Film Directors: A sort-of A-Z: O

As you might imagine, surnames beginning with ‘O’ throw up many foreign names. This letter may well be a struggle for some, (including me) so I will limit myself to just two choices today.

Yashojuro Ozu was a prolific Japanese film director, working from 1927, until his death in 1962. He is probably only well known to serious film fans, but one of his films rates as among the most highly-acclaimed ever. It has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and critic John Walker rated it at the top of his list of the 1000 best films ever made. The distinguished Roger Ebert added the film to his ‘Great Movies’ series, and is rated among the top films by The British Film Institute. If you have never seen ‘Tokyo Story’ (1953) then I respectfully suggest you try to do so.

My pick for ‘O’ is the distinguished actor of stage and screen, and British legend, Sir Lawrence Olivier. Best known as an actor of course, he also directed feature films, as well as appearing in them. These included the 1948 adaptation of ‘Hamlet’, ‘Richard III’ (1955), and ‘The Prince and The Showgirl’ (1957), where he starred alongside Marilyn Monroe. His most famous film is probably ‘Henry V’ (1944) the historical epic made during WW2. He played the lead, and directed the film.
Here’s a trailer for that. Stirring stuff!

28 thoughts on “Film Directors: A sort-of A-Z: O

  1. I primarily know Lawrence Olivier from his acting instead of his directing. (And what an actor he was). The one that I’m throwing in is Mamoru Oshii, the anime director who brought us the masterpiece Ghost in the Shell 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Michel. I believe that he also acted in every film he directed. (I would have to look that up, to be sure) I have only seen Oshii’s animated film ‘Ghost In The Shell’, which as you say, is excellent.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Another one that you might enjoy from him, and one that I saw quite recently, was The Sky Crawlers. It was a beautifully animated film with wonderful music..and a story that just kept spinning though your head after finishing it 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The reason Frank Oz deserved a place on this list: “Bowfinger”, “In & Out” and he had to suffer with Marlon Brando on “The Score”. Word is Brando refused to be directed by him and so DeNiro had to direct those scenes. Makes me hate Brando, who became impossible to work with near the end, and he did it on purpose. Creep. This documentary explains how difficult he was on “Dr. Moreau” remake.

    https://johnrieber.com/2015/03/04/madman-marlon-brando-lost-soul-of-dr-moreau-best-bad-movie-the-cinema-sewer/

    Also, Oz directed the great “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Speaking of which, I posted this story about the film with the movie trailer scene that was shot just for that reason – isn’t in the film! –

    https://johnrieber.com/2013/05/09/classic-comedy-dirty-rotten-scoundrels/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Watch that documentary about “Moreau” – he went out of his way to disrupt filming and openly sabotaged Directors – for no reason other than to be an ass…can’t respect it, even if I respect the films he is in…he did the same thing on “The Freshman” as well…

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  3. Already mentioned is François Ozon. He is my choice.

    I am a huge Marilyn Monroe fan, and have all of her films from “The Asphalt Jungle” forward, including the reconstructed “Something’s Got to Give.” So I’m very familiar with “The Prince and the Showgirl.” Aside from the poorly executed coronation scene, and despite the sour relationship between Oliver and Monroe during production, it’s a truly wonderful movie. I’ve always said that Monroe is her most radiant in this film.

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  4. In deference to a great many people who enjoy the films of his father Max, I gravitate more to the films of Marcel Ophuls and his masterwork “The Sorrow and the Pity”, perhaps the second best documentary ever to derive from World War II after Alain Resnais’ “Night and Fog”, as well as admiration for much in “A Sense of Loss” and “Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie”.
    Nagisa Oshima is known for his explicit “In the Realm of the Senses”, but I prefer “Night and Fog in Japan”, “The Ceremony”, the sexy, haunting “Empire of Passion” and his fine adaptation of Laurens van der Post’s novel “The Seed and the Sower” , “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”.
    French director Francois Ozon’s films are witty, sometimes mysterious, often very sexy. From “8 Women” (with Deneuve), “Swimming Pool” (with Rampling) and the magnificent “Under the Sand” (Rampling again and his best), there is also the quirky “In the House” and his more recent “The New Girlfriend” to recommend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Chandler. I had to leave out Ophuls, but I do own ‘The Sorrow and The Pity’ (I had it on VHS, then bought the DVD) which is truly an outstanding documentary.
      I also deliberately omitted Ozon, despite having seen (and owning on DVD) ‘8 Women’, ‘Potiche’, ‘Swimming Pool’, ‘Under The Sand’, ‘5 X 2’, and ‘Time To Leave’. He has worked with Deneuve, so it goes without saying that would get my attention!
      I had to leave something for you, (and others) after all. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. Ooh first up! Well one of my all time fave movies is The Little Shop of Horrors (Feed me now Seymour!! 🙂 ) which was directed by Frank Oz, more famous I think for his involvement with Jim Henson’s Muppets, of which he directed one of the Muppet movies, and is the voice of Miss Piggy and Fozzy Bear. But he also directed some comedy movies (I haven’t seen) and The Indian in the Cupboard, which I have seen and is ostensibly a kids movie, but explores some dark themes.

    Liked by 3 people

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