Lawrence of Arabia (PG)

Film

Epic films

Lawrence of Arabia.jpg

Lawrence of Arabia

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
Rate this
 

Time Out says

‘Epic’ is an over-used word in cinema, but David Lean’s 1962, near four-hour journey with TE Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) into the Arabian desert is surely the gold standard for films grand in scale, design and delivery. It’s 50 years since Lean chronicled the exploits of Lawrence, an unconventional British officer who struck out alone during World War I with the aid of Bedouins (including Omar Sharif in his most famous role) to fight the Turks in parts of modern Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria.

This digital restoration marks its anniversary. Most striking, still, are the desert scenes: battles yes, but also the film’s harnessing of the searing, inhuman heat of the sandy wilds, first introduced by Lean’s famous cut from a striking match to a rising sun. O’Toole, too, remains compelling, as he swings between arrogance and humility, confidence and doubt. You’ll need to dedicate half a day to it – but this deserves to be seen again on the big screen.

0

Reviews

Add +

Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Fri Nov 23, 2012

Duration:

227 mins

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|8
1 person listening
Peter Ludbrook

It's wonderful to see this magnificent movie back on the big screen where it belongs. It was always a handsome looking movie but the 1988 restoration, essentially a Directors Cut, revealed that it was a much better movie than originally thought. I remember seeing it first in a heavily cut version which dimished its effect significantly. For me it's a movie that improves with age and this digital restoration is superb. One effect is to clean up the soundtrack so that more details of both the music and sound effects are revealed. I see that the script is described as pretentious by one viewer. No, it's a literate script which is a joy to listen to when spoken by so many first class actos. The film can rightly be criticised for some historical inaccuracy but it isn't a documentary. In the end this is what cinema at its best is all about. In its intelligence, scope and ambition it makes a lot of contemporary cinema look pretty pitiful.

Peter Ludbrook

It's wonderful to see this magnificent movie back on the big screen where it belongs. It was always a handsome looking movie but the 1988 restoration, essentially a Directors Cut, revealed that it was a much better movie than originally thought. I remember seeing it first in a heavily cut version which dimished its effect significantly. For me it's a movie that improves with age and this digital restoration is superb. One effect is to clean up the soundtrack so that more details of both the music and sound effects are revealed. I see that the script is described as pretentious by one viewer. No, it's a literate script which is a joy to listen to when spoken by so many first class actos. The film can rightly be criticised for some historical inaccuracy but it isn't a documentary. In the end this is what cinema at its best is all about. In its intelligence, scope and ambition it makes a lot of contemporary cinema look pretty pitiful.

J POWERS

Great cinematography and wondrous music compromised by a pretentious script, by Robert Bolt, allowing director Lean to magnify historical inaccuracies in the dubious name of being visually striking and, well, not much else.

J POWERS

Great cinematography and wondrous music compromised by a pretentious script, by Robert Bolt, allowing director Lean to magnify historical inaccuracies in the dubious name of being visually striking and, well, not much else.

Jay

Nicely put, Ian. This set the benchmark for epic storytelling. It's sad that in this day and age of filmmaking that, directors can not embrace the meaning of "Epic". I know times have changed, but every time i see this picture, i am enraptured by the visuals and the articulate form of storytelling...That mirage scene has yet to be bettered. What we have now in modern filmmaking are short cuts - sad, but true. This movie had it's visuals realised in a more tangent, practical way, that is sadly absent today...God forbid a remake is gestating inside some offensive bureaucratic film producer! Well, it is a possibility.

Jay

Nicely put, Ian. This set the benchmark for epic storytelling. It's sad that in this day and age of filmmaking that, directors can not embrace the meaning of "Epic". I know times have changed, but every time i see this picture, i am enraptured by the visuals and the articulate form of storytelling...That mirage scene has yet to be bettered. What we have now in modern filmmaking are short cuts - sad, but true. This movie had it's visuals realised in a more tangent, practical way, that is sadly absent today...God forbid a remake is gestating inside some offensive bureaucratic film producer! Well, it is a possibility.

Ian

From one of the worst films of the year in Nativity 2 to what is by some way the best all on the same day. Find the biggest screen you can that is showing this film because it truly sets the bar for epic movies. One thing shook me was how few people were involved in the making of the film. Today films need at least three producers, several Executive Producers and numerous other sort of producers as well as apparently hundreds of others. This had one Producer, a director, a director of photography and two screenwriters. The point is that it in all of these key roles you have possibly the best in the roles. Add to this a cast that any director would die for and we have what in my mind is one of the top five films of all time. Steven Spielberg saw this and it made him want to make movies. Possibly someone watching this this week will make the same decision. Five stars all the way.

Ian

From one of the worst films of the year in Nativity 2 to what is by some way the best all on the same day. Find the biggest screen you can that is showing this film because it truly sets the bar for epic movies. One thing shook me was how few people were involved in the making of the film. Today films need at least three producers, several Executive Producers and numerous other sort of producers as well as apparently hundreds of others. This had one Producer, a director, a director of photography and two screenwriters. The point is that it in all of these key roles you have possibly the best in the roles. Add to this a cast that any director would die for and we have what in my mind is one of the top five films of all time. Steven Spielberg saw this and it made him want to make movies. Possibly someone watching this this week will make the same decision. Five stars all the way.