Perhaps the only film that captures the desert more as a state of mind than just an environment. A place where left is right and forward is backward, where the mind may wander, where ambition is born, where all men become barbaric, etc.
In its interaction of color, light, photography and music the beginning of the desert sequence with the sunrise around minute 18 is one of the most magical moments ever created in the history of cinema. If you see this you get an idea why Freddie Young’s camera work and Maurice Jarre's score are so important for this film and why David Lean gives room for a long musical introduction as well as for an interlude.
Just re-watched the stunning 2012 restoration and there is hardly a minute wasted in this compelling, engaging and superbly well written epic about a man's search for identity. Aside from the dodgy make-up and suspect ethnic casting the film is an incredible achievement for a time before CGI and crowd compositing. Even the middle-eastern politics are surprisingly resonant. recommended! 5 stars
One of the all time great epics expertly directed by David Lean. Seeing this in 70mm a couple of times was a treat for the young film lover. when it was first restored. Seeing again now still marvel at the sheer number of classic film moments on display. The amazing edits, shadowplay, optical effects from craftsmen guided to near perfection. 'Nothing is written'. Love the warts and all performance by O'Toole.
I saw this for the first time in one sitting (I'd seen it in multiple sittings on TV) at San Francisco's Castro Theatre, projected in 70mm. That was a year ago. I haven't seen it since, and yet this movie hasn't left my mind. I'd re-watch it, but nothing could ever compare to that last presentation, so I'm always on the lookout for it being projected somewhere.
David Lean's unsurpassed poetic and majestic touch goes through the arabian desert with the enigmatic T.E Lawrence. Superb script, editing, art design and cinematography. Peter O'toole and Omar Sharif were in the roles of their lifetime.
This was a career maker for Peter O'Toole. Of course this was back in the day when men were men, and women got no speaking parts. Alec Guinness shows up in brownface. Not that Hollywood has learned its lesson about casting white people as foreigners. My biggest problem with the film has to do with the use of the day for night filter. It just looks wrong.