Legendary film-maker Steven Spielberg has been voted the greatest director of all time.

Spielberg - the talent behind huge blockbuster hits including SCHINDLER'S LIST, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN - topped a poll commissioned by Britain's Empire movie magazine.

The 58-year-old beat off competition from Psycho director Alfred Hitchcock and The Aviator creator Martin Scorsese, who came in second and third respectively.

Empire's associate editor IAN FREER says, "Steven Spielberg is the closest thing in movies to resemble the impact of THE Beatles.

"A cultural phenomenon, his adventures with sharks, UFOs, whip-crackin' archaeologists and ETs, plus searching historical dramas like Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan have defined the movie-going life of an entire generation."

Surprisingly, acclaimed film-makers such as Star Wars director GEORGE LUCAS, Charlie Chaplin, and Tim Burton, fell short of inclusion.

The top ten is as follows:

1. STEVEN SPIELBERG

2. ALFRED HITCHCOCK

3. MARTIN SCORSESE

4. Stanley Kubrick

5. SIR Ridley Scott

6. Akira Kurosawa

7. Peter Jackson

8. Quentin Tarantino

9. Orson Welles

10. Woody Allen

02/06/2005 17:56