The Greatest Screen Directors Actually Did Nothing


Some of the greatest film directors in history have reaped kudos, won Oscars, and earned a place as eternal icons of cinema art, yet they didn’t really do that much on the set.

According to one book I read, John Huston (Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre) sometimes didn’t talk to the actors about their roles at all.

He’d even drift off during the filming of some scenes — not just mentally, but physically.

And Vincente Minnelli (Gigi, Meet Me in St. Louis) was by many accounts a man of few words who often gave no advice whatsoever to his actors.

An art director by nature, he was far more interested in making sure the curtains looked good and the floral arrangements were just right.

On one movie, his entire direction to Lauren Bacall was to reverse the way her legs were folded!

And yet, Huston and Minnelli are at the top of the list of the all-time great American directors.

Oh, well. At least they knew how to pick properties, cast the right people, and let them shine.