|Died||16 April 1991 83) (aged|
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter, film editor|
(m. 1930;div. 1936)
(m. 1940;div. 1949)
(m. 1949;div. 1957)
(m. 1960;div. 1978)
(m. 1981;div. 1984)
(m. 1990;his death 1991)
Sir David Lean CBE (25 March 1908 –16 April 1991) was an English film director, producer, screenwriter and editor, responsible for large-scale epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and A Passage to India (1984). He also directed adaptations of Charles Dickens novels Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), and the romantic drama Brief Encounter (1945).
Epic films are a style of filmmaking with large scale, sweeping scope, and spectacle. The usage of the term has shifted over time, sometimes designating a film genre and at other times simply synonymous with big-budget filmmaking. Like epics in the classical literary sense it is often focused on a heroic character. An epic's ambitious nature helps to set it apart from other types of film such as the period piece or adventure film.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British-American epic war film directed by David Lean and based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwaï (1952) by Pierre Boulle. The film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943. The cast included William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, and Sessue Hayakawa.
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 epic historical drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company Horizon Pictures and Columbia Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson and starring Peter O'Toole in the title role. The film, a British and American co-production, depicts Lawrence's experiences in the Ottoman Empire's provinces of Hejaz and Greater Syria during World War I, in particular his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus and his involvement in the Arab National Council. Its themes include Lawrence's emotional struggles with the personal violence inherent in war, his own identity, and his divided allegiance between his native Britain and its army, and his new-found comrades within the Arabian desert tribes. The film also stars Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, and Arthur Kennedy.
Originally a film editor in the early 1930s, Lean made his directorial debut with 1942's In Which We Serve , which was the first of four collaborations with Noël Coward. Beginning with Summertime in 1955, Lean began to make internationally co-produced films financed by the big Hollywood studios; in 1970, however, the critical failure of his film Ryan's Daughter led him to take a fourteen-year break from filmmaking, during which he planned a number of film projects which never came to fruition. In 1984 he had a career revival with A Passage to India , adapted from E. M. Forster's novel; it was an instant hit with critics but proved to be the last film Lean would direct.
In Which We Serve is a 1942 British patriotic war film directed by Noël Coward and David Lean. It was made during the Second World War with the assistance of the Ministry of Information.
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".
Summertime is a 1955 American/British Technicolor romance film directed by David Lean and starring Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Darren McGavin, and Isa Miranda. The screenplay by Lean and H.E. Bates is based on the play The Time of the Cuckoo by Arthur Laurents.
Lean's affinity for pictorialism and inventive editing techniques has led him to be lauded by directors such as Steven Spielberg,Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Ridley Scott. Lean was voted 9th greatest film director of all time in the British Film Institute Sight & Sound "Directors' Top Directors" poll in 2002. Nominated seven times for the Academy Award for Best Director, which he won twice for The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, he has seven films in the British Film Institute's Top 100 British Films (with three of them being in the top five) and was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1990.
Pictorialism is an international style and aesthetic movement that dominated photography during the later 19th and early 20th centuries. There is no standard definition of the term, but in general it refers to a style in which the photographer has somehow manipulated what would otherwise be a straightforward photograph as a means of "creating" an image rather than simply recording it. Typically, a pictorial photograph appears to lack a sharp focus, is printed in one or more colors other than black-and-white and may have visible brush strokes or other manipulation of the surface. For the pictorialist, a photograph, like a painting, drawing or engraving, was a way of projecting an emotional intent into the viewer's realm of imagination.
Steven Allan Spielberg is an American filmmaker. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era and one of the most popular directors and producers in film history. Spielberg started in Hollywood directing television and several minor theatrical releases. He became a household name as the director of Jaws (1975), which was critically and commercially successful and is considered the first summer blockbuster. His subsequent releases focused typically on science fiction and adventure films, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993) are seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood escapist filmmaking.
