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271 voters

The Best Movies Directed by David Lean

Updated June 11, 2019 1.0k votes 271 voters 17.0k views20 items

List of all movies directed by David Lean ranked from best to worst with photos. Films directed by David Lean are listed here and include movie posters and David Lean movie trailers whenever possible. This is a collection of the best movies directed by David Lean as voted on by film buffs. If you think the greatest David Lean movie isn't as high as it should be on this list, then make sure to vote so that your opinion of what the top David Lean film is can be factored into this list.

From David Lean's studio films to David Lean's independent films, this David Lean filmography keeps tabs on all David Lean movies, and lets the cream of the crop rise to the top.

List features movies like Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai.

If you’re wondering “what movies did David Lean direct?” or “who is David Lean?” then this list will explain how most people know this director. This list also answers questions like “what are the all-time best movies directed by David Lean?” and “what's a good selection of good David Lean movies?”

If you're wanting to get into David Lean films, then this list is a great starting point for at least starting with the most decent David Lean works.

All David Lean director credits are included. This list of every movie that David Lean has directed can be sorted for specific information such as what genre the David Lean movie is and which actors starred in the David Lean film.

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    19

    A Passage to India

    Alec Guinness, Judy Davis
    A Passage to India is a 1984 drama film written and directed by David Lean. The screenplay is...  more
  • 2
    110
    13

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole
    Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E....  more

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    #10 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#17 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture

  • 3
    98
    18

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden
    The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 WWII epic film directed by David Lean, based on the...  more

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    #18 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#20 of 376 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 4
    92
    27

    Doctor Zhivago

    Omar Sharif, Julie Christie
    Doctor Zhivago is a British-American 1965 epic drama–romance film directed by David Lean,...  more

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    #17 of 81 The Best Period Romance Movies#29 of 90 The Best Movies That Are Super Long

  • 5
    66
    8

    Brief Encounter

    Trevor Howard, Celia Johnson
    Brief Encounter is a 1945 British film directed by David Lean about British suburban life,...  more

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    #60 of 102 The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel#425 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time

  • 6
    60
    6

    Hobson's Choice

    Charles Laughton, John Mills
    Hobson's Choice is a 1954 romantic comedy film directed by David Lean. It is based on the play...  more
  • 7
    48
    9

    Great Expectations

    Alec Guinness, Jean Simmons
    Great Expectations is a 1946 British film directed by David Lean, based on the novel by...  more

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    #655 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#228 of 380 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • 8
    39
    8

    Oliver Twist

    Alec Guinness, Diana Dors
    Oliver Twist is the second of David Lean's two film adaptations of Charles Dickens novels....  more

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    #21 of 23 The Best Movies Where The Director Is Directing His Wife#5 of 72 The Best Movies About Orphans

  • 9
    This Happy Breed is a play by Noël Coward. It was written in 1939 but, because of the outbreak...  more
  • 10
    21
    6

    This Happy Breed

    Laurence Olivier, John Mills
    This Happy Breed is a 1944 British Technicolor drama film directed by David Lean. The...  more
  • 11
    39
    29

    Ryan's Daughter

    Robert Mitchum, John Mills
    Ryan's Daughter is a 1970 epic romantic drama film directed by David Lean. The film, set in...  more

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    #222 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes#22 of 49 The Best Movies About Ireland

  • 12
    22
    10

    Summertime

    Katharine Hepburn, David Lean
    Summertime is a 1955 American/British Technicolor romance film directed by David Lean. The...  more
  • 13
    12
    4

    The Passionate Friends

    Claude Rains, Trevor Howard
    The Passionate Friends is a 1949 British romantic drama film directed by David Lean. The film...  more
  • 14
    13
    7

    In Which We Serve

    John Mills, Noël Coward
    In Which We Serve is a 1942 British patriotic war film directed by Noël Coward and David Lean....  more

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    #109 of 222 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time#69 of 70 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1940s

  • 15
    9
    2

    The Sound Barrier

    Denholm Elliott, Leslie Phillips
    The Sound Barrier is a British 1952 film directed by David Lean. It is a fictional story about...  more
  • 16
    13
    7

    Blithe Spirit

    Rex Harrison, Noël Coward
    Blithe Spirit is a 1945 English fantasy-comedy film directed by David Lean. The screenplay by...  more

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    #74 of 135 The Best Movies Based On Plays#18 of 44 The Funniest Movies About Ghosts

  • 17
    11
    6

    Major Barbara

    Deborah Kerr, Rex Harrison
    Major Barbara is a 1941 British film starring Wendy Hiller and Rex Harrison. The film was...  more
  • 18
    11
    8

    Madeleine

    Barbara Everest, André Morell
    Madeleine is a 1950 film directed by David Lean, based on a true story about Madeleine Smith,...  more
  • 19
    9
    13

    The Greatest Story Ever Told

    John Wayne, Charlton Heston
    The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 American epic film produced and directed by George...  more

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    #28 of 93 The Best Movies With Christian Themes#235 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 20
    4
    7

    Lost and Found: The Story of Cook's Anchor

    Lost and Found: The Story of Cook's Anchor is a short television film by David Lean....  more