The 10 Best Directorial Debuts

best directorial debuts

The 10 Best Directorial Debuts has scoured through film history to determine the greatest directorial debuts. Check out our picks in the gallery below!

A director’s first film can make or break their career. Make a stunning debut, then you’re likely set for the foreseeable future. Make an unimpressive flop, then you’re likely to work twice as hard to prove to audiences that you have what it takes your second time around. For this reason, it’s all the more amazing when a filmmaker makes a dazzling directorial debut.

In fact, sometimes a director’s first feature is so good that audiences would likely be surprised to find that the film they just saw came from a newbie instead of a seasoned expert. These directors are practically in a league of their own. From a 1941 newspaper picture to a 2017 horror film with darkly comedic social commentary, these are the best directorial debuts in film history.

Badlands (1973)
  • Being John Malkovich (1999)
  • Blood Simple. (1984)
  • Citizen Kane (1941)
  • Eraserhead (1977)
  • 10

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