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Lawrence of Arabia

Year: 1962
Production Country: UK
Directed by: David Lean
Featuring: Peter O’Toole / Alec Guinness / Omar Sharif / Anthony Quinn / Jack Hawkins
Distributed by: Park Circus Films
Running time: 222min
Certificate: PG

New 4K digital restoration of David Lean's landmark in the epic tradition of cinema. Read more


Widely regarded as Lean’s greatest triumph, this intriguingly ambivalent account of TE Lawrence’s exploits in the Middle East during World War One is also a landmark in the epic tradition of cinema.

This immaculate 4K digital restoration shows off Freddie Young’s ravishing camerawork and Lean’s meticulous mise-en-scène to authentic effect: not just the baked desertscapes and heaving battles but the tense meetings of military men, politicians and Arab leaders as they plot their strategies against the Ottoman Empire. As conceived by writers Michael Wilson and Robert Bolt and played by Peter O’Toole, Lawrence – an outspoken lieutenant promoted to lead the attack on the Turks – is a romantic poet-warrior riven with doubts and contradictions, half-resisting what he sees as his own destiny even as he becomes a reluctant agent of British imperialism. Maurice Jarre’s sweeping score, a supporting cast that includes Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Jose Ferrer and Donald Wolfit, and Lean’s sense of scale together serve to turn modern history into the stuff of memorably heroic myth.

Geoff Andrew


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