Home Page

< Return to's Religious Guide to Movies

Religious Affiliation of People Listed in
The Film 100:
A Ranking of the Most Influential People in the History of the Movies

Related pages:
Religious Affiliation of the 25 Most Influential Film Directors of All Time
Religious Affiliation of the Directors of AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies
Religious Affiliation of AFI's 50 Greatest Actors and Actresses

The following list of names is from the book The Film 100 (full title: The Film 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential People in the History of the Movies), written by Scott Wise, a Citadel Press Book, published by Carol Publishing Group: Secaucus, New Jersey (1998).

The purpose of this page is not to provide details about the careers and lasting influence of these individuals (numerous other resources are available for that). This purpose of this page is to identify the religious affiliation, religious background and/or religious beliefs of the individuals named in the "Film 100" list. The names and rankings in this list are from The Film 100, by Scott Wise. The other information has been researched and collected by specifically for this page.

The Film 100:
A Ranking of the Most Influential People in the History of the Movies
Rank. Name Religious Affiliation Brief note about significance, occupation, credits
1. W. K. Laurie Dickson ? inventor of the motion picture camera
2. Edwin S. Porter   invented film editing; America's first major filmmaker
3. Charlie Chaplin Anglican; agnostic actor, director
4. Mary Pickford Catholic; Christian Science (convert) actress; studio boss; co-founder of United Artists
5. Orson Welles Protestant Christian director/actor; Citizen Kane; etc.
6. Alfred Hitchcock Catholic director; Psycho; The Birds; Rear Window; etc.
7. Walt Disney Congregationalist pioneering animator
8. D. W. Griffith Methodist director
9. Will Hays Presbyterian led Hollywood's self-censorship: 1930 Motion Picture Produc. Code
10. Thomas Edison Congregationalist; agnostic inventor, developed film recording, projection technology, light
11. John Wayne Presbyterian; Catholic actor, movie star, esp. in Westerns
12. J. R. Bray   founded first studio dedicated to animation
13. Billy Bitzer   pioneering cameraman
14. Jesse Lasky   founded first motion picture studio in Hollywood
15. George Eastman   photography innovations incl. dry plates, film w/ flexible backing
16. Sergei Eisenstein Russian Orthodox; Marxist; Freudian Soviet director; developed montage; Battleship Potemkin
17. Andre Bazin Catholic French film critic
18. Irving Thalberg Jewish movie producer
19. Thomas Ince   director
20. Marlon Brando minimal Christian Science;
Native American spirituality
pioneering "method" actor, inspired realism in film acting
21. Louis B. Mayer Jewish Hollywood studio mogul
22. Greta Garbo Lutheran actress
23. Robert Flaherty Protestant father;
Catholic mother
pioneering documentary filmmaker; Nanook of the North
24. Lon Chaney Christianity; both parents deaf actor popular for monster, horror roles; make-up pioneer
25. Anita Loos   screenwriter
26. Georges Melies Catholic early cinema pioneer; inventor of the sci-fi and fantasy genres
27. Adolph Zukor Jewish producer and executive
28. John Gilbert Latter-day Saint leading silent-era movie star
29. Max Fleischer Jewish producer
30. John Ford Catholic director, esp. Westerns
31. William Fox Jewish producer, theater chain owner
32. George Lucas Buddhist Methodist director, developer of special effects; Star Wars; etc.
33. Linwood Gale Dunn   visual special effects pioneer
34. Eadweard Muybridge   inventor of key photographic, film processes
35. Katharine Hepburn nominal Episcopalian background; atheist actress
36. Winsor McCay   animator
37. Stanley Kubrick Jewish director; 2001: A Space Oddysey; Dr. Strangelove; etc.
38. Buster Keaton Catholic (non-practicing) actor known for physical comedy
39. James Agee Episcopalian film critic
40. Fritz Lang Jewish Catholic director (M; Metropolis; etc.)
41. Marcus Loew Jewish founded theater chain
42. Cedric Gibbons   art director
43. James Cagney Catholic actor
44. Ben Hecht Jewish producer, director, writer
45. Ingmar Bergman Lutheran; agnostic acclaimed Swedish filmmaker
46. Humphrey Bogart Episcopalian (lapsed) actor
47. Leon Schlesinger Jewish producer over Warner Brothers animation studio
48. Louella Parsons Catholic entertainment and gossip columnist
49. Roger Corman Catholic producer, director
50. Edith Head Catholic costume designer
51. Bernard Herrmann Jewish composer
52. Gary Cooper Catholic (convert) actor
53. Mike Todd Judaism producer; pioneered 70-millimeter film; Around the World in 80 Days
54. Ernst Lubitsch Jewish German-born director; "King of Comedy"; also musicals
55. Sidney Poitier Vodoun; Anglican; Catholic pioneering black actor
56. Saul Bass   title designer
57. Billy Wilder Jewish director; Double Indemnity; Some Like It Hot, etc.
58. Bette Davis Baptist/Episcopalian family background;
Christian Science (temporary)
59. Erich von Stroheim Jewish-born Catholic (convert) actor, director; Greed
60. Max Factor   developed face make-up used in filmmaking
61. The Lumiere Brothers   first to project moving, photographic, pictures to paying audience
62. Woody Allen Jewish (raised Orthodox);
director, actor; "Annie Hall" (1977), etc.
63. Clark Gable Catholic actor
64. David O. Selznick Jewish producer
65. Gregg Toland   pioneering cinematographer; Citizen Kane
66. Lillian Gish Episcopalian actress
67. William Cameron Menzies   set designer; Gone with the Wind
68. Lucille Ball Protestant;
Dutch Reformed (Rev. Peale)
actress, comedian; television sitcom pioneer
69. Samuel Rothafel Jewish pioneer in building movie "palaces"; synched orchestral score to film
70. Akira Kurosawa Buddhist-Shinto culture influential Japanese filmmaker
71. Marilyn Monroe Christian Science;
temporary convert to Judaism
actress, movie star, female icon
72. Vittorio De Sica Catholic Italian director; The Bicycle Thief
73. Natalie Kalmus   co-developer of Technicolor process
74. Gene Siskel &
       Roger Ebert
lapsed Catholic
influential film reviewers
75. Willis O'Brien   special effects pioneer; stop motion photography; King Kong
76. Shirley Temple Presbyterian, Episcopalian popular child star
77. Yakima Canutt   stunt man
78. Sam Peckinpah Protestant director
79. Jackie Coogan Catholic child actor
80. Federico Fellini Catholic; astrology; Jung director
81. Leni Riefenstahl Lutheran influential director famous for Nazi propaganda films
82. Steven Spielberg Judaism director
83. Sam Warner Jewish executive, studio founder
84. Jean-Luc Godard Calvinist/Huguenot (lapsed);
devout Maoist
85. Robert De Niro Catholic (non-practicing) actor
86. Fred Astaire Episcopalian popular dancing actor, dance choreographer
87. Francis Ford Coppola Catholic (non-practicing) director
88. Ted Turner raised Catholic/Episcopal;
now agnostic or atheist
cable mogul; film colorization
89. Clint Eastwood raised Protestant; agnostic actor famous for popular Westerns; leading director
90. Dalton Trumbo Christian Science Important novelist and screenwriter
91. Dennis Hopper   director, actor
92. Richard Hollingshead   drive-in movies inventor and entrepreneur
93. Melvin Van Peebles   pioneering black filmmaker
94. John Chambers   make-up technician, advanced latex masks; Planet of the Apes
95. Mack Sennett Catholic pioneer, innovator of slapstick film comedy (incl. Keystone Kops)
96. Martin Scorsese Catholic (lapsed former seminarian) director
97. Karl Struss   DP for Cecil B. DeMille, etc.; pioneering cinematographer
98. Busby Berkeley   influential Hollywood movie director, musical choreographer
99. John Hubley   New York Times: "most influential animator of the postwar era"
100. John Cassavetes Greek Orthodox director; pioneer of American cinema verite; Faces; Shadows; etc.


Custom Search
comments powered by Disqus

This page copyright © 2005 by
Webpage created 30 April 2005. Last modified 17 November 2005.