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10 Reasons Why Stanley Kubrick Is The Greatest Filmmaker Ever

03 April 2012 | People Lists | by David Zou


Stanley Kubrick, the film God, is my all time hero. It’s impossible to compare directors since they make different types of films, but Mr. Kubrick had some quality that is so rare to be seen on other great directors. As one of his biggest worshipers, I summarized 10 pretty convincing reasons why this man, not Bergman, not Welles, not Kurosawa is the greatest filmmaker ever lived on this planet.

1. He is God Almighty

He is a talented genre player,once he made a film in one genre,it became the best of its kind. If there was a Film Olympic Games contestants are required to compete in all different genres, there is a huge possibility he will win all the gold medals. Not only this,I’m also talking about how all-around he is as a filmmaker, not only a director. Besides being a outstanding director, he is also gifted in every other aspect of film making, which is an amazing fact.

2. He is out of the system

After taking over the directorial task of Spartacus, Kubrick made a film he refused to admit to be his own. After that,Kubrick decided to take full control of everything during the shooting, plus the most important battlefield for a director, the power of final cut in the editing room. He became his own producer,a king, a lucky man who escaped from the horrible Hollywood system.

3. He respects and challenges our intelligence

As a man of high intelligence, Kubrick also treats us as intelligent as himself, which turned out to be a too high expectation. There are still thousands of die-hard fans and experts research on all the puzzles he planted in his films nowadays, no one can come to a close answer. All the mysteries can be interpret in so many ways that his films become Goldbach’s conjecture in cinema history.

4. He nails his homework

Every director research before they make films, but no one is quite near Kubrick, in terms of the time spent on it. There was a legend that before making film Napoleon, Kubrick wrote those cards, on every card was recorded what Napoleon did on that day, you could pick up any card randomly and ask Kubrick the content on it,he could tell you what exactly was written on it. Too amazing to be true, uh?

5. He breaks Guinness records

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the scene in The Shining where Wendy is backing up the stairs swinging the baseball bat was shot 127 times, which is a record for the most takes of a single scene. And I believe the second,the third most takes in a scene were also from Kubrick films.He always pushed the buttons to get the best of a actor,”one more time,let’s see what it looks like”.

6. His films are on the cutting egde

His films all have some kind of sci-fi look, no matter it’s about the current or the future. He is a filmmaker far ahead of his time, he made films which still look new today. He made Dr. Strangelove during the nuclear cold-war, and made 2001 even before men landed on the moon. He is a prophet sent by God, if he is not God himself.

7. His taste of music is impeccable

Who has the knowledge and taste to make the best of Classical music in films and makes them sound fantastic? Only Kubrick. He influenced every viewer with his unique choice of classical music, NASA plays The Blue Danube Waltz every morning, 8 year child calls it the music from outer space,one of my roommates becomes a classical music fan after watching 2001. 

8. He has black-as-coal humor

Before Bunuel, before Altman, this man had used his dark humor to the extreme extent in filmmaking. He likes playing joke on incestuous relationships, on wars, on human-kind, with this kind of humor, his films are sharp like razors.

9. He is a nice guy

Too many people criticize his films as cold,inhuman, I think he just did what a director should do.In fact,he is a extremely nice guy in real life. Chris Chade, the actress in Killer’s Kiss, once said “Stanley was very sweet and kind to me… He’d always drive me home.  I said, ‘Why are you always so nice to everyone?’ He said, ‘Honey, nobody’s going to get anything out of this movie but me.”.

10. He is impefect

Nobody is perfect, even God can’t be perfect. Stanley failed to make 2 dream films – Napoleon and Aryan Papers, which he spent years on the preparations,he died before he could realize the A.I. project himself. Could we just lose the chance to see 3 greatest films never made?


Are you convinced Stanley Kubrick Is The Greatest Filmmaker Ever? If the answer is no,challenge me,with facts.

More Kubrick posts on this blog:

8 Myths in Stanley Kubrick Films Need Your Interpretation

14 Interesting Facts You Don’t Know About 2001: A Space Odyssey





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  • If it wasn’t for Kubrick. 2 Live Crew would have never made their most infamous classic “Me So Horny”.
    Did you know that he wanted to use Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother to be the soundtrack for A Clockwork Orange? The band turned him down thinking it wouldn’t work as they weren’t fond of that album. Then in 1992, Roger Waters wanted to sample pieces from 2001: A Space Odyssey for his album Amused to Death but Kubrick said no as an act of revenge. Yet, there’s a great rumor that the Floyd song “Echoes” can be matched in perfect sync with the last 23 minutes of 2001.
    Do you think Terrence Malick is in the same level as Kubrick at this point in his career?

    • No, I did not know the story about the vengeance,I’m interested to know why Roger Waters wanted to sample pieces from 2001?? I haven’t heard of the song “Echoes” yet,I will ask my wife,since she is a huge fan of Pink Floyd.

      No again,I don’t think Malick is ever close to Kubrick,he made a 2001-like film does not mean he is in the same level as Kubrick.They share some philosophical sense in the subjects of their films,but Kubrick is much more than a philosopher to me,as I said in the post,he is more like a prophet sent by God.

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  • Another huge fan of Kubrick I see ( : As always, his work is very technically accomplished. At times people complain about his work being too cold, I never had that experience myself. He is among my favorite directors as well.
    I agree with what you say about genre. A pity Kubrick never got round to making a western, I’m sure it would have been amazing ( :

    • I also didn’t have the feeling that his films are cold,in face I always found emotional scenes in his films.

      Kubrick make a Western? that’s as interesting as he made a musical!!

  • “Greatest ever” is one of those phrases I have trouble with sometimes. I do love Stan the Man, but I balk at calling him the greatest filmmaker of all time when he has to contend with people like Hitchcock and Kurosawa and Billy Wilder. But, you make a strong argument here.

    By the way, you should join the LAMB. If you haven’t already started that particular ball rolling, it’ll take you a couple of minutes, and you’ll find it worth your time.

    • Yes,I’m a little bit biased here,I admit I’m using a controversial title to grab more attentions since there is no such thing as “Greatest ever” .

      Thanks for the mention of LAMB,I have heard of it but never know I could be a part of it,I will definitely try to join you guys there!!

  • Surely a perfect piece of writing! We’ve book marked it and sent it out to all of my friends since I know they’ll be intrigued, thank you very much!

    • You are welcome,Khan,I’m glad you enjoy the piece!!

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  • king

    mr david, can i ask a question? if so i trust you with this, did stephen king really hated the shining? if he really did why?

    • davidzou

      Yes, King hated The Shining. First, Kubrick turned off his script because it’s too literal and reads like a traditional horror movie. Second, King didn’t like Kubrick’s choice of the main casts, Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall etc.

      • king

        great thanks

      • king

        i still like the movie though.

      • King has supposedly warmed up to the film over the years.

  • Totally agree, Malick is an amateur of totally pretentious proportions. Photographically his films are gorgeous, and that’s really the only saving grace he has. But his narrative is way off from Stan.

  • budasidehero

    He is God, indeed.

  • nyalalam nyalalam

    Yes, Kubrick is the God of movies. Whoever contests this is a fool and should keep his shameful opinion to himself. I’m being absolutely serious here – Kubrick is really at the Apex, all alone. No one else comes close.

  • Leon Horka

    Very cool, just one thing in number 8 “before Buñuel”, Kubrick comes AFTER Buñuel in that one, (Buñuel active years: 1929-1977, Kubrick active years: 1951-1999). Buñuel made movies with his black sense of humor WAY before Kubrick.