Lawrence of Arabia is one of those classics I’ve never watched all the way through and so I picked up a 2DVD series for a song on Amazon.com. Though it’s rated as one of the top films of the 20th century, I was not that impressed.
Story & Plot:
Love the cinematography of this film! The amazing desert sunrises, the mirages, the authentic costumes! The crazy Arab played well by Anthony Quinn! The sleek Prince played by Alec Guinness! (Yes, he did many films before Star Wars); Omar Sharif as Ali, the only character who, somewhat violent, had to keep running after Lawrence and guide him.
Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence is a bit crazy. I mean here you are as a British soldier who nearly “goes native”, very independent, does his own thing, ignores warnings and crosses vast deserts and attempts the impossible.
It’s really sad, his character! Lawrence is one time a hero, fancies himself ready to walk on water, then next moment he wants to throw it all away, can’t handle the responsibility of freeing Arabia and just go back to England to “get a job”. I mean really now!
He lets a mad lust for killing take over and mows down the Turks. Nowadays this film would push the PG rating since there’s plenty of death for the even the most die-hard film fan.
My DVD had a great interview with Steven Spielberg on how he was impressed by the film and how he met the director and picked his brains on the making of the film. Several documentaries and lots and lots of praise for the technical quality of the film.
It’s a hard film to watch, with an ending that is somewhat disappointing. How a man can rise so high and crash down so hard is tough to imagine. Excellent authentic desert scenes and a new look at Arabian culture; but the cons include Lawrence himself, a conflicted man who can’t decide if he is just an ordinary guy or an extraordinary being.
Worth the watch, won 7 Academy Awards, but I would not clamor for it!