Frank Borzage, George Stevens and Ang Lee have won two Best Director Oscars while having never helmed a Best Picture.

Borzage won the very first Oscar in 1927/28 for Best Director for the somewhat creaky potboiler Seventh Heaven while the Best Picture prize went to Wings. He won a second Oscar for his direction of Bad Girl in 1931/32 while the Best Picture was Grand Hotel. He won his Oscars on his only two nominations although he also directed the Best Picture nominees A Farewell to Arms (1932) and Flirtation Walk (1934).

Stevens won the 1951 Best Director award for A Place in the Sun while the Best Picture prize went to An American in Paris and he won the 1956 Best Director award for Giant while Around the World in 80 Days won Best Picture. He also received Best Director nominations for The More the Merrier (1943), Shane (1953) and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and helmed the Best Picture nominees Alice Adams (1935) and The Talk of the Town (1942)

Lee was the expected winner of the Oscar for Brokeback Mountain in 2005 while the Best Picture award went to the surprise choice of Crash. His second win for Life of Pi (2012) came from out of left field after anticipated Best Director nominees Argo (the Best Picture winner), Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty failed to receive a slot in that category, and most pundits predicted the award would go to Steven Spielberg for Lincoln. Lee was previously nominated as Best Director for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and had also directed the Best Picture nominee Sense & Sensibility (1995) and the Best Foreign Language Film nominees The Wedding Banquet (1993) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994).


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