David Lean

  • Noel Coward & David Lean – In Which We Serve (1942)

    David Lean1941-1950DramaNoël CowardUnited KingdomWar
    In Which We Serve (1942)
    In Which We Serve (1942)

    Plot / Synopsis
    In the midst of World War II, the renowned playwright Noël Coward engaged a young film editor named David Lean to help him realize his vision for an action drama about a group of Royal Navy sailors (roles that would be filled by Coward himself, Bernard Miles, and John Mills, among others) fighting the Germans in the Mediterranean. Coward and Lean ended up codirecting the large-scale project—an impressive undertaking, especially considering that neither of them had directed for the big screen before (this would be Coward’s only such credit). Cutting between a major naval battle and flashbacks to the men’s lives before they left home, In Which We Serve (an Oscar nominee for best picture) was a major breakthrough for both filmmakers and a sensitive and stirring piece of propaganda.Read More »

  • David Lean – Brief Encounter (1945)

    David Lean1941-1950ClassicsDramaUnited Kingdom
    Brief Encounter (1945)
    Brief Encounter (1945)

    Based on Noël Coward’s play “Still Life,” Brief Encounter is a romantic, bittersweet drama about two married people who meet by chance in a London railway station and carry on an intense love affair. Sentimental yet down-to-earth and set in pre-World War II England, the film follows British housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson), who is on her way home, but catches a cinder in her eye. By chance, she meets Dr. Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard), who removes it for her. The two talk for a few minutes and strike immediate sparks, but they end up catching different trains. However, both return to the station once a week to meet and, as the film progresses, they grow closer, sharing stories, hopes, and fears about their lives, marriages, and children. Read More »

  • David Lean – The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

    1951-1960David LeanDramaUSAWar

    Synopsis :
    After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men’s construction of a railway bridge for their captors – while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it. (imdb)Read More »

  • David Lean – Great Expectations (1946)

    1941-1950ClassicsDavid LeanDramaUnited Kingdom

    Based on the book by Charles Dickens Great Expectations (1946) tells the story of a young boy by the name of Pip (Antony Wager/John Mills) who lives in the British countryside with Joe Gargery (Bernard Miles), a poor blacksmith, and his bossy wife Mrs. Joe Gargery (Freda Jackson). They reside in a rundown house not too far from the local cemetery.Read More »

  • David Lean – Oliver Twist (1948)

    1941-1950David LeanDramaUnited Kingdom

    Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London…Read More »

  • Gabriel Pascal & Harold French & David Lean – Major Barbara (1941)

    Comedy1941-1950David LeanGabriel PascalHarold FrenchPhilosophyUnited Kingdom

    In this adaptation made during the the London Blitz of George Bernard Shaw’s edgy comedy of the same name, Wendy Hiller as the idealistic title character is running a Salvation Army shelter in the East End that aims to save the souls of the destitute while preserving their physical well-being. She becomes engaged to the sceptical, unworldly Adolphus Cusins (Rex Harrison), a professor of Ancient Greek who discards his agnosticism and joins the Salvation Army to be near his fiancee. Cusins is then startled to learn that Major Barbara in fact comes from a privileged background – she is the grand-daughter of an earl on her mother’s side, and her long-absent estranged father Andrew Undershaft (a young Robert Morley) is a multi-millionaire arms manufacturer.Read More »

  • David Lean – Ryan’s Daughter [Roadshow version] (1970)

    1961-1970David LeanDramaRomanceUnited KingdomWorld War One

    Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.Read More »

  • David Lean – Blithe Spirit (1945)

    1941-1950ComedyDavid LeanFantasyScrewball ComedyUnited Kingdom

    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 unexpected turn, resulting in a chain of supernatural events being set into motion that wreak havoc on the man’s present marriage.Read More »

  • David Lean – Doctor Zhivago (1965)

    1961-1970David LeanDramaEpicUSA

    Eastman Museum writes:
    An epic romance of doomed love, Doctor Zhivago is set amidst the tumultuous years encompassing World War I, the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the Russian Civil War. Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) is a married physician and poet who falls madly in love with Lara (Julie Christie), a nurse who is also married. The tangled epic of love and war “did nothing less than re-create Moscow and its countryside,” according to Roger Ebert. “Doctor Zhivago,” Ebert continues, “believes that history should have a lot of room for personal feelings . . . the individual over the state, the heart over the mind.” Banned in the Soviet Union for decades, Doctor Zhivago won five of the ten Academy Awards for which it was nominated and has continued to garner acclaim ever since.Read More »

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