Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

PG   |    |  Adventure, Biography, Drama


Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Poster

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

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8.3/10
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  • Peter O'Toole and Anthony Quayle in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Peter O'Toole and Zia Mohyeddin in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


15 June 1999 | rupie
9
| a memento from the days when they made real movies
It is, in a way, depressing to watch this movie today. One winds up contrasting it with the sort of technologically slick and aesthetically shallow spectacles, like "Titanic", that garner the sort of adulation that a truly great movie like "Lawrence" received in its day, and one realizes how far we have fallen.

Ignore David Lean's painterly technique, the way he fills the screen like a canvas. Ignore Freddie Young's stunning cinematography in fulfillment of Lean's vision. Ignore the fabulous score by Maurice Jarre. Ignore the stupendous cast. Ignore the topnotch script.

What we have, beyond all this, is an absolutely gripping and psychologically perplexing character study of a uniquely enigmatic individual that keeps us on the edge of our seats for the full length of the movie. "Lawrence", at over 200 minutes, goes by faster than many a movie of half its length, due to Lean's brilliant pacing and direction, and superb acting all around. To make a comparison in the world of music, this movie, like Mahler's 8th symphony, is a universe contained within itself.

Of course, it is an exercise in self-denial and philistinism to watch this movie in anything other than the wide-screen - or "letterbox" - format, due to Lean's complete use of every inch of the wide screen. To watch it otherwise is to miss half of Lean's intention.

To use a hackneyed phrase, they simply don't make 'em like this anymore.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Omar Sharif screentested to play Sherif Ali, Sir David Lean wanted to give the character facial hair to contrast with the fair, clean-shaven Peter O'Toole. He tried him with a beard, but didn't like it. Then he fitted the actor with a mustache, which is how he played the role. Sharif had become a star in his native Egypt without facial hair. The impact he made in the movie was so strong, that he has kept the mustache for the rest of his career.


Quotes

Colonel Brighton: He was the most extraordinary man I ever knew.
Vicar at St. Paul's: Did you know him well?
Colonel Brighton: I knew him.
Vicar at St. Paul's: Well, nil nisi bonum. But did he really deserve a place in here?


Goofs

In two consecutive shots of Bentley passing by the fountain in Jerusalem, the shadows are completely different.


Crazy Credits

The opening credits read: Introducing Peter O'Toole as T.E. Lawrence. However, O'Toole had already played very noticeable roles in two feature-length films, the Disney 1960 version of Kidnapped (1960), and The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960).


Alternate Versions

Originally released at 222 minutes. Shortly after its premiere, David Lean, reportedly under the orders of producer Sam Spiegel, cut 20 minutes from the film. The 1971 re-release cut the film further to 187 minutes. The film was restored in 1988 at 216 minutes. This version, supervised by Lean, was advertised as a Director's Cut.


Soundtracks

Nefud Mirage
Music by
Maurice Jarre
Performed by London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Maurice Jarre

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Adventure | Biography | Drama | History | War

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