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16 Unexpectedly Influential Film Directors of the 20th Century

Robert Aldrich

Though highly influential in the development of the contemporary Gothic thriller (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, 1962) and the war film (The Dirty Dozen, 1967), Aldrich's most penetrating influence comes from his 1955 adaptation of Mickey Spillane's crime novel Kiss Me Deadly. With disorienting camera angles, grotesque violence, and a bleak portrayal of a world out of control, it knocked audiences back in their seats and made a tremendous impression on Jean-Luc Godard, Fran├žois Truffaut, and other important young directors of the French "New Wave" of the late 1950s.