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David Lean (1908-1991), film director  
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Abbey Wood

Anerley & Penge
Crystal Palace
Dulwich Village
East Dulwich
Elephant and Castle
Forest Hill
Herne Hill
New Cross
Old Kent Road
West Norwood

1908 25 March: Born at 38 Blenheim Crescent, South Croydon, Surrey to Quaker parents.
1910 Leans moved to Merstham.
1915 July. Leans moved back to Croydon (1 Warham Road since demolished).
Attended Miss Clayton’s Kindergaten at 60 Park Lane.
Went to The Limes Prep School on Melville Avenue.
1919 Given a Kodak Box Brownie by his uncle.
1921 Fanily moved to 97 Park Lane.
Probably here that Lean became fascinated by the nearby railway. (trains were to feature heavily in his films from Brief Encounter to A Passage To India)
Secretly saw his first film, (Hound of the Baskervilles - dirrected by Maurice Elvey, at Scala Cinema, North End; His parents had kept him from going to the cinema.
1923 Parents divorced.
1924 Lean went to Leighton Park, a Quaker school in Reading
1926 Finished school and back to Croydon.
1927 Entered the film industry.
1930 Married his cousin Isabel Lean at St Matthews.
Edited his first film: The Night Porter
1936 Divorced from Isabel Lean.
1940 Married Kay Walsh (2nd wife)
1942 Directed his first film: In Which We Serve.
1944 Film: This Happy Breed
1945 Film: Blithe Spirit
1945 Film: Brief Encounter
1946 Film: Great Expectations
1948 Film: Oliver Twist
1949 Film: The Passionate Friends
1940 Married Ann Todd (3nd wife)
1950 Film: Madeleine
1952 Film: The Sound Barrier
1954 Film: Hobson’s Choice
1955 Film: Summer Madness*
1957 Film: Bridge On The River Kwai. First of his epics.
1960 Married Leila Matkar (4th wife)
1962 Film: Lawrence of Arabia. Won many awards.
1965 Film: Doctor Zhivago
1970 Film: Ryan’s Daughter
1981 Married Sandra Hotz (5th wife)
1984 Film: A Passage To India (His last film, made when he was 74)
1986 Planned to make Conrad’s Nostromo
1989 Lawrence of Arabia restored
1990 Married Sandra Cooke (5th wife)
1991 Died of throat cancer.
2009 Centenary of his birth.

Selected DVDs

David Lean Centenary Collection (2008 ITVDVD) Black & white
10 Lean films from the Forties & Fifties: The Sound Barrier, Hobson's Choice, Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Madeleine, The Passionate Friends, This Happy Breed and In Which We Serve.
Bridge On The River Kwai (2DVD Sony 2000) Colour
Set in the Burma during WWII. In widescreen format. Includes 53 minute documentary.
Lawrence of Arabia (2DVD Sony 2001) Colour
Set in the Middle East during WW1. Restored version with many extras.
Dr Zhivago (Warner 2006) Colour
Set in Russia during the Revoultion. In widescreen format
Ryan’s Daughter (Warner 2006) Colour
Set in West Ireland in 1915. In widescreen format, Special features include commentary from Sarah Miles, a documentary, 2 vintage features and 2 theatric trailers
A Passage To India (MGM 2003) Colour
Set in India in 1928, In widescreen format


David Lean and His Films - A. Silver & . Ursini (1974 L Frewin)
David Lean - Stephen M. Silverman (1989 hardback Andre Deutsch)
Illustrated filmography
The Making of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia - Adrian Turner (1994 hardback Dragon’s World)
Learned account of the film. Book is fully illustrated in large format
David Lean - Kevin Brownlow (1996 hardback R Cohen)
The definitive biography of the great director
David Lean - `Lady Sandra Lean & Barry Chattington (2001 hardback Universe)