Lawrence of Arabia
Director: David Lean
Cast: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif, José Ferrer, Anthony Quayle
T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) was a British officer whose allegiance to the Crown began to quaver when he was consumed with the idea of uniting the Arab states. The phrase “they don’t make them like they used to” certainly applies to David Lean’s magnificent bio(e)pic. His stunningly beautiful film was shot in Jordania, Morocco and Spain in scorching temperatures, and the feeling of vast landscape and the sense of reality it conveys cannot be reproduced with computer effects. Lean lets some of his famous shots linger for an eternity during the 215 minutes, but there isn’t a dull moment. Peter O’Toole gives a mesmerizing performance that captures Lawrence’s idealism and obsessiveness. The Seven Academy Awards include Lean’s direction, Frederick A. Young’s breathtaking cinematography and Maurice Jarre’s lovely score.