Tom Cruise

If you start from the beginning of Tom Cruise’s young career, before he became one of the most profitable box-office attractions of his time, you’ll see at the outset the seeds of a very particular trend in regard to the kind of people he chose to work for, or want to work with.  Whether you love him or hate him, for whatever reason you choose to feel either way, you can’t deny that Tom Cruise has made very few poor decisions when it comes to his projects.  Not all of the films he’s done have been good, but he seldom agreed to do anything with a filmmaker that hadn’t already proven themselves as competent, or as is the case with a good deal of the films in which he appeared, unquestionable greats in the art of filmmaking.  Basically, Tom Cruise only works with the best.  But, has he worked with more best than anyone else?

Setting aside what you may think about Cruise’s acting prowess, or the films in which he’s appeared, take a look at the names on the list below:

  • Francis Ford Coppola
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Ridley Scott
  • P.T. Anderson

The first four names will undoubtedly appear on almost any list of top 10 greatest filmmakers while P.T. Anderson may end up there before he’s finished and Ridley Scott not far behind if not there already.

Then, you have these names:

  • Brian De Palma
  • Rob Reiner
  • Oliver Stone
  • Cameron Crowe
  • Michael Mann
  • Sydney Pollack
  • John Woo

Each one of the above filmmakers has contributed several works worthy to be considered amongst the greatest American films ever made, or in the case of John Woo a handful of the greatest action films the world has ever seen.

Rounding out the list:

  • Tony Scott
  • Curtis Hanson
  • Robert Redford
  • Ron Howard
  • Neil Jordan
  • JJ Abrams
  • Ed Zwick
  • Bryan Singer
  • …and now James Mangold

Each one of the above filmmakers either has at least one considerable contribution to cinema, or a fairly impressive portfolio of successful projects.

There you have a list of over 20 filmmakers that most cinephiles will recognize as either an all-time great, one time great fallen from grace, or someone whose name piques interest if seen attached to a project.  The question now is if this is the greatest stable of directors any eventual lead actor has ever worked with.  How about others from his generation like Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage?  Or, maybe slightly newer like Brad Pitt?  Possibly Jack Nicholson, or maybe someone else from the Golden Age of Hollywood like Jimmy Stewart?  Maybe it’s not even a male.

What do you think?  Has anyone else worked for greater names in the history’s medium?  Discuss.


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