Lawrence Of Arabia Review

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T. E. Lawrence (O'Toole) is a young maladjusted lieutenant in the British Army serving in North Africa during World War One. Unhappy with his current assignment coloring maps, he is co-opted into a role as an observer in what is now Arabia. At this point, the story of his life becomes the stuff of legend.

★★★★★

David Lean's 1962 masterpiece returns to the big screen, albeit in a digital projection which isn’t quite as gorgeous as the film prints used for previous reissues. It’s still a visually and aurally magnificent work, built around a terrific performance from Peter O’Toole — who shows the tangle of neuroses and compulsions that make T. E. Lawrence such a lasting enigma. If fashions in casting make boot-polish-and-false-nose Arabs Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn campier than intended, Omar Sharif adds a note of ethnic authenticity. Also, it has Maurice Jarre’s music, and an epic sweep which doesn’t preclude tiny, personal touches.

Lean's great Lawrence Of Arabia biopic honours him with a complex, sympathetic but a compelling portrayal. The digital transfer leeches some of the grainy majesty of celluloid but the chance to see this on the big screen should not be missed.