Sunday, November 18, 2012

Capsule Review: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Based on the life of British army officer T. E. Lawrence, David Lean's Lawrence Of Arabia might very well be the most epic of all Hollywood films. Running over three hours, and featuring numerous massive battle scenes, the film remains anchored by its startling lead performances, including an impossibly young Peter O'Toole in the lead, and Omar Sharif's first English language performance as Lawrence's loyal friend Prince Faisal. The film shot for well over a year, with desert scenes filmed in Jordan and Morocco, as well as Almería and Doñana in Spain, and never has the desert seemed both so dangerous and so inviting. To see Lawrence of Arabia on a big screen is to be enveloped by cinema, as it provides a full sensory experience in a way that few films have ever been able to replicate. Beautiful, and timeless, what the film lacks in historical reality it more than makes up for in spectacle.