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is frequently cited as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in cinematic history. His films, which are mostly adaptations of novels or short stories, cover a wide range of genres, and are noted for their realism, dark humor, unique cinematography, extensive set designs, and evocative use of music.
Lean was born at 38 Blenheim Crescent, South Croydon, Surrey (now part of Greater London), to Francis William le Blount Lean and the former Helena Tangye (niece of Sir Richard Trevithick Tangye). His parents were Quakers and he was a pupil at the Quaker-founded Leighton Park School in Reading. His younger brother, Edward Tangye Lean (1911–1974), founded the original Inklings literary club when a student at Oxford University. Lean was a half-hearted schoolboy with a dreamy nature who was labeled a "dud"of a student; he left school in the Christmas Term of 1926, at the age of 18 and entered his father's chartered accountancy firm as an apprentice. A more formative event for his career than his formal education was an uncle's gift, when Lean was aged ten, of a Brownie box camera. "You usually didn't give a boy a camera until he was 16 or 17 in those days. It was a huge compliment and I succeeded at it.' Lean printed and developed his films, and it was his 'great hobby'. In 1923, his father deserted the family when he ran off with another woman, and Lean would later follow a similar path after his own first marriage and child.
Greater London is a ceremonial county of England that is located within the London region. This region forms the administrative boundaries of London and is organised into 33 local government districts—the 32 London boroughs and the City of London, which is located within the region but is separate from the county. The Greater London Authority, based in Southwark, is responsible for strategic local government across the region and consists of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. The City of London Corporation is the principal local authority for the City of London, with a similar role to that of the 32 London borough councils.
Sir Richard Trevithick Tangye was a British manufacturer of engines and other heavy equipment.
Leighton Park School is a co-educational independent school for both day and boarding pupils in Reading in South East England. The school's ethos is closely tied to the Quaker values, having been founded as a Quaker School in 1890. The school's ethos is described as achievement with values, character and community.
Bored by his work, Lean spent every evening in the cinema, and in 1927, after an aunt had advised him to find a job he enjoyed, he visited Gaumont Studios where his obvious enthusiasm earned him a month's trial without pay. He was taken on as a teaboy, promoted to clapperboy, and soon rose to the position of third assistant director. By 1930 he was working as an editor on newsreels, including those of Gaumont Pictures and Movietone, while his move to feature films began with Freedom of the Seas (1934) and Escape Me Never (1935).
The role of an assistant director on a film includes tracking daily progress against the filming production schedule, arranging logistics, preparing daily call sheets, checking cast and crew, and maintaining order on the set. They also have to take care of the health and safety of the crew. The role of an assistant to the director is often confused with assistant director but the responsibilities are entirely different. The assistant to the director manages all of the directors in development, pre-production, while on set, through post-production and is often involved in both personal management as well as creative aspects of the production process.
The Gaumont Film Company is a French major film studio founded by the engineer-turned-inventor Léon Gaumont (1864–1946), in 1895. It is the first and oldest film company in the world, founded before other studios such as Pathé, Titanus (1904), Nordisk Film (1906), Universal and Paramount The company headquarters are in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
Movietone News is a newsreel that ran from 1928 to 1963 in the United States. Under the name British Movietone News, it also ran in the United Kingdom from 1929 to 1979.
He edited Gabriel Pascal's film productions of two George Bernard Shaw plays, Pygmalion (1938) and Major Barbara (1941). He edited Powell & Pressburger's 49th Parallel (1941) and One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942). After this last film, Lean began his directing career, after editing more than two dozen features by 1942. As Tony Sloman wrote in 1999, "As the varied likes of David Lean, Robert Wise, Terence Fisher and Dorothy Arzner have proved, the cutting rooms are easily the finest grounding for film direction."David Lean was given honorary membership of the Guild of British Film Editors in 1968.
Gabriel Pascal was a Hungarian-born film producer and director whose best-known films were made in the United Kingdom.
George Bernard Shaw, known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Pygmalion is a 1938 British film based on the George Bernard Shaw play of the same name, and adapted by him for the screen. It stars Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller.
