7. John Ford
We have to include the great American director John Ford on this list since he set the record for most Academy Awards for Best Director with four wins. His film How Green Was My Valley also won the Best Picture award. His career spanned over 50 years in which he directed over 140 films so he is clearly counted among the most important and influential filmmakers of the century. He directed a lot of “Westerns” like Stagecoach, The Searchers and put The Grapes of Wrath on film. He won two Oscars for Best Documentary and was the first recipient of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award in 1973 when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work.