Friday, December 26, 2008

Lawrence of Arabia

David Lean, 1962 (10*)

Best Picture (AA, BAA, GG)
AFI and Time Mag Top 100
This lengthy and epic biopic of T.E. Lawrence, the man who liberated Arabia, inspired many modern filmmakers to become directors, notably Martin Scorsese, who said "it was the first film in which the hero was not a role model to be emulated." Indeed, it presents a complex and non-judgmental portrait of one of the most important figures in history, largely due to the intense performance of Peter O'Toole in his first starring role, at age 26.

The story and pace may start a little slow, but it expertly reveals a personal side to a major part of 20th century history. The panoramic cinematography and music are among the best in film, the entire project defines the word epic. It's easy to get lost in the vast landscape here, just as the desert swallows up individual lives.

If you want a man's film, this one has not a single woman in it! Some of the film may have some excessive masochistic violence, yet I'm sure it's even toned down relative to real war; much of the combat at that time was hand to hand.

The film deservedly won 7 Oscars® overall, including picture, director, screenplay, cinematography, editing, sound, music. Unfortunately, Peter O'Toole, in the role of a lifetime, lost to Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird.

O'toole, who spent two years in the desert making this film, said that he hoped he never saw the desert again in his lifetime. Ironically, after leaving after the war, neither did T.E. Lawrence.

Quote: Thank Allah that when he made you a fool he gave you a fool's face. (Anthony Quinn)
Quote: I have nothing; I am a river to my people. (Anthony Quinn)
Quote: War is for young men of courage and valor; keeping the peace is for old men with nothing else to do. (Alec Guinness)


g3 July 29, 2010 at 8:41 PM  

Can't count the number of times I've seen this movie! And every time it seems to have a different angle :)

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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