David Lean

Sir David Lean CBE (25 March 1908 – 16 April 1991) was an English film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor, best remembered for bringing Charles Dickens's novels to the screen with films such as Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), and for his big-screen epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Ryan's Daughter (1970), and A Passage to India (1984). Acclaimed and praised by directors such as Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick, Lean was voted 9th greatest film director of all time in the British Film Institute Sight & Sound "Directors Top Directors" poll 2002. Lean has four films in the top eleven of the British Film Institute's Top 100 British Films.   Description above from the Wikipedia article David Lean, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

ClassicPowerfulDramaticEpic

The classic story of English POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American intelligence officers conspire to blow up the structure, but Col. Nicholson , the commander who supervised the bridge's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  William Holden  •  Alec Guinness  •  Jack Hawkins  •  Sessue Hayakawa

The classic story of English POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American intelligence officers conspire to blow up the structure, but Col. Nicholson , the commander who supervised the bridge's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  William Holden  •  Alec Guinness  •  Jack Hawkins  •  Sessue Hayakawa

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

EpicClassicDramaticOriginal

The story of British officer T.E. Lawrence's mission to aid the Arab tribes in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Lawrence becomes a flamboyant, messianic figure in the cause of Arab unity but his psychological instability threatens ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Peter O'Toole  •  Alec Guinness  •  Anthony Quinn  •  Jack Hawkins

The story of British officer T.E. Lawrence's mission to aid the Arab tribes in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Lawrence becomes a flamboyant, messianic figure in the cause of Arab unity but his psychological instability threatens ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Peter O'Toole  •  Alec Guinness  •  Anthony Quinn  •  Jack Hawkins

A Passage to India (1984)

Set during the period of growing influence of the Indian independence movement in the British Raj, the story begins with the arrival in India of a British woman, Miss Adela Quested, who is joining her fiancé, a city magistrate named Ronny Heaslop. She and Ronny's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Judy Davis  •  Alec Guinness  •  Peggy Ashcroft  •  James Fox

Set during the period of growing influence of the Indian independence movement in the British Raj, the story begins with the arrival in India of a British woman, Miss Adela Quested, who is joining her fiancé, a city magistrate named Ronny Heaslop. She and Ronny's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Judy Davis  •  Alec Guinness  •  Peggy Ashcroft  •  James Fox

Brief Encounter (1945)

Returning home from a shopping trip to a nearby town, bored suburban housewife Laura Jesson is thrown by happenstance into an acquaintance with virtuous doctor Alec Harvey. Their casual friendship soon develops during their weekly visits into something more ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Celia Johnson  •  Trevor Howard  •  Stanley Holloway  •  Joyce Carey

Returning home from a shopping trip to a nearby town, bored suburban housewife Laura Jesson is thrown by happenstance into an acquaintance with virtuous doctor Alec Harvey. Their casual friendship soon develops during their weekly visits into something more ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Celia Johnson  •  Trevor Howard  •  Stanley Holloway  •  Joyce Carey

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

EpicRomanticClassic

The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Omar Sharif  •  Julie Christie  •  Geraldine Chaplin  •  Rod Steiger

The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Omar Sharif  •  Julie Christie  •  Geraldine Chaplin  •  Rod Steiger

Great Expectations (1946)

In this Dickens adaptation, orphan Pip discovers through lawyer Mr. Jaggers that a mysterious benefactor wishes to ensure that he becomes a gentleman. Reunited with his childhood patron, Miss Havisham, and his first love, the beautiful but emotionally cold Estella, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  John Mills  •  Tony Wager  •  Valerie Hobson  •  Jean Simmons

In this Dickens adaptation, orphan Pip discovers through lawyer Mr. Jaggers that a mysterious benefactor wishes to ensure that he becomes a gentleman. Reunited with his childhood patron, Miss Havisham, and his first love, the beautiful but emotionally cold Estella, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  John Mills  •  Tony Wager  •  Valerie Hobson  •  Jean Simmons

Hobson's Choice (1954)

Henry Hobson owns and tyrannically runs a successful Victorian boot maker’s shop in Salford, England. A stingy widower with a weakness for overindulging in the local Moonraker Public House, he exploits his three daughters as cheap labour. When he declares that ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  John Mills  •  Brenda De Banzie  •  Daphne Anderson

Henry Hobson owns and tyrannically runs a successful Victorian boot maker’s shop in Salford, England. A stingy widower with a weakness for overindulging in the local Moonraker Public House, he exploits his three daughters as cheap labour. When he declares that ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  John Mills  •  Brenda De Banzie  •  Daphne Anderson

In Which We Serve (1942)

The story of the HMS Torrin, from it's construction to its sinking in the Mediterranean during action in World War II. The ship's first and only commanding officer is Captain E.V. Kinross, who trains his men not only to be loyal to him and the country, but—most ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean  •  Noël Coward
CAST:  Noël Coward  •  Derek Elphinstone  •  Michael Wilding  •  John Mills

The story of the HMS Torrin, from it's construction to its sinking in the Mediterranean during action in World War II. The ship's first and only commanding officer is Captain E.V. Kinross, who trains his men not only to be loyal to him and the country, but—most ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean  •  Noël Coward
CAST:  Noël Coward  •  Derek Elphinstone  •  Michael Wilding  •  John Mills

Madeleine (1950)

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Ann Todd  •  Norman Wooland  •  Ivan Desny  •  Leslie Banks

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Ann Todd  •  Norman Wooland  •  Ivan Desny  •  Leslie Banks

