Let Them Fight! David Lean vs. Billy Wilder

Welcome to “Let Them Fight!”, where we pit two directors with similar backgrounds against one another and let YOU, the commenters decide on who reigns supreme! For an overview of past fights and what’s coming up, click here .

What to Consider

Obviously, which director do you think is better than the other? But what film of theirs proves your point. Remember, it isn’t so much about which film made the most money or was a critical darling, but in your mind which director is better than the other in terms of style, risk, scope, etc.

How I Tally the Votes

I look at the comments posted (only first comments, no replies) to see who they picked. I don’t count comments that don’t give a clear answer on who they chose. If you want your comment to count make sure it is not a reply to someone else’s comment and has a clear definite winner.

Now on to today’s foreign director fighters: David Lean and Billy Wilder.


David Lean

Date of Birth: March 25, 1908 (aged 83; died in 1991)

1940s Directorial Features: In Which We Serve (1942), This Happy Breed (1944), Blithe Spirit (1945), Brief Encounter (1945), Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), The Passionate Friends (1949)

1950s Directorial Features: Madeleine (1950), The Sound Barrier (1952), Hobson’s Choice (1954), Summertime (1955), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

1960s/1970s/1980s Directorial Features: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Ryan’s Daughter (1970), Lost and Found: The Story of Cook’s Anchor (1979), A Passage to India (1984)


Billy Wilder

Date of Birth: June 22, 1906 (aged 95; died in 2002)

1930s/1940s Directorial Features: Mauvaise Graine (1934), The Major and the Minor (1942), Five Graves to Cairo (1943), Double Idemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), Death Mills (1945), The Emperor Waltz (1948), A Foreign Affair

1950s Directorial Features: Sunset Boulevard (1950), Ace in the Hole (1951), Stalag 17 (1953), Sabrina (1954), The Seven Year Itch (1955), The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), Love in the Afternoon (1957), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Some Like It Hot (1959)

1960s/1970s/1980s Directorial Features: The Apartment (1960), One, Two, Three (1961), Irma la Douce (1963), Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), Avanti! (1972), The Front Page (1974), Fedora (1978), Buddy Buddy (1981)


Alright, FIGHT!