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Religious Affiliation of the Winners of the
Academy Award for Best Director

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

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded an Academy Award for Achievement in Directing (the Oscar for Best Director) annually since 1928. This is the most prestigious award a film director can receive.

Year of
Best Director
Religious Affiliation
of Director
1927-28   Frank BorzageSeventh Heaven (Dramatic Picture)Catholic from Utah
1927-28Lewis MilestoneTwo Arabian Knights (Comedy Picture)Jewish
1928-29Frank LloydThe Divine Lady 
1929-30Lewis MilestoneAll Quiet on the Western FrontJewish
1930-31Norman TaurogSkippy 
1931-32Frank BorzageBad GirlCatholic
1932-33Frank LloydCavalcade 
1934Frank CapraIt Happened One NightCatholic; Christian Science
1935John FordThe InformerCatholic
1936Frank CapraMr. Deeds Goes to TownCatholic; Christian Science
1937Leo McCareyThe Awful TruthCatholic
1938Frank CapraYou Can't Take It With YouCatholic; Christian Science
1939Victor FlemingGone With The WindChristianity
1940John FordThe Grapes of WrathCatholic
1941John FordHow Green Was My ValleyCatholic
1942William WylerMrs. MiniverJewish
1943Michael CurtizCasablancaJewish
1944Leo McCareyGoing My WayCatholic
1945Billy WilderThe Lost WeekendJewish
1946William WylerThe Best Years of Our LivesJewish
1947Elia KazanGentleman's AgreementGreek Orthodox (lapsed);
1948John Huston The Treasure of the Sierra MadreEpiscopalian (lapsed)
1949Joseph L. Mankiewicz   A Letter to Three WivesJewish parents; atheist father
1950Joseph L. MankiewiczAll About EveJewish parents; atheist father
1951George Stevens A Place in the Sun 
1952John FordThe Quiet ManCatholic
1953Fred ZinnemannFrom Here to EternityJewish
1954Elia KazanOn The WaterfrontGreek Orthodox (lapsed);
1955Delbert MannMarty 
1956George StevensGiant 
1957David LeanThe Bridge On The River KwaiQuaker
1958Vincente MinnelliGigiCatholic
1959William WylerBen-HurJewish
1960Billy WilderThe ApartmentJewish
1961Jerome Robbins
Robert Wise
West Side StoryJewish
1962David LeanLawrence of ArabiaQuaker
1963Tony RichardsonTom Jones 
1964George CukorMy Fair LadyJewish
1965Robert WiseThe Sound of Music 
1966Fred ZinnemannA Man for All SeasonsJewish
1967Mike NicholsThe GraduateJewish
1968Carol ReedOliver! 
1969John SchlesingerMidnight CowboyJewish
1970Franklin SchaffnerPatton 
1971William FriedkinThe French ConnectionJewish
1972Bob FosseCabaret 
1973George Roy HillThe Sting 
1974Francis Ford CoppolaThe Godfather, Part IICatholic (non-practicing)
1975Milos FormanOne Flew Over The Cuckoo's NestJewish father; Protestant mother
1976John AvildsenRocky 
1977Woody AllenAnnie HallJewish (raised Orthodox); agnostic
1978Michael CiminoThe Deer HunterCatholic
1979Robert BentonKramer vs. Kramer 
1980Robert RedfordOrdinary People 
1981Warren BeattyRedsBaptist (lapsed)
1982Richard AttenboroughGandhi 
1983James L. BrooksTerms of EndearmentJewish
1984Milos FormanAmadeusJewish father; Protestant mother
1985Sydney PollackOut of AfricaJewish
1986Oliver StonePlatoonJewish father; Catholic mother;
raised Episcopalian;
Tibetan Buddhism (convert)
1987Bernardo BertolucciThe Last EmperorCatholic (lapsed); Freudian
1988Barry LevinsonRain ManJewish
1989Oliver StoneBorn on the Fourth of JulyJewish father; Catholic mother;
raised Episcopalian;
Tibetan Buddhism (convert)
1990Kevin CostnerDances With WolvesBaptist
1991Jonathan DemmeThe Silence of the Lambs 
1992Clint EastwoodUnforgivenraised Protestant; agnostic
1993Steven SpielbergSchindler's ListJudaism
1994Robert ZemeckisForrest GumpJewish
1995Mel GibsonBravehearttraditionalist Catholic
1996Anthony MinghellaThe English Patient 
1997James CameronTitanicvaguely Protestant background
1998Steven SpielbergSaving Private RyanJudaism
1999Sam MendesAmerican Beauty 
2000Steven SoderberghTraffic
2001Ron HowardA Beautiful MindProtestant (Methodist?)
2002Roman PolanskiThe PianistJewish Catholic (lapsed)
2003Peter JacksonThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 
2004Clint EastwoodMillion Dollar Babyraised Protestant; agnostic

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Webpage created 22 June 2005. Last modified 14 May 2007.