Lawrence of Arabia [Limited Edition] [2 Discs] [DVD] [1962]

This epic film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1962. Lawrence of Arabia is a fascinating glimpse into the Mideast of the early 20th century, and may be even more timely in this DVD release. Starring as T.E. Lawrence, Peter O'Toole is superb as the Englishman who bands together with tribesman to fight the Turks. The two-DVD set is offered in a widescreen version that preserves the aspect ratio of the original film. The lush soundtrack is stirring in crisp Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The soundtrack is available in Surround English, and regular French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai. This special edition is full of extra features and footage. Included is an exclusive "making of" documentary, A Conversation With Steven Spielberg (who was involved in remastering this DVD edition), four original black-and-white featurettes released when the film was being made, trailers, talent files, the New York premier, and advertising campaigns. Special computer programs include photos of historic Arabia, and an interactive map of the Middle East. Lawrence of Arabia is an epic film that everyone should see at least once, and this DVD's features enhance the enjoyment of the film.
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Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars.
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Lawrence of Arabia
This sweeping, highly literate historical epic covers the Allies' mideastern campaign during World War I as seen through the eyes of the enigmatic T. E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole, in the role that made him a star). After a prologue showing us Lawrence's ultimate fate, we flash back to Cairo in 1917. A bored general staffer, Lawrence talks his way into a transfer to Arabia. Once in the desert, he befriends Sherif Ali Ben El Kharish (Omar Sharif, making one of the most spectacular entrances in movie history) and draws up plans to aid the Arabs in their rebellion against the Turks. No one is ever able to discern Lawrence's motives in this matter: Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness) dismisses him as yet another "desert-loving Englishman," and his British superiors assume that he's either arrogant or mad. Using a combination of diplomacy and bribery, Lawrence unites the rival Arab factions of Feisal and Auda Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn). After successfully completing his mission, Lawrence becomes an unwitting pawn of the Allies, as represented by Gen. Allenby (Jack Hawkins) and Dryden (Claude Rains), who decide to keep using Lawrence to secure Arab cooperation against the Imperial Powers. While on a spying mission to Deraa, Lawrence is captured and tortured by a sadistic Turkish Bey (Jose Ferrer). In the heat of the next battle, a wild-eyed Lawrence screams "No prisoners!" and fights more ruthlessly than ever. Screenwriters Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson used T. E. Lawrence's own self-published memoir The Seven Pillars of Wisdom as their principal source, although some of the characters are composites, and many of the "historical" incidents are of unconfirmed origin. Two years in the making (you can see O'Toole's weight fluctuate from scene to scene), the movie, lensed in Spain and Jordan, ended up costing a then-staggering $13 million and won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The 1962 Royal Premiere in London was virtually the last time that David Lean's director's cut was seen: 20 minutes were edited from the film's general release, and 15 more from the 1971 reissue. This abbreviated version was all that was available for public exhibition until a massive 1989 restoration, at 216 minutes that returned several of Lean's favorite scenes while removing others with which he had never been satisfied. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi ~ Erin Demers, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Peter O'Toole
    Peter O'Toole - T.E. Lawrence
  • Alec Guinness
    Alec Guinness - Prince Feisal
  • Anthony Quinn
    Anthony Quinn - Auda abu Tayi
  • Jack Hawkins
    Jack Hawkins - Gen. Allenby
  • Omar Sharif
    Omar Sharif - Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish

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