I know people who prefer novels to films; they argue novels can hold more depth. But in David Lean’s hands, his film finds more to say about what’s within each of us than one could describe with words alone. Look at the integrity of these men. See how strongly they believe in their moral convictions. And look at how abused that integrity is by the military machine.

Of course, Lean would go on to hone and perfect this message in Lawrence of Arabia. These stories couldn’t be told as clearly in books; the moving picture is a key part of how they transmit meaning. David Lean understood the art form. 

Also, David Lean somehow made war films that don’t feel violent or grim, and don’t feel like military propaganda. He managed to make war films about why we fight, and whether or not we’re right to. That appeals much more to me.

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