The true story of T.E. Lawrence, a British soldier who united and
led the warring tribes of Arabia to combat the Turks during WWI.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Directed by David Lean
Written by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson
Starring Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif,
Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, José Ferrer, Anthony Quayle,
Claude Rains, Michel Ray, John Dimech
Based on the book Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
Oscar Wins - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography,
Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing,
Best Original Score (Maurice Jarre)
Oscar Nominations - Best Actor (Peter O'Toole),
Best Supporting Actor (Omar Sharif), Best Adapted Screenplay
Lawrence of Arabia is an intimidating film to many, myself included. It boasts a run-time of nearly four hours and is widely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Watching it for the first time with an unbiased mindset pits you up against decades of film critics all saying the film is a masterpiece. Should you disagree, your credibility comes into question. It's a dilemma we at Filmgazm often find ourselves in. However, after finally watching the film for myself, I can finally contribute my own two cents. Lawrence of Arabia truly is a masterpiece of modern filmmaking. Every frame is a work of art containing a host of timeless performances that tell the story of one man's desperate quest to find his purpose in life and then try to escape it before it destroys him.
In his initial breakout role, silver screen legend Peter O'Toole dominates as T.E. Lawrence, a simple British soldier who inadvertently creates his own colossal legacy as an Arabian hero. O'Toole is captivating to watch from beginning to end, as he flawlessly captures Lawrence's optimism that slowly evolves into a broken hatred for the world around him. Beside him are equally legendary actors Alec Guinness (in an uncomfortable brownfaced performance that may have been great in 1962, but is now awfully horrid) and Omar Sharif, who showcases his own strong talents. The stellar cast helps make Lawrence of Arabia one of the strongest films of the early 1960's that still holds up today.
David Lean was a master at his craft and his dedication to his work shows in films like this. The dramatic score, the landscape shots, the costumes, and the battle scenes all contribute to this film's iconic reputation. I'm glad I finally took the plunge and watched it. It's one of the best anti-war movies I've ever seen, as it takes you through Lawrence's visceral determination to get away from this enormous legend he's turned himself into. War is hell and it always has been, and Lawrence of Arabia tells you exactly why.