While writing a column about a particular film from the 1950s, I noticed that one of its Oscar nominations was in the category of Best Director, and that it was also the director's first movie. "Hmm," I thought. "I wonder how rare that is, for someone to get a Best Director nomination his first time at bat?" (Sometimes I use sports metaphors when I think.) Having little else to occupy my time now that Lost is over, I found a list of all the nominated directors, then checked to see which ones were nominated for their first movies.

There are 23. Five of them actually won the Oscar, too, which is even more impressive. Mind you, these are Best Director Oscar nominations for their first theatrically released narrative features. Two of them had previously made a documentary, and a few had made shorts or TV movies. Oh, and there are actually 24 names: one of the nominated films had two directors who shared the nomination. (Hint: They weren't brothers.)

We'll post the list after the jump. Trivia fans might want to see how many they can name on their own, before seeing the answers. We'd turn it into a contest, but it would be too easy to cheat. To get you started, here are the years that the films were released: 1941, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, two from 1989, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, two from 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007.

Which filmmakers got Best Director nominations for their first theatrically released narrative features? More hints, and then the answers, after the jump.