Lawrence of Arabia (1962)


loa“There may be honor among thieves, but there’s none in politicians.” – T.E. Lawrence

Number of Times Seen – 2 ( mid-1990’s and 31 Jan 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A young British Officer helps influence policy in the Middle East  prior to WWI and must decide where his loyalties lie when he becomes close to the local Arabs.

My Take on it – This movie is known as one of the best movies ever made.  David Lean was an amazing director that was renowned for his perfectionism.

In his long career, he didn’t make many movies because he spent years on each and every project making sure to prepare, film and then edit it properly.

Many people claim that this movie was his best movie.  I still think that The Bridge on The River Kwai (1957) is slightly better because the story there is tighter and more engaging than it is here.

I saw the full version of this movie (which is close to 4 hours long) because that was Lean’s definitive version and I prefer whenever possible to see the version of a movie that the director wanted us to see.

I haven’t seen any of the other versions so I can’t compare them, but this one was brilliant in the ways that the scenes were filmed by Lean.  The cinematography is incredible and Lean is able to transport us in time to pre-WWI Arabia.

The one drawback of this movie is it’s story.  It’s long and drawn out and there are too many “boring” scenes that are difficult to get through, but in a movie like this, they are unfortunately necessary for moving the story along.  Cutting the movie down in length wouldn’t make it better IMHO.

This truly IS an epic movie!

It won 7 (of 10) Oscars.  It won Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Art Direction, Music Score, Sound and Film Editing.  It lost awards for Actor (Peter O’Toole), Writing and Supporting Actor (Omar Sharif).

Great trivia tidbit – they couldn’t film at night, so all night shots were done during the day with filters on the lenses.  The problem is that all night scenes now have very visible shadows. 🙂

Bottom Line – Great Lean epic that is done amazingly.  The only drawback is that it’s very slow in certain scenes.  Highly Recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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19 thoughts on “Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

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