28th w 20784 pts, 5 titles
British director David Lean excelled in the modern historical epic film. Few directors would go to the isolated locations to film his biggest stories, films that defied the scale of the screen itself, as landscapes dwarfed both humans and the art of the cinema itself. The desert in Lawrence and the frozen Russian wilderness in Zhivago have few rivals in cinema history for environment as character.
These are all the films of David Lean’s that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls, and all were in the top 500.
1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) #24
2. Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957) #127
3. Brief Encounter (1945) #309
4. Great Expectations (1946) #481
5. Doctor Zhivago (1965) #499
These five are all top 1000 worthy, especially Lawrence of Arabia, one of the best historical films of all time and a primer on guerilla warfare.
The only other Lean film mentioned:
6. Ryan's Daughter (1970) #1836
Why does no one ever rank A Passage to India (1984)? It's much better than Ryan's Daughter, and on par with Doctor Zhivago and Great Expectations.
See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition