David Lean

David Lean

Highest Rated: 100% Great Expectations (1946)

Lowest Rated: 50% Ryan's Daughter (1970)

Birthday: Mar 25, 1908

Birthplace: Croydon, Surrey, England, UK

A consummate craftsman whose sweeping historical epics were mere backdrops for the larger-than-life characters that populated his films, director David Lean helmed some of the grandest movies ever made by Hollywood. After receiving his start as an editor, Lean segued into directing with smaller films like "Blithe Spirit" (1945) and "Brief Encounter" (1946), which often showed hints of the grand scale that was to come. Following excellent adaptations of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" (1946) and "Oliver Twist" (1948), he went into a bit of a lull that nonetheless saw him make the compelling romantic drama "Summertime" (1955). But what followed was a series of three films that cemented his place as one of the greatest directors of all time, starting with "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" (1957), a widescreen WWII epic that displayed an unusual elegance despite its depiction of wartime prisoners suffering from a relentless and unyielding camp commander. Next was "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), an iconic historical drama about the adventures of T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) that featured some of the most memorable images ever filmed, and went on to win numerous Academy Awards while earning its place as one of the greatest movies ever made. Lean followed this cinematic triumph with "Doctor Zhivago" (1965), a massive box office success that managed to tell a deeply intense personal romance set against the large scale turbulence off revolutionary Russia. After suffering a critical drubbing with his next film, "Ryan's Daughter" (1970), Lean waited 14 years to release his next film, "A Passage to India" (1984), which was a welcome return to the epic landscape previously occupied by "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" and "Lawrence of Arabia."




77% 79% A Passage to India Director,
Film Editing
- 1984
50% 73% Ryan's Daughter Director - 1970
84% 88% Doctor Zhivago Director $87.1K 1965
94% 93% Lawrence of Arabia Director $6.0M 1962
96% 93% The Bridge on the River Kwai Director - 1957
91% 80% Summertime Director - 1955
91% 92% Hobson's Choice Director,
- 1954
80% 64% Breaking the Sound Barrier Director,
- 1952
83% 71% Madeleine Director - 1950
73% 59% The Passionate Friends Director,
- 1949
100% 84% Oliver Twist Director,
- 1948
100% 88% Great Expectations Director,
- 1946
77% 75% Blithe Spirit Director,
- 1945
91% 91% Brief Encounter Director,
- 1945
100% 77% This Happy Breed Director,
- 1944
90% 75% In Which We Serve Director,
Film Editing
- 1942
No Score Yet No Score Yet French Without Tears Film Editing - 1940
No Score Yet No Score Yet Spies of the Air Film Editing - 1939
94% 85% Pygmalion Film Editing - 1938
100% 17% Escape Me Never Film Editing - 1935
No Score Yet No Score Yet Money for Speed Film Editing - 1933
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Ghost Camera Film Editing - 1933