His first work as a director was in collaboration with Noël Coward on In Which We Serve (1942), and he later adapted several of Coward's plays into successful films. These films are This Happy Breed (1944), Blithe Spirit (1945) and Brief Encounter (1945) with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard as quietly understated clandestine lovers, torn between their unpredictable passion and their respective orderly middle-class marriages in suburban England. The film shared Grand Prix honors at the 1946 Cannes film festival and garnered Lean his first Academy nominations for directing and screen adaptation, and Celia Johnson a nomination for Best Actress. It has since become a classic, one of the most highly regarded British films.
Two celebrated Charles Dickens adaptations followed – Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948). David Shipman wrote in The Story of Cinema: Volume Two (1984): "Of the other Dickens films, only Cukor's David Copperfield approaches the excellence of this pair, partly because his casting, too, was near perfect".These two films were the first directed by Lean to star Alec Guinness, whom Lean considered his "good luck charm". The actor's portrayal of Fagin was controversial at the time. The first screening in Berlin during February 1949 offended the surviving Jewish community and led to a riot. It caused problems too in New York, and after private screenings, was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League and the American Board of Rabbis. "To our surprise it was accused of being anti-Semitic", Lean wrote. "We made Fagin an outsize and, we hoped, an amusing Jewish villain." The terms of the production code meant that the film's release in the United States was delayed until July 1951 after cuts amounting to eight minutes.
The next film directed by Lean was The Passionate Friends (1949), an atypical Lean film, but one which marked his first occasion to work with Claude Rains, who played the husband of a woman (Todd) torn between him and an old flame (Howard). The Passionate Friends was the first of three films to feature the actress Ann Todd, who became his third wife. Madeleine (1950), set in Victorian-era Glasgow is about an 1857 cause célèbre with Todd's lead character accused of murdering a former lover. "Once more", writes film critic David Thomson "Lean settles on the pressing need for propriety, but not before the film has put its characters and the audience through a wringer of contradictory feelings."The last of the films with Todd, The Sound Barrier (1952), has a screenplay by the playwright Terence Rattigan and was the first of his three films for Sir Alexander Korda's London Films. Hobson's Choice (1954), with Charles Laughton in the lead, was based on the play by Harold Brighouse.
Summertime (1955) marked a new departure for Lean. It was partly American financed, although again made for Korda's London Films. The film features Katharine Hepburn in the lead role as a middle-aged American woman who has a romance while on holiday in Venice. It was shot entirely on location there.
Lean's films now began to become infrequent but much larger in scale and more extensively released internationally. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) was based on a novel by Pierre Boulle recounting the story of British and American prisoners of war trying to survive in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War. The film stars William Holden and Alec Guinness and became the highest-grossing film of 1957 in the United States. It won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Alec Guinness, who had battled with Lean to give more depth to his role as an obsessively correct British commander who is determined to build the best possible bridge for his Japanese captors in Burma.
After extensive location work in the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, and elsewhere, Lean's Lawrence of Arabia was released in 1962. This was the first project of Lean's with a screenplay by playwright Robert Bolt, rewriting an original script by Michael Wilson (one of the two blacklisted writers of Bridge on the River Kwai). It recounts the life of T. E. Lawrence, the British officer who is depicted in the film as uniting the squabbling Bedouin peoples of the Arab peninsula to fight in World War I and then push on for independence.
After some hesitation, Alec Guinness once again appeared, in his fourth David Lean film, as the Arab leader, Prince Faisal, despite his misgivings from their conflicts on Bridge on the River Kwai. French composer Maurice Jarre, on his first Lean film, created a soaring film score with a famous theme and won his first Oscar for Best Original Score. The film turned actor Peter O'Toole, playing Lawrence, into an international star, was nominated for ten Oscars and won seven, including Best Picture and Lean's second win for Best Director. He remains the only British director to win more than one Oscar for directing.
