A consummate craftsman whose sweeping historical epics were mere backdrops for the larger-than-life characters that populated his films, director David Lean helmed some of the grandest movies ever made by Hollywood. After receiving his start as an editor, Lean segued into directing with smaller films like "Blithe Spirit" (1945) and "Brief Encounter" (1946), which often showed hints of the grand scale that was to come. Following excellent adaptations of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" (1946) and "Oliver Twist" (1948), he went into a bit of a lull that nonetheless saw him make the compelling romantic drama "Summertime" (1955). But what followed was a series of three films that cemented his place as one of the greatest directors of all time, starting with "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" (1957), a widescreen WWII epic that displayed an unusual elegance despite its depiction of wartime prisoners suffering from a relentless and unyielding camp commander. Next was "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), an iconic historical drama about the adventures of T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) that featured some of the most memorable images ever filmed, and went on to win numerous Academy Awards while earning its place as one of the greatest movies ever made. Lean followed this cinematic triumph with "Doctor Zhivago" (1965), a massive box office success that managed to tell a deeply intense personal romance set against the large scale turbulence off revolutionary Russia. After suffering a critical drubbing with his next film, "Ryan's Daughter" (1970), Lean waited 14 years to release his next film, "A Passage to India" (1984), which was a welcome return to the epic landscape previously occupied by "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" and "Lawrence of Arabia."