Quote: “I look for a thematic idea running through my movies, and I see that it’s the outsider struggling for recognition…. And I realize that all my life I’ve been an outsider…. Oh, I have lots of friends, lots of people around me, but I’m still on the outside.”

Known as: The auteur of America’s mean streets. Martin Scorsese may be versatile enough to veer from The Band (The Last Waltz) to the Dalai Lama (Kundun), but it is his constant return to the underbelly of urban America and his portrayal of sociopathic, sexually repressed antiheroes that have yielded his most resonant and pungent dramas.

Debut: Who’s That Knocking at My Door? (1968)
Breakthrough: Mean Streets (1973)
Masterpieces: Taxi Driver (1976); Raging Bull (1980); Goodfellas (1990)
Biggest Failure: New York, New York (1977)
Overlooked Gems: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974); The King of Comedy (1982)

Influences: Nicholas Ray, Michael Powell
Disciples: Paul Schrader, Abel Ferrara, Quentin Tarantino