I’ll be honest upfront; I can’t get over my supreme love for this film. Filled to the brim with style and grandiosity galore, Lawrence of Arabia is David Lean at his absolute finest. Everything that makes a Lean film a Lean film is here, and at its utmost brilliant form. I can’t think of a more succinct summary of this film than that.
Of course, being a David Lean epic, the cinematography is going to be grand and expansive, with a natural feel for the love of its subject, and indeed the film never lets up in this regard; it is truly scenery porn, if you’ll excuse the vernacular. Peter O’Toole’s acting here is an absolute wonder, and he has some of the most striking eyes I have ever seen in a male actor. It’s a pity he was up against Gregory Peck for To Kill a Mockingbird, or he would’ve easily won the Oscar for this. Not to mention the supporting players, who all do excellent jobs, and which include frequent Lean collaborators Alec Guinness and Omar Sharif in the role that made his name.
The tome has this to say about this film: it “epitomizes all that motion pictures can be”. I include the quote because I cannot think of a more apropos statement to describe this epic of epics. If I had to recommend a single film of David Lean’s that someone, any moviegoer should watch, it would surely be this one. This is grand moviemaking on a scale so awesome it can’t stop itself from being brilliant at the same time. This is an absolute must-see, even with its running time.
Arbitrary Rating: 10/10