Oliver Twist (1948)

When 9-year-old orphan Oliver Twist dares to ask his cruel taskmaster, Mr. Bumble, for a second serving of gruel, he's hired out as an apprentice. Escaping that dismal fate, young Oliver falls in with the street urchin known as the Artful Dodger and his criminal ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Alec Guinness  •  Kay Walsh  •  John Howard Davies  •  Robert Newton

When 9-year-old orphan Oliver Twist dares to ask his cruel taskmaster, Mr. Bumble, for a second serving of gruel, he's hired out as an apprentice. Escaping that dismal fate, young Oliver falls in with the street urchin known as the Artful Dodger and his criminal ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Alec Guinness  •  Kay Walsh  •  John Howard Davies  •  Robert Newton

Ryan's Daughter (1970)

An Irish lass is branded a traitor when she falls for a British soldier.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Sarah Miles  •  Robert Mitchum  •  Trevor Howard  •  Christopher Jones

An Irish lass is branded a traitor when she falls for a British soldier.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Sarah Miles  •  Robert Mitchum  •  Trevor Howard  •  Christopher Jones

Summertime (1955)

Middle-aged Ohio secretary Jane Hudson has never found love and has nearly resigned herself to spending the rest of her life alone. But before she does, she uses her savings to finance a summer in romantic Venice, where she finally meets the man of her dreams, the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Katharine Hepburn  •  Rossano Brazzi  •  Isa Miranda  •  Darren McGavin

Middle-aged Ohio secretary Jane Hudson has never found love and has nearly resigned herself to spending the rest of her life alone. But before she does, she uses her savings to finance a summer in romantic Venice, where she finally meets the man of her dreams, the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Katharine Hepburn  •  Rossano Brazzi  •  Isa Miranda  •  Darren McGavin

The Passionate Friends (1949)

A woman is torn between the love of her life, who is married to someone else, and her older husband.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Ann Todd  •  Claude Rains  •  Trevor Howard  •  Isabel Dean

A woman is torn between the love of her life, who is married to someone else, and her older husband.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Ann Todd  •  Claude Rains  •  Trevor Howard  •  Isabel Dean

The Sound Barrier (1952)

Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Ralph Richardson  •  Ann Todd  •  Nigel Patrick  •  John Justin

Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Ralph Richardson  •  Ann Todd  •  Nigel Patrick  •  John Justin

The Golden Gong: The Story of Rank Films - British Cinema's Legendary Studio (1985)

Documentary - After starting his career producing religious film shorts, J. Arthur Rank went on to become Britain's first and only movie mogul with his establishment of the legendary Pinewood Studios. Narrated by Michael Caine, THE GOLDEN GONG chronicles Pinewood's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tom Gutteridge
CAST:  Richard Attenborough  •  Dirk Bogarde  •  Betty E. Box  •  Albert R. Broccoli

Documentary - After starting his career producing religious film shorts, J. Arthur Rank went on to become Britain's first and only movie mogul with his establishment of the legendary Pinewood Studios. Narrated by Michael Caine, THE GOLDEN GONG chronicles Pinewood's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tom Gutteridge
CAST:  Richard Attenborough  •  Dirk Bogarde  •  Betty E. Box  •  Albert R. Broccoli

This Happy Breed (1944)

In 1919, Frank Gibbons returns home from army duty and moves into a middle-class row house, bringing with him wife Ethel, carping mother-in-law Mrs. Flint, sister-in-law Sylvia and three children. Years pass, with the daily routine of family infighting and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Robert Newton  •  Celia Johnson  •  Amy Veness  •  Alison Leggatt

In 1919, Frank Gibbons returns home from army duty and moves into a middle-class row house, bringing with him wife Ethel, carping mother-in-law Mrs. Flint, sister-in-law Sylvia and three children. Years pass, with the daily routine of family infighting and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Robert Newton  •  Celia Johnson  •  Amy Veness  •  Alison Leggatt

Lost and Found: The Story of Cook's Anchor (1979)

Director David Lean became involved in the search for an anchor lost by Captain Cook in 1773. This documentary follows the search for this historic item.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Robert Bolt  •  Eddie Fowlie  •  David Lean

Director David Lean became involved in the search for an anchor lost by Captain Cook in 1773. This documentary follows the search for this historic item.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Robert Bolt  •  Eddie Fowlie  •  David Lean

Blithe Spirit (1945)

An English mystery novelist invites a medium to his home, so she may conduct a séance for a small gathering. The writer hopes to gather enough material for the book he's working on, as well as to expose the medium as a charlatan. However, proceedings take an ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Rex Harrison  •  Constance Cummings  •  Kay Hammond  •  Margaret Rutherford

An English mystery novelist invites a medium to his home, so she may conduct a séance for a small gathering. The writer hopes to gather enough material for the book he's working on, as well as to expose the medium as a charlatan. However, proceedings take an ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Rex Harrison  •  Constance Cummings  •  Kay Hammond  •  Margaret Rutherford

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DIRECTION:  Laurent Bouzereau
CAST:  Alec Guinness  •  David Lean  •  Sean McLauchlan  •  Peter O'Toole

David Lean: A Life in Film (1985)

A documentary video that profiles the life of David Lean, the director of Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Nigel Wattis
CAST:  David Lean  •  Ronald Neame  •  Omar Sharif  •  Alec Guinness

A documentary video that profiles the life of David Lean, the director of Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Nigel Wattis
CAST:  David Lean  •  Ronald Neame  •  Omar Sharif  •  Alec Guinness
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