Steven Spielberg

15 Movie Directors Who Were One-Hit Wonders

By Will Sautter

The one-hit wonder is one of the most fascinating things in music: an artist who is remembered for their lone hit. Just like music artists, the one-hit wonder is a reality for film directors. While many directors, like Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and John Ford are known for their impressive filmographies filled with critical and commercial successes, there are many directors who are known for having one film that was a critical and commercial success mixed in with a number of misfires in one or both respects.

Other directors are known for one film that has received great praise from audiences and critics alike retrospectively but missed out on the acclaim and success when it was first released. What follows is a list of 15 directors remembered positively for just one film, ranked on the overall impressiveness of their lone “hit”.

1. Charles Laughton – The Night of the Hunter (1955)


No list of film one-hit wonders would be complete without the inclusion of celebrated actor Charles Laughton’s lone directorial effort, The Night of the Hunter (1955). One of the most haunting films of all time, The Night of the Hunter follows two children as they desperately try to escape the pursuit of minister/serial killer Harry Powell, who desires $10,000 that the children’s deceased father hid.

Starring Robert Mitchum as the bone-chilling Reverend Powell, the film failed to attract much attention from critics and fans alike when it was first released. While Laughton was acknowledged as a director with great potential, the experimental and unconventional nature of the film’s development and tone was often criticized.

Today, the film’s unorthodox presentation is praised, and the film is considered by many film critics and scholars as one of the → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema