The auteur theory is one of the most important theories of authorship. The term, politque des auteurs was coined by Francois Truffaut, who realized that American Directors often worked within strictly circumscribed parameters in reference to the kinds of films and the scripts they could direct, since these were often predetermined and allowed the directors little room to experiment with their own ideas (Keller 1930). The notion of the Director being the true author of a film first emerged through the views of Andrew Sarris on the distinctive nature of a particular director’s work.
According to Sarris, Hitchcock was “great” and Welles was classed as “brilliant”, based on the view that over the course of preparation of several films, a director may reveal certain recurring characteristics of styles or themes, which are like his or her personal signature or stamp upon the film, identifying it unmistakably as their product (Sarris, 1979:650-665), irrespective of the collective nature of film production.
It may be argued that American cinema in earlier decades was circumscribed by the industrial context of production and the concentration of power in the hands of studio top executives. The power wielded by the writers and directors of the film was considerably less than that wielded by studio heads and their creative control over the film much lower. Yet, despite these restrictions, some directors such as Hitchcock were able to achieve a personal style that was uniquely their own. In particular, where some directors such as Orson Welles and Jean Luc Godard are concerned, some recurring themes may occur in all their works, or their work may demonstrate a particular worldview or personal vision that becomes evident through their work. They bear the unmistakable personal imprint of the author, despite the plethora of external market and commodity pressures that may fashion the final products.
For example, in the works of Godard, the