Movie Mom

Movie Mom


List: Women Directors

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of “The Hurt Locker’s” Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director last night, and International Women’s Day, here’s a list of pioneering women movie directors.

1. Penny Marshall, who started as an actress (“Laverne and Shirley”), went on to direct films that included “Awakenings,” “Big,” and “A League of Their Own.”

2. Amy Heckerling is the director of “Clueless” and the neglected gem “I Could Never Be Your Woman.”

3. Betty Thomas also started as an actress (“Hill Street Blues”) and went on to direct “The Brady Bunch” and “28 Days.”

4. Nora Ephron, the daughter of successful screenwriters, began as a writer and then went on to direct films like “Julie & Julia,” and “You’ve Got Mail.”

5. Gurinder Chadha directed the international hit “Bend it Like Beckham” as well as “What’s Cooking” and “Bride and Prejudice.”

6. Nancy Meyers also began as a writer and has gone on to direct some of the most successful movies of the last 10 years including “It’s Complicated,” “The Holiday,” and “Something’s Gotta Give.”

7. Penelope Speeris made a successful documentary about a topic considered very male — punk music — in “The Decline of Western Civilization.” That led to her directing the wildly successful “Wayne’s World.”

8. Kasi Lemmons is another actress turned director with “Eve’s Bayou” and “The Caveman’s Valentine,” starring Samuel L. Jackson.

9. Mabel Normand was one of the most gifted comic actors of the silent era and one of the first female film directors. She often worked with Charlie Chaplin.

10. Mira Nair directed “Monsoon Wedding” and the recent biopic “Amelia,” starring Hillary Swank.



  • Francine McKenna

    Some more great women who directed some of my favorite movies:
    Allison Anders http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allison_Anders
    Catherine Breillat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Breillat
    Sofia Coppola http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofia_Coppola
    Marleen Goriss http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marleen_Gorris
    Amy Heckerling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Heckerling
    Agniezka Hollandhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnieszka_Holland
    Agnes Varda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnès_Varda
    Lina Wertmuller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Wertmuller

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    A great list, Francine! Some of my favorites. (We both listed Amy Heckerling.) I also thought of Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino. It was good to see Bigelow win the Oscar. And very nice to see that she had the support of her competition and former husband, James Cameron.

  • Francine McKenna

    I like all of yours, plus. How did I miss your mention of Amy Heckerling????
    Also Nora Ephron!
    fm

  • Alicia

    Don’t forget Ida Lupino.

  • Alicia

    Oops, I just saw that you mentioned Ida Lupino, Nell.

  • Alicia

    Gillian Armstrong and Jane Campion.

  • Toby Clark

    Sarah Watt, the director of Look Both Ways.

  • http://reelfanatic.blogspot.com Keith

    I’m not sure you can call her pioneering, but Darnell Martin is quickly rising on my list, due entirely to Cadillac Records, which just keeps getting better and better with age

  • Marilyn

    May I suggest Deepa Mehta?

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks for a GREAT list of women directors! I am truly delighted.

Previous Posts

What's Up With My Family? -- App Helps Middle Schoolers Navigate Life
Middle School Confidential™ 3: What’s Up with My Family? is a new IOS app, the next installment of the series for tweens and teens. The third edition continues the story of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—a tight-knit group of friends in middle school—who are realizing that growi

posted 3:59:49pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

The Simpsons Binge Watch: Every Episode Plus the Movie
Get your food delivery menus ready.  Unplug your phone.  All 552 Simpsons episodes will be broadcast in order, starting tomorrow. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq4w74r8HKY#t=27[/youtube] The new season starts September 28.

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Bo Svenson
Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Tribute: Don Pardo
Don Pardo's face was not familiar.  But his voice was instantly recognizable.  We mourn the loss of one of the great announcers in broadcast history, who died on Monday at age 96. The cast of "Saturday Night Live," where he served as announcer from the beginning, celebrated his 90th birthday.

posted 12:44:03pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Gayle Forman of "If I Stay"
Gayle Forman is the author of If I Stay, the source for this week's movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia, a talented young cellist in a coma following a car accident.  As she hovers between life and death, she remembers incidents from her life with her family and with her rock musician boyfrie

posted 8:00:16am Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.