10 best directors Kirk Douglas has worked with

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Throughout the 1950s, Kirk Douglas became one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and popular actors. As a star of westerns and war epics, Douglas has amassed a giant fan base across the globe and has been a regular in the headlines for decades. According to the American Film Institute, Douglas is the 17th greatest male movie star in Hollywood movie history.

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During his prolific acting career, Douglas has worked with some of the most legendary filmmakers who have ever lived, from Billy Wilder to John Huston to the great Stanley Kubrick.

ten John frankenheimer


John Frankenheimer became a renowned filmmaker with the nuance of character Alcatraz Birdman, the politically charged shivers of The Manchurian candidate, and the mind-blowing car chases of Ronin.

In 1964 he directed Douglas alongside Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner in the iconic political thriller Seven days in May. Written by The twilight zoneby Rod Serling, Seven days in May recounts the attempt to take control of the US government following the President’s negotiations with the Soviet Union.

9 Andre DeToth


Kirk Douglas in The Indian Fighter

Andre DeToth is one of the most beloved B-movie directors of all time. According to New York Times, he revolutionized 3D cinema with the classic cooler starring Vincent Price Wax house, despite losing a director’s eye at a young age preventing him from enjoying 3D movies himself.

In 1955, DeToth directed Douglas in Indian fighter, a western about the violent tensions between natives and white settlers on the American border.


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8 Otto Preminger


In the 1940s, Otto Preminger rose to prominence with black films such as Laura and Fallen Angel. The director tackled taboo subjects in Anatomy of a Murder and Advice & Consent and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Director twice.

Preminger led Douglas in the epic war of 1965 In danger. With John Wayne and Patricia Neal (with a long cameo by Henry Fonda), In danger was one of the last black and white WWII epics ever made.


seven Brian De Palma


Gillian stands in the street as Peter runs in The Fury

With violent gems like Carrie, To extinguish, and ScarfaceBrian De Palma made his name in the 70s and 80s as one of the most important genre filmmakers of the New Hollywood movement.

De Palma’s filmography is a series of Hitchcockian thrillers with its own ultra-violent twist. In 1978 he directed Douglas in the supernatural thriller Fury.


6 John sturges


Kirk Douglas wielding a knife in Gunfight at OK Corral

John Sturges went on to become one of America’s most popular genre directors with groundbreaking gems like Bad day at Black Rock, The Magnificent Seven, and The great Escape. The first, for which Sturges received an Oscar nomination, is known for his inventive use of the CinemaScope widescreen format.

RELATED: Kirk Douglas’ 10 Most Iconic Movie Roles, Ranked

Douglas played Doc Holliday opposite Burt Lancaster’s Wyatt Earp in the 1957 Sturges classic Shooting at OK Corral, loosely based on the actual historical event of 1881.


5 Howard hawks


Kirk Douglas with a gun in The Big Sky

Legend of the classic Hollywood era, Howard Hawks has directed flagship films like Scarface (the original from 1932), Raise baby, his daughter friday, red river, The great sleep, and Rio Bravo.

In 1952, Douglas starred in the Hawks Western The big sky alongside Dewey Martin, Elizabeth Threatt and Arthur Hunnicutt. Based on the novel of the same name by AB Guthrie, Jr., The big sky was on Jonathan Rosenbaum’s alternate list of the “100 Best American Films”.


4 William wyler


Kirk Douglas watches in Detective Story

One of Oscar voters’ favorite filmmakers, William Wyler won three Academy Awards for Best Director out of a record 12 nominations. The three films he won for – Mrs. Miniver, The best years of our life, and Ben hur – also won the award for best film.

Wyler teamed up with Douglas for the classic 1951 film noir Detective story, following the intertwined lives of a police squad over the course of a day.




3 John huston


Kirk Douglas seated at a desk in Adrian Messenger's List

John Huston has directed some of the most acclaimed films ever made: The Maltese Falcon, The treasure of the Sierra Madre, The asphalt jungle, The african queen, Honor of Prizzi.

RELATED: 10 Essential Kirk Douglas Movies To Watch

He worked with Douglas on one of his lesser known films, Adrian Messenger’s List, a mystery based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Philip MacDonald.


2 Billy Wilder


In his five decades of groundbreaking career, Billy Wilder defined the cinematic language of Classic Hollywood. He won two of his eight Oscar nominations for Best Director and three of his 13 nominations for screenwriters. A bunch of Wilder’s films are ranked among the greatest ever: Double indemnity, The apartment, Sunset Boulevard, Some like it hot.

Wilder directed Douglas as the lead role in one of his best films, Ace in the hole. Douglas plays a disgraced bitter journalist who will do whatever it takes to get his job back.


1 Stanley kubrick


Kirk Douglas in the Paths of Glory

Everything Stanley Kubrick touched turned to gold. With films universally hailed as the epic sci-fi 2001: A Space Odyssey, horror opus The brilliant, and a biting political satire Dr Strangelove, Kubrick has become known worldwide as one of the most cutting edge and versatile filmmakers of all time.

Kubrick directed Douglas in the lead roles of two of his most revered films: Colonel Dax in his anti-war masterpiece Paths to Glory and the titular revolutionary in his epic of swords and sandals Spartacus. Written by blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, Spartacus was notable for its parallels with McCarthyism.

NEXT: 10 Best Performances By Stanley Kubrick, Ranked

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