Lean had his greatest box-office success with Doctor Zhivago (1965), a romance set during the Russian Revolution. The film, based on the banned novel by Nobel Prize-winning Russian poet Boris Pasternak, tells the story of a brilliant and warm-hearted physician and poet (Omar Sharif) who, while seemingly happily married into the Russian aristocracy, and a father, falls in love with a beautiful abandoned young mother named Lara (Julie Christie) and struggles to be with her in the chaos of the Bolshevik revolution and subsequent Russian Civil War.
Initially, reviews for Doctor Zhivago were lukewarm, but critics have since come to see it as one of Lean's best films, with film director Paul Greengrass calling it "one of the great masterpieces of cinema". As of 2015 [update] , it is the 8th highest-grossing film of all time, adjusted for inflation. Producer Carlo Ponti used Maurice Jarre's lush romantic score to create a pop tune called "Lara's Theme", which became an international hit song with lyrics under the title "Somewhere My Love", one of cinema's most successful theme songs. The British director of photography, Freddie Young, won an Academy Award for his color cinematography. Around the same time, Lean also directed some scenes of The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) while George Stevens was committed to location work in Nevada.
Lean's Ryan's Daughter (1970) was released after an extended period on location in Ireland. A doomed romance set against the backdrop of 1916 Ireland's struggles against the British, it is loosely based on Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary . Starring the aging Hollywood 'bad boy' Robert Mitchum in an uncharacteristic role as a long-suffering Irish husband and British actress Sarah Miles as his faithless young wife, the film received far fewer positive reviews than the director's previous work, being particularly savaged by the New York critics. Some critics felt the film's massive visual scale on gorgeous Irish beaches and extended running time did not suit its small-scale romantic narrative. Nonetheless, the film was a box office success, earning $31 million and making it the 8th highest-grossing film of that year. It won two Academy Awards the following year, another for cinematographer Freddie Young and for supporting actor John Mills in his role as a village halfwit.
The poor critical reception of the film prompted Lean to meet with the National Society of Film Critics, gathered at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, including The New Yorker's Pauline Kael, and ask them why they objected to the movie. "I sensed trouble from the moment I sat down," Lean says of the now famous luncheon. TIME critic Richard Shickel asked Lean pointblank how he, the director of Brief Encounter, could have made "a piece of bullshit" like Ryan's Daughter.These critics so lacerated the film for two hours to David Lean's face that the devastated Lean was put off making films for a long time. "They just took the film to bits," said Lean in a later television interview. "It really had such an awful effect on me for several years... you begin to think that maybe they're right. Why on earth am I making films if I don't have to? It shakes one's confidence terribly.""
From 1977 until 1980, Lean and Robert Bolt worked on a film adaptation of Captain Bligh and Mr. Christian, a dramatized account by Richard Hough of the Mutiny on the Bounty. It was originally to be released as a two-part film, one named The Lawbreakers that dealt with the voyage out to Tahiti and the subsequent mutiny, and the second named The Long Arm that studied the journey of the mutineers after the mutiny as well as the admiralty's response in sending out the frigate HMS Pandora, in which some of the mutineers were imprisoned. Lean could not find financial backing for both films after Warner Bros. withdrew from the project; he decided to combine it into one and looked at a seven-part TV series before getting backing from Italian mogul Dino De Laurentiis. The project then suffered a further setback when Bolt suffered a serious stroke and was unable to continue writing; the director felt that Bolt's involvement would be crucial to the film's success. Melvyn Bragg ended up writing a considerable portion of the script.
Lean was forced to abandon the project after overseeing casting and the construction of the $4 million Bounty replica; at the last possible moment, actor Mel Gibson brought in his friend Roger Donaldson to direct the film, as producer De Laurentiis did not want to lose the millions he had already put into the project over what he thought was as insignificant a person as the director dropping out.The film was eventually released as The Bounty .
Lean then embarked on a project he had pursued since 1960, a film adaptation of A Passage to India (1984), from E. M. Forster's 1924 novel of colonial conflicts in British-occupied India. Entirely shot on location in the sub-continent, this became his last completed film. He rejected a draft by Santha Rama Rau, responsible for the stage adaptation and Forster's preferred screenwriter, and wrote the script himself.In addition, Lean also edited the film with the result that his three roles in the production (writer, editor, director) were given equal status in the credits.
Lean recruited long-time collaborators for the cast and crew, including Maurice Jarre (who won another Academy-Award for the score), Alec Guinness in his sixth and final role for Lean, as an eccentric Hindu Brahmin, and John Box, the production designer for Dr. Zhivago. Reversing the critical response to Ryan's Daughter, the film opened to universally enthusiastic reviews; the film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and Lean himself nominated for three Academy Awards in directing, editing, and writing. His female star, in the complex role of a confused young British woman who falsely accuses an Indian man of rape, gained Australian actress Judy Davis her first Academy nomination. Peggy Ashcroft, as the sensitive Mrs. Moore, won the Oscar for best supporting actress, making her, at 77, the oldest actress to win that award. According to Roger Ebert, it is "one of the greatest screen adaptations I have ever seen".But this was, sadly, to be his last.
He was signed on to direct a Warner Bros.-backed adaptation of J. G. Ballard's autobiographical novel Empire of the Sun after director Harold Becker left the project. Steven Spielberg was brought on board as a producer for Lean, but later assumed the role of director when Lean dropped out of the project; Spielberg was drawn to the idea of making the film due to his long-time admiration for Lean and his films. Empire of the Sun was released in 1987.
During the last years of his life, Lean was in pre-production of a film version of Joseph Conrad's Nostromo . He assembled an all-star cast, including Marlon Brando, Paul Scofield, Anthony Quinn, Peter O'Toole, Christopher Lambert, Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Quaid, with Georges Corraface as the title character. Lean also wanted Alec Guinness to play Doctor Monyghan, but the aged actor turned him down in a letter from 1989: "I believe I would be disastrous casting. The only thing in the part I might have done well is the crippled crab-like walk." As with Empire of the Sun, Steven Spielberg came on board as producer with the backing of Warner Bros., but after several rewrites and disagreements on the script, he left the project and was replaced by Serge Silberman, a respected producer at Greenwich Film Productions.
The Nostromo project involved several writers, including Christopher Hampton and Robert Bolt, but their work was abandoned. In the end, Lean decided to write the film himself with the assistance of Maggie Unsworth (wife of renowned cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth), with whom he had worked on the scripts for Brief Encounter, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and The Passionate Friends. Originally Lean considered filming in Mexico but later decided to film in London and Madrid, partly to secure O'Toole, who had insisted he would take part only if the film was shot close to home. Nostromo had a total budget of $46 million and was six weeks away from filming at the time of Lean's death from throat cancer. It was rumoured that fellow film director John Boorman would take over direction, but the production collapsed. Nostromo was finally adapted for the small screen with an unrelated BBC television mini-series in 1997.
Lean was a long-term resident of Limehouse, east London. His home on Narrow Street is still owned by his family. His co-writer and producer Norman Spencer has said that Lean was a "huge womaniser" and "to my knowledge, he had almost 1,000 women".He was married six times, had one son, and at least two grandchildren—from all of whom he was completely estranged —and was divorced five times. He was survived by his last wife, art dealer Sandra Cooke, the co-author (with Barry Chattington) of David Lean: An Intimate Portrait. as well as Peter Lean, his son from his first marriage.
His six wives were:
Lean was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1953, and was knighted for his contributions and services to the arts in 1984.Lean received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1990. In 2012, Lean was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life that he most admires.
In 1999, the British Film Institute compiled its list of the Top 100 British films; seven of Lean's films appeared on the list:
In addition to this, the American Film Institute's 1998 100 Years...100 Movies list placed Lawrence of Arabia 5th, The Bridge on the River Kwai 13th and Doctor Zhivago 39th; in the 2007 revised edition, Lawrence of Arabia placed 7th and The Bridge on the River Kwai placed 36th.
As Lean himself pointed out,his films are often admired by fellow directors as a showcase of the filmmaker's art. In The Rough Guide to Film, Tom Charity writes:
Steven Ross has written that Lean's films "reveal a consistently tragic vision of the romantic sensibility attempting to reach beyond the constraints and restrictions of everyday life", and that they tend to feature "intimate stories of a closely-knit group of characters [whose] fates are indirectly but powerfully shaped by history-shaking events going on around them." He further observes that, in his work, "setting [is used] as a presence with as much dramatic and thematic form as any character in the film."Michael Newton of The Guardian , analysing Brief Encounter and Doctor Zhivago, says that "Today, 50 years on, we can see how the scale of Zhivago forms the measure of its appeal, and its gorgeousness seems intrinsic to one of cinema’s virtues. With Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Powell, Lean is one of the greatest film directors this country has produced. Like all of them, he is a romantic, and romanticism was his subject matter: the flourishing and the breaking of inordinate desires, the dangerous lure of beauty, of adventure and the untrammelled life. Both films demonstrate the impossibility of an illicit love finding a place in the world. In Brief Encounter, social convention and decency prevent it; romance flourishes only to be worn out by the talk of casual acquaintances. In Doctor Zhivago, it is history and the political realm that prove to be love’s enemy."
Lean was also notorious for his perfectionist approach to filmmaking; director Claude Chabrol stated that he and Lean were the only directors working at the time who were prepared to wait "forever" for the perfect sunset, but whereas Chabrol measured "forever" in terms of days, Lean did so in terms of months.
Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese in particular are fans of Lean's epic films and claim him as one of their primary influences. Spielberg and Scorsese also helped in the 1989 restoration of Lawrence of Arabia, which had been substantially altered both by the studio in theatrical release and in particular in its televised versions; the theatrical re-release greatly revived Lean's reputation.
Several of the many other later twentieth century directors who have acknowledged significant influence by Lean include Stanley Kubrick,George Lucas, Spike Lee, and Sergio Leone.
John Woo once named Lawrence of Arabia among his top three films.More recently, Joe Wright ( Pride & Prejudice , Atonement ) has cited Lean's works, particularly Doctor Zhivago, as an important influence on his work, as has director Christopher Nolan ( The Dark Knight Rises).
The critical verdict was not unanimous, however. For example, David Thomson, writing about Lean in his New Biographical Dictionary of Film, comments:
|“||From 1952 to 1991, he made eight films—and in only one of them, I suggest —Lawrence—is the spectacle sufficient to mask the hollow rhetoric of the scripts. But Lean before 1952 made eight films in ten years that are lively, stirring, and an inspiration—they make you want to go out and make movies, they are so in love with the screen's power and the combustion in editing."||”|
The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther dismissed Lawrence of Arabia as "a huge, thundering camel-opera that tends to run down rather badly as it rolls on into its third hour and gets involved with sullen disillusion and political deceit",.Writing about the same film in The Village Voice , Andrew Sarris remarked that Lawrence was "...simply another expensive mirage, dull, overlong, and coldly impersonal... on the whole I find it hatefully calculating and condescending..."
|1947||Best Director||Brief Encounter||Nominated|
|1947||Best Adapted Screenplay||Brief Encounter|
(shared with Anthony Havelock-Allan & Ronald Neame)
|1948||Best Director||Great Expectations||Nominated|
|1948||Best Adapted Screenplay||Great Expectations|
(shared with Anthony Havelock-Allan & Ronald Neame)
|1958||Best Director||The Bridge on the River Kwai||Won|
|1963||Best Director||Lawrence of Arabia||Won|
|1966||Best Director||Doctor Zhivago||Nominated|
|1985||Best Director||A Passage to India||Nominated|
|1985||Best Adapted Screenplay||A Passage to India||Nominated|
|1985||Best Film Editing||A Passage to India||Nominated|
|1958||Best Director||The Bridge on the River Kwai||Won|
|1963||Best Director||Lawrence of Arabia||Won|
|1966||Best Director||Doctor Zhivago||Won|
|1985||Best Director||A Passage to India||Nominated|
|1985||Best Screenplay||A Passage to India||Nominated|
|1949||Best British Film||Oliver Twist||Nominated|
|1953||Best Film from any Source||The Sound Barrier||Won|
|1953||Best British Film||The Sound Barrier||Won|
|1955||Best Film from any Source||Hobson's Choice||Nominated|
|1955||Best British Screenplay||Hobson's Choice|
(shared with Norman Spencer and Wynyard Browne)
|1956||Best Film from any Source|| Summertime |
(shared with Ilya Lopert)
|1958||Best Film from any Source||The Bridge on the River Kwai|
(shared with Sam Spiegel)
|1958||Best British Film||The Bridge on the River Kwai|
(shared with Sam Spiegel)
|1963||Best Film from any Source||Lawrence of Arabia|
(shared with Sam Spiegel)
|1963||Best British Film||Lawrence of Arabia|
(shared with Sam Spiegel)
|1967||Best Film from any Source||Doctor Zhivago|
(shared with Carlo Ponti)
|1971||Best Direction||Ryan's Daughter||Nominated|
|1985||Best Film||A Passage to India|
(shared with John Brabourne and Richard B. Goodwin)
|1985||Best Adapted Screenplay||A Passage to India||Nominated|
In 1974, Lean was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship.
|1944||Silver Condor Award for Best Foreign Film||In Which We Serve|
(shared with Noël Coward)
|1954||Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear||Hobson's Choice||Won|
|1946||Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix||Brief Encounter||Won|
|1949||Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix||The Passionate Friends||Nominated|
|1966||Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or||Doctor Zhivago||Nominated|
|1967||David di Donatello for Best Foreign Director||Doctor Zhivago||Won|
|1958||Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Feature Film||The Bridge on the River Kwai||Won|
|1963||Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Feature Film||Lawrence of Arabia||Won|
|1971||Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Feature Film||Ryan's Daughter||Nominated|
|1985||Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Feature Film||A Passage to India||Nominated|
|1974||Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Film||Ryan's Daughter||Won|
|1946||Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation||Blithe Spirit||Won|
|1964||Nastro d'Argento for Best Foreign Director||Lawrence of Arabia||Won|
|1984||Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director||A Passage to India||Won|
|1964||Kinema Junpo Award for Best Foreign Language Film||Lawrence of Arabia||Won|
|1952||National Board of Review Award for Best Director||The Sound Barrier||Won|
|1957||National Board of Review Award for Best Director||The Bridge on the River Kwai||Won|
|1962||National Board of Review Award for Best Director||Lawrence of Arabia||Won|
|1984||National Board of Review Award for Best Director||A Passage to India||Won|
|1985||National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director||A Passage to India||3rd place|
|1942||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director||In Which We Serve||2nd place|
|1953||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director||The Sound Barrier||3rd place|
|1955||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director||Summertime||Won|
|1957||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director||The Bridge on the River Kwai||Won|
|1965||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director||Doctor Zhivago||2nd place|
|1984||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director||A Passage to India||Won|
|1948||Venice Film Festival Grand International Award||Oliver Twist||Nominated|
|1984||Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay||A Passage to India||Nominated|
Brief Encounter is a 1945 British romantic drama film directed by David Lean about British suburban life on the eve of World War 2, centering on Laura, a married woman with children, whose conventional life becomes increasingly complicated because of a chance meeting at a railway station with a married stranger, Alec. They fall in love, bringing about unexpected consequences.
Doctor Zhivago is a 1965 British-Italian epic romantic drama film directed by David Lean. It is set in Russia between the years prior to World War I and the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922, and is based on the 1957 Boris Pasternak novel Doctor Zhivago. While immensely popular in the West, the book was banned in the Soviet Union for decades. For this reason, the film could not be made in the Soviet Union and was instead filmed mostly in Spain.
Robert Oxton Bolt, CBE was an English playwright and a two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter, known for writing the screenplays for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Man for All Seasons, the latter two of which won him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Omar Sharif was an Egyptian actor. He began his career in his native country in the 1950s, but is best known for his appearances in both English and American productions. His films included Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Funny Girl (1968). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Lawrence of Arabia. He won three Golden Globe Awards and a César Award.
Maurice-Alexis Jarre was a French composer and conductor, "one of the giants of 20th-century film music" who was "among the most sought-after composers in the movie industry" and "a creator of both subtle underscoring and grand, sweeping themes, not only writing for conventional orchestras... but also experimenting with electronic sounds later in his career".
Samuel P. Spiegel was a Austro-Polish-born American independent film producer. He was the first to win the Academy Award for Best Picture three times, and the only one to be the sole producer on all three winning films.
John Allan Hyatt Box OBE was a British film production designer and art director. He won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction on four occasions and won the equivalent BAFTA three times, a record for both awards. Throughout his career he gained a reputation for recreating exotic locations in rather more mundane surroundings; he once created a walled Chinese city in Snowdonia.
Michael Wilson was an American screenwriter who was blacklisted by the Hollywood film studios during the era of McCarthyism for being a communist.
Frederick A. Young, OBE, BSC, was a British cinematographer. He is probably best known for his work on David Lean's films Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Ryan's Daughter (1970), all three of which won him Academy Awards for Best Cinematography.
A Passage to India is a 1984 British-American epic historical drama film written, directed and edited by David Lean. The screenplay is based on the play of the same name by Santha Rama Rau, which was in turn based on the 1924 novel of the same name by E.M. Forster.
AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies – 10th Anniversary Edition was the 2007 updated version of 100 Years… 100 Movies. The original list was first unveiled in 1998.
The 23rd New York Film Critics Circle Awards, honored the best filmmaking of 1957.
Sir Alec Guinness, was an English actor. After an early career on the stage, Guinness was featured in several of the Ealing Comedies, including The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets in which he played nine different characters. He is known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai, Prince Faisal in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), General Yevgraf Zhivago in Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Professor Godbole in A Passage to India (1984). He is also known for his portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas's original Star Wars trilogy; for the original film, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 50th Academy Awards.
The Wind Cannot Read is a 1958 British drama film directed by Ralph Thomas and starring Dirk Bogarde, Yoko Tani, Ronald Lewis and John Fraser. It was based on a novel by Richard Mason.
Cineguild Productions was a production company formed by director David Lean, cinematographer Ronald Neame and producer Anthony Havelock-Allan in 1944. They produced some of the major British films of the 1940s.
Laurent Bouzereau is a French-American documentary filmmaker, producer, and author.
Phyllis Dalton, MBE, is a British costume designer known for her work on Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Oliver!, The Princess Bride, Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing. She has received two Academy Awards, a BAFTA and an Emmy for her designs.
Norman Savage (1930–1973) was an English film editor. He is credited as the principal editor on seven feature films, and as the sound editor on another four. He worked with the director David Lean on four films that spanned Savage's entire career. Lean has been noted as possibly "the best British film director ever", and was himself a masterful editor. Savage started his career as an assistant editor on Lean's Hobson's Choice (1954). Savage was Anne V. Coates' first assistant editor for Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film Editing for Lean's 1965 film Doctor Zhivago, and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Editing for Lean's 1970 film Ryan's Daughter. Savage died of leukemia while editing the film Lady Caroline Lamb (1972). That film is the only one directed by Robert Bolt, a playwright and screenwriter who had worked on several films directed by Lean.
Richard Attenborough, CBE
|NFTS Honorary Fellowship||Succeeded by|
Nick Park, CBE