Despite directing only 16 films over his long career, David Lean is regarded as one of the greats of British cinema, and his films have come to exemplify a certain type of ‘Britishness’.
While best known for his sweeping, Oscar-winning epics (he received two Academy Awards for best director), the intimate character dramas he made in the UK at the start of his career rank among his very best works.
In Which We Serve
War1942114 minsDirector: David Lean
Noel Coward and David Lean direct this affecting drama of a Royal Navy crew recalling their lives in flashback, as their ship sinks.
Crime1950115 minsDirector: David Lean
David Lean’s film of an infamous 19th-century crime of passion stars his then-wife Ann Todd as the society lady on trial for murdering her lover.
The Passionate Friends
Romance194991 minsDirector: David Lean
David Lean’s other, lesser known film about a love triangle spent too long in Brief Encounter’s shadow, but is now regarded as a fine, gripping drama.
Period drama1947118 minsDirector: David Lean
The first of David Lean’s two Dickens adaptations is one of the finest British literary interpretations and one of the most acclaimed of all British films.
Oliver Twist (1946)
Period drama1948116 minsDirector: David Lean
Arguably the essential Dickens adaptation, David Lean’s evocative portrayal of Victorian London in sooty black and white features Alec Guinness as a memorably sinister Fagin.