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Lawrence of Arabia

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
A still from the film Lawrence of Arabia of two men talking to each other wearing Arabian clothing
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

‘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.

Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:PG
  • Release date:Friday 23 November 2012
  • Duration:227 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:David Lean
  • Screenwriter:Robert Bolt
  • Cast:
    • Claude Rains
    • Peter O'Toole
    • Arthur Kennedy
    • Anthony Quinn
    • Donald Wolfit
    • Anthony Quayle
    • Jack Hawkins
    • Alec Guinness
    • Omar Sharif
    • Jose Ferrer
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