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Overview for David Lean
David Lean

David Lean


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Also Known As: Died: April 16, 1991
Born: March 25, 1908 Cause of Death: double pneumonia compounded by throat cancer
Birth Place: Croydon, England, GB Profession: Director ...


Lean's films earned 56 Oscar nominations and 28 Oscars. He was nominated as Best Director seven times and won twice.

"He wrote with light and composition until each of his films was the visual equivalent of great novels. His genius rests in the fact that his characters were never diminished by his epic action." --Steven Spielberg in The Hollywood Reporter, April 17, 1991.

"David can't wait to finish shooting a picture so he can begin cutting the actors out of it." --Trevor Howard, quoted in Lean's Variety obituary, April 22, 1991.

"I had very strong feelings about his work, because I am a longer-is-better kind of guy. ... He was willing to let the stories and scenes play out. He liked you to hear information. ... [His films] are not so plot-oriented, they are like the journeys of people." --Kevin Costner to New York Post, April 17, 1991.

"David is sweet--simple and straight--and strong and savage, and he is the best movie director in the world." --Katharine Hepburn in 1989, quoted in Lean's obituary in The New York Times, April 17, 1991.

"Lean was a meticulous craftsman noted for technical wizardry, subtle manipulation of emotions, superb production values, authenticity and taste. He was one of the very few directors who edited his own films, and he also adapted or co-adapted half a dozen of them." --Peter B. Flint in Lean's The New York Times obituary, April 17, 1991.

Lean left orders that his ashes be strewn over the three areas he loved most: India, Tahiti and Tuscany (where he planned to retire).

Named Commander of the British Empire Award for services to cinema in 1953.

Awarded L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1968 by the French government

He was an honorary life member of the DGA.

He was made Fellow of the British Film Institute (1983).

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1984.

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