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LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
The amazing story of T.E. Lawrence's (Peter O'Toole) heroic struggle to unify fractious Arab tribes against invading Turks in World War I is the subject of Director David Lean's timeless epic. Lavishly filmed and impeccably acted, this towering classic illuminates the clash of ideals – within both a nation and a man – that changed the tide of war and the course of history in the Middle East. Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn and Omar Sharif co-star. Winner of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography.
#5 on the AFI Top 100. Ten Oscar nominations; seven wins (Best Picture, Direction, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound, Editing, and Music).
Director, David Lean, brings T.E. Lawrence's biography to the screen with such sweep and scope, that the size of the completed package simply carries the viewer away.
Best Picture Oscar Winner / Best Picture Index
"After five years... the first motion picture from the creators of "The Bridge On The River Kwai."
The basic plot line involves a British officer who travels to the Middle East and becomes intimately involved in Arab affairs. The marvelous screenplay, by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson is based on the true story, of T.E. Lawrence's adventures in the Arabian dessert, leading the Arabian tribes in their battles with the Germans, etc.
The talented David Lean, well known for his sweeping epics, did a fabulous job directing this mammoth film. He skillfully intertwines action, storyline, and keeps the pacing at a good clip, so it never seems long at all, though it is 222 minutes in length. He knew how to get the best performances out of his talented cast as well.
The film is a classic because of its epic story, stirring acting, (particularly O'Toole, Quinn, Sharif, Guinness and Ferrer), sweeping photography and stirring musical score, by Maurice Jarre. "Lawrence of Arabia" won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Musical Score, Editing, and Art Direction.
During the original casting process, the lead role was offered to Marlon Brando, Anthony Perkins, and Albert Finney. Peter O'Toole wound up with this plum role, which showcases his considerable talent and ability to do so.
"Lawrence of Arabia", O'Toole's first starring role, turned him into a star, a role that he truly made his own, giving us a terrific portrayal of British lieutenant T.E. Lawrence, an ordinary man who rises to the occasion of organizer and leader of the Arabian tribes as he seems to have a gift of understanding the problems, involved, what needs to be done, and the courage to make it happen as well . Lawrence: "So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are."
My favorite scene takes place following a train derailment by Lawrence and his Arab allies. Full of joy, Lawrence dances on top of the train. The scene really captures the nature of the flamboyant Britisher.
Great supporting performances from Omar Sharif,who
plays Sherif Ali Ibn El Kharish and Anthony Quinn who plays
Auda abu Tayi.
The wonderful music is from international famous composer, Maurice Jarre, who has created fabulous music scores for both small and epic-size films. He has won Oscars for his efforts for such films as "Doctor Zhivago," "A Passage to India," as well as for "Lawrence of Arabia."
If you enjoyed LAWRENCE OF ARABIA you may like THE WIND AND THE LION, THE ENGLISH PATIENT, BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, GANDHI, THE LAST EMPEROR, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, ZULU, RYAN'S DAUGHTER, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, and STARGATE.