Who’s the Better Director? John Huston or David Lean

Welcome to the inaugural season of Face/Off! This season, we’re pitting two directors with similar backgrounds against one another and letting YOU, the commenters, decide on who reigns supreme!

You have to decide which director is better than the other? Various factors could play into your decision from who takes the biggest risks to who has the more distinctive style. Remember, it isn’t so much about which director has made the most money at the box office or won the most awards, but, in your mind, which director simply makes better films.

Let’s analyze the filmography of today’s challengers.


John Huston

1940s & 1950s Directorial Features: The Maltese Falcon (1941), In This Our Life (1942), Across the Pacific (1942), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Key Largo (1948), We Were Strangers (1949), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The Red Badge of Courage (1951), The African Queen (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), Beat the Devil (1953), Moby Dick (1956), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958), The Roots of Heaven (1958)

1960s & 1970s Directorial Features: The Unforgiven (1960), The Misfits (1960), Freud (1962), The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), The Night of the Iguana (1964), The Bible (1966), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), Casino Royale (1967; co-director), Sinful Davey (1969), A Walk with Love and Death (1969), The Kremlin Letter (1970), Fat City (1972), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), The Mackintosh Man (1973), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Independence (1976), Wise Blood (1979)

1980s Directorial Features: Phobia (1980), Victory (1981), Annie (1982), Under the Volcano (1984),  Prizzi’s Honor (1985), The Dead (1987)


David Lean

1940s & 1950s 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), Madeleine (1950), The Sound Barrier (1952), Hobson’s Choice (1954), Summertime (1955), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

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


Only one can move on. Let the Face/Off begin!

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Face/Off: Huston vs. Lean

Who's the better director?


Discuss in the comments below your favorite films from each director and who should advance to the next round.

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"