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Stanley Kubrick is the best director of the second half of the 20th century.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2015 Category: Movies
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 781 times Debate No: 68904
Debate Rounds (3)
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Stanley Kubrick is easily the best director of the second half of the 1900s, and possibly of all-time. I specified the second half, because Hitchcock owns the first half.

Whomever argues against me can take the side of another director who you think is superior to Kubrick.

Stick to arguing about the director's quality, style, lasting effect, and how they revolutionized certain genres, styles, etc.



I will gladly challenge you on this, as I strongly believe that the greatest director of that time is Steven Speilberg. Speilberg did more than just make movies. He made experiences. Speilberg set standards for movies and genres for years to follow. I'm talking about E.T., Jurassic Park. Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, Indiana Jones, and the list goes on and on. Almost every movie he made in the 20th century was pure gold and a trend setter. Try to tell me Indiana Jones didn't set the standard for adventure movies. I dare you to argue against the sheer awe people felt when they witnessed Jurassic Park's special effects. Poltergeist was one of the first 'supernatural' horror movies, and it also set the standard for years to come.

Steven Speilberg is hands-down the greatest director of the 20th century. Kubrick does have his share of great movies, I'm not denying that, but Speilberg's list is so much larger, and he is a household name along with almost all of his movies.
Debate Round No. 1


I can't deny Spielberg's contribution to cinema. The man knew how to make a real blockbuster. But Kubrick revolutionized film. 2001: A Space Odyssey was the film that changed Sci-Fi forever. Without that movie, Sci-Fi probably wouldn't have accelerated as quickly. The special effects still stand up pretty dang well.

Kubrick was also very daring as a director. Adapting Lolita was crazy to most at the time, but Kubrick dared to do it. A Clockwork Orange pushed the limits on violence and sexual content previously viewed in cinema. It was controversial, but highly important as it allowed for films to be produced that previously would've been seen as too inappropriate.

The Shining remains to be one of the creepiest and most suspenseful movies there is. They just don't make horror movies like they used to. Full Metal Jacket was a very natural war movie. Looking into the training was new to most viewers, and very harsh in reality. It was an amazing experience.

Spielberg is a great director, but many of his films are just entertaining good, and don't leave much in terms of theme and style. Once he got into the likes of Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, some themes started to emerge, but with Jaws, Raiders, and E.T., they seem to be entertaining, family movies, but not movies with a deeper meaning. (Of course these movies are still great.)

That's not to discount how he directed, it's just to say Kubrick was far more daring, creative, innovative, and even philosophical with his films. Every single one of his films makes you think about it long after viewing.


I definitely agree with you on how Kubrick made daring leaps in the film industry, but I still think Speilberg has many more famous movies under his belt. You mentioned Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, which both are deep and moving films. The special effects in Jurassic Park are arguably what caused CGI to be what it is today, as they truly were stunning in that time.

I would also like to bring up the aspect of music/scores. Although Speilberg didn't compose songs, they were featured in his films. Themes like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and E.T. are extraordinarily iconic, and can easily be recognized, even by people who haven't seen the movies they came from.

Speilberg also created several movies that developed into iconic franchises, such as Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park. Although not all of the movies have been 'great', it goes to show that his originals were inspiring to other directors and were successful enough to spawn sequels.
Debate Round No. 2


You are right. Kubrick's films probably aren't as well known compared to Spielberg. And he does have the incredible John Williams to back him up. Everyone can recognize those themes immediately. True once again that numerous sequels have been produced from him movies. Out of all Kubrick's movies, the only sequel created was 2010, though I'd wager most have never even heard of this movie.

But just because his films are 'more famous', it doesn't necessarily make him the better director. Kubrick had a certain way of handling a film. It seems most of his films have a foreboding feeling, as though the viewer could tell some outcomes are not going to be pretty. Like clockwork (no pun intended), Kubrick's films tick and tock and come together like a puzzle. He's one of those directors where if you showed me a film of his that I never heard of, I would be able to tell it is one of his. Spielberg doesn't really have this trait. A sort of stamp if you will.

Kubrick's films make you think and ponder. Every single one. Whether it's about the ending of 2001, the realness of Full Metal Jacket, or the twisted nature of The Shining, the viewer will no doubt be thinking and thinking after their first watch. Spielberg doesn't really have any of these thinkers. Maybe Close Encounters and Schindler's List, but not in the same way as Kubrick's films.

Kubrick painted pictures he knew not every one would see the same. Spielberg has mostly stuck to simpler films that more could enjoy with less thought. They are still great movies, but they don't amount to the art that Kubrick created.


I will agree that Kubrick had a very iconic way of handling movie-making. I still believe that Steven Spielberg made such a huge name for himself with his revolutionary films. Almost every one of his movies was a trend-setter, whether it be E.T., Indiana Jones, or Jaws, the first blockbuster. He also expanded beyond directing and produced several amazing films such as Back to the Future and Flags of our Fathers.

The movie he made, The Color Purple, was a very emotionally influential drama, so here we see more of him expanding beyond the 'adventure romp'.

And I do believe that Spielberg has his own stamp to his movie, though maybe not as unique as that of Kubrick. Spielberg's effects and cinematography were iconic.

In conclusion, I believe that Steven Spielberg is the greatest director of the last half of the 20th century, for reasons such as his revolutions in cinematography, special effects, and story telling. He made so many iconic family movies, but also broke this mold with films like Schindler's List, The Color Purple, and Saving Private Ryan. Even movies like the Minority Report were incredibly creative and original, and I believe that Spielberg set the standard for movies to come.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Stefy 2 years ago
Whoever directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by I-AM-AWESOME 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Cause