32 Forgotten Directors From The 1980s


The 1980s produced a ton of amazing movies, and with that, ushered in a crop of directors who still wow audiences today. Directors like Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, and Tim Burton all found their groove in that radical decade (even if a few technically started before 1980). Other directors came out of the box swinging, but quietly faded away, despite being responsible for some A+ films. That’s this list, a list of directors that had big hits that didn’t translate to long careers. 

Alan Rickman in Die Hard

(Image credit: Disney / Fox)

John McTiernan

Of all the directors on this list, John McTiernan’s story is the weirdest. In the ’80s McTiernan first directed the underrated Nomads, followed by two of the biggest movies of the decade, Predator in 1987, and Die Hard in 1988. He worked into the ’90s with hits like The Hunt For Red October and The Thomas Crown Affair, then it all came to a crashing end when he got involved in a wire-tapping scheme that eventually landed him in prison for about a year, which forced him to declare bankruptcy, and ended his career completely. His last credit was the movie Basic in 2003. 

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