I like to sometimes knock some thoughts in my head around concerning auteur theory. I don't know.
Sometimes I think of John Huston. He was responsible for some great movies, but not all of his movies are that good. He seems like he could "get" some stories so well. I think he honestly made "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" better than the book. "Maltese Falcon" is awesome. "Key Largo", "Asphalt Jungle", "The Dead", "Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean", "Red Badge of Courage" (even though it's crippled), "Fat City", "African Queen", "The Misfits", and "The Man who would be King" are all such amazing stories. Most are adapted from literature. I think he might have had one or two original screenplays, but they aren't among his hits. He made a few other movies that just don't seem to have much redeeming value at all. He was most of the time a very perceptive reader of stories, good at getting the essence into the final film product. But I can't imagine trying to shoehorn him into an auteur. He lived a crazy larger than life sort of life. He made some of the best movies ever made. But he isn't big enough to fit into the auteur theory. That's more or less why the theory doesn't work for me all that well. But John Ford makes it. Yeah, he made some great movies, but so many of them have stupid contrived tacked on love stories, where you wish you could excise it from the meatier part of the story. Huston didn't allow that most of the time. Just made the story as entertaining as he could. His "The Killers" stays true to an essence of Hemingway. Hawks "To Have or Have Not" has absolutely no relation to Hemingway's version, other than taking place in the Caribbean. Still a fine, fun movie, but I like to imagine how Huston might have done it. I bet it wouldn't have sacrificed the plot so much. I don't know. I have mixed thoughts on it.
My first list was kinda dark/cynical. Here is a brighter one.
Back to the Future- oedipal, misadventure, time-travel- Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox, and Christopher Lloyd
Glory- slave to Man- Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman are a revelation. Great story.
Groundhogs Day- Sisyphus in love- Everybody involved has my grattitude.
Rushmore- extracurricular run amok- Wes Anderson mostly, but everybody in the end.
Jules and Jim- Live Lost Love- Henri-Pierre Roche, Truffaut, Jeanne Moreau. Lovely film.
I really like a lot of your list, and the whys. I've spent time studying each film.
Horizons West- Jim Kitses (Western genre movies and what some of the best practitioners focused on)
Romantic Comedy in Hollywood- James Harvey (Good big book that surveys a bunch of the best years of hollywood and why so many people went to the movies. Screwball comedies to Douglas Sirk dark melodramas with an aching heart. Author is just good and perceptive and pointing out what makes a lot of movies so much fun.)
Dark City- Eddie Muller (Fun big enough introduction to Film Noir, written by somebody who obviously loves it in a contagious way. Just like the two books above really.)
Dr. Strangelove- apocalypse by comedy- whole team
Andrei Rublev- brutality, art, sin/redemption- Tarkovsky (I cheated on the three word challenge, but I saw the sin and redemption as polar.)
Los Olvidados- damned boy unloved- Bunuel
Miracle at Morgans Creek- miraculous miracle plot- Preston Sturges
Spetters- he goes there- Paul Verhoeven
Maybe not my favorite movies of all time. I do like each of the above a lot though.