An Epic Journey
Andrew - wrote on 05/09/12
Lawrence of Arabia is a stunning film that ranks among the greatest ever made. It is simply epic, with its brilliant cinematography and depiction of the deserts of the Middle East. It is a timeless classic that has been enjoyed for the last 50 years and will surely be enjoyed for 50 more.
The story begins with T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) a lieutenant in this British Army during World War I who is disliked by his superiors because of his lack of enthusiasm and general indifference to military discipline. When Lawrence gets the opportunity to transfer to the Arab Bureau, he links up with Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif) to begin an Arab uprising against Turkish rule under the authority of Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness). As time goes on, Lawrence shows increasing solidarity with his Arab comrades, dressing in the traditional Arab manner and befriending many of the Arab leaders. As the film progresses and the intensity and violence continue, Lawrence is left to choose between the Arabs and the British, as the British have ambitions to take over the Arab territories.
Peter O'Toole puts in one of his best performances as T.E. Lawrence. You clearly see the conflicted nature of Lawrence throughout the film, something that O'Toole portrays masterfully. It is a shame that O'Toole had to go up against Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird (another legendary performance), for any other year O'Toole would walk away with the trophy. Omar Sharif also puts in a great performance as Sharif Ali, equally deserving of an Oscar, but also walking away empty handed.
Lawrence of Arabia's visual style is incredible and David Lean certainly deserved his Oscar, as he was able to put together a film with many moving pieces (just look at the huge amount of extras involved), while also getting excellent performances from his cast. Lawrence of Arabia is incredible achievement in film and a must see.