thief accidentally kills a policeman. Running away from the police, he meets a hippy girl from america, and persuades her to run away with him to Italy.


3. François Truffaut: The 400 Blows (1959)

Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece

Sometimes referred to as personal Biography of Truffaut‘s own childhood, it tells the tale of a young boy who finds himself in the midst of family trauma, where his father sends him to jail for stealing a typewriter.

This is one of the most remarkable feature made by a debut director and really deserve to be on the list of “Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece”



2. Sidney Lumet: 12 Angry Men (1957)

Directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece

Sidney Lumet who started his career on stage, directs his first film showing the relevance of it. It is the tale of jury that decides the fate of a judgement inside a room, when one of their colleagues request them to reconsider the evidence.


1. Orson Welles: Citizen Kane (1941)

Directors who started their Career with a Masterpiece

Undoubtedly Welles is known as the Best Actor-Director-Writer who made a debut film that is still listed as the best film of all time.

It is follows the life of a publishing tycoon backwards, after his death, as everyone tries to crack the meaning of the last words he mumbled, “Rosebud.”



I guess, we have covered most of the directors who started their Careers with a Masterpiece, still if you think a name is missing, please leave it in the comments section.

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