HOLLYWOOD -- None of the five men nominated by the Screen Directors Guild for best director of the year has won the honor in the past.
The guild announced the nominations Wednesday and they included three veterans and two newcomers.
John Huston was nominated for 'Prizzi's Honor,' a black comedy about the Mafia starring Jack Nicholson.
Sidney Pollack was nominated for 'Out of Africa,' a love story based on an autobiography and co-starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
Steven Spielberg was nominated for 'The Color Purple,' an early 1900s story ofAmerican blacks that has been criticized for degrading black men.
Newcomer Ron Howard was nominated for 'Cocoon,' a film dealing with a space-age fountain of youth, and Peter Weir was recognized for 'Witness,' an adventure-love story dealing with the Amish in Pennsylvania.
The guild's nominations almost always portend the winning director of the Academy Award, nominations for which take place Feb. 5. In the 38-year history of the DGA awards, only two winners have failed to also capture the Oscar.
In 1968 the directors gave their award to Anthony Harvey for 'The Lion In Winter,' but the Oscar went to Carol Reed for 'Oliver.' In 1972 the DGA award was won by Francis Coppola for 'The Godfather,' but Bob Fosse won the Academy Award for 'Cabaret.'
Huston was nominated for a sixth time. His first came in 1950 for 'The Asphalt Jungle' and his most recent was for 'Night of the Iguana' in 1964.
Spielberg is a five-time nominee. 'Jaws' was his first in 1979 and his most recent was for 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.'
Pollack's two previous nominations were for 'Tootsie' in 1982 and 'They Shoot Horses, Don't They?' in 1969.
Despite their multiple nominations, Huston, Spielberg and Pollack have yet to win a DGA award. Howard and Weir had not been nominated previously.
The guild announced its television nominees in seven categories last week. Presentation of awards to winners for both TV and movie achievement will be made at a banquet at the Beverly Hilton Hotel